By on April 16, 2012

Nostalgia is so last Millennium says Ford. The new Mustang will ditch retro in an attempt to appeal to Generation Y, the folks that do not want to driver their forebears’ cars or dreams. According to the Wall Street Journal, the new Mustang will retain the shark-nosed grille and round headlights, but will “look more like the new Ford Fusion than the current Mustang.”

Says the Journal:

“The new Mustang is due as a 2014 model, and will look somewhat like an Aston Martin, the high-price sports car often featured in James Bond movies. People who have seen the new Mustang said it is almost a body double for the Evos concept car that Ford showed at the Frankfurt auto show last fall.”

 

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

116 Comments on “Ford To Surrender To Gen Why, Will Euro-Trash Mustang...”


  • avatar
    GS650G

    It’s about time to ruin one of Ford’s best sellers by turning it into the Ford Probe.

    • 0 avatar
      200k-min

      As I recall there was a time in the early 90′s when Ford considered dumping the Mustang as the Probe was outselling it and the “Pony” car was tired and dull. As someone who was just starting to drive at the time the kid with a new Turbo Probe was pretty cool. Fox body ‘Stang, not so much. That turbo was also a pretty quick vehicle as I recall. My generation was never “in love” with the Mustang when it mattered, so I can see where Ford is getting this idea of marketing something “new.”

      I do think the current Mustang is a damn nice vehicle but I’d never ever own one. The last thing that turns me on is an American muscle car. I personally think the 60′s-70′s muscle cars are clunky poor handling gas hogs, but that wasn’t my generation’s car. Supra’s and Probe’s were and everyone drooled over the Acura NSX, not the Corvette.

      All that said, I would consider owning a 2 door Fusion. Ford needs to just do a coupe version of their popular mid sizer like Honda and Toyota have been doing for years. Have a good 6MT option with AWD and sporty suspension bits and you’d have a pretty decent car.

      • 0 avatar
        jhott997

        I recall the same situation in the early 90′s.
        I was learning to drive and in high school. The turbo Probe was relatively “cool”. The Mustang, well, not so much. Those were also the days of the Mitsubishi 300 GT, the new Nissan 300Z turbo, the Mazda RX7 and the Toyota MR2 GEN2.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        Nope. Not close. The Ford Probe production numbers:

        89 107,996
        90 109,898
        91 73,200
        92 41,035
        93 119,769
        94 85,505
        95 58,226
        96 30,125
        97 16,821

        The Mustang outsold the Probe 2:1 in 1989 and then consistently outsold it all but one year year after that despite plunging Mustang sales. The only year the Probe outsold the Mustang was in 1993, and barely.

        The Ford Probe was supposed to replace the Fox platform Mustang in 1988, but the Mustang faithful screamed foul on the idea of a 4-cylinder turbo and FWD. The Probe GT in particular was a more than capable car, a bargain, and packed with technology. The addition of the Vulcan V6 to the LX too a rather pedestrian model and gave it some serious umpf while adding many of the GT tick marks to the option sheet (4-wheel discs, ABS, 15″ wheels, etc.).

      • 0 avatar
        Ryoku75

        Junk junk junk, who needs AWD on regular roads?

    • 0 avatar

      Had the Probe been made with RWD, a V8, and a few token Mustang cues like triple taillights, it might have been a huge success. The Probe GT was one of the best-looking cars of its day, and it drove and handled quite well.

      • 0 avatar
        patman

        “Had the Probe been made with RWD, a V8, and a few token Mustang cues like triple taillights, it might have been a huge success.”

        …not sure if this is a joke or not

    • 0 avatar
      Robert Schwartz

      From the above linked WSJ article:

      The Mustang, which has had a strong retro look since 2005, is losing steam, too. Last year Ford sold 70,438, down 4.4% from 2010 and less than half the 166,530 it sold in 2006. Chevrolet’s redesigned Camaro and Chrysler’s Charger each outsold their historical rival last month.

  • avatar

    Although I have a Baby Boomer fondness for the current retro-style Mustang and have even considered buying one, I saw the Evos concept at the Frankfurt show and, well, forget retro if the new Mustang will look like that. The Evos was one of the most dramatic cars at the IAA and a two door version will be another game-changer, like the original Mustang was, for Ford. Sign me up!

  • avatar
    aristurtle

    Frankly, I much preferred the late 90s “New Edge” Mustang to the neo-retro current model. I’m leery about this new one, though, because I really don’t like the look of the new Fusion. We’ll see how it goes, I guess.

  • avatar
    jdmcomp

    I like the idea but only, if the new Mustang sheds some weight, say comes in at or under 3K lbs, gets the Ecoboost four with some tweaks (285 hp or so), and get IRS mated to a decent 6 speed manual transaxle.

    However, having seen the usual results that are birthed by this sort of announcement, RIP Mustang.

    • 0 avatar
      CaptainTerror-CarAcrobaticTeam

      I second this. The current car is gigantic. The current gen was parked between a 1996-7 Ranger and my wife’s 2001 Prelude and it seemed almost as big as the truck and dwarfed the Prelude.

