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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
U.s.a.:2004 North American Auto Show

"If you want to see more pics of the 2005 Mustang & Mustang GT go here http://www.fordforums.com/showthread.php?p=603021#post603021 "

Mustang gets rebuilt from wheels up

By Richard Truett
Automotive News / January 04, 2004

The Ford Mustang, riding on the same platform since Jimmy Carter was president, is long overdue for a trot to the glue factory.

That comes next summer when the car will be replaced by the 2005 Mustang, which has been rebuilt from the wheels up. The 2005 model was scheduled to be unveiled on Sunday, Jan. 4.

The redesigned car, with its strong resemblance to the classic 1967-69 models, should be popular with the Mustang faithful. But a key challenge for Ford is to boost the car's appeal beyond Mustang's hard-core customers.

Ford officials think the new car will do that by offering:

# Higher quality.

# New V-6 and V-8 engines.

# Five-speed automatic and manual transmissions.

# Performance-tuned front and rear suspensions.

# Better traction and handling on snow.

# Improved seat comfort and a more functional interior.

# Higher quality interior materials, such as brushed aluminum trim.

Although the Mustang's traditional foes, the Chevrolet Camaro and Pontiac Firebird, were dropped at the end of the 2002 model year, the redesigned Mustang still will have tough competition.

GT's expected price: $25,000

The Mustang GT, likely to be priced around $25,000, will compete against the new Pontiac GTO sports coupe and the Nissan 350Z and Mazda RX-8 sports cars.

The base model V-6 Mustang, which is expected to start at just under $17,000 and account for about 60 percent of sales, will compete against the Mitsubishi Eclipse, Toyota Celica and several other sporty imports.

Production is being moved from the antiquated three-story assembly line at the Rouge plant in Dearborn, Mich., to the AutoAlliance plant that Ford Motor Co. jointly operates with Mazda Motor Corp. in Flat Rock, Mich.

180,000 units forecast

Ford expects a sales increase from about 140,000 units in 2003 to about 180,000 units in 2005.

Hau Thai-Tang, chief engineer for the redesigned Mustang, says Ford engineers started by tearing apart such cars as the BMW M3, Lincoln LS and Cadillac CTS when they were developing the Mustang's suspension and brake systems.

But Thai-Tang says the project did not gel until Phil Martens became vice president of North American product creation in 2003.

"It had eight different personalities," Thai-Tang says of early versions of the 2005 Mustang. "Engineers would go off and benchmark the steering from BMW, the brakes from Cadillac. Phil brought in the notion of harmony." And that's when engineers started to make each individual part work better together, he says.

The 2005 Mustang is based on a shortened version of the same platform that underpins the Lincoln LS and Jaguar S-Type. The wheelbase of the new car is 107.1 inches, 6 inches longer than the 2004 Mustang. The longer wheelbase helps eliminate the choppy, rough ride of the old model.

Thai-Tang says the redesigned car shifts about 175 pounds of weight from the front to the back, which, combined with a new traction control and antilock brakes, improves the car's handling on snowy roads. He says Ford is expecting the Mustang to post stronger sales in Northeastern and Midwestern states, where the car does not sell well.

New chassis

Ford engineers tuned the redesigned Mustang's drivetrain and suspension by installing the current body on the new chassis. Test cars were run on racetracks and driven around Detroit while engineers made adjustments.

The powertrains for both the V-6 and GT models are new to the Mustang. The displacement of the V-6 has been increased from 3.8 liters to 4.0; horsepower is up from 193 to 202.

The new engine has a single overhead camshaft, while the old motor used pushrods. The V-6 is closely related to the one used in the Ford Explorer.

The overhead-cam engine in the Mustang GT is rated at 300 hp, 40 more than the engine in the 2004 Mustang GT. The new motor has three valves per cylinder and is based on the V-8 engine used in the redesigned F-150. Both engines have liquid filled mounts to cancel out vibration. They also have electronic throttle control for crisper response and better fuel economy.

Both models are available with either a five-speed automatic or a five-speed manual transmission. The five-speed automatic is a first for the Mustang.

The inside story

The interior of the new Mustang tackles several long-standing gripes of Mustang fans. They've asked for more comfortable seats, less gaudy plastic trim and more room.

The new car features a chromed instrument cluster with 1960s styling.

The numbers on the dial faces and the light-green lighting are similar to that of the original model.

