By on October 29, 2019

We’ve all had time to think about Ford’s “Mustang-inspired” electric crossover, a vehicle which seems ready to adopt styling cues — if not whole swaths of real estate — from its pony car stablemate. Imagine an other automaker grafting a close facsimile of the stem and stern of a storied sports car onto a high-riding, four-door CUV. Seems laughable, no?

Well, this exact scenario seems to be what Ford has planned for a vehicle it needs to be successful. If the final product ends up turning heads and not stomachs, can you see the company’s rivals attempting the same? 

This is where you get to play Automotive God, albeit in a minor way. Assuming the entire concept of a Mustang-inspired crossover doesn’t leave you green with nausea, which other automaker would you want to see pursue this cynical gambit?

When Chevrolet debuted its reborn Blazer to weak applause, there was no doubt that the midsize crossover drew some of its design inspiration from the faltering, but nonetheless famous, Camaro. Its platform was snatched from beneath the decidedly non-sports-car-like GMC Acadia. Like the upcoming Ford EV and its design muse, there’s no DNA shared between Blazer and Camaro.

Fiat Chrysler, whose product plans are as hazy and capricious as the dinner itinerary of a wealthy socialite, could probably clean up with a CUV modelled after the aging but beastly Challenger/Charger, but it doesn’t have to. It already has access to those bird-flipping engines, and the likes of the Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee benefit greatly from it. No need to change the lineup.

But maybe we’re thinking too contemporarily? Famous sports cars there are many, but how many are still in production? There’s no rule that a new crossover can’t borrow the visage, the marrow, the essence of sports cars long past. Sure, it would be an odd thing to do, but that doesn’t mean it’s verboten.

What say you? Is the Mustang-inspired crossover a Ford too far, or is there another family-friendly tribute (not Tribute) you’d like to see born? Don’t hesitate to offer powertrain details.

[Image: Ford]

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19 Comments on “QOTD: Searching for Inspiration?...”

  • avatar

    Why not. Porsche is doing it. Lambo. Other car makers are doing it, it’s not exactly a new idea.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Yep. BMW has done it many times.

    • 0 avatar

      Good point, I was all set to admonish the idea, but when you think of the offerings from Porsche and BMW and Merc my thoughts now run to, “why not?”

      I’m still a fan of the upright, boxy crossover, so let’s not neglect that school of design. Will we ever see the new Bronco? Will Ford be able to produce a running copy of any of it?

      Stay tuned…

  • avatar
    Michael S6

    Every European sports car maker has already done so. Ford is one of the last one’s to follow the trend, not the first one. Only difference is this electrical powered.

  • avatar
    Thomas Kreutzer

    I think GM needs to bring back the Vista Cruiser roof. It’d look great on the Acadia or any other crossover and it would raise the roof line enough to maybe offer a bit of stadium seating.

    When we were in Buffalo I owned a Pontiac Torrent and I always liked the Pontiac-family front fascia – that twin snout grill – that it had. I think it looked much better that the Chevrolet Equinox of the same vintage. It also had the Pontiac red dash lights and also, I think (?), some different interior appointments, too. I appreciated that.

    I think a little family resemblance, ala the Mustang, is going to help distinguish all these otherwise bland CUVs from one another. Nothing wrong with that.

  • avatar

    Keep in mind that “family friendly” doesn’t necessarily mean “three row CUV that handles like the Exxon Valdez”. It can simply mean a sporting vehicle with a usable back seat and cargo area. Think Porsche Panamera, or Audi RS7.

    Now, imagine a vehicle like that with Mustang styling, a properly powerful engine, and a well-tuned suspension, selling for $50-60,000.

    Is this somehow bane to a car nut? God, no. And does it somehow besmirch the good name “Mustang”? Not if the car’s good to drive. Ford could do the same thing with a smaller, lower CUV based on the Explorer – a kind of Americanized Macan.

    The real benefit, though, is that expanding the line allows Ford to keep making the “classic” Mustang, just as the Cayenne and Macan allowed Porsche to keep on making 911s and Caymans.

    • 0 avatar

      “Now, imagine a vehicle like that with Mustang styling, a properly powerful engine, and a well-tuned suspension, selling for $50-60,000.”

