Ford Mustang continues to evolve, keeps up with competition

2019 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350. (AFP Relaxnews pic)

The Ford Mustang has been one of the most famous cars in the world for decades now, and even by the Mustang’s standards the last few years have been pretty eventful.

Ford is currently completing work on a 2019 Mustang Shelby GT500, which will be the most powerful production Mustang ever made, with more than 700 horsepower – up there with the likes of the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat.

And according to a Detroit Bureau interview with Ford Group Marketing Manager Corey Holter, there’s even a hybrid version of the Mustang coming in 2020.

As recently as the 2015 model year, Ford completely reinvented the Mustang for what is now its sixth generation. Though it still looked every inch a Mustang, the new model brought the car’s underpinnings into the 21st century, even going so far as to include a turbocharged four-cylinder engine as one of its powerplants.

Now it’s even available with a digital instrument cluster, which is about as far away from classic Mustang’s as it’s possible to get. The basic V-6 has also been dropped to leave just the four-cylinder EcoBoost and the ubiquitous 5.0-liter V-8, which means now there’s no such thing as a new Mustang with a V-6.

In another monumental moment just a couple of years ago, the latest version of this global motoring icon finally went truly global.

After more than 50 years, Ford decided for the first time to offer the Mustang through official dealers in markets all around the world. It even built right-hand-drive examples for markets such as the UK and Australia. To say the move was a success would be an understatement.

Mustang number 10 million looks pretty unassuming, as it’s a 2019 GT convertible in Wimbledon White, fitted with a six-speed manual gearbox. The specifications of this particular car were no accident though — it was designed to match the 1965.5 Ford Mustang that carried the serial number 1 and was also a Wimbledon White V-8 convertible.

How much the Mustang is evolving is illustrated by the fact that Mustang number 1 had a pretty mundane 164 horsepower V-8, while the new model boasts 460 horsepower. And although both use manual gearboxes, the original only had three gears to the six of its successor. A 10-speed automatic is now also available.

For any purists appalled at the thought of a Mustang hybrid, Ford has confirmed a hybrid version that will “deliver V-8 power and even more low-end torque.” Who can complain about that?