Drivers can change the lighting of the instruments to one of 125 colors. Overall, the interior is an inch wider. It is 1.4 inches taller and offers about 4 inches more legroom.

Steve Turner, editor of 5.0 Mustang and Super Fords magazine, says he is impressed with the V-6 model, the interior styling and the car's ergonomics.

"The styling might be a little too retro, but it is a big improvement over the concept car," he says. Still, Turner believes the new car will have appeal beyond Mustang loyalists.

 

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Discussion Starter #2
Re: U.s.a.:2004 North American Auto Show

3 new Fords have touches of Volvo
Influence shows in platform, safety

By Richard Truett
Automotive News / January 04, 2004

DETROIT - Three new vehicles from Ford Motor Co. have been Volvo-ized.

This fall, Ford will launch the Ford Five Hundred and Mercury Montego sedans and the Ford Freestyle crossover vehicle.

Volvo engineers helped design the platform for these vehicles and helped Ford adapt several Volvo safety technologies for them, including the collapsible steering column, all-wheel drive and roof-mounted airbags.

Ford held a technical preview of the vehicles for auto writers in early December, and the Five Hundred and Freestyle were unveiled at the Detroit auto show on Sunday, Jan. 4.

The cars are unlike any non-European Fords ever built or offered in North America, and traditional Ford customers may be in for a shock.

The exterior styling of the two cars, from the side and rear, is reminiscent of Audi's A6 and A8 sedans. Ford Vice President of Design J Mays was a designer at Audi. The interior, with its metal ringed gauges, firm bucket seats and wood trim, offers a level of luxury usually reserved for Mercurys and Lincolns.

The gamble that Ford is taking with the Five Hundred, Freestyle and Montego is similar to the one the company faced in late 1985 when it launched the Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable and ushered in the era of aero design.

Then, as now, Ford was in trouble in the sedan market. Although the Taurus and Sable were a big success, Ford eventually fumbled. A disastrous redesign in 1996 has missed with car buyers, knocking the Taurus and Sable from the top of the sales charts and into rental fleets.

The Five Hundred, Freestyle and Montego will be assembled in Chicago. Engineers are under immense pressure to launch the vehicles free of quality glitches.

Under the hood

All three new vehicles will be powered by a reworked version of Ford's 3.0-liter Duratec, an overhead-cam V-6.

The 200-hp engine has an electronic drive-by-wire throttle that Ford says helps improve response and increase fuel economy. Ford engineers also worked to reduce engine noise by designing a sound-absorbing front engine cover. Ford says fluid-filled engine mounts and a revamped front pulley help isolate engine vibrations.

Ford will be the first domestic automaker to offer a continuously variable transmission in a mid-sized car and SUV. Chrysler has none, and GM has a continuously variable transmission only in Saturn's Ion compact and Vue small SUV.

In the United States, continuously variable transmissions in larger cars just recently have started appearing in mid-sized vehicles such as the Audi A6 and Nissan Murano. Engineers figured out how to make the continuously variable transmission work with high-torque engines, and they have programmed the transmission to mimic the feel of an automatic.

Better fuel economy

Customers will buy the continuously variable transmission because it offers better low-speed performance and about 8 percent higher fuel economy than an automatic, says Craig Renneker, Ford's executive engineer for automatic transmissions.

The continuously variable transmission is the product of a joint venture between Ford and ZF Group NAO. The transmission is standard on the Montego and Freestyle and on most models of the Five Hundred.

A six-speed automatic also is available.

Ford expects all-wheel drive to be a popular option. The Five Hundred and Montego will be the only domestic sedans to offer awd, though the Chrysler group is expected to offer awd on the Chrysler 300C and Dodge Magnum in 2005.

About a third of all Five Hundred and Freestyle sales will be awd, says Phillip Kurrle, vehicle driveline supervisor for the three vehicles. John Fitzpatrick, Lincoln-Mercury marketing manager, says Mercury is counting on awd to be ordered on 40 percent of all Montegos.

The inside story

Ford Division President Steve Lyons says two trends, luxury and utility, influenced the interior design of the Five Hundred and Freestyle.

"People want more luxury features, but they aren't willing or able to pay for it, and they want SUV-like utility," he says.

Volvo safety technology in the unibody of the three vehicles helped Ford reach its design goals. A safety bar that runs the width of the car near the B-pillar also contains the mounts for the front seats.

