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Next Generation Mustang

hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
edited March 2014 in Ford
What direction will the next generation Mustang take? Will it retain retro styling, and continue in the traditional muscle-pony car tradition, or will it break with the past, as it did in the mid '70s? For now we can only speculate. One thing's for sure, and that is that there are powerful forces which would resist change, but similarly powerful forces pushing for change.

With the soon-to-be introduced Dodge Challenger, Chevy Camaro, and RWD Hyundai Genesis Coupe, it occurred to me that these cars, especially the '09 large, heavy American pony cars, will run into some strong fuel economy headwinds. Will this prompt Ford to downsize the next generation Mustang, as it did the '74 Mustang II? Despite the Mustang II's negative reputation, it's quite possible that Ford will decide to maintain, or even enhance, the Mustang's performance, through weight reductions, and largely by using turbo fours and V6s in place of the current V6 and V8. The Genesis coupe will follow this approach, and I predict it will be succesful. I think the Mustang would still be available with a V8, because some equate Mustang with V8 performance, but it would be a high cost option that would account for a smaller percentage of sales than it does today.

Some would find such changes very disappointing, even though I'm sure Ford wouldn't repeat the mistakes it made with the Mustang II, which was a poor performer compared with some of its '70s peers. I think that if the Mustang is downsized again, that it will be the result of necessity. It will be because, as the song says, "the time they are achangin'."

Comments

  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    The trend in size and power has resulted in bigger and heavier vehicles with each redesign. This is what happened between the introduction of the Mustang in '64 through the '83 model. Ford realized that the bloated '73s couldn't satisfy the mileage requirements that resulted from embargoed oil. In addition to the new stress on fuel economy in the mid '70s, people woke up to the fact that the Mustang had evolved from being a fresh and exciting looking, affordable, and nimble handling fun design, that everybody liked, to a bloated personal luxo-coupe.

    Trends go in cycles, so at a certain point the trend reverses, or the brand dies. I predict the new Camaro and Magnum will sell very well initially, mainly to nostalgia buffs, but once that initial demand is satisfied - say by the end of the second model year - sales will fall off rather quickly. Why? Because, in my opinion, in an age of $3-$4 gasoline, or maybe $5 by 2010-2011, a trimmer car (not as small as the Mustang II, but more like the '64-'66 Mustang) is the size that will make it easier to deliver acceptable fuel economy. A lesson learned from the Mustang II experience is that the power-to-weight ratio should remain about the same, so that perfomance remains exciting. The Mustang II, especially the wheezy 4, was a slug. The new turbo 4, by contrast, will deliver performance on par with the '08 V6. Similarly, the 3.5-3.8 V6 will deliver ~300 hp, and more (up to 500+ hp) in turbo form.

    As I said in my previous message, I think that a V8 option will continue to be available, for these who prefer it, but the top performing Mustang may be the turbo V6.

    Incidentally, I read that Ford plans to substitute its new, modern 3.5 V6 for the current 4.0 V6. The new engine will perform at least as well as the 4.0, while delivering better gas mileage and smoothness.

    The current Mustang is scheduled for a refreshing for '09, so the next generation will be due in '11 or '12. That's a long time from now, but it'll be tbe best Mustang yet. The base engine for the '09 may be the 3.5, or maybe the 3.7 version from the Lincoln.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    I read that the new 3.5 V6 will be substituted for the old design 4.0, but it didn't say when. The new engine is more refined than the old one, which has been described as course, and probably makes similar power, while delivering better fuel economy.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    An article in the April issue of Motor Trend (pp. 45 & 15) suggests that Ford may substitute a direct injection turbo version of its new 3.7 EcoBoost V6 for the 300 hp V8 in the GT. The reason cited for this is the need to increase fuel economy. Similarly, an EcoBoost 4 may replace V6s in some Ford products. The article indicated that the 35 mpg by 2020 law will begin to be phased in in 2012, so Ford, GM, and Chrysler will be under pressure to modify their pony cars to achieve better gas mileage.

    Ford is concerned that, even though its EcoBoost V6 will deliver more horsepower than the V8, and contribute to improved handling, due to its lighter weight compared with the V8, many Mustang buyers associate the Mustang with a V8 engine. A V6, even a better performing one, may not be acceptable. It won't have the same rumble, of course.

    I wonder what would happen to Harley sales if they changed the sound, while improving performance.
  • tms3tms3 Posts: 1
    ford has ran the mustang into the ground. they took a car with a great history and ruined it :mad:
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    You made a very bold statement, but it leaves us readers wondering why you feel the way you do. Many people would disagree with you, since, until just recently, Mustang sales have been strong.

    How did Ford ruin the Mustang?

    What would you have done differently, had you been CEO of Ford?
This discussion has been closed.