Ford’s chief designer for the Mustang has promised that the expected use of modular underpinnings for the next-generation version of the Blue Oval brand's sports car won’t “bastardise” the big-selling nameplate.

Speaking to Automotive News, Darrell Behmer, the Mustang's chief designer, said that the use of a modular platform would afford the automaker added “flexibility”.

"Mustang is still going to be a strong, well proportioned vehicle. The modular architectures will still give us flexibility; it's not going to bastardise Mustang," Behmer told the US publication.

The report added that Ford CEO Jim Hackett had delayed the seventh-generation Mustang by around a year, with the new model thus expected in 2021.

Automotive News reports that the sports car could move to one of the Blue Oval brand’s five new modular platforms, with the architecture set to be used by the Explorer SUV the most likely candidate. This, as the publication points out, could open up the option of an all-wheel-drive Mustang.

The next-generation Mustang range is also expected to include a hybrid as well as a Mustang-inspired crossover.

"Mustang has a soul. It's a balance of performance and design. If you can capitalise on the cachet and let that rub off on the rest of the portfolio, it's a good thing," said Behmer.

Of course, South Africa is still waiting for the facelifted Mustang. In April 2018, Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa told us that it was unable to provide timing for the local introduction of the updated version of the Mustang, although it has since confirmed that the launch will not take place in 2018.