In most other vehicles, the seats are mounted to the floorboards. Because the seats are mounted on the bar, they are about four inches higher, giving the driver and front-seat passenger a better view of the road, one of the traits of an SUV.

The trunk of the Five Hundred and Montego can hold eight golf bags.

Ford says the new vehicles offer more interior room than any other mid-sized vehicles. The rear passenger legroom is 40.9 inches, more than in a Lincoln Town Car.

Prices have not been announced but are likely to start at about $22,000 for the Five Hundred and $25,000 for the Freestyle and Montego.



 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Re: U.s.a.:2004 North American Auto Show

Two other models showing at NAAS.

The Bronco concept unveiled Sunday is a two-door, rugged-looking sport utility based on the Brazilian-built Ford EcoSport. Ford executives have said the EcoSport could be brought to the United States as a competitor to the Chevrolet Aveo, a Korean-made car targeting entry-level buyers. You can read more about this SUV in the Bronco Forum here on FF.


2005 Ford Focus
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Ford unleashes a product 'tsunami'

By John McCormick / Special to Autos Insider
Carlos Osorio / Associated Press

DETROIT -- Stressing the sheer breadth of Ford Motor Co.'s product renaissance for 2004, top company executives on Sunday presented en masse the Ford GT, 500, Focus ST, Freestyle, Mustang as well as a Bronco concept and luxury version of the F-150.

During the debuts at the North American International Auto Show, Ford Division President Steve Lyons announced that the F-series retained its crown as America's best selling vehicle in 2003, with a record-breaking 85,000 sold in December alone.

Last month also marked the sale of the five millionth Explorer, said Lyons.

Although 2004 is billed as the year of the car for Ford, company group vice president of design J.Mays stuck with the SUV theme with the unveiling of the Bronco concept.

"It's a tough little sport ute that would be positioned just under the Ford Escape in terms of price and size were it to be put into production," said Mays.

Nick Scheele, Ford's chief operating officer, underlined the scale of Ford's product "tsunami" by saying that by 2005 1.2 million units of the company's total U.S .volume will come from new vehicles.

Scheele revealed for the first time production versions of the Ford 500, Freestyle and Mustang.

The 500 is "full-size, sophisticated and very affordable" with a larger interior than the Crown Victoria and a trunk large enough for eight golf bags.

Phil Martens, group vice president of product creation, billed the Freestyle crossover as the first in the class to offer truly effective interior packaging, combined with a refined and upscale design.

The Freestyle and Ford 500 are scheduled for production in Chicago later this year. They share the same underpinnings along with the Mercury Montego sedan, which will debut next month at the Chicago Auto Show.

Ford isn’t sure yet which will be the hot seller.

“We thought the sedan would be the volume product,” Martens said. “We may be wrong. We haven’t set that up yet. We’re going to watch the feedback we get from Detroit.”

Both vehicles will feature available all-wheel drive and a fuel-stingy continuously variable transmission (SVT).

The new Mustang will be available in V6 and V8 starting at under $20,000, said Mays.

"I love the Mustang because it's so true to the concept we presented last year," said Ford Chairman Bill Ford.

(Photo)Top Ford Motor Co. executives, from left, Phil Martens, Bill Ford Jr., and J. Mays help introduce the 2005 Ford Mustang Sunday at the auto show.
 

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they all look awesome

ford 500
http://www.wieck.com/public/*2PV_063859
ford king ranch
http://www.wieck.com/public/*2PV_063847
ford freestyle
http://www.wieck.com/public/*2PV_063846
ford bronco
http://www.wieck.com/public/*2PV_063845
ford/shelby cobra
http://www.wieck.com/public/*2PV_063856
mustang
http://www.wieck.com/public/*2PV_063773
bronco
http://www.wieck.com/public/*2PV_063843
05 focus
http://www.wieck.com/public/*2PV_063767
mustang
http://www.wieck.com/public/*2PV_063771

the 500 & focus are too similar for my liking though, and the 500 isnt as horn as i expected (after seeing "concept drawings")
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Ford's Premier Group spotlights new products

By John McCormick / Autos Insider
Paul Sancya / Associated Press

DETROIT -- Admitting that 2003 was a 'turbulent year' Mark Fields, chairman of Ford Motor Co.'s Premier Automotive Group, put the spotlight on coming new products Monday morning at the North American International Auto Show.

