I’ve been mulling these over for a while, it’s just thoughts.
The Ford Bronco – This is one that’s been rumoured forever with no show of any evidence the rumours were justified. If you want hope though, you can see what Ford has manage to do with the Mustang, and how it came from almost nowhere with the new GT.
What would it look like though?
Well, there’s a gap in the market for a no nonsense overbuilt four wheel drive vehicle. Drop the word “sports” and make it a no frills and hardworking utility vehicle. I think the market is there for something that does the basics incredibly well and aims squarely at rugged working Americans. Exactly where that name is still embedded in terms of brand recognition.
Of course the posours will love it as well and the aftermarket would grow fast.
Another car always saddled with rumours of it’s return. The problem with the rotary is that it’s not for someone who wants an appliance, but it does have a large hardcore of enthusiasts that want another. It’s a given Mazda has been working on it’s rotary technology behind the scenes, so perhaps given the history its time to try something different with the packaging.
Mazda has always had it’s roots in enthusiasts and racing, so I would suggest building a car aimed squarely at that. A sub $20,000 rear wheel drive rotary sports car built as simply as possible, and as modular as can be. You hear people claim something like the Toyota GT-86 is designed for people to modify and it’s complete codswallop, but Mazda could build an actual car designed for that and backed by Mazdaspeed while opening up a big aftermarket opportunity for other companies.
It could build another legend to put next to the MX-5.
When I say modular, I mean make swapping major components simple to do in the home garage. Make the fenders out of plastic and easy to bolt on new ones when drifters reach the point zip ties aren’t doing the job holding them on anymore, and for the aftermarket to make different ones to bolt on wether for looks or to house performance modifications.
To offer a sub 20k rear wheel drive sports car Mazda is going to eat profit, but they would have a flagship putting brand recognition in overdrive in the enthusiast world. Something Mazda are working at right now as they try and put themselves up there with Honda and Toyota. On the backend, Mazdaspeed bolt ons and tuning parts could end up making the profit.
The day after I wrote this it’s reported with a complete lack of confirmation the RX9 will be made and it’ll be a missile of some sort.
The Karman Ghia – Volkswagen are borked right now. The Beetle hasn’t hit the spot since it got its second coming and the Golf is always eclipsed by something else in that market. Most importantly their name is mud since the whole emissions scandal started.
What Volkswagen really needs is a distraction, and something beautiful would do it.
A 2+2 elegant coupe and convertible aimed at the 40+ demographic that saw or owned them when they were still relatively common and now have some money.
It just has to have a solid drivetrain which we know VW can do, and beautiful styling which we know they can hire someone else to do. They don’t even have to make a lot of them, and the higher price would help an air of exclusivity.
Most importantly it would get the press talking about them positively and maybe get people to want to say “I drive a Karman Ghia” – or whatever the name of the designer they use. The important thing is it has a VW badge on a good looking well made car.
The Honda CRX.
Forget the S2000, if it was viable and would sell in the numbers needed Honda wouldn’t be missing that trick.
However, given how the Civic has gotten bigger then a smaller sport orientated front wheel drive car could hit the spot. Make it a two seater and let the kids eat the extra insurance, but now use modern technology and design to ensure they don’t die as much in them. Now the three and four cylinder turbo is becoming common, making something that is super light and fun to drive but keeps the fuel budget down is in tune with the original cars.
Why make it two seater? Size, weight and coolness factor. Then there’s another market there to be had – young women. Dad’s will love to buy their little girl a small two seater because they were boys once.
All Honda would have to do with this one is embrace the style of the CRX, then not go overboard and try and make it look futuristic like they insist with Civic while avoiding the lame cutesy of the Fit. The result should then be a popular cool car for the under thirties, and a relatively inexpensive fun enthusiast car for all ages.