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2010 Ford Mustang GT – Click above for high-res image gallery

Anxiously awaiting the day that you can stroll into your nearest Ford dealership, plunk down $30,000 dollars and drive away in a brand-new Mustang with an independent rear suspension? You've surely got a few more years to save your money, but the boys from Motor Trend are reporting that fully-independent salvation will finally show up for the Mustang's 50th Anniversary Party in 2014.

MT projects that there are a few ways the Blue Oval could go with its next-gen pony car in order to satisfy the demand for IRS, the most likely of which appears to be a significantly revised version of the current Mustang platform with the recently unveiled 5.0-liter V8 engine as the centerpiece. Other less likely options include downsizing the Mustang and powering it with an Ecoboost V6 engine or, least likely of all, taking the car upmarket to compete with cars like the Nissan GT-R.

One thing that MT speculates won't happen is the Mustang's next-gen architecture being shared with any other models under Ford's prodigious product umbrella – including the Australian Ford Falcon or a new large rear-wheel drive luxury sedan from Lincoln. Whatever happens, it seems that Ford has at least a few more years to mull it over.

[Source: Motor Trend]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      I would give Mustang an IRS system in next gen, and I wouldn't try to make it smaller or, especially not bigger aka heavier.but I would go into that bigger, more luxurious direction with Lincoln coupe, that could be even a halo car for Lincoln Brand, attract younger buyers and compete with likes of CTS coupe, E-CLass coupe, a5, 3 series coupe.

      On other side, small RWD (much smaller - to differentiate enough), 4 banger coupe could be a nice fit for Mercury brand. Miata, and similar cars have a stigma of being a "feminine" coupes, hair-dresser cars, and that would git really nice with Mercury brand image.
      • 5 Years Ago
      C'mon FORD.

      I've laid it out for you. You can do it.

      Global RWD chassis, shared with lots of brands.

      Ford US:
      Mustang 2DR Coupe - retro style, moderate size muscle coupe.
      Interceptor 4DR mid-to-full size RWD passenger car, and police package, smaller than Taurus, sportier than Fusion/Focus.
      (*theoretically, the unibody explorer could be somewhat related as well... as it will be longitudinal driveline layout, and could pave the way for AWD compatibility in these cars.)

      Ford Europe and Australia
      Mustang Coupe
      Falcon Mid-sized sleek sport sedan.

      Mercury US
      Comet/Cougar/? 3-door coupe - mustang alternative, modern styling, Grand touring and well equipped.
      Marauder 5-door 4-seat sleek sport sedan (possibly common with Falcon), basically a 5-door pair for the previous 3-door.

      Lincoln US
      Lincoln Mark IX - 2dr luxury hard-top convertible (possibly pillarless fixed roof coupe variant.) Successor to the Mark VIII, with all the bells and whistles, luxuries, and art-deco sleek styling.
      Lincoln MKR - 4 door 4-seat luxury sport sedan, equivalent to Mark IX. Possibly with rear suicide doors with frameless glass windows, as a nod to the original suicide door Continentals.

      (all the cars mentioned would likely have strong roof beam structures, and frameless door glass...)

      If the platform is light enough in mid-size coupe, and mid-size sport sedan guise (excluding the likely heftier, scaled up Ford Interceptor model) could start with the turbo 4 ecoboost engine.

      Upgrade to the 300hp V6.

      Some upgrade again to the EcoBoost 360-ish horsepower TT-V6.

      Some upgrade to the ~400hp 5.0 Liter V8.

      Some very limited editions upgrade to a supercharged V8.

      I would suggest that the performance oriented ford and mercury models get a choice of manual or dual-clutch gearboxes, and the Lincolns get solely the dual clutch gearboxes. The dual-clutch gearboxes giving the best of both worlds... the convenience of an automatic mode, but the directness of a physical, rather than hydraulic connection, and user available manual shift modes.

      Mercury and Ford of Europe/Australia could have the Kinetic designs, Ford can have the american retro-muscle look, and Lincoln can have it's sleek art-deco styling, and across a wide swath of market segments and wider-spread development costs, and better profit margin.

