The speculation is well underway. Some auto critics are predicting independent rear suspension, even turbocharging, which might smack of sacrilege to purists. Best-guess renderings of the next body style are all over the Internet. Some suggest a measured evolution, some a bold departure.

"They're probably going to move it past the retro design, but without abandoning the classic silhouette that's been part of every successful Mustang since 1964 — a long hood and a short rear deck," said Scott Oldham, vice president of editorial at "You can make a modern car and still make it classic and timeless. That's the challenge ahead of Ford."

You can also take a classic car and make it modern, as the current Mustang has proved. Our advice to Ford: The Mustang is finally back in a good place. Don't screw it up. Don't get any big ideas. Do what you should have done in the 1970s: Let the shape of the car change slowly, organically, over many years. Treat it like Porsche treats the 911.

You want to put a tiny turbocharged engine in it? Fine, if you must. Just keep a V-8 option. We need time to process these things. Independent rear suspension? Whatever. Just don't run up the price. Forget traction control — we know how to drive. Don't over-worry about fuel economy. And, whatever you do, keep it rear-wheel drive — forever.

It's a Mustang. Let it be what it is. It's been 50 years now. It's our car, not yours.


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