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Spied: Ford begins testing new RWD platform in America

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Spied: Ford begins testing new RWD platform in America

05/30/07, 12:08pm, EDT

It appears that Ford has started importing some rear-wheel-drive prototypes from Australia into its U.S. engineering operations. The spies at KGP Photography caught this prototype for the next-generation Australian Ford Falcon at one of Ford's Detroit engineering centers, being unloaded from a shipping container.

The packaging looks consistent with a car that has just made a trip across the ocean–in either a boat or a cargo plane.

The appearance of this rear-wheel-drive prototype seems to support rumors that Ford is looking to Australia for much of its rear-wheel-drive future — a move eerily similar to GM's reliance on Holden to take the engineering lead on the Pontiac G8, Chevy Camaro, and the likely GTO and Impala spin-offs that are due to use GM's Zeta architecture.

Ford's plans appear to be a little less locked-in than GM's, but some pundits say that the 2009-2010 Mustang may share some Aussie DNA. And if a rear-wheel-drive replacement for Ford's Crown Victoria is to come about, it will likely rely heavily on the new Falcon.

On Ford's own media website, Australia's growing importance in Ford's global product plans was touted through a hopeful press release, which said: "An all-new Falcon model and future Territory models will form the basis of potential export opportunities for Ford Australia's globally competitive large rear-wheel drive vehicle platform…. The addition of left-hand drive engineering capability to our product development team will provide significant experience and assist us to develop a viable export program for our world class rear-wheel drive architecture."

Something definitely appears to be stirring in Dearborn, and this Falcon prototype showing up in Detroit looks to be our first sign that things have progressed beyond mere talk.

source and photos :

http://www.leftlanenews.com/spied-ford-beg...in-america.html

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The roofline looks soooo similar to the VE. It's ridiculous. Love the rims though, from what I can see (and of course the RWD orientation).

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I saw two Aussie sedans and one Ute in WV last year on Interstate 77 going north to Ohio.

I think they have been looking at this for a while but just did not have the money to do it.

Ford is in a very bad way and I don't see the Ford Family for much longer

The question is who will be calling the shots at Ford and will they bring the funds to bring better cars like the RWDs they need?

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I swear to god Ford...bring us the Interceptor and the MKR.

Now.

And not in some crappy watered-down version either...we want the real McCoy.

Absolutely agreed. I saw both those cars in person at the Denver Auto Show - the Interceptor is impressive, but the MKR is simply stunning. I can only hope that the design and layout for both are locked in right now.

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