The Corvette’s A Hit: Bring On A Mid-Engine Mustang
The 2020 C8 Corvette is a bonafide hit and Ford has nothing like it. Ford has gone off in one Mustang direction with the Mach-e, but what about the other way? A mid-engine sports car to compete head-to-head with the Corvette? The Mach-e is also sold out for 2021, so the old Mustang profitability is piling up. Why won’t Ford slip some of that pork back to the Mustang brand by developing a mid-engine version? C’mon Ford let’s bring on a mid-engine Mustang.
A mid-engine Mustang wouldn’t have to be $60,000
It doesn’t have to list for $60,000. If it could be profitable for just a tad under $100 thousand that keeps it exclusive, expensive (but not too expensive), and does something else. It puts a halo over the brand that the Ford GT can’t. It’s too obscure and too expensive. It’s too unattainable. It doesn’t hit that sweet spot between enthusiasts and gold-chain Ferrari bros.
This rendering from chopping_pixels Instagram is a fairly literal mid-engine Mustang. Call it retro or hyper-heritage, the Mustang Ford could develop doesn’t need to be so Mustang-y. Just like the Mach-e is not too much like a Mustang. It has the haunches in the rear and a Mustang-like grille but doesn’t go into retro territory.
Would a mid-engine Mustang be V6 or V8?
A milder version of the V6 in the Ford GT would be OK, but maybe those really drooling for a mid-engine Mustang want what most Mustang owners want; a V8. We don’t need to get into the whole V6 vs V8 controversy except to say enthusiasts were disappointed the GT got the V6. Yeah, it won LeMans and all of that but now that Ford has proven whatever it had to prove for the V6 it can take a breath and at least offer the V8.
If the V8 doesn’t sell well then ax it. Play up the V6 as almost the same as what won LeMans, then see how it all fleshes out. But our hunch is the V8 will reign supreme.
Could Ford use components from the GT?
Does it make sense to use components from the GT? It’s hard to say because the parts were designed and made under different parameters. Ford would probably want 25,000-40,000 units to make sense. That’s where the Corvette falls. Would the GT suspension pieces and other components be feasible for a mass-produced $100,000 car?
One thing that helped Daimler-Chrysler flip from cab-forward front-wheel-drive V6 sedans to conventional rear-wheel-drive V8 sedans was Mercedes. Many suspension components and other parts are just cheaper versions of the Mercedes parts, or in some cases the same. It was a quick and proven way to get those new Chryslers and Dodges up and running in 2005.
Ford is well-versed in parts sharing so far be it for us to suggest how it should do it. But, there’s a lesson to speed up development sharing GT components if they can be made within the parameters of the mid-engine Mustang.
Is the Viper a good gauge for a high-price halo car?
Dodge had its Viper for many years, but it was also a low-production proposition. And it wasn’t mid-engine. And let’s be honest; the first and even second-generation versions were a bit crude. Fun, but crude. The highest production for any Viper generation was a bit over 10,000 total for the second-gen. Over 25 years Dodge sold a bit over 31,000 Vipers total.
For the mid-engine Mustang to work it needs more volume. And with the Mustang’s popularity and how sexy this rendering looks, Ford should be working on developing one now if it already isn’t. Will it? It’s got bigger fish to fry, but sometimes there’s more to a popular brand than numbers.