Topping the list was the new Aston Martin DB9 Volante, a convertible version of the recently launched DB9 coupe. The $168,000 Volante will go on sale this summer. Ulrich Bez, Aston Martin CEO, said his company sales topped 1500 cars last year, an impressive total for the "world's most prestigious and exclusive sports car" brand.

Aston Martin plans to return to motorsports in 2005 with a DB9-based entry at the Le Mans 24 hour endurance race. "With the DB9 we are back on the road and back on the track," said Ulrich.

PAG's Swedish brand, Volvo, showed off its new small V40 sedan and V50 wagon, with a major emphasis on safety features. According to Vic Doolan, Volvo North America CEO, 2003 was a banner year with sales of 135,000 vehicles up by 22 percent over 2002. As well as the new entry level Volvos, a new convertible is in the pipeline, said Doolan.

Four new products will be coming from Jaguar over the next six months, said CEO Joe Greenwell. Shown this morning was the revised S-Type sedan, with a "cleaner, more muscular exterior."

In a world debut, the fourth PAG brand, Land Rover, presented the Range Stormer. The first ever concept from Land Rover, the Stormer hints at the design of a future sports tourer SUV coming from the company, said managing director, Matthew Taylor.

Aston Martin DB9 Volante


Land Rover Range Stormer concept is unveiled


The 2004 Volvo S40
 

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Discussion Starter #7
More PAG News

2004 Detroit Auto Show: Ford Reveals Newest Aston Martin, Jaguars, Volvos and Land Rover

January 2004 (Newstream) -- The latest in luxury vehicles - featuring some of the fastest, safest and most technologically advanced cars in the world - will be introduced at the 2004 North American International Auto Show.

Aston Martin will world premiere the DB9 Volante, which will be one of the fastest sports cars on the road. The convertible will reach 0 - 60 in less than five seconds and top out at 180 miles per hour. This will be the first convertible ever to use Aston Martin's unique VH Platform (Vertical/Horizontal) Strategy - which is very light, provides better performance, handling and durability and yet is extremely rigid. The DB9, which is being hand-built, will be available as a Coupe in Spring 2004 and the Volante will be available in Autumn 2004.

Volvo's new S40 and V50 sportswagon promise to be the safety leaders in their class. Both are engineered with a unique steel structure that can absorb the brunt of an accident, so the passenger compartment stays intact upon impact. The vehicles are part of Volvo's Intelligent Vehicle Architecture (VIVA), a unique approach to building a car that integrates everything from crashworthiness, to dynamic styling and driving characteristics. The S40 will be available in March and the V50 will be available in Summer 2004.

Jaguar is re-styling one of it's most popular cars - the S-type. The sedan has been extensively re-worked and refined for a more athletic, contemporary look. Among the S-type's new features are the use of lightweight aluminum rather than steel for the hood that gives improved weight distribution and handling balance. The S-type will be available in May.

The auto show also offers a glimpse at future luxury cars that will be faster, conserve more fuel and adjust to drive on almost any condition. The Jaguar RD-6 concept car features an updated clean diesel engine which will allow the Jag of the future to accelerate faster and make the car 40 percent more fuel-efficient.

Land Rover's first concept car in 55 years, the Range Stormer, touts all-new technology that allows the driver to adjust to nearly any terrain possible. With just the turn of a dial, the driver can adjust the SUV's engine, suspension, traction and other features according to the road conditions - whether it's on snow, sand, rocks, winding roads or normal day-to-day driving.

Range Stormer Concept


2005 Volvo V50


2004 Aston Martin DB9
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Lincoln restocks, adds 11 models. Upscale division attempts comeback

By Eric Mayne / The Detroit News

DEARBORN — In 1998, Lincoln was the top-selling U.S. luxury car brand.

The five years that have passed haven’t been pretty. Ford Motor Co.’s upscale American division has been pummeled by stagnant sales, multiple strategy shifts, executive turnover and financial losses.

Now, Lincoln trails not only Mercedes, Lexus and BMW, but also Cadillac, its crosstown rival that spent $4 billion on a stodgy-to-sexy makeover.

Lincoln executives say better times are ahead with the launch of 11 new products over the next four years. Today at the North American International Auto Show, Lincoln will unveil a full-size luxury pickup and two concept vehicles: a luxury roadster and a next-generation Aviator midsize sport utility vehicle.

