New 2023 Ford Mustang: powertrain, technology and specs

The Mustang name is one of the most iconic in the automotive industry, Ford even chose the famous pony badge to sit proudly on its first all-electric SUV – the Mustang Mach-E. Now it’s time for the legendary muscle car to return as Ford has revealed the all-new seventh-generation Mustang. 

It’s the world’s best-selling sports coupe, so Ford has cleverly not messed around with the Mustang formula too much. The headlines are V8 power, rear-wheel drive and the same unmistakable design. Ford claims it has revitalised the interior however, with more technology than ever before.

Ford’s new Mustang will come back to the UK, with the outgoing model having been the first of the breed to be sold here. The new car will arrive in late 2023 in coupe and convertible form. While the fastback proportions remain, the car’s design details are much sharper, with slimmer LED headlights hooded by the aggressive bonnet, dual air intakes in the front grille to improve performance and aggressive 19-inch multi-spoke alloy wheels that hide Brembo brakes as part of a standard-fit Performance Pack.At the rear the extended deck houses sharper-looking rear light clusters that feature the Mustang’s trademark three-bar light signature either side; Ford says that overall the all-new car’s look is edgier than before.

However, inside the Mustang is higher tech and offers more luxury than ever, the brand claims. Ford has done away with the previous car’s ‘double brow’ dashboard design to make way for a pair of screens, boosting technology.

A customizable 12.4-inch digital dash is joined seamlessly by a 13.2-inch central panel running Ford’s SYNC4 infotainment system. “We’re taking advantage of every pixel,” says Craig Sandvig, Ford Mustang interaction design manager. “We can be creative in showing necessary driving information and give the driver control of selecting colours, classic Mustang gauges or even a ‘calm’ screen where only minimal details are displayed.”

The result is the most digital Mustang ever, while removing physical buttons for the radio and climate controls has created a cleaner look for the fascia. Despite this move towards digitisation, Ford also says the all-new car’s cockpit is the most driver-focused yet, with a new, thicker-rimmed flat-bottom steering wheel featuring, as well as sporty leather seats.

Tech on offer includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability, wireless phone charging, over-the-air software compatibility and a 12-speaker B&O stereo.

However, a next-generation 5.0-litre V8 should provide suitable competition to that stereo when it comes to providing a soundtrack. In its press material Ford did not outline how much power and torque the new engine produces, but an output of more than 450bhp and 500Nm of torque for the base 5.0-litre car should be entirely achievable. Alongside the new dual air intake design the engine also features dual throttle bodies, one for each cylinder bank.

Extra power is also hinted at by a drop in fuel efficiency. The current Mustang 5.0 offers 22.8mpg whereas Ford claims just 19.9mpg for the new V8 one. There’s no word on if the firm’s 2.3-litre turbocharged Ecoboost engine will be carried over to the new car, but it seems unlikely given it was removed from the Mustang lineup recently. 

The new car is available with either a six-speed manual transmission or a 10-speed automatic, with both gearboxes sending drive to the rear wheels. A rev-matching function for the six-speed manual car is standard on Mustang GT models.

There are six customisable driving modes available – Normal, Sport, Slippery, Drag, Track and an Individual setting – the new Mustang’s steering ratio is faster and the responsiveness of the chassis has been improved by reducing compliance everywhere from the steering wheel down to the tyres, resulting in the most track-capable Mustang ever, according to Ford.

According to Ed Krenz, Mustang chief nameplate engineer, “This is the most athletic and confidence-inspiring Mustang to drive yet. Whether driving an automatic or manual transmission, thanks to Drive Modes combined with fine-tuned digital engine, suspension and steering controls, we’re now able to give drivers peak performance everywhere, from their favourite roads to their local track.”

GT cars also come equipped with a standard-fit Performance pack, that on top of the aforementioned wheels and brakes, adds a limited-slip differential for increased traction and an active exhaust. Buyers can spec Ford’s MagneRide adaptive suspension, which can be tuned to change the chassis settings depending on the drive mode selected.

Ford Mustang Dark Horse

Making its debut alongside the standard Mustang GT is Ford’s Mustang Dark Horse, which turns up the performance potential even further. The new Gen IV V8 boasts a bespoke tune and new camshafts, a six-speed Tremec transmission with a 3D-printed titanium shift ball for the gear lever, or Ford’s 10-speed automatic unit.

The Dark Horse also benefits from a Performance Package that adds auxiliary engine and transmission oil coolers, a lightweight radiator, a Torsen limited-slip diff, bespoke tweaks for the chassis, a chunkier rear anti-roll bar, heavy-duty suspension dampers for the front axle, extra chassis bracing, 19-inch wheels and big Brembo brakes. 

Standard-fit MagneRide suspension and Pirelli performance tyres round off the mechanical upgrades, while visually the Dark Horse boasts new logos and darkened LED headlights. 

We’ll know more about power and performance figures, plus price and an on-sale date later this year.

Now take a look at our list of the best muscle cars ever built…