There’s no way we can talk about US Automotive companies that are well-known for having success stories that outweigh their mistakes without mentioning Ford. The reason for this is simple: Ford was able to impress its fans when it produced the Model T because it encountered so much success – with more other success stories following them. However, when an automaker tugs a concept car to an auto show; it doesn’t mean that the model will ever make it to production.
An interesting fact about concept cars is that the automotive companies plan from the start that the cars won’t go beyond the world of the auto show podium. What does that mean? It merely suggests that the design team of the company wants to expose their level of creativity and give you an idea of the direction of future models. In other words, these automotive companies want you to be attentive to the models that make it to the showrooms.
In a situation where the concept car makes it to production, it’s usually far from the sparkling specimen that they mesmerized you with initially. It doesn’t seem fair, but if you look on the bright side, it gives car enthusiasts and critics the opportunity to measure the production model set against what could have been.
Now that you know this, you can’t exactly blame Ford for raising peoples’ hopes with Concept cars and dashing them with the production version. But at times, they just disappoint too much. So in this article, we’ll be listing concept cars like the Ford Fiesta, the Ford Iosis X, and others that fell short with their production version. So make sure you read on.
20 2006 Ford Iosis X
When the Paris Motor Show took place in 2006, Ford saw it as an excellent opportunity to reveal their concept car, the Ford Iosis X, to the attendees. According to Conceptcarz, the model was a four-door crossover that got its interior design from a modern helicopter cockpit.
Even though a lot of fans anticipated the arrival of the Iosis, they got the second-generation Ford Kuga instead – which appears to be the diluted version. Compared to silver, orange, and white upholstery people saw in the cockpit of the concept buyers were left with options of grey or the standard fare of beige.
19 1962 Ford Allegro II
In 1962, the company displayed the first Allegro concept with other concepts in the sporty segment. According to Conceptcarz, the design was done by the Fairlane Committee, but the goal wasn’t met because the project ended up as a Mustang.
It was difficult for Ford to let go of the Allegro, to the point that they came up with the idea of revealing something close to the previous one. However, in reality, buyers got the Ford Maverick instead – which is the shortened version that didn’t come close to the concept car.
18 2006 Ford Mustang Giugiaro
It’s no surprise that the Mustang Guigiaro was beautiful considering that the designer was the Italian coachbuilder from the engineering firm Italdesign Guigiaro. According to Oldconceptcars, the model used a supercharged version of Ford’s 4.6-liter Modular V8 engine. The engine could produce 500 horses through a five-speed Tremec manual gearbox.
When people were ready to embrace the Mustang Giugiaro, the Mustang S197 resulted. The S197 wasn’t even close to the looks of the concept car, and it never came with the supercharged 4.6-liter Modular V8 engine.
17 2007 Ford Interceptor
The Ford Interceptor is a retro-styled sedan that was debuted at the International Auto Show in 2007. It was a definition of the classic US muscle car.
According to CarandDriver, the design of the model was inspired by a marine in dress uniform. In 2009, the company decided to give its fans what they saw in 2007, but it came with a different name. To make matters worse, the Ford Taurus is different from the concept because it has a redesigned interior and exterior.
16 1966 Ford Mach 1
The 1966 Ford Mach 1 is yet another model that saw the podium at Auto Shows but was never produced the same way it was presented. According to CarandDriver, the Mach 1 had interesting features like Corvette-like quartet of exhaust tips. It also had side window-mounted rear-view mirrors and a fuel filler cap that was competition-inspired.
The Mach 1 had a 7.0 liter V8 engine. However, when the model made it to production, it was a Ford Mustang Mach 1 that offered a 5.8-liter Windsor V8 engine. The engine could deliver about 250hp.
15 2005 Ford Mustang GT Concept
It was clear that Ford was going to have a significant hit with the 2005 Mustang GT Concept as it proved to be a retro that stood a good chance in the future.
