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|30th July 2007, 14:10||#1|
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: auckland, new zealand
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Ford Australia is to play a key role in developing the rear-wheel-drive underpinnings for a range of Ford vehicles due to start appearing on roads around the world in 2011.
At this stage, the plan, which is gaining momentum among senior Ford executives in Detroit, is to involve engineering input only from Ford Australia.
Drive understands there is potential for a right-hand-drive version of the iconic Mustang to be engineered and sold in this country.
If it goes ahead, the car is likely to be the fastest car Ford Australia has released, powered by a 309kW twin-turbo V6.
Ford is also looking at Australia developing a range of Fairlane-sized long-wheelbase limousines for the United States and Middle East, as well as a flagship sedan for Europe.
Engineering development work is expected to start soon, providing a much-needed boost to Ford's struggling local operation, which this week announced plans to end production of its long-running in-line six-cylinder engine.
The move could also lead to export opportunities in the Middle East, where Ford sells US-built limousines in competition with Holden's Statesman and Caprice.
Ford's new Falcon, due in March next year, has been engineered so that it can be built in both left- and right-hand-drive.
US industry website Inside Line says Australia is favourite to develop a new platform that will underpin a wide range of vehicles, including the Mustang coupe and the Crown Victoria, Grand Marquis and Lincoln Town Car.
It says Ford insiders believe the new limousines will draw styling inspiration from the Ford Interceptor concept that made its debut at this year's Detroit motor show. The website also speculates there may be a rear-drive version of the Explorer based on Ford Australia's locally developed Territory off-roader.
Tom Gorman, Ford Australia boss, says talk of a deal being done is premature. "We have a fantastic rear-wheel-drive product. The product development team globally understands how strong our product is. We are actively in discussions about that but it is still very, very early days. There have been no decisions made whatsoever."
But Gorman says the axing of Ford's in-line six could strengthen the local operation's global position: "It brings us one step closer to better integrating with Ford's global product development. The longer that we remain an 'orphan' in terms of our technologies in Australia, the less likely we are to fully participate in all the activity that's under way in rear-wheel-drive."
Gorman says the global Ford 3.5-litre V6 will be introduced on the Falcon in 2010.
In base form, the engine produces roughly 196kW of power but a twin-turbo performance version could produce 309kW of power and 542Nm of torque. Ford says the twin-turbo can combine V8 performance with V6 fuel consumption.
The V6 is now built in Ohio and used in Ford's Edge soft-roader and Taurus, as well as the Mazda CX-9.
A higher-output 3.7-litre version of the engine is already being built in Japan and this may make its way into the Falcon, although that appears less likely given the recent focus on fuel efficiency.
Ford Australia prepares for global role - drive.com.au
|31st July 2007, 11:20||#3|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Melbourne, Hyd
Thanked: 24 Times
OT - Also got to know, that the ford india has dropped their plan to bring in a hatch and they have no plans for the future too. There was a talk about the 1.6 tdci engine, we were expecting that to make into the fusion, as the existing 1.4 tdci is underpowered for the fusion also to its image. Atleast, my ex-colleagues heard that the 1.6 tdci might be in Focus.
I dont know the weight of this news, it was a common pratice at ford to keep the dealers in dark till the last moment.
|31st July 2007, 18:52||#4|
Join Date: Apr 2006
Thanked: 184 Times
They love their monaro's.......i dont see them buying this as all...they'd much rather buy a big 4 door sedan......(ford XR's or Holden commedores)....
my current peeve (read...pain in the B#TT) insurance would be a BOMB...a big turn off!!!!
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