By on January 20, 2010

Where is the synergy? (courtesy:MT)

Almost exactly a year ago, we heard that Ford wouldn’t be developing a global RWD platform in Australia.  That came as sad, but obvious news back then… but check it out: Motor Trend just got a hot “scoop”!

Under the global rear-drive platform plan, the 2014 Mustang was to have shared its basic architecture with the next generation Australian Ford Falcon, and possibly a new flagship sedan for Lincoln. The Mustang would have been on the short wheelbase version of the platform, the Falcon on the mid-wheelbase, and the Lincoln on the long wheelbase. But that strategy has changed…

…By the time a new rear-drive Lincoln could appear, the Town Car will have been out of production for three to four years, and with high gas prices in Australia, no-one expects major growth in Falcon sales. These factors taken together seem to have conspired to torpedo the global rear-drive platform. “The [next generation rear-drive] Falcon is dead,” said one Ford insider bluntly, in apparent confirmation.

Shocker! The problem is that Ford’s just released a new Mustang, meaning the current model will be a bit long of tooth when the nameplate’s 50th anniversary rolls around in 2014. The good news? Motor Trend’s “scoop” isn’t that Ford will be slapping together a “very special edition” consisting of paint, wheels, badges and certificate of authenticity.

The bad news?

They have no freaking clue what they’re doing!

Ford planners are reportedly looking at three possible directions for the 2014 Mustang. The first — and perhaps the easiest — is an evolution of the current car, with styling cues that would appeal to the traditionalist, and a continued focus on the 5.0-liter V-8 as the halo engine. The second is more of an M3-style car, probably with turbocharged V-6 power for markets like Europe. The third – and probably the least likely, says our source – is to transform the Mustang into an ultra-high tech, ultra-high performance coupe along the lines of Nissan’s giant-killing GT-R.

Well that sure narrows it down!But hey, at least the 50th Anniversary cars will be… uh… something.

MT’s source does anonymously insist that the 2014 ‘stang will be lighter and smaller than the current generation, and will finally offer all-independent suspension. That sound like a start in right direction, but let’s not fool ourselves: the next Mustang will almost certainly be another evolution of the current chassis. Ford would be crazy to develop any all-new RWD platform until the Mustang starts its second 50 years. And Ford pays off the ruinous debt that Motor Trend is kind enough to never mention.

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39 Comments on “Wild-Ass Rumor Of The Day: Mystery Mustang Edition...”

  • avatar

    It’s a little early to man the barricades just yet. Don’t forget that the fox chassis lasted for decades underneath new sheetmetal. There’s no reason the 2014’s won’t do the same since this generation is only 5 years old. According to tradition it’s barely out of the newborn stage yet.

  • avatar

    Just replace it with the Focus and Fiesta.  Most people don’t use the full the capability of the Mustang anyway.

    • 0 avatar


      @original post: I don’t get the Fox body reference; the Mustang moved to a new chassis distantly related to the one used by the Lincoln LS and Jag S-Type (and thus, interestingly, the Jaguar XF) back in ’05.

  • avatar

    I hope that the next Mustang won’t be an “evolution of the Fox body”, as that platform was last used on the 2004 model.  The 2005 used an entirely new platform for the Mustang — not at all related to the Fox platform that was an offshoot of the ’78 Fairmont/Zephyr.

  • avatar

    Awesome pic! The ‘stang is IDENTICAL to my own ’64 1/2. Prairie Bromze with Palomono interior.

  • avatar

    isn’t the current called the s197 body? s195 previously

  • avatar

    Iacocca is on the right, does anyone know who’s left ?????

    • 0 avatar

      A wild guess would be Robert McNamara who was in charge of Ford (more or less) at the time.  The dirt cheap Falcon was his baby and Lee created the Mustang from it’s basic bones.  Iaccoca was a salesman, McNamara understood balance sheets and statistics.

    • 0 avatar

      Yes, it looks like Robert McNamara, although I find that picture a bit puzzling. McNamara left Ford in 1960 to take a the job of Secretary of Defense in the new Kennedy administration.   Robert McNamara is credited/accused of being the architect of the Vietnam War.   He applied his business/statistics models to the war — he’s the one who came up the “kill ratio”.    The Mustang came out 4 years after  McNamara left Ford for government service.  Why he would come back to take a publicity pic with Iacocca is beyond me.