      The Mustang started out as a Ford Falcon with long-hood/short-rear-deck proportions. Styling cues only date a car, they don’t make its look. Lip-stick on a pig only fools people who want to be fooled, and what perverse people they are.

      • 0 avatar

        Did you stop reading after the word “styling”?

        I personally don’t think there is a justifiable market for it, but there is a difference between making a Ford Escape that just looks like a Mustang and building a Mustang with a different body style.

        • 0 avatar

          A Mustang just looks like a Mustang. The slowest cars and the fastest cars in my high school parking lot were both new Mustangs. Every Mustang has just been a mainstream sedan with a 2+2 body to make it look like something it isn’t. A Mustang that shares its platform with the Escape but has a 2+2 coupe body would be more of a Mustang than a car with the utility of the Escape than can lap VIR in three minutes.

  • avatar

    “When Chevrolet debuted its reborn Blazer to weak applause, there was no doubt that the midsize crossover drew some of its design inspiration from the faltering, but nonetheless famous, Camaro. Its platform was snatched from beneath the decidedly non-sports-car-like GMC Acadia. Like the upcoming Ford EV and its design muse, there’s no DNA shared between Blazer and Camaro.”

    — Interestingly, if you ignore the fact that the Blazer name has an off-road legacy, the new Blazer is a nice-looking rig. My wife has decided she wants something larger than her Renegade and when we went to the Chevy dealer where I bought my truck, the Blazer immediately caught her eye… even before we could see the name on it. She compared it to the Equinox and the Traverse and simply likes it better.

    I do have to agree it draws some styling from the Camaro, a car we both like in many ways but which is too small inside to fit her long legs and even a bit narrow for me behind the wheel. And the Blazer model we looked at carries the same 300-horse V6 as my Colorado while achieving about 4 extra highway mpg (EPA.) Personally, I like the new Blazer but have trouble ignoring the legacy chops of the name.

  • avatar

    Yep I came here just to say, gee wonder if this has anything to do with Chevy rolling out the Blazer, “the Camaro of cute utes”…..personally I am appalled at this blasphemy.

    Can’t wait to see Dodge’s Challengery crossover———

  • avatar

    Definite yes: Four-door Ford GT. Do it.

    Strong maybe: Three-row King Ranch Super Duty.

    Long shot: Transit Raptor.

  • avatar

    The Blazer came to the mid size crossover party about 10 years late, and with only the bare minimum needed to be competitive. This new Mach E or whatever is on a RWD/AWD chassis and all electric – totally different beast. Hopefully Ford doesn’t screw it up.

  • avatar

    Reading here, not sure what I want to see more; Mrs. Vulpines long legs or said Transit Raptor from ToolGuy.

  • avatar

    Electric, CUV and Mustang just don’t sound good in the same sentence. I don’t mind a CUV with Mustang cues however.

  • avatar

    Ford is so lost.

    This furniture guy needs to go ASAP. Mark Fields should have never been let go.

  • avatar

    I afraid this vehicle will flop just like the Bolt. Ford is producing a vehicle that nobody has asked for. At least when it fails maybe Detroit will finally stop pursuing this unrealistic all electric vehicle future. It is simply not going to happen. Besides the last people that are going to buy electric vehicles are muscle car and truck customers.

    • 0 avatar

      @akear: This model appears to be notably different from the Bolt. The Bolt’s problem is that it was built as a city car first, with no aspirations towards sportiness or family comfort for road trips. Nearly everyone who has bought one has labeled it as a ‘daily driver’ and not mentioned ‘fun’. Some few have attempted long runs in the Bolt and while it can manage a decent distance on a single charge, the recharging network is somewhat lacking in inter-city placement and charging speed–topping out at roughly 50kW per hour, meaning a partial charge would take nearly an hour at best and a full charge possibly up to 3-4 hours per stop. The small size of the battery (relatively speaking) would expect to see faster charging but even with a high-speed charger available, the car’s own circuits limit that rate to less than 50kWh.

      As yet, we know almost nothing about the Ford model and we really can’t use Ford’s previous product as a reference–except as a starting point and no more. Considering this is meant to be Mustang-based and is advertised as a “performance” CUV, I expect range to be longer and the handling more ‘fun’ than the Bolt. I also expect it will carry a larger battery than the Bolt.

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