For Chris Walter, coming up with a new design for the 2024 Ford Mustang was no easy task. It never is when you’re told to give a makeover to an automotive icon. And that’s certainly the right word for the long-lived pony car.
With fan clubs on six of the seven continents — Ford even considering plans to drop one onto Antarctica — it the Mustang has a special place in the automotive market, so any updates are closely followed. Thousands turned out last year to watch the unveiling of the seventh-generation Mustang at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
In the end, Walter’s team chose to go with an evolutionary update to the 2024 Ford Mustang’s exterior, but they took a more aggressive approach to the all-new cabin. And Ford has made some significant revisions to the car’s powertrain options, as well.
To get a sense of how it all comes together, I headed to suburban Los Angeles to work my way through the various versions of the 2024 Mustangs that will be available at launch, starting with the EcoBoost package and working up to the GT. You can find the base car’s review here. Now, let’s take a look at what we learned about the 2024 Mustang GT.
What began nearly 60 years ago with a blue sheet of paper is today one of the most widely recognized nameplates in the U.S. auto industry. A lot has changed since the first Ford Mustang made its debut as a 1964-1/2 model. In the weeks ahead, a seventh-generation pony car will begin rolling into showrooms across the U.S. — and, eventually, into dealerships overseas.
The 2024 Ford Mustang likely won’t shock potential owners. The look and feel are largely evolutionary, though there are a handful of surprises, including the all-new interior. But there’s plenty that should appeal to everyone from those original Baby Boom buyers to the Gen-Z shoppers that the automaker hopes to win over.
With the Mustang GT, there’s a fourth-generation 5.0-liter Coyote V-8, and there’s been much work done to enhance the car’s ride and handling. But Ford clearly recognizes times are changing. And while traditional Mustang buyers might focus on power and performance, younger customers are just as interested in technology, including the twin displays that make up the centerpiece of the redesigned cabin.
All versions of the 2024 Ford Mustang get a new exterior treatment that is sharper-angled and more aerodynamic, though buyers will readily recognize the latest generation of the pony car. Indeed, the dimensions are essentially identical, the gen-7 model measuring 189.4 inches nose-to-tail. It stands 55 inches in height, with a width of 81.9 inches if you include the mirrors. And the wheelbase comes in at an even 107 inches.
Up front, there are new LED headlamps, as well as slit-like tri-beam sequential turn signals just under the hood. The new Mustang’s belt line drops by more than an inch, and it gets more muscular haunches that enhance the car’s athletic stance. There are sequential taillights, just like the outgoing model, but the 2024 model gets a distinctive kink to the back end that’s arguably its most distinctive new feature.
The convertible’s power-folding ragtop hews closer to the shape of the coupe. And it operates a little more quickly, Ford claims. But it still requires the driver to manually lock and unlock it using a handle just above the windshield.
As before, each version of the Mustang gets some unique details. Up front, the GT boasts a unique fascia, with twin surrounds built into the grille to help channel air into its induction ports. There’s also a new heat extractor on the hood, along with a wing on the back end.
One thing you can expect from a Mustang is that it’s really just a 2+2. There’s only limited rear seat legroom. And there’s marginally acceptable cargo space, at 13.3 cubic feet with the coupe, 10.3 cf with the convertible. Up front, there’s plenty of room and, with the Performance Pack option, your GT will get sporty Recaro seats.
Where the exterior updates might be modest to the point of being easily missed, it’s another matter entirely inside the 2024 Ford Mustang. The automaker has referred to the new look as “disruptive,” and here longtime buyers likely will be in for a surprise, starting with the loss of the long-running double-brow instrument panel.
Slip behind the new, flat-bottomed steering wheel and the first thing you’ll notice is the single piece of glass that stretches across much of the IP. It actually conceals a new, 12.4-inch gauge cluster and a separate, 13.2-inch infotainment screen. Both are readily reconfigurable, especially when you switch from minimalist “Calm,” to “Normal” and “Sport” modes. The GT also adds “Track.”
As with the Mustang EcoBoost, my biggest complaint is with Ford’s decision to move climate controls onto the infotainment screen. Though it’s relatively easy to get to them, it still creates a bit of a distraction to adjust temperature or turn on or off the seat heaters.
Like the Mustang EcoBoost, the GT also gets some significant updates under the hood. The fourth-generation Coyote V-8 gets what Ford claims is a “class-first” dual intake and dual throttle body induction system, as well as an upgraded steel oil plan. Also new: cast aluminum blocks and heads with plasma transfer wire arc cylinder liners designed to increase durability and reduce friction.
The 5.0-liter package makes an impressive 480 horsepower and 415 pound-feet, with torque jumping to 418 when you opt for the Performance Pack. Among other things, that package will get you an active valve exhaust system that further enhances the resonant guttural roar that is so much a part of a Mustang GT’s appeal.
