Ford is Aiming for Non-Electric, Mustang-Based, Performance Crossovers
These crossovers could carry the Mustang name, tooby Kirby, on
Ford’s obsession with building crossovers and SUVs is nothing new. Ford’s seeming obsession with using old performance nameplates for its crossovers is also, apparently, nothing new, as shown by a previous report indicating the company’s plans to develop an all-electric Mustang SUV, which followed an earlier report that the company was toying with the idea of using the “Mach 1” nameplate on a future performance SUV. Now, Ford is going all-in on this plan after a new rumor indicates that the Blue Oval is planning to create a fleet of performance crossovers that will be given the Mustang name. None of this is final at the moment, but even the simplest of hints that there’s something brewing over at Dearborn, Michigan suggests that Ford’s obsession with rolling out as many crossover and SUV variants as it can get isn’t going away anytime soon.
A Ford Mustang-Based Performance SUV Could Be on the Way
While rumors and reports of a Ford Mustang SUV aren’t exactly new, this is still pretty jarring to the senses. It’s hard to believe that automakers, in a mad dash to roll out as many crossovers and SUVs as they can to take advantage of the growing demand for these models, are finding new ways to capitalize on the segment. Ford’s not the only one doing this. A lot of other automakers are in the same boat. Heck, we just saw a new startup company, GFG Style, unveil the Kangaroo — it’s a supercar with the ride height of a crossover — at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show.
Ford’s in front of the spotlight because it’s shown no hesitancy in tapping into some of its most iconic nameplates in the name of pushing its crossover and SUV plans forward. Remember the “Mach 1” fiasco last year?
Ford, in all its genius, decided to use the legendary Mustang nameplate on an electric SUV.
It even rolled out a few teasers to drum up some excitement for the model. Unfortunately, Ford’s plan backfired when the Mustang-loving public threw a collective fit, admonishing the automaker for even thinking about one of the most legendary Mustang-associated nameplates on a crossover. People thought Ford was selling the Mach 1 name out and the outrage that ensued forced the company to back down from those plans, or at least it did until a patent filing revealed that the new electric model would be called “Mach-E.” It’s semantics at this point, but at the end of the day, it goes to show that Ford is serious about attaching some of its most famous nameplates on future crossovers and SUVs.
Now, it’s doing it to the what is, without question, its most famous nameplate: the Mustang.
Like it or not, The Drive is reporting that an article in the April 2019 issue of Motor Trend revealed that a lineup of sporty Blue Oval SUVs will arrive and be heavily inspired by the Mustang. The report isn’t talking about loose inspirations like similar headlamps or racing stripes. It’s talking about a lineup of SUVs that will look like the Mustang, ride like the Mustang, and, well, get the Mustang name.
Granted, the planned SUVs will ride on the same platform used by the Ford Explorer and the Lincoln Aviator so at least they won’t have the Mustang’s guts in them. Still, I don’t understand the plan to use the Mustang name on…SUVs. That’s like Volkswagen announcing that the new Beetle would return in SUV form. Or Toyota suddenly deciding that a Corolla SUV is the equivalent of money falling from down from the skies.
From a business perspective, it makes sense for Ford to leverage the Mustang’s name because of how popular it is. Even if there are catcalls from Mustang purists, there will be enough people in the market who will buy one, especially if it lives up to the performance standards of the Mustang. There’s money to be made in that front, especially since most of these SUVs will reportedly receive international combustion engines that may or may not come with hybrid assistance. According to the Motor Trend report, these SUVs will feature design cues from the Mustang wrapped in a BMW X4-like design and will be combined with non-Shelby Mustang levels of power. It’s admittedly intriguing, at least if you think about it from that lens. But does Ford really have to brand them as “Mustangs?”
Apparently, even if Ford canned the idea of using the “Mach 1” name on its electric SUV, it found a way to still use it without actually using the exact nameplate. That tells you that despite all the negative reactions it received with its plan, it still went with using a different version of the same nameplate. It’s a rose by another name, but it’s still a rose at the end of the day.
The good news, at least for people like us who are down on the idea of seeing Mustang-branded SUVs, is that none of this is set in stone. Personally, I’m intrigued about Ford’s plan to create a series of performance crossovers with Mustang-like credentials. That’s a formula that sounds like it’s going to make a lot of money for Ford down the road. But if these models end up using the Mustang name, don’t be surprised if they’re met with some resistance from purists who are hell-bent on keeping the Mustang sacred. Don’t be surprised, too, if I end up being one of them.
Read our full speculative review on the 2020 Ford Mach 1.
Read our full review on the 2018 Ford Mustang.
Check out our full review of the 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1
Dig into our full review of the 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429.
Get into touch with our history of the Ford Mustang from 1964 - 2006