    • 0 avatar

      Early photoshop?  (rolling eyes for all the youngsters that won’t get it)

    • 0 avatar

      I believe it’s Donald Frey

    • 0 avatar

      Can’t be McNamara – his hair is too long.  By the time this picture was shot, McNamara was up to his neck in South East Asia.

    • 0 avatar

      It’s Don Frey, who is considered by those within Ford Motor Company to be the true “father of the Mustang.” His ideas led to the car…but Iacocca had the clout and the moxie to get the car approved by the beancounters and Henry Ford II.

  • avatar

    I don’t get it. I see way more Rangers on the road than Mustangs; but the Ranger is getting the axe? It just dosen’t add up.

  • avatar

    @Pig_Iron: I rarely see Rangers anymore; especially not the newer ones. The new Mustangs aren’t that common of a sight (yet?) but the 2005-2009 Mustangs pop up a few times each day.  But I do agree that Ford needs to keep the Ranger in the lineup.

  • avatar

    Well, let’s not forget that the 2010 Mustang isn’t “new”. 

    It’s the same car that Ford released in 2005 with a interior/exterior makeover and some tweaks, what they call a mid-cycle refresh.  Behind the wheel it’s virtually identical to the car from 2005.  Except it costs substantially more now.  Who remembers a few years ago when they touted this car as 300hp for $25,000? 

    Hopefully Ford will not keep the refreshing the same car endlessly.  Ford Australia has a world-class car in the Falcon and basing the Mustang on it would be a very good idea to amortize costs and bring the Mustang into the modern automotive world with IRS and a rigid platform.

    It doesn’t look like that’s going to happen though. 

  • avatar

    It is such a shame that they can’t give us a new RWD platform that could be shared across One Ford.  After all of the money they wasted on Jaguar, Aston Martin, Land Rover and Volvo, they are so broke that they cannot plan on keeping the Mustang competitive in the long run or build a proper modern RWD Lincoln.  And this is after they realized their mistakes and swept all of those trash brands out the door.  It just boggles my mind how much money they put into those foreign brands that even to this day the average person does not even affiliate with Ford, just to loose tons of money and let their core products soldier on so long that they are classics on the day that they are made.

  • avatar

    Given that Ford has a pretty good track record of obscuring its future product plans and MT has a pretty bad track record of figuring out Ford’s (or anyone else’s, for that matter), why should we believe a word of this? Honestly, I think just about anyone on TTAC could have written a similar set of speculations, with a similar level of credibility.

  • avatar

    Out of the three possible directions speculated on the second and third are pure nonsense. The Mustang’s status as an iconic American pony car is not going to be replaced as a M3 style fighter and the GT-R type vehicle is equally absurd. Ford isn’t about to take a fairly high volume vehicle and turn it into a tiny niche market one. I don’t doubt an Ecoboost V6 is on the way as that makes sense.
    Ford doesn’t need an entirely new platform for the next generation they just need to have an IRS. The body however does need a complete restyling as they have run the current retro theme as far as they can. The suggestion that Ford doesn’t need the Mustang and could instead sell Mustang buyers the Fiesta and Focus is off base as pony/muscle car buyers are a completely different market segment. Ford makes money selling Mustangs and the last thing they would do is change that.

  • avatar

    An M3 style car?  Didn’t they learn anything from the SVO?  Even if they made something worthy of a BMW, it’ll never work as a Ford.  See SVO and T-bird Turbo/Super. Or a Lincoln. (see LS). 

    The Ford brand is still a complete mess. Recommending Fiestas over Rangers, $40,000+ Tauruses and now the (bad parts of the) Fox body all over again? 

  • avatar

    The Mustang is hard to make exist.

    The new 5.0 makes as much power as is required for major good times.  Even my lowly old ’08 4.6 does.  The only issue is the size and weight of the vehicle.  Some sort of focused design with a rear mounted transaxle/IRS would really do the trick – which brings up the next problem:

    The cost of the car continues to rocket up while wages stagnate.  It’s much less affordable than it once was.  You buy it for the essential “musclecar, v8 rumble experience” – which I am in love with, and the only reason I chose the Mustang over a used 335i.

    • 0 avatar

      I came within a hair’s breadth of buying a 2010 GT Premium this weekend, before the dealer experience changed from pleasant to Boiler Room-esque when they had the sense I might be a buyer. That V8 rumble experience is certainly a huge factor in the appeal of the car – the sound is bordeline erotic and utterly fantastic. However, I was impressed with the overall competence of the car beyond the sound effects. It rode better than my GTI, which surprised me given the solid axle log out back. It also handled better than expected. The steering was accurate and tight, the gearbox (3.73 manual) and clutch were excellent, and the car exuded a sense of high build quality.