Buyers also will get a choice of a 10-speed automatic transmission or a 6-speed manual. That gearbox includes standard rev-matching that holds engine RPMs when you engage the clutch. It not only makes for smoother shifts but also helps retain torque. The automatic, meanwhile, blips the throttle when shifting.
The Performance Pack adds a number of other enhancements, including a front Tower Brace and a Torsen Limited Slip differential, as well as wider rear wheels and tires — to help put all that power to the pavement. And big Brembo brakes to help you stop fast, lap after lap if you take the GT out on the track.
Safety and Technology
The twin digital displays comprise the most readily apparent tech update to the seventh-generation and they use so-called “unreal gaming technology” to deliver high-res imagery and impressive animation. Ford has done a solid job of programming the interface. It’s easy to learn and attractive to the eye. It also makes it possible to customize all manner of vehicle functions, from the audio and navigation systems to the gauge display.
There are several USB plugs and an optional smartphone wireless charger. Ford has made both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto standard on all models of the 2024 Mustang. And you can use both the Ford Streaming and Amazon Alexa features to not only adjust vehicle settings but to do things like remotely open your garage door or turn on your home lightning.
The new Mustang also permits smartphone-style over-the-air updates to much of its onboard software.
Personally, one of my favorite pieces of technology is the MagneRide suspension. The rear dampers use a “magnetorheological” fluid, a fancy way of saying an oil with micro-sized ferrous particles. Apply an electromagnetic force and the viscosity can vary widely. The dampers can go anywhere from soft to stiff as a rock in barely the time it takes for the Mustang to travel an inch at 60 mph
As for safety, the 2024 pony car expands on its list of smart safety technology. These include standard features like forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning and lane-keep assist, and active cruise control. There are a number of options, as well. The Performance Pack even incorporates an active pothole mitigation system to soften impacts.
I spent the better part of a day in suburban Los Angeles driving the 2024 Mustang GT, switching between the coupe and convertible, as well as both the 6-speed manual and the 10-speed automatic. Much of my route took me on the challenging Angeles Crest Highway, with some additional time spent dealing with freeway and local roads.
The updated V-8 is a joy to behold. It revs up freely and, in “Sport” Mode, delivers a delicious engine note, whether revving up at low speeds or blasting down an Interstate. The engine seems much more responsive to driver inputs than before. And there are clear differences in response depending upon which driver mode you opt for.
The 6-speed manual provides great fun working through the gears. But, to be honest, it’s hard to find fault with the 10-speed automatic. It intuitively lands in the right gear and, under light acceleration in the “Normal” setting, shifts all but imperceptibly. Shifts are both quicker and crisper when you select “Sport” or “Track.”
On the whole, the 2024 pony car delivers an impressive ride and much-enhanced handling, especially when navigating those winding mountain roads. While I’d have liked to see Ford stiffen up the body even more, the latest-generation Mustang stayed firmly planted and sidestepped only slightly when overcooking a corner. For those who want truly serious handling, the additional bracing and MagneRide suspension offered in the Performance Pack make for a worthwhile option.
Another feature found with the Performance Pack is the new Drift Brake developed by Ford and Formula Drift king Vaughan Gittin Jr. To engage, enter a corner hard and then yank the handle — which serves double-duty as the emergency brake. It locks up the rear brakes and puts you into a spin. Just let it go to bring the beast back under control. Suggestion: practice this at a track or parking lot before ever considering using the Drift Brake out in public. And be aware that it could earn you a ticket.
There are plenty of reasons why the Ford Mustang has remained the world’s bestselling sports car — or king of the muscle car hill — for so many years. If anything, the 2024 seventh-generation model should be even more firmly ensconced on its throne.
Add a relatively reasonable price tag that starts at $30,920 for the Mustang EcoBoost, $41,495 for the Mustang GT — and $57,970 for the new Dark Horse edition we’ll review in the near future.
We could make the case for a more radical design update and, perhaps, for an even stiffer platform. But, for the money, the 2024 Ford Mustang delivers just about everything potential buyers could desire.
2024 Ford Mustang GT — Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between the powertrains in the 2024 Ford Mustang EcoBoost and the Mustang GT?
Both vehicles get major makeovers for 2024. The Ford Mustang EcoBoost gets a new turbocharged 2.3-liter 4-cylinder engine making 315 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque. The Mustang GT gets an updated 5.0-liter V-8 punching out 480 hp and 415 lb-ft (418 with the Performance Pack).
How much will the 2024 Ford Mustang cost?
At launch, there will be three different versions of the 2024 Mustang. The EcoBoost package will start at $30,920 for the coupe, though the convertible will carry a price premium. The GT starts at $41,495. And the new Dark Horse will carry an MSRP of $57,970.
Will there be a supercharged 2024 Ford Mustang?
At launch, the Mustang EcoBoost will use a turbocharged EcoBoost engine, with the GT and Dark Horse editions powered by a naturally aspirated V-8. It would surprise few if a later package gets supercharged. And tuner Hennessey Performance has announced plans for a customized Dark Horse package that, among other things, adds a “blower” to boost power.