It’s a bad time to be a fan of the V8, as the list of companies replacing displacement with forced induction, batteries, or both, grows on a regular basis. The new Ford Mustang remains available with eight cylinders, and executives said that the engine is here to stay — for now.
While the rumor mill has huffed out reports claiming this is the Mustang’s last dance with the V8, one of Ford’s top executives set the record straight in an interview with Australian website CarSales. “We have not identified an ending [for the V8],” said Mark Rushbrook, the global director of Ford Performance Motorsports. “Who knows honestly with regulations, but as long as we can we will [build V8s for Mustang].”
Tim Smith, the new Mustang’s chief vehicle integration engineer, echoed his colleague’s comments and added that the V8’s noise plays a significant role in the composition of the model’s character. However, he conceded that regulations “are going to get tighter and tighter and tighter” so his team will need to find a creative way to keep the engine in production. It’s too early to tell whether this could involve synthetic fuels, hybrid technology, or another solution to appease lawmakers. “We’re going to keep working to keep pace with [regulations],” he said.
Ford engineers haven’t ruled out developing a new version of the 5.0-liter Coyote V8 that powers several members of the 2024 Mustang range, though it ultimately depends on demand and — you guessed it — regulations. Smith pointed out that, looking ahead, the V8 may end up being offered as a region-specific option. The engine could be available in some markets, such as the United States, Australia, and likely the Middle East, and not in others, like the European Union, where the war against the internal combustion engine has raged on for years.
New for 2024, the seventh-generation Mustang may soon find itself in a class of one. Dodge is ending production of the Challenger in December 2023, and while its successor could get a straight-six engine there’s little evidence suggesting it’ll receive a V8. The horizon looks even darker over at Chevrolet: the Camaro has entered its final model year, and rumors claim it’ll be reincarnated into an an electric sedan.