1) Gas is 4 bucks a gallon. International turmoil in any of the
World's oil rich regions could send oil prices surging again.
2) GM is rumored to be very seriously considering, and perhaps have
already made the decision, to offer the Sky's/Solstice's 260HP turbo-
four cylinder in a base Camaro.
3) Hyundai's new RWD Genesis coupe offers a 212 HP 2.0-liter
turbocharged four-cylinder engine.
4) There's a huge group of young 20-year/young 30-year olds who love
sporty 4-cylinder/turbocharged cars. Cars like the VW GTIs, Civics,
Eclipses/Talons, Miatas, etc.
5) Ford has now a long history of retro re-dos to keep stoking
interest in their ever-popular pony car.
I say it's time for Ford to build a new SVO Mustang.
Here's the formula I propose:
The Road Racing Element
Engine -- new EcoBoost four-cylinder. It's rumored to put out
250 HP and 300 lb-ft of torque, in pickup truck form. I suggest a
Ford "tuner package" to pump it up to about 270-275. Then offer an
over-the-counter Motorsport upgrade package for about 350.
Brakes -- steal the GT-500's calipers/rotors. Then add air-dam fed
cooling hoses for the front brakes / rear quarter panel scoops/cooling
hoses to feed the rear brakes.
Shocks/struts - Konis
Well, that's not really up for debate.
But you DO know that the 03,04 Cobra's were equipped with IRS?
You want a total retro, buy a kit car or something, otherwise paying
homage to the marque is just some visual cues on a MODERN chassis.
P.S. THEN slap an SVO label on it :]
Sometimes I wonder whether satire is worth the effort...
Seems to me that Ford is still building the Mustang as cheaply as possible,
within reason. It's important, after all, to keep the selling price down -
not in the grocery-getter category, but certainly within reachable limits
for possible buyers. IRS at this point is a non-starter for the Mustang.
It's selling just fine without it, and adding it wouldn't increase sales
And I know that "retro" applies only to the body styling.
All that aside, I have no problem with a 4-cylinder SVO-style current model.
A 4-cylinder engine doesn't have to be boring, but I wonder whether the
Mustang is too hefty for this approach. The Focus, even the Fusion, would be
a great little car in SVO clothing, and probably more appealing to that
If you're looking to maximize fuel mileage, the Mustang - SVO or otherwise -
would be a rather poor choice.
But here's the thought. A modern SVO/4-cylinder Mustang could help
change the minds of a certain market segment who view the Mustang as
nothing more than a gas-guzzling muscle machine or a retro V8
dinosaur. I think an SVO model would change the imagine of the
Mustang as being "in step with the times" AND help get the young, road
racing, 4-cylinder tuner market to consider a Mustang.
That may be true, but probably not in sufficient numbers to make it
worthwhile. I just don't think that the Mustang is the vehicle for this
approach, precisely because it was designed to be the polar opposite.
If the idea is to deliver high fuel efficiency together with high
performance, while at the same time attracting the tuner crowd... then it
seems that you want that silk purse from a sow's ear here. In that brave new
world, the Mustang really IS a dinosaur.
I think the SVT folks did a pretty nice job with the Contour (but they
should also have offered something other than a manual shifter). If they
could do a similar makeover with the Focus, while aiming for 35mpg,
eye-opening performance, and a retail price under $25,000, they'd have a
winner. A small-market-segment winner, but still a winner for today and
Put your 4-cylinder in a Mustang, along with all of the other SVO goodies,
and how many copies would you realistically expect to sell?
I think you are right. The higher performance Mustangs are seldom
bought by the youth crowd. The insurance rates and car prices combined
prevent it for all but a very few people. They buy the rice rockets
because they can be insured reasonable and purchased for well under
$20k. IMO, the current Mustang is the ideal car for its intended market
and purpose. If Ford goes after the youth crowd they will have to do it
with the base model but even then I don't think they will find many
buyers there. Then doing so will likely lose them more middle aged and
over buyers thus resulting in a net loss in sales.
Ford had a good moniker in the SVT name plate they tacked onto
performance variants of their mundane cars. It also actually meant
something regarding improved performance. Then like Ford typically
does, they flushed all their hard marketing work creating the SVT mystic
right down the toilet.
