• May 31st 2007 at 2:24PM
  • 13
Looky, looky. Spies from KGP have caught a rear-wheel drive Ford from Australia at Ford's engineering centers in Detroit. In fact, the car appears to be in the process of being unboxed after its long trip from Oz. What does it mean that this car, presumably a rear-wheel drive Falcon prototype, has landed on our shores? Well, let's start speculating.
Clearly Ford is the last of the domestic automakers to take advantage of rear-wheel drive's resurgence. Nevertheless, Ford may be planning (we hope) to augment the wildly popular Mustang with a rear-wheel drive sedan. Such a strategy could follow the same path that General Motors has blazed by having Holden, its Australian brand, develop the rear-wheel-drive Zeta platform for export to various international markets including the U.S. We'll see GM's Zeta platform underpin the new Camaro and Pontiac G8 for sure, and possibly other big RWD sedans like the next-gen Impala. Likewise, Ford could be developing Australia's Falcon with international export in mind, meaning left-hand-drive will be a consideration from the get-go, as well as U.S. safety and emissions standards. That RWD platform could then be the basis for the next-gen Mustang, due a year or two after the decade's end, and a large sedan, either a replacement for the Crown Vic (unlikely) or an all-new sedan, possibly inspired by the hot Interceptor Concept from the 2007 Detroit Auto Show.

By the way, that entire last paragraph was wishful thinking, as we have no actual evidence Ford is currently developing the next-gen Falcon in this way. Prototypes from other markets show up on U.S. roads all the time, and it really doesn't mean anything in and of itself until an official word comes from Ford. Still, speculating about a production version of the Interceptor is more fun than being told it will never be built at all, so speculate we will.

[Source: LLN]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      Off and on, I used to see the same canary yellow Falcon on my morning commute down Telegraph Road thru Dearborn. It was right hand drive, and had manufacturer plates. This was in 2004, BTW.

      There could be any number of reasons why Ford would bring over small numbers of this car. I do share your optimism.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Why the hell is Ford always late to everything? Get your act together FoMoCo. Bah.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Those wheels look sweet. Hopefully this will have at least a 320 hp V8 option.

      I had a 97 T-Bird (for only 1 year before I traded it in on a 98 Z28). The T-Bird had IRS - it actually drove well, but that old 90s era 4.6L SOHC V8 felt totally underpowered.
      • 8 Years Ago
      If Camaro and Challenger have IRS, Ford will need a huge price advantage to convince buyers to settle for a solid rear axle. Ditto for Charger and Impala vs. Crown Vic.

      Ford NEEDS to put R&D money into IRS.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Ford doesn't need IRS when the solid rear in the Mustang is as good as it is. Remember back in 2005, when everyone maligned Ford for only offering a solid rear on their racing version of the Mustang, then the Mustang went and placed 1-2-3 in it's first race?
        • 8 Years Ago
        The next Falcon will definitely have IRS. The current sedan already has it. (Although the Ute and Wagon use leaf springs)
      • 8 Years Ago
      Ford needs to build these (pic2) or they're going to completely lose the police interceptor market to Dodge.
      • 8 Years Ago
      If they do use something from Ford Australia, it'll definitely have IRS. Also, it'll have far more than 320hp Be Oh Be, the current Falcon XR8 already has around 350hp, and they'll need a lot more than that to catch up to Holden who have been slaughtering them in terms of performance for a long time.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Everyone the Falcon since the AU 1998 has had an irs option on lower end models such as FORTE/GLI. Std on higher end modles FAIRMONT etc and since 2004 std across the range, only the wagon and ute is a watts linkage still used!
      • 8 Years Ago
      This is adequately satisfactory news!
      • 8 Years Ago
      Ford and GM for that matter...need to go about designing a small, RWD, sporty car, a'la the 240sx, RX7, Starion, ect...
      • 8 Years Ago
      Ford can do IRS. The Lincoln LS had IRS [I think], they just didn't put it in the Mustang.
      The New Expedition has a second generation IRS.
      But yeah they will need it if they were to develop a big RWD sedan.
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