Ford showed off this piece at the 2020 Auto China show. It's pure Mustang.
As the 2020 Auto China show in Beijing kicked off last Saturday, the country was introduced to an art installation showcasing Ford Motor Company's next-generation design language for the market, which it calls "Progressive Energy in Strength". It pretty much looks like a Ford Mustang - not that you'll hear us complain about that.
The installation is long, sweeping from a full, Mustang-like front with bulging fenders and a long, swooping hood to a low-roof fastback profile that tapers off gradually to a point behind the cabin. There are no rear haunches on the design, the bottom side of the concept angling upward somewhere before the midpoint so that we're left imagining where the rear wheels might sit.
Ford said that the installation demonstrates "a pioneering design with Chinese aesthetics," but we just see a somewhat abstract reimagining of the current S550 Mustang. We'd wager that's not by accident; the Mustang has proven a hit in China, promptly claiming the title of the country's best-selling sports coupe after going on sale there in 2015, and Auto China marks the Chinese-market debut of the new Ford Mustang Mach-E electric crossover.
Beside showcasing where Ford's head is at with regard to its Chinese-market car designs, the art installation also serves as something of a precursor to the opening of Ford's China Design Center. Set to open in October, the Design Center will be Ford's first in the country, employing Chinese designers to put Ford's "Progressive Energy in Strength" design language into practice.
It's an interesting design, impossibly long and impractically sculpted with sharp fins toward the back end of the body sides, concave valleys, rounded peaks, and untenable proportions. But beyond holding clues for the future of Ford vehicle design in China, the art installation might also point toward Ford's design direction on the global stage.
If the next-generation S650 Mustang launched tomorrow looking anything like this sculpture, we would be thrilled.