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Ford Thunderbird Being Considered As Possible Corvette Rival

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Posted (edited)

Ford Thunderbird Being Considered As Possible Corvette Rival

https://fordauthority.com/2022/05/ford-thunderbird-being-considered-as-possible-corvette-rival-exclusive/

 

This time around, Ford is considering reviving the Thunderbird as a somewhat indirect Corvette rival. The new T-Bird would reportedly be more of a grand touring coupe, though it wouldn’t boast a mid-engine layout like the current-gen C8 Corvette, and as such, wouldn’t exactly be a direct competitor to its original rival.

 

FordAuthority.com_2022-05-14_Thunderbird.jpg

Edited by ice-capades
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Posted (edited)

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.

Edited by Harley Lover

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1 hour ago, ice-capades said:

Ford Thunderbird Being Considered As Possible Corvette Rival

https://fordauthority.com/2022/05/ford-thunderbird-being-considered-as-possible-corvette-rival-exclusive/

 

This time around, Ford is considering reviving the Thunderbird as a somewhat indirect Corvette rival. The new T-Bird would reportedly be more of a grand touring coupe, though it wouldn’t boast a mid-engine layout like the current-gen C8 Corvette, and as such, wouldn’t exactly be a direct competitor to its original rival.

 

FordAuthority.com_2022-05-14_Thunderbird.jpg

If they're gonna do it, go all the way. Do a full on affordable mid-engine rival to compete with the c8. If they wanted to basically make an upscale mustang, just do a Lincoln coupe off that platform alongside the mid-engine car. Ford competing with the c8 would be an amazing choice. But if their competitor turns out to be some gt that's a toned down mustang, I'll be heartbroken.

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Why not make it a Lincoln instead? The Lincoln brand could use something like this to generate positive press. 

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19 minutes ago, Dequindre said:

Why not make it a Lincoln instead? The Lincoln brand could use something like this to generate positive press. 

 

If the product were to be an EV crossover fastback (or even on the Mustang chassis for that matter), there's nothing preventing a Lincoln stablemate to Thunderbird. Lord knows there's plenty of historical precedent for it.

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25 minutes ago, Harley Lover said:

 

If the product were to be an EV crossover fastback (or even on the Mustang chassis for that matter), there's nothing preventing a Lincoln stablemate to Thunderbird. Lord knows there's plenty of historical precedent for it.

I pray to God that whatever this is isn't another SUV/crossover. I understand why crossovers are popular, I understand why people like them. Hell, we own a 2017 explorer which imo, was one of ford's better designs these last few years. So I don't hate all SUVs/crossovers. But if Ford adds a 15th crossover to it's lineup, I'm gonna puke. Ford is making a killing with the f-series, transit, broncos, mach-e, and the maverick. Not to mention the rest of their line-up which, imo, is probably the strongest line-up ford has had in years, maybe ever. With them printing money hand over fist, I'm pretty sure they can throw people a bone and do one or two coupe/sport car models beyond the mustang. Even if those programs just broke even, it wouldn't be the end of the world.

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1 hour ago, DeluxeStang said:

I pray to God that whatever this is isn't another SUV/crossover. I understand why crossovers are popular, I understand why people like them. Hell, we own a 2017 explorer which imo, was one of ford's better designs these last few years. So I don't hate all SUVs/crossovers. But if Ford adds a 15th crossover to it's lineup, I'm gonna puke. Ford is making a killing with the f-series, transit, broncos, mach-e, and the maverick. Not to mention the rest of their line-up which, imo, is probably the strongest line-up ford has had in years, maybe ever. With them printing money hand over fist, I'm pretty sure they can throw people a bone and do one or two coupe/sport car models beyond the mustang. Even if those programs just broke even, it wouldn't be the end of the world.

 

No argument from me, but I don't know if that's the prevailing mindset within Ford. I think it would be a hard sell to move ahead with a program that would break even - too much competition for funding from programs that offer acceptable return on capital employed. 

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2 hours ago, DeluxeStang said:

I pray to God that whatever this is isn't another SUV/crossover. I understand why crossovers are popular, I understand why people like them. Hell, we own a 2017 explorer which imo, was one of ford's better designs these last few years. So I don't hate all SUVs/crossovers. But if Ford adds a 15th crossover to it's lineup, I'm gonna puke. Ford is making a killing with the f-series, transit, broncos, mach-e, and the maverick. Not to mention the rest of their line-up which, imo, is probably the strongest line-up ford has had in years, maybe ever. With them printing money hand over fist, I'm pretty sure they can throw people a bone and do one or two coupe/sport car models beyond the mustang. Even if those programs just broke even, it wouldn't be the end of the world.

 

Maybe Ford isn't in a great position to spend employee time and factory space on on a car that would sell well for about 2 years. The population of people that really want a new Thunderbird likely will not buying a lot of new cars for much longer anyways. 

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20 minutes ago, Donaldo said:

 

Maybe Ford isn't in a great position to spend employee time and factory space on on a car that would sell well for about 2 years. The population of people that really want a new Thunderbird likely will not buying a lot of new cars for much longer anyways. 


