Too often, we find ourselves pining for Europe-only versions of cars that will never be sold in the United States, but if a report from Inside Line is to be believed, this is a case in which The Continent's enthusiasts will have to watch from afar gets. Ford of Europe is seeking a new coupe that would be smaller than the Mustang, but be positioned as a halo car for the American automaker's European division.

Ford president and CEO Alan Mulally has reportedly given this proposal the 'thumbs down' for the time being, citing the current economic turmoil in the European market. Given the financial climate, the presumably lower-volume vehicle was deemed too much of a risk in these uncertain times. While there was reportedly a design on the works, based on an undisclosed global Ford platform, these efforts have since been shelved following word from the Ford boss.

For its part, the next-generation Ford Mustang is being designed as a global vehicle, opening up potential for sales in new markets. However, despite announcing that the next-generation Mustang will be headed for Europe back in September, Inside Line says Ford of Europe officials are still apparently concerned that the Mustang will be too large and thirsty for their market. The thought is that a more fitting performance model would be smaller, with a potent yet fuel-efficient engine paired with the responsive handling of Ford's current European lineup (perhaps something like Ford's short-lived Puma, shown above).

If/when economic conditions improve in Europe, it will be interesting to see if Ford restarts talks about bringing a new smaller sportscar to market. While we would not disapprove, it would once again cause us consternation if the model was then kept as a Europe-only offering.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 50 Comments
      DeathKnoT
      • 2 Years Ago
      Ha, for once Europe is getting the short end of the ford stick. Though i do think the people who run ford Europe shouldn't have such low hopes for the next mustang. I hear from many Europeans that they would love to own a Mustang but they are very costly to import.
        Matt
        • 2 Years Ago
        @DeathKnoT
        They would love to own them because the current Mustang is distinctly American. The classic long hood and short deck proportions while having a modern design with a tasteful amount of retro cues not to mention the big 5 liter V8 under the hood. That's what I hear from Europeans on why they love it, I don't know if that will be the case with the new Mustang. I worry a global Mustang would lack that American feel to it.
          EXP Jawa
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Matt
          I can't see Ford willfully deviating too far from the formula that works. Keep in mind that the original car was an American interpretation of a European sports car. The Fox-body generation was a distinctly European-influenced effort to modernize Mustang for the times, and that car remained popular for a long time. I'm certain that when the next generation is launched as a 50th anniversary car, it will be true to what Mustang was and what it should be. It will retain the long hood/short deck proportions that it always had, as well as a number of key styling characteristics that are identified with Mustang. I expect the car will be modernized in form, but will be distinctly Mustang. Ford is well aware of how much rides on Mustang's brand image.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        onewayroll
        • 2 Years Ago
        You mean Ford Capri? That would be cool.
          EXP Jawa
          • 2 Years Ago
          @onewayroll
          Lincoln Capri wouldn't be inappropriate either, as they used the name before any of the other divisions...
      Gugue
      • 2 Years Ago
      Fusion / Mondeo with two doors would be a gorgeous coupé for hard times, despite Ford might delay the Fusion based Mondeo for a while...
      Teleny411
      • 2 Years Ago
      The Mustang could easily downsize a bit closer to the original. It could also lose some weight and then you are getting in the ballpark for a global model.
      me
      • 2 Years Ago
      Haven't travelled a few places our mustang will fail terribly. It's way to big and too thirsty. Our hp race is only something we care about. And for them it's not a cheap thrill. Also Europe already had such a car from ford it was called the cougar.
      A. Harlan
      • 2 Years Ago
      Ford has had several cars which had they kept them and developed them, could have made excellent smallish but high quality coupes....it;s alway been the Mustang which blocked development of anything else. Mustangs aren't bad cars, they just aren't very sophisticated for those with thicker wallets and more refined tastes.
