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stasisLAX
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Ford Motor Cancels New Rear Wheel Drive Chassis

Thu Jan 15, 2009 1:45 am

Very sad news for Blue Oval fans. According to LeftLaneNews.com, Ford today officially canceled its new rear wheel drive platform program, which would have provided both Lincoln and Ford with a full-sized rear wheel drive sedan to replace the ancient Town Car, Grand Marquis, and Crown Victoria chassis. Adding to the sadness, the next generation Australian Falcon will likely be front-wheel drive, with all-wheel drive as a possible optional drivetrain.

"Amid a tightening budget and uncertainty surrounding demand for large vehicles, Ford has been forced to shelve plans for new rear-wheel-drive sedans, according to design chief J Mays. The news comes six months after high gas prices prompted Ford to begin re-evaluating its RWD program.

Rumors about the new platform have been circulating for the past couple of years, and the longstanding story has been the architecture would be developed in Australia, where such vehicles are particularly popular.

“We’re going down a path right now that is all about fuel efficiency, and we’ve got a lot to do about that. So we’re not talking about rear-wheel drive,” Mays told Automotive News. RWD is “out of the cycle plan,” he added.

Mays said he is disappointed the projects have been cancelled. “I was very excited about it,” he said, noting that market conditions “changed right before our eyes.”

Ford and Lincoln were expected to get at least one model each. The cars were expected to draw on the Ford Interceptor and Lincoln MKR concepts, both of which were rear-wheel-drive."

Source: http://www.leftlanenews.com/design-c...ord-cancels-rwd-sedan-program.html

[Edited 2009-01-14 17:48:