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      Your right, so not a Mustang. Perhaps Toyota should start selling turbocharged camrys fitted with a 6 spd manual and call them Supras.

    • 0 avatar
      Alexdi

      When I passed on the Mustang two years ago, this was part of the problem. The car is enormous and bloated. The overhangs are too long, the beltline is too high, and it’s just so obviously not a sports car from behind the wheel despite all the clever handling tweaks. Just like the Camaro, it’s as if you’re sitting in a bunker, driving an engine. IRS was another sticky issue, as was the cut-rate interior. The Mustang I care about is not the base model, and for what the dealers wanted for the tarted-up GT, the trim just wasn’t adequate.

  • avatar
    Sgt Beavis

    Gen Y has over 20% unemployment and those that have a job aren’t making a huge amount of money. Meanwhile, Mustang prices continue to climb. A base V6 used started at just over $19K. Now the base V6 starts at just over $22K and can go up to $30K.

    If they really want to appeal to Gen Y, they need to get their pricing under control. They also need to insure they don’t alienate use Gen X’ers that now buy most Mustangs. Moving away from the “retro” design is a good thing but Ford is walking a fine line here.

  • avatar
    Robert.Walter

    Wouldn’t that be body “in white” double?

  • avatar
    Robert.Walter

    Anybody can do an Aston (Hey Lincoln!), but only Ford can do a Mustang.
    Even if the car is sexy, I’m not convinced that’s what a Mustang is supposed to be. Mustangs are supposed to be masculine. Buff not svelte. Homoerotic not metrosexual.

    • 0 avatar
      Scott Seigmund

      “Nostalgia is so last Millennium says Ford”

      Say that while standing in front of a 911.

      “Anybody can do an Aston (Hey Lincoln!), but only Ford can do a Mustang.”

      Well put!

    • 0 avatar
      dude500

      Actually the Evos might be a great car branded as a Lincoln, considering that they want to start the whole Lincoln brand with a clean slate.

      But for Mustang, Ford should try to have some heritage/lineage in its design. The current Mustang screams “Mustang”, in the same way that you could look at a ’90s Audi/BMW/MB and today’s version and see the evolution.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      The Mustang has only had the current retro looks since the ’05. From ’79-’04 the styling was based more on current trends than 60s throwbacks.

      Chevy and Dodge have gone whole-hog retro chasing the success of the retro-’Stang, but you can only rehash old designs so long. One of the complaints I’ve heard about the ’10 redesign is that it looked too similar to the ’05 model. If you want your car to look retro it puts a lot of limits on what you can do moving the design forward.

      As long as the Mustang stays true to its mission: an affordable, powerful, RWD coupe that’s equally at home at the drag strip, track, and commute to work, it will continue to do well.

  • avatar

    At 30 I think I might be considered the oldest of the “Gen Y” demo. Let me just say, speaking from that position, to all those trying to market to us; I am embarrassed for you. Legitimately embarrassed.

    Ever watch a TV show and see a moment that makes you so uncomfortable you have to change it? That is constantly how I feel when marketers talk about targeting Gen Y.

    • 0 avatar
      Viceroy_Fizzlebottom

      I feel the same way. It seems companies have no idea how to market and sell products to people who are over 25 but under 35.

      • 0 avatar
        Xeranar

        Technically Gen Y is nearing 30 and getting out of High School still. It’s a broad group who is much more techno-savvy than most. Still it’s hard to market to Gen Y as a whole as they don’t have a unified cultural drive and in many ways they’re anti-marketing so it’s that much harder.

  • avatar
    LeMansteve

    In how many other markets is the current Mustang sold? My gut tells me North America is 95% of the Mustang market.

  • avatar

    Wow, it might be 1979 all over again. Hope the new one stays true to the original/Fox size.

    I personally can’t wait!

  • avatar
    izido

    There’s only so much retro one can take and god knows I’ve taken more than a fair share in the last 15 years. I say no more. Back to the future for me, thank you!

    • 0 avatar
      icemilkcoffee

      Amen. Enough with the baby-boomer nostalgia. The current lineup of Camaro/ mustang/ challenger are just embarassing. It’s as if all our ‘glory days’ are in the past and we don’t have the confidence to design anything for the future anymore.

      • 0 avatar
        aristurtle

        Between 1964 and 2005, the future changed from being a promise to being a threat.

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        I’m not a fan of the ’70s muscle car retro seen on all the Dodges, Camaro, and the current Mustang. They were ugly then; they are ugly now. However, I did like the style of the Mustang when it was first retro’d back in 2005. I liked the clean lines and the fact it didn’t have the raised hips. The Mustang started going downhill for me around 2009.

        There’s a lot to like about the Evos concept, but I expect the new Mustang will only take design cues from it, not the overall look. It will fit in with the rest of the Ford family, but there are features that have to be included like the three tail lights.

  • avatar
    eCurmudgeon

    If Ford’s after the “Gen Y” market, wouldn’t it make more sense to, er, focus on the upcoming Focus ST and also bring an updated Focus RS over?

