The CEO of US car giant Ford has doubled down on the Blue Oval’s commitment to V8 power in its Mustang coupe and convertible, crediting the continuation of production to its electric SUV sibling.
Speaking to media ahead of the upcoming Daytona 24 Hour endurance race – in which the new Mustang GT3 will make its racing debut – Ford boss Jim Farley voiced the brand’s commitment to V8 engines for its flagship coupe.
“[…]if we’re the only one on the planet making a V8 affordable sports car for everyone in the world, so be it,” Mr Farley said, as reported by Motor1.
Mr Farley says the success of the Mustang Mach-E – the electric SUV which bears the same name as its two-door sibling – and the F-150 Lightning has allowed the two-door Mustang to stay in production due to the emissions offset created by the battery-powered models.
“[Mustang] Mach-E lets us sell ICE vehicles for a long time to come,” Mr Farley said.
In recent months, the Chevrolet Camaro and Dodge Challenger and Charger have gone out of production, leaving the Ford Mustang with no direct rival in the US pony car segment.
While the Dodge Charger will return – confusingly a two-door like the outgoing Challenger, rather than a four-door sedan – it will do so with electric power and a rumoured turbocharged six-cylinder powertrain.
Little is known about the Camaro’s successor, though overseas reports have speculated the nameplate could be revived as a Chevrolet sub-brand for electric three- and five-door crossover coupes, eventually leading to a battery-powered sports car.
According to Mr Farley, the Mustang is more than just a promotional tool on the race track, claiming lessons learnt from racing are applied to road-going examples of the pony car.
“What other car in the world races on six continents on any given weekend? And that’s because we have a V8 engine,” he said.
“This is old school tech transfer. Our R&D is on the race track, and you’ll be able to buy them at Ford.”
The 5.0-litre ‘Coyote’ V8 engine which powers the flagship Mustang GT and Dark Horse is used as the basis for Ford’s GT3, GT4 and Australian Supercars championship challengers – albeit with enhancements for additional power and durability.
Australian deliveries of the new seventh-generation Ford Mustang are due to begin in the second quarter of 2024 (April to June inclusive) – more than a year after making its debut in the Supercars Championship.