The name “Ford” is not the sexiest moniker in the automotive world right now. So it’s no surprise the company is building up its sub-brands that do resonate. The Bronco is launching as a stable of vehicles, with both a hardcore off-roader and a compact crossover rolling out the gate at first (and a pickup truck possibly behind them). And Ford has already branched out the Mustang, in the form of the Mustang Mach-E electric crossover. Could this trend extend all the way to a Ford Mustang sedan?
Well, it could could happen. A Ford source told Autoweek last month that, barring perhaps a pickup truck, virtually anything is on the table for the Mustang.
“Who knows what the timeframe is in this COVID atmosphere we’re in but yeah, we’re looking at more EVs, hybrids, sedans, crossovers, coupe EVs, convertible EVs, rear-drive, all-wheel drive, you name it. There’s probably going to be a fistfight over a pickup called Mustang, though,” the source said.
While some might find this idea controversial, even heretical, we take a different tact. A Mustang sedan would be a great move.
One of the major problems with the present Mustang is its outmoded two-door body style; it can be uncomfortable to enter and exit, even if you’re relatively young and limber. The back seat, there to satisfy tradition, is a complete nuisance to access, especially if there’s a car seat involved. A four-door could help resolve that issue, opening up the Mustang’s performance to legions of new buyers.
Indeed, Ford not having a more practical Mustang likely means leaving potential sales on the table. The inability to accommodate kids with ease eliminates much of the potential market; that pretty much just leaves young buyers (who may not be able to afford the car) and older buyers who want to feel young (but can’t scramble in and out very well).
Ford would do well to look at the Jeep Wrangler, an American icon with similar brand resonance; Jeep sold about three times as many Wranglers as Ford did Mustangs last year, and the reason the SUV has become a sales phenomenon the past decade-plus was its decision to cast aside tradition and add a second row of doors. (The four-door now accounts for about 90 percent of Wrangler sales.)
Indeed, examples of four-door enthusiast cars taking the lead over two-door versions abound. The Volkswagen GTI, notably, killed off its traditional two-door model. Upstart Mustang competitors like the Kia Stinger aren’t even bothering with a two-door coupe version.
Admittedly, a four-door Mustang would look weird — at first. But if Ford does it correctly and keeps the Mustang’s style and performance, a sedan versioncould push the Mustang well beyond its enthusiast base. Like the Wrangler Unlimited, we could soon be wondering why Ford didn’t do it sooner.
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