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Midsize Sedans 2.0

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  • urnewsurnews Posts: 668
    Once they upsize the engine that car could be a good seller. Its a nice size ride.

    The full-size 2008 Taurus (Five Hundred) is, I believe, supposed to get Ford's new 3.5-liter V6 engine which will solve the power problem.

    I also believe FoMoCo is doing away with the CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) in the '08s in favor of the six-speed automatic. At least I think that's what I read. Allen will correct me if I'm wrong on either count.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    have no idea how old you are, but back in the stone ages we could put 'grind' cams in our big ole V8s which would simply change the valve opening timing and duration realtive to piston travel to produce that nasty thing called HP - all at the expense of low engine speed behavior, that 'loping' exhaust note that some of those 'muscle' cars had. These newer high tech systems (much like what's in the Toyota 2GR) take this principle several steps further - continuously adjusting intake and exhaust valve timing in response specifically to what a computer thinks the engine 'needs' optimizing efficiency, HP, torque, and decreasing emissions. Last generation - this is a simple physical camshaft position change that generally occurs at higher rpm, in effect it is on or off, and likely responsible for that 'kick in the butt' that you felt in you old Mazda.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,747
    The Ford 3.0L has variable cam timing on the intake side only. Some of the others have VVT on both the intake and exhaust.

    Ford is definitely leading the engineering effort for AWD. At least give them credit for that.
  • jd10013jd10013 Posts: 779
    someone somewhere in this forum posted an article about the 3.5 never making it into the Fusion, something about limited production capabilities

    that argument has never made sense to me. Ford suffers from too much capacity, its part of the reason they're loosing so much money. I know there are buyouts in the works, and plant closing planned, but as of right now they have plenty of excess capacity.
  • urnewsurnews Posts: 668
    someone somewhere in this forum posted an article about the 3.5 never making it into the Fusion, something about limited production capabilities along with a refit of 2 existing DT plants to produce a new 'improved' 3.0 with a whole 240hp 2 years or so from now. Misinformation I guess?

    Captain,

    What you said is what I've read, too, that the Fusion is going to get an "improved" 3.0 within a year or two (2009?) but not the 3.5.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    Ford suffers from too much capacity
    the 500 was originally supposed to have that 3.5 but Ford could not ramp up development or production of it for 3 years after promised introduction. The 3.0 by most accounts severely challenged in that application, no doubt - the car was a relative slug. I contend that, in effect, it was the 3.0 that killed the 500 and turned it into the 'new' Taurus. Ford certainly had a whole bunch of capacity but may be constrained from closing more plants by existing labor agreements, so apparently they are forced to keep and refit plants to keep the UAW happy (conjecture on my part).
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,747
    I didn't say when it would arrive. I've heard about the PIP 3.0L but that hasn't been confirmed yet. At some point the 3.5L is supposed to replace the 3.0L for all vehicles.

    There was a rumor of the Milan getting the 3.5L for Job 2 later this year but that didn't make it into the order guide. Right now all the 3.5s are going to the MKZ, MKX and Edge.

    Ford is at least 2 years behind schedule with this engine. Not sure why but it would have been nice if it was here 2 years ago. I'll give you that.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Again, we need to stick to the midsize sedans and go to Automotive News and Views to discuss Ford's situation as a manufacturer.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,747
    I contend that, in effect, it was the 3.0 that killed the 500 and turned it into the 'new' Taurus.

    Wrong again. The 08 update was already in the can when the name change came up. They had a name sitting on the shelf with 80% recognition and an existing name (five hundred) with only 30% recognition. It was a no-brainer.

    The idea was hatched by Ford Division's new marketing guru, Barry Engle, following an exchange with a handful of journalists prior to the Detroit auto show in early January. Engle acknowledged to the press that he, too, thought killing Taurus had been a mistake. (He could safely say that, since he was far away, handling Ford's marketing in Brazil, at the time.)

    The next day, Engle kicked the idea of a reincarnation up the ladder to Cisco Codino, the marketing group vice president, and Mark Fields, president of Ford North America. The trio took it to Mulally, who gave it an enthusiastic thumbs-up. The entire decision was made in a matter of days, according to Ford sources.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,747
    Sorry. I'm done now.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    the Five Hundred is a car that I considered a coupla years back, had you put 260hp or so in it instead of 200, the car would have been an instant hit IMO and possibly now in my driveway, name recognition notwithstanding. The car is one well designed 'space ship'.
    Under the assumption that the the 3.5 is more refined than what it is supposed to replace, the Fusion would be a rocket ship running the same sort of 6 second 0-60 times we see in some of the other cars in this group, and in my own estimation, would sell better so equipped - at least to those of us that are self admitted HP addicts. It is a shame in my mind that the Fusion V6, Sonata, and GM pushrod V6s find themselves competing against 4 banger Camcords (probably because of price) - for folks willing to make the '4 cylinder sacrifice' (and yes I expect some grief for this comment), fuel economy considerations are perhaps critical, thereby making the V6 models a tougher sell? Bottom line if Ford wants to sell a V6 anything as a V6, it needs to have that 250+hp if for no other reason then that is what everybody else is doing. Remember that it was Nissan that really started the HP race in this class (2002 Altima), joined shortly thereafter by Honda, and only recently trumped by Toyota's efforts - the 3 cars sell over a million copies a year combined, and it is not Ford (or GM/Chrysler) that controls and dictates this market anymore.
  • urnewsurnews Posts: 668
    Remember that it was Nissan that really started the HP race in this class (2002 Altima), joined shortly thereafter by Honda, and only recently trumped by Toyota's efforts - the 3 cars sell over a million copies a year combined, and it is not Ford (or GM/Chrysler) that controls and dictates this market anymore.

