Mid engine mustang? Waddya think?

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junits15

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Evolving into a more expensive, less useful product is appealing to an even smaller market, which would be the wrong way to make sure it wouldn't die. That would have the opposite of the intended effect. The Mustang is the best seller in it's market category, you can't really improve on that.

And let's discuss how everyone here accepts the Mach E as a Mustang.

ETA; no, the Mustang is not a sports car. IDGAF what pre-determined category the US government puts it in, that doesn't make it a sports car. And in the context of this particular discussion, the true definition of "sports car" truly matters, it's not a minor thing.

If you think a Mustang is the same type of car as a Corvette, 718, F8, Miata or McLaren, you're kidding yourself.
you can’t realistically say a RWD v8 coupe isn’t a sports car, it absolutely is. It’s a grand tourer sure, but that is a subcategory under the umbrella of sports car. You need to look at it through the lens of all cars on the road, you can put a mustang next to a genesis and really truly say “the mustang isn’t a sports car”?

every single change to an established car line always generates this kind of response. How about the absolute madness that erupted when the live axle was removed? “It’s not a mustang” “lost its way” “not true to its roots”

But at the end of the day, there will never be a mid engine mustang. S650 is likely going to be the last gasoline mustang ever produced and it’s not mid engine

 
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Cobra Jet

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Here ya go:
Kar-Kraft did it with a 1969 Boss 429.
1672955407945.png


Many probably are not aware but there was a 1969 mid-engine BOSS 429 built and it was called Project LID (Low Investment Drivetrain).

According to some sources, after its prototype cycle it was to be shredded, but apparently was not.

Here's the story courtesy of Macs Motor City Garage web site:
https://www.macsmotorcitygarage.com/the-lid-project-fords-secret-mid-engine-boss-429-mustang/

If you're not a link clicker, here's the content of the story from MMCG:
Ford's Secret Mid-Engine Boss 429 Mustang

Posted on September 3, 2016 by MCG



REVISED AND UPDATED:
In 1969, Ford built a single prototype for a mid-engined version of the Boss 429 Mustang. Here's the true story behind this wild machine with an intriguing update.

We've told some of this tale before here at Mac's Motor City Garage, including it in the feature Five Forgotten Ford Mustangs (April 14, 2014) and posting a stand-alone feature in May 2015. Here's the latest.

Built by Ford Motor Company's Special Vehicles unit and its private Detroit-area skunkworks, Kar Kraft, this fascinating 1969 project was known internally as the LID Mustang. The LID initials signified Low Investment Drivetrain in a mid-engine configuration done on the cheap, using as many off-the-shelf components as possible.

One well-known issue with the production Boss 429 Mustang of 1969-1970 (1,358 examples built) was its poor weight distribution, the result of cramming a big, iron hemi V8 between the front wheels of a light, short-wheelbase chassis. The LID concept addressed this problem by relocating the engine from the front to directly over the rear wheels. Here's how the deed was done.




A standard Boss 429 engine and C6 automatic transmission were turned around backward and installed in a fabricated, removable rear subframe, with the engine centered directly over the rear axle centerline. A custom-built transfer case, similar to a marine drive, turned the output 180 degrees and fed it to a 9-inch Ford rear axle, which was converted to independent operation with articulated half shafts and u-joints. A special axle housing incorporated an engine mount and pickup points for the Koni coilover shocks and rear control arms. The modular, drop-out layout was obviously devised with low-volume production in mindand at a much lower cost than the conventional solution, an exotic and expensive European transaxle.



On the outside, the LID Mustang was trimmed not like a Boss 429 but like a standard 1969 Mach I Sportsroof, with little to give away the revised engine location.

Note: There was even a hood scoop up front.

The stamped steel wheels, eight inches wide at the rear and six inches in the front, were reverse offset (in front-wheel drive fashion) to preserve the stock track width, then disguised with full wheel covers taken from the Lincoln parts bin.

The rear seat was removed and the area trimmed with black carpeting, while up front, the former engine compartment housed the battery, radiator, and air-conditioning condenser, with electric fans to provide cooling.



For access to the big V8 out back, the rear glass was replaced with a Sports Slat rear louver assembly mounted on hinges and folding struts.

The LID project was a complete success in this way:
The Boss 429's static weight distribution was reversed from 60/40 percent front to 40/60 rear. But to the engineers surprise, except for a reduction of wheel spin, there was no significant improvement in performance.

With that discovery, the LID Mustang program was stopped in its tracks. However, the car was fully operational and street legal. You can see it in action here in this awesome home movie recorded by Kar Kraft employee Larry Lawrence back in 1969.

