Ford Fusion/Mercury Milan

ANT14ANT14 Member Posts: 2,687
Ford Futura will debut in 2005, as a 2006 model. Using a modified version of the Mazda6 platform, using the 2.3L I-4, 3.0L Duratec V6, as well as a 2.3L HEV hybrid version, that will debut later this year on the Escape Hybrid. Slotting between the Focus, and new Five Hundred, the Futura will push the Taurus into rental fleet only marketplace, while targeting the midsize sector...Since the Taurus is a larger, type of midsize.

Styling done by J.Mays, and looks quite classy and upscale in the marketplace. J.Mays (from VW) definatly gave the Futura an Audi look to it, and I'm sure it's interior will mimick that as well.

Any thoughts/opinions on the new Ford Futura?
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Comments

  • regfootballregfootball Member Posts: 2,166
    why did they bring up the lame name Futura again?
  • ANT14ANT14 Member Posts: 2,687
    Futura was originally the name of a concept vehicle from way back when. And it was used as a trim level in one of the models. Today, the Futura is a trim level in the Ford Falcon of Australia I believe, if not maybe the Fairmont down there.

    Ford will be using quite a bit of F names on their cars, while SUV's will take the E names. While historic names such as GT, Mustang, and Tbird will keep theres. Focus, Futura, Five Hundred, Freestar, Freestyle...

    Mercury will also follow this, naming their vehicles with M. Hence, Mariner, Monterrey, Montego, Mountaineer, (M name for the futura based sedan not released yet)
  • alpha01alpha01 Member Posts: 4,747
    Too bad this vehicle isnt coming out until the 2005 model year. By that time, the Altima and Camry will be one MY away from a redesign, and the Accord only two. My point: I hope Ford really looks to leapfrog the competition with this one. Cause if they are looking to catch-up, they will quickly find themselves behind once again. But thats ok, I'm sure they can introduce at least 3 versions of the same car under different brands, and expect the customer to be none the wiser.

    ~alpha
  • ANT14ANT14 Member Posts: 2,687
    You would be amazed how many people I've intereiewed that had no idea what their car really was. Most common is Audi people not understanding how they share platform with the Passat, or the TT with a Golf.

    IN the future, will we see alot of niche, low volume products, and Fords method will be one of the functional and wiser. You'll have a few 400K+ vehicles, and have many other 100-150K offerings.

    Most importantly, do NOT expect the Futura to be a 300K+ high volume product, and surely Ford will receive negative media attention, because it's what they are acustomed to seeing. Already one article has been written, stating that the Aviator is a flop because it only sold 2400 units last month. Mind you, it's a vehicle that just debuted, and originally have plans to build 25-30K of them yearly. Yet the Lexus Gx470 sold the same amount, also debuted at the same time...and it's not getting THAT type of reaction.

    The Futura's platform will underpin numerous other vehicles. A Mercury sedan, an entry Lincoln sedan, and the Escape/Mariner/Tribute triplets will eventually fall into the platform years from now.

    Some might call this badge engineering, but ideally customers are growing tired of having a vehicle like the Camry, Accord, Taurus, and see them so frequently in the street. Styling will be different amongst all, and suspension settings, interior, NVH can be changed easily to make each one a bit different.

    Anyone whos driven an Escape and Tribute, can notice they both drive a bit differently. So thats a good example of what we will see in the future.
  • alpha01alpha01 Member Posts: 4,747
    Ok with this post, I wasnt talking about badge engineering at all. What I am saying is that if Ford doesnt look to significantly advance the science/art of midsize vehicle design and manufacturing, by the time the Futura is out, they will likely be behind the 8 ball after only 1 short year. (If Toyota and Nissan stick to their product cycle).

    "IN the future, will we see alot of niche, low volume products, and Fords method will be one of the functional and wiser. You'll have a few 400K+ vehicles, and have many other 100-150K offerings"
    -I dont feel a vehicle selling 150K units a year is a niche vehicle. That seems like a pretty mass market number.

    "but ideally customers are growing tired of having a vehicle like the Camry, Accord, Taurus, and see them so frequently in the street"
    -Toyota and Honda are smart. I think the Accord and Camry will be atop the market for years to come.

    ~alpha
  • regfootballregfootball Member Posts: 2,166
    "Ford will be using quite a bit of F names on their cars, while SUV's will take the E names. While historic names such as GT, Mustang, and Tbird will keep theres. Focus, Futura, Five Hundred, Freestar, Freestyle..."

    What lame'butts' are working in Ford's marketing department? 500? FREEstar? FREEstyle? What sort of crap names can they think of next? How freaking lame can they get? Are they purposely trying to NOT sell cars?

    Why couldn't they dream up a cool name like

    Aurora
    Legend

    etc.

    cripes, I could do a better job in Ford's marketing dept. than those lame idiots.
  • navigator3740navigator3740 Member Posts: 279
    I notice the Aurora and Legend are both out of production......
  • ANT14ANT14 Member Posts: 2,687
    Consdering the vehicle is 2 years away, at the end of the cycle for the current Camry and Accord, it's viable we think that way. Being late to the party. But the engineering process, and the sophistication of the platform, will be 2 steps ahead of them. Accord and Camry will continue to refine their current platform, one which already is quite old as it is.

    While Futuras will be completely new overall, and using engineering techniques that will enhance the cars overall structure, without burdening it. Sort of what has happened with the current Taurus, it's platform is quite dated and thru the years, the addition of more reinforcement, has made the car quite porky for it's structure to handle. Same issue with the Camry and Accord is expected.

