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2010 Falcon: To FWD or not to FWD…

August 26, 2008

In a recent interview, FoMoCo CEO & President, Alan Mulally, has noted that Fords next large car platform – to be based on the all-new 2010 Falcon – could still be driven by any of the three drivetrain systems: Front-Wheel, All-Wheel or continue with Rear-Wheel Drive. The full story after the jump…

Ford’s Alan Mulally says the worldwide market and fuel prices will decide whether its next-generation large car platform — the next all-new Falcon — will be front/all-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive.

Down Under to plead the carmaker’s case for maintained tariffs and other concessions, the President and CEO of the Ford Motor Company told the Carsales Network the company was still considering its options for the layout of the platform.

Under Mulally’s ‘One Ford’ strategy, this platform — and with it the mechanicals that will underpin the replacements for cars like the US-market Taurus and Crown Victoria and the Australian market Falcon — will almost certainly be shared.

Mulally said no decision had been made on the layout of the platform, but that the market and fuel costs would affect the carmaker’s course.

“We haven’t decided that yet, but [considering fuel costs] you’re absolutely touching on the essence of it,” Mulally opined.

“In the future we’re really trying to analyse what’s going to happen with the powertrain technology — because as you know there’s a lot of opportunity in improving the internal combustion engines… When you add that with the weight reduction and the aerodynamics and the capability that brings, rear-wheel drive has some unique capability, but it is yet to be determined whether we keep rear-wheel drive or whether the circumstances will lead to all-wheel or front-wheel drive.”

Dismissing statements in the US media earlier this year that Ford had in fact made a decision, Mulally continued.

“We don’t want to be coy about this, because we would tell you if we had a position — we have a great Falcon; we have great sedans around the world…

“Clearly, back to the [One Ford] strategy — we are going to migrate to the place where we leverage these [platform] assets around the world and they will come together… Whether it’s a Fiesta, a Focus, a Mondeo or a Fusion, the direction we’re going is to bring these together — great global platforms, because we can bring so much more value to the customers.”

Mulally said his company did not have a preference whether the replacement car would be front or rear-wheel drive. Indeed, he made it clear the choice would be “driven by what the customer wants and values, especially the fuel economy and performance.”

The global Blue Oval boss would not be specific on a timeline for the decision on the large car platform and equally played his cards close to his chest on the role the Ford Australian operation would play in the development of such platform.

“We don’t need to make it [the decision, yet], because we have a great Falcon here [and] we’ve got a great Taurus in the United States… Over time we’ve laid out a road map about when these vehicles come together.”

He said no decision had been made on the location of the ‘homeroom’ for the new platform, but praised the capabilities of the local Ford development team.

“I think, as far as I can see, the expertise that we have in larger vehicles in Australia will be utilised for as far as I can see in the future… It’s the same product development centre whether it’s rear-wheel drive or [front-wheel drive]…

“It’s the best piece of technology [for the purpose] at that point… We’re going to be using our capabilities worldwide in either small, medium or large vehicles, no matter what –whether they’re front-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive.”

Source: CarPoint.com.au

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5 comments

  1. The Australian driving context is alot more similar to the States than to Europe, in terms of distances traveled between cities, climate, etc. Only catch is the RHD/LHD issue. It would be lovely to see more “Aussie-Fords” in the USA, judging by the product line they show on their website (the utes, Falcon, etc.) But no doubt some bean counter in Dearborn (or Washington DC?) will make the final determination, not “car guys”.


  2. Amen to that!!! 🙂

    EDIT: Then they could incorporate some of the awesome gadgets that FoMoCo USA + Europe are pumping out (Park Assist, PowerShift dual-clutch gearbox etc…)


  3. Ford the best car 🙂


  4. Ford is a good car 🙂


  5. As far as I’m concerned in this situation there’s really only two choices for ford, RWD or AWD, if they go FWD their sales will drop in Australia. Me and most majority of member in my club love our fords because they’ve remained faithful to RWD. I’d personally love to see a AWD turbo faclon like the old XF prototype, if done correctly it’s sales would be rediculous within certain markets. An AWD platform with forced induction and falcon written on the back I can dig that! only thing I’ll dissapointed about is if they abandon the inline 6…



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