Monday, February 13, 2006
Over at AutoBlog, they're discussing the Turbocharged version of Ford's Territory Crossover SUV. An impressive vehcile based partly on their domestic market Falcon chassis. Base models are powered by the 182 kw(243 hp) 4.0L I-6 and the new Turbo makes 240 kw (321 hp) with the intercooled engine from the XR6. The author goes on to speculate wether a vehicle like this wouldn't help the "way forward" at Ford here in the US. Now not to defend Ford, but there will be a 311 hp 4.4L V8 for the Freestyle in the future and possibly the 250 hp 3.5 L V6 also. These improvements would be comparable to the Ausie ute's numbers and bring Ford inline with the competition.
I've been saying for quite a while that Ford's Astralian Falcon/Fairmont chassis, and it's derivatives pickup and crossover should come here, simply as an enthusiast. But realistically bringing all of those vehicles here wouldn't improve Ford's position much and the lack of front wheel drive may actually have a negative impact in areas of the US like the North East where heavy snow is not unusual. Like this past weekend's blizzard, slippery conditions are a fact of life for half of the US market.
So in my opinion, the Territory may not be suitable for the US market when compared to the very capable FreeStyle, but the Falcon/Fairmont could easilly replace the Crown Victoria/Grand Marquis/Town Car. It's much better suited for that position, than the Volvo S80/ Ford 500 chassis, that underpins the new Mark S.
And for a new Lincoln, Ford could take that Fairmont chassis, install the new 2.7 L Diesel V6 and have a real competative model. Consider it, rear wheel drive, with IRS and a powerful and economical Diesel. Ford's Lincoln division could have a real world beater here. And the higher prices a Lincoln could demand, would make importing the design more practical. Hell, it would give Lincoln a model to export to Europe and compete with BMW and Mercedes on their home turf.
The importing of the design as oposed to the vehicle is what I see as the solution. If built here, the currency fluctuations wouldn't be as much of a concern. If Ford can import the designs of the Volvo S80/XC90 and Mazda 6 here, why not the Falcon/Fairmont?
I'll say again, Ford has the know how from a design point of view (at least overseas they do) why not bring some of these models here? All the hype recently about Mazda designing Ford's new B segment model, is ridiculous when you consider that the Fiesta sells so well world wide. Why can Ford compete globally, but not develop anything for the US? Why does Ford's design have to be "Dave"? Why can't it be "Bruce" or "Karl" ???