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Old 09-24-2003, 21:24   #1 (permalink)
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The Age- AU Mercedes

Ford Forums is famous! The post that was up on the FF last week has appeared in todays Drive section of 'The Age'!

http://www.drive.com.au/news/article...XB77JOZKD.html

Ford, Mercedes share a vision
By Debbie Anderson
The Age
Thursday September 25 2003

Was Ford's detour into radical "New Edge" design territory with the AU Falcon representative of styling vision that really was ahead of its day?
Mercedes-Benz seems to think so -- given the strikingly similar bold rear styling unveiled on its "vision" of the future, the sleek CLS concept (pictured), at Frankfurt earlier this month.

Benz says the "trend-setting" four-door sedan-meets-coupe, which is based on modified E Class underpinnings, will be built next year virtually unchanged. "Only detailed features unrelated to its design will be modified," Benz boss Juergen Hubbert says.

And it brings with it the sort of rear styling -- sharp edges and a high boot-line dropping off at the corners -- that polarised opinion when Ford unveiled the AU to an underwhelmed public and media five years ago.

The styling similarities between the AU Falcon and the Benz CLS has even prompted internet chat sites, <B>including the popular Ford Forums, into action.</b>

Ford at the time claimed the AU reflected a worldwide trend towards sharper edges and more structured surfaces. As for that "robust" rear styling, the maker claimed it also helped improve airflow off the Falcon's boot, reducing drag.

"We believe it is a design that will remain contemporary for many years to come," said the chief designer at the time, Steve Park, in September 1998.

"Today's buyer will have a car that will look stylish and modern in the new millenium ... We think the car will age very well."

The Australian buying public seemed to disagree, with disappointing sales prompting a rethink. Mercedes-Benz says Australia will see the CLS, which is designed to compete with the likes of BMW's new 6 Series, by early 2005.
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Old 09-24-2003, 21:33   #2 (permalink)
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Re: The Age- AU Mercedes

cool!!
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Old 09-24-2003, 21:45   #3 (permalink)
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Re: The Age- AU Mercedes

Not sure if this comment fits but, congrats John and all at F.F!
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Old 09-24-2003, 22:06   #4 (permalink)
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Re: The Age- AU Mercedes

Damn you guys beat me to it - I just stumbled across the article while reading Drive. If only they'd given credit to the thread starter I'd be famous

Here's the original thread for anyone who is interested:
Something for the AU fans
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Old 09-24-2003, 22:10   #5 (permalink)
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Re: The Age- AU Mercedes

Thanks Jack_Travis i did a quick search for that thread and could not find it
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Old 09-24-2003, 22:12   #6 (permalink)
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Re: The Age- AU Mercedes

How about a photo of the particular concept sketch in qu ?

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Old 09-24-2003, 22:14   #7 (permalink)
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Re: The Age- AU Mercedes

"qu" - What do you mean?
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Old 09-24-2003, 23:06   #8 (permalink)
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Re: The Age- AU Mercedes

qu = question. yeah they do look pretty similar.
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Old 09-25-2003, 01:00   #9 (permalink)
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Re: The Age- AU Mercedes

Now we know where Ford went wrong..charge over $150,000+, have the press refer to it as a coupe-sedan that is a trend setter rather then cower away when your design is questioned, stick a Benz badge on it and you are assured of market success.
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Old 09-25-2003, 01:02   #10 (permalink)
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When everyone was panning the AU, I preached to anyone who would listen that in 15-20 years time the AU's are still going to look very modern and fresh for a vehicle of that age and the public dumping that style so early on will only find it will come back in fashion sooner or later because the main reason being overall...
the panels are a lot cheaper to press also the front and rear lights are cheaper to make and panel gaps are easier to contol.

One year later a Wheels journo' wrote in the back of the mag roughly the same thing.

At the time I made the above statement I was pressing panels for an up and coming model on a contract in Adelaide with an outside supplier to Holden's. I think the AU is going to date and age very well and will become sought after when school leavers go to buy their first car years to come.
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