    That makes more sense, considering that the main competition for that segment is the Subaru WRX/STI, Mazdaspeed 3, etc…

    • 0 avatar
      Syke

      There’s this little matter of brand equity – Ford would be out of their minds to drop the Mustang brand. So, while keeping it within certain parameters (rear drive, multi-use, NulloModo put it better than I could) so it’s still a Mustang, you keep the car modern. And saleable.

      If you look back, the complaint about the Probe becoming the Mustang is that it was a front drive four cylinder, not that it was a bad car. Mustang’s have to stay rear drive. And if they start edging up into Corvette territory, so what. The Mustang has been Ford’s answer (no matter how imperfect an answer) to the Corvette for years. Dropping the Ford GT so quickly guaranteed that.

      The Focus ST/RS is a who ‘nother marketing avenue. Some people like their performance cars front drive, others prefer rear. In a company the size of Ford, you’d be mad not to try and go after both markets.

      • 0 avatar
        NateR

        “There’s this little matter of brand equity – Ford would be out of their minds to drop the Mustang brand.”

        So, you’re saying they learned their lesson with the Taurus?

  • avatar
    VanillaDude

    I knew it was a Mustang the moment I saw it.
    The Probe never looked like this.
    Go ahead and build it and call it what it is!

  • avatar
    kvndoom

    I just can’t look at …that… and call it a Mustang. I personally find the current body style the best looking of them all that I’ve seen in my 30+ years of actually knowing what a car is.

    Then again, I wouldn’t buy a pony car, but I would buy a well-built coupe with ample interior space… kinda like I have now.

  • avatar
    flameded

    If only they didn’t kill off Mercury..then they could keep the mustang ..a well.. Mustang, and build a “Cougar” on the same platform, just changing the outside looks a bit.

    JMO?…

  • avatar
    Pch101

    I would guess that this may be influenced by (a) excess retro competition in the market, such as the Camaro and Challenger and (b) the desire to make it into more of a world car.

  • avatar
    word is bond

    But can we get less beltline and more greenhouse?

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      With a set of 15 inch wheels you can. The belt line is balanced around the wheel/tire sizes. Get rid of the giant wheels and equally giant brakes and you’ll get less beltline and more greenhouse.

  • avatar
    duffman13

    I’m on the upper end of Gen Y (28yo), and speaking for my generation as a whole, we are not mustang buyers. Yes, there were people that had them, but ford needs to realize that Gen Y is the generation of the Japanese sports car renaissance, the fast and the furious generation, the sport compact car generation.

    The mustang needs to exist as a mustang for people who wants mustangs, and ford will still sell a bunch of them. Given that mustangs get drag-raced frequently, the live rear axle is still probably a better idea than an IRS, if the 03-04 Cobra axle poblems are any indication.

    To echo eCurmudgeon though, They would do better with a Focus ST, a focus RS, or turbo/AWD focus variant that’s a WRX/Evo fighter.

    • 0 avatar
      28-cars-later

      “They would do better with a Focus ST, a focus RS, or turbo/AWD focus variant that’s a WRX/Evo fighter.”

      Ugh I hate our generation… we should be called Generation Fartcan.

      • 0 avatar
        Educator(of teachers)Dan

        This week the cat back exhaust system for my 2004 F150 Heritage should arrive. Time to show those kids next door with their ball caps on backwards what an engine sounds like. Should provide a nice contrast to their Integra with JDM Honda badges on it. (Of course they’ve modified the badge to say EGRA. Ugg…)

    • 0 avatar
      stryker1

      “but ford needs to realize that Gen Y is the generation of the Japanese sports car renaissance, the fast and the furious generation”

      Please speak for yourself. We’re not all lid-tilted, pants-around-our-ankles douche bags.

  • avatar
    peteinsonj

    The current Mustang’s got looks, for sure. But its a generally primitive car. Still — its a Mustang — a car guys of all ages want to drive and women of all ages want to be seen in (with the top down).

    So I don’t agree with the new direction — didn’t work so well with the Taurus/500/Taurus, did it?

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      There is much more historical emotion tied to the Mustang than the Taurus. Interestingly, if they had at least given the SHO (not SHOW) a sharper edge and sporting suspension, they perhaps would have been given less flak. A Yamaha sourced V8 would have also raised some eyebrows.

  • avatar
    raph

    From the A-pillar forward – Great, from there back, not so much.

  • avatar
    ciddyguy

    I dunno, I’m of Gen X (late 40′s here) and have always liked the first gen Mustangs, especially the 67-68 models so the retro ‘Stangs from 05-present I’ve always liked.

    That said, what will they do to keep it fresh? There is only so much one can do with the original styling cues, but I agree with one poster above that Ford is walking a fine line here, this photo of a concept may be stretching things a bit too far I’m afraid as I doubt Gen Y are buying these much.

    That said, the idea of a super fast, gas guzzling muscle car that does best in a straight line is over, long over and the ‘Stang needs to improve handling to be competent in all manner of driving situations, though I’m sure it’s leagues better than its predecessors in that category to begin with.

    Plus, I think the eventual V8 in passenger cars may be coming to it’s zenith in the next few years before it dies out as gas gets more and more expensive.

    As to the Probe, it never lit my fire, though it was an attractive enough car back in the day and I saw lots of them, though now, not as much, but I still see lots of older mustangs, from the 90′s onward in particular.

