Ford is in an odd position right now. It is the only one of the Big Three to avoid a government bailout, which has improved peoples’ perceptions of the beleaguered automaker. But doing so has cost Ford a great deal of money, and the pursuit of global platform sharing under the “One Ford” plan means country-specific cars could be getting the boot.

Motor Trend is reporting that the next generation Mustang could go global in sales, and finally get that independent rear suspension we’ve all been pining for.

The 2006 Mustang Giordano Concept

Picture: Ford

Ford CEO Alan Mullaly has already suggested that Ford’s Australian-built Falcon, which was to underpin a new global rear-wheel drive car, is going to be killed rather soon. The next Mustang was to be built on a shortened wheelbase version of the Falcon chassis. That isn’t likely to happen now, and Ford is trying to end the practice of building country-specific cars. That includes the Mustang. But don’t expect Ford to kill the Mustang on its 50th birthday. Rather, it is likely that the new Mustang will actually be sold outside of North America for the first time.

Motor Trend is also reporting that the next Mustang will finally get an IRS, something Mustang fans have been clamoring for awhile (and news outlets have been reporting every year). But what happens to the rest of the Mustang is unsure. To meet stringent new fuel standards, the Mustang could wind up with a turbocharged V6 (likely borrowed from Down Under). But the 5.0 engine will only be a few years old then, so they aren’t likely to replace it so soon. Another option is to turn the Mustang into an expensive, high-tech Nissan GT-R fighter. Yet the Mustang has always been an everyman’s car. Why put it so far out of reach to so many?

2014 is a long way away, and the 2011 Mustang isn’t even in showrooms yet. We say, enjoy the great cars we have now, and worry about the future later.

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