        A. Harlan
        • 2 Years Ago
        @A. Harlan
        hey waspish boy!!! did the meaning of the words high quality and sophisticated escape you????? and i only used history as an emphasis on what Ford has not done but could have. geeese kid get a life!!!!!!
          merlot066
          • 2 Years Ago
          @A. Harlan
          http://knowyourmeme.com/photos/353279
          grandpa
          • 2 Years Ago
          @A. Harlan
          not exactly EXP (of which I owned the first version when it was a standalone not part of the Escort Line) looking above you will see the waspish kid said how about aT-Bird as a Lincoln type compact sports car....which is exactly what i implied...... I also owned a V8 T-Bird of the last big ones...didn't like the later retro version.
          EXP Jawa
          • 2 Years Ago
          @A. Harlan
          Wow, that was a bit harsh, under the circumstances...
          The Wasp
          • 2 Years Ago
          @A. Harlan
          I apologize for offending you. If this post had a tone suggesting that Ford Europe wants a modern-day Thunderbird, I would have been okay with that. My impression, bolstered by the photo of the Puma, is that Ford Europe wanted yet another semi-sportyish FWD coupe [like many others Ford has sold in the past]. I thought perhaps you were suggesting that cars like the Puma, Capri, Cougar, or Probe were more sophisticated than the Mustang, which is a notion I disagree with. While some of these cars have been mildly successful in Europe, I think the timing is rather poor for a niche car that would, in some people's dreams, compete with the Mustang and more realistically be too expensive to avoid comparison with the far more capable Mustang. I also thought you may be suggesting that the European Fords boast higher quality than others. If so, please provide some evidence.
        The Wasp
        • 2 Years Ago
        @A. Harlan
        Let me get this straight -- you want to pay more for something that is smaller with less power? If you're talking Lotus, I can understand -- but that's not at all Ford Europe's history and that's not what this post is about.
      speddedler
      • 2 Years Ago
      Ooh, a Probe! I always liked those.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @speddedler
        [blocked]
          EXP Jawa
          • 2 Years Ago
          That's the story told around the campfire. Fortunately, Ford woke up and smelled the horse manure. The Probe was a decent car for the time as a "sporty" compact coupe. My sister had one, which replaced the EXP she had prior. Now she drives a recent Mustang convertible. Is that a sort of full-circle some kind of story, somehow?
      AcidTonic
      • 2 Years Ago
      Of course everyone wants 2 doors but with the right powertrain enthusiasts will buy a 4 door over a coupe. Then they eventually like 4 doors and realize it's pointless to go back to a coupe again if you can have your cake and eat it too..... What they need is an AWD $40K Focus with a manual trans..... Something to compete with the $40K I just gave to Mitsubishi for a 2012 Lancer Evolution X GSR. I won't sacrifice the powertrain to have 2 doors. Sorry... ain't gonna happen!
        carguy1701
        • 2 Years Ago
        @AcidTonic
        Also, the Evo is dead after next year. Accept it and move the **** on.
        carguy1701
        • 2 Years Ago
        @AcidTonic
        Dear Evo fanboy: screw off.
        EXP Jawa
        • 2 Years Ago
        @AcidTonic
        As we've said before, Acidguy, but you never acknowledge, "what they need" is a relative term. It actually doesn't equal what you want, despite what you seem to think. Frankly, the market for a high-priced, AWD, compact sedan is slim, and unless it's fundamental to your brand identity (see Subaru and STI or Audi and quattro), then its a difficult business case. Throw in a weak economy and looming stringent fuel economy regulations, and that business case goes right out the window. If you decided that you just had to fork out yet another $40K for such a vehicle - one that is soon to fall victim to the conditions I just described - well, all the power to you. But that's your own personal business case. But it doesn't apply to me, my neighbor, my coworker, etc, etc, or most of the car-buying public. What Ford actually needs is a competitive mid-size sedan. One that your average point-A to point-B type will buy in droves. Hopefully the new Fusion is that. But investing in an expensive, high tech, low volume niche market segment that only a handful of enthusiasts want is pretty far from the meaning of the term "need"...
