Could the Lincoln Aviator/Ford Explorer Platform Give Rise to a Range of Sporty Mustang Crossovers?

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By Car Brand Experts

The New York Auto Show witnessed the unveiling of the Lincoln Aviator concept last year, which garnered attention not only for its scaled-down Navigator design and plug-in hybrid engine but also for the announcement that the production model would be built on a new rear-wheel-drive platform. In today’s automotive landscape, maximizing the potential of a new vehicle chassis is key, so it wasn’t surprising when Ford Motor Company also revealed that the same platform would serve as the foundation for the all-new 2020 Ford Explorer. 

However, the latest development comes as more of a surprise: A recent report suggests that this shared platform will give rise to sporty SUV models that could essentially be crossover versions of the iconic Ford Mustang. 

According to a report from Motor Trend‘s “MT Confidential” column, a mysterious figure known as “Mike Connor” shared insights. This mysterious persona, who has seemingly operated in the shadows of automotive journalism since 2006, hinted that the initial plan for the Aviator/Explorer platform included the development of a premium Lincoln sedan to rival the Cadillac CT6. However, Lincoln’s top executive Joy Falotica reportedly redirected the focus away from the luxury sedan project. 

Instead, the report suggests that all efforts will now be concentrated on creating a series of performance-oriented crossover vehicles under the Mustang brand, featuring a “sports-activity coupe” design reminiscent of the BMW X4. Motor Trend speculates that these Mustang-inspired SUVs will not only visually resemble the muscle car but also deliver performance comparable to non-Shelby versions of the legendary Mustang. If the assumptions hold true, these mid-sized crossovers could boast power outputs ranging from 300 to 500 horsepower. While enthusiasts may hope for a version equipped with the potent 5.0-liter Coyote V8, Ford might opt for the 3.5-liter EcoBoost twin-turbo V6 for the range-topping variant.

Albeit based on speculation, the notion of a Mustang crossover is not unreasonable, especially considering the current SUV market trends. Moreover, with Ford’s upcoming electric crossover set to feature design cues from the Mustang, it makes strategic sense to further leverage the iconic model’s appeal.

Given the prevalence of sports car brands venturing into the crossover segment, the prospect of a Mustang SUV no longer seems as unconventional as it once might have.

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