Opinion Time! Future Mustang
The following is just my opinion, for whatever that's worth. You have been warned!
Well you can now go to the Ford Mustang site and configure your dream 2017 Mustang. There are no body styling changes, and no engine upgrades, only minor changes such as paint and packages. Which now leads me to make the following guesses / predictions about the future. Just to be clear here, I have no insider information, and am really only speculating based on history and what I see.
There has been a lot of talk or wishful thinking that there will be a Shelby GT500 or a Mach1, and there maybe. If I had to pick one, it would be the Mach 1. Why? Well the current generation is rumored to end in 2020. With only a couple of years left, putting out a Mach 1 should be pretty easy. Tweak the engine, modify the body a bit and BAM you got a Mach 1. If you look at the history of the Mach 1 you'll see that it originally came out at the end of the 1st generation. Ford ran with it throughout the second gen, and then it only reappeared towards the end of the 4th generation. If you were to build a GT500 you would want to to be more powerful than the GT350 and something special. I think that will come with the new 7th Generation.
Speaking of 7th generation, here is where I see the biggest changes. (Again , this is all just guess work, and I am probably wrong. In 2020 we can check this article again and see how right or wrong I was. ) With the 7th Generation Ford is facing ever tightening C.A.F.E. laws. To stay within the rules, Ford can add a "gas tax", which would go against the "affordable" part of what a Mustang is, or go the tech route. The tech route is simply new technology, which they have already started in the current 6th generation. The 4 cylinder, a more aerodynamic body, independent rear suspension and what ever voodoo they are doing under the hood with the computers.
With the 7th gen, I'm gonna start safe and say the 4cylinder is gonna stay, but get more horse power. 325 - 350 would be a safe guess. That's were I think we can all agree. The V-6 will go one of 2 ways. All new turbo engine, becoming the mid-range car, or gone altogether. Ford has neutered the current v-6 from 305hp in the 5th gen to 300 in the current 6th gen. For cost savings I can see them eliminating the engine all together. Now I'm gonna get into dangerous waters and piss a few people off. The current V-8 will be tossed for a new more fuel efficient V-8, and I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say it will have a turbo.(dodging rocks) The current coyote engine is now 6 years old and by 2020 will be 9 years old. Ford has said the V-8 is going nowhere any time soon, and with the above mentioned fuel restriction laws, a turbo may be in the future. That being said, many enthusiasts are already putting turbos on their engines, and so are the likes of the European supercar manufactures, like Ferrari, and Aston Martin. In case your still shaking and sweating over the death of the natural aspirated engine, just think of this...500hp, 550, or even 600hp!
Even with better engines, and fancy computers to manage the fuel and engines, Ford will need to do something about the weight. As the Mustang has gotten older it has put on more weight ,(like many of us reading this) going from approx. 3,300lbs in 2005 to 3,800ilbs in the current gen. This is for a list of reasons, which I won't get into here. My guess is we might see more aluminum, possibly an aluminum chassis. Ford has said that they were working with partners to try and bring carbon fibre to mass production. If Ford can bring the cost of carbon fibre down, we might see it in a new GT500.
Now imagine all the things I talked about in this article. Imagine a 3,000ib aluminum chassis 4 cylinder Mustang with a 0-60mph in 4.5 seconds. Imagine a 3,200lb Mustang GT all aluminum chassis, with a 500hp engine. 0-60 in 3.5 seconds. (ouch my neck) . NOW imagine an aluminum chassis, carbon fibre body, GT500 with a twin turbo V-8, 600+hp. 0-60 in 3.0 seconds! If Ford can pull this off, and keep the price reasonable for most Americans, that would be a game changer for the world market!
The world keeps changing, and I can only hope that the Mustang changes with it. I suspect in 10 years we may even see a hybrid system. (dodging my rocks) Look at the McLaren P1, the Ferrari LaFerrari, and the Porsche 918. They are all hybrids today. Who knows what the future may be, but I sure hope there is a Mustang tearing up the streets 50 years from now.