Tuesday, December 06, 2005

The unanswered challenge

Chrysler threw down the gauntlet with the new Charger, Magnum and 300 models. Declaring the rebirth of the rearwheel drive Family sedan, with performance and handling. And how is the challenge answered by Ford and GM?
Well, GM gave their frontwheel drive Impala SS 303 hp in the form of it's 5.3L V8, but this uninspired platform doesn't really answer the call. Despite the test results in Motor Trend that show performance is there, even if it is on paper mostly. The frontdrive sedan can't fully answer the challenge. The Rumored new Camaro/Chevelle, if it comes with a four door variant as some say, is several years off, and the project has been canceled and started so many times, that even if it is given a go it's not coming soon enough.
Ford? They're silent on this. The new 500 and Fusion are good cars, and while I love the Crown Victoria, nothing Ford offers is even close. Except the Australian Falcon.


JD said...

You know I'm jonesing for a four door version of the Mustang (*cough* *Cougar*) to take on the Charger... but using the Aussie Falcon is a good idea, as long as they sex up the exterior. Mercury needs a good sexy car. ;-)

Big Ford Fan said...

JD, you're not alone, quite a few people in many forums and blogs are calling for a 4 door Mustang. I seem to be in the minority on this. A 4 door Mustang is a bad idea. A new Cougar and maybe even a 4 door variant of one, is not necessarily a bad idea. But bringing that Cougar out on the Mustang chassis is a bad idea.

I think that a new Cougar should be of higher content and sophistication than a Mustang.

I LOVE Mustangs, don't get me wrong. They are unique among cars. But the reason they are is that at their price point, there is no realistic competitor. Sure Chrysler and GM are talking about new Challenger and Camaro/Chevelle models in the near future, but Mustang stand alone.

Now in 1967 when Cougar was first brought to Market, it came out on a stretched Mustang chassis, with a much higher level of content than Mustang and sold for a higher price. The Cougar fit between the Mustang and the Thunderbird in many ways including size, content and sporting ability.

A new Cougar should be built on the better, and more expensive Lincoln LS chassis, and be aimed directly at more expensive models from Lexus, Nissan, Infiniti, BMW etc...

The LS chassis, ensures the availablility of the IRS that would be necessary in this competative bunch. The Cougar should be priced from $30k to $35K and have Moonroof, DVD Navigation, IRS and at least 340 hp.

The Ausie Falcon should be used as the base for the new Crown Victoria. If you don't know much about the Falcon, look at the many websites devoted to it. And check out the FPV site, it's their version of SVT. They have a turbo I6 that puts out insame power, and has an IRS.