By on November 8, 2018

Image: 2018 Ford Mustang

As Steph wrote recently, the rumor mill is churning with talk about a possible four-door Mustang.

It all started with a rumor on a forum, and the good folks over at Car and Driver fleshed the story out a little more with some reasonable speculation.

I don’t know if I am the biggest Mustang fan here at TTAC – but I am the only staffer who looks upon Fox bodies the way others gaze at 911s. When news is slow, I can be found trolling the market for a Fox body, just for shits and grins.

I’m not sure if my love for ‘80s pony cars makes me a Mustang purist, but I did see a Facebook post from an industry colleague linking the C/D post and making a comment about how he’d drive a Mustang sedan just to make purists howl.

Which made me wonder – would I be offended if Ford built a four-door Mustang?

Let’s put aside some market realities for a second. I think a four-door Mustang, or a Mustang-based sedan with a different name, is unlikely. For one, Ford isn’t keen on sedans at the moment (perhaps you’ve heard). Second, the Chevy SS failed because, for the most part, Americans don’t have interest in rear-drive sports sedans that aren’t luxury cars (the Dodge/Chrysler gang being the obvious exception).

So yeah, this is unlikely, in my opinion. But if it happens, will I howl the way I did (along with Mr. Accardi) about Ford possibly using the Mach 1 name on a crossover (a plan that’s probably off the table)? Will I howl the way the others did decades ago when Ford wanted the ‘Stang to go front-drive, leading instead to the Ford Probe? Will I howl the way many did when the original 5.0-liter V8 gave way for a 4.6?

Honestly, no. I won’t. As long as the Mustang remains available as a coupe, and as long as manual transmissions and V8 engines are available, and as long as the car has a sporting mission, I won’t moan about additional varieties. I am cool with the fact that one version of the car is powered by a four-banger EcoBoost. I am cool with the fact that slushbox-preferring buyers can opt for an automatic even in the GT. I will be cool with a planned hybrid version, as long as it’s not the only version.

My complaint about the Mach 1 was misuse of the name – that moniker belongs only on hi-po V8 Mustang coupes, in my opinion. I don’t care that Ford plans to build a Mustang-inspired BEV crossover – just don’t sully the Mach 1 name (or Bullitt, or GT, or Boss).

I do have concerns about what a hypothetical Mustang sedan might be called. Just calling it “Mustang” might confuse car buyers who don’t know a spark plug from a cigarette lighter, and I think that would be a marketing mistake for Ford.

Of course, there’s a good chance that a Mustang-based sedan would get its own name, and might even be badged as a Lincoln. All Ford will say is nothing – the brand just threw some PR boilerplate at C/D when the Ann Arbor gang asked for comment.

So yeah, this Mustang boy is cool with a Mustang sedan, as long as the coupe goes nowhere. That is, if this rumor is even true and not so much horse dung.

Oh, to live in a world in which a stick-shift Mustang-based RWD/AWD sedan is sold alongside a resurrected Chevy SS and the Dodge/Chrysler twins. Sigh.

[Image: Ford]

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77 Comments on “What to Make of that Rumored Ford Mustang Sedan...”


  • avatar
    JohnTaurus

    I wouldn’t want it to be called Mustang, but I wouldn’t flip my lid if it was.

    Honestly, I’d love it if it replaced the MKZ as a Lincoln, with a CD6 (RWD) Continental above it. If sold as a Ford, I’d love it to be called Fairlane. Torino would be okay, too, but I’d prefer Fairlane. I’m sure it would be engineered in such a way so as to be available in RHD, as Mustang is, so it could be sold in Australia. Maybe losing their supposedly beloved RWD sedans would turn into a boon if one returned. I’m sure they’d prefer it over the Chinese Taurus or the already tired Mondeo.

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      meh… make sure it would get plenty of development time in Australia both so Ford could keep the locals happy and add a bit of authenticity for a broader audience and call a 4dr Mustang based sedan a Falcon.