The product push comes as Ford is counting on Lincoln, and the company’s other premium brands, which include Jaguar and Volvo, to deliver one-third of the automaker’s $7 billion pretax profit goal by mid-decade.

Nonetheless, Ford Executive Vice President Jim Padilla acknowledged that the automaker is still searching for the right formula for Lincon.

“Lincoln is a big challenge,” he said in an interview Sunday. “The customers expect a lot more and that means we have to invest a lot more. So we have to find the right business equation for Lincoln.”

Critics charge that Lincoln has forsaken the car market in recent years amid consumers’ continuing fascination with pickups and SUVs.

But Lincoln officials say the variety of vehicles to be displayed at the Detroit auto show proves the brand is not abandoning cars for light trucks — despite the success of the Aviator and its full-size cousin, the Navigator.

“To get to the level of share that we want in the United States, you have to be able to do both,” said John Fitzpatrick, general marketing manager for Ford’s Lincoln and Mercury brands.

Through mid-December 2003, Lincoln had already surpassed 2002 U.S. sales of 150,057 units — the brand’s first annual sales gain in three years. Final 2003 sales will be released today.

“We’re going to continue that uptick, and there is product in the pipeline that will ensure that,” Fitzpatrick said.

Upscale and stylish

Among the new products in Lincoln’s stable is the Mark LT luxury pickup, based on the underpinnings of Ford’s F-150 pickup. The Lincoln offering is decidedly more upscale, highlighted by a more stylish interior, which is becoming a hallmark of the brand.

A black cloud hangs over any Lincoln-badged pickup, however. More to the point: a Blackwood cloud.

Lincoln introduced the Blackwood pickup in 2001, but engineering miscues by a major supplier stalled production. A carpeted cargo bed, fixed tonneau cover and lack of four-wheel drive severely limited the truck’s functionality, forcing Lincoln to scrap the program just months after launch.

“We’ve learned,” Fitzpatrick said, adding that there remains considerable interest in a luxury pickup.

“Dealers came back to us and said, ‘Listen. You’re right. There’s opportunity there, but there’s some things that you should look at when you go to your next execution,’ ” he said. “And we are comfortable that we’ve looked at those things and are doing it right.”

Due to hit showrooms in early 2005, the Mark LT will be built at Ford’s rejuvenated Rouge assembly complex in Dearborn.

The show truck features an illuminated Lincoln star as the centerpiece of its chrome grille. Inside are metallic air vents and door handles and sheepskin flooring.

“This vehicle has a harmonious balance of materials, while providing enough contrast to be visually exciting,” said Marek Reichman, interior design strategy director.

Rick Doyle, sales manager at Bob Maxey Lincoln-Mercury in Detroit, is upbeat about the prospect of bringing another pickup into his showroom.

“It will be great,” Doyle said. “The only problem they had with the Blackwood was it only came in two-wheel drive. We sold probably 25 of them. But most people, you get into a $50,000 truck, they’re looking for four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.”

Pricing for the Mark LT has not been set.

Aviator here to stay

The next-generation Aviator concept is a car-based SUV.

The show vehicle features a full-length glass roof and a rear center console designed to accommodate laptop computers, video games or snacks. The vehicle also boasts a polished egg-crate grille that recalls Lincoln Continentals of decades past.

Despite media reports to the contrary last year, “Aviator is here to stay and is evolving to meet customer demand,” said Phil Martens, Ford group vice president of North American product creation.

Lincoln’s concept roadster, dubbed Mark X, also takes some cues from Continentals of old.

Built on the same underpinnings as the Lincoln LS and Ford Thunderbird, the Mark X show car features a retractable hard top.

Lincoln spokeswoman Sara Tatchio said there are no firm plans to produce the car-based Aviator or the Mark X, which Lincoln pronounces as “Mark 10.”

If the vehicles eventually go into production, however, customers will receive them well, said Chris Conley, general manager of SESI Lincoln-Mercury and Volvo in Ann Arbor.

“Cadillac has the XLR, and Lexus has the SC 430,” Conley said. “It would be nice to have a halo car.”

Automakers use “halo cars” to burnish a brand’s image and draw showroom traffic. Some successful halo cars have been the Dodge Viper and Ford Mustang Cobra.

