What a rivalry this could be.
The Ford vs. Chevrolet battle is a fierce one, not just because of loyal fan bases on both sides but because the brands' cars are often so closely matched. In some cases, Ford vs. Chevy debates have even turned violent. While the F-Series and Silverado truck comparisons are well-documented, as are the contests between the Mustang and the Camaro, Ford doesn't actually have anything to directly compete with the mid-engine Corvette C8 Stingray. It seems that Ford could be on a mission to change that after the Blue Oval was spotted apparently benchmarking a C8 Corvette on its own turf.
According to locals, a Torch Red C8 equipped with the Z51 Package has been seen on Oakwood Blvd in Dearborn, a thoroughfare where various Ford facilities are located. The idea of a Ford-badged C8 competitor is certainly an exciting one, eschewing the Mustang's turbocharged front-engine layout for, potentially, a mid-engine sports car with a high-revving naturally-aspirated unit.
Ford does have the mid-engine GT but with its enormous price tag and low volumes, it's hardly accessible to the general population. Perhaps something less extreme but positioned above the Mustang Shelby GT500 could fit the bill.
Another clue could be the fact that Ford filed a trademark for the Thunderbird name back in January this year. While that car was marketed as a luxury coupe and convertible, eventually finding its way into Hollywood blockbusters like Thelma & Louise, perhaps the return of the Thunderbird could see it morph into a more focused sports car. In any case, the new C8 is hardly a bad starting point with its supercar-like looks and performance matched with a surprisingly affordable price. It's something we'll keep an eye on over the next few months. After all, if anyone can eat into Corvette sales - which have remained very strong since its launch - it's Ford.