    Futura's platform will also handle AWD, which we will begin to see in more products.

    I too think 150K units is quite many to be considered niche product, but actually I've been corrected by many sources pertaining to that. And "small niche player" is anything under 50K units as I've been told.
  • alpha01alpha01 Member Posts: 4,747
    The Camry platform that debuted for 2002 MY is ENTIRELY new, as in, not related to the 92-96/97-01 generations (which used the same platform).

    I cannot speak for the Accord, as I do not know as much regarding Honda products. But I am positive that I read, both on Toyota's website at the time and in auto publications, that the Camry PLATFORM was entirely new for 2002. That doesnt strike me as old.

    ~alpha
  • ANT14ANT14 Member Posts: 2,687
    Just like Ford states the Crown Vic/Grand Marquis/ Town Car platform is totally new. In reality it's basic form dates back 30 years, it's just been re-engineered so much, that they claim it's new.

    No one has set priciple standards to describe what all new is exactly. I say, that if a platform is changed lets say 60%, then the original structure, then it would classify as all new. Or something along those lines for example.

    Yeah the Camry platform is all new (I would hope so), but it's linage dates back quite awhile. It's a very good platform actually, quite easy to tailor, and it's easily flexible which is why it's been able to grow thru time. But totally brand new, never have seen before, from scratch, totally disoriented from any other product, unique to itself, kind of new it's not.

    Actually, last one to have a truely, totally newly engineered platform, new to anyone, was the Altima and now the Maxima is using a variation from it.

    The Futura will feature a totally new platform (uh huh--New to Ford brand) it's linage started with the Mazda6, it'll just be lengthened and widen, but the original gene, is still the Mazda6 (JV Platform). Just like the 500/Montego will have an all new platform, BUT in reality, it's an extensivly modified Volvo P2 platform. Just how much has changed to classify it as "ALL NEW", depends on the marketing dept. being there's no real classifications to state that.
  • regfootballregfootball Member Posts: 2,166
    FREESTAR

    Legend

    FREESTYLE

    Aurora

    FORD FREEBASER

    FORD FREERANGECHICKEN

    FORD FREELOADER

    FORD FREE BACON DOUBLE CHEESEBURGER (WITH THE PURCHASE OF EQUAL OR GREATER VALUE)

    I mean, Ford come on....put some freaking thought into it and come up with a real name for a car. Jeez, Bill Ford, I will work for you if you gimme a FREE MONDEO (5 sp plz) to drive around in. I know I can come up with better names than FREESTAR.

    Kia has way better names.
  • alpha01alpha01 Member Posts: 4,747
    Your analogy of the Crown Vic/Grand Marquis to the Camry is laughable. Show me documentation indicating that the Camry platform is not all new. Its one thing for manufacturers to fib and tell you they have an all new design- but usually the trade press will see through it, like with the Mustang and how Car and Driver points out that its based on the 78 Fairmont/Futura. But when the Camry came out in Sept 01, C/D stated it was the first all new Camry in 10 years. If the lineage of the Camry is as old as you indicate, please tell me exactly how old it is.

    Regardless. Ford is dying. The alligence of the loyal will take them only so far, before they start killing off brands (cough cough Mercury) and realizing big losses on the balance sheet.

    ~alpha
  • ANT14ANT14 Member Posts: 2,687
    Ok bad analogy, but I was hoping you would understand it, in an extreme way....

    Thats why I stated, there's no real measure, as to how to indicate when a platform can be deemed "all new"... Just like there's a fine line between SUV,Crossovers,Trucks and how the EPA is having a hard time differentiating them, to be able to place them on new classes for fuel economy numbers.

    So if a publication is stating it's all new, surely enough of the platform was changed, to deem it all new, but how much really??

    Ford will not, and cannot kill Mercury. Without them, Lincoln would not be able to exsist. And many of their vehicles would not be viable, without the additional sales Mercury can account for. Between Lincoln and Mercury, there's 400K+, and they wouldnt pass that up. Volvo they bought in the black, and pretty much takes care of itself, while contributing to spread engineering costs by sharing safety and platform techonology. Jaguar they have invested 10 years worth, and is needed for more sophisticated engineering. Same with Aston Martin. Mazda is in charge of small engine development, and have been able to make it out of the red after 8-some years.

    Just takes a year or 2 to see the current progress. IN then in that time, another year or 2, to see progress that will be started in 6 months. AND THATS gonna be FUN from what I see. Right now, is when Mercury and Lincoln is looking bad... And it will for another year. But after that, things will only improve. Just gotta wait and see is the most I can tell you.
  • alpha01alpha01 Member Posts: 4,747
    In my opinion though, it speaks really poorly of Ford, in terms of position, historically, currently, and prospectively that "Lincoln will not be able to exist" (without Mercury). You don't see GM bundling Buicks and Caddys at the same dealership.

    Sure, in two years things may be better for Ford/Mercury/Lincoln, whatever. But will that be enough? Things will probably be better for alot of automakers: Nissan, Mitsubishi, etc.

    I apologize for getting so far off the topic, but my point remains: Of any automaker in the US market, I feel that Ford is in the least favorable position going forward, and faces great risk in maintaining their current market share in the next 5 years.

