New Ford Mustang sticks with gas power as dealers must go electric

Ford is throwing a bone to traditional Mustang fans, but the good times won’t last too long as the Dearborn-based automaker continues to push its electrification game plan.

Ford took the wraps off the latest Mustang, the seventh generation, at the Detroit Auto Show last night. The 2024 Mustang will come with two powertrains —a 2.3L EcoBoost 4-cylinder engine, which Ford says has improved fuel efficiency, along with a more powerful 5.0L ‘Coyote’ V8.

Ford did not give power or efficiency numbers for the two powertrains, though it said new air intakes and throttle-body design will increase power. Both will continue to be offered with a 10-speed automatic transmission, though the Mustang GT with the V8 will still come with a 6-speed manual.

Fun features include a Remote Rev option to “amusingly blip the engine from the palm of your hand,” Ford said, along with an Electronic Drift Brake, which is essentially an electronic parking brake that can mimic the effect of a traditional parking brake (which visually looks like a mechanical hand brake) for a driver’s drifting pleasure.

Inside Ford has revamped the interior, with the biggest changes being two flowing and curved displays standing out form the driver’s position. The displays can be customized to show new animated designs and drive-mode visuals which Ford says are powered by video game company Unity’s Unreal Engine 3D creation tool.

Back to the powertrains. The lack of a hybrid option or a full EV version coming in the future is somewhat surprising given Chevrolet will see its Corvette go hybrid soon, along with an EV Corvette coming by 2025. Crosstown rival Dodge pulled the wraps off its Dodge Charger Daytona EV muscle car concept last month, one the automaker will be the “future of electrified muscle” for the brand.

It’s possible Ford may electrify or hybridize the seventh-generation Mustang with a special version the coming years. We will have to see.

Ford’s new dealership directive

The debut of the new gas-powered Mustang comes on the heels of big news for Ford dealers, as reports now suggest Ford is requiring its dealers to decide if they want to go electric, and they have six weeks to do so.

As first reported by InsideEVs, Ford CEO Jim Farley presented new dealership rules at an event in Las Vegas last week.

Ford dealers have to decide whether they want to become Ford Model E Certified or Ford Model E Certified Elite dealerships by October 31 of this year. If dealers don’t choose either of those paths, they will lose the ability to sell Ford Model E electric products (Mustang Mach-E, F-150 Lightning, etc.) by January 1, 2024.

In order to become a Model E Certified dealer, they are required to install one DC fast charger, and it must be made available for public use. However, InsideEVs reports “Model e dealers will have a hard cap on the number of EVs they are allowed to sell each year, and that number will be the same for all Model E shops, regardless of annual volume.”

Ford estimates the cost of becoming Model E Certified will be in the $500,000 range, with 90% of the cost coming from charging infrastructure.

Model E Certified Elite dealers must have have two DC Chargers installed as well as a level 2 charging station, with one DC fast charger available for public use. Ford estimates it will cost dealer $1.2 million be become Model E Elite Certified, and they won’t have a hard cap on the number of EVs sold.

Finally and most importantly, dealers will be required to post set pricing for all EVs online on Ford’s website. States allow dealers to set prices, so customers can cross-shop, but Ford is telling dealers they must sell the car at the set price, and Ford will be checking purchase orders to make sure.

Pras Subramanian is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. You can follow him on Twitter and on Instagram.

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