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Ford’s all-new Mustang is a good old-school muscle car

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Ford’s all-new seventh-generation Mustang.

Courtesy of Mustang

A brand new Mustang from

Ford engine

is here. However, it is not powered by batteries. But it’s still electric.

Ford

(ticker: F) unveiled its seventh-generation Mustang at the Detroit Auto Show on Wednesday night. The sports car lives up to its brand heritage.

It is saying something. Any new Mustang has a lot going for it. He’s a 60-year-old American icon. A green machine even played a starring role in “Bullitt,” with Steve McQueen at the wheel. Today, there’s even a battery-powered model, the Mach E, which rolled out of showrooms in the tens of thousands after its introduction in late 2020.

The new model is gas-powered, equipped with its classic 5-liter V8 engine that can produce over 450 horsepower and go from zero to 60 miles per hour in a dizzying 4 seconds.

And for drivers who like to be in control, or at least feel in control, Ford is offering the car with a six-speed manual transmission.

There’s also something for the more environmentally conscious…or gas-savvy. Ford sells the car with a smaller 2.3-liter turbocharged engine, called EcoBoost. Turbochargers help deliver higher power using less gas.

Don’t think this Mustang isn’t high tech, just because of its classic engine and a gearshift option. There are plenty of digital upgrades, from advanced driver assistance and customizable drive modes to over-the-air software updates and even a key fob that lets the owner rev the engine remotely.

Now a word about the styling of the car. The roofline and tail proportions recall Barron’s—just a little—of a

Ferrari

(RACE) Roma. The front grille is larger and more chiseled, reminding buyers of the Mustang of yesteryear. The 5-liter GT version also gets a hood vent.

“The EcoBoost and Mustang GT have unique styling cues that deliver on their promise of Mustang performance,” Ford Mustang design chief Christopher Walter said in a statement.

Investors may be delighted with car buyers. The Mustang is still selling well, but Ford has seen sales of the gas-powered model plummet. The new styling and new features should help press the gas.

In the United States, Ford sold approximately 52,000 gasoline Mustangs in 2021, compared to approximately 61,000 Mustangs sold in 2020. This year, Ford sold approximately 33,000 gasoline Mustangs, compared to approximately 38,000 in the same period of 2021.

Last year, the automaker saw sales plummet overall. U.S. sales totaled 1.91 million vehicles, compared to 2.04 million delivered in 2020.

A new Mustang can be a little boost for stocks, and Ford can use all the help it can get. The stock is down about 30% a year this year; the


S&P500

and


Dow Jones Industrial Average

are down 17% and 14%, respectively.

The loss reflects legitimate investor concerns. They’re happy with Ford’s product lineup, but they can’t shake all that comes with scorching inflation, especially rising interest rates.

Inflation has the potential to compress profit margins by increasing costs. And most cars are purchased with financing. Higher rates threaten demand for new cars by increasing these monthly payments.

Reality: Ford is still between a rock and a hard place, even with a stunning new Mustang.

Write to Al Root at [email protected]