Ford Authority

Ford Thunderbird Returns As Vertical Take-Off And Landing Vehicle

The Ford Thunderbird came into this world with a bang when it debuted in 1955, then went on to enjoy ten generations of success before it was once again reborn for an eleventh generation using its original formula as a sporty drop-top. But it’s been 16 years since we last saw the Thunderbird, and many have clamored for a comeback. Now, shockingly, we’ve learned that not only is it coming back, but when the Ford Thunderbird returns in 2022, it’ll be in the form of a vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) vehicle.

“The Ford Thunderbird returns next year in a new and exciting format that pays tribute to its name, which stems from the Native American legend of a mythic bird that created thunder and lightning and the famous USAF Air Demonstration Squad,” said Ford chief designer Bob Blitz. “We’re excited to revive the Thunderbird nameplate as a way to transition to the next-generation of autonomous travel.”

The idea of an actual flying Ford Thunderbird may seem a bit crazy, but we must consider that Ford’s cross-town rival, General Motors, is already working on a Cadillac vertical take-off and landing vehicle (VTOL), which it revealed earlier this year. Like the Caddy VTOL, the Thunderbird VTOL will be powered by two electric motors – one on each rotor – and functions much like a large drone.

The Cadillac VTOL is designed to transport city dwellers from rooftop to rooftop as a way to circumvent traffic, but Ford’s new Thunderbird has aspirations as a true, self-driving (piloting?) vehicle that allows anyone with a driver’s license to avoid traffic jams. It’s an ambitious idea for certain, but one that seems like the natural next-step after we transition to EVs and autonomous vehicles.

Unfortunately, we don’t have a release date for this flying Thunderbird yet, mainly because it isn’t real, and this has all been one elaborate April Fool’s joke. And as much as we want to see the Thunderbird make a comeback, we’d prefer if it did so with four wheels and a V8 under the hood.

We’ll have more pranks (and much more real news) to share soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for non-stop Ford news coverage.

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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  1. Peter Lacres

    What a stupid joke, let’s bring the Ford saloons back… and a real Thunderbird convertible. The mustang can be a sportscar/convertible, MACH-E, 4 door Hybrid/electric but bring BACK the Fusion/Taurus…

    1. Greg Stetson

      Hilarious. Well done team ford authority. Well done!

    2. Justin

      The Galaxie would be a better fit for a new Ford lineup vehicle but some models should just stay nostalgic

  2. JimL

    I hate April 1….

  3. Mike says..

    A flying cup holder… only on April first. But really, why can’t FORD build a modern retro T-bird for big bucks in low volumes? Showcase the best looks with leading edge tech underneath.

  4. Stephen Darrah

    That’s Ford’s “Better Idea” all over again. Puts it up there with the Pinto. Bravo, now maybe the I-beam front suspension is coming back too.

  5. R.D. Garrison

    Build the Ranger or F150 removable hardtop. This will get Ford stock out of the gutter. I have owned many new ford cars and trucks. Great vehicles. Needs more cool styling. Like Mustang, F150, Bronco, ’50s Birds not goofy mach 1 e. When Ford made the retro ’68 style Mustang look what happened. Not even Obama could kill Ford

    1. Derrick B

      I agree. Bring back the Fusion and Taurus. America desires cars, still. Toyota has not given up the Camry and Honda has not given up the Accord. Ford lost market share by letting the Ranger go…to come back to more trucks in the segment. I love the Ford company, but making all trucks is a mistake… diversify your product.

  6. Patty Yaeger

    You peckerheads got me. 😉

  7. Laughing outloud

    You got me.
    I feel like a fool for owning 2 Tbirds

  8. Jman

    Really wished Ford brings back sedans. I spent a few years working at a ford dealer, up until covid really. Ford was selling Fusions like hotcakes. Couldn’t keep em on the floor. They’d be out the door instantly especially when the news came out that they were axing it. Still such a huge market for sedans. Fusion was selling well AND it was hardly updated since 2013. Imagine if they were on top of the updates and refreshes? Imagine if they made a focus and fiesta without the flawed DPS6 trans? I drive a stang now but sooner or later I’m gonna want a sedan. Where do I go? Only the imports are selling them. Ford basically gave a giant F U to people like me. If I want the economy sedan budget car, my only option is a Ecosport?? Seriously? Not putting the ecosport down or anything but that should never be the only option for the 18k-23k price range. I could go over to Kia or Honda and buy a decent looking Forte or Civic for that price. Certainly better looking in my opinion. Even an Accord or Camry are priced good AND look modern and current. They gotta do something about that. Unfortunately, last I heard from Corporate, If it’s not an SUV or truck, Ford won’t even think about making it.

  9. Len Limmer

    My first T-Bird was a 1965, second was a 1957 (just gave it to my grand daughter as a graduation present / Texas A&M Civil Engineer) and current is a 2004. Had high hopes of owning a next generation T-Bird but reading between the lines, I guess that’s just noting he cards.

  10. Wayne Inman

    I’ve always liked the Thunderbird. I have owned several new ones through the years. My current one is a 2004 and I like it really well. I’m trying to make it last as long as possible since there are not going to be any more Thunderbirds. I would really love to see it brought back. I also always liked the Ford Galaxie.

  11. Mrs. Roney

    Please bring back the Thunderbird. I own 2 of them. 2003 and 2004. I love this car. Would love to see a new generation with better under the hood parts. Driving an 18 year old vehicle in the hot desert sun Is tricky. There is no other car I want to drive. Bring it back…Listen to your customers comments. There were only a few thousand to begin with. At least half are off the road. Very difficult to replace. BRING IT BACK YOU KNUCKLEHEADS! YOU COULD PRE SELL THEM. PEOPLE LIKE ME WOULD ORDER THEM IN A HEARTBEAT!


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