Ford has no plans of replacing the current Mustang any time soon.

The next Ford Mustang won't bow until 2026 or later, according to Automobile Magazine. Ford's evergreen sports car – soon to be the only actual car remaining in its lineup – will soldier on atop its current S550 platform for another several years.

That's not to say that it won't see some major changes in the meantime. Mustang fans can expect a major overhaul of the current platform within the next few years, not only to change the exterior sheetmetal but to accommodate a hybrid drivetrain as well.

The next Mustang, which will likely be dubbed the S650, will share a platform with the current Ford Explorer and Lincoln Aviator. However, the platform – known as the CD6 – will be heavily modified for Mustang use, hence the S650 moniker. Sharing its basic platform with volume vehicles like the Explorer will help to make the Mustang profitable – and keep it alive.

As a result, the next Mustang will be bigger, likely the size of the current Dodge Challenger or larger, according to Automobile. Apparently, a longer wheelbase will keep the EPA happy in regards to fuel economy expectations.

Sharing a platform with less interesting machinery is nothing new for the Mustang – in fact, it was the norm for the first 40 years of the car's production run. Twenty-five of those years saw the Mustang riding atop the Fox platform, so seeing the Mustang S550 through for 12 model years (or more) won't be so bad.

We're still a long way from even the refreshed S550, let alone the S650. It's not often that we have details like this so far in advance, especially not for volume cars like the Ford Mustang. We're just glad that Ford plans on keeping the Mustang around – and preserving its winning recipe – for a long, long time.

Source: Automobile Magazine