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by Tim Beissmann

The head of Ford Motor Company has reportedly rejected a proposal from the Blue Oval’s European division to create a new sports coupe to sit below the next-generation Ford Mustang.

US publication Edmunds Inside Line reports Ford of Europe developed a plan for a “more glamorous” and desirable compact coupe, but Ford president and CEO Alan Mulally poured water on its development in light of the current uncertainty surrounding the European market.

The all-new Mustang is set to arrive in 2015, although Edmunds understands Ford of Europe internally believes the iconic Pony car will have limited sales potential in the region because of its anticipated price and size, and fuel consumption and emissions.

Speaking with UK publication Auto Express, Ford of Europe vice president of marketing, sales and service, Roelant de Waard, said a spiritual successor to the Ford Capri coupe inspired by the Ford Evos concept was not a priority at this stage.

“We have a long list of things we’d like to do – convertibles, RSs and the like – time and weather permitting,” de Waard said.

“But we’re not looking at a coupe as it’s the Mustang that we’re really excited about.”

The global coupe segment has enjoyed a recent resurgence, spearheaded by the introduction of the Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ twins, although Mulally is reportedly unconvinced about the viability of such a specialty model for Ford in the challenging European market.

Ford Australia was coy about the potential for the next-generation Mustang to reach our shores following the announcement in September that it was on its way to Europe, although confirmation that it will be produced in right-hand drive does its chances no harm.

Once expected to share a rear-wheel-drive platform with the next-generation Ford Falcon, the new Mustang is now expected to be unpinned by a heavily updated version of the current sports car’s chassis – though this time with independent rear suspension rather than the current model’s antiquated live rear axle set-up.




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