Now that Ford Motor Company has unveiled the 2021 Mustang Mach-E, the floodgates of haters has officially opened. The idea of an all-electric, four-door crossover wearing the Mustang nameplate might take some time to get used to, this ground-breaking model still delivers the performance for which the Mustang is known. While everyone is entitled to their own opinion, just keep in mind that there have been worse applications of the Mustang name on various cars over the years, and here are six examples.
The Mach-E isn't the first four-door design considered for the Mustang. During the early development of the first-gen Mustang, the four-door design study shown here had been created, but it was eventually abandoned since a Mustang sedan would essentially be the same car as the Falcon sedan off which the original Mustang was based. Except for the long wheelbase and the thick C-pillar, the four-door Mustang didn't look so bad.
Although horsepower outputs of many cars was anemic in the 1990s, the base SN95 Mustangs (1994-2004) were severely underpowered. By the end of this car's run, the V6 engines had decent output, but the early version used a base V6 engine that produced just 145 horsepower. Compare that to the base 332 horsepower and 417 lb-ft of torque that the Mustang Mach-E will deliver not to mention the 459 horsepower and 612 lb-ft of torque available with the optional GT Performance Edition.
Around the same time that Chevrolet was penning designs for a mid-engine Corvette, Ford was working on a mid-engine Mustang called the Mach 2. Ok, the idea of a baby GT40 called a Mustang is really cool, and about the only bad part about the Mach 2 is that, today, it looks like the mix between a Corvette and a Fiero. This Mustang might be proof that as long as a vehicle can bring in new enthusiasts with more performance, then why be so worried about the radical design... whether it's a mid-engine coupe or a four-door CUV.
There was little performance built into the Mustang II thanks in large part to the energy crisis, but resurrecting the legendary Cobra nameplate for this car was a severe disappointment. This version of the Mustang was only an appearance package trading on the historical name more than the Mustang Mach-E ever could.
As if the Mustang II wasn't bad enough, Ford played around with the idea of creating a Mustang-based station wagon – wood paneling and all. Unlike the Mach-E, which at least uses some of the current Mustang's stylish cues, this two-box design study looks like little more than a smaller version of the Country Squire. There's no doubt a Mustang Shooting Brake design would have been cool, this particular design was certainly not.
Detractors of the Mach-E seem to think that this electric Mustang will water down the Mustang nameplate, but Ford has proven its willingness to abuse historical model names, which was the case with the 1984 Mustang GT350. This model was created to celebrate the Mustang's 20th anniversary by rehashing the iconic GT350 nameplate without bringing any added performance.
Hands down, the worst Mustang to ever exist was this front-wheel drive design study. In the mid-1980s, Ford was well on its way in designing the first-ever front-wheel-drive Mustang, but fortunately enthusiasts caught wind and voiced their opinions. This was enough to keep the rear-drive Mustang around leaving the planned front-drive car to become the production Ford Probe.
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