The mere suggestion of adding two doors to the long-standing Mustang coupe seems like heresy. Even the simple idea of a sedan wearing the Mustang name would have, at one time, caused me to wretch violently at the thought. It’s a sports car, not a family sedan! Towards what end would adding another two doors make the Mustang a better car?
Well this is no Aprils Fools day joke, ladies and gentlemen. I think the time for a four-door Mustang is fast approaching, and it could be the only way the Mustang brand survives the coming years.
What do I mean? Quite simply, Ford’s new approach to producing vehicles is under the “One Ford” plan, whereby every car will have a global equivalent, and one platform can underpin numerous vehicles. The best example of this is the all-new Ford Focus, which will come in sedan, hatchback, coupe, minivan (C-Max), and perhaps even an all-wheel drive crossover (Vertrek Concept).
By utilizing multiple vehicles on a single platform, Ford can cut production and retooling costs as well as minimize the number of platforms it develops, and spare parts it must product. Ford is doing this to become a leaner, meaner, car producer, and all of its models will soon fall under this plan. Including the Mustang.
As it stands, the Mustang is the only Ford without a Lincoln or European equivalent. You can’t buy a Mustang anywhere but North America, and it’s only available as a rear-wheel coupe or convertible. Mustang sales have been slipping as of late in the face of renewed competition from the Camaro and Challenger.
So the Mustang really needs to define itself with the next generation and stand out from the rest. But to fit into the “One Ford” plan, it also has to be a variable vehicle, a car that is more than just a two-door, rear-wheel drive pony car. We need a sporty, rear-wheel drive sedan from Ford.
And it should be based on the Mustang.
“You’re a madman!” some of you must be thinking, but keep reading on and tell me if this idea is as crazy as it sounds.
Since its inception, the Ford Mustang has had two doors but four seats. Let’s be honest, how comfortable are those rear seats? Not very, unless you’re using it for children (or making them).
And while we’re on the subject of Mustangs and children, how many hardworking men (and moms) have had to give up their Mustang and settle for some bland sedan to shuttle the kids to school in? Too many, I wager. The last “sporty” sedan Ford offered was the Mercury Marauder, and let’s be honest, any “sports” car based on the Panther platform can’t be very sporty, can it?
No. We need a four-door Mustang. We’re sure Ford’s engineers are hard at work designing the 2014 Mustang for the 50th anniversary of the original pony car. We already know that global designers are going to have a hand in designing this new Mustang for the first time, and that Ford wants to share platforms between Europe, America, and the rest of the world.
The Mustang already has a loyal following and a huge aftermarket. Imagine being able to buy a four-door sport sedan with the aftermarket following of the Mustang? It’d be absolutely bonkers. With the new 5.0 liter V8, all the remarkable improvements to suspension and handling, and the cult-like following of Mustang fans, a rear-drive Mustang sedan would be a hit.
But should it be called a Mustang?
Absolutely. The name itself is among the most recognizable in the world, not just America. Of course there will still be a coupe version, and that would likely make up a majority of the sales. But if Porsche can build the Panamera S sports sedan, and GM can find success with the CTS-V sports sedan, then why can’t Ford build a fast four-door?
And don’t talk to me about the Taurus SHO. It’s a nice car, but too heavy, without enough horsepower or rear-wheel drive. That’s lose-lose-lose, even if rumors of a 400 horsepower version of the SHO are true (it’s still a 4,300 pound sedan with all-wheel drive. Not fun.) A sedan Mustang would have huge appeal, and if you worry about diluting the Mustang name, just look what has happened with the new Charger.
Sure, there were some very vocal critics at the thought of a four-door Charger. Then they shut up and got to know an excellent full-size sedan that just happens to have high horsepower and rear-wheel drive options. Say what you will of the Charger, but it’s sold pretty damn well.
Ford needs to get in on that. Oh wait, they already have down in Australia, with the Falcon GT. Four-doors, lots of horsepower, and a well-known name. Plus there’s even a Ute option, and sportwagons seem to be making a comeback too. So why not a Mustang? Ford’s toyed with the ideas before…so why not give it a shot, while Ford is on an upswing? Even if it is a horrible flop, Mustang fans will forgive. They got over the Pinto-based Mustang II, didn’t they?
2014 is just a few years away, and Ford surely has a lot of special things planned for the Mustang. I’m hoping a four-door Mustang might be in the works, as crazy as that sounds. What do you guys think?