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    The gen Y members decided cars are useful after all? I missed the press release. (Happy, Hildy?).

    I don’t know the numbers, but if sales are slipping it’s a good idea. If not, no.

    I would suggest they not make the mustang, switch to a different name, and save the mustang moniker for the classic look. That would let them produce the mustang intermittently to drooling fans who couldn’t get one for the last few years. They could likely squeeze multiple years of demand into a year or two of production.

    Also, it would be an excellent management improvement exercise. Identifying the problem solvers rather than the go along crowd should be easier when you throw this one at them.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    Ford has gone as far as they can with the ’60s retro theme. The next aspirational Mustangs after that were the Vanilla Ice-era 5.0 hatchbacks, and it is about 15 years too early to make money off nostalgia for those. Ford might as well go modernista for a while.

  • avatar
    afflo

    Interesting. I wonder if the Camaro and Challenger are biting into the “nostalgic cars for middle-aged men” market too much.

    I’m not sure I get the “Generation Why” nonsense. Wouldn’t it be a 4-door family sedan or 5-door hatch covered in scoops and wings? That seems to be the “sporty” paradigm these days, rather than the 2+2 coupe or fastback.

    I agree with a few of the above comments – the last of the Fox mustangs were the best looking – I loved the ’99-’04 styling, and thought the 94-98′s looked pretty nice. The ’05-’10 just looked kinda bland… all the right details, but on a big lump of blah. The update for ’10 looked better, but unless they want to do the VW trick (do a ground-up reimagining of the classic model), the retro thing is a dead end. Hopefully it’ll go back to being a small car again… It’s grown 9 inches in length, proportionally in width, and put on some pounds in the past 20 years.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    IMO the retro design has run its course. the tweaked 2013 model doesn’t really do anything for me, as I’ve seen the shape for so long it’s become a bit dull and predictable – something that no one could ever say about the original. Evolution has only gone so far; I’m all for a reinvention at this point.

  • avatar
    A Caving Ape

    Uh, that photo isn’t a Mustang? It’s the evos concept. I’m hoping someone who knows car design can back me up here.

    That concept car is showing off a new cab-forward design language. Though a two door, that’s clearly a FWD transverse platform. This is what the new Fusion looks like. In many ways it’s a cab-forward Aston.

    But the Mustang is RWD. It won’t look the the Evos, since the Evos is what a Fusion coupe would look like. It will be a cab-backward version of the Evos/Fusion/cab-forward Aston.

    …So it’ll look like an Aston.

    • 0 avatar
      Ryoku75

      For the most part it will, I do like how Astons look but I don’t care for Ford tossing the Mustangs “identity” in the gutter.

      If I drove this no one would say “Nice Mustang”, they’d say “Thats an ugly bodykit on your Aston”.

  • avatar
    Bunter1

    The original didn’t succeed because of nostalgia for the past.
    It was bold and fresh.

    I think if Ford puts together a lighter, IRS equipped model with a sharp modern body (4-turbo, v6 and v8) it could pull in many new buyers with very few traditionals lost. The 0.03% (or whatever) that will scream about drag racing will be loud but insignificant.

    If it looks like that mockup above I’m interested.

    Bunter

  • avatar

    Success has clearly gone to their head.

    I wonder what % of Ford’s turnaround since 2009 is due to the ‘stang.

    That being said, I hope they do it.

    JUST to see the Apocalyptic ***t-Fit that Retroheads will throw!

    I know, I know; -some people just want to watch the world burn… :D

  • avatar
    TW4

    If nostalgia is so last millennium, don’t call it Mustang.

    Whatever they do is likely going to be a stupendous failure (unless the styling is a home run) b/c Ford can’t even get their marketing strategy straight.

  • avatar
    M.S. Smith

    Enthusiasts will kick and scream and yell about the new Mustang. But they kick and scream and yell about everything, so who gives a crap?

    It’s time for a redesign. They’ve taken the current platform as far as they can. If a new Mustang design is efficient, affordable, stylish and quick it will sell well.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    When has generational marketing ever worked for car companies? If I recall correctly, Scion was supposed to be marketed directly at the kids, yet I see lots of grey hair driving their xB’s.

    • 0 avatar
      aristurtle

      That was deliberate. Scion was marketed at older buyers who wanted cars that are marketed towards kids. It was actually a pretty brilliant metagame.

      Gen Y is buying used from Craigslist at best and used from BHPH at worst because they just graduated into the worst economy since Jimmy Carter.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      “Scion was supposed to be marketed directly at the kids, yet I see lots of grey hair driving their xB’s.”

      Scion has had the lowest average buyer age in the industry. Prior to the recession, the average age for the brand was 39, and the average age of tC buyers was 26.

      The strategy was actually fairly successful in terms of age penetration. But it hasn’t been great for volume.

  • avatar
    carlisimo

    I think this is happening because they don’t know how to refresh a retro design. It already happened with the last redesign, and everybody else doing retro designs gets stuck in the same way. The next Mustang can’t just look like a minor refresh again.

