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Next Generation Ford Mustang could arrive in 2021 with All-Wheel-Drive

As Ford Motor Company trims the number of vehicles in the lineup, the mighty Mustang could become more utilitarian as the automaker looks to draw in new buyers, possibly introducing all-wheel-drive during the next generation of the legendary pony car.

The Ford Mustang has spent the past few years atop the sales chart for the American muscle cars while also being the bestselling sporty two-door car in the United States and the world. The Mustang is so successful that when Ford begins to eliminate cars from its lineup as it focuses on trucks and SUVs, the Mustang will be one of the few cars to survive. In fact, it is expected that Ford will soon offer an electric crossover that will share some of the design inspiration with the famous pony car, as while most Ford cars struggle, the Mustang continues to thrive.

An important aspect of the Mustang’s success over the last 54 years is keeping the model fresh, so it comes as little surprise that the current car – which debuted for the 2015 model year – could be replaced with a new generation in or around 2021. This new generation is likely to introduce yet another new exterior look, but more importantly in the grand scheme of things, the next gen Mustang could offer a hybrid package and all-wheel-drive.

A Shared Platform
According to Automotive News, the next generation Ford Mustang is expected to arrive in 2021. It is unclear whether that is during 2021 as a 2022 model year vehicle or whether it will debut in 2020 for the 2021 model year, but if this report is accurate, the next generation Mustang will be arriving within the next couple of years. When it does, it could have hybrid power, new engines and a new look, but the most significant change could be a new platform.

The current Mustang rides on a unique platform that is not shared with any other Ford Motor Company vehicles. Using a unique platform is more costly than using a shared platform, but in terms of R&D costs and production costs. Shifting the Mustang to a shared platform would help the company lower the costs associated with the car while also allowing the company to more easily use Mustang technology across other models. Also, shared platforms make it easier for an automaker to produce multiple vehicles on the same assembly line, so a shared platform for the Mustang would allow Ford to build other vehicles at the Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Michigan.

According to this report, that shared platform could put the Mustang, the Ford Explorer and the Lincoln Aviator on the same basic chassis, opening up an unusual option for the future pony car – all-wheel-drive.

An AWD Mustang
Ten years ago, the suggestion of an all-wheel-drive Ford Mustang would have been nothing short of absurd, but the automotive world has changed a great deal since then and it continues to evolve every day. The introduction and early success of the all-wheel-drive Dodge Challenger has proven that there is a market for a muscle car that grips with all four tires, and if the Mustang is going to share the Explorer platform, the chassis will be capable of accepting the all-wheel-drive components.

Should Ford go this route, the Mustang would appeal to a whole new group of prospective buyers who need a car that they can drive year-round in the harshest winter conditions. Right now, Mustang owners who live in snowy regions have to be prepared with another vehicle once the ground is covered with ice, but available all-wheel-drive would do away with that issue. As a result, people who previously looked past the Mustang due to its inability to perform all year long will take a second look – especially if there are far fewer AWD cars in the Ford lineup to consider.

A Hybrid Mustang
Finally, we have been talking about a hybrid Ford Mustang for a couple of years now and if one hasn’t arrived by the time that the next generation debuts, we should expect one in that next generation. Ford has made it clear that there will be some form of electrified Mustang and it seems most likely that it would be a hybrid rather than a full electric vehicle, allowing the engineers to incorporate electric assist technology without deviating too far from the heritage of the legendary performance car.