- Jan 12, 2009
No Surprise: Ford halts RWD programs
Click above for a high-res gallery of the Ford Interceptor concept
Ebb and flow. That's the way the petroleum market works, and if history holds true – and it normally does – then fuel prices are set to go up... again... and then some. So it's no surprise that Ford, GM and Chrysler – not to mention its competitors from across the Pacific – all brought out plenty of fuel-sipping models at this year's Detroit Auto Show. Nor is it surprising that J Mays, Ford's design chief, is telling the world that FoMoCo's rear-wheel-drive plans have been nixed.
"We've got other priorities," Mays told Automotive News/Autoweek, referring to both Ford and Lincoln's plans for a RWD sedan. "We're going down a path right now that is all about fuel efficiency."
The original plan – which began a year ago and was already under review in the middle of 2008 when gas prices were peaking – was to work with Ford's Australian arm to develop a new, large RWD platform that would be shared with the U.S. market. The new sedan was due in 2013, but as the landscape changed, Ford decided to eliminate the plan altogether. Mays says he was looking forward to the project, but he seems resolute with the shift to efficiency. We say: now's the time to start working on a small, RWD shooting brake with a 1.4-liter EcoBoost four.