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Old 08-15-2005, 05:51   #1 (permalink)
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US:Fords They Ought To Sell Here

Fords They Ought To Sell Here
How come those other places always get the cool stuff?

By Angus MacKenzie
Photography by the Manufacturers
Motor Trend

Ford Focus ST



What is it?
The best Focus Ford won't give us. The second-generation Focus is built on the same C1 platform architecture as Mazda3 and Volvo S40, which means better refinement and handling, and under the hood is a 220-horse version of Volvo's punchy five-cylinder turbo motor that revs to 7000 rpm and drives through a six-speed manual transmission.

Where's it sold?
Due to go on sale in January, it'll be available almost everywhere but here--the U.S.-market Focus is a mildly freshened version of the old car.

What's it cost?
No prices yet, but it's expected to sell for a 20-percent premium over the top-end Focus. If that translated to the U.S., we'd be looking at a sticker in the mid-to-upper-$20K range.

Why we want it
It may not win Europe's hot-hatch horsepower race--GM has a similarly sized three-door hatch, the Astra, coming with 240 horses, while Alfa Romeo's 147 GTA boasts 250 horses--but Ford's European engineers know how to tune a chassis better than most. We hear the new ST is already 10 seconds quicker per lap around the Nuerburgring than the old Focus RS.

Could they sell it here?
Of course. The basic C1 architecture already meets all the relevant U.S. crash bogeys for the Mazda3 and Volvo S40, and the five-cylinder turbo motor could be readily recalibrated to meet even California emissions. But Ford doesn't think enough of you out there would be interested.

Bet you didn't know
A 300-horse all-wheel-drive Cosworth version is said to be under development. Yes, please.

Ford Falcon GT



What is it?
A four-door Mustang GT. It's a tuned version of Ford Australia's mainstream family sedan, which means you get room for five adults inside and a trunk big enough for a few sets of golf clubs. But you also get a 390-horse version of Ford's DOHC 5.4-liter modular V-8 with four valves per cylinder, a six-speed manual transmission, cross-drilled and vented disc brakes all round, 18-inch alloy wheels, and low profile tires--and a sweet-handling rear-drive chassis with a fully independent back axle.

Where's it sold?
Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.

What's it cost?
In Australia it sells for the same money as a Holden Monaro, so it's roughly lineball with a Pontiac GTO--say $33,000 to $35,000.

Why we want it
Ford's U.S. model range is a virtual desert when it comes to affordable performance cars. So a V-8-powered sedan that'll happily nail 60 mph in just under 6.0 seconds, run a quarter mile in about 14.0 seconds neat, and stops and steers as sharply as a Cadillac CTS seems an obvious place to start.

Could they sell it here?
Ford's thought about it. But unlike GM's Australian-designed Holden Commodore, the Falcon isn't engineered for left-hand drive. And that's expensive to fix.

Bet you didn't know
Ford Australia created its first Falcon GT in 1967 by fitting the 289-cube V-8 and four-speed manual transmission from the original Mustang to the regular Falcon sedan.

FORD TERRITORY


What is it?
Ford Australia’s take on a crossover wagon. Designed, developed and engineered entirely in Australia the Territory offers third row seating and the choice of RWD or AWD wrapped up in sheet metal that strikes just the right balance between car and SUV.

Where’s it sold?
Currently only in Australia and New Zealand.

What’s it cost? Prices start at the equivalent of $30,000 for the entry level RWD version and stretch to the equivalent of $41,000 for a fully loaded AWD model.

Why we want it:
It’s got more muscle under the hood than Dearborn’s conceptually similar freestyle: Ford Australia’s 246hp 4.0liter I6 gets the Territory to 60mph in about 8.6sec. And the sheet metal strikes just the right balance between car and SUV.

Could they sell it here?
No. It’s not engineered for left hand drive. Besides, the Freestyle development team would get all bent out of shape.

Bet you didn’t know
The Territory’s I6 is built on an engine line originally installed in the late 1950s to build powertrains for the Australian-made version of the original Ford Falcon, and so has the same bore centers.

Land Rover Defender 90



What is it?
An off-road icon, from the days before four-wheel drive became a lifestyle. The Defender 90 doesn't look that different from the original 1948 Land Rover. But that simple, riveted-aluminum body hides long-travel-four coil suspension, disc brakes all around, and a sophisticated five-cylinder BMW turbodiesel engine. It's available with a 110-inch wheelbase and four doors, but the short-wheelbase 90 is more fun in the rough stuff.

Where's it sold?
Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, South America.

What's it cost?
Entry-level version costs about 13 percent less than a V-6 Freelander in the U.K. Hold that for the U.S., and we'd be talking about $24,000.

Why we want it
It boasts impeccable off-road credentials, having been used by armies and explorers the world over. Even the Queen of England uses one on her country estates. Timeless and tough, it's still just as unstoppable off-road--and a lot more comfortable--than a trail-rated Wrangler.

Could they sell it here?
No. It doesn't meet current U.S. safety regulations. And we'd want one with the new 300-horse, 4.4-liter V-8 rather than the diesel, anyway--but the good news is Land Rover is working on an all-new Defender based on the LR3 platform. And this one will be certified for the U.S.

Bet you didn't know
The original 1947 Land Rover prototype used many Jeep parts and had a center-mounted steering wheel connected to the Jeep steering box via a chain and sprockets.
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My first car was a 67 Mustang Coupe, 2nd one was a 67 Cougar XR-7, 3rd one was a 66 Mustang Coupe. Why did I get rid of these cars for ? I know why, because I'm stupid, stupid, stupid.

My next Ford.....
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Old 08-17-2005, 05:32   #2 (permalink)
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Re: US:Fords They Ought To Sell Here

Good read, real shame about the GT and Territory. :'(
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