    ~alpha
  • regfootballregfootball Member Posts: 2,166
    Actually, I have no issues with Mercury being on line as a purveyor of rebadged tarted up Fords, as long as the interior quality is superior and the exterior tweaks are substantive enough to give the image of a 'special edition' Ford or something kinda unique. With so many other brands out fighting out there, there's not much need for Mercury to be anything other than 'another Ford outlet' for the Lincoln dealer. Just like GMC trucks in a way.....something to fill out the lineup for the dealer. Then Mercury can function as a niche brand and maybe have some high performance models too, and Ford can remain garden variety with cheap plastic interiors and the Mercury can get the nice leather, wood, plastic, etc. As long as they don't try to make Mercury a volumen seller or a high prestige brand they will be ok. Just make it an alternative to someone who doesn't want a garden variety Ford.

    As an example, maybe you can buy a Mercury Montego that has a killer interior and kick butt wheels with a really high grade chrome grille or something and maybe options like a manual tranny or AWD, brake upgrades, power sunshades, double sunroof, etc.
  • ANT14ANT14 Member Posts: 2,687
    Actually so far this year, in comparison to last year, Ford increase market share up to 1.7% (last month April, they lost .01%) While GM has lost about 2.X% so far this year. Those numbers flashed in my eyes 2 days ago, so I'm going to try and look for that paper again. GM is is more effected by market share, than Ford is. GM has much more volume, when they lose 10% for example, of production for that month, thats not a few hundred vehicles like some other maker, but thats easily a few tens of thousands. So the push of getting rid of cars at huge rebates is cheaper, than idling factories for a long duration. Considering the UAW still gets paid 96% even if they are idled (I wont go there)....

    In relation to Mercury being a high volume niche, Ford has always been protective of what cars to give Mercury because it's afraid of just that. Even with the last Cougar...They killed the Probe which was selling well at approx. 80-100K units, so the Cougar wouldn't have competition. Their thinking back then was to give Mercury products to fill segments Ford brand didn't have. Obviously it's not the product you have, it's the customer class and demographics your catering too. The last Cougar did not bring much young buyers, into the L/M dealership. Lesson learned.

    Back to basics....Mercury's most stable sales in the past decade or 2 has been chromed clones of Fords, different trims, packages, etc. So they are going back to basics in that sense. Mercury at that time also had steady sales. Meaning, when there was a slow month, sales didnt drop as much. Whereas now, when they drop... They bomb... but lets not forget Mercury just has 3 products now. So when it drops 25% for example, it's really a few hundred units. NOT as massive as it might sound.
  • navigator3740navigator3740 Member Posts: 279
    Maybe GM should bundle up some of their product like Ford does with Lincoln & Mercury. The companies who are really on task with quality and stability make about 6 cars total, not 6 LINES of cars like GM does, and they seem to do it with more consistency. My 89 Civic with 170,000 miles on it is worn & torn, but still quite trouble free. I wouldn't count Ford out yet. I think Nasser just about tanked it, with a little more time, he might have succeeded, but it looks to me like it's been rescued in time, and I remember other times when blue has bled red, and come back.

    I remember the first time I rented an 83 Thunderbird in Maui. I was so impressed, I came home and bought a new 84, and drove that one 5 years. That was the beginning of a great era for Ford that stayed profitable and strong until Petersen & whatshisname retired, and Nasser took over, firing everybody in the company who understood cars and hiring a bunch of people from soap and steel companies. Oh well, I digress....

    Don't count Ford out yet.....I'm not.
  • ANT14ANT14 Member Posts: 2,687
    Ah yes Jac The Knife.... He is majorly responsible for the issues we see today with Ford. The only credit I will give him, is buying Volvo (my opinion here). But thats pretty much about it.

    Cadillac is currently under-going, what was originally Lincolns first idea (during Jac's era). Transform the whole brand. Cadillac has taken it beyond that, and trying to compete with MB, BMW, Jag, Audi, Etc. Personally in my opnion, the benefit of "American Luxury" is that it's priced reasonable.

    Lincoln will not be following upmarket because it already has Jaguar in the area Cadillac wishes to compete. GM doesnt have any other brands. IN replacement, they will push Buick brand upwards, to fill the segment/price classes, that Cadillac is leaving in this transformation.

    Now, just my opinion here. Personally a luxury make SHOULD have RWD, so those DTS and STS better transform soon enough. YET this will leave Buick, with the same issue Cadillac had... Or maybe even worse. Many customers shopping for luxury vehicles in the $30-50K range, are not fond of FWD, Pushrod OHV V6 engines, Superchared or not, which I see as a problem. They are rectifying this a new engine to be used (3.6L DOHC) in the Rendezvcous and CTS. But Buick needs massive product overhaul to fill the shoes GM has given it.
  • navigator3740navigator3740 Member Posts: 279
    Couldn't agree more, Ant. I drove Cadillacs in the 80's, but they were slow enough that torque steer wasn't an issue. Once they brought out a decent engine, (the Northstar), the car was unmanageable under hard acceration. Nobody else builds FWD cars in the luxury segment except Volvo, who I was sorry to see go that way, but I figured it was a snow thing. Anyway, I have shyed away from FWD now since 97. I can't see Buick selling at the Cadillac level, but I guess we'll see. I'm glad Lincoln is staying reasonably priced.
  • gregagrega Member Posts: 31
    The 3300 lbs sled they use does NOT deform as all SUV frontends would do in a real crash since that is what they are designed for. To validate these tests why doesn't the IIHS use a real SUV (Ex. Ford Escape) and crash it into the side of a car and compare the results. That would be "real world"!
  • ANT14ANT14 Member Posts: 2,687
    Every other day, I drive a friends '03 Saturn L300 as we both go to the gym (long drive). She makes me drive because after an hour worth of traffic to get to her house where we meet, she prefers me to drive thereafter.