      Ford has done things like this before. Just look at the Fox body in the 80s... everything from the base Mustang and Capri, to the Cougar/T-bird, and the Lincoln Mark VII, as well as ford sedans, like Fairmont, Futura coupe, and a version of the LTD, and others.

      The technology and processes exist now to make platform shared cars more unique from each other, and make bigger styling and interior changes between them cost less to produce, and a modular approach to the drivetrain (wide range engine compatibility. I am not referring to the "modular motor.") just makes sense, as well.

      You can do this right, Ford. Better than before, and it can be a success on many levels.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Jim, I've been thinking about this, and posting about this for some time now. And I don't take complete credit for it, I am basing it on Ford's own precedents and concept car showings for the last few years.

        But thanks for the worthless comment.

        I'd have actually valued some actually constructive criticism... but you are bigger on insults than contributions, seems like.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Are you unclear about what the word suggestion means?

        I am not forcing Ford to do anything. I wish they'd build some of those cars, so that I could buy one, and other people could buy some, too. it is more constructive than what you seem to be posting here.

        But each of the products I suggest has merit to various customers, and is more than they currently offer.

        They can take it or leave it, or ignore it, or whatever. And you can shove off unless you actually want to talk about cars.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Oh, and I forgot one model above...

        The Ford Interceptor large sedan's Lincoln counterpart, and proper successor to the Town car. And it really could look like the '60s Continentals. (maybe even with MKX's previous grille :D )

        Frankly they should drop the MKZ, and let Mercury up-market the Milan a little bit with the features and options. Maybe hand MKX over to Mercury, as well.

        Here is how I would re-name the lincoln brand.

        Continental large premium luxury RWD sedan
        Zephyr large luxury FWD sedan (what is now MKS)
        Aviator mid-size RWD luxury sport sedan (sleek roofline, based on MKR concept)
        Mark IX mid-size RWD luxury sport convertible hardtop (or could also share Aviator name as a bodystyle variant)
        Navigator Luxury SUV.
        Tourer Luxury CUV (MKT)

        About the "Continental" and Interceptor part of the lineup...
        Where the Interceptor would be publicly available mainstream sedan to compete with the Dodge Charger (and beat it), it would also be available as PPV prep to police outfitters... basically upgraded hardware and a running/rolling body-in-white. Maybe also available directly to cab fleets, without the police-specific modifications, along with the Transit, and other fleet-saleable vehicles.

        Both Interceptor and Charger have kinda "law enforcement" connotation... Caprice isn't as macho... but Chevy would be hard pressed to offer Caprice in the public lineup...

        the Lincoln Continental would also be available to the public as a large RWD premier luxury sedan to compete with the Caddy XTS, and Lexus LS, and such... but also available as livery-prep for car services, and stretch-able for limousines. Also available for up-armorers for protective-class vehicles.
        • 5 Years Ago
        You can do this right, Ford. Better than before, and it can be a success on many levels."

        Wow! you've just solved all the problems with everything, and with just one blog comment!

        get over yourself, and get over the notion that you're the first to think of this stuff.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I owned a 2003 Mustang GT convertible for a couple years. Really liked the car except the transmission was garbage. Luckily, last spring, I happened to find a cream puff 2003 Cobra convertible, which I jumped on with both feet! Moving from the the SRA GT to the IRS Cobra, I must say the ride is much more compliant even though the car handles better. As for the difference in weight, well there's only a total difference between the two cars of about 350lbs. Considering all the extra body/chassis reinforcements and the upgraded brakes, and driver's seat, I gotta believe the difference between the two rears isn't all that much. Drag racers usually pull the IRS out of the Cobra, and many also dump the 6-speed in favor of an auto. So, what's Ford to do with the next Gen. Mustang? Personally, if they can do IRS without a major cost increase, my guess is most customers would like it better. As for drag racers, maybe a stripped down SRA version like a "club racer" car would be an option? Bottom line, I guess you need to design the car for the majority of the customers. In this case, it's NOT the hard-core racers.
      • 5 Years Ago
      If Ford does this the Mustang should get it own platform, They shouldn't dust off some old Falcon platform because the the car will be a pig, handle like crap, and have wheel hop just like the new Camaro and Challenger.

