Thankfully, this was never green-lit for production…
Before the SN95 Mustang was revealed to the public, Ford unveiled something many enthusiasts have been trying to forget since: the Mach III concept. Revealed to the public in 1992 at the Detroit auto show, the Blue Oval now tries to claim it provided hints about the design direction for the fourth-gen Ford Mustang. We think it looks more like the Tonka version of the pony car and are abundantly glad it was never translated into a production model.
Watch some SN95 Mustang commercials here.
The Mach III might possibly outdo the Dodge Neon when it comes to bubbly cuteness – that’s a contest you don’t want such a vehicle to be in. It also set a bad precedent for cashing in on the Mach I nostalgia (there was also a mid-engine Mach II concept from the 1960s, but that’s another topic for another time) which we sadly see repeated today with a certain all-electric SUV bearing both the pony badge and Mach name.
While we see some resemblance to the SN95 Mustang with this concept, like the pony badge on the grille, side scoops, and tri-bar taillights (although they sit horizontal, not vertically), pretty much everything else is hideous. For starters, the ground clearance is exaggerated for something “sporty,” leading us to wonder if the idea was to make some sort of an adventure version of the Mustang. It’s almost like the bad ideas which have given us the Mach E have been knocking around inside Ford since the early 90s.
Adding to the bubbly looks of the Mach III concept is the low-cut speedster windshield. However, it’s the front fascia, including the oval headlights, which have us thinking Mazda was highly influential in the design process. We’re getting strong notes of the MX3 here and it’s pretty disgusting.
Ford now jokingly calls the design language of the Mach III “jellybean.” We wish it had just died as a concept, but it’s now obvious it at least influenced the third generation of the Ford Taurus, which even sported rounded, bubbly design elements through the interior.