    As a member of generation Y, I don’t think marketing to us makes sense. Every generation has its truck guys, artsy people, outdoorsy folks, sports car junkies, etc. The only ‘generation’ that needs specific targeting is parents. (Guess why old people buy young people’s cars? Neither have kids to worry about.) This isn’t a car for parents, so it’s just a matter of choosing what sort of styling will sell better among the coupe or “powerrrrrrrr!” demographics. I love the idea of a modern-looking high-power RWD coupe. The Mustang’s gone there before in the ‘90s, and I think those two generations looked great on the outside.

    • 0 avatar
      Landcrusher

      Still think the “can’t refresh retro” thing is daft. The reason the Mustang was worth doing as a retro car is that it has basic style cues that NEVER WENT OUT OF STYLE. Have you guys never heard of blue jeans? Sorry for yelling, but I am just tired of people not getting this. Ford incorrectly changed many things. Changing them back was smart. It’s more than just “retro.”.

      Style. Classic. Timeless.

      • 0 avatar
        carlisimo

        Sure it looked good, but what next? Should they leave it the same for the next 20 years?

        I don’t see why retro styling cues can’t be refreshed ad infinitum, but apparently it’s really hard because I haven’t seen anyone pull it off yet.

      • 0 avatar
        Landcrusher

        Once again, blue jeans. They change every year, but they are still blue jeans. Occasionally, they go old school, but mostly they change a lot. The basic proportions and a few other things need to stay the same while other things change with the times. It’s simple but not easy.

      • 0 avatar
        Shipwright

        I agree. No one ever says “can’t refresh retro” when the latest iteration of the Porsche 911 comes out. And if you have the temerity to criticize Porsche’s offering the “enthusiast” will say that the “style” is “classic” and”timeless”. Why can’t the same be said about the Mustang?

      • 0 avatar
        afflo

        There’s a difference between a continuing legacy in design and a retro throwback…

        “Once again, blue jeans. They change every year, but they are still blue jeans. Occasionally, they go old school, but mostly they change a lot. The basic proportions and a few other things need to stay the same while other things change with the times. It’s simple but not easy.”

        The jeans analogy doesn’t quite work. Jeans today don’t have an identical cut to jeans from 50 years or 100 years ago. “Occasional old school,” in this case, means retro. The basic formula for jeans remains the same, much as the basic formula for the mustang (long hood, short passenger compartment 2+2 with a V8 option) remains the same. I’d even go so far as saying that a key part of the Mustang formula is that it is youth oriented, almost a subbrand of Ford. Scion before there was Scion. The current mustang is NOT youth oriented – it’s middle-age nostalgia oriented.

        The 94-’04 Fox Mustangs had the right balance of heritage cues (3-bar taillights, galloping horse emblem, side scoops) and modern styling, much like the Porsche 911 retains certain styling cues without being hamstrung to a certain era’s styling.

        “I agree. No one ever says ‘can’t refresh retro’ when the latest iteration of the Porsche 911 comes out.”

        The Porsche 911 follows a proven pattern, but it is decidedly not retro. It is a continuous evolutionary design. The same goes for the Jeep – Put a current Jeep Wrangler next to a Jeep CJ-3a, CJ-5, YJ, TJ, and you can see the evolutionary changes and compromise. Compare that to the Toyota FJ’s of yore and the modern cartoony mockups.

        The VW Beetle has been mentioned a few times… But it is yet again a cartoonish throwback. It’s a caricature of a past car, a silhouette with no link in history or spirit to the machine it apes. Ditto for the cinquecento.

        The Mustang isn’t about this living-in-past-glory fad that will eventually run out. That’s a key to eventual sales decline and shelving. It’s a formula for a low priced performance car that adapts to the market and the fashions of the day.

      • 0 avatar
        Landcrusher

        Afflo,
        You make a good argument, but I still disagree. I think “retro” is a problem term. If retro means a cartoonish rehash, then you would be correct. That may be the meaning. Still, there is no reason why you can’t go backwards, ignore some bad evolution, and carry on as if the bad mutations hadn’t occurred. Cars don’t really have DNA. They aren’t puppies. If we can maintain the style of the 911 and Jeep, so can we the Mustang.

        The AMM doesn’t look like a Mustang even if you put the name on it. When has making such a move ever worked well in the long run? You get a brief pop from newness, and then the new model falls off faster than the old one was doing. It’s a classic American style, you can’t get around that. The AMM will keep the baggage and lose the value.

  • avatar
    grzydj

    Never cared much for retro modern rehashes anyway. Good riddance.

  • avatar
    Dipstick

    It has nothing to do with marketing to any generation rather with unifying the markets.
    Ford is going international with the mustang – I read somewhere – so it has to change the current redneckretro design.
    They will have to put in a modern suspension and it will be more expensive as a result but look at the bright side; it will finally be able to go around a corner. Yeah!

    • 0 avatar
      Toucan

      > It has nothing to do with marketing to any generation
      > rather with unifying the markets. Ford is going international
      > with the mustang – I read somewhere – so it has to change the
      > current redneckretro design.

      Was thinking along the same lines but name me a single two door coupe that sells well in other parts of the world (especially Europe) and is not an Audi/BMW/Mercedes midsize car.