    I find that comment to be as accurate as anything I have read about the mid-size sedan segment. And even though we own a 2007 Fusion, I'd make a sizable wager that statement will be true five years, maybe 10, from now.

    The mid-size sedan segment is the largest car group, per number of units sold, in the industry and the "Big 2" are Toyota and Honda in that order in the U.S. It's a position those respective companies are not likely to relinquish anytime soon despite the best efforts of Ford, GM and Chrysler.
  • baggs32baggs32 Posts: 3,221
    Last generation - this is a simple physical camshaft position change that generally occurs at higher rpm, in effect it is on or off, and likely responsible for that 'kick in the butt' that you felt in you old Mazda.

    I'm with you on all of that. I just wasn't sure exactly what was in the Fusion. Thanks for clearing that up. Oh, and I'm not old enough to remember those old muscle cars. In their heyday at least. :sick:

    That "kick in the butt" feeling in the 6 was EXACTLY like the feeling I got in our '96 VTEC Civic. I didn't mind it in the 6 because it was a V6 but I hated the Civic's lack of low end power.
  • zzzoom6zzzoom6 Posts: 425
    These are some quotes about the DT 3.0 in the Mazda6:

    from car and driver
    When I drove a preproduction four-cylinder, five-speed Mazda 6 i, last fall, I came away impressed, yearning only for another 25 horsepower and a slicker gearbox. Yearn, and you shall receive. Instead of a couple dozen more ponies, Mazda added 60, courtesy of a 3.0-liter V-6. It has variable valve timing, and smooth and quiet power delivery reminiscent of a BMW in-line six's.

    from automotive.com
    The 3.0-liter V6 in the 6s greatly increases the fun. Like the four-cylinder, it has continuously variable valve timing (VVT) for its intake camshaft; but on the V6, this feature seems to be used more effectively, providing better low-down torque along with a willingness to rev, with good gas mileage and a nice set of sounds from the air intake and the dual exhausts.

    from motortrend:
    Mazda's variable-valve timing sure brings Ford's 3.0-Duratec to life. At part-throttle in the midrange, it almost feels like a light turbo." Another editor wrote, "While it's not as sweet and reedy as the Honda 3.0-liter V-6 and gives up a few horses to the Altima VQ family 3.5, it's still a fine piece and fully competitive in this class."

    from AutoWeek:
    The exterior is a lot louder than the interior, though, where you need to eyeball the tach to see if the engine is running at idle, and the drivetrain doesn’t even make a lot of fuss up near redline. Zings right up there, though, delivering a strong dose of performance—after you get off the dime.

    from Esquire's Best 10under50K
    The secret of the 6's appeal is in the details-the chunky feel of the shifter in your hand, the smooth, eager power delivered by even the base four-cylinder. Though this is a bread-and-butter family car, it's clear that the people who tuned the steering and suspension care about driving. The 6 constantly surprises with its abilities. Go ahead, put five golf bags in the trunk. Somehow, they fit. This is the kind of car you name and keep driving long after it's paid for. Maybe you could afford something else, but the 6 gets under your skin.

    from Car and Driver:
    Twist the key and blip the throttle to transform a quiet idle (at 40 dBA, it's 5 dBA more hushed than the new Honda Accord V-6) into a feral snarl. Under way with the hammer down, there's 76 dBA of baritone roar, the timbre of which suggests it originates in Yankee cubes rather than high-tech cams.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,747
    Most people buy 4 cylinders because they don't need 6. They drive the 4 and it has all the power they need. You'd be surprised how many midsize sedan drivers never exceed 60% throttle, much less WOT. Why must you assume that everyone drives like you do?
  • goodegggoodegg Posts: 905
    Most people buy 4 cylinders because they don't need 6.

    Well most people don't NEED very much at all but look what they have.

    Ford is obviously not well represented at the horsepower club for midsize sedans. Spin it how you want but the HP game will continue and Ford will have to ante up if it wants to stay in this game.

    High horsepower doesn't always mean you're looking to drag race.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    High horsepower doesn't always mean you're looking to drag race.

    In my area, it means you're just looking to merge. :)
  • w9cww9cw Posts: 888
    I would concur with that statement. I own a 2007 Camry LE 4-cylinder, and recently rented a 2007 Sonata GLS Premium 4-cylinder, and the Sonata was plenty fast enough for me on the DFW freeway system, and also very quiet. One of the most significant advantages to an Inline 4, other than fuel economy, is ease of maintenance. Ease of maintenance also equates to lower cost of maintenance in the long term.
  • zzzoom6zzzoom6 Posts: 425
    High horsepower doesn't always mean you're looking to drag race.

