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by Jay Traugott
The next-generation Mustang will remain Ford's premiere sports car for all global markets despite earlier talk of a reborn Capri in Europe.
There have been plenty of rumors about the next-generation Ford Mustang flying around, in anticipation of its premiere at the 2014 New York Auto Show. Riding on an all-new rear-wheel-drive platform, it will feature an independent rear suspension and an overall more refined personality, though its 5.0-liter V8 will remain optional. Styling is rumored to resemble that of the Evos Concept. There have, however, been whispers emanating from Ford's European division about reviving the old Capri nameplate on the new Mustang's platform.
For those in need of a refresh, the Ford Capri was a small rear-wheel-drive coupe sold in Europe from the early '60s to the mid-'90s. For several years it was offered in the US as a Mercury, coming in various forms such as a rebadged Fox-bodied Mustang but it never caught on like it did overseas. But with the recent launch of the Toyobaru GT86/BRZ, voices at Ford have been crying out for the car's revival. As interesting and tempting as it sounds, the reality is that it's simply not going to happen. Ford CEO Alan Mulally is apparently not interested in such a car because he wants the Mustang to be Ford's one and only rear-wheel-drive performance sports car.
Instead of adapting this new platform for a smaller coupe like a reborn Capri, Ford will stretch it so that it can be further used as a basis for a new Falcon (for Australia only) as well as a new performance-oriented Lincoln model specifically designed to go up against heavyweights from the likes of Audi, BMW and Cadillac. It appears that when it comes to Ford's rear-wheel-drive performance models, size and prestige are what matter most.