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At the 2012 Detroit Auto Show, Ford‘s head of product development Derrick Kuzak addressed some of the rumors circulating about their famed Mustang sports car. Though many of Kuzak’s answers are vague and don’t give a real conclusion, some reading in between the lines gives us a hint of things to come.
In terms of independent rear suspension being a possibility for the next-generation Mustang, Kuzak stated that it was a tad early to even speak about it but that recognizing Ford’s commitment to product excellence, “it will probably give you a sense of direction we [Ford] have.” But things got interesting when asked about a four-cylinder Mustang, Kuzak answered with:
Let me put this in context. When we talked about downsizing to six-cylinders in F-series trucks several years ago, people looked at us like we were crazy. You can take the same view about Mustang.”
While Ford’s CEO Alan Mulally said, “This is one of the coolest things about EcoBoost. You get all that torque at the low rpm so you not only get all the bandwidth, but you get a machine that’s even more fun to drive. We didn’t know how everybody was going to accept that, but wow have they ever accepted that.”
Even though it clearly doesn’t state anything – and we never expected Ford to come outright and say a four-cylinder Mustang is in the works – it’s not hard to believe that a Mustang with an EcoBoost four-cylinder is already being developed.
[Source: Automobile Magazine]
Future Mustang may go global targeting cars like the BMW M3
Ford is planning an independent rear suspension (IRS) for the next-generation Mustang. Due out in 2014, this next model will celebrate 50 years of the iconic pony car.
The news comes from Motor Trend after discussions with several Ford execs and one unnamed company insider. It is also based on several assumptions, which include the fact that a new global independent rear end platform is in the works after Ford canceled plans for a different rear-drive independent platform that was to underpin the Mustang, next generation Ford Falcon (in Australia) and an upcoming Lincoln model.
A new Mustang-based IRS platform would mean that the Falcon and Lincoln models would be canceled – which Ford has indicated is already the case for the Falcon, a model that has seen sales slum considerably over the past several years.
In order to make a new IRS platform affordable, Ford would have to take the Mustang global. While this does meet with Ford’s new One Ford approach for global platforms, in our recent discussions with Ford marketing boss Jim Farley, he indicated that the Mustang wasn’t likely to ever become a global seller.
Many of the details are still unclear and the report suggests the next Mustang may simply be an evolution of the current car or that it may go in two other very-different directions. The first would be along the lines of the BMW M3, shrinking the size of the car and using a twin-turbo EcoBoost V6. The second would be to take the car to an almost exotic level and take on cars like the Nissan GT-R.