    In my area, it means you're just looking to merge.


    I thought you had a four cylinder?

    Still feeling ok btw? And have you gotten an estimate on your car?
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Haha, I do have a 4-cylinder. The only time I've ever needed to really rev it up was to merge on short ramps.

    I'm feeling fine, thanks, and will pick up the wreck report tomorrow, after which I'll begin the process of getting estimates.

    Thanks for asking, by the way. :)
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    I knew I would get somebody's dander up with the 4 cylinder comment. And yes I have a basic misunderstanding of why we would want 160 hp and maybe 200 lb ft of torque even trying to pull around 3300 lb vehicles.
    Your point about 'never' using anything more than 60% throttle is probably pretty close to accurate but not the point IMO. It is those times few and far between like safely and quickly merging onto a fast moving highway off a short on-ramp, or possibly making an easy pass of that semi on a 2 lane highway that can and do make a good V6 inherently safer all other factors equal. Power in reserve (within reasonable limits) is generally better than none or little. The question, to me, is whether that security and the generally smoother/quieter operation that a good V6 provides is really worth the mpgs they will invariably cost you. Yes, I currently own two cars both which will run in the 6s 0-60 - the number of times it actually is ever used damn few - do I feel better though with my wife in a car that provides that extra margin - sure do. BTW neither of us drive the way that you seem to think we must, licenses are too valuable, insurance rates are too high, and we are certainly too old for behavior like that. ;) A few grins once in awhile, when safe and even prudent, is not out of the question however and something I contend that anybody that truly enjoys driving will do occassionally.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,747
    Here we go again. If hp is so darned important then why do 4 cylinder camcords outsell 6 cylinder models 4 to 1?

    Since you guys like to quote sales numbers, let's see how many V6 models are actually sold.

    Accord - 74K (20% of total 2007 projected sales)
    Camry - 93K (20% of total 2007 projected sales)
    Fusion/Milan - 88K (40%/59% of total 2007 projected sales)

    So the Fusion and Milan sell a lot more V6 models than the Accord and within 5K of the almighty Camry.

    No need to comment - the numbers speak for themselves.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    So the Fusion and Milan sell a lot more V6 models than the Accord

    So my Accord V6 is more rare than a Fusion/Milan. Interesting. I don't base my decisions on what "most people" do.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    Shame on them! Making money producing and selling cars - a novel concept, don't you think?.
    The Toyota/Lexus 2GR, especially with the direct injection (FSE), IMO, is unequivocably the best V6 available in this class and likely even in the world right now. I own one as I know you do - I guess time will tell us if it has the same sort of longevity/durability as the reigning king
    that great Nissan VQ - oops my slip is showing (again) got one of those as well! :)
    I eagerly also anticipate Honda/Acura's 'new' V6 - now there is a company that knows about everything than can be done with smaller displacement engines, and shouldn't be 'allowing' Toyota too much time at the top.
  • hi guys

    how would you rate sonata's handling? someone just told me that last gen camry handles better than sonata. is that true?

    i rented many sonatas and drove many camry's but i couldn't honestly tell which cars handle better.

    if accord is 10 in terms of handling, is sonata around 8ish?
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    there are a couple of simple answers to this -
    1) cost - the Sonata, the V6 Fusion, and even the pushrod equipped V6 Malibus will price at about the same dollars as the Camcordima 4 bangers - getting a good 'discount' on any car up front becomes a badge of honor (and ego gratification) for most new car buyers who somehow seem to forget the back end implications (those dreaded residual values) of those lower initial prices.
    2) FE - folks that buy vehicles in this class are generally more conservative types (none of these cars are 'sports cars') and are therefore more likely to put a much higher value on those extra mpgs.
  • zzzoom6zzzoom6 Posts: 425
    the Sonata has quite a bit more body lean than the Accord, but the brakes are a bit better than the sub-standard Accord brakes :surprise: ;) . Steering feel is a toss up I think, but I drove them several months apart so I can't be sure. But I remember both feeling pretty positive. I liked the Honda's seats a lot better though...the Sonata felt like I was sliding around too much in cornering. Also felt the Accord's seats were just more comfortable to my hamstrings. As for the Camry comparison, I can't say I've ever driven one...but all that I've read suggests the Camry is on the soft and wobbly side.
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,119
    And the Fusion won a Stragic Visions award for its "inferior" interior.. :P
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,119
    It is well known the Fusion has a 221HP V6, vs the 240 or 260 in the Accord or Camry. It all looks good on paper. but if you look at the 0-60 numbers.. I really don't think the average car buyer is really going to notice 1 second.. ya think? They will however notice the $3,000 - $5,000 price difference however.. Its up to the buyer if its worth it ... :shades:
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,119
    "that's easy - something in the neighborhood of a several hundred thousand Camcordima buyers "

    Once again.. obviously you don't know the majority of Cam/Cords sold are 4cyl.. :surprise:
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