Conley and Doyle are not worried about the apparent dearth of new Lincoln vehicles planned for 2004.

“Just by having something at the auto show, hopefully people will wait and give us time to get it to market,” Conley said.

Jim Sanfilippo, executive vice president for new business development at AMCI, an automotive marketing consulting firm in Warren, is equally impressed with Lincoln’s prospective lineup. But not with its timing.

“Lincoln is a wonderful brand,” he said. “But if there ever was an experiment to see how long you can go without replenishing, they’re trying to push the limit.”

The Aviator “makes abundant sense,“ Sanfilippo said. “But they’ve got to hurry.”

The Mark LT is a shoo-in success, and the Mark X’s engineering roots are solid, he added. “The LS platform is so completely underrated.”

Fitzpatrick said products such as the Navigator — which rode a 26 percent sales hike into December — have “legs” and will remain popular throughout 2004.

Lincoln is more concerned with execution than timing.

“We just need to make sure we continue to execute around what the customers want,” Fitzpatrick said. “When you can execute the vehicle right, the customer will obviously follow.”

"If you want to know more about these new and exciting veichles check out the Lincoln forum here on FF."



Lincoln's concept roadster, the Mark X, has roots in the Continentals of old and features a retractable hard top.


Ford is counting on the next-generation Lincoln Aviator sport utility and other premium models to deliver one-third of its $7 billion pretax profit goal by mid-decade.


The Mark LT luxury pickup is one of the new breeds in Lincoln's stable. It's a decidedly upscale version of the Ford F-150.

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Discussion Starter #9
The Auto Channel

- Mazda's Strongest Showroom in History on Display in Detroit -

DETROIT, Jan. 5 -- Mazda Motor Corporation zips into the 2004 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) with its smallest story in years: the MX-Micro Sport concept. The nimble and light five-door concept makes its world premier at the annual auto show in Detroit, joined by seven additional all-new or face-lifted production models; including the new MAZDA3 4-Door and MAZDA3 5-Door, the new MAZDA6 Sport Wagon and MAZDA6 5-Door, the new turbocharged MAZDASPEED MX-5, the recently face-lifted MPV and an updated 2005 model-year Tribute. Mazda's Hydrogen Rotary RX-8 concept, which premiered last October at the 2003 Tokyo Motor Show, is also making its US debut at NAIAS.

"This has to be our best collection of cars ever," said Stephen Odell, Mazda's Senior Managing Executive Officer in charge of Global Marketing, Sales and Customer Service, commenting on the collection of concept and production models at the annual Detroit show. "We've committed ourselves to getting our business stronger in North America. From MPV to RX-8, we've got the right products -- these cars represent the strongest showroom in Mazda's history -- and we are now aggressively addressing our distribution issues in this key market."

2004 Mazda 6 5-Door


Mazda RX8 Hydrogen Powered Concept


2004 Mazda 3 Sedan


Mazda MX-Micro Sport Concept


The four-cylinder, six-speed MX-Micro Sport concept is the company's latest effort in its ongoing pursuit to further remake and strengthen its line of Zoom-Zoom vehicles. A production version of the MX-Micro Sport concept will be launched into a key automotive market during calendar year 2004, and Mazda is currently reviewing opportunities in other key markets including North America. Mazda will be gathering consumer reactions to the vehicle during the public days of the Detroit show.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
The Auto Channel

2004: DETROIT AUTO SHOW:Ford Unveils "Project Daisy"

Carrol Shelby Helps Launch "Daisy"

Ford Anticipates New Vehicle Will Join The Mustang and Thunderbird As An American Icon 2005 Mustang and 2005 GT Supercar Also Revealed

January 2004 (Newstream) -- Ford Motor Company unveiled its hotly anticipated, highly classified new prototype show car - codenamed "Daisy" - at the North American Auto Show in Detroit on Sunday, January 4 at 5:00 pm MT. Ford anticipates Project Daisy will rival the status of the Mustang or the Thunderbird in American car culture.

Ford also unveiled the 2005 Mustang that combines an all-new, fully modern architecture with all the soul that Mustang is famous for. Mustang will remain the best performance car for under $20,000 and the most affordable 300-horsepower car made today. In its 40-year tenure as America's favorite muscle car, Mustang has appeared more than 300 times on the silver screen from "Goldfinger" to "Gone in 60 Seconds."