      • 0 avatar
        Russycle

        Mustangs do not have 4 doors. Period. Would love to see a new Falcon, but given how the market looks these days I think Ford would be crazy to go ahead with it. Hope they prove me wrong. Make a wagon and prove me double-wrong.

        • 0 avatar
          raph

          Pffftt… BMW does it with the 3/4 series so what makes a Mustang based sedan so odd? Hell add a shooting brake and estate in there while they are at it and allow them to be configured with the PPL2 package and Ford would have an interesting mix of vehicles.

          The big advantage of course would be snagging more sales allowing them to reduce development time for newer chassis and spread the cost of better engineering and materials over a great number of cars.

          Everybody is having a cow over a 4dr Mustang but remember Ford killed the Fusion and it was IIRC pulling down nearly twice the volume.

          I know Mustang is an iconic nameplate and is supposedly protected but that could change overnight in the approaching new car sales apocalypse.

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus

            I believe it’s because the Mustang makes money. Remember, high volume doesn’t equal high profit.

            With the decline in sedan sales, Fusion has to be discounted and/or sold in fleets. They tried to add a money-making halo version, the Sport, but you see 10 Edge Sports for every Fusion Sport you see.

            I don’t *know* this to be true, but it stands to reason that Ford can make money on the Mustang, even selling fewer of them.

            I’ll bring another Ford into the discussion: Transit Connect. Not a high-volume seller. Not an expensive vehicle. Yet it was spared the chopping block. One can only assume it makes money where the Focus and such don’t. Yes, its sold in fleets a lot, and I don’t claim to know how the numbers work, I can only draw conclusions from the evidence at hand. They may end up cutting it as well, but they did go to the trouble of certifying a turbodiesel for it and refreshing it for the 2019 MY. Doesn’t sound like its days are numbered.

            If they can make an actual profit off fewer vehicle sales, this makes sense. What’s the point of selling 200,000 units if you only made money on 10,000 of them (therefore you lost money on the other 190k)?

            If, and mind you, I’m saying IF, there is a RWD Ford sedan on the horizon (I don’t care if it’s called the lollipop), you can bet Ford won’t be using it to chase the Camry down a rabbit hole. It’ll be a car that will hopefully generate a profit, even if it sells 60k a year or whatever.

            “But Toyota can make a profit on sedans!”

            If you could read the numbers, I bet the Tacoma generates more profit than Camry does (if the Camry even makes money any more), despite not selling as many units.

            Ford is a business. A business is to make a profit or it isn’t going to last long. Building products that lose money isn’t smart business, even if a bunch of yahoos on the internet who would never buy a Ford car no matter how good it was say otherwise.

            If Ford can provide utilities and trucks and vans that are reasonably efficient (many Hybrid versions are planned, including Escape, F-150 and Mustang) and can sell without spilling red ink all over the books, why would they choose to do otherwise? If they can figure out how to make a sedan that will make money in relatively low volumes, that’s all the better. Who says they need an entry level car cheaper than EchoSport (yes I spelled it wrong on purpose, and no I don’t like it)? I genuinely hope the next version of that vehicle (which has already been seen testing) is everything the current one isn’t, but even as we car people know it to be pretty terrible as is, it isn’t that expensive and it is selling.

          • 0 avatar
            WallMeerkat

            @JohnTaurus

            The Transit Connect is imported from Turkey, where presumably it is built quite cheaply.

            So even with the chicken-tax formalities of destroying rear seats and welding up rear windows, Ford are still presumably making a profit on each one sold.

            Which does beg the question as to why they couldn’t source their passenger cars from elsewhere. Yes they wouldn’t be US built, but that’s going to be the case anyway now with no passenger cars for the US market being built at all. Surely better to have a choice of imports than nothing?

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus

            Well, I see your point, but the Fusion is imported from Mexico. Clearly the margins on it are still such that it isn’t worth continuing.

            We don’t have all of the information to tell us why. The only possible conclusion is that it costs more to build one than they can get for it in a cut-throat market oversaturated with players fighting for a chunk in a dying segment.

