Does the notch translate well to 2020 design language?
Of all the Ford Mustang generations, the third-generation Fox Body holds a unique spot. It’s the only variant that’s truly independent in terms of styling. You won’t find any retro cues on the angular, wedge-shaped Fox, unless you count the pseudo-side vents that are part of the Mustang GT’s ground effects from 1987 through 1993. That’s only for the GT though – the LX in both hatchback and notchback guise have nothing of the sort.
That’s partly what makes this rendering so interesting. Created by wb.artist20 on Instagram, it also lacks a clear connection to the original pony car. You won’t find the iconic side vents or the vertical three-bar taillights, though the scalloped sides are at least something of a throwback. That’s because this design attempts to modernize the Fox Body by fusing its design elements with the current-generation S550 ‘Stang. Not just any Fox is used for inspiration, either. This creation envisions the foxiest Fox that ever foxed … the infamous notchback.
The result is certainly unique. To the artist’s credit, all the proper pieces are in place. The taillights are long, the C-pillar is tall, and the front clip sports bulky Fox headlights with a piece of body-colored plastic bisecting the grille. Shown in context with the original notchback Fox, the similarities are obvious. As for the modernization with the S550 design, the final product is well-done.
However, viewed out of context (and with Mustang badges removed), we wonder if anyone would recognize this car? The artist admits it sort-of looks like a ‘90’s Crown Victoria and the last-gen Taurus. Commenters on the Instagram post see shades of a Mitsubishi Evo, and to some, the front resembles a Volvo. Some Motor1.com staffers also see high-boy Ford Taurus styling with the notched rear, and one writer sees shades of the Chevrolet Cobalt in the front clip.
Does this mean the rendering is bad? Not remotely – the proportions are satisfying and the Fox Body cues are easily recognizable. Perhaps the reason for the anonymity here is that the love-it-or-hate-it Fox platform itself is rather anonymous. In 2020 America, its flat, edgy, 1980's persona might not be dynamic enough for modern automotive trends.