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Ford Thunderbird Being Considered As Possible Corvette Rival

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17 hours ago, Harley Lover said:

More utilization of the Mustang chassis? Hard to see this product being developed ($$) without piggy backing on another program. This could actually help Mustang by increasing revenue for the program if Ford were to follow this path.

 

Edit: Coupe in this instance could also be defined as a fastback crossover - that might make more sense particularly if it were to be an EV fastback crossover.

I would have to agree.  I have always wondered why Ford did not have a two-seater to go head to head with Corvette.   Now that Corvette has gone exotic with mid-engine, there is a vaccum for a true American two seat sports coupe with traditional front-engine rear drive.

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5 hours ago, rmc523 said:


Or keep mustang as coupe/convertible and Mach E, and do a sleek BEV 4-door coupe style as the Thunderbird.

I think it if is a Corvette competitor, it will be ICE at least to start.

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14 hours ago, fuzzymoomoo said:


Unless they’re looking to throw the union a bone knowing they have an assembly plant that they could easily close and it wouldn't effect production capacity much at all. 

I wonder if this is one of the Mustang "variants" was mentioned in the last contract for Flat Rock?

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8 hours ago, AGR said:

 

It actually makes more sense as the Ford. I expect Lincoln to be all-EV (except for the Navigator) by 2025-26 timeframe, mirroring Cadillac.


The plan is to import the new Nautilus from China although I think it might go to Louisville alongside Corsair depending on what happens with Escape.

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10 hours ago, FordBuyer said:

 

With the Ford GT in its last year, not surprised something may be in the works. And I would assume a Thunderbird would be full electric making the mid engine argument moot. And it would have a frunk like the Mach E. But have a lower center of gravity more like a Corvette than a CUV..


A potential Thunderbird revival won't replace GT production. The replacement for that has already been announced: https://www.ford.com/bronco/bronco-dr/

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4 hours ago, Footballfan said:

I wonder if this is one of the Mustang "variants" was mentioned in the last contract for Flat Rock?


Rumor is that was cancelled in September of last year. 

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I’m not sure this is a good idea. Thunderbird name is almost 70 years old. It’s been way too many years since it was relevant. 
 

The last Thunderbird was just a half baked gift for boomers to buy on the way to retirement. I’d say the last special bird was the SC in the early 90s. After that they decontented and watered down till end of production.

 

They would really have to do their homework on this one for it to succeed. 

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I’m not sure this is a good idea. Bronco name is almost 50 years old. It’s been way too many years since it was relevant. 
 

The Bronco II was just a half baked gift for soccer moms to buy. I’d say the last special Bronco was the FSB in the early 90s. After OJ’s White Bronco it was watered down till end of production.

 

They would really have to do their homework on this one for it to succeed. 

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1 hour ago, sullynd said:

I’m not sure this is a good idea. Bronco name is almost 50 years old. It’s been way too many years since it was relevant. 
 

The Bronco II was just a half baked gift for soccer moms to buy. I’d say the last special Bronco was the FSB in the early 90s. After OJ’s White Bronco it was watered down till end of production.

 

They would really have to do their homework on this one for it to succeed. 

 

Sarcasm much? LOL

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2 hours ago, sullynd said:

I’m not sure this is a good idea. Bronco name is almost 50 years old. It’s been way too many years since it was relevant. 
 

The Bronco II was just a half baked gift for soccer moms to buy. I’d say the last special Bronco was the FSB in the early 90s. After OJ’s White Bronco it was watered down till end of production.

 

They would really have to do their homework on this one for it to succeed. 

 

Bronco ll and soccer moms??? I owned a Bronco ll with locking diffs and towing package and drove it 225,000 miles, much of it in Gaylord, MI that gets over 150 inches of snow/year.

 

I even pushed a heavy trailer up an inclined driveway with a foot of snow with it. Only got stuck once in 10 years after foolishly going down an unplowed street with heavily drifted snow.

 

So a "soccer mom" vehicle couldn't be farther from the truth. And yes, it had a "tipsy" reputation resulting in class action lawsuit which hardly made it it good for families. But it was a good, little workhorse that could do lots of functions well. I can testify to that. Even today, good, used ones are very popular. 

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38 minutes ago, FordBuyer said:

 

Bronco ll and soccer moms??? I owned a Bronco ll with locking diffs and towing package and drove it 225,000 miles, much of it in Gaylord, MI that gets over 150 inches of snow/year.

 

I even pushed a heavy trailer up an inclined driveway with a foot of snow with it. Only got stuck once in 10 years after foolishly going down an unplowed street with heavily drifted snow.