          • 0 avatar
            WildcatMatt

            Regarding the question of sourcing small cars from various cheaper-to-build locations, I’m sure that’s been looked at.

            I wonder whether the margins aren’t thin enough that tariff uncertainty plays a part in the decision-making.

    • 0 avatar
      Ryan

      Yeah, I agree with your view on the name. Build it! As a Ford, but don’t use the long established Mustang branding. I believe that is lazy creatively and in marketing. I do not have a good thing to say about Lincoln (No Ford bashing here – I view Cadillac/Lincoln/Acura and a few others in the same “why bother” light).

    • 0 avatar
      WheelMcCoy

      They *could* call it “Mus-sedan” if they say it fast enough.

      Yeah, I agree, it would be a marketing mistake. I’m not sure a Mustang Coupe and Mustang Sedan would work the way an Accord Coupe and an Accord Sedan works.

      • 0 avatar
        WheelMcCoy

        Replying to my own post, I have second thoughts. I find the names Dodge Challenger and Dodge Charger confusing. They are pretty much the same car, one with 4 doors and the other with 2, but I can’t always keep it straight.

        Perhaps Mustang for the original 2 door, and Mustang Sedan (or Mustang 4D) for the 4 door is actually workable.

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus

          I did too at first, and occasionally I still get them mixed up.

          The LX cars are a prime example of what I’m talking about above. Why do they live (and keep living and keep living and…) while the Dart and 200 didn’t? Because they aren’t losing money! Yes, it has something to do with their age (development cost being paid for etc), but it also has to do with their unique selling points in the market, and the high-performance versions that sell for big money. If Ford can pull a similar stunt, I think it’d be awesome. Maybe FCA would then be more inclined to invest in replacements that follow the same formula.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            As I said a couple days ago on the FCA Hellcat commercial topic, you can tell a vehicle that designers and engineers went to work enthusiastic about what they were doing – and compare it to the current gen Malibu where you can tell no one designing, engineering, or building that car had any enthusiasm for the product.

            Build a Ford sedan using the Mustang team and tell them to make something that consumers “want”. Design being the number 1 criteria with performance being number 2. Even the lowest tier Charger/Challenger garners some respect because it has presence and isn’t the typical slug on the road. Which this far into production is as much the redesigns success as it is a good template to work off of.
            Ford isn’t going to make money off of base model Fusion regardless of it getting 40mpg if consumers are only willing to pay $18k for it. Ford should have no trouble selling a RWD car that has presence, enthusiasm for the product, a V6 and gets 32mpg while selling for $26k.
            Ford biggest problem is the deficit of a technologically advanced V8, GM left ford in the dust years ago, even Chryslers old design is fuel efficient in the big LX cars. Get rid of the DOHC V8 and move into the future with an advanced OHV V8.

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus

            Yes. They need a more “advanced” V-8 that is backwards in technology. Maybe it needs a more “advanced” fuel system with a carburetor?

            There is absolutely nothing wrong with the Coyote engine, nor the EcoBoost 6s. It’s only your personal bias that shows something “wrong”.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            DOHC has proven to be less efficient, and heavier than OHV V8s, not really an opinion, it can be proven with evidence. I didn’t think this would be a controversial point it’s not hard to prove.
            OHVs are newer technology than OHC engines, and GMs OHV are the most advanced on the truck market.

          • 0 avatar
            golden2husky

            Who cares where the cams are. Does the engine perform well? That’s what matters at least to me. But marketing drives things. Prior to OLED TVs, the best picture bar non was a premium plasma set. But marketing (and very early plasma problems) drove the best technology to the dumpster. History is full of such things. Get people to believe something, even if its not true, and it becomes true. Just like in politics.

      • 0 avatar
        Flipper35

        Instead of Mustang they could call it Tennessee Walker. No, too odd. Morgan! Oops, used already. American Quarter Horse? Too Long? Apaloosa, a good sturdy larger horse that would fit with a sedan image? Clydesdale would be for the CUV base on the mustang so can’t use that.