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. 

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At this rate, why do mid-engine?

 

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

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4 hours ago, Dequindre said:

Why not make it a Lincoln instead? The Lincoln brand could use something like this to generate positive press. 

 

Should be brought out as just "Thunderbird" and sold in both Ford and Lincoln dealers

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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.  

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5 hours ago, DeluxeStang said:

I pray to God that whatever this is isn't another SUV/crossover. I understand why crossovers are popular, I understand why people like them. Hell, we own a 2017 explorer which imo, was one of ford's better designs these last few years. So I don't hate all SUVs/crossovers. But if Ford adds a 15th crossover to it's lineup, I'm gonna puke. Ford is making a killing with the f-series, transit, broncos, mach-e, and the maverick. Not to mention the rest of their line-up which, imo, is probably the strongest line-up ford has had in years, maybe ever. With them printing money hand over fist, I'm pretty sure they can throw people a bone and do one or two coupe/sport car models beyond the mustang. Even if those programs just broke even, it wouldn't be the end of the world.

 

CUVs are the new Sedan....what your saying is the same thing as adding another sedan to the line up.

IMO if they do this, it should be a BEV and it should share its platform with the new Mustang BEV.

 

I think the BEV Mustang will be a sedan, Coupe and the Mach E going forward

 

The Thunderbird would be a long wheelbase Mustang that is alot more luxurious and maybe a coupe sedan body style.

 

Doesn't matter how well it sells, since all the engineering costs would be bore by the Mustang family

 

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Interesting report. Wonder if this is one of the rumored Mustang variants that pop up now and again in rumors?

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Posted (edited)

Fun fact, at one point Ford was considering calling it midsized BEV Utility Thunderbird instead of Explorer/Aviator. I guess they thought one good name might sell better without hurting sales of the existing ICE Explorer/ Aviator….

^^^^^^^ that was before the runaway success of Lightning, I think the idea of high $$$ beautique BEVs went out the window…..

Edited by jpd80

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Eh, I think we should just take this article with a grain of salt. Remember that Ford Authority is the one that posts recent spy shots of the next generation Lincoln Nautilus as if it's the new Ford Fusion Active. They act as if they were so sure it's the new Fusion Active when most of us already known it's the new Nautilus. I wonder if the same sources that 'told' Ford Authority that the test vehicle being the new Fusion Active is the same sources that told them that Ford is being considered the Thunderbird. Keyword: 'being considered'. Not an actual fact that Ford is indeed working on a Thunderbird project. I'm sure Ford may be considering it or may actually be working on it. I just think we shouldn't get our hopes up quite yet. Personally, I would like a T-Bird return...

 

32 minutes ago, jpd80 said:

Fun fact, at one point Ford was considering calling it midsized BEV Utility Thunderbird instead of Explorer/Aviator. I guess they thought one good name might sell better without hurting sales of the existing ICE Explorer/ Aviator….

^^^^^^^ that was before the runaway success of Lightning, I think the idea of high $$$ beautique BEVs went out the window…..

 

I didn't know this. I wonder what made Ford change their minds not to use the Thunderbird name? It does make sense to have the upcoming Explorer/Aviator BEV on its own alongside the ICE versions, as part of transition, while still maintaining the Explorer as part of Ford's ICE Icons.

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Posted (edited)
22 minutes ago, pffan1990 said:

 

I didn't know this. I wonder what made Ford change their minds not to use the Thunderbird name? It does make sense to have the upcoming Explorer/Aviator BEV on its own alongside the ICE versions, as part of transition, while still maintaining the Explorer as part of Ford's ICE Icons.

The Thunderbird name assumed that the sales would be mostly upper end and was considered a way of doing just one vehicle instead of two like Explorer and Aviator. They may still do it as a way of avoiding direct comparison to Explorer/Aviator in the gradual run down of ICE production (a way of insulating the BEV from Chicargo)

Edited by jpd80

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6 hours ago, Donaldo said:

 

Maybe Ford isn't in a great position to spend employee time and factory space on on a car that would sell well for about 2 years. The population of people that really want a new Thunderbird likely will not buying a lot of new cars for much longer anyways. 

Chip shortages aside, ford is doing pretty well. They have a solid lineup, and apparently, if it wasn't for their investment in Rivian tanking and losing 5 bil in the first quarter, they would have reported a Q1 profit of around 3 billion. Thanks to Rivian, that didn't happen. I think if the new Thunderbird was an aspirational mid-engine car then it would make sense. Making the Corvette mid-engine has generated a considerable amount of revenue for gm. While also bringing in younger and more diverse customers from other brands who are paying tons of money for new corvettes. If the new Thunderbird is just going to be a softened up mustang that rehashes retro styling from the 50s to appeal to 70 year olds. Then I agree, don't bother. But an mid-engine car that has the potential to sell in the thousands each year with average transaction prices of 80 grand is a pretty solid investment. Take the dct from the gt500, pair it with a 5.0, maybe use a few suspension components and the carbon tub from the ford gt if possible, and drop a sexy body on it. Sounds like a winner to me. 