      If they want to develop other cars from that platform fine, but it needs to be a new platform designed for specifically the Mustang first.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Sorry, but an IRS Falcon will make the live axle Mustang look like a joke in both ride and handling.

        If they where to share a platform, you'd start with a close to clean sheet design, to ensure that both cars get what they need to be successful - for Mustang keep the weight down, for Falcon (and derivative sedans for Lincoln) refinement and space efficiency.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The Mustang has better road coarse skid pad numbers than an XR6, So the stang already out handles the Falcon. Now ride quality is a different story.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I don't believe the One Ford thing needs to apply to every Ford. It doesn't apply today to Lincoln, F Series, Panther, nor Mustang. I don't see a drive to make F Series a global platform any time soon, nor the Mustang. They are North American icons that don't need to travel to be successful.

      Maybe when the Baby Boomers have all died off or gone to the home, the vintage Mustang will die with them, but we still have a few years to go before the end of this era.

      MT can conjure up their silly ideas, but I would put my money on Ford ensuring that the vintage Mustang fans will love and recognize the 50th anniversary edition of their beloved icon. After the 50th, maybe things will change.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Nice to hear the IRS may be coming back! Won't have to listen to people complain about that when it shows up!

      • 5 Years Ago
      This is great news. I have been waiting four years to hear of a new RWD platform for Ford. Hopefully this means the return of the Lincoln LS successor to compete against Lexus GS, Infiniti M, Mercedes E and the BMW 5 series along with a new full-size luxury car to compete with Lexus LS, BMW 7 and Mercedes S cars.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Well, it would be great news if the platform was shared upon Ford's other brands. Wishful thinking I suppose.
      • 5 Years Ago
      finally. yes all the fan boys have stuck by the LRA, but seriously it is past-time to move on and into the 21st century. No IRS = no consideration for many interested/informed buyers. IRS = at least some consideration.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Gee...only 20 years too late.

      It would be nice if Ford had access to a IRS system that was no more expensive than a SRA, was no heavier than an SRA, and ride could be tuned INDEPENDENTLY of handling.

      If only there was such a system.........oh wait...there is. It's call Control Blade...and Ford developed it and currently uses it in Austraila.

      'One Ford' my ass Big Al....what a lie that was.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I concur. If not mistaken, Ford also uses the Control Blade IRS on the US Ford Focus. So if IRS had a weight or cost penalty, they wouldn't have put it on such an inexpensive product. So why does a more expensive and upscale product not have an IRS. The minimal number of folks who do genuine track time probably actually swap out the factory solid axle anyway. So just make the IRS standard and let those few racers go aftermarket with their solid axle.

        You make the other good point that handling and ride quality are two completely separate features of a vehicle. The vast majority of buyers will care more about the ride quality, but still appreciate some handling quality.

        • 5 Years Ago
        Uh... That blade IRS is for when the rear wheels are not driven, the Focus is front wheel drive, right?

        Ride quality and handling are 2 seperate features? Really? Only if you don't know anything about cars would you think this, because they are attributes of the same system - suspension, of course. And the trade-offs between ride and handling are engineered & tuned into the suspension. You can get an awesome handling car that rides like a go-kart, or you can get a soft cruiser that floats around corners. It's always a compromise and the target is somewhere in between those 2 extremes.

        You're welcome.
      • 5 Years Ago
      well, maybe the mustang doesn't need IRS, but the shelby GT500 should have it, mostly because of its handaling disadvantige compared to a Vett
      • 5 Years Ago
      This should finally be the icing on the cake. The new Mustang has the looks, the horsepower and the sophistication for almost anyone. But the solid rear axle, while great for drag racing, severely hinders handling and grip in other activities. Can't wait to see the skid pad numbers.

      This should finally put the critics to bed and make its competitors shake in their boots.

      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm excited about this car.. :)
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