By Drew Johnson
Thursday, Jan 21st, 2010 @ 8:46 pm
 
Thanks to the addition of two new powertrains, the 2011 Ford Mustang promises to be one of the most formative sports coupes on the market. However, despite the Mustang's new found performance and fuel economy, many still point out the car's solid rear axle as a glaring weakness. While the drawbacks of a live axle are still up for debate, Ford will eliminate any such arguments with the next-generation Mustang.

2014 is an important milestone for the Ford Mustang, marking the iconic pony car's 50th anniversary. And, to appropriately celebrate such an important birthday, Ford is hard at work developing an all-new Mustang to celebrate the nameplate's first half-century.

The 2014 Mustang was set to share a platform with the Australia market Ford Falcon -- and possibly a new flagship Lincoln model -- but Ford has put its global rear-wheel drive plans on hold as sales of the Falcon have been collapsing over the last several months. Ford sold just 30,000 examples of the Falcon last year.

With the next-generation of the Falcon and the new Lincoln model all but cancelled, Ford will soldier on with a unique platform for the Mustang, according to Motor Trend. However, Ford needs a global scale to make any vehicle platform profitable these days, so look for the next Mustang to be sold in Europe and Asia.

But, more importantly, the 2014 will feature and independent rear suspension, matching rivals like the Chevrolet Camaro and Dodge Challenger. In addition to the IRS setup, expect the next Mustang to shrink in size""think Fox body size -- aiding in both fuel economy and performance.

Although the Mustang's IRS is a go, Ford engineers are still undecided on what powertrains to use in the 2014 model. The GT's new 5.0L will undoubtedly soldier on, but Ford is reportedly considering more advanced drivetrains such as a turbocharged V6, especially for markets like Europe.

Ford is also unclear of the styling direction it will take with the next-generation Mustang, but look for Mustang to abandon the retro styling that was launched in 2005.