Rumor Mill: Is Ford Really Planning a Mustang-based Four-door?
Oh boy — what to make of this one? A poster at Mustang6g.com forum claims two sources who attended this month’s Ford dealer meetup in Las Vegas say the Blue Oval has something interesting up its sleeve.
No, it’s not the Mustang-inspired electric crossover Ford expects to launch for 2020 (possibly, but no longer probably carrying the Mach 1 name). Rather, it’s either a four-door Mustang or a Mustang-inspired four-door GT car with premium intentions and an eye for upsized engines.
Okay, let’s pick this apart.
Given that we have absolutely no official or unofficial confirmation of this rumor, this poster (who only joined the forum earlier this month) could be making the thing up out of whole cloth, either to stimulate debate or just be a jerk. That, or he’s been sold a bill of goods by these sources.
That said, a great many people don’t trust Ford to keep its hands off the Mustang’s branding and aura. The Mach 1 fiasco, which raised the hackles of FoMoCo purists across the country, is proof of that. While cars certainly aren’t Ford’s cup of tea right now, a high-margin niche model isn’t out of the question for a company that currently offers the (increasingly un)limited edition GT.
It’s generally believed that the next-generation Mustang, reportedly pushed back to 2021, will debut atop Ford’s new CD6 modular platform, the same architecture underpinning the upcoming Lincoln Aviator and 2020 Ford Explorer. Made to accomodate all drive wheel configurations, it seems that RWD/AWD is Ford’s intention for this platform (the RWD/AWD Aviator and Explorer are its only confirmed uses right now).
Over the summer, much talk was heard of the upcoming “modular Mustang.” Around that time, Ford released details on its plan to move to five distinct architectures for all of its future vehicles. The Mustang was assumed to move to the dedicated RWD/AWD platform — ie, the CD6.
“Mustang is still going to be a strong, well proportioned vehicle,” the Mustang’s chief designer, Darrell Behmer, told Automotive News in August. “The modular architectures will still give us flexibility; it’s not going to bastardize Mustang.”
The model’s future seems clear, no? Not exactly. Sources tell TTAC that the next-gen Mustang will not adopt the CD6 platform; rather, it will soldier on with its current architecture, possible in a mildly revised form. If Ford planned to build a four-door Mustang — the longest of long shots, albeit one talked about occasionally over the past decade — it’s hard to believe they would give the Mustang’s single-model platform a tug and call it good, especially when the brand’s future calls for new architecture.
The more likely scenario is that Ford would adopt the more versatile, refined CD6 platform and create a vehicle that is not a Mustang derivative, but an altogether different vehicle with a hint of Mustang flavor. It already wants to do this with its electric crossover. The forum poster claims the automaker wants to go up against the Audi A7 and Porsche Panamera, which is some pretty rarified air for Ford. It would also be a high bar to clear. Perhaps the Lincoln brand would be a better fit? Then again, there’s no Lincoln Performance arm.
Beneath the hood of this vehicle would be a turbocharged V8, the poster claims, which is interesting, considering Ford doesn’t make one. The engine in the upcoming Shelby GT500 is a supercharged mill, though aftermarket suppliers (as well as Ohio’s Lebanon Ford) can certainly set you up with a turbo V8 right now, should you wish.
A performance-packed, four-door grand touring car certainly would give Ford some newfound prestige, even if it remained a niche model. There’d be big prices and potential profit once it paid for its own development. However, how such a model would fit into Ford’s $11 billion, truck-heavy streamlining plan, as well as where it would be built, remain valid questions. Also: aren’t cars a thing Ford has no time for, and with fairly good reason?
Maybe this rumor is, like so many others, just a whisper without weight.
[Images: ©2018 Chris Tonn/TTAC, Ford Motor Company]
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