According to Conceptcarz, the GT Concept had features like larger wheels, functional hood scoops, a lower-slung stance, and a functional fender. It also had a more aggressive fender flare and a different rear Fascia. Like the story of other cars on this list, the car that made it to production wasn’t anything close to what the concept predicted.
14 2015 Lincoln Continental
There was so much excitement in the air for Ford fans when the company decided to invest enough funds to ensure that its Lincoln brand regained its relevance. According to CarandDriver, the moment Ford showed commitment to the Continental concept; they made it public that production of the model will occur in a year.
Ford was true to their word about the production, but when the model was out, it had lost some features that the concept car possessed like the perfect portions, longer, and smoother lines.
13 1963 Ford Mustang II Concept
If you’ve been in search of the company’s most iconic model, the Ford Mustang series appears to be a good fit – at least that was what we thought when the concept car was displayed. If you make a good comparison between other successful models produced by the company and the 1963 Ford Mustang II production version, you will draw one conclusion: the model is one of the worst from the company.
According to CarandDriver, the reason why the model was an epic failure was that it had the worst engine. It was difficult to ignore this problem particularly because the car was meant to be a sports car.
12 1978 Ford Fiesta
The 1978 Ford Fiesta seemed like a vehicle that was going to do well in the markets because Ford ensured that they put the model in our faces with a massive advertisement. The concept car looked like it was promising, but the production version was far below expectation.
Even though the strategy won over a lot of customers that took an interest in the model, it doesn’t translate to the success. The Ford Fiesta wasn’t a vehicle that was built tough. According to Conceptcarz, the Ford Fiesta is one of the worst models Ford ever produced and for this reason it’s disliked by the majority in the automobile world.
11 2017 Ford Focus
In 2016 at the Geneva Motor Show, Ford released the concept car for the 2017 Ford Focus. Ford impressed their passionate fans all over the world with the concept vehicle, giving the idea that it was going to be a great car. You guessed it right! Of course, it never happened.
Instead, they brought out one of the worst models to be produced in the last decade. Of course, it faced a lot of disparagement from unhappy fans and critics. According to Jalopnik, the vehicle was still facing the previous issues consumers complained about in their earlier models even after releasing a concept car that was far better.
10 2008 Ford Explorer
When Ford released the 2008 Ford Explorer concept car one year before, it made fans to believe that the 2008 Explorer was the future of full-sized family SUVs. This information brought some excitement to a lot of Explorer fans around the world.
According to Motor 1, the 2008 Ford Explorer production vehicle fell short of its promises. Instead, it was more of a four-wheeled car that resembled an old person who had lost all their beauty at a rather young age. The Explorer made a huge switch from a rugged frame chassis to a uni-body car construction, which is something that hadn’t happened before.
9 2005 Ford Fairlane
Ford went back in time to 1970 to bring out the Ford Fairlane and unveiled it as a concept car in 2005 at the Chicago Auto Show. At first, it appeared like an excellent idea, because the first Fairlane came out as a midsized sedan and it was the leader of family haulers in the 1960s and 1970s. Many fans waited for Ford to release it, but their wait was a waste.
According to Motor1, two years later, Ford released the Ford Flex production car. Ford used the Fairlane aesthetics to build it. But, it wasn’t up to par. It didn’t meet the standard of the Fairlane, not even the doors that open backward.
8 1999 Ford Focus RS Cosworth
The word Cosworth should not be strange to any true Ford die-hard fan. Ford merged with the British engineering company to produce the Ford Focus RS Cosworth. For this one, Ford planned to build a sports car that would give other big names doing supercars a run for their money. Ford revealed the Ford Focus RS Cosworth concept with a 200hp turbocharged engine at the Geneva Auto Show in 1999. A lot of fans had their fingers crossed.
According to Jalopnik, Ford failed to deliver the exact concept design they displayed when they released the Ford Focus RS. There is a lot of pitfalls in the Ford Focus RS, even if it is supposed to be the same thing with the Cosworth.
