Ford of Europe has been developing a new coupé proposal positioned to sit beneath the Ford Mustang, but the project has been put on hold due to the poor state of the global economy.

Insiders indicate that a design has been developed from one of Ford’s existing core global platforms and that the business case has been put to company boss Alan Mulally. But he turned it down, concluding that the market for specialised models like this is currently too parlous for it to be viable.

Although the next Mustang is being developed for global markets, Ford of Europe believes that its sales potential in the EU will be limited due to its size, price and thirst. It’s not clear where the coupé proposal sits in terms of size, price and performance.

While coupés are risky models from a profitability perspective — overall volumes are relatively low, and they tend to have short lives — the need for a sexier halo car within a Ford range increasingly populated by MPVs and SUVs is growing.