Could the next-gen Ford Mustang coupe come only as a battery-electric model?

This story has been updated with Ford’s response.

Ford Motor Co.’s gotten such an overwhelmingly positive reaction to the all-electric Mustang Mach-E, it’s rumored to be making the next-generation of the sports car a fully electric offering as well.

According to AutoForecast Solutions, the automaker will not build the next version of the pony car until 2028. The reason for the delay? It needs to be redesigned on a battery-electric platform. Further, it’s expected to be the only powertrain for the new Mustang.

“… the gas-fueled burble of the V-8 is replaced with the shocking acceleration of an electric motor when the standard Mustang becomes an EV in just a few years,” said Sam Fiorani, vice president of global vehicle forecasts, in the company’s podcast on Jan. 18.

(New Mustang Mach-E is just the first step in “electrification” for Ford.)

The early success of the Mustang Mach-E suggests that an all-electric version of the sports car could be well received by aficionados.

Fiorani’s podcast was followed by a report by Autoline Detroit Tuesday, recounting the AFS report about the next version of the Mustang. Although it isn’t out of the question for the Mustang to get an electric powertrain, for it to be the only offering is a bit surprising.

Many have suggested some form of electrification, such as a small electric motor to add some more power and torque has certainly been bandied about. Several other sports cars have move to the hybrid set up to boost performance.

It should be noted that in 2017 the automaker killed a $1.6 billion investment in Mexico, redirecting $700 million of that to expand the Flat Rock plant. Ford would add a new body shop at the site to handle two unnamed battery-electric vehicles, officials said at the time, although it was suggested that one would be a hybrid.

The site currently produces just the Mustang, which until recently included the Shelby GT350 and GT350R models. Those two vehicles have been discontinued, with the GT500 living on and now the Mach 1 making a comeback later this year. Ford officials told in an email the automaker doesn’t comment on future product plans.

Ford officials have long maintained that electrification was part of the company’s future, not its sole focus, unlike its rival, General Motors, which has been dealing with some electrification rumors lately too. Last week, reports resurfaced that an all-electric Chevrolet Corvette was in the works, but following in Ford’s footsteps.

Ford announced plans in 2017 to invest $700 million in its Flat Rock, Michigan, plant, which currently builds only the Mustang, to build electric vehicles.

(Ford axes $1.6B Mexico plant for $700M Michigan upgrade.)

While General Motors insiders never really downplayed reports about the potential electrification of the ‘Vette, including a fully electric model. However, last week there were reports that the bowtie brand was considering an electric Corvette crossover like the Mustang Mach-E because of the warm reception it’s getting.

The flames were fanned during CES2021 when GM officials talked about offering a variety of new electric vehicles between now and 2030. Earlier reports centered on a 1,000-horsepower monster dubbed the Corvette Zora, named after the creator of the original car. The move to create an all-electric crossover would check off two “rumor” boxes, if you will: an all-electric model and the creation of a separate Corvette sub-brand.

The downside, of course, is that Corvette loyalists would shun it immediately. It’s been barely a year since the eighth-generation Corvette – the C8 to fans – made its debut, marking the switch to a mid-engine layout, the most radical shift for the sports car in its nearly seven decades on the market.

Several senior members of the Corvette team have hinted at plans in conversations with, among other things indicating the new car’s platform could allow space for a battery pack.

(Could an all-electric Corvette crossover be in the works?)

Several purported timetables have emerged indicating Chevrolet is working on hybrid or plug-in versions of the sports car. But when directly asked about the opportunity of a hybrid model, GM President Mark Reuss has responded on several occasions with the company’s new mantra, that it is “on a path to an all-electric future.

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