There's no question that the Shelby GT350 and GT500 Ford Mustangs are spectacular performance machines, but they're out of reach for many people. It seems Ford has a solution, having just announced an "entry-level" performance 2020 Ford Mustang is on the way. But that's all the company said about it.
Naturally, this has our speculation gears turning furiously. We can safely assume that this Mustang won't be as powerful or as fast as a GT350 or GT500. It's also hard to imagine Ford creating another derivative of the regular V8 Mustang, since the company already offers two levels of Performance Packages, plus the higher-power Bullitt, to say nothing of the wide assortment of factory Ford Performance parts available.
That has us thinking that it must be based on the four-cylinder Mustang. It would be neat to see something priced below the current Performance Package model that retails at just under $30,000, but that's fairly unlikely. What seems more likely is a hotter four-cylinder model with a bit more power, and possibly some of the Mustang GT Performance Package 2 goodies. Getting the four-pot Mustang to at least 350 horsepower seems like a reasonable goal, since the Focus RS can make that power with a similar engine. Coupled with the chassis tweaks and aerodynamic upgrades of the Performance Package 2, it could be a very interesting vehicle. To keep it viable, though, Ford would probably have to keep the price below the GT's $36,000 base price.
This of course is all just educated guesswork on our parts until Ford provides the official information. Considering the announcement's proximity to the New York Auto Show, we imagine we'll have more details near the show date.