DETROIT -- The 2024 Ford Mustang arrives early next summer, but Ford isn’t waiting for next year to take the wraps off.
In an attempt to own the 2022 North American International Auto Show/Detroit Auto Show news cycle, Ford has set up a “stampede” of Mustang owners who are traveling here to the Motor City. That’s ahead of a prime-time unveiling in downtown Detroit.
I should point out, for the sake of context, that as important as the reveal of any new Mustang is, it is not hard for Ford to own the news this year, since there isn’t much else going on. Unless hot-rod Tahoes and special-edition Jeeps tickle your fancy.
In a little over a month, the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) will allegedly be returning to Detroit for the first time since 2019. But the really big news is that there will be a brand new Mustang for everyone to look at if everything goes according to plan this time.
Ford Motor Co and General Motors will be individually suspending production in Michigan next week due to supply chain constraints. However, it’s difficult not to notice that the chosen facilities are responsible for lower-volume models they could probably afford to idle.
GM is stalling Lansing Grand River Assembly and Stamping, citing a parts shortage it said had nothing to do with the ongoing deficit of semiconductor chips. The company later stated that the Russo-Ukrainian war had not played a factor, abandoning the two most popular excuses for why something isn’t being done in 2022. Meanwhile, Ford has said the chip shortage has everything to do with its temporary closure of Flat Rock Assembly.
Ford loves to dig from the well of history when it comes to naming various versions of its Mustang performance coupe. We all know that.
Perhaps, though, that inadvertently puts pressure on each edition to live up to expectations set by past models sharing a moniker. Expectations that may have been set decades ago.
Fortunately for us enthusiasts, Ford has generally made sure any Mustang that gets slapped with a special nickname has lived up to the name. That’s true of the most-recent Shelby models, the recent-vintage Bullitt, and now, the Mach 1.
For the first time since American muscle returned to the assembly line in earnest, Dodge’s Challenger has managed to outsell both the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro inside the United States. Though Mopar fans might point out that Dodge would win every year if we bothered to include Charger sales in the headcount or were more precise when making determinations about what constitutes a muscle vs pony car.
Regardless of semantics, the Big Three have their performance icons and the Challenger has taken the two-door sales crown for the first time in modern history. Sadly, it was less about Dodge making inroads with new customers than it was about the other brands flubbing things. Performance vehicles aimed at the middle class are presently experiencing a rough patch, with the Challenger having lost the least amount of ground in the last decade.
Ford will be idling Mustang production this week due to an insufficient supply of semiconductor chips. For all the talk the industry made about getting over supply chain hurdles in 2021, manufacturers continue citing insufficient access to microchips as the primary obstacle preventing them from enjoying more routine operations.
The automaker confirmed the move on Tuesday, explaining that Michigan’s Flat Rock Assembly will be down until sometime next week.
Poking around ye olde Internet today, I came across this Motor1 piece that aggregates an interview that MuscleCarsandTrucks did. The interview is with Ford’s Mustang marketing manager, Jim Owens, and concerns, at least in part, the graying hairs of the average Mustang buyer and how Ford can get younger folks behind the wheel of the venerable pony car.
Shelby American is bringing back the GT500KR as an ultra-rare alternative to an already specialized variant of the Ford Mustang. So rare, in fact, that the odds of you actually obtaining one border on nonexistent.
Ford debuted the original in 1968 to capitalize on Carol Shelby’s winning streak with the Mustang and the “King of the Road” KR designation returned in 2008 while the retro renaissance was in full swing. Both were sold in limited numbers, with the new model being no different. Designed under the premise that Shelby could build one hell of an automobile for roughly $5,000 in 1968 ($40,000 today), the first GT500KR boasted a modified 428-ci (7.0-liter) Cobra Jet V8 engine and plenty of exterior accouterments helping to boost both performance and presence. Underrated at 355 horsepower, Shelby’s time with the Ford parts bin actually yielded a powertrain estimated to be in excess of 400 bhp with 440 pound-feet of torque.
Rare Rides has featured three of Saleen’s sporty creations in past: A one-off Thunderbird styling exercise, a hot hatchback, and the company’s full-on supercar. Today’s Rare Ride is probably more familiar than those other three, as it’s Saleen’s most basic take on the SN-95 Mustang.
There’s a Ford dealership in Iowa claiming that Blue Oval has canceled some Mustang Mach 1 and GT500 orders for the 2021 model year, suggesting that interested customers re-up for the 2022 MY vehicles.
Representatives from Granger Ford (located in, get this, Granger, IA) have taken to the Mustang6G forums to explain that their store has been notified that some customers will have to go without this year due to component shortages. While cancellations don’t appear to be widespread, other shops have confirmed they’ve gotten similar memos.
Remember that scene in the famed 1968 shoot-em-up Bullitt where Lieutenant Bullitt, after surviving a harrowing car chase up and down the streets of San Francisco, a chase that ended in the fiery deaths of some black-suited bad guys in a Dodge, went and picked up his Saint Bernards from the dog groomer and then took his daughter and her boyfriend to lacrosse practice in his four-door Mustang GT crossover electric vehicle?
You don’t remember it (unless you regularly attend Phish concerts) because Ford has never built a four-door ‘Stang before the Mach-E, and it certainly has never built an all-wheel drive pony car, and for the love of Pete, ‘ol Henry’s namesake most certainly has never built such a thing with the “GT” moniker, the label it reserves for its most throaty, hairy-chested, terrifying torque-monster of a street ‘n strip muscle car.
Until now of course. I submit the Mustang Mach-E GT, pumping out a gajillion horsepower and a bazillion lb-ft. o’ torque, and what has two giant thumbs and got to drive such a device on his favorite Northern California backroads? This guy.
Despite the Mustang Mach-E clearly receiving the brunt of Ford’s marketing efforts, the manufacturer is still trying to retain customers who prefer the real one original. We’re inclined the believe that a traditional American sports coupe offering 310 horsepower out of the box for under $30,000 is probably reason enough to keep the Mustang on your radar. But Ford has debatably sweetened the pot with a couple of factory appearance packages designed to give the car more character.
For 2022, the Mustang will offer a new Stealth Edition option for well-equipped EcoBoost models and an updated version of the classic California Special for the GT.