It's a wise idea to check out what the competition is doing while you're developing a new car, even if that rival generates considerably fewer sales. For every Supra sold by Toyota, Ford manages to move seven Mustangs in the US, according to the sales figures through the third quarter of 2021.
The Blue Oval was spotted by Ford Authority around Dearborn, Michigan testing the BMW-powered sports coupe, presumably benchmarking it against the next-gen 'Stang.
The S650-generation pony car is widely believed to arrive for the 2023 model year, and Ford likely wants to learn a few tricks from rivals it could potentially adapt for its successful sports car. It's not the first time the company is benchmarking vehicles near its HQ in Michigan as it was only in August when a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat was spotted in the same area. Going back in time, the Chevrolet Corvette C8 was also seen in the hands of a Ford test driver earlier this year.
Gallery: 2022 Toyota Supra A91 Carbon Fiber Edition
In this day and age when sales of sports cars are not exactly through the roof, it seems unlikely Ford is plotting another sports car to join the Mustang. After all, let's keep in mind it did sadly phase out the Fiesta ST and Focus ST from its US lineup, although the two hot hatches are still available in Europe and other markets.
If a recent report is to be believed, the 2023 Mustang is in for some massive changes as the 2.3-litre EcoBoost and the 5.0 could be electrified. Some of the older gossips even went as far as to claim Ford is prepping an all-wheel-drive derivative for the first time ever, so don't be too surprised if the seventh-gen Mustang will be significantly different.
Come 2029, an all-electric, two-door version is expected to replace the petrol-fuelled model altogether, according to a report published at the beginning of this year by Autoline Daily. In the meantime, the 2022 Mustang fitted with the naturally aspirated 5.0-litre engine is losing 10 horsepower and 10 pound-feet (14 Newton-metres) of torque for both GT and Mach 1 versions, likely because the Coyote needs to become more efficient amid increasingly stricter emissions regulations.