        Lab Rat
        • 2 Years Ago
        @AcidTonic
        How does it feel to give $40k for a Mitsubishi that you're going to have to repair monthly after the warranty wears out?
      carguy1701
      • 2 Years Ago
      Let the Mustang be the halo car for the European division, otherwise what was the point in designing it to comply with their retarded pedestrian impact standards?
      Brandon Allen
      • 2 Years Ago
      Easy answer, make a RWD 5.0L Coyote-engined Mondeo. Although bigger and probably more thirsty than a mustang, the Mondeo is a proper top-selling car that thanks to the new styling also looks properly good and european. With all the craze over power sedans over there, I think an affordable V8 super-sedan by Ford would sell pretty darn well, especially in the UK market. The Mustang's size and fuel economy is less of a concern, it's the last 2 decade's worth of abysmal build quality, over the top 'Merican Styling and sub-par performance and handling that the Euro market won't suddenly forget for a sports car IMO. Fifth and Top Gear TV shows never even bit on to the newest Mustang that in all of the American tests were put head to head with the BMW M3, they just don't care.
        DeathKnoT
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Brandon Allen
        Don't take all the fun out of my American muscle. Its not a bmw and it isn't supposed to be.
        NoBoost
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Brandon Allen
        Top Gear, outside of Richard, looks down on the Mustang. If given the chance to take a Boss and compare it to an M3, I think if they knew it would make the M3 look bad, they'd never run that segment. American muscle/pony cars on that show are seen as over the top, loud, gas guzzling, unrefined, straight line driving machines.
          rocketmoose
          • 2 Years Ago
          @NoBoost
          "American muscle/pony cars on that show are seen as over the top, loud, gas guzzling, unrefined, straight line driving machines." In fairness, that WAS the case for a very long time. Reputations die hard.
        mustsvt
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Brandon Allen
        We like our Mustang over the top and American, and the car stands toe to toe with cars costing way more performance wise.
      Blakkar
      • 2 Years Ago
      Europe having money problems is not a reason to deny Europe the Mustang. Their response, as presented here, reads more like "Forget about it. Take it away. We don't care how much you've had to give up to make it work here." Seriously, do Europeans really have this much of a downer streak that even those who actually could and would buy one won't? It's tantamount to an "F-U". You guys still get all the seriously hotter Fiestas and Focuses. Why not have a range topper. No one's expecting it to run away with sales. Just provide a meaningful presence. Ford is offering something besides yet another FF econo-box, family sedan, S/CUV, or van. With a 2.0L Ecoboost engine, I don't think this car is going to be too thirsty except to those who opt for the V6 or V8 and drive it like they don't care. Too big? They don't even know how big it will. WE DON"T KNOW. If they actually wanted a smaller car than the Mustang from Ford, they should have started on it asking for one long before Europe started falling apart economically. Besides, even with things down over here in the US, the Mustang still sales over 70K units a year. I think a few Europeans will feel fine buying a Mustang, especially surprisingly up in Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands and few other Northern countries, plus Great Britain. Maybe not even 10K units a year, but its a presence and that's all the Mustang needs over there. Besides the Mustang will sell like crack in the Middle East, South Africa, Australia, parts of Asia, among other regions. Europe is not the be all end all. Heck they lost that as soon as they started being so obstinate about buying foreign cars and China took over being more important than them.
        mcdull
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Blakkar
        If you've ever been to Asia countries, small cars rule. People don't do long road trip, don't need big car to go around tight corner, don't need high perfomrance in jammed city street (of course there are also many super rich keeping exotic in their garge), parking is hard to find and expensve, people prefer small car for easy parking and your will find many small hatchback cars like Fit with almost straight back for best use of space. Don't be surprised your belove Mustang doesn't get much love in other countries.
          me
          • 2 Years Ago
          @mcdull
          It's gonna be funny when ford finds out the mustang isn't as super star spangled awesome as they think it is
      john m
      • 2 Years Ago
      Hopefully this doesn't mean that Ford will go back to a solid rear axle ;) Seriously though, it's too bad the new MUstang won't make it over there, although understandable with the poor economy and high fuel prices. I wonder if the "smaller car" would find it's way to the USA?
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