  • avatar
    raynla

    I have an idea!
    Make it electric and call it the Probe.

  • avatar
    jack4x

    It’s beating a dead horse at this point, since every article mentioning it contains the same error, but the Chevy SS was not a failure. GM sold exactly as many as they intended to, the advertising was always low-key because they knew enthusiasts and magazines would spread publicity, and it was only brought here to fulfill a plant capacity agreement with the union in Australia.

    I would love to see this Ford sedan happen, although I don’t hold out much hope. As long as I’m dreaming, put the Voodoo engine in an ST version of it.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      I don’t get why everyone keeps referring to the SS as a failure when it outsold all GM estimates. It’s like these people are living in a world of their own.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus

        Because if they don’t sell 600,000 units a year, it can’t POSSIBLY be anything but!

        GM wasn’t trying to “make it up in volume” with the SS. They sure as hell weren’t prepared to sell it in big numbers. As you said, it wasn’t a failure even if it didnt sell up there in Impala numbers. It wasn’t supposed to.

        Its also the same mindset that says “well, they sold xxx,xxxx Focuses last year. Why throw all that away?!?!” Because they didnt make money? That a good enough reason? Car companies aren’t charitable organizations, willing to employ people to build money-losing products just for the good of humanity. If they operate that way for long, they’ll all go hungry eventually.

        Turns out that Ford found a way to keep the factory open by building something(s) that more than likely will make money, even if they don’t put up the same numbers as a fleet-queen, heavily-discounted car. Why shove a vehicle down people’s throats and lose money in the process? What part of that makes sense from a business, or hell, ANY point of view?

        But gas prices and Toyota and SUVs are just a fad! Yeah, yeah, yeah.

    • 0 avatar
      Tim Healey

      It’s not so much that the SS was a “failure,” but GM knew there was a limited market for it at best.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    How about a Galaxy. That name hasn’t been used in almost 50 years and it would be a good name for a new rear wheel drive Ford sedan.

  • avatar
    npbheights

    It should be called Fairmont. The Lincoln version shall be Zephyr.

  • avatar
    chris724

    Mustang XL!

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    That’s a shame Galaxy was used throughout the 60’s on Ford’s full size premium sedan. How about the Crown Victoria and make it the flagship Ford sedan.

  • avatar
    brn

    Granada.

  • avatar

    Just call it Fusion, dammit!

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    Tim, don’t bemoan there being a turbo four Mustang. I drove one in a track day earlier this year and it acquitted itself quite nicely.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    LTD

  • avatar
    Oberkanone

    Ford Falcon

    needs more development
    https://www.motor1.com/news/275152/ford-mustang-four-door-render/
    something along the lines of this styling exercise

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      Ford Falcon is the right answer. The original Mustang was based on the Falcon platform, Falcon is a respected name throughout Ford and it’s a name that hasn’t been used in a long time so it’s not attached to anything crappy

  • avatar
    Hummer

    A new mustang based 4 door car would fill in the gap of losing all its current 4 door cars. They would be able to keep about as many buyers for the fusion now but with profitably, and easily gain Taurus buyers.

    4 engine choices a small 4 cylinder for cheapskates, a small turbo 6 for mass market sales, the 5.0 for the small upgrade engine and a 5.4 or new larger engine to make it “hot”.

    The name falcon would be perfect.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      How many animals need to participate in the name of 1 car? Mustang, Cobra, Falcon. . .

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        The Thundercougarfalconbird’s masculinity removes all doubt of the owners sexuality. Would you want to be seen in anything less?

        But on a serious note GM does the same thing with locations. Tahoe, Silverado, Sierra, Malibu, Yukon etc.

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus

          What a very pig-headed explanation. I’m gay and I own some “masculine” vehicles (old Ford truck, newer GMC 4×4). Only someone very ignorant would make assumptions about the drivers sexual orientation based on the vehicle they drive.

