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What will it take to save the V8 Mustang?

407cid

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I can't speak for all Mustang enthusiasts, but for me the V8 engine is pretty much the core of this car. The way the V8 engine sounds, the way it feels when you rev through the RPM band, the way it looks when you pop the hood, its perfect marriage with a manual transmission, the ability to dream about mixing/matching different custom engine parts: for me, all these elements are at the heart of the Mustang experience.

And, yet, here we are now facing a very real possibility that this essential element of the Mustang experience will soon be killed off. I think back to the late '80s when Ford was talking of converting the Mustang into what became the front-wheel-drive Ford Probe. Thankfully, the Mustang was saved from this fate because Mustang enthusiasts spoke up and let their voices be known to Ford. So, then it hit me, are Mustang enthusiasts trying to do the same thing today to help save the V8 engine?

I suppose it's no secret to many members of this forum what's driving this push to eliminate the V8 engine. Sure, there is more than one factor at play, but the greatest factor by far is the next set of government emissions regulations. If you read through what the California Air Resources Board (CARB) is proposing for their Advanced Clear Cars II rulemaking (<https://ww2.arb.ca.gov/sites/default/files/barcu/regact/2022/accii/notice.pdf>), if you consider Executive Orders coming out of the White House (<https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing...-leadership-forward-on-clean-cars-and-trucks/>), it becomes rather clear that our political leaders intend to force battery-electric vehicles (BEV) onto the American driver. I might be in the minority among enthusiasts in that I'm actually quite onboard with efforts to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions like CO2. What I'm NOT at all onboard with is accomplishing this by mandating battery-electric vehicles and banning competing technologies. Why? Because battery-electric is not the only solution for attaining these goals. Rather, when you consider life cycle assessment (LCA) emissions, BEV dependence on raw materials sourced from unfriendly countries, BEV year-over-year driving range loss, and even how BEV adoption will very likely lead to fewer domestic auto industry jobs, I would say that renewable fuel (hydrogen, synfuel, e-fuel, biofuel) internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles absolutely need to also play a key role in cleaning up transportation sector emissions. Yet, CARB has made their intention of pushing for ICE bans clear. What's more, given how the current Administration's EPA has vocally expressed praise for what California is doing, I fear a nation-wide ban may not be far behind.

So, what's a V8 Mustang enthusiast to do? I hope I'm not the only one who has wondered this, and has given serious thought on how to better advocate for saving these cars. Personally, I have already contacted Ford to express pretty much what I've summarized here. I do hope other enthusiasts are doing the same. Of course, at some point, Ford can only do so much when regulators literally seek to ban certain technologies, even environmentally friendly technologies like hydrogen and synfuel ICE. The next round of EPA regulations is still in a state of flux, but I'm afraid time is running out when it comes to the CARB Advanced Clean Cars II (ACC II) regulation which seeks to ban cars like the V8 Mustang. CARB's ACC II regulation is set to mandate that 80% of new cars sold in California and other CARB states be battery-electric by 2035. The remaining 20% may be plug-in hybrid-electric, but this of course reduces the ICE to serving as nothing more than an onboard generator. Note it's highly unlikely that any automaker would consider equipping a car like the Mustang with a V8 engine if this engine can only serve as a generator. The public hearing for CARB's Advanced Clean Cars II (ACC II) rulemaking is set for June 9, 2022. Up until May 31, 2022, public comments can be sent to CARB per the following link: <https://ww2.arb.ca.gov/applications/public-comments>. Whether you live in California, a CARB state, or a non-CARB state, I strongly encourage you to make your voice heard. I know we're not all residents of California or CARB states, but CARB regulations still have tremendous effect on deciding which cars the entire country can and cannot buy. Personally, I will be respectfully making my stance known to CARB. My plan is to request that at least a fraction of new cars may still be sold as pure ICE vehicles or mild-hybrid vehicles on the condition that the ICE be fueled by renewables such as synfuels or hydrogen. If CARB can make for this allowance, I do think there will be very real hope that the V8 Mustang can live on.

What does everyone think? Am I on to something here, or am I just wasting my time? I know I want to believe that "little people" like us can at least get some say in matters like this, especially if there is a strong case to be made regarding what we're advocating. I do think the case is strong. Per LCA emissions studies and mineral resource studies coming from both the auto industry and independent research institutes, there is good reason to anticipate that making the entire automotive fleet battery-electric and only battery-electric will cause at least as many problems as it seeks to solve, environmental problems included. Pursuing an "all the above" approach which not only pushes battery-electric, but also renewable fuel ICE, would seem to be the real optimum for environmental sustainability. Of course, central to why we're on this forum, there's the added benefit that regulator approval of renewable fuel ICE could keep cars like the V8 Mustang alive for generations to come.

- 407cid
 

KeyLime

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IDJ.jpg


Seriously, geopolitical, environmental, and economic pressures will end V8's and shortly after that most ICE motors. There may be niche consumers for renewable fuel motors but no auto manufacturer is going to build and maintain a separate design/production capability for a handful of enthusiasts. No one is going to maintain a renewable fuel production and delivery infrastructure for a small number of vehicles, at least not a price point that's affordable.

The transition to electric vehicles will be bumpy, costly, and have problems, but it's going to happen. A few decades down the road people will be wondering why the previous generation dealt with oil changes, ignition systems, complex moving machinery, multiple points of failure, etc.
Believe me, I'm no fan of electric vehicles. Much less so autonomous cars. ICE, however, is going the way of mule teams, clipper ships, and dirigibles.
 