    That Saturn features a 3.0L V6, picked up from german unit Opel, and was used in the last Catera. It's quite torquey down low, and when it comes time to pass, the computer just shifts to the EXACT point where there's MASSIVE torque steer. And that's just 190TQ., I'm glad it doesn't have more. But it's an annoying feature to me at least, because I sometimes steer with my knee in my car, so with this one it's nearly impossible to do so. Plus I also have a bit of road rage, so when a car moves OUT of the way, I slam the gas in celebration of frustration :-)

    I drove an S80 T-6 for an extended time. In that vehicle it was a bit more controlled than this Saturn L300, therefore it wasn't that bad. But that will be rectified in the future. Already, an AWD S80 debuts this year, and depending how well it sells in comparison to it's FWD unit, will determine if they'll go AWD all the way.

    I like the AWD system of Volvo's, it's a Haldex system, which only really adds 140-150lbs. to the vehicle. Where most other AWD require double that amount, and then some.
  • hammyztshammyzts Member Posts: 9
    I completely agree with the statement that ANT made about Cadi moving upstream. They will find themselves swallowed up by the likes of the 3-series and even the clout that comes from owning a Jag. If Lincoln's next antagonist is going to be Buick then this is good news. Lincoln, IMO, is ahead of Buick. Buick has the Rendezvous, but Lincoln has the LS, and Futura-based sedans, which I think will be a stonger seller. As I see it right now, Buick has one product worth owning, and possibly a second if they build the "Bengal" concept. By this time, Lincoln should be debuting the next Continental, which is rumored to be paired up with a next-gen Mark series, based again, off the DEW98, and more specifically the Thunderbird, as Lincoln is poised to have a convertible. All in all, Fords return to car-based products will be a stong trump over Buick's Rendezvous and "Rainier".
      On the topic of the Futura, I see nothing but positives for Ford with this product, as long as they don't use that name.
  • tomcat630tomcat630 Member Posts: 854
    "Regardless. Ford is dying."

    Wall Street types have been saying that since 1980's. They are a global company and don't just sell to "faithful" people in the "flyover" states.

    Honda isn't in great shape. 60% of their sales are in the USA and they are "dying" (to coin a phrase) in Japan, their home market. Where they dropped to #3 after Nissan finally woke up.

    Anyway, this topic is Ford Futura, not "Buick vs. Lincoln"

    Those that say, "Camry and Accord will be new by 2005", so what? Ford is offering something different to the non-conformists, instead of the the "beige cookie cutter house" people in in their "beige cookie cutter cars".
  • alpha01alpha01 Member Posts: 4,747
    Mazda is also offering something to the non-conformist, with the 6. A spunky compact car (no low end torque with the 4 though), but I havent seen very many- is Mazda on target to meet sales expectations? It would seem that with 49xx sold in May, it might not be. (I can't imagine Mazda wanted this thing to sell fewer than 60,000 copies/year). That May sales figure is barely ahead of the 5 year old Galant, and behind the Passat.
     
    ~alpha
  • ANT14ANT14 Member Posts: 2,687
    The issue with the Mazda6 sales can be placed upon the person who allocated the I4=V6 models. He was recently fired for his inadequecies of being able to research what the market wanted. The previous allocation was 80%=I4 to 20%=V6. Customer's have wanted the V6 model more so, so that had to be changed to 40%=V6 models. The majority of the Mazda6' out there, are the I4 trim.

    Try researching some local Mazda dealer's that might have online inventories, and you might see there's hardly V6 models available. At least that's the issue where I'm at (Miami).

    The issue has been rectified, so sales should increase. But this isn't ment to be a high volume product. Although Mazda has been suprised at Europe, where Mazda6 sales have surged beyond their expectations.
  • tomcat630tomcat630 Member Posts: 854
    Some say, "the Futura will be against the newer Camry by then"

    It's not going to just be a 2003 Mazda 6 with a Ford emblem on it. It will be an updated car on the current 6 platform.

    And don't think that the next gen Camry and Accord will be "clean slate" designs, after they spent tons of money on the current cars. Expect reskins, which won't be all that "super modern".
  • ANT14ANT14 Member Posts: 2,687
    Yes that's correct. The vehicle will be larger than the current Mazda6. The platform which is based on, can be easily stretched and widen, (minivans will come off this platform as well) therefore the vehicle will have an interior that will be competitive with vehicles AT that time, but wrapped in an efficient exterior package, that won't come close to Taurus' 199-200"inch length.

    The issue with the Taurus' packaging is it's too bulky on the exterior, for the interior dimensions it possesses. It's engineering from 1980's, therefore it's catching up, and no longer efficient.

    Look for the Futura to have a 187-191" exterior length, while having interior competitive dimensions, where it counts.
  • sphinx99sphinx99 Member Posts: 776
    Just a comment - when is Ford going to dump the Duratec? Don't get me wrong, the engine served its purpose. My parents' 97 Sable Duratec V6 was very reliable for five years before it blew a connecting rod. Not the greatest record but... oh well. As far as I can tell, the engine hasn't really received much of an update after all of these years, turning a once-peppy engine into a almost-as-good-as-some-inline-4s powerplant. Everyone else is getting 240hp+ plus torque from their 6-bangers nowadays. By 2005 the bar could well be around 260hp.