          Masculinity and femininity aren’t exclusive to either sex or either sexual orientation. I am masculine to the point where people have actually argued that I must be joking when I revealed that I’m gay. I have a gay buddy who drives a Suburban and works as a welder, another who drives a lifted F-250, another who has a Wrangler Rubicon, etc and I know a couple straight guys who drive an Altima or other “not masculine” sedan, and so forth.

          I remember now why I was trying to ignore your comments.

      • 0 avatar
        Spartan

        The Ford Horse Snake never made any sense to me. I know it sounds cool (Arrgh Mustang COBRA!), but when you really think about it, it’s an odd name for a car.

    • 0 avatar

      Agree that this name makes the most sense. The Mustang has its best-ever chassis, and Ford hasn’t amortized it yet.

      Australia, Asia, and Europe could respond as well to a sedan as to the Mustange if they’re marketed together to some extent. Falcon is a fine name thanks to Ford Australia’s fine work over the years.

      It makes so much sense that Ford won’t do it.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        “It makes so much sense that Ford won’t do it.”

        Exactly this, and it’s a crying shame, this is the car Ford needs after 20 years of ambien on wheels that Ford has been producing.

  • avatar
    namesakeone

    How about calling it the Ford Clydesdale? Or does Anheuser-Busch have rights to that name?

  • avatar
    Pete Zaitcev

    Anyone remembers how Jeep added 2 doors to Wrangler in 2006 or so? Only took them 60 years to figure that one out. Now 9 of 10 Wranglers sold have 4 doors.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      Exactly, Jeep purists don’t like the 4-door, but it didn’t take anything away from the “Wrangler” name, so win/win. Don’t like a 4-door? Don’t buy one

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      That’s an excellent point. The same could be said for extended cab trucks in the 1970s/80s, and the 4 door (crew cab) trucks in the late ’90s/’00s. A majority of F-150s, Tacomas, etc are 4 doors today. If you said to someone in 1996 that 4 door half ton, midsize and compact trucks were coming, they’d say “who the hell wants that?!” Turns out, damn near everyone lol (says the owner of a GMC Sonoma 4 door, as in yours truly).

      (Yes, small crew cab trucks have been popular elsewhere in the world long before they got started here.)

  • avatar
    slavuta

    Tim,

    “Chevy SS failed because, for the most part, Americans don’t have interest in rear-drive sports sedans that aren’t luxury cars”

    man, you KNOW why Shevy SS failed. But I think, you’re so wrong!! You need to look at the price of that thing! If they stripped everything and sold base model at price of Maxima, this thing would move. But made in Australia, thins thing needed to be loaded to demand the $$ they asked for it. If it was made in Ohio, who knows what it would be like.

    The Mustang sedan is great idea. But at what price?

  • avatar
    WallMeerkat

    I’ve seen mockups of a Mustang sedan, and if the end product ended up looking like them it would be a good looking car. Think BMW 6 series 4 door, or Aston Martin Rapide.

    Not necessarily a bad thing.

    Perhaps they could spin Mustang out to be a subbrand, with the coupe, sedan and Mach1 crossover thing?

  • avatar
    ...m...

    …any mustang sedan should be exclusively branded as a lincoln, and called the mercury…

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    Makes about as much sense as the four-door Cougar (and there was a Cougar station wagon, with wood grain!), or the four-door Grand Prix. Which is to say none.

    It wouldn’t make me go postal, but I think it craps on the whole idea and concept of the Mustang.

  • avatar
    kosmo

    If Ford is reading this, I’d buy a 4 door hatchback Mustang tomorrow, if available in stick shift, V8, GT guise.

    Tomorrow (busy doing wife stuff today).

  • avatar
    slawinlaw

    Call it a Fordor, but don’t call the Mustang a Tudor.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    Give the thing its own sheet metal, and call it the Falcon.

    /swidt?

  • avatar
    dwford

    I don’t see anything wrong with making a performance sedan off the Mustang platform. Obviously it wouldn’t be called Mustang, and might end up a Lincoln instead. Don’t we have people call for a RWD Lincoln off the Mustang platform every time there is an article about Lincoln on here??

