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Ford Testing RWD Sedan and Ute in W VA

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We were heading south and pasted a Falcon Sedan and Ute pickup heading north on Interstate 77 in West Virginia.

Both cars were red and did not feature any odd things that I could see at 80 MPH going the other direction. I do know what they were due to the latest story in Car And Driver on some they tested down under. In short they did not look altered from their original form

They looked to be standard models and had no wings or FX on them. No camo was on either car to hide what they were. I believe both were still left hand drive.

Is Ford looking to counter GM and Daimlers RWD offerings?

I wish I had more details and pictures but they were going north and I was going south at 80 MPH. They were on us and gone before I could get a picture.

I have no idea why they were here or what they would be testing as we were not in a high alt, desert, or very cold enviroment at the time.

I also saw a Mustang convert a few miles sown the road that looked like a Shelby but had no markings. Not sure what that was either but he was moving fast after the Austrailian cars.

If you want to see what they Falcons looked like look in the latest Car and driver and remove the add on body parts and make them the odd red used in the story.

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its pointless to sell the Falcon here, its not a good fit for USA.

Ford would do better to develop an all new Crown Vic / Town Car pair.

oops, Nasser screwed them over.

Why they didn't reinvigorate the LS sedan, who knows?

Ford has plenty of sedans planned other than that. The 500 redo, the MKS and MKZ / zephyr, the new AWD based town car......the Milan and Fusion.

Edited by regfootball

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Is Ford looking to counter GM and Daimlers RWD offerings?

They would be stupid as a box of rocks not to counter the

LX and future Zeta cars. As of 1997 untill recently Ford

was the only one of the big three to even have a diverse

RWD car lineup. Chrysler had the Viper & GM had the

F-body. AS stupid as Ford can be they made a killing by

holding onto the Panther cars as long as they have.

Another few years and the C.V. will be the 21st Century

Checker Marathon.

I just hope a Ranchero does not beat GM to the punch with

their eventual elCamino. I mean Christ 1964 & 2004 proves

that history DOES repeat itself and GM does not learn when

it comes to the Mustang. <_<

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its pointless to sell the Falcon here, its not a good fit for USA.

Ford would do better to develop an all new Crown Vic / Town Car pair.

oops, Nasser screwed them over.

Why they didn't reinvigorate the LS sedan, who knows?

Ford has plenty of sedans planned other than that.  The 500 redo, the MKS and MKZ / zephyr, the new AWD based town car......the Milan and Fusion.

By the looks of the Falcon I would rather doubt they will sell it here as it is down under.

But on the other hand a rebody like we will see in the Zeta could make a rather inexpensive replacment for the Crown Vic that is way overdue for replacment.

Beside Ford can save a lot of development time if they go with hardware that is already available.

There has to be some kind thought going on. Other wise why would Ford be driving two Austrailian cars around West Virginia?

No matter what they were doing the Vic, Merc and Town Car have to go soon and they will need something to replace them with. Not eveyone wants AWd or FWD in fleet use.

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Aw nuts. My mom's side of the family is Australian, and half of them drive Commodore's and half of them drive Falcon's (the argument as to which is better at last years family reunion is better left unmentioned... no joke...)...

I actually like the Falcon sedan and it's 4.0L Inline Six, but I doubt that Ford will bring it over here.

Bringing a ute over may be smart, but I'm not sure if Ford could afford it. But there are people who want the practicality of a truck, but the comfort and fuel economy of a car. I do hope Ford makes a "yes" decision for the ute.

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Guest YellowJacket894

I thought I read in "Motor Trend" that it would cost Ford big bucks to re-engineer the Falcon for left-hand drive?

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I thought I read in "Motor Trend" that it would cost Ford big bucks to re-engineer the Falcon for left-hand drive?

Now that you mention it, I remember that article too.

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I can't imagine it costing more than it would for GM to redo the GTO to comply with the new crash standards.

But if Ford wants to prove to us that they can build a modern, competitive large sedan, maybe they should make the investment.

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It is cheaper and quicker to convert a platform in hand than develope and new one from scratch.

GM spent a large chunck of money on the GTO just in fuel cell crash testing alone but it was a drop in the bucket to what the cost of Zeta is. Lutz made do with wehat funds were available and Ford can do much the same since they are in too much better shape than GM right now.