      There is no longer market for such cars, particularly in non premium segments. The world has moved to four door fastbacks. That’s why in the every-niche-filling empire of the VW there is a Passat CC but no Passat coupe.

      > They will have to put in a modern suspension and it will
      > be more expensive as a result but look at the bright side;
      > it will finally be able to go around a corner. Yeah!

      After updates the current Mustang corners well. GT even matches the M3. A bit.

      PS. The post title is pure perfection.

  • avatar
    acuraandy

    I dig it, but it’s no ‘Mustang’. To call it a Fairlane or Galaxie would’ve been more accurate, since it is patterned after a mainstream sedan (in this case, Mondeo/Fusion), and as a result, be MUCH cooler. This is no more a Mustang than an ILX is a Civic…:)

  • avatar
    tparkit

    *Sigh*… I remember when Chevy euroized the Corvette. After bleeding all the Stingray out of it there was nothing left, just a metrosexual shell, and Chevy had to scramble to reinject some testosterone into the styling.

    But this redesign is not really a surprise. It’s a typical big-corporation blunder, and Ford has made exactly this mistake before. That’s how the Mustang got lost, forcing Ford to bring back the retro look to save what had morphed into just another blandmobile.

    • 0 avatar
      FromaBuick6

      I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Ford has bought into its own hype. They’ve listened to all the sycophantic praise from the auto journalists and niche demands of the web fanboys and decided that what Joe Public really wants is flashy styling, the latest gee whiz technology and suspension tuned for European tastes.

      What they’ve managed to completely overlook is that their bread and butter models – the Focus, Fusion and Escape – were popular because they were cheap, relatively conservative vehicles. They offered good value for money, appealed to a broad audience and were proven, mechanically durable products. The redesigns of all three are overcomplicated, fussily styled and more expensive. Now it looks like they’ll do the same with the Mustang, never mind that the only reason the Mustang sells is because it’s a rolling tribute to the 1965 car.

      What’s remarkable is that Ford has already made this mistake before. They did it when they replaced the simple Tempo with the pricer, “world car” Contour, which immediately flopped. They almost did it with the Mustang in ’88, until an 11th hour reversal resulted in the Probe, which eventually flopped. Apparently, Ford learned absolutely nothing from all this.

      I had a Mustang, and I liked it quite a bit. The retro look and feel was a big part of the appeal. All it needed a better interior, a manual transmission not manufactured by the lowest bidder, and a rear suspension that didn’t come from an ox cart. Instead, they’re going to strip away the reasons people buy it. Good job.

  • avatar
    stuki

    With the current trend of ever improving driving dynamics in the ‘Stang, now may well be a good time of making another dash for a more contemporary design. The latest ‘Stangs perform almost well enough to sell on their own merit, without the aid of sativa tinted memories of Sweet Emotion. A few more relative improvements, perhaps aided by most competitors being hamstrung by a greater need to sell well in less gas price friendly markets than here, and the ‘Stang may again become the universal go to car for people wanting outright performance for a decent buck, just like it was back when the legend of the original first was formed.

    Anyway, nothing screams cheesy, balding baby boomer nostalgia louder than James Bond. Just had to get that in there.

    • 0 avatar
      afflo

      I don’t want a car that sounds like Uncle Rico “Back in 65, I used to be able…” I give them credit – the early-mid 2000′s, after 9/11, were a bit disorienting. Seeing terrorists strike at two symbols of American might, and then watch the most powerful military in the world get mired in a multi-front war against the lowest-rent forces around is a blow to the psyche, and the Mustang really seemed to tap into a longing for the glory days (note the soaring popularity of Harley Davidson, with all its retro designs in the same time period).

      Ford had the right product for the right time.

      That time has passed. Everyone and his brother is doing a retro car. The (modern styled) sport-coupe market had seemingly dried up, and yet here’s the Hyundai Genesis Coupe, The soon-to-arrive Scion FR-S/Subie BR-Z, the BMW 1M. Harley is discovering that once the boomers relive their old fantasies, it’s hard to keep reconfiguring the same products to sell them. Hopefully Ford will get out in front, and not ride this neo-60′s fad into the ground… It sounds like they’ve got their head on straight.

      Remember, they nixed the Mustang II’s cheesy 60′s references (the leaping pony, 3 bar lights, side scoops, etc.) for the very clean, Euro-styled Fox Mustangs and it saved their bacon. GM spent decades making evolutionary developments on the basic look of the 70-75 Camaro, and it slowly withered away, while the Mustang has continued for over 40 years.

  • avatar
    seanx37

    Will it finally get an IRS(about 40+ yrs too late)? Will it have a V8 available? Will it be reasonably affordable? Then who cares if it isn’t a “retro” design? I applaud them for attempting something different.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    I’ve just coated my keyboard with spaghetti, and perhaps a few tears.

