Everything is changing in the automotive industry, even the pony car segment. The Chevrolet Camaro and Dodge Challenger will soon be history with the Ford Mustang remaining the only model to survive from the trio in a non-electrified form. However, there are still many people looking for an old-school naturally aspirated V8 sports car, and Ford even hopes it can win younger customers that are new to the brand with the new 2024 Mustang.
You can’t lure in young clients with just a powerful 5.0, though. The company’s designers and engineers have added gimmicks such as game-style graphics, a remote rev function, and an electronic drift brake that should attract the younger audience. The increased amount of customization options is also a step in this direction.
“There’s a segment of the pony car set that is extremely brand loyal and might have a bowtie tattoo somewhere on their body. We’re probably not going to be able to convert them. This is a basis to grow and bring in a younger audience. We feel there’s a segment of the population that really enjoys sports car performance but enjoys it differently than the current generation does,” Jim Owens, Mustang brand manager, explained to Automotive News.
But is Ford prepared to survive in a new environment where there will be no direct competitors in the pony car segment? “We’ve been there without that competition before,” Owens added. “We’re there because this is a primary piece of Americana from a sports car segment we think the audiences will desire.”
While based on a modified version of the previous-gen Mustang’s platform, the 2024 Mustang has been improved on many levels. Our first impressions (see the related links above) are that the engines – while having the same 2.3- and 5.0-liter displacements as their predecessors – feel more lively, while the suspension is well balanced.
Sales of the Mustang are down by 2.9 percent through June this year with 25,471 units delivered to customers in the United States. The new 2024 model will go on sale this summer with a starting price of $32,515 (destination and handling taxes included), while the range-topping Dark Horse variant kicks off at $59,565.