A brand new Thunderbird may give the C8 Corvette hassle, however it must have just a few aces up its sleeve to be able to stand an opportunity.

by Dim Angelov, on

The Ford vs Chevy rivalry is likely one of the oldest and largest in automotive historical past. The 2 American carmakers have been going at it, throughout the lineup for many years. We now have the Mustang vs Camaro, F-Sequence vs Silverado, and Bronco vs Trailblazer, however earlier than all of these there was the Thunderbird vs C1 Corvette. And guess what, the Thunderbird wiped the ground with the Corvette, within the Nineteen Fifties, outselling it 23 to 1.

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A C8 competitor must be as mass-produced because the Corvette itself

That stated, whereas the Corvette went on to turn out to be America’s definitive sports activities automobile, the Thunderbird went the luxurious route, finally changing into a mildly-mannered coupe/convertible, finally disappearing from the model’s lineup.

We not too long ago received stories that Ford is benchmarking a Torch Purple C8 Corvette in Dearborn. As well as, the Blue Oval filed a trademark for the Thunderbird identify again in January, which implies the Thunderbird identify may return on a mid-engine C8 competitor. With this in thoughts, right here’s what a mid-engine C8 competitor from Ford would wish to be able to give the Corvette a run for its cash.

It must be mass-produced

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Nonetheless, the Corvette identify has been extra constant through the years

It might sound counter-intuitive for a high-performance mid-engine sports activities automobile, however the truth is the C8 Corvette, regardless of its efficiency capabilities, just isn’t as unique as one thing made by Ferrari or McLaren. Which means Ford may have to tone down the cutting-edge tech that went into their flagship, the Ford GT. Nonetheless, the C8 competitor from Ford is sure to share parts with the GT, because it wouldn’t make sense to develop a model new platform, provided that they have already got one.

It must be comparatively inexpensive

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What do you assume a C8 competitor from Ford must have?

The C8 Corvette is likely one of the greatest efficiency automobile bargains presently on the market.

No different producer presently affords a mid-engine V-8 efficiency automobile that does 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) in beneath 3.0 seconds, with a beginning worth of $58,900.

That is as a result of economic system of scale and GM’s marketing strategy, which includes decreased revenue margins and decrease manufacturing prices, by the usage of much less unique supplies like carbon fiber. GM can be utilizing extra recycled components and has restricted customization – one thing that may be countered with the big aftermarket help, supplied for a lot of of GM’s extra thrilling merchandise.

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With this in thoughts, Ford’s C8 competitor must comply with an analogous philosophy, as it could want to supply the mid-engine Thunderbird at an analogous worth. This inevitably signifies that the C8 rival can be positioned beneath the extremely unique Ford GT.

Ford will want to have the ability to produce plenty of vehicles per day

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So a mid-engine C8 rival from Ford might spell large hassle for GM’s delight and pleasure

The Chevrolet Corvette C8 is presently an enormous hit. A lot in order that GM can’t deal with demand. That is additionally one of many primary causes, the extra high-performance Corvette variations are being delayed by an (at the least) 12 months.

Presently, a mean of 186 C8 Corvettes are leaving the manufacturing unit, which though greater than every other mid-engine high-performance automobile, just isn’t almost sufficient to fulfill demand. Ford might want to plan forward, to be able to deal with the doubtless huge demand for his or her C8 competitor.

It might want to have an applicable engine

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It might want a potent engine

It might want to match the C8’s efficiency

There’s no denying that the C8 is a correctly fast automobile.

Its 6.2-liter naturally-aspirated V-8 produces as much as 495 horsepower and 470 pound-feet (637 Nm) and is mated to an eight-speed dual-clutch automated.

This permits for a 2.9-second run to 60 mph and a high pace of as much as 194 mph (312 km/h).

On the very least, Ford’s mid-engine analog might want to match these numbers. The query is, which engine will it use? When it comes to packaging the three.5-liter twin-turbo V-6 EcoBoost would take advantage of sense, because it has already been fitted in a mid-engine automobile – the Ford GT. We anticipate a de-tuned model, because it wouldn’t make sense for the C8 rival to match the GT’s energy output. Maybe a Shelby model would do this to match the C8 Z06 when it lastly makes its debut.

We predict an influence output of round 500 horsepower and 510 pound-feet (691 Nm). It might additionally must share the GT’s seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox, as it’s, to our data, the one gearbox utilized in a mid-engine format.

Ford may need to contemplate making a hybrid and even EV model

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A real C8 Competitor ought to be capable to match it on each flip. We already know that Chevrolet is engaged on a model referred to as the E-Ray – an all-wheel-drive hybrid model of the C8 Corvette. Though the V-8-powered variations are nonetheless the primary speak, hybrid and EV supercars are slowly getting an increasing number of acceptance.

We’ve already seen that there’s a marketplace for high-performance hybrids and EVs, so Ford may do nicely to contemplate making an electrical Thunderbird. They already did this with the F-150 Lightning, so it could make sense to copy the system for the Thunderbird. What’s even higher is that Ford already has a succesful EV drivetrain working within the Mustang Mach-E GT. If Ford goes by with this, we might get a Ford Thunderbird Mach-E.

An iconic identify

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Swipe up for the complete story

The Corvette identify is understood globally. As we stated, it belongs to America’s primary sports activities automobile, which has been profitable all through all its generations. The Thunderbird identify is nearly as previous because the Corvette, however in contrast to it, it died within the early 2000s, with the somewhat unsuccessfulretro-styled Ford Thunderbird, which was powered by a lackluster Jaguar V-8 and a lazy automated.

That stated, Ford has a extra profitable historical past with the mid-engine format, within the type of the LeMans successful Ford GT40, which additionally received a non secular successor within the early 2000s, which in flip was succeeded by the present Ford GT. As well as, a 7.0-liter Ford V-8 was additionally used within the mid-engine Saleen S7, which is a powerful supercar in its personal proper. If Ford correctly executes the recipe for a mid-engine C8 rival, this may be one of the best second probability for the Thunderbird moniker but.

Dim Angelov

Dim Angelov

Born in 1992, I come from a household of motoring lovers. My ardour for vehicles was awoken on the age of six, after I noticed a Lamborghini Diablo SV in {a magazine}. After highschool I earned a grasp’s diploma in advertising and a Grasp of Arts in Media and Communications. Over time, I’ve practiced and turn out to be expert in precision driving and up to now have check pushed greater than 250 vehicles throughout the globe. Over time, I’ve picked up fundamental mechanical data and have even taken half within the restoration of a 1964 Jaguar E-Sort and an Alfa Romeo Giulia Dash. Recently, I’ve taken a elaborate to automotive pictures, and whereas trendy vehicles are my main ardour, I even have a love for Asian Martial Arts, swimming, battle historical past, craft beer, historic weapons, and automobile restoration. In time, I plan my very own traditional automobile restoration and hope to earn my racing certificates, after which I anticipate to determine my very own racing crew.  Learn full bio

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