So what was the fate of the lone mid-engine Boss 429? According to a short article on the beast in the December 1970 issue of Motor Trend, at that point it was awaiting its appointment with the crusher at a Detroit-area salvage yard. Since the unique Mustang hasn't been seen since, we presume that's where this story ends.

UPDATE:
Well, that's where the story ended when we first published it in May of 2015. But since then, we've received some very interesting info from multiple and highly credible sources who worked at Ford at the time.

Not so fast, the insiders tell us:
There's an excellent chance the LID Mustang wasn't destroyed. In fact, they doubt that happened at all.

Here's what's known for sure:
After its test program was completed, the car was sent to a fenced-in bullpen at of the Dearborn Proving Grounds, and there it sat with some other discarded test mules as the months stretched into a year or more. From there the Mustang was supposed to be sent to the shredder but instead, our moles assert, the car simply disappeared one day - poof. So we shouldn't be surprised, they say, if the one-of-a-kind Mustang has simply been sitting in a private garage somewhere in Dearborn or Allen Park for the past 40-odd years, and one day it reappears. We'll be looking forward to that day.

This additional link contains Kar Kraft video footage of rare builds (including LID and the KK B429 assembly line) taken by former KK Employee Larry Lawrence in 1969:
https://www.macsmotorcitygarage.com/video-a-tour-of-kar-kraft-in-1969/

---

Where is LID today? Grab your sleuthing caps and post what you know or can find!
 
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This is the Ford GT, and it already exists. Obviously no back seats, no trunk, dedicated sports car not a muscle car... not a Mustang.
It'd be cool if Ford had something to line up against the c8 tho.... Performance and price wise
 

thunderstrike

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It'd be cool if Ford had something to line up against the c8 tho.... Performance and price wise
Yes, something new -- not mess up a good thing like Mustang.
 
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Yes, something new -- not mess up a good thing like Mustang.

Yeah, I agree. That really can't happen though. To produce in numbers to keep the price near the c8 it really couldn't be a specialty car.

I agree with most everything everyone else has said, I love having a back seat and that's actually why I got a mustang instead of a vette. Trunk space too. I drive with my wife and kid in the car, and do road trips, etc. A two seater is a deal breaker for me currently.

I'd wager at some point in the near future they're going to 'screw up' some traits of the mustang one way or another in the eyes of us purists tho. It will eventually be electric probably, or something like that...

Of they'd make more gt40s and get the price near 100k, I'd be happy with that and probably lay out the dough....
 
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traxiii

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Then it wouldn't be a Mustang. A Mustang is a sports coupe or grand tourer, not a sports car, so don't try and make it one.

Just like with the Corvette, which is now a very different (and less daily-driver oriented) car. But the Corvette was always a sports car.

Losing basically all your luggage/storage space is a complete joke.
Call it a Cougar then, but that render sure looks like a Mustang.
 

BluePonyGT

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I might get some of my facts wrong so bare with me.

Initially Ford developed the pony car to sell to a specific generation, and that's what kicked everything off. The Camaro came after as a strategy to compete and provide a cheaper alternative to the Corvette, which had already developed its own exclusivity by then in its own market. In either case Ford wasn't trying to emulate anything that already existed as a way of dragging consumers from one thing to another. They saw it as a new market. They even took the cheaper route and designed the first mustang off of the Ford Falcon. They also wanted to sell lots of cars.

Changing the platform to be mid-engine means not understanding your current market. The car becomes more exclusive then it should, you make less and sell less, and risk abandoning the market that does sell you cars. So why do it? You also ask your existing market to continue to trust in the brand, but put new faith in a platform that is foreign to the average consumer, so they won't see the product as a good fit and walk away.

The opposite can be just as dangerous - when you dilute the brand after successfully plucking its demise from the ashes just 10 years earlier. The Ford Probe. In this particular case Ford's core market of enthusiasts showed up at Ford's headquarters and protested replacing their pony car design with a front wheel drive monstrosity that looked like a half-assed space shuttle - a design which ultimately failed.

As long as you're selling cars to enthusiasts who also like to save a buck, drive fast, customize and work on their own cars so they can go to the track, or cruise with their friends they shouldn't change the design. But if you have sports car enthusiasts suddenly showing up to Ford dealerships saying they'd buy one if only it were mid-engine, then maybe you got something, but until then that isn't going to work.

Leave the Mustang alone. Don't make it what it isn't. Make a more affordable version of the GT or something instead if you want to. Otherwise you're over-complicating a classic for no reason other than to try to be exclusive without much benefit in the long run and risk destroying the brand and the market that goes with it.

My opinion of course...
 

