Four-Door Mustang: Why Ford Should Build Its Own Sport Sedan
In recent years the Ford Motor Company has become one of the most enthusiast-friendly car brands in the world, and it’s hard not to be impressed by their lineup of performance cars and enthusiast-oriented vehicles.
Whether it's hot hatchbacks, the off-road legend Ford Raptor, hopped up SUVs or the stunning Ford GT supercar, there aren’t many areas where the Ford Performance brand isn’t active.
That’s before you get to the impressive Mustang lineup, which includes everything from the budget-friendly EcoBoost model to the upcoming Shelby GT500 and it’s 700-plus horsepower of fun.
There is one area, however, where Ford’s lineup has almost always been empty—the rear-wheel drive sport sedan, and given how competitive their other cars are, it’s hard not to salivate at the idea of Ford getting into the game.
Now it should be said that with the big shift toward SUVs and Crossovers lately, the demand for traditional family sedans isn’t what it used to be, but cars like the Kia Stinger and Alfa Romeo Giulia have shown there is still plenty of interest in enthusiast-oriented sport sedans.
Ford Has a Platform
While developing new models from scratch is never easy or cheap, one would think that the S550 Mustang platform could be used for more than just a two-door pony car. It certainly seems to check all the boxes for a good sport sedan platform.
Rear-wheel drive? Check. Independent rear suspension? Check. Designed to accommodate a wide variety of engine types? Check. High quality interior? Check. Good driving dynamics? Check.
While an actual four-door Mustang would generate a lot of controversy, the car wouldn’t need to use that name. It could be badged as something entirely new, or perhaps Ford could revive a nameplate from the past. Falcon anyone?
A Version for Every Driver
With so many variants of the Mustang available aimed at different types of buyers, this hypothetical sport sedan could be offered with a similar range of models aimed at buyers with different budgets.
There could be a base version with the EcoBoost four cylinder priced in the low $30,000 range and a variety of versions that go up from there. EcoBoost V6? Coyote V8? Maybe something powered by the GT350’s Voodoo engine that’s designed to be an M3 competitor? How awesome would that be?
The same way platform could also be used by Lincoln to help it get into the luxury sport sedan market—it’d be the perfect thing to compliment the new Continental and its lineup of luxury SUVs. As Lincoln works to build a new brand identity, a high performance, luxurious sport sedan with good driving dynamics would be a great way to lure new buyers to the brand, especially the ones that might typically be buying BMWs and Audis.
It's Been Done Before
For an example of how this could be done, look no further than GM, who uses the same rear-wheel drive Alpha platform to underpin both the Cadillac ATS and CTS as well as the Chevrolet Camaro, each with different engine options.
Though it’s much older in design, Chrysler does the same thing with its venerable LX platform, which is used to underpin both the Challenger coupe and the Charger and Chrysler 300 sedans.
The S550 chassis is every bit as capable as those from GM and Chrysler, and in this age of platform sharing and globalization, it’s interesting that Ford developed a brand new, modern rear-drive platform to underpin just one model. Speaking of the global market, one place that would welcome a rear-drive Ford sedan would be Australia, which had its own, much beloved Falcon for decades prior to its demise a few years back.
For whatever reasons, Ford hasn’t shown much interest in entering the sport sedan market, and I’m sure there are plenty of challenges that would come with the endeavor. With that said, it certainly seems doable, given Ford’s great efforts in other segments.
If a brand like Kia can release an exciting new rear-drive sport sedan to go up against the traditional players in the market, there’s no reason that Ford and/or Lincoln shouldn’t be able to do the same. With the proven modern Mustang platform and some great engines, they could have a nice head start.
Time will tell if this idea could ever become a reality, but for car enthusiasts it's exciting to think about the idea of Ford shaking up things in the exciting and highly competitive global sport sedan market.