 

So a "soccer mom" vehicle couldn't be farther from the truth. And yes, it had a "tipsy" reputation resulting in class action lawsuit which hardly made it it good for families. But it was a good, little workhorse that could do lots of functions well. I can testify to that. Even today, good, used ones are very popular. 


 

Oh for Pete’s sake get your sarcasm detector fixed.

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12 hours ago, AGR said:

 

Car and Driver seems to think it's the new Fusion Active, too:

2023 Ford Fusion Active: What We Know So Far (caranddriver.com)

 

It actually makes more sense as the Ford. I expect Lincoln to be all-EV (except for the Navigator) by 2025-26 timeframe, mirroring Cadillac.

 

They're building off the painfully incorrect Ford Authority article.  There are far too many details in the actual mule that point to a Lincoln / Nautilus.

 

There IS another mule that clearly is different/a Ford, but this one is not it.

 

8 hours ago, Footballfan said:

I think it if is a Corvette competitor, it will be ICE at least to start.

 

Nah.  I don't see anything new ICE coming, unless it's already in the pipeline/far along.  This project doesn't sound like it's THAT far along relatively speaking, therefore, BEV.

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21 hours ago, DeluxeStang said:

If Ford was going to come out with a separate brand, I think calling it zephyr would be the way to go. Especially if it only offered aspirational evs. 

 

I was not suggesting a separate brand...

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8 hours ago, rmc523 said:

 

They're building off the painfully incorrect Ford Authority article.  There are far too many details in the actual mule that point to a Lincoln / Nautilus.

 

There IS another mule that clearly is different/a Ford, but this one is not it.

 

 

Nah.  I don't see anything new ICE coming, unless it's already in the pipeline/far along.  This project doesn't sound like it's THAT far along relatively speaking, therefore, BEV.

Agreed, while I initially said Ford could use something like the 5.0, I think making the thunderbird an ev makes more sense. Maybe something with proportions of a c8 or Tesla roadster, with with a nicer interior or something.

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On 5/14/2022 at 1:59 PM, mackinaw said:

For us old folks, the name "Thunderbird" really resonates.  Be it the original two-seater, or the highly styled "Squarebirds, "Bulletbirds" or Flairbirds," Thunderbird in the 50's and 60's really made a statement.  If they can some how capture that magic, I'm all for it.  If all we're going to get is a new CUV, forget it.  

 

Even for an older millennial like myself, the Thunderbird name still has recognition and I would love to see it brought back.  I grew up around the Fox body and MN-12 Thunderbirds.  I am so tired of CUV's, anything non-CUV from Ford would be a breath of fresh air, even if it was an EV.

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On 5/14/2022 at 11:04 AM, ausrutherford said:

At this rate, why do mid-engine?

 

With a name like Thunderbird, it should be a full EV.

 

Agreed, lets see a Thundebird that tackles the forever-delayed Tesla roadster.  

A bonafide GT that will easily leave all upcoming iterations of the C8 in the dust.    

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On 5/15/2022 at 7:30 AM, sullynd said:

I’m not sure this is a good idea. Bronco name is almost 50 years old. It’s been way too many years since it was relevant. 
 

The Bronco II was just a half baked gift for soccer moms to buy. I’d say the last special Bronco was the FSB in the early 90s. After OJ’s White Bronco it was watered down till end of production.

 

They would really have to do their homework on this one for it to succeed. 

 

You make fun but the Bronco had a lot off road cred right until is was stopped being produced. Had it gotten too large? Sure. Did they let it rot on the vine. Yep.  Could it still be a good off roader. Yep. Was it fairly reliable. Yep.

 

Now let's talk about the Thunderbird. I will completely ignore the low volume, limited selling, retro model that lasted a whopping 4 model years that was a just a hodge podge of S-Type/Lincoln LS/Explorer parts melded into a convertible form. Other than performance variants (TC and SC), what was it know in the mid 80's through mid 90's? A large coupe that was going away of the dinosaur that had middling performance in a shrinking segment.

 

The name may mean something to you, Ford fans, or people older than 55 but I seriously doubt it holds much to the average consumer. Sure they can name it the Thunderbird but the history or nostalgia of past models mostly likely WILL NOT be a selling point. It's much like Chevy reusing Blazer on their small CUV.

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34 minutes ago, jcartwright99 said:

 

You make fun but the Bronco had a lot off road cred right until is was stopped being produced. Had it gotten too large? Sure. Did they let it rot on the vine. Yep.  Could it still be a good off roader. Yep. Was it fairly reliable. Yep.

