By Nathan Petroelje / Hagerty.com
With the arrival of the seventh generation of the Ford Mustang, we’ve been gifted another half-decade or so of burbling V-8 exhaust notes, three-pedal driving, and more of the traditional traits that we’ve come to love over nearly 60 years of Mustang. But even if the powertrain is old-school cool, the 2024 Mustang isn’t a purely rearward-looking play; Ford baked plenty of new tech and tech-y features into the new pony to court those more enamored with high-speed internet than hell-raising horsepower. Here are five tech-forward features that caught our attention.
This one might feel a little “tech for tech’s sake,” but we’d bet that out of all the features on this list, this one ends up getting the most use. Remote Rev does exactly as advertised: You can rev your Mustang’s engine from outside of the car using the key fob. At the reveal event, enthusiast product strategy manager Alecia Agius called Remote Rev “One hundred percent fun.” There are probably a few caveats to this crowd-pleasing feature. We’d expect that remote start is required for something like this; few things would be quite as anticlimactic as pausing a conversation to climb into you car, start it, then climb out, come back to chat, and then rev your engine. Typically, manual transmission-equipped cars don’t have remote start, so there’s a chance that rowing your own will mean you can’t partake of Remote Rev. However, with all of the sensors and electric motors on modern cars, perhaps Ford will also include some tech that will make sure your manual-equipped car is in neutral before you go spinning-up your Coyote.
Electronic Drift Brake
If McLarens and BMWs can have electronic drift controls that will even score your most recent lurid slide, why shouldn’t the Mustang get in on the fun? (Spare us your Cars & Coffee jokes, please.) Opt for the performance package in your 2024 Mustang (GT or EcoBoost, either get access here), and you’ll get what Ford is calling the Electronic Drift Brake. The engineers on stage were short on details about how it worked, but they did mention that Ford motorsports partner and drift legend Vaughn Gittin, Jr. played a role in tuning the technology, so it may in fact have some serious potential.
Allow us to speculate: The familiar-looking handle for a mechanical handbrake in the cabin of the Mustang will no longer have a direct connection to the parking brakes. Rather, the handbrake will connect to a few sensors that will relay the information to electronic modules on the rear brakes. Those modules will then adjust brake force accordingly between the left and right rear wheels to induce a slide, help keep a slide going, or exit a slide in a manner that won’t end up on YouTube later in one of those compilations of Cars &… whoops, almost said it.
Active Pothole Mitigation
Potholes can ruin your day, straight up. Ford’s new Active Pothole Mitigation, available on Mustangs equipped with the performance package, will monitor a host of input parameters in the suspension, steering, and braking systems to detect if the car is about to have an unfortunate encounter with a pothole. The continuously-adaptive dampers will adjust accordingly, snapping to their stiffest setting which will reduce wheel drop inside the pothole, thus causing the wheel/tire impact on the trailing edge of the hole to be less severe — hopefully saving your expensive performance summer tires from cut sidewalls and expensive replacements.
(Fun fact: A version of this system debuted on the 2016 Ford Fusion.)
Added Screen Functionality
This one sounds vague, but stick with us here. The new Mustang has two screens: a 12.4-inch unit in front of the driver for a digital instrument cluster, and a 13.2-inch unit in the center stack to run infotainment duties. They’re placed behind a single piece of curved glass, which we must say looks pretty swish. While the outgoing sixth-gen Mustang got a digital instrument cluster as part of a 2018-model-year refresh, the new one looks way better.
Speaking of looks, while the instrument cluster holds all sorts of personalization options, we’d really just use one: Ford programmers implemented a screen option that lets the cluster mimic that of a Fox-body Mustang. How classic clusters rendered through screens has not become a more popular move for new cars, we’ll never know. But if we can pull off the Fox-body cluster, how about a few more clusters from other great Mustangs, too?
Ford Power-Up software
Ford’s Power-Up Software is meant to provide the new Mustang with over-the-air update capabilities, so you can download and install new tech features right in your garage, so long as you connect your pony to your wi-fi. (Even in 2022, that feels strange to say.) Power-Up is made possible by an all-new electrical architecture that first appeared on the Mustang Mach-E and the 14th-generation Ford F-150. Now it’s the Mustang’s turn.
We know this is small thinking, but imagine waking up one morning for a drive to find out that your 2024 Mustang GT convertible now had a new instrument cluster just like the one that you stared at from the driver’s seat of the Mustang that made you fall in love! (Hint, hint, Ford.) Over-the-air updates could make that happen.
Which feature is your favorite? Let us know in the comments.
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