While Ford has been enjoying major marketing success with vehicles such as Fusion, Fiesta, Focus and Escape around the world (selling 72,000 vehicles in China during the month of July alone), experts are worried that the company may alienate its core of American customers with plans to redesign the Mustang in 2015 for more global appeal.
"The last time the company tried to make a global Mustang, we ended up with the Ford Probe," commented Autoweek’s digital editor Andrew Stoy. "Any time a halo vehicle as quintessentially American as the Mustang is re-engineered for broader markets, the risk of alienating the car's core audience rises. That risk is even more acute in the face of the Mustang's strong domestic competition -- namely the Chevy Camaro."
In fact, in order for the 6th-generation Mustang to gain more success in the European and Asian markets it will have to lose abandon its more retro design and “muscle car” status and go a lot smaller, dropping at least 400 pounds from its current 3,523 lbs, which means shortening its frame by at least 15” and narrowing it by 6,” according to plans for the 2015 model. It has also been rumored that the new cars will be fitted with a turbocharged four- cylinder Eco Boost engine to make it more attractive to overseas buyers, although US buyers will still be able to opt for V-8 power.
While this may make some Mustang aficionados nervous, an unnamed source recently assured Edmunds that they needn’t worry, stating, "They are going to use more aluminum, better structural engineering in terms of spot welds, and so on and so forth, basically using less material and making it stronger,"
Other good news is that the new Mustangs will finally be fitted with independent rear suspension.
The 2015 Mustang coupe is expected to make its debut at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show. In the meantime, we’d like to hear readers’ thoughts about the redesign of America’s sports car favorite.