 

Now let's talk about the Thunderbird. I will completely ignore the low volume, limited selling, retro model that lasted a whopping 4 model years that was a just a hodge podge of S-Type/Lincoln LS/Explorer parts melded into a convertible form. Other than performance variants (TC and SC), what was it know in the mid 80's through mid 90's? A large coupe that was going away of the dinosaur that had middling performance in a shrinking segment.

 

The name may mean something to you, Ford fans, or people older than 55 but I seriously doubt it holds much to the average consumer. Sure they can name it the Thunderbird but the history or nostalgia of past models mostly likely WILL NOT be a selling point. It's much like Chevy reusing Blazer on their small CUV.

 

The beauty of a high end BEV Thunderbird would be that it would be low volume, and thus easier to deal with long term supply issues, especially batteries that Ford has yet to solve. Or anybody but Tesla for that matter. 

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On 5/15/2022 at 5:30 AM, sullynd said:

I’m not sure this is a good idea. Bronco name is almost 50 years old. It’s been way too many years since it was relevant. 
 

The Bronco II was just a half baked gift for soccer moms to buy. I’d say the last special Bronco was the FSB in the early 90s. After OJ’s White Bronco it was watered down till end of production.

 

They would really have to do their homework on this one for it to succeed. 

Corvette sales were about 21,000 in all of 2021. Bronco sales are over 12,000 per month now. I wonder which one is a better return on investment? 

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58 minutes ago, Donaldo said:

Corvette sales were about 21,000 in all of 2021. Bronco sales are over 12,000 per month now. I wonder which one is a better return on investment? 


Try reading the post before this one then turn on your sarcasm detector.   Geez…..

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3 hours ago, Donaldo said:

Corvette sales were about 21,000 in all of 2021. Bronco sales are over 12,000 per month now. I wonder which one is a better return on investment? 

I see where you're coming from, but the average transaction price for a c8 was $82,489, multiply that by 21k vehicles and you're left with a little over 1.7 billion in revenue. All while bringing wealthier and more diverse buyers into your showrooms, and reducing the average age of Corvette buyers. 1.7 billion dollars isn't a huge amount of revenue when you consider ford and gm both generate more than 100 billion in revenue a year. But it's still significant. If Ford develops a c8 rival, they can offer a new halo model that improves the brands image, while making billions of dollars, and utilizing a lot of the tech developed on that car for additional models. For instance, if the thunderbird is a high performance ev, that same battery and electric motors can be used in an upcoming ev mustang coupe, or sporty crossover.

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3 hours ago, Donaldo said:

Corvette sales were about 21,000 in all of 2021. Bronco sales are over 12,000 per month now. I wonder which one is a better return on investment? 

Not to mention that flat rock is underutilized currently, as they're only making the mustang. Others have pointed out that making a crossover or truck at flat rock wouldn't work, because the plant can only produce lower vehicles in it's current state. By doing an exotic sexy ev, ford can increase the production output in a way that doesn't require massive changes to the plant, that would generate billions of dollars in revenue, but that would also be low volume enough to where part shortages weren't as much of an issue. All while offering an aspirational product that can serve as an exciting halo vehicle for your evs. 

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49 minutes ago, DeluxeStang said:

I see where you're coming from, but the average transaction price for a c8 was $82,489, multiply that by 21k vehicles and you're left with a little over 1.7 billion in revenue. All while bringing wealthier and more diverse buyers into your showrooms, and reducing the average age of Corvette buyers. 1.7 billion dollars isn't a huge amount of revenue when you consider ford and gm both generate more than 100 billion in revenue a year. But it's still significant. If Ford develops a c8 rival, they can offer a new halo model that improves the brands image, while making billions of dollars, and utilizing a lot of the tech developed on that car for additional models. For instance, if the thunderbird is a high performance ev, that same battery and electric motors can be used in an upcoming ev mustang coupe, or sporty crossover.

The profit margin on a Corvette is going to be quite small (even if the price is high) given the low volume, and would also be small for any other sporty car that isn't a Porsche or Ferrari. Each $82K F-150, Expedition,  or Super Duty sold probably puts at least $20K in the bank for Ford - maybe someone has the actual numbers? 

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1 hour ago, Donaldo said:

The profit margin on a Corvette is going to be quite small (even if the price is high) given the low volume,.....

 

Margins on the Corvette are rumored to be 16.5%.  

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50 minutes ago, mackinaw said:

 

Margins on the Corvette are rumored to be 16.5%.  


According to who? I'm not sure I believe that. 

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