Ford has big changes in mind for the new Mustang

Ford has a new Mustang coming, and it needs to get the seventh generation muscle car right because it's apparently going to be sticking around for some time. The new Mustang is expected to begin production in late 2022, but Ford is said to have extended its lifecycle plans for a car that looks increasingly out of place in the rest of the automaker's range.

The Mustang was, unsurprisingly, one of the very few vehicles that survived Ford's big passenger car cull. Back in 2018, the automaker announced it was taking a scythe to its line-up in North America, ditching most of its non-SUV, crossover, and truck range as it refocused on what was selling well.

In fact, the Mustang was basically the last Ford car, with the Fusion sedan ending production in July of this year. It'll be replaced by the Fusion Active, a crossover, in late 2021. That leaves the Mustang to prove its worth in the line-up.

It'll have longer to do that, new chatter from Ford's supply chain suggests. The original plan was to have the new Mustang lifecycle last six years; that, Automotive News reports, has now been extended to eight years. The pony car is expected to launch as the 2023 Mustang, and then have a "freshening" come 2025, according to what Ford has informed its suppliers. The automaker itself declined to comment.

While the coupe and convertible body styles are expected to continue, the reality is that the Mustang can't hold off the utility-transition of Ford's range. The seventh-gen Mustang is expected to use the same platform as the Ford Explorer and Lincoln Aviator. That offers both rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations.

However it could mean a larger Mustang overall, it's suggested, given the dimensions of the Ford CD6 platform. Considering some Mustang purists already consider the current car to be too large, that may not go down well.

Nonetheless, the fact that Ford is making a new commitment to the Mustang at all should likely come as a relief. In contrast, Chevrolet is believed to have delayed its next-generation Camaro, the Mustang's long-time nemesis, in the face of shrinking sales in the category overall.

Meanwhile Ford has expanded the Mustang brand to encompass the new Mustang Mach-E, it's all-electric crossover due to arrive at dealerships later in 2020. The company has also shown off several all-electric Mustang coupe models, though it's unclear whether any of them will actually make it to production.