Also featured at the show, as Ford Motor Company highlights its performance vehicles is the all-new Ford GT. The GT, which hits showrooms later this year, represents the ultimate in pride, passion and speed.

To read more about these veichles visit the Mustang, GT40, & T-Bird Forums here on FF.

Project "Daisy": Shelby Cobra


2005 Mustang GT


Ford Thunderbird


2005 Ford GT
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Ford still high on trucks, SUVs

But '04 also considered critical for new car lines

By Phil Lienert and Paul Lienert / Special to The Detroit News

Ford Motor Co. executives have been trumpeting 2004 as the “year of the car,” but the automaker is displaying nearly as many intriguing new trucks and utility vehicles at the 2004 North American International Auto Show.

Among them are the 2006 Lincoln Mark LT pickup, the 2005 Ford F-150 King Ranch pickup, the 2006 Lincoln Aviator sport utility vehicle and the 2005 Mercury Mariner SUV, as well as the Ford Bronco concept, a compact utility vehicle that is being evaluated for possible future production. But the next 12 months are equally critical for Ford in terms of the significant new passenger cars that will be launched. Among them are the Five Hundred sedan and the Freestyle wagon, two new mid-size entries that are derived from the same chassis that underpins many of the larger vehicles from Volvo, one of Ford’s European brands.

Aiming for a different audience, Ford also has totally redesigned the 2005 Mustang and given it the look and feel of classic Mustangs of the late 1960s. Two important passenger car concepts — the Ford Shelby Cobra and the Lincoln Mark X — stake out important new turf for the company, in terms of style and performance, although neither has received the green light for production.

The Shelby Cobra resurrects two legendary names from Ford’s past, but does so in a fresh new package that looks as much to the future as it does to the past. Likewise, the Mark X draws styling inspiration from classic Lincolns from the early 1960s, but wrapped in a contemporary package.

Lincoln Aviator concept

The Aviator name remains, but little else will be carried over to this new-for-2006 crossover vehicle that shares its underpinnings with the 2006 Ford Futura mid-size sedan, which in turn will borrow heavily from the Mazda6 (Mazda is part of Ford). Viewed inside Lincoln as a potential Lexus RX 330 fighter, the new Aviator is the brand’s first-ever car-based utility vehicle, and as such is considerably smaller, lighter and more nimble than the current Explorer-based model. The retro-style front-end design was inspired by recent Lincoln show cars. Ford is being coy about the engine in the production model, but says the transmission will be a six-speed automatic.

Lincoln Mark LT

Apparently unfazed by the early demise of the Blackwood pickup, Lincoln hopes to resurrect its truck fortunes with the new 2006 Mark LT, essentially a premium version of the Ford F-150 Lariat Crew Cab that will go on sale in early 2005. The plush cabin appears to have been lifted intact from the Navigator utility vehicle. The Mark LT will come with a 5.5-foot box, and will be offered in 4x2 and 4x4 variants. Power is supplied by a 300hp SOHC 5.4-liter V-8.

Lincoln Mark X

Lincoln’s retro-inspired two-door, two-passenger convertible features a power-folding glass-roof hardtop. Based on the same platform that underpins the Lincoln LS sedan, the Mark X is powered by a 280 horsepower DOHC 3.9-liter V-8 driving the rear wheels through a five-speed automatic transmission.

Ford Mustang

Previewed at last year’s Detroit auto show as a concept, the redesigned 2005 Mustang arrives this fall with a retro design that recalls classic Mustangs of the late 1960s. Available again as a hardtop coupe and a convertible, the ‘05 edition will come in several trim levels, including a range-topping GT package. The new Mustang has been developed on a modified, less expensive version of the same architecture that underpins the Lincoln LS. The most notable change is the adaptation of a solid axle in place of independent rear suspension, in part to keep the base price below $20,000. A successor to the high-performance SVT Mustang has been delayed, probably until model year 2007. In the meantime, Mustang buyers can choose from a 202 horsepower SOHC 4.0-liter V-6 engine or a 300 horsepower SOHC 4.6-liter V-8.

Ford Bronco concept

Built on a subcompact Fiesta platform, the Bronco looks a bit like a scale model of a Mercedes Gelandewagen. With boxy SUV styling cues, the latest Bronco is intended to test the waters for an inexpensive ute-like vehicle that is similar in size, performance and price to the Brazilian-built Ecosport that Ford earlier had planned to export to North America. Power comes from a 2.0-liter turbo-diesel engine mated to a six-speed PowerShift transmission.