      But you’re correct, there is that question of price. Albeit a loaded car, the $37.8k sticker on the car I nearly bought was rather shocking. However, I suspect that the ’10 model is starting to pile up on dealer lots as people opt to wait for the ’11 with the 5.0, because the car could be had for $34k with 0% financing. At that price, I don’t think Ford needs to make any apologies. Of course, that begs the question, why not just price the car at $34k and not resort to leaving piles of cash on the hood? And one does have to believe residual values on the ’10s will also suffer in a few years as people stay away in favor of the cars with the 5.0.

    • 0 avatar

      Not sure why you say the Mustang is hard to make exist since Ford sells them in good volume and profits accordingly.

      The 5.0 engine most likely will be available as a 2011 model in April. At the NAIS it was reported the 5.0 will only be available in three colors making me think it is an addition to the 4.6 rather than a replacement. Anybody know the details?

      Currently in the metro Detroit market the base GT is advertised at $232/mo for a U.S. Bank 36 mos 36k mile lease with zero down payment using the Ford employee purchase plan and lease renewal rebates from an existing Ford lease about to expire. I leased one last month.

  • avatar

    I don’t think that anyone has considered that Ford has learned to use the power of misdirection under AM and Farly (example: Apple) in contrast to GM’s were making a new camero, it’ll be here in 5 years.

    When AM got there Ford was well on it’s way in developing a new WRWD platform (at the time AM made the smart decision to focus those resources on the Fusion, Focus and Fiesta  instead), but given that the they have the LS, XF and falcon platforms developed recently (and the shelby GT3 and interceptor concepts), I doubt that the Falcon is going anywhere, the next mustang will share platform, US will get LWB as police interceptor promised(with taurus possibly taking SWB when the fusion takes the mondeo EUCD (we know that is happening) as the new focus will compare in size to the current fusion), the fusion will slot into that space.

  • avatar
    Martin Schwoerer

    Could the guy on the left be Bunkie Knudsen? (No, no relation to Bunkie Moon, BTW).

    • 0 avatar

      Knudsen was at Ford from February 1968 until September 1969. He had nothing to do with either the original Falcon or the original Mustang, so I doubt that Ford would have put him in this type of staged publicity photograph. The gentleman on the left is definitely Don Frey.

  • avatar

    No way it’s Bunkie Knudsen.  I think it’s Frey.

  • avatar

    Ahh, 1960 Falcon… my very first car. $125 bucks and some fender rust to fix. Mine was green.

  • avatar

    only enthusiasts on fan sites and magazine writers care about independent rear suspension. plenty of cars handle just fine w/ a ‘solid’ axle. they are cheaper and stronger. anyone who wants to drag race it prefers a solid axle.
    the T-bird got an IRS for its last few years, did it save it? nope. did anyone care? nope.
    the last thing ford needs to do is screw w/ the formula. just keep it a 2+2 RWD platform and all will be right w/ the world.

  • avatar


    1. I thought it was Robert McNamara

    2. I only started to hear how great Iacocca was when he went over to Chrysler. Then I found out though his autobio and books abouthim.. that he was just bad for the company, at least by ’91 and the LHS / Viper cars.

    3. As far as the Mustang goes.. I see it as the only one to out last the Camaro / Challenger in 10yrs. But GOD I hope they dont do a redo of the Pinto or Probe..

    • 0 avatar

      You’ll never see a retro Pinto…for obvious reasons. Neither will you see a new Probe. The market for front-drive sport coupes is so tiny now, it would hardly be worth their time. BTW, I owned a first gen Probe, and was satisfied with it…for the most part.

  • avatar

    I read it yesterday… they ended the article with: Ford guys are reading…

    Whatever. Not using an already developed IRS platform is a mistake.

    Taking the US Taurus to Aussiesland and pretending to sell it to them too.

    Let’s see how stubborn are those mates down under

  • avatar
    Mr Carpenter

    One platform CAN be used for two distinct types of vehicle. The 1958-1966 Lincolns and Thunderbirds were all unit construction, built in Wixom, Michigan, and were for two distince makes of car, and two distinct markets. But they shared basic components and a platform.

  • avatar
    Facebook User

    Like to see Ford Of America bring in the Ford of Australia and Ford of Europe. They would boom in sales but the UAW will NEVER Rstand for it!

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