REPORT: News from inside Ford's secret product reveal to employees

We guaranteed in Autoblog Podcast #48 that the contents of Ford's special sneak preview to employees and retirees would leak out, and so it has. KROM, a poster on GMInsideNews of all places, has published a rundown of what was shown and his personal impressions. He tells us that 17 cars were on display, most of which will be on the market by this time next year as 2008 or 2008.5 models. Many cars were not shown in person, however, but presented on slides that previewed refreshenings for models stretching out all the way to 2010.
KRON's overall impression was that Ford designers and engineers have paid particular attention to the sounds each car produces, whether they be more substantial exhaust notes or a more solid thuds from closing doors. In his eyes, the general sense of quality for the vehicles was much higher than current offerings on account of this focus. Interiors across the Ford lineup are also getting updated, and KRON was left impressed across the board.

Keep in mind this report is coming from someone we know is closely connected to the Blue Oval, so the relayed info is probably going to be a little rosier than normal. Ford still has a few surprises under its hat, as KRON estimates that the company is keeping at least 20% of what will be new in the next few years to itself.

Follow the jump for the scoop from inside Cobo Arena where Ford lifted the veil on its future lineup.

[Source: GMInsideNews]

It was also announced that Ford had made a last-minute decision to stop the badge-engineering that most recently can be viewed in such vehicles as the Edge and Lincoln MKX. Upon hearing this, the crowd in attendance "ooooh'd out loud." As evidence of the proclomation, a new Lincoln "people-mover" was shown that looks nothing like the Ford Fairlane, and the luxury brand showed a new front-end design that will be debuting soon across its entire lineup.

Perhaps the preview of most import was Ford's upcoming B-car (small car) slated to go on sale below the Focus. KRON says, "(the) B-car (unnamed) looks sooo good to me that I could not stop staring at it. It is just right. I worried that it might actually be too "bold" for it's segment, but they nailed it and it looks much better than the new Focus to me."

Other vehicles on display include the Mustang along with the anxiously awaited Bullit version. KRON describes a refreshened Mustang for 2008 that only fixes what is wrong with the current car, including the interior. The new F-150 was also shown with Superchief styling cues, along with the Freestyle and 500 with three-bar grilles and bigger engines, the Escape, Mariner, E-Series vans and Transit vans. Apparently no Mercury vehicles were on hand, or at least none were impressive enough for KRON to mention, which makes the division's future with Ford seem suspect.

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