7 2012 Ford Evos
Ford once had a plan to release a “Kinetic 2.0” design language, and the Ford Evos was meant to be the source as it was advertised to be a fastback sedan with a minimalist interior and a two-piece gullwing door. It was slated to be a combination of beauty and technology.
According to Motor1, the concept pledged its commitment to cloud-based technology. With such a function, it would have been able to adjust powertrain setup and chassis while interpreting a driver’s lifestyle. Unfortunately, with all these great features, it came out as the second generation Ford Fusion with relatively low features, released in 2012.
6 2003 Ford 427
The Ford 427 was a great Ford concept. Thus, everyone believed the 427 would perform well because of the way Ford paid so much attention to its aesthetical design and powertrain under its hood. Ford planned to release the vehicle with a whopping 590 horsepower, to prove to consumers that they meant business.
According to Conceptcarz, a few years later, in 2007, the 427 concepts came out as a production car in the form of the first-generation Ford Fusion. Ford didn’t do justice at all with this vehicle. Instead, they abandoned a lot of premium 427 aspirations by replacing its leather interior with ordinary faux cowhide and plastic.
5 2010 Ford Start
At the Beijing Auto Show in 2010, Ford first debuted the Ford Start showing off its luxurious and chic features with its environmental effectiveness and perfect size. Its design was more like a stylish Fiat 500. The proposed engine of the vehicle was so off the chain with a 1L EcoBoost in-line three.
According to Car and Driver, after the concept car debut, a lot of people were eager to lay their hands on the vehicle. But, typical of Ford, they disappointed the fans by releasing the Ford KA which was the production version of the Ford Start.
4 2002 Ford F-350 Tonka Concept
Revealed for the first time at the 2002 NA International Auto Show, the Ford F-350 Tonka Concept was Ford clearly showing that it could produce rugged and huge trucks. Apart from its hugeness, the vehicle also displayed some attractive utility features. It had adjustable air suspension, lane departure warning, big long-haul rigs, and a 6L power stroke diesel engine.
According to Car and Driver, when the production version came out, it didn’t fit what was earlier portrayed. The production car, 11th generation F-150, didn’t have many of the features displayed in the concept vehicle like the Hydraulic Launch Assist system or the self-leveling driver perches.
3 1990 Ford Shocccwave
The name Ford Shocccwave isn’t a typo! The triple “C” in the name represents the motor company’s Concept’s Center California. Ford first released the concept car in 1990. The vehicle was clearly made for the '90s era, considering its smooth body and sleek design.
The Ford Shocccwave had a Yamaha-designed 24-valve V6 engine which comfortably powered the four wheels. When the production version of the vehicle came out as the Ford Trobe, a lot of fans and critics frowned at it after getting to know they were left with a schocc of the Schoccwave.
2 2004 Ford 4-Trac
In 2004, at the Thailand International Motor Expo in Bangkok, the Ford 4-Trac made its debut as a new Ford concept. It was seen as a new type of pickup truck. With that, Ford installed a tailgate at the back of the vehicle. The inner part of the tailgate opened 90 degrees to take the form of a conventional seat, while the outer part acted as a loading ramp.
In 2007, exactly three years later, Ford released the production truck, but it wasn’t able to match what fans had seen three years before then. According to Supercars.net, some features were not found on the Sports Trac. An example is the array of LED lighting and the two-piece tailgate
1 2001 Ford 49
The year 2001 saw the Ford 49 concept revealed for the first time publicly at the International Auto Show in Detroit. The 2001 Ford 49 concept was released to honor the 1949 Ford which was also known as Shoebox by die-hard fans. The legendary 1949 model humorously had a revolutionary ladder frame chassis.
According to Oldconceptcars, the 49 concept took a few features from the 1949 model and made it look better for our time. By the next year, 2002, the production vehicle of the 2001 Ford 49 made its debut, but it was not as sleek and graceful as the 49. To be particular, the Ford Thunderbird had a lot of missing features.
Sources: caranddriver.com, roadandtrack.com, conceptcarz.com, oldconceptcars.com, supercars.net