Dave2013M3

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Unfortunately the days of a V8 sports car with a manual transmission is coming to an end. I think the a hybrid can push things out some. In California you won't be able to sell a pure ICE car after 2035, a state that wants to push everyone into electric cars yet they can't even keep the power going in the summer. Its gotten so bad they are actually considering extending the Nuclear Power plants.
 

Twin Turbo

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There's no reason a V8-hybrid needs to use the engine as a generator. Just look at how the Aviator/Explorer V6 hybrid works.

Such a setup would keep the V8 going for S650. Although beyond that is anyone's guess.
 

AussieRoo

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Life has no guarantees or timeframes. Get your Mustang and drive it as much as possible for as long as we can - and look at it and smile as you walk away while thinking of the next fabulous drive. I am impatiently wait for my GT 5.0 manual GT/CS. Ae get many of the GT performance parts as standard. I’ll get rid of the 36,000 miles 911 manual and the hack SL350 but keep the L98 6.0 manual Commodore (AKA Pontiac) ute.

We can’t control the greenies or stupid European governments, sure we must look after our environment far better than we are. I don’t have the answers to the world’s problem, neither does anyone. So do your best to care, be happy and drive a V8 if that please you.
 

Mustang Tony

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freakin liberals!
 

1958cyclist

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As time moves forward, they'll still be around, but over time, more as historical curiosities than something new one can purchase. As has been said before...get um' while they're hot!
 

Stonehauler

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First off, I too like the sound of a V8. I have had a V8 in every car I have purchased. 97 Tbird, GS430, 550, F350. (I will note the 2.8 Straight 6 that Toyota had in the mid-late 80s was really peppy for the time, and BMW straight 6 engines are sublime...not so much the V6 most people use). However, both my wife and I are fans of performance, so I had no issues with her purchasing a 99 GTP, and 2 6 cylinder BMWs.

So to us, it's the performance that matters, and that will include range and refill/recharge times.

Unfortunately, many of our elected officials are either city dwellers or small-state folks, and wealthy. They have never had to drive 30 miles to get to a major shopping center (yeah, I know, amazon these days), or taken long road trips. So when they think of cars, they think 20 minutes to work and back...150 mile range is MORE than plenty, why are you complaining?

I also know that I would love to have an autonomous vehicle that I could buy for my mother. While she is okay to drive today, I know that in future years I will need to take her keys, limiting her ability to take care of herself (she lives near a town, but it's a small town and no public transport.) She already doesn't drive much, so if I could get her an autonomous vehicle, she could go visit friends and family much easier. Eventually that will also happen to me and/or my wife. Again, having one when the time comes would be very useful in maintaining our independence.

That gripe aside, I have no issues if I lose the sound of the V8 and I gain the performance of a good electric drive vehicle that is even better. . I also hope that in the future, you will be able to buy bigger motors, bigger inverters, battery packs that can supply more power in a short burst so that those that like racing can continue to mod they cars as they want.

Electric doesn't mean the loss of performance. I hope that car manufacturers will understand that and continue to build high performance and fun vehicles.
 

shogun32

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electric is a fad - it will run headlong into the realities of physics and economics and then crash and burn in spectacular fashion and take obscene amounts of precious water to contain the inferno. Water that is far more valuable and needed for life than trying to manage the self-immolation of an EV.
 

shogun32

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Come on now, I was responding with a somewhat flippant rebuttal to OP's well-argued, cited and cross-checked first post. (who does that?)

the article is silent as to whom (geography) and income strata are buying the cars leading to the "surge" in EV sales. Tulips were a fad too. :)
 

Bikeman315

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Come on now, I was responding with a somewhat flippant rebuttal to OP's well-argued, cited and cross-checked first post. (who does that?)

the article is silent as to whom (geography) and income strata are buying the cars leading to the "surge" in EV sales. Tulips were a fad too. :)
But they are so pretty.
1652805512730.jpeg
 

Cobra Jet

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electric is a fad - it will run headlong into the realities of physics and economics and then crash and burn in spectacular fashion and take obscene amounts of precious water to contain the inferno. Water that is far more valuable and needed for life than trying to manage the self-immolation of an EV.
^^^ THIS.

and here's a good article to read too - to get the BIG PICTURE, because going "EV" isn't "green" and it's far from being any improvement over the last 100+ years of the ICE automobile. People who think "EV's are it" have their heads stuck up their asses.

https://www.thedrive.com/tech/the-l...e-to-grave-and-why-recycling-is-still-so-hard
 

Stonehauler

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electric is a fad - it will run headlong into the realities of physics and economics and then crash and burn in spectacular fashion and take obscene amounts of precious water to contain the inferno. Water that is far more valuable and needed for life than trying to manage the self-immolation of an EV.
No, Electric is not a fad. It works well for a large portion of the planet and is much more efficient even when you consider all of the losses of generating/transporting the energy to the charger. If we as performance enthusiasts want input into the next generation of transport, we need to accept that gas isn't going to be where it's at in the future, but that instead electricity is.

Batteries are getting better all the time, with tons of money going into R&D on them. This has always been the weak point for electric vehicles and they are working hard to address it. Solid state batteries, batteries with different chemical compositions to make it more effective and cheaper, etc. They are all coming. Within the next 10 years, we will have the ability to make a 1000 mile range vehicle that can recharge 60 percent of that within 20 minutes. 600 miles in 20 minutes or 300 miles in 10 minutes? Yes thank you!
 
 
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