• Jan 12, 2009
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.


[Source: Autoweek]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 58 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      I think some people are missing the point. The article says that Ford was developing a LARGE rwd platform and now they are developing a SMALL rwd platform. "No Surprise: Ford halts RWD programs" is a bad title which infers that ALL rwd programs are being canceled which is not true since the small rwd is in the works. The only reason it is "programs" is because a Ford and Lincoln vehicle were to be made on this platform.

      To all those saying this is short-sighted, I ask who would have payed for this? Sure, it would be great if Lincoln could have a large rwd V8 sport sedan, Mustang could have more hp and IRS, and everything came with a 6 speed transmission, etc. I could go on and on. If it is fwd then it should be awd or rwd. If it has a 5 speed it should have 6 speeds and be available with a manual. If it is black it should be white. All of you that would like this program to continue you can make it happen. If you just give Ford hundreds of millions of dollars, at least 5 years of development time, make sure it meets all the EPA and Safety regulations, and were prepared to deal with all the bad press from the media, Washington, and any other so called expert, then Ford will be happy to build a car for all 10 of you. I am shocked on a daily basis how many people drastically underestimate the amount of work that goes into developing a car.
        • 6 Years Ago
        "I think some people are missing the point. The article says that Ford was developing a LARGE rwd platform and now they are developing a SMALL rwd platform."

        No, what it's saying is that AutoBlog thinks they should make a small RWD, not that they actually are.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'm now pretty sure that Ford is using the Detroit Autoshow to prove that they can be even stupider that GM & Chrysler.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I think GM, Ford, Chrysler can share basic platform each other.

      GM make a RWD platform specially.
      Ford make a FWD platform specially.
      Chrysler make a SUV and 4WD platform.

      They can share each company's basic plat form.
      give a name as a "US auto platform"
      it administrative by "car czar".

      Save money with each other.

      what do you think?
      i think it is a good idea.

      US auto industry is already crushed by Japan.
        • 6 Years Ago
        blackstrm-----yeah but youre also taking in account at the amount of fleet vehicles are sold by the US three
        • 6 Years Ago
        Socialism...that's the answer!
        • 6 Years Ago
        "Wheatstraw: It clearly isn't socialism - do you call kids in your public school class socialist because they share toys?"

        It's a little different when money is involved, tax payer money that we will never see the benefit of. The theoretical idea of a national platform, funded by the government (bailout) is not that far off. The government could say that since the bailout, you (the automaker) did not meet expectations, you either repay or follow the new "party line".

        Hey! Who want's to talk about healthcare? Unions? Sweden? Anyone???
        • 6 Years Ago
        Why would you only count US sales though? All these car companies are global companies, and global sales are what matter when it comes down to whether they're going to make money (or even survive).
        And globally the Big 3 aren't doing so hot. GM's managed to lose their #1 China sales position to Toyota, and now they've managed to fall to #3 as Honda just surpassed them in sales there. Not a good thing to start losing your growth markets.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Wheatstraw: It clearly isn't socialism - do you call kids in your public school class socialist because they share toys?

        Joe: Where did the crushed from Japan come in? Kind of offside on an interesting (although unrealistic) idea. While the Big 3 could save billions by sharing basic platform architecture, they would lose their independence and ability to compete against smaller, more nimble competition that could turn around quicker to customer demand. They could make a lot of really great cars, but that isn't enough to sell in today's market - there are lots of people who want to feel 'special'. Besides, greedy management and big egos would get in the way.
      Roland
      • 6 Years Ago
      Umm..... Domestic turbo 4 cyl in a RWD platform?--- what an idea!..Still a concept..umm....That's what I'm driving right now!
      Jeep had that as a niche in 2005-06 in the CRD Liberty. It is fast, stable, lots of fun to drive and does great MPG's on its diesel fuel. I get 30-33 MPG Hwy!
      RWD does work and talk here is in the right direction with "super" engines that are small (four cylinder), ecomonical, but with lots of available technology applied- like turbocharging, intercooling, modern clean diesel with direct injection applications.
      Lets see: modern diesel, four cylinder, turbo, no smoke-smell, five speed trans with overdrive, fantastic MPG's, oh yeah- full feature 4WD as well- all on a RWD platform.
      RWD does and will work and provide a means to deliver cars to buyers that have the features Americans want: Good MPG's but still have the feeling of good performance like acceleration, power to pass and good control. The technology is available- just look at Europe.

      • 6 Years Ago
      Ford halts its RWD programs, and Autoblog thinks that Now is the time to Start working on a RWD car? Odd comment there with this news.

      Yes I know, I know... it says "small" and "ecoboost." But my point still stands.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Ford has very limited funds right now. Of course they are focusing on small and fuel efficient cars right now as they should. It doesn't mean they will NEVER EVER build a RWD model, just not now.

      That makes complete sense. No one is buying full size RWD cars right now, so why use limited resources to build it in a recession?
      • 6 Years Ago
      More short-sighted thinking from Ford.

      RWD != poor MPG
        • 6 Years Ago
        @Torrent

        That's what he said...RWD does not equal poor performance.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Didn't the post say they were going to set their sights on a smaller RWD with the ecoboost 4 cylinder?
        • 6 Years Ago
        No not really. You can get good MPG while having RWD.

        5 words. turbo diesel.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Limaman, no, that was AB saying that's what they SHOULD do.
        • 6 Years Ago
        ^^

        != means "not equal".
      • 6 Years Ago
      I think the entire RWD/FWD argument is moronic, and one stubbornly held onto by enthusiasts. Most buyers do not care, as evidenced by what cars actually sell. You can buy all of the Mustangs and RWD trucks you want, so nothing lost.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Most car buyers buy FWD because that's mostly what's offered. I mean, it's very difficult to find a RWD car that's not a sports car. Now, I'm not saying they would chose a RWD over FWD or vis versa if they had the chance, but I am saying they don't really have the choice to begin with.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Just as sad as Honda cancelling performance and RWD vehicles, now Ford thinks it is a good idea.

      Short sighted knee jerk reactions only make things HARDER to diversify in the future.

      TRY CUTTING OUT THE REDUNDANCY in your model lines, all you companies!!!

      A lot of these companies seem to have 2, 3, and 4 of the same type of vehicles over several brands, with overlapping brand identities, but in general, their product catalog is pretty narrow.

      And, hey, Lincoln... the Concept C is stupid. Maybe it could work as a Ford, or maybe even a Mercury, but Lincolns aren't small econo-cars.

      Lincoln doesn't have a RWD sport sedan, (try making the LS what it SHOULD be, rather than hesitating and not pushing it as hard as it should have been.), and a sport-luxury Coupe. Lord knows that the Mustang is NOT that.

      But evidently that isn't going to happen, with no more RWD projects.

      Idiocy.
      • 6 Years Ago
      What a chick magnet. its a shame they wont make it.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Bummer

      Freeman Thomas won't get his 300C proportioned Ford out in production. Man this guy has built a career on recycling!!!
      • 6 Years Ago
      How about making it a cop car to replace the crown vic?
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