    The last time Ford tried to stray away from American styling we got the Mustang 2.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      The 1979 Fox Mustang was the one that didn’t have traditional Mustang styling cues. The Mustang II was pretty much a ’65 Mustang body on a Pinto chassis and tiny Pinto wheels. The Fox body of ’79 lost the traditional headlights, traditional side swoop treatment, traditional three segment tail lights, and had a rectangular grill instead of an oval shaped one. It also had wheels inspired by the Lancia Scorpion’s. Personally, I really liked the looks of the first Fox Mustangs, and I wish cars in this class still had styling that was contemporary and original instead of aping what came before. The proportions of the Fox Mustang were right, so there was never any question whether or not it was a Mustang. It was merely what a Mustang built for the ’80s instead of the ’60s should look like. Similarly, I think it is pathetic that the only decent looking new Fiat is a replica of a 50+ year old design.

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        Most of the current Fiats are a bit frumpy, but Fiat owns Alfa, and every single Alfa right now looks like sex on a stick.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        Agree to disagree. I found some undoctored photos of the Mito and Giulietta, and the word that came to mind first was unfortunate. It is apparent why Alfa’s publicity photos are massively altered for stance, proportions, and light lines on the panels. The 159 has a cool fascia, but is pretty much the definition of bland otherwise.

      • 0 avatar
        Ryoku75

        Fox Mustangs were fresh, but still looked American and still looked great. I too prefer the early models and Capris over the later Taurus-faced models. It had some identity to it too.

        This new ones just a poor Aston Martin with no identity.

  • avatar
    smokingclutch

    I dunno, this late Gen X / early Gen Y member (I’m 31) looked at Mustangs but ended up with a Dodge Challenger R/T because the experience was MORE muscle car authentic. The Challenger felt more like a muscle car like the Chevelle or 442 than a pony car, which makes sense due to its size and girth. The Mustang was a bit faster in a straight line as certainly could out handle the Challenger but it felt more like a muscle car hybridized with a sports car.

    Our government and societal norms are doing their best to outlaw cars like these, so I figured I would get one while I could. It certainly seems to appeal to the young and old alike, male and female, as long as they have even a passing interest in cars. Most of my cars over the years have been Japanese (rotary Mazdas and DOHC VTEC Hondas) but the Challenger in Hemi Orange is fun in its own way. I’ll never be Jack Baruth, but then my serious vehicular interests are more towards Cessnas and PIpers than racetracks anyway.

    I will say, however, that I am somewhat uncommon among my age group in that I have a good-paying career, which helps a lot when looking at cars in this price range.

  • avatar
    Kendahl

    As someone who was learning to drive when the original Mustang was introduced, I’m not very impressed by the current model. Yes, it has a retro feel. But, as soon as you see an old one next to a new one, the old one is prettier and the new one looks like a bloated whale.

    There is one reason why I would never buy a Mustang. It doesn’t have an independent rear suspension. (The short lived SVT model was an excelption.) This was acceptable in the 1960s, but not today.

    The proposed next model is rather pretty. It still needs to be front engine and rear drive and should have an independent rear suspension. The current engines are fine, especially the 300 hp V6. Ford needs to keep the weight under 3,500 lbs. The closer they can get to 3,000, the better.

  • avatar
    JaySeis

    The alternative? Going all white trash on the Stang and turn it into a bloated Torino? Like Gov Mts Chevelle sized the Camaro into a bloated cartoon caricature of a leering middle-aged polyester porn star wannabe? Keeriste, at least the 5.0 is a modern na engine within striking distance of a 100 HP/liter. The Stang needs a 21st century body that’s tight, lithe, agile, sexy is good. I enjoy my ’06 GT. My truck rides better (With roads declining in quality I’m gonna need IRS to keep me out of traction).

    Note to TTAC editors; get some real writers or quit the field.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    I have always liked the Mustangs traditional styling. I once owned one. When you see it coming down the road you know what it is. It is not some beige appliance; case in point would you redesign the Beetle to make it less traditional Beetle-like? Same goes for a 911. Probably not. Don’t get me wrong I do like this proposed 2015 version. It has the classic long-hood, short tail styling and has many of the styling cues but seems too Euro wanna-be 3 series and would make a great Lincoln (MKZC?)(MK9?)or even new Capri or T-Bird coupe.

  • avatar
    zznalg

    I’m older than Gen X and younger than Baby Boomers. I grew up with old 60′s Mustangs and liked them. Hated any “pony car” from the 70′s and beyond. And, I hate anything retro including the current Stang. I rented an ’11 and it was like a superb rolling motor surrounded by an idiotic shell. Gigantic, blind-spotted, silly cheap interior, a rear suspension that handled bumps like an old SUV, and did I mention silly overall? Give me a proper rear suspension; ditch or at least marginalize the V-8 (as great as it is); bring on great ergonomics; give me good visibility and excellent handling and steering; and did I mention forced induction? Oh and, shrink it by about 20 inches. Yes, modernize the Mustang!!! But keep it RWD with a manual. Btw, Astons are pretty nice looking cars.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    The last time Ford tried to stray away from American styling we got the Mustang 2.

    The Mustang II was closer in size and style to the original Mustang than was the ’71-’73 bloat mobiles. You may be thinking of the ’79 Fox body – a huge jump for the Mustang visually and athletically.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    It could be a publicity stunt so I wouldn’t give it too much credence. I’m not 100% that the whole ‘Mustang GT is going FWD T4 (Probe)’ back in ’88, wasn’t a clever rouse. I know it created a huge buying frenzy.