I think Ford needs to put the Mustang on a serious weight diet and
shrink its dimensions a little. Losing weight helps mileage and gives a
great handling, stopping and acceleration boost. It would turn the base
Mustang into a competitor with many imports, IMO.
I think you guys are missing the point. A modern SVO would only bring
attention to the fact a 4-cylinder Mustang exists.
The secretary types would be drawn in because they like the Mustang's
styling and could get an economy (base model) 4-cylinder engine.
The young crowd would like it because they could see the potential of
the 4-cylinder SVO, yet could purchase the lesser 4-cylinder model to
get the lower sticker price and insurance rate. Then if Ford did it
right, the buyers.owners could later purchase all the SVO's parts from
It's mind numbing isn't it? These execs make millions yet make such
bone-headed decisions. They never seem to learn from the competitors
who are kicking their ass, but when they do they use their stupidest
ideas -- i.e. Lincoln's three letter monikers.
Damn near everything needs to go on a diet now days. But
unfortunately we've been safetied to death (does that make sense?).
What's the average air bag count now? Four? And everyone wants to be
driving their living room -- leather, pushbutton, adjustable
everything. We have climate/speed/roll/braking control, cameras, GPS,
cupholders, mega-multi speaker systems, etc. It's like we've taken a
raw athlete from yesteryear, improved his condition & training to
elite status, but over the years have saddled him with a backpack and
we keep adding more and more poundage for him to carry. He still
performs damn good, but if we could only remove the backpack, or least
the very least cut some of it's bulk.
I have to disagree because I don't think marketing would expose an SVO
to the masses. They'd target their niche and do vertical advertising.
Styling, yes. But 4-banger, no. There are plenty of other 4-bangers
that those secretaries would love to be seen in moreso than a Mustang -
especially for less money.
An SVO 4-banger Mustang couldn't match what's already out there,
especially when you consider cost. The Mustang simply isn't the right
platform for a 4-banger SVO car.
Agreed - and those commercials where the car's taking off like a jet are
When we have laws that mandate helmets for kids riding bicycles, you
know it's beyond absurd. I still long for the days of bench seats, no
seatbelts, and huge, plastic steering wheels with sharp metal horn rims.
Welcome to the 21st century. Those consumers mentioned above (that
"young crowd") demand those things. They're the same ones that waited
on line overnight to buy the new iPhone 3G.
Again, agreed, but today's buyers want and/or simply accept the bulk.
To get back on topic, an SVO Mustang just isn't "right" - IMO, the
Mustang platform doesn't lend itself to that type of engineering.
IMO again, Ford needs a new car to go up against the current crop of
"tuner" cars that will compete in performance, handling, _and_ looks.
Marketing-wise, they need another Mustang, but the car itself would have
to compete directly with Civic Si, GTI, MazdaSpeed, WRX, etc. This is
where SVO needs to be.
Perhaps. But I do think the return, after 15+ years, of a 4-cylinder
engine in a Mustang would make the news circuit. And if Ford did it
right, the SVO could attract the road racing/tuner types, and standard
4 banger to those who think the Mustang is just a muscle
Keep in mind though that today's 4-bangers aren't the 99 HP weaklings
I'm thinking the young boomer females who want the styling they grew
up with and the economy a 4-cylinder promises.
I disagree. I think it's time for the Mustang to do some incremental
changes before it ends up having to doing major ones later -- ala'
1973 to the 1974 Mustang. I say start trimming the dimensions a bit
(like the latest Vette did), cut some weight, and offer an entry-level
4-cylinder. And the SVO version would keep the enthusiasts happy and
Yet, surprisingly, Ford is currently in the best position of the three
companies to survive.
Okay, maybe not that far back.
But IMO< of "need" for options and gadgets is nearly absurd. It's
ranking right in there with carting 1.5 kids (or whatever today's
average offspring count is) around in lumbering, 5,000+ pound, 8-
The same ones that got taken when Apple later dropped the price of
their first gen iPhone by a few hundred bucks a couple months after
The next gen (Euro) Focus is going to do that. Yes, America is
finally going to get the Euro version.