  • avatar
    cimarron typeR

    I’ve always wanted a sports sedan on this platform. Everytime I see a Mustang I think – why is this so big? Call it whatever you want(although I’ve mentioned Falcon before) I’m interested.

  • avatar
    Steve203

    The 4 door Mustang is real. I saw it. Posted about it on a FB group the day I saw it a few weeks ago.

    I was pulling out of the Ford Museum onto northbound Oakwood, which also passes the Ford Dearborn proving ground and goes through the Ford engineering campus. It is routine to see cars in camo in this area.

    What I saw, though covered in camo, had an obvious 4 door sedan greenhouse, and a bulging, muscular body that screamed “Mustang”. It was northbound, in the outside lane, which would position it to turn east on Michigan Ave and head for the Ford HQ building.

    I don’t know if Ford would call it a Mustang, or a Thunderbird, or something else, but I lean toward Mustang as that is no doubt the strongest passenger car brand Ford has.

    Why do it after all these years? My bet is Jim Hackett is looking at the profit margins Jag and Alfa make on their big, rear drive, GT sedans and wants a piece of that action.

  • avatar
    Jerome10

    This is such a no brainer I have been wondering why Ford hasn’t done this since the 2005 model was released.

    The fact they have Lincoln makes it even smarter. Platform for a true RWD, correctly proportioned, big bad Lincoln sedan.

    For Ford, if they can price it roughly in the 300 or upper trims of boring family cars, but you can get some performance engines, great styling, hopefully a manual and a V8, I could see this not selling the volume of the Fusion, but at much higher transaction prices and profit per unit.

    I’ve also been asking why Mazda has never done a sport sedan based on the Miata as well. Also seems like a no-brainer.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    In my opinion Ford would be better to offer this as a Lincoln. I doubt there is enough demand for a 4 door rear wheel drive V-8 powered sedan to make it as a Ford. A Lincoln version would compete with the upper trim Mercedes and Jaguar. The few enthusiasts on this website would be interested in a rear wheel drive V-8 powered sedan and would only buy it after someone else took the depreciation hit. Maybe just call it the Lincoln without a sub name because if it is a true luxury sedan then any additional name would not add to its prestige. Keep the name simple but make the car a true luxury car that is actually desirable and gets noticed by everyone. Most American brand cars have lost the appeal they once had and few leave most buyers with the I got to have it and this car states that I have finally arrived. This is what is missing in many so called luxury cars.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      It’s funny you should say this, because the iconic ’61 Lincoln Continental was nothing more then a 4-door Thunderbird. Unfortunately Ford just blew their “Continental” wade on that meh failure, perhaps a Mark 13 or 14?

    • 0 avatar
      Steve203

      ” I doubt there is enough demand for a 4 door rear wheel drive V-8 powered sedan to make it as a Ford. A Lincoln version would compete with the upper trim Mercedes and Jaguar. ”

      The platform and powertrain development are sunk costs as they were already done for the Mustang. Any 4 door development would help amortize the cost.

      Of late, Lincoln seems to have taken Mercury’s place as a retrimmed Ford.

      Mustang is the strongest passenger car brand Ford has. The 4 door prototype I saw in Dearborn clearly had the bulgy, muscular, shape of a Mustang.

      I would not be surprised if Ford’s ambition was to create Mustang as a sub-brand. Use Ford for their line of trucks and boxy SUVs, and use Mustang for a line if high end sports coupes, sedans, and, yes, SUVs, along the line of the Alfa Stelvio.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    Just call it a Thunderbird and be done with it.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Apparently Ford has been thinking about a 4-door Mustang since day one. Doing a bit of googling I discovered this…

    https://d32c3oe4bky4k6.cloudfront.net/articles-videos/-/media/uscamediasite/images/story-images/2018/04/mustang-that-never-were(3).ashx?modified=20180417124501

    Will it actually ever happen?

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