  • avatar
    fishiftstick

    Here’s why this is a stupid idea.

    Q: What is a Mustang?
    A: A Mustang is an American muscle car.

    The new Fusion/Mondeo is a fine-looking European sports sedan, but nothing about it says “muscle car,” and there’s not a line on it that I would call American.

    Maybe a new generation detests muscle cars. Maybe it wants European sports coupes. And maybe lopping two doors off the Fusion would make one. But then why saddle it with a name and image its customers dislike?

  • avatar
    stryker1

    I hate this. The current mustang looks great, and I aspire to own one. The one pictured above looks like a Hyundai knock-off of some audi.

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      “I hate this. The current mustang looks great, and I aspire to own one.”

      Dare I say it? If you search very diligently, you can find a genuine Ford Aspire for your very own! (…scooting away, very quickly)

  • avatar
    Speed Spaniel

    This car is the performance coupe that Lincoln needs in its arsenal. Leave the Mustang alone and badge this a Lincoln.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    I love all the babies whining about “enough with the retro styling” and that is so yesterday. So with this logic the VW bug should also be redesigned into a bland generic Asian/Korean appliance with gray interior? How about the 911? Should that also look like generic dulldom? This thing looks just like what it is, a 2 door new gen Fusion which is hardly aspiring looking like part Sonata and part Aston Martin with a Milquetoast lineup of uninspiring 4 cylinders. If Ford had a brain they would keep the Mustang what it is with normal updates so that people can actually tell what they are looking at going down the road unlike today’s boring generica and save these types of vehicles for the fart can generation who doesn’t usually have a pot to piss in.

  • avatar
    pennintj

    Nice that they’re finally going back to 1962 and building the “Car that *should* have been” instead of the Ford Falcon they warmed over & served hot. Shame nobody will be able to afford it.

    http://oldcarandtruckpictures.com/FordMustang/1962FordMustang-I-ConceptCarSignage-HenryFordMuseum.jpg

  • avatar
    msquare

    I thought then and think now that the Mustang, Camaro and Challenger had to go back to the retro styling to re-establish the models’ brand values. Did they appeal to the baby boomers? Sure, but I also think they went over well with the general public who were tired of all cars looking and driving alike. They helped redefine American character when character was sorely lacking in just about everybody’s product line.

    Now that the job is done, it’s important to build on and develop the foundation. I don’t think the car shown above does that. The second-gen Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger do.

    Case in point: You can get away with a live axle in a car that looks like a classic Mustang but a more up-to-date car had better have contemporary technology. And that includes an independent rear.

  • avatar
    afflo

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1817&dat=20040418&id=pIE0AAAAIBAJ&sjid=aKYEAAAAIBAJ&pg=4089,544681

    “Joseph Oros now 87, set the design standards for the Mustang.
    ‘I told the team I wanted the car to appeal to women, but I wanted men to desire it too,’ he said. ‘I wanted a Ferrari-like front end, the motif centered on the front — something heavy-looking like a Maserati, but, please, not a trident — and I wanted air intakes on the side to cool the rear brakes. I said it should be as sporty as possible and look like it was related to European design.’”

    The true heritage of the Mustang is building a car that looks European, with inexpensive parts. It should look new, futuristic, different. Remember, getting back to this core with the Fox bodied Mustangs saved it once. They’re doing the same this time before the car becomes a dated, backwards styled fossil (and leaving GM and Chrysler holding the bag as retro becomes passe… a brilliant move, IMHO)

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    Afflo,
    It’s as American as apple pie. Regardless of what they shot for, it’s American now. We are almost always drawing inspiration from people other than the natives.

    • 0 avatar
      afflo

      And I agree there are elements that should remain there as a nod to the past… but the entire design shouldn’t be locked in time, strapped to a Procrustes Bed of styling.

      I’ve always seen the Mustang as an optomistic car – yes, it has traditionally used a lot of cheap, old tech, but the spirit of the car is something forward looking, something different.

      http://www.artvalue.com/photos/auction/0/46/46914/maserati-vehicles-1961-maserati-3500-gt-spider-2424877.jpg

      http://www.artvalue.com/photos/auction/0/44/44588/ferrari-vehicles-1961-ferrari-250-gt-swb-berlin-2084288.jpg

      Mix those with a Falcon, and go ahead and slap a Ferrari style horse on the grille for the fun of it, and you have a Mustang.

      That’s the spirit of the Mustang – European styling and American taste blended together and bargain prices.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    I wouldn’t mind a refresh, but I’d like it to still be distinct from other Fords, something that says “I’m the new Mustang!”.

    Judging by that picture, it could just easily be a special version of a Fusion or a Focus, theres nothing that sets it apart.

    Plus, a Mustang with Focus styling cues is like a Camaro with Sonic cues, it just dosen’t work.

    By ques I mean “Using the same exact front end”.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributing Writers

  • Jack Baruth, United States
  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Vojta Dobes, Czech Republic
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Cameron Aubernon, United States
  • J Emerson, United States