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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