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Thread: 2012: Ford plans to bring OZ Falcon to US.

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    2012: Ford plans to bring OZ Falcon to US.

    source

    DEARBORN, Mich. — The Ford Motor Company plans to challenge crosstown rival General Motors with a new family of rear-wheel-drive coupes and sedans, but the first of the new U.S. cars aren't expected to hit the street until model-year 2012.

    IL has learned that Ford's Australian subsidiary will do much of the initial engineering work on the new rear-drive architecture — in effect, borrowing a page from GM's playbook. The General's Holden subsidiary likewise is leading the engineering on GM's new Zeta rear-drive family.

    Why Australia? Because the product development teams at both automakers have broad experience at developing rear-drive vehicles, including performance editions of standard production models.

    Ford of Australia is preparing to launch a redesigned Falcon sedan in early 2008 and already has begun development work on the next-generation Falcon, which will continue with rear-wheel drive. Now, top executives at Ford headquarters in Dearborn want to expand that work to encompass derivatives for North America and perhaps Europe.

    Ford suppliers know the future architecture generically as the "global large rear-wheel-drive vehicle platform."

    Ford's plan for its new RWD/AWD range is relatively modest.

    For North America, it is expected to include replacements for the Mustang, the Crown Victoria, the Grand Marquis and the Town Car. For Australia, there will be replacements for the Falcon, Fairlane and LTD sedans. There may also be a new rear-drive flagship sedan for Ford of Europe.

    Ford may even develop a car-based replacement for its Explorer SUV, using the new architecture, while its Australian arm will likely base the next-generation Territory tall wagon on the same component set.

    Ford's new RWD/AWD platform is being engineered to accommodate both V6 and V8 engines, including the new twin-turbo gasoline direct-injection TwinForce power plants that are being developed in Dearborn, as well as the company's new dual-clutch, six-speed PowerShift transmission. Among the TwinForce engines reportedly under development are a 3.5-liter V6 and a 5.0-liter V8.

    The first of the new RWD/AWD vehicles for North America are expected to reach production in calendar-year 2011, according to suppliers, and would likely be marketed as 2012 models.

    A prospective successor to the Crown Victoria could draw styling inspiration from the Ford Interceptor concept that made its debut earlier this year at the 2007 Detroit Auto Show, according to Ford insiders. The Interceptor was built from scratch, on a cobbled-up derivative of the Mustang platform, but its design cues point the way to a big Ford sedan of the future — it could be called Galaxie — that could function, in different guises and with different powertrain teams, as both family hauler and performance car.

    Replacements for the Crown Vic, Grand Marquis and Town Car can't come too soon. The current cars are virtually dinosaurs, even by Detroit standards. They are built on a rear-drive platform code-named Panther that dates to model-year 1979.

    What this means to you: Ford CEO Alan Mulally apparently thinks GM's Australia-sourced RWD scheme is a good one, since he wants to copy it.
    In the meantime they would like to interest us in this:



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    It is good to see Ford coming up with a plan to have decent cars in America again. What a shame that Ford America can't actually design any of their own cars, they have to get them from Australia.

    The car above is an excellent example of what Ford America thinks we all want, it's pathetic. A sort of fridge-freezer cum sofa on wheels.
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    It's just so damn obvious - why it took them so long to recognise the opportunity is beyond me.

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    The LTD here is nomore tho....

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    Quote Originally Posted by kaBOOMn View Post
    The LTD here is nomore tho....
    Nor is the Fairlane, for that matter. Then again, those two cars are getting increasingly irrelevant, all they're really for now is politicians, funeral homes and old people. After all, the Falcon's no small car as it is, and I'd rather buy a secondhand S Class than a new Fairlane, tbh. If it wasn't for exports, the Statesman would have had the same fate, IMO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deanodriver View Post
    Nor is the Fairlane, for that matter. Then again, those two cars are getting increasingly irrelevant, all they're really for now is politicians, funeral homes and old people. After all, the Falcon's no small car as it is, and I'd rather buy a secondhand S Class than a new Fairlane, tbh.
    Yeah, but c'mon. You're 23. As you said, the Fairlane appealed to those who are a good 50 years older than you! Or have really boring jobs. I can't see what the appeal is in a Fairlane or Statesman because I'm not hobbling around with a walking stick yet.
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    Statesman is actually a decent effort this time around though
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red_Bull View Post
    Yeah, but c'mon. You're 23. As you said, the Fairlane appealed to those who are a good 50 years older than you! Or have really boring jobs. I can't see what the appeal is in a Fairlane or Statesman because I'm not hobbling around with a walking stick yet.
    True, but I still think they're still a bit of a flashback to the bad old days where we had crazy import tariffs, so big Mercs and the like were out. Besides, they're selling ~100-150 Fairlanes a month, and single-digit LTD sales (I think they sold none last month). I'm sure 90% of those are to fleets as well. Is it worth spending $150million (about what Holden spent on the WM, IIRC) to develop a new model? Holden wouldn't have if it weren't for exports, IMO.

    It seems like all the grey nomads these days are buying big 4WDs to cart their caravan around Australia (and I'd say a Territory would be a better choice for the round-Australia trip, since it'd be higher and easier for old people to get into). Or, of course, Camrys and Tiidas, which seem to be popular old people choices (although my grandparents drive a Hyundai Grandeur and a BA Falcon).

    Quote Originally Posted by Hidden_Hunter View Post
    Statesman is actually a decent effort this time around though
    I agree with you, but my point is that if it wasn't for the fact that most are export sales, would they have bothered developing it? Certainly not to release it at the same time as the VE, that's for sure.

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    Oh, nice. Good to see Australia (Ford and Holden) being recognised for the kick arse work they're doing
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