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5 hours ago, twintornados said:

 

Should be brought out as just "Thunderbird" and sold in both Ford and Lincoln dealers

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. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour 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. 

Zephyr has zero cache as a vehicle name of a brand, the Thunderbird name is actively being considered by Ford.

Edited by jpd80

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2 hours ago, DeluxeStang said:

Chip shortages aside, ford is doing pretty well. They have a solid lineup, and apparently, if it wasn't for their investment in Rivian tanking and losing 5 bil in the first quarter, they would have reported a Q1 profit of around 3 billion. Thanks to Rivian, that didn't happen. I think if the new Thunderbird was an aspirational mid-engine car then it would make sense. Making the Corvette mid-engine has generated a considerable amount of revenue for gm. While also bringing in younger and more diverse customers from other brands who are paying tons of money for new corvettes. If the new Thunderbird is just going to be a softened up mustang that rehashes retro styling from the 50s to appeal to 70 year olds. Then I agree, don't bother. But an mid-engine car that has the potential to sell in the thousands each year with average transaction prices of 80 grand is a pretty solid investment. Take the dct from the gt500, pair it with a 5.0, maybe use a few suspension components and the carbon tub from the ford gt if possible, and drop a sexy body on it. Sounds like a winner to me. 

 

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..

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5 hours ago, silvrsvt said:

 

CUVs are the new Sedan....what your saying is the same thing as adding another sedan to the line up.

IMO if they do this, it should be a BEV and it should share its platform with the new Mustang BEV.

 

I think the BEV Mustang will be a sedan, Coupe and the Mach E going forward

 

The Thunderbird would be a long wheelbase Mustang that is alot more luxurious and maybe a coupe sedan body style.

 

Doesn't matter how well it sells, since all the engineering costs would be bore by the Mustang family

 


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

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2 hours ago, jpd80 said:

The Thunderbird name assumed that the sales would be mostly upper end and was considered a way of doing just one vehicle instead of two like Explorer and Aviator. They may still do it as a way of avoiding direct comparison to Explorer/Aviator in the gradual run down of ICE production (a way of insulating the BEV from Chicargo)

 

Yes, this makes sense now that you explained it.

 

29 minutes 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..

 

I do think that if the Thunderbird is indeed coming back, it would be EV rather than ICE, unless it's hybrid/plug-in hybrid only. I do think Ford's days of all-new ICE vehicle may be done with. The Bronco/Bronco Sport/Maverick would likely be the final all-new ICE vehicles in Ford's lineup. The existing ICE would only have redesigns (F-Series and Expedition/Navigator for example), heavy updates (S650 Mustang for one example), and basic/light updates (Escape, Explorer, etc.) from here on out until full transition to EVs.

Having said that though, the Thunderbird could have styling as a mid-engined 2-seat sports car in both coupe and roadster form while being EVs which would have two good trunks. Or have few Birds as part of a sub-branding, all in EVs, that could be built in one plant. The aforementioned mid-engined sports car, 4-seat/4-door coupeish hatchbackish wagon, larger 3-row SUV, for example. All with similar-but-yet-unique styling to make it instantly recognizable as a Thunderbird. The singular 'Thunderbird' name could be attached to the mid-engined sports EV car to compete with Corvette with the others having different secondary plural name. Like what Ford has done with 'Mustang Mach-E', using the 'Mach-E' as a secondary name to denote the new expanded family member of the Mustang family. Same can be applied to Thunderbird by leveraging its past to denote different layout. There was a 4-door Thunderbird sedan back in the 1970s, called the 'Fordor', so perhaps that could be used as 'Thunderbird Fordor'. Then something like 'Thunderbird Touring' for the 3-row CUV (just as an example of naming that they can do).
 

20 minutes ago, rmc523 said:


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

 

That could work too. Have 'Mustang' be coupe/convertible ICE only with Mach-E being the existing BEV CUV and maybe a BEV sedan-ish version of it too. Then the Thunderbird as the 4-door/4-seat coupe-ish for BEV. I'm sure Ford will figure something out.

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3 hours ago, pffan1990 said:

Eh, I think we should just take this article with a grain of salt. Remember that Ford Authority is the one that posts recent spy shots of the next generation Lincoln Nautilus as if it's the new Ford Fusion Active. They act as if they were so sure it's the new Fusion Active when most of us already known it's the new Nautilus. I wonder if the same sources that 'told' Ford Authority that the test vehicle being the new Fusion Active is the same sources that told them that Ford is being considered the Thunderbird. Keyword: 'being considered'. Not an actual fact that Ford is indeed working on a Thunderbird project. I'm sure Ford may be considering it or may actually be working on it. I just think we shouldn't get our hopes up quite yet. Personally, I would like a T-Bird return...

 

 

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.

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2 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.

People looking closely at those canoed picks are saying that it looks like a Lincoln under the covers, maybe the next Nautilus….

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