The idea of a sub-Mustang sports coupe from Ford sounds enticing, but if the latest rumor from Autocar is to be believed, Ford of Europe has just put on pause the development of such a model. Most likely with the European automotive market’s troubles in mind, a sub-Mustang Ford sports coupe that could potentially have come to the U.S. at some point — you never know — has been shelved.
Based on one of Ford’s existing platforms, the car would help the automaker attract more enthusiasts in Europe. While the next-generation Ford Mustang will be available for sale in Europe, high gas prices may still keep the large rear-drive coupe a low-volume product. Currently, the 2013 Ford Mustang gets up to 31 mpg on the highway and 19 mpg in the city with a 3.7-liter V-6 and a six-speed automatic transmission. The 2015 Ford Mustang is expected to benefit from EcoBoost technology — possibly even in four-cylinder form — to simultaneously boost power and fuel economy, as we’ve seen with the 2014 Ford Fiesta’s available three-cylinder EcoBoost powerplant.
Ford’s European wing has a long history of building sporty models, from a range of hotted-up Escorts, to the teensy Puma and the larger Cougar, to the Ford Capri, and recent entries like the prior Focus RS. The American market used to entertain sporty small cars, too, with entries like the Probe and an SVT version of the Contour sedan.
But with car sales already falling across the pond — Ford of Europe expects to lose $1.5 billion this year as car sales there have dropped to the lowest point in two decades — it’s tough to justify a low-volume, limited-appeal model like a small sports coupe.
Ford will soon have the Fiesta ST and the Focus ST models to satisfy those who still want a fun-to-drive yet relatively inexpensive driving experience, but neither hot hatch is really capable of rising to the status of halo car as the Mustang does (a 2013 model is shown at right). Such vehicles may not generate a consistent profit, but can bring into dealerships customers who want to kick the tires of a sports car but end up buying a sensible four-door sedan or hatchback. Though there aren’t any official details on the sub-Mustang two-door, the car would likely sport eye-catching styling, possibly adopting the Aston Martin-like grille we’ve started to see on other U.S.-spec Fords. An EcoBoost engine would probably fit under the hood.
Of course, at this point the sub-Mustang Ford coupe remains just a rumored design proposal. That’s why we’re asking you the question: If you were Alan Mulally, would you approve a sub-Mustang sports coupe for Europe despite the market’s ongoing issues? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.
2015 Ford Mustang spy shots are included in the gallery below along with two renderings of what the Mustang could look like and three current-generation Ford Mustang photos. Jake Holmes contributed to this post.
By Zach Gale