Introduced back in 2014, the sixth generation Ford Mustang has been in production for four years now. In fact, the Blue Oval brand just introduced a mid-cycle refresh last year to make sure the Mustang's styling is up to date. It won't be long, however, until the seventh generation pony car makes it debut. In fact, we might see the next-gen Mustang as early as 2021.
According to a report by Automotive News, the redesigned seventh-generation Mustang will be making its debut by 2021. While the current-gen Mustang currently rides on an exclusive rear-wheel-drive platform, the report also mentions that the next-gen model will use one of Ford's modular platforms that underpins other models. It likely the rear-wheel drive unibody platform – which is available with all-wheel drive – found on the Explorer and the Lincoln Navigator.
The vehicle's main competition, the Chevrolet Camaro and Dodge Challenger, already use modular platforms. The shift would allow Ford the option of building an AWD Mustang for better handling and even compete with its competitors.
"Mustang is still going to be a strong, well proportioned vehicle. The modular architectures will still give us flexibility; it's not going to bastardize Mustang,” said Mustang chief designer Darrell Behmer speaking with Automotive News.
Meanwhile, the Mustang's chief engineer, Carl Widmann, says that the shift from a dedicated platform to a modular platform will not fundamentally change the car. At the end of the day, the vehicle will continue to be rear-wheel drive.
“The general layout of RWD has morphed over time, but it's still the general architecture that it has been," he said. "In the architecture world of a RWD—which you're going to end up with a RWD architecture—I think these pieces of it are pieces that will always work. As you tune it and put a top hat on it, you can get different combinations and can define a lot of the emotion," said Widmann speaking to Automotive News.
Ford had earlier announced that a hybrid Mustang is coming in 2020. Given that the next-gen Mustang will debut in 2021, it is likely that the Mustang hybrid will be part of the current-gen model.