But to keep this in perspective don't read too much into this as this was only two cars on interstate 77 and it could mean a lot of things less than exciting too. We will just have to wait and see. No one is right or wrong here it is all just fun speculation.

June 06 Car and Driver has a whole story on the Falcon and why Ford should bring it here. It is nothing official but a good read if your not familiar with the Fords from down under.

They point out how Ford needs some nich vehicles and fun cars. They feel they would be a cheap way to add some spice to a line up of practical cars they now offer in the Fusion and 500. Not everyone can live with a Mustang. Though they may offer a SVT Fusion it would be nice but it's still not a RWD.

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Not eveyone wants AWd or FWD in fleet use.

which is why I am saying exactly that....between taxis and cop cars and town cars and limos Ford could justify developing an all new RWD platform on its own.

My God, Ford could live for five years off this platform on new cop cars alone.

Edited by regfootball

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which is why I am saying exactly that....between taxis and cop cars and town cars and limos Ford could justify developing an all new RWD platform on its own.

My God, Ford could live for five years off this platform on new cop cars alone.

After milking the current Crovn Vic's & Grand Mrq's basic structure

for the nearly three decades I think Ford could develop TWO new

RWD platforms... a RWD/BOF/V8-only Panther replacement & a

RWD/AWD, V6/V8 unibody mid size onslaught to Zeta.

How many billion$ does Ford need to make off the Crown Vic before

they finnaly redesign more than the tail ligths & grille. :blink:

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How many billion$ does Ford need to make off the Crown Vic before

they finnaly redesign more than the tail ligths & grille. :blink:

Those billions probably were used to purchase Jaguar, Volvo, Land Rover, and subsidize losses from Ford's smaller FWD cars. There's probably no money to develop a RWD Panther replacement and a Zeta competitor. Ford fans will have to be content with D3 and CD3 for years to come.

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Those billions probably were used to purchase Jaguar, Volvo, Land Rover, and subsidize losses from Ford's smaller FWD cars.  There's probably no money to develop a RWD Panther replacement and a Zeta competitor.  Ford fans will have to be content with D3 and CD3 for years to come.

Not to mention paying for the thousands of retired UAW workers.

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The last issue of Automotive News had an interview with Mark Fields.

They asked: "Is it important for Ford to have a modern rear-wheel-drive sedan in this market?"

He replied: "We're not so much wedded to the propulsion of the vehicle. Front-wheel drive? Rear-wheel-drive? We first and foremost start with, 'What are the needs of the customers in terms of utility, driving dynamics, design?'"

They then asked: "There are a lot of customers paying a nice premium for Chrysler's rwd sedans, which would suggest there's some demand for stylish, boldly designed rwd sedans. Are you working on a program?"

He replied: "I don't think most customers go out and say, 'I want an rwd-platform car, and the 300 happens to do it for me.' Customers want a boldly designed vehicle that appeals to them and delivers the attributes that they're looking for."

I think that the Mustang will be Ford's only RWD car until at least 2015.

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Look at how many vehicles Ford is putting the cheap looking corporate radio into.

That's how bad Ford's cash crisis has been and will be for awhile.

Ford has its sedan eggs in the P90 (500) chassis and the Fusion chassis right now. Why they killed the LS is beyond me. But the LS is what bred the Mustang. I would think Ford could generate at lease one RWD but AWD capable architecture that could supply new global product to Austrailia, Europe, and the US that would spawn all of its RWD based cars. There is no need for more than one platform really. Now you could convince me otherwise if you said, 'we can sell 250,000 body on frame taxis, cop cars, geezer cars, and town cars' every year for 7-8 years. The 500 variants will take over the Town Car and other Lincoln applications though. I don't think the P90 is rugged enough for cop use and I can say that because I drive one every day. But as Lincolns, if they tune it right it should be ok. But I do think Lincoln needed an LS car which is where a performance based RWD unibody architecture would come in.

Summary...ford is hurting badly to have any money for product. RWD chassis for them is simply not possible right now. If the cops and taxi folks are happy with the Crown Vic, damn right they will keep building them as long as they meet safety regs and such.

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