    Ford "Futura" makes me think future, advanced, high-tech, modern. Best of class in some way direct related to the innards of the car. I will judge the Futura in large part based on what kind of oomph it gets, and I do hope that the first post's mention of the Duratec will in fact turn out to be the debut of a new Ford engine instead.
  • ANT14ANT14 Member Posts: 2,687
    The Duratec, for what it is, offer's the most techonology per dollar in the 3.0L realm, as compared to the other Big 3 automaker's, GM is still using OHV pushrod's, and closest example would be the 3.0L found in the Saturn L300/VUE which costs thousands more. And even at that, GM will be replace that engine with 3.5L Honda sourced engines. While the 3.0L Duratec engine is available on a $17-18K (after discounts) Taurus.

    If you want more investment, then you have the Mazda6 version which Mazda has applied their own heads, and a few other modifications to bump it up to 220HP.

    Want even more, there's the 3.0L Duratec in the Lincoln LS V6, that contains VCT bumping it up to 232HP.

    Want a bit more... There's the X-Type's 3.0L making 227HP and S-type's 3.0L V-6 AJ version, contains 235HP, made available by their own tweaking.

    Let's not forget thru all this, that being more "sophisticated" can add cost such as premium fuel requirement, and that's not something the Taurus needs to do. Which is why the other versions (except Mazda6, Escape/Tribute) require Premium fuel.

    The Duratec engine family is here to stay, and will be further enhanced depending on the brand. But overall it'll be one of the 3 engine families worldwide, that Ford is sticking to. Over in europe, there's variations of this same engine, in 4 cylinder configurations. And we even have the Aston Martin's V-12 which is a pair of siamesed Duractec's 3.0L, displacing 5.9/6.0L.

    Or even so, there's the 2.5L V6 used in the Probe GT for many years, making 164HP, then later Cougar making 170HP, that same engine now used in the X-type 2.5L makes 194Hp because Jaguar applied their own tweaking to it.

    Considering it's vast use, configurations, etc. it's not a problematic engine in the least, and it's easy to take care of and manage.

    Now, as compared to other competitor's V6's such as Altima/Maxima, or even the new Solara's/RX330 3.3L, all those are made more powerful by increasing it's size.displacement. We can't really compare a 3.0L, with a 3.5L or 3.3L. And as seen by the prices on those vehicles, (the Altima for example) you must jump to $24-26K for the V6 version. Closest would be Accord's 3.0L which can make it's 240HP from it's VCT. That same route can be taken on the Mazda6, for it to attain 240HP or even 250HP if need but again, at what costs, considering the Accord 3.0L V6 can run anywhere from $24K-28K depending on trim level.

    Personally, I believe that engines at certain points can be maximized, but there after displacement must be implemented. For a 3.0L DOHC V6 I believe anything over 220HP is pushing it's limits. Mainly because the car must swing over 6000RPM to attain this power. It can be justified if the vehicle weighs up to 3200LBS, but anything north of 3200lbs. will require displacement, or run the engine into the redline

    One example is the X-Type's 3.0L AJ V6. It'll give you 227HP, but you must swing to a Honda like 6800RPM. Luckily it's a Jaguar and there's enough noise insulation to quell that tiring reving. This is an example where the engine would benefit by growing, but to do it intelligently it must be done without too much added weight. What would be the purpose of adding 30lbs. extra of weight, to pump a measly 10 more horses. Such horses can be attained in other ways more efficient ways.

    When the Futura debuts, the 3.0L Duratec II will be the optional engine. What makes it "Duractec II", various other methods implemented to make it more efficient and more powerful. Mazda6's Duratec V-6 is the first phase of "Duratec II".

    From this, will be born a 3.5L version of the Duratec called Cyclone. That engine will be implemented on the Freestyle/500/Montego and a bunch of other vehicle's.

    Ford might develop a higher performance version of the Futura, but not much detail has been spoken about that. There's 2 possible senario's, a 2.3L I-4 Turbocharged (Think Mazda6 MPS concept) making around 280HP or the 3.5L Cyclone V-6. Personally (just from my experience) they would be wiser to use the 2.3L I-4 considering it wouldn't add as much weight to the vehicle, as the 3.5L would.

    Already, the vehicle will debut with a 2.3L I-4, optional 3.0L V-6, and a Hybrid version of the 2.3L similarly used in the 2005 Escape Hybrid will eventually become available.
  • libertycatlibertycat Member Posts: 593
    You are one of the rudest, least considerate people in the world. In your earlier posts about Ford names, you say you can do a better job. Well, I like the idea of having all the cars start with the same letter. I like the names Freestyle and Freestar. I don't like 500 as it will be typed as numbers not as Five Hundred. I don't like Aurora better than Futura. Sometimes people have opinons different than yours. You will just have to accept that, regfootball. You can't just go around assuming everyone totally agrees with you. You made two posts saying the same thing while making fun of Ford names while a lot of people probably like these. You are a really sad person, regfootball. I'm glad I'm not you.
  • regfootballregfootball Member Posts: 2,166
    what

    ever.
  • libertycatlibertycat Member Posts: 593
    whatever is all you have to say.
  • libertycatlibertycat Member Posts: 593
    conversation.
  • ANT14ANT14 Member Posts: 2,687
    You mean you don't know what it'll be named?

    I think it's waayyyyy too early for that topic to be started yet, those plans have not, and will not be thoroughly announced till the end of the year, beginning of next year, at one of the major auto shows.

