I have to actually split the hat tip on this one, because Dave over at MPH Online sent me an email on this, but his site was experiencing technical problems, then I found the info over at Jalopnik.
What yesterday was a rumor has spread like wild fire not just online, but I heard it on the radio this evening. As part of the Way Forward, Ford has shelved several new models, most notably the GT supercar, but also the Sport Trac Adrenaline from SVT. News is that SVT will be folded into another department also. Read the whole story over there, here's my view of it, as skewed as it may seem;
First the GT, this should be no surprise to anyone. The cost to have Saleen assemble the cars and the low numbers they actually sell, make this "halo" car something Ford can't afford to continue. And I had always heard that the GT would only be out for a few years, originally the rumor was that it would be replaced by either the V-10 "Cobra" roadster or the GR-1 Coupe. I know that many will be disapointed, but in reality this will have no effect on the majority of consumers. Who really can afford $150k ? Don't give up hope yet, maybe a GR-1 could pop up in the future.
Now the Adrenaline was more of a surprise, and quite frankly a disapointment. The SVT cars may not have been big cash cows for the company, but were big ego boosters, maybe not as much as the GT, but they were smaller "halos" for Ford. Now many Ford faithful that were waiting for this new SVT offering may be lured away to other brands. As I posted on recently, GM's Chevy division is offering SS version of many of their vehicles, including the Trailblazer and Silverado.
The loss of SVT as a seperate unit, is hard for me to comment on. After all, before there was SVT, there was SVO and while the unit may now be trimmed and absorbed into another section, that doesn't mean Ford has given up on Special performance models (hopefully.)
But Ford's absence from the "hot hatch/coupe" sport compact segment, and now the "performance truck" segment (which they dominated with the Lightning) has been a sticking point of many Ford fans since 2004. And although the Shelby Mustang is out this fall as a 2007 model, there are still customers that feel under served by Ford.
some sort of sporty performance variants need to start showing up from Ford soon, to inject some excitement into the lineup. An SVT Fusion would be nice.
The Way Forward may be rough terain for Ford, let's hope they don't loose some of the faithful along the way.