What Do You Think of This Mustang Ute Concept Rendering?
Australian and American styles unite for this strangely appealing crossbreed of racehorse and workhorse.
Utes like the Chevy El Camino and Ford Ranchero are a rare sight on American roads, with their productions ending in 1979 and 1987 respectively. The body style was revived in the early-mid 2000s, when Chevrolet released the SSR, but the throwback styling ship had already sailed, and the SSR was canceled after poor sales, with only an approximate 24,000 manufactured between 2003 and 2006. Utes' days are numbered in Australia, too. The Holden Ute was based off of the Commodore's platform, and with the impending October shutdown of the Commodore's plant, the ute will soon be dead down under, too.
The gloomy loss of light-duty pickups based on car platforms doesn't have to be taken sitting down, though, and we can continue to fantasize about them all we want, or even envision their return. Rain Prisk has released a concept rendering of a ute based on the current generation of the Ford Mustang, and though the Ranchero is unmentioned, it is undoubtedly the badge this adaptation would be sold under.
In today's world of swelling pickups, a more compact, stylish, sporty light-duty truck must have at least some market viability. The current F-150, in its absolute smallest configuration with the 6.5' bed and regular cab, is a whole 209.3" long, or 17 feet and 5 inches. This is an entire 20" longer than the second generation F-series truck from the 1950s. The current Mustang is a comparatively compact 188", and the GT trim (the one you want) is in the 3800 pound range, whereas the current F-150 at its absolute lightest is 200 pounds more, and at that weight, you can't even get a V8.
If Ford were to make a Mustang Ranchero, their performance parts bin could translate from their various Mustang trims nicely. Maybe there would even be a Mustang Ranchero GT350R, complete with carbon fiber wheels, removable chassis bracing in the bed, and a removable topper for aero gains. Even an American muscle snob such as myself could do nothing but ogle and drool at such a thing, if it were to exist. That's your cue, Ford.