It would certainly make the news circuit, but I'm not sure it would make
a huge impression on Joe Consumer. They'd still see a Mustang and
they'd have their preconceived notions of what it was, regardless of
what it is.
For an SVO car to attract road racing/tuner types, I think it would have
to be something other than a Mustang. There's a lot of history
associated with the Mustang name - most of which is on the other side of
the fence from tuner cars.
Exactly. And that's one reason why I think those girls would go for
something other than a Mustang. It would be interesting to ask 250
young, professional women which car they'd rather drive - a Scion tC or
At this stage, I think a new Mustang platform that would be used for a
lightweight turbo 4 as well as a 300+ hp GT would simply cost too much
to engineer and produce. If a turbo 4 from SVO is to appear, I think it
would have to be a car other than the Mustang.
I'm not so sure after the last quarter. Ford posted a loss of $8.7
billion, the largest loss in their history. They're betting on the
Flex, MKX, and future cars, but those new cars may not appear until it's
In order for Ford to not only survive but be competitive, they need cars
like what Toyota and Honda are offering right now. I just don't see
Being the old curmudgeon that I am, I fully agree. Today's consumers
are totally spoiled. But you know, that's what parents of every
generation say. Those spoiled kids of today will say the same thing
about their kids in 15 years.
Yup. Gullibile snots, ain't they? ;)
I certainly hope you're right. But if that car appeared in showrooms
this week, it wouldn't be a minute too soon.
That is a problem, IMO. There are just too many good four cylinder cars
out there and many are lighter, more powerful and handle better than the
current base Mustang. That is a market niche that Ford can't crack with
the current chassis.
The current chassis is just too heavy for a economic four cylinder
engine. There are too many other cars in this class that are better
from all aspects. Now if ford wants to really make a market niche for
themselves then they need to shrink the Mustang a tad, lighten it up A
LOT, add an independent rear suspension, give it a nice V-6 or four
cylinder engine and keep it rear wheel drive. This would get the
attention of the youth crowd, IMO. Then they could make an SVT version
with a twin turbo V-6. I could go for that and so could my 23 year old son.
Ford has created about 75% of their current problems through bone headed
I think the weight of cars is due more to laziness by the engineers than
anything else. They haven't moved to use lighter materials and really
focused on trimming weight on EVERY component. If they looked at
shaving a percentage of the weight of every component they could make
some big reductions in weight.
Bring back the 2004-style Mustang as vehicle for the aero and engine
improvements and you'll have a better chance of making a compromise
product with decent economy/performance and sales prospects, my view.
Much as I like my S197, it's too much like me (overweight and the
wrong shape) to prosper in a reduced fossil-dependence world.
IIRC, and I'd almost positive I do, the pre-94 LX Foxes were the most
aero Mustang -- they were .36. The GT's were .38.
Despite their more slippery appearance, the '94-'04 were .38.
And as for weight the 80's Foxes they were about 200 lbs
Anyone for a retro Fox to be the next generation Mustang? ;-)
Everything is porky now days. Hell, look at the Porshes. They were
never close to 3,000 lbs; now they can't get down to anywhere near
3,000. Only the Corvette has lost weight and kept it off.
The weight issue has a lot to do with today's safety requirements, added
electronics, and other stuff that was never in older vehicles. Except
for entry-level stripper econoboxes, lean, mean, no-op cars are pretty
The current Focus, IMO, has been neutered; it's styling now vanilla.
Bring on the European version.
SVT Fusion - yes. But that does nothing to expand Mustang's
It's time, IMO, for the pony car to evolve, again. The Camaro will
likely have a four offered, the Challenger has a multi-displacement
six, and I think the Mustang needs to offer more than an old six at
I say not as much if they offer a modern four and six.
The Mustang can't continue with just a HiPo V8 and an old six. IMO,
it would have been like soldiering on with the '71-'73 style through
the 70s. (I'm not advocating another Mustang 2.) And I think a hot
four-cylinder model, with a milder 4 version later, would be a great
way show the Mustang as being more than a one trick (V8 Dinosaur)
Just enough to get the market buzzing, although I think an "economy",
performance pony car would do pretty well right now.
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