The 2015 Ford Mustang is reportedly being developed under Ford's ‘One Ford’ corporate strategy - in other words, with a platform, components, engines, and technologies that have a wider application in Ford's global model plans.
While this potentially opens up export markets for the new model, it may also have a part to play in Ford Australia's much speculated-about next-gen Falcon.
Ford is yet to confirm export plans, but ‘One Ford’ compliance means that the model will be able to meet European standards for pedestrian impact protection, along with the option of both left- and right-hand-drive production.
While Ford has committed to production of the all-new model, the Mustang will need to justify its development with far more than current production and sales figures of between 6000-7000 per month.
It's anyone's guess as to the opportunities to expand the production of the platform, and rumours have circulated for sometime; Ford has confirmed nothing of course.
Options would potentially include exporting the Mustang to Europe, Asia and Australia, an option supported by Ford’s targeting of European competition through the introduction - finally - of independent rear suspension and more contemporary (read: less retro) styling.
Another likely option would be the use of the Mustang’s new rear-wheel drive architecture for further US market models.
After the recent discontinuation of Crown Victoria and Lincoln Town Car Models, the Mustang is the only rear-wheel drive passenger vehicle produced by the Ford group in the US.
A third option, which is admittedly a long-shot (longer perhaps than the hoped-for return of Commodore exports to the US), would be for the 2015 Mustang platform to form the basis for the 2016 Falcon replacement.
The Falcon’s replacement - although likely to be well-advanced given the very long development lead times for any all-new model - is still very much up in the air.
Most smart money is firming on a variation of the US market front-wheel-drive Taurus.
However, all might not be lost to RWD Falcon die-hards. A ‘One Ford’ compliant new Mustang platform would be ready for right-hand drive and potentially suited to a future rear-wheel drive Falcon.
The Falcon’s future is certainly the most anticipated announcement for the local industry in recent years. The return of the "Mustang-bred Falcon..."?
Let the hand-wringing and letters to God continue. Meanwhile, keep an eye on TMR for updates.
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