Polish Automaker Mashes Together a Ford Mustang, Chevy Camaro, and Mercedes-AMG; Takes Heat From Ford
Is Ford mad because this mashup is better than the standard Mustang?by Michael Fira, on
Did you ever lay in your bed late at night, eyes wide-open, dreaming about the resurrection of Warszawa? No? Well, it’s back regardless, in the form of one of the most bizarre Mustang-based coupes you’ll ever see.
KHM Motors started off with a 2016 Mustang GT which they tried to restyle in a way that would honor the first mass-produced car in Poland: the FSO Warszawa M20 based on the Soviet GAZ-M20 Pobeda. Upon first seeing the Pobeda you’ll first think "That’s a blatant copy of an American car from the ’40s!" and then wonder why KHM Motors chose a Mustang to honor the hunchbacked sedan.
After all was said and done Ford Europe wanted to make it clear that they had nothing to do with the car. Their response came after KHM misleadingly put the Ford logo on their website - a move that Ford saw as lawless while KHM saw it as "a sign of respect for the brand".
Read on to learn more about the Warszawa M20 GT.
The wide world of automotive builders is filled with niche constructors who take mass-produced cars and make them their own to some extent. That was also the desire of KHM Motors, a Polish company whose aim is to revive, with a modern twist, classic Polish cars.
Their first stab at it was, naturally, the first car that was mass-produced in Poland after the Second World War. That happened to be the FSO Warszawa M20 which was made under license from GAZ between 1951 and 1973.
To put it into perspective, the original GAZ-M20 Pobeda was penned somewhere in the late '30s, and the car's production cycle in the Soviet Union ended in 1958.
To bring a smile on the faces of those who love putting on their rose-tinted glasses and rekindle the past, KHM took your average 2016 Mustang GT equipped with the 5.0-liter Coyote V8 which produces 420 horsepower - down on the 435 it makes under the hood of an unadulterated Mustang.
Nonetheless, the company’s main focus was to redesign the GT to make it similar to the original M20. A completely new front end was designed with a large grille punctuated by a chromed bar in the lower region and new headlight units which are some of the tackiest you’ll ever see. The main headlamp features LED technology, but what’s cringe-inducing is the way they placed the indicators right below the headlamps in a row of six circular lights. It doesn’t reach Mitsuoka or Ssangyong-level awfulness, but it’s not a face we’d want to wake up next to.
The hood’s also been modified with a large hump being modeled across the middle. It’s something that should remind you vaguely of the original’s protruding hood.
Further modifications have been done to the fender shape, to accommodate the new nose, the door panels and the lower skirt area which pokes out following a weird line.
KHM claims that most of the body panels are new and that’s also noticeable when you see the rear end – because it’s stolen from a Mercedes AMG GT. Yes, they admit to using the Merc’s taillights, but they’ve basically copied the whole line of the rear end and the line of the trunk to make the taillights fit in the picture.
With such a creepy exterior – which should have some Camaro parts thrown in there somewhere for good measure, according to KHM – you’d hope that the interior is what saves the Warszawa. Well, in a way, it is. All of the plastics on the Mustang were binned and, in their place, KHM dumped tons of leather on the seats upholstery, door panels, dashboard, steering wheel and just about anywhere else.
The steering wheel is most likely still the original one, but the center console is changed as it’s mostly made up of a Tesla-style display.
There’s also some chrome in there, like on the cup holders and around the gear shifter. It looks better, but the quality of the materials is unknown so the ten customers that KHM Motors say they can supply per year might be in for a surprise.
Seeing what the Polish constructor came up with to restyle the Mustang, Ford Europe decidedly underlined in a statement that any links between the project and Ford themselves were falsely drawn by the constructor. “In connection with the information appearing in the media on the alleged cooperation between KHM Motor Poland and Ford of Europe in the implementation of the Warsaw M20 GT project, we would like to inform you that no contract has been signed regarding any Ford cooperation with the said company. The use of the Ford logotype on the KHM Motor Poland website with information on such cooperation is groundless and unlawful,” read their declaration in full. Since then, KHM released an apology which sits to this day at the top of their website. They haven’t apologized yet for the design of the Warszawa though…
Read our full review on the 2016 Ford Mustang GT.
Read our full review on the 2016 Mercedes-AMG GT.
Read our full review on the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro.