Ford Authority

Ford Thunderbird Project Envisioned As High Performance Halo

As Ford Authority reported back in January 2021, Ford Motor Company filed to trademark “Thunderbird” with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) last year, which seemed to indicate that there was at least a chance the iconic model – which has lived through 11 generations thus far – could be making a return to The Blue Oval’s lineup. Then, this past May, Ford Authority was the first to report that FoMoCo is considering reviving the Ford Thunderbird nameplate on a performance-oriented vehicle. According to sources familiar with the matter, the Ford Thunderbird project is being envisioned as a high-performance halo car, too.

The Ford Thunderbird project is being conceptualized as a far more performance-oriented vehicle than its direct predecessor. In fact, according to sources, the project’s team is considering a two-seater designed not as a luxury coupe like previous generations, but rather, a roadster that will be more than capable in the twisties as well as on the track. The Thunderbird project is being conceived as a rival to the Corvette – along the lines of the C7 generation model – but one that’s distinctly Ford.

Visually speaking, a design direction is being adopted that has a long hood and muscular proportions, with wide fenders – particularly in the rear. One of the design studies being conducted is said to be somewhat reminiscent of the Shelby Cobra Daisy, a highly-regarded 2004 one-off concept that was created in conjunction with Carroll Shelby and sold at auction last year.

In terms of performance, the Ford Thunderbird project would slot in the automaker’s lineup above the all-new, recently-revealed S650 Ford Mustang, and is said to be FoMoCo’s last hurrah in terms of ICE-powered performance vehicles.

We’ll have more on the Ford Thunderbird project as soon as it’s available, so be sure to subscribe to Ford Authority for the latest Ford Thunderbird news and around-the-clock 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. Samuel Edel

    Why not make the Thunderbird forward blinker lights more similar to the new forward blinkers on the new bronco….

    1. Elters

      I don’t think that would look as good on a sporty coupe vs a bulky but beautiful off-roader

  2. Mahandra shivram

    I owned a 94 tbsc for 24 years .love and enjoy that car.this is great news

  3. MJ

    YES! One more time in a real, Petro driven, loud, butt kicking machine with a Thunderbird name plate please!

  4. Lincoln Fan Mark

    The Thunderbird name has great brand recognition but frankly, wouldn’t it make more sense to give Lincoln dealers a new Lincoln Mark luxury/performance coupe and/or convertible? The price point will be high on a performance oriented T-bird, so why not put that vehicle in Lincoln showrooms and offer the dealer services and amenities luxury buyers have come to expect from Lexus or BMW.

    1. Alan

      That’s a great idea. Lincoln needs something in that ‘market’ and this may be just what would do it. Mercury hasn’t been around for years (loved the Marauder-any year) so Lincoln would be a wise move.

    2. KevinP

      Agreed! Lincoln needs a halo vehicle to draw in customers. The Continentals would be a good start. Sedan, LS sedan SWB (sporty), Coupe, convertible, personal Mark 9, sport wagon LSC. Lincoln has been starved of the good stuff for over 20 years. The LS was the last real Lincoln.

      1. yeet

        A V8 rear wheel drive Lincoln sedan or a V8 Navigator would be a good idea. Possibly drop in the Raptor R’s supercharged 5.2L, run the Expedition Stealth Performance suspension and you have yourself have an instant Escalade V competitor. They could launch a V-rivaling high performance line and call it something like “Red Label” to distinguish from the top line Black Label trim. Or Lincoln could build boring electric crossovers. Unfortunately it’s pretty obvious which one they’ll follow through on.

  5. Bill C

    If Ford is going to spend the time and effort to make a high performance T Bird they need to make it better looking. I know it was supposed to look retro when it was introduced in 2002 but now that design looks old.

  6. Tony Millholen

    I have a 60 Tbird I got when I was 15 and I bought a 2005 50th Anniversary Limited Edition .Ford missed the mark by not equipping it with more up to date electronics and other luxury modern features .

  7. Don Taileur

    I also own both a 59 Third and 2004

  8. KevinL

    Thunderbird was always the “bridge” to Lincoln. Also, people who could not afford the Lincoln could buy the Thunderbird instead and get that similar luxury feeling. Why not do the same? Offer a 4-seater Thunderbird and piggy-back with Lincoln just like the good old days. Style sells along with creativity and imagination. Vehicles have to have the right curves and creases to stand out. That is how Ford, Mercury and Lincoln were so successful in the 1970’s and 80’s with design.

  9. xr7

    Come on Ford, one last hurrah for an ICE T-Bird, build the Bird we’ve always wanted, something that flies. Leave the luxury crap to Lincoln clone, no touch screens, a smallish 2 seat roadster with a twin turbo 3.5 V6 sporting around 500 hp should do it.

  10. J wheeler

    I love my 2004 thunderbird, it’s a beat up and weird looking thing but I love it. I hope the new one has the same vibes so everyone can enjoy the soft riding retro submarines


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