The team working on Mass Effect 4 has reiterated that it is not going to be Shepard's story this time around and everything story-wise is going to be brand new.
Twitter posts however from the panel https://twitter.com/NerdAppropriate seem to suggest that even though it won't be involving everyone's favorite Shepard, there's a possibility that the timeline for Mass Effect 4 would be during Shepard's lifetime, reassuring fans that it would have a "Spiritual Successor" vibe.
The new Mako. More agile. Less pew pew.
"Building a game about exploring places, so you need a vehicle for that."
With the new Mass Effect being heavily implied to be set in a entirely different galaxy, and the Dev peeps working on new technologies to do animation they haven't even dreamed about before; Mass Effect is shaping up to focus on exploration of planets with the new Mako meant to fast travel between them.
"It's ingrained in us to give players as much choice as possible" - @GambleMike #MassEffect
So expect customization and armor swapping per usual. In the meantime...