Rapid Red

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Technically, the Mustang is already mid-engine. The majority of the block + its weight sits behind the front axle 🤣

But in a serious tone, I wouldn't want it called a Mustang either. As NightmareMoon (Luna reference?) mentioned, we have the Ford GT. And if sticking to that formula causes its death, so be it. I want a Mustang to die as a Mustang, just as the Camaro, Viper, etc., have. Corvette is an exception, because it is taking on the form that its original creator intended it to be in the first place.

If Ford puts out a mid/rear-engine vehicle like the Ford GT, intended to replace the Mustang, I don't want it to be called a Mustang. It needs a line of its own.

Still absolutely hate the Mach-E gets the Mustang name.
As the old saying goes

"You can put lipstick on a pig & it is still a pig"
 

KeyLime

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Mid-Engine Mustang? Seriously? Get real, we all know there will be an electric motor at each wheel. :explode:
 

dpAtlanta

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True mid-engine handling is something that has to be experienced for those who have not. The difference is quite impressive. Put all of the handling packages on your GT, GT350 & GT500, but the balance and nimble handling won’t match a true mid-engine car.
I love my GT 350 more than my Cayman (real mid-engine).
The Cayman handles better, but it is NOT a Shelby GT 350…. sorry Porsche.
Just my observation.
 

4V Mayhem

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Unfortunately in this game people always hate on ANY type of change. Everyone thinks that the then-current anything is the pinnacle of performance and that it is impossible to surpass it. That is, until the change happens and it proves to be far superior to the old dusty ways. Only then do all the ones who hated the idea of change start to froth at the mouth at how good the change actually is. Case in point, when Ford initially went Modular. Oh, all the screams of horror in those days. And now look at where we are.

Mid-engine, AWD, and other ideas would certainly improve the car in ways that the current configurations cannot hope to. Would there be some growing pains along the way? Of course. Just like when Ford initially went Modular. However cost would be the main consideration. It would likely be too pricey for most people and that would hurt Ford. Aside from that I would welcome it with open arms.
 

boB

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I might get some of my facts wrong so bare with me.

Initially Ford developed the pony car to sell to a specific generation, and that's what kicked everything off. The Camaro came after as a strategy to compete and provide a cheaper alternative to the Corvette, which had already developed its own exclusivity by then in its own market. In either case Ford wasn't trying to emulate anything that already existed as a way of dragging consumers from one thing to another. They saw it as a new market. They even took the cheaper route and designed the first mustang off of the Ford Falcon. They also wanted to sell lots of cars.

Changing the platform to be mid-engine means not understanding your current market. The car becomes more exclusive then it should, you make less and sell less, and risk abandoning the market that does sell you cars. So why do it? You also ask your existing market to continue to trust in the brand, but put new faith in a platform that is foreign to the average consumer, so they won't see the product as a good fit and walk away.

The opposite can be just as dangerous - when you dilute the brand after successfully plucking its demise from the ashes just 10 years earlier. The Ford Probe. In this particular case Ford's core market of enthusiasts showed up at Ford's headquarters and protested replacing their pony car design with a front wheel drive monstrosity that looked like a half-assed space shuttle - a design which ultimately failed.

As long as you're selling cars to enthusiasts who also like to save a buck, drive fast, customize and work on their own cars so they can go to the track, or cruise with their friends they shouldn't change the design. But if you have sports car enthusiasts suddenly showing up to Ford dealerships saying they'd buy one if only it were mid-engine, then maybe you got something, but until then that isn't going to work.

Leave the Mustang alone. Don't make it what it isn't. Make a more affordable version of the GT or something instead if you want to. Otherwise you're over-complicating a classic for no reason other than to try to be exclusive without much benefit in the long run and risk destroying the brand and the market that goes with it.

My opinion of course...
Or another view: when the Corvair Monza started outselling the rest of the line Ford realized that people would buy a "sporty" and "fun" car with a youthful image. Falcon already had the "economy" image but a rebodied Falcon with a new name might start something, It did!
Camaro resulted from the '65 Corvair falling short as a Mustang fighter, when GM realized they needed their own Mustang copy.

On to 2021: C8 was listed at $65K but GM probably did not make any of those stripper models and they did not have any of the niceties that make them desirable anyway. GM probably lost $$ on the low-end ones if there were any. C8 is a $80K to $100K car, Mustang is not and the large number of EcoBoosts shows that.
 

MAGS1

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It'd be cool if Ford had something to line up against the c8 tho.... Performance and price wise
obviously not the same ballpark price wise but it spanks the new Z06
 

Cobra Jet

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if the pockets allow, just pick up a Ford GT or a Classic Pantera…. There’s your “mid-engine” driver which is all that is needed. Slap a Mustang Pony on it and call it a day, or if you’re really wanting a challenge, graft a Mustang body onto one of those existing chassis… 😁
 

SpeedLu

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No thanks. That wouldn't be a Mustang, not interested.
 

 
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