Like everybody here I have high hopes that the AV will start Fords climb back to the top. However there are a couple of things I heard about the place that concern me that this may not happen.
1. No five speed auto. C'mon ford, you've had plenty of time to develop one (or get someone else to)!! If the AV retains the four I wouldn't be surprised to see it lose media comparisons to Commodore just based on this!
2. Retaining live axle on Forte. I may be way off here but if this is true again it will work against Ford in the public eye. How many reviews have we all seen that criticises falcons live axle when compared to Commodores standard IRS (even though well all know that this is crap)..
OK so the car may be superior in handling etc. but it is things like this would make it easy pickings for the media and cause falcon to again take the back foot to Commodore in terms of 'latest' technology...
AV must be LEADER of the pack on paper if it's going to top the sales charts again!
BTW, drove a VX wagon the other day....how GMH are selling so many of these damn things is beyond me...handling and steering feel is soooo inferior to almost ANY Falcon I've ever driven...
My info is that all sedans will have IRS standard. No laminated fire wall anymore.
As for the 5 speed auto, yeah that is pretty sad, if true. I will try and find out what the go for that is. The T5 cannot continue either, so I guess a Tremac shall have to fill the void. Apparently Ford World bought some sort of tranny mob in Europe recently. I read that this mob makes trannies for BMW. Not sure how reliable this is though.
Word is the 2002 Falcon is on schedule so far. I suppose Ford has alot of time, as they are now down to 9 day fortnights and struggling to sell 100 cars a day.................
Geoff I think is going to be in Geelong this week to have a chat to the troops. I would have loved to be able to go to that. I have yet to have the privilage of meeting the man.
My sentiments exactly Mighty XE.
It's the same in any business, if your opposition has a product with features which are seen by outsiders as better than your product, you're up against it from the start. We all know that in the real world and 90% of driving the IRS doesn't mean much over the live axle, but if it can be hyped up and put on the spec page it'll help sell cars. Same as a 6 speed manual over the 5 speed. When it comes to the crunch, the Comode isn't very responsive in 6th, even with a bloody 5.7L engine. But Joe on the street will take the one with 6 gears because it's got an extra gear.
Definitely the Falcon must be tops in the specs over the opposition to encourage people to come into the showrooms in the firstplace.
A 6 manual to a 5 might not mean anything except sales but a 5 auto will be MUCH more effeciant than a 4 and offer better acceleration provided its done properly. Holdens power adv over the last few years will seem like nothing compared to the damage the Holden getting a 5 auto over 12 months ahead of Falcon will do even if Ford have a better engine. I guess we have to hope that Ford are doing a good job of keeping it quite but i doubt it given that Holden is already starting to make noise about VY going to have it. Even if Fords V8 put out 20kw extra than Holdens and was faster a 4 auto would stop me buying it if Holdens was a 5. Lets remember that over 90% of Ford/Holden buyers chose autos. The mags will have a field day with this. This will win comparisons alone!!! Ford had better find one if they hav'nt and get it ready for AV it will be the best 200 million they ever spent beleive me. I hope no 5 auto is'nt an effect of AV receiving the V8 that Ford should have had 3 years ago. :mad3: :mad3:
The removal of the laminated firewall has got me interested, if Ford have gotten rid of the laminate it should mean they have found other ways of bringing down NHV levels (Noise Vibration Harshness).
Apparently the new Mondeo is quieter than the Falcon.
Any news about the wagon? it's about time they put the IRS into that isn't it.
I also agree that a Forte needs IRS when AV arrives if it is to win comparisons against Commode. Getting back Commode customers into a Forte with a live axle would be hard given that they have had a better riding IRS. As Wheels once said an average IRS will still be a better all rounder than a good live axle. Having it as an option that means the price comes up to Commodes when you choose it means unnesesary marketing to me let alone chances are its the live axle which will be tested and people will read about and remember Falcon losing. Might sound harsh but if Ford dont get the 5 auto to match Commode and no IRS shows up as standard Falcon will sell even less than now IMO.
I can see why Ford would look at having a live axel on the Forte.
Taxi and hi-mileage uses and load carriers like the good tire wear, low cost maintaince, low cost purchase over IRS. Live axel on the base wagon for the same reason, and IRS on the Ute is debateable anyway certianly on the base version live axel could live a little longer.
Personally I think the forte should have IRS, and the live being offered only on "Taxi packs" with beefed up alternators etc . But who knows?
Dam it I think Ford should just bite the bullet and get six speed manuels and 5 speed auto's. Neither of Fords engines are known for being revy, so extra cogs are needed. For the 6 cylinder in particular, and the extra for economy on the 8..
The 4.0 is often critised for being thrashy, well with a Six speed manuel you will never have to have it thrash for long, and a five speed auto will have more to play with in reducing NVH.
The LS1 is pretty darn economical, no doubt in part to the moonshot 6th, but still it adds to the appeal, Holden can increase performance simply by sticking in a lower diff, and it doesn't do anything to economy.
Ford will eventually need a six speed manuel and a five speed auto, and new gearboxes to deal with the new engines, why not get them sooner.
I know what most people would pick between a hot XR6 with a six speeder and Commodore S with a auto only. And fuel consumption with V8's are a issue, if someone offered you better economy, more gears to play with and no performance decrease what would you choose?
Getrag and other ford resources should be used now. Ford has the ability, it is just simply lacking the will power.
Holden has a 6 speed, Magnas have 5 speed autos, Ford is already behind, hopefully something is on the way.
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