Ford Shelby Cobra concept

One of the few sensations at the Detroit show, the Shelby Cobra name harkens back to the 1960s while the car itself recalls the original British-built sports car of the same name. But the design looks fresher than some of Ford’s other retro-inspired products. Performance won’t be an issue, since the Shelby packs some potent hardware from the Ford GT, as well as a 605 horsepower 6.4-liter V-10. Judging from the broad hints and barely concealed grins at Ford’s Glass House headquarters in Dearborn, this one looks headed for production in the not-too-distant future.

Ford Freestyle

Ford refers to this new seven-passenger model, a companion to the Five Hundred sedan, as a “crossover,” but it really resembles a domestic version of the Volvo Cross Country wagon. Features include all-wheel drive, fold-in-floor third-row seating and full-length side curtain air bags that protect all three rows. The chassis is derived from the Volvo P2X platform, which underpins the V70 wagon, as well as the S60 and S80 sedans. The Freestyle is powered by a 3.0-liter V-6 with continuously variable transmission. Various trim levels, including SE, SEL and Limited, will be available.

Ford Five Hundred

This mid-size four-door takes its physical cues from such classic European sedans as the Volkswagen Passat. The chassis, engineered in part by Volvo, is all-new to Ford and is shared with the new Freestyle wagon. The Five Hundred can be purchased in all-wheel-drive, although front-wheel is the standard. Power comes from a Duratec 3.0-liter V-6, which can be paired with either a six-speed automatic transmission or a manual with the all-wheel-drive. Ford has chosen to make an optional safety package available, which includes side air bags and side curtains.

Other vehicles on display at Ford

FORD

Crown Victoria sedan
Econoline/Club Wagon van
Escape SUV
Excursion SUV
Focus hatchback, sedan, wagon
Expedition SUV
Explorer SUV
Explorer Sport Trac SUT
F-Series pickup
Freestar minivan
GT sports coupe
Ranger pickup
Taurus sedan
Thunderbird

LINCOLN
LS sedan
Aviator SUV
Navigator SUV
Town Car sedan

MERCURY

Grand Marquis sedan
Monterey minivan
Mountaineer SUV
Sable sedan
Mariner SUV
 

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I may be stuck here down under, and be insanely jealous that the F-Series, GT, Mustang and Cobra could be / are on sale over there (where I can't get my hands on one!!)

But after seeing the Ford 500, the type of car I drive over here I have never been more glad to be an Aussie. It is quite simply the most boring, most bland and completely boring looking car I have seen in a very long time!! Even Toyota build sedans that are better looking and have more character than the 500!! And that's a very sad indictment on Ford US as far as I'm concerned!!

Most of the Ford cars / trucks at the show had real WOW factor, but the 500 simply confirms my belief that Ford US cannot build a decent looking full size sedan to save themselves!! But......I'm sure that there will be plenty of taxi drivers cruising in them in the not too distant future and what a great marketing coup that will be!! NOT!!
 

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I totally agree in regards to the 500. It looks like a parts bin special consisting of Mondeo, Galaxy MPV and the very first Taurus. However it is better looking than the Freestyle 4wd - damn thats awful! (glad we get the Territory instead)

It's a design that should of been released 4 years ago. Having said that, I do like the interior even though it has Mondeo-like door trims and a dashboard that could of come from the European Ford Galaxy MPV.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I agree with both of you as well. It looks to much like a VW Passat. I read an article where J. Mays stated that Americans like bland cars, example the Corolla and Accord. Boy he is way off on that statement. Americans like cars that will last and not drop like a brick in value. These two cars keep their value, and hardly ever have recalls. That's the reason there number one sellers year after year. I was really hoping the 500 would look more like the 427 concept and not a VW.
 

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Love the Mustang!! And I agree with you about the wing.

One thing I don't like is the size of the wheel arch gaps, is there some US design rule that makes that a requirement or is it just a standard Ford design requirement??

Looks like you could get some 33 inch mud tyres in there!!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
They make it that way for ride comfort, that's what designers say. They say the lower a car sits the harsher of a ride it becomes. The aftermarket companies will make a lot of money off the new Mustang.
 
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