Ford just launched the seventh-generation Mustang with an all internal combustion engine line-up but finds itself with increasingly few competitors.
As the new V8-powered Mustang took centre stage on the Ford stand at the recent 2022 Detroit Motor Show, over at Dodge the star attraction was the all-electric Charger Daytona SRT concept. While at Chevrolet rumours of the Camaros demise have been running for years, with the V8-powered coupe either set to be dropped entirely or evolve into an all-electric sports sedan. Chevrolet has also confirmed it will build an all-electric version of its C8 Corvette in the near-future.
Despite the seemingly dwindling number of petrol-powered rivals, Ford’s global president and CEO Jim Farley isn’t happy to see the Mustang get less competition.
“No! We love cars and we love competition,” Farley told Torquecafe. “Competition is good for our industry. But we’re not going to stop evolving.”
There were rumours and speculation in the years leading up to the reveal of the new ‘S650’ Mustang that Ford would add either an electric or hybrid powertrain to the pony car, but neither materialised. Farley hit back at the notion that the industry will be dominated by electric cars in the short-term, saying there was still demand for petrol-powered cars around the world.
“Everyone wrote the story that EVs are the next cycle of our industry but it’s not that simple really,” he said. “There are different customers who want different things, they have different duty cycles and there are 100 million vehicles sold in the world.”
Farley pointed to the introduction of the Mustang Mach-E all-electric SUV as the key to retaining the petrol-engines for the new Mustang coupe and convertible, saying it has allowed Ford to have it both ways.
“The good thing is that we are investing in the seventh-generation because we have Mustang Mach-E, because we’re number-two in the US for electric, because we’re number-two in the US for hybrid. That gives us the ability to do this,” he said.
“Other competitors are buying credits for emissions and they can’t come out with this kind of vehicle. We can. It’s so exciting that, in a way, the Mustang Mach-E allowed this car to happen.”
Farley said the global appeal of the Mustang, particularly in markets like Australia where it is typically the best-selling sports car, is a sign the company is on the right path.
“What a lot of people don’t realise is that 20 percent of all Mustangs are sold outside the US or [that it is] the number-one sports coupe on the globe, and we’re now going to 140 countries so this is going to give us a big advantage because a lot of people love this kind of car,” he said.
“That’s what we’re doing with our ICE business, we’re going to keep investing, keep our ICE products really exciting but make them more opinionated. We want to be opinionated about our products.”