    And the Futura twin might NOT be exactly a 4 door sedan, it's still being studied.
  • libertycatlibertycat Member Posts: 593
  • libertycatlibertycat Member Posts: 593
  • libertycatlibertycat Member Posts: 593
    do u know the name or something? I think I have five good guesses on that conversation.
  • ANT14ANT14 Member Posts: 2,687
    The name hasn't been finalized, there's a few being tested on consumer groups. And "starting with M" doesn't count, since it's obvious it'll start with an "M".
  • libertycatlibertycat Member Posts: 593
    but don't u think some of my name guesses are possible?
  • libertycatlibertycat Member Posts: 593
    Volvo, Lincoln, Cadillac, Saab, Lexus, Acura, and Infiniti all make FWD cars. LOL!!!! See, Cadillac and Volvo aren't the only two.
  • ANT14ANT14 Member Posts: 2,687
    Anything with an M is pretty much possible. :-)
  • libertycatlibertycat Member Posts: 593
    Or Murderer. Wait a sec, what a great name for a Mercury. I can just see the advertisement. The new Mercury Murderer midsize sedan. It can take you anywhere you want to go and can murder anyone you want on the way. LOL!
  • f111df111d Member Posts: 114
    Hope the powers to be are smart enough to keep the ABS as an option. One less problem child. Car buff's can't even properly work on the system, one needs to be factory trained and use the proprietary Star tester and they're having trouble. (high labor charges) Costing cutting the components hadn't helped, as note from some Ham buddies who own factories supplying the auto industry. All manufactures are guilty.
    Once most folks have mastered or even half mastered "threshold braking" ABS is like swimming fully dressed. It be helpful in Winter conditions, but since I avoid the maintenance nightmare option, I'll never know.
    I posed this question to one of the Ford brake engineers that hangs out on www.contour.org site. Beside the fact he'd would be fired immediately if he said anything (auto industry must be worst than the Cold War goings on) he says no one knows for sure until the last minute.
    Geeze American business is in a terrible mess. This bottom line profits only thing? Whatever happened to the term "Earnings"?
    Paul
    N8BUU
  • ANT14ANT14 Member Posts: 2,687
    Unfortunatly threshold braking is just ONE too many things most people wouldn't A) Understand B) Try C) Attempt D) Master. Most people are not aware of the simple dynamics of their car, and what to do, and not to do.

    Examples:

    I had a friend who had an accident, called me to tell me she was ok, and that her car sucked because the airbags didn't inflate.... Her car did NOT have airbags.

    Someone in a RWD car who accelerated too hard to turn into a intersection, while raining. Caused it to spin 360.

    FWD driver who hit a curb at 30MPH (made car flip).

    Most typical: SUV driver's that freak and jerk the wheel. Causing them to flip and roll.

    People who have a blown out tire on the expressway and slam the breaks (causing total loss of control).

    So threshold breaking is one of those fine arts that when an emergency occurs, we KNOW they'll still get it wrong, slam the break, jerk the wheels, the yaw of the vehicle will be negatively distributed and in the end they'll still have an accident.

    GM is ending a year long decade of offering ABS as standard equipment, it's one of their cost cutting method. While Ford keeps ABS standard on their trucks/SUV's/Minivans, and higher trim versions of passenger cars. Personally, I like knowing that a there trucks have standard ABS in case I'm in a situation that can help them, and me out. As for passenger cars, at least I have a fare chance overall.

    It's one more thing that breaks down, but with the complexity of vehicles nowadays, it's quite hard to avoid that even in the simplest of vehicles.

    But regarding the vehicle, is it that your wanting to know of ABS will be optional or standard feature? And that your buddy wasn't able to confirm this?
  • f111df111d Member Posts: 114
    Yes, the Futura looks to be the closest to my Mystique LS (closest Ford offering bang for the buck drivers car Ford has ever offered.) I sure hope the Futura can live up to Mondeo's chassis? My LS is 5 years old now and through sharing of info/how to's & etc. on contour.org site, I see no reason not being able to keep it for another 10. One thing was the replacing the harmonic balancer with the DMD. (Dual mode) Sooooo much smoother! However the ole 89 Probe is getting tired.
    Me ( and my whole family) are big Ford buyers, first big reason our small town dealer. If you look at my profile, Dad got to drive his Lincoln LS for one year, but he never felt comfortable. He was a product of the depression and WW II and I too was raised with "learn to live within your means son".
    He liked the car, but that image thing! Anyway I wasn't impressed with the ABS.

    Yes the engineer only knows me through the web site, so I don't blame him for being careful.
    All he knew for sure, if someone says they know now, it's only speculation at best.
    I know our dealer complains about the uncertainty with just being able to order a car and the next day it he goes to offer that same package to another customer and Ford's made a change. Nope can't do that. Is it the competition or the organization's inability to deal with it's huge size??
    I'll shut-up for now, I have this problem, I feel people need to know why I do what I do?
     Paul
    Oh yes, I sort learned to drive on gravel country roads and threshold braking was only part of the equation. Or course we didn't know it had a name, except it's how we stayed out of hot water with the ole man. Keep it on the road and the fenders didn't get crumpled.
  • ANT14ANT14 Member Posts: 2,687
    If you love your Mystique, chances are you'll love the Futura just as much. It'll be very european in handling and very controllable. I remember test driving one when they first came out in 95 I believe... I just grabbed that steering wheel and was shocked it was a Ford product being I wasn't used to anything from Ford feeling that way. I know 2 people that have them, a 96 and 98 model, and in my opinion, even if they have a few years on them, they drive much better than some of the "NEW" vehicles that have come out recently. To me I've always seen them as a real sporty sedan, for a great price.

    As for option groups, standard items, etc. Yes this person is correct. Some of those "toys" such as ABS and such, aren't known yet how they will be grouped till a few months before the initial release, and even then, some things can be switched around at the last minute. One major reason this is done, is to stay competitive with the competition. But before reaching this point, you also have supplier's that might, or might not have the capacity to fullfill a request. So the issue depends on them as well.

    For example, if let's say ABS is being thought of as standard, then the supplier's need to be notified if they can fullfill such a request. (If they expect sales of 200K units). And "what IFs" such as needing 20K more, because the vehicle is selling beyond what they thought. Or you have senarios where the supplier's might need a specific raw material/steel/etc. and maybe the truck union has a strike and slowing down shipment. ETC. at the last minute things can be switched around and Ford might state, "well, we'll make this item an option for now". Many variables to consider.

    In a perfect world, everything runs smoothly, and product launches go accordingly. Realistically, out of the millions of factors involved, 99.9% are solved before the product is released. And many times it's not the manufacturer, but a supplier issue as many of Ford's recalls have been. I just find it interesting how they usually don't release names of the supplier's in question, a little PR PC tidbit.
  • f111df111d Member Posts: 114
    Very interesting stuff Anthony, I'm not known to be exceptionally sharp, however you seem to have close ties to what's going on at Ford.
     a. Maybe this is one of the ways Ford's doing a "study" putting out feelers? If this is the case it's good to hear that someone is listening. Who did and why did the Contique's really get axed? Lot of rumors out there, not that it really matters. Many feel it was Mr. Nasser's empire building caused the demise and not the SUV fad greed factor of the 90's???
     b. You're part of a group that interfaces with vendors? If you are do you remember the Higher brothers from Ohio?
     c. If you have any pull, I'd sure like to get the specs on the RFI filter that an common TSB for the electric fuel pump specifies. That is one heck of a spark-gap generator. It's a 2 year long story and even through contour.org guys at Visteon ???? Either no ones really truly knows or I'm KGB! Actually a poor Ham "N8BUU" trying to use VHF in his car and not blow himself up trying out his own R & D! All I need is what frequency was the TSB RFI filter really designed. I need some sort of staring point. Been through all the usual avenues, I don't understand? You'd think I was asking for the codes to launch a Nuke!
    I did have a "secret-crypto" in the late sixties in Korea and I use to have black Mercedes following me around Germany? Maybe the words out, whatever that might be???? Hi Hi
     d. If you know Richard Parry-Jones tell him thanks for his fine chassis's and keep up the good work. I hope he's gets to influence the Futura? If so I'll buy one if I have to mortgage on my house!
    TNX
    Paul Echelberger
    N8BUU
    [email protected] give me your land line # I'll give you a ring. At your convenience
  • ANT14ANT14 Member Posts: 2,687
    A) There were various factors as to why the Contour got axed. Product overlap. The pricepoint of the vehicle was overlaped by the Escort (and then Focus) as well as Taurus. Therefore biting into sales that affected 2 higher selling models that might have caused them (and eventually did but NOT at Contours expense) their #1 seller bragging rights.

    The Focus was to be introduced, and space wise, it would have eclipsed that of the Contour. And it's backseat was another issue. American's buying philosophy (at that time or to some point still is) you pay for the price, according to the size. Which is why some people have a hard time fathoming spending $26K for a subcompact Jetta. Or like some other's can't comprehend by the Focus (small to most) and Supermini's, sell so well in Europe, YET are loaded with intensive gadgets. It's more about quality over quantity, and the Contour had quality over quantity at a time people weren't willing to accept.

    As you may know, because they do speak about such things in the Contour website you mentioned, I don't wish to repeat myself for what you might have heard there. But overall, being a world car, it was trying too hard to be what everyone around the globe wanted. And not executed as best as it could have. BUT the Focus fullfilled that mission, and done great (around the globe) considering it's the highest selling passenger car in the world. While for us it's considered a "entry vehicle" or "economy vehicle" in Europe it's a 2nd step up vehicle, since the Fiesta is their 'entry vehicle'...

    A bit of product shuffle, yet it has worked quite well. I myself would have loved the Mondeo to be an entrant in the N.A. market, but that's do to other reasons. Unfortunatly Jac Nasser left a legacy of issues behind, and it's still being cleaned up.

    Now, being the platform of the Mazda6 is engineered to tailor pretty much any market, the vehicle can be flexible enough to offer it as a mid-size sedan, and quell the concerns of N.A. buyers. Since the news of the Futura has erupted, I've seen numerous people saying "but the Mazda6 is too small" thinking it's just a rebadge job when it's truely not.

    B) Nope, not involved with vendor groups.

    C) I'm suprised no one at contour.org has been able to answer the RFI filter question, although I'm not familiar with alteration or repairs or warranty related issues unless it's brought to my attention. But if there's people blowing up their gas tanks, do you think it's something you would wish to further investigate?

    D) I'm all for Richard Parry Jones, (for those who might not know) he is credited for vehicles such as Ford Fiesta, Ford Mondeo, Ford Focus, Jaguar S-Type, Jaguar X-Type and Lincoln LS. He oversees worldwide product/development/design, etc. I just hope the other higher brass at Ford "work" with him, and let him continue on his find performance. My only issue happens to be with the beancounters , that might cause an issue and hamper development.

    You shouldn't mortgage a house over a car. A car depreciates, whereas a house appreciates over time. And with some of the 0% down deals, and/or financing up to 6 years, EH it's all possible. :-)
  • ANT14ANT14 Member Posts: 2,687
    Speaking of, this story relates to the product of the Futura and where it could be built.

    http://www.autonews.com/news.cms?newsId=5731

    Source: Automotive News
  • f111df111d Member Posts: 114
    Just delivered our 3 month old grandson back to mom and dad. Had to move the passenger seat forward to get the little guy's seat to snap into place. Of course this wasn't an issue when I ordered the car. Child safety seats have definitely created a different car buying decisions, than when our two boys were kids. Understand why my daughter-in-law wanted a mini-van. She truly loved her Civic, but no way now. Man those rear facing child seats take up a ton of space. Really pointed out what you've being talking about.
    What really bother's me is the economics of the mini-van, so many more families would benefit from the mini-van space.
    Practical, utilitarian, affordable/economical vehicles have got to be the industries biggest challenge? Nightmare might be more appropriate? Especially when I think of the image issue which to me is way more important in NA. than it should be. IMHO SUV's &&^^$#$%
       Since I was raised by parents who grew up it in the depression era and dad was a very patriotic survivor of Iwo Jima, I have a strong angst towards waste and lack of pride.
    Sort of a "semi tree-hugger" mentality. A steward of the land, I like to think, with a logical/common sense approach. This SUV craze just bits!
        So if the Futura some how manages to have useable back seat or the option to have one built-in?, be economical/affordable and still be drivers car, it should be a big hit. Of course now that I just remembered the 60's horse-power race, can marketing sway the buying public, that practical, affordable and fun to drive is cooler than sitting up high? (and Ohio winter driver's supposed savoir 4wd) Not sure if that's possible? Like Mazda's Hmmmmmm--Oh whata RPJ feeling!!!
         This country seems to be so much more diverse than during the WW II generation. Now I know why growing-up my elders preached about keeping an open mind, do it right the first time, pride etc.. WW II generation is/was a much more forward thinking group than us rebellious 60's gen realized.
       OOPS getting sentimental, see now????, what was I talking about?
        Anyhow I think my statement about mortgaging the house for a car was just my failed attempt at (English composition/communicating my real feelings thing). ****
    I'd be absolutely tickled if the Futura is a driver's car. Yes let's hope the bean counters don't blow it? (I have a feeling this caused most of problems for the Contique's in NA. IMHO) because I know this country had/has a fine group of engineers. Tell me this (your opinion)
    how is it then the Japanese vehicles have been so reliable? Japanese's governments funding early on, but after that. Or this reliability thing a figment of everyone's imagination. The 89 vintage Japanese vehicles seem to have more value/reliability than the present. IHMO
     Why is it we Americans aren't allowed to have pride in our jobs/work, as I noticed in Deutschland? 69-70 era? A product of the times we live in???
     I recently met a former U-boat sailor at Lowes (weird/ironic/neat experience) who was retired tool-die maker from the GM body panel plant in our area. He travels every year to the U-boat reunions, he was not proud of his country. That was definitely a shock to me, since my wife's grandparents left Germany before the war, so I'm well acquainted of that generations pride in their country (Not Hitler's Germany)
    Several PBS programs indicate that Japanese present generation's ethics have slipped,also.
    Maybe it's just a product of realizing/understanding ORF's really don't like change or maybe it's because my WW II baby-boomers generation is not being catered to anymore Hmmmm spoiled? Hi Hi It's get soooo confusing trying to keep an open mind!!
        I'm a little crank-up today, yesterday I did something I managed to stay out of during my 67-70 stint in the Army --- a 10 minute ride in a Huey and in the gunner's seat to boot. Not something that was possible to the public until a few years ago. www.armyav.org a Ist Cav's Huey with 1296 mission's in Nam . Obviously many hours of restoration!

    TNX
    Paul Echelberger
    N8BUU
    You own a dealership????

    **** It's only took me 2 hrs w/spell check and the good ole word processor program assisting to finally get it right. I hope! Like I said about keeping an open mind!!!
    One more thing the how about Ford offerings
     How about this a winter drivers option (dealer installed even) in lieu of the 4wd a Torsen diff. Ford could go back to rear wheel drive cars (much cheaper to build etc etc????) RWD because that dreaded torque steer issue. The bias ratio for FWD application, from my understanding can't be high enough. I got dad's ole 93 E-150 I love to give it a try out, first hand feel. Trying to find a $deal$ on a Torsen and some many I've asked have poop-pood the idea. (Mainly IMHO lack of or no experience using) No electronics/sensors just plain simple gears I know many vehicle's have used it quite successfully. I know the Hummers use three, man I wish the little ole 1/4 ton Jeeps I had to use would have a Torsens. I've experience the limited-slip/maintenance hog rear ends, I feel from comments (I've heard and not actually use though) that the Torsen would be the the real deal. Especially when the quantity issue bought the price down. It must be like the ABS issue Anthony, that the industry favors the electronic traction control stuff on 4wd? How hard could it be to at least offer this for the work F-models. The extra cost of the 4wd and MPG/maintenance issue (economics) the guy trying to make a living with his pick-up would like to try it. I know so many full size truck owners need the size and limited off road abilities for construction, farmer and etc, that have to travel so far any more to keep working. This Torsen option would be the bang for the buck for them and the gas/budget crunch their in.
    Just remembered dad raving about getting up his driveway cause of the traction control on his Lincoln LS. However after I drove it the winter of 2001 it had to spin way too much before it kick in. The tires were new the winter of 2000 that dad drove it. The Torsen would be soo much better from winter drivers. Bang for the buck IMHO semi-treehugger's point of view.
    Ah yes the other issue wrong or worn tires on SUV's!!!
    Sure hope you're doing marketing research after all this I'm exhausted Hi hi 3hours now

    Paul
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