2023 Ford Mustang V8 promises more power and performance plus technological upgrade

Updated muscle car gets sharper design and a power upgrade along with new-look interior and Dark Horse special edition

The seventh-generation Ford Mustang has been unveiled with sharper styling, a new high-tech interior and the promise of more power from its V8 engine.

Although based on the same platform as the sixth-generation car, Ford says the 2023 Mustang is all new, with better handling, performance and the “most technologically advanced, driver-centric cockpit” of any Mustang.

At the very centre of everything lies an updated version of the 5.0-litre Coyote V8 from the previous model. Fitted to GT models, this has been reworked with new dual air intake and dual throttle body design to give it better air flow, more power and more immediate response. No word yet on exact performance figures but the old V8 put out 444bhp and managed 0-60mph in 4.5 seconds. A six-speed manual transmission will be standard, with the option of a 10-speed auto.

That 10-speed automatic will be the standard transmission for the 2.3-litre four-cylinder turbocharged EcoBoost, which also returns with the new Mustang.

The less powerful model will be differentiated from the GT thanks to unique new styling treatments for the two models. The GT gets larger grille openings to allow increased airflow, along with new bonnet vents and redesigned front splitter.

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Elsewhere, the Mustang has been reworked to give it what Ford calls an edgier style. A new three-section bonnet sits above three-segment LED headlamps, apparently influenced by the original 1960s design. A longer rear deck and shortened overhang are also said to call back to the “authentic proportions” of the first-generation car, and the rear wings have been widened to give a more aggressive stance. As before, the Mustang will be available as a coupe or convertible.

Inside, the Mustang’s famous dual-brow instrument cowl has vanished to make way for a more modern digitally-focused setup. While entry-level cars get a two-screen arrangement, GT models get a glazed Mercedes-style continuous display that links a 12.4-inch instrument display with a 13.2-inch centre touchscreen housing the latest Sync4 infotainment system. Both screens are heavily customisable and, along with the ambient lighting, change colour and appearance depending on which of the six drive modes is selected. Higher-spec models get unique dash and steering wheel trims while all versions feature a 12-speaker B&O sound system.

Under the skin, the sixth-generation car’s chassis and suspension have been overhauled to offer better control and the steering rack has been adjust to provide a more direct response. Adaptive Magneride suspension remains an optional extra but comes as standard with the Performance Pack.

The Performance Pack brings even more power and a host of upgrades including a lighter weight radiator, additional oil and transmission cooling, a Torsen limited-slip differential, wider rear wheels, a strut tower brace and larger Brembo brakes, plus a unique chassis tuning and uprated anti-roll bars and dampers. It also features an electronic drift brake, which uses a mechanical-style handbrake lever to allow tail-out silliness in track mode.

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The Performance Pack comes as standard on the new Dark Horse specification, which also features dark metallic trim touches, unique badging, a more prominent bodykit with fixed rear wing and bespoke Blue Ember metallic paint.

There’s no word on pricing but the new Mustang should arrive in the UK in 2023, although it could be the last generation of the traditional V8 Mustang. Ford CEO Jim Farley said: “Investing in another generation of Mustang is a big statement at a time when many of our competitors are exiting the business of internal combustion vehicles

“Ford, however, is turbocharging its ICE growth plan, adding connected technology, opinionated derivatives, and hybrid options to our most profitable and popular cars – all in the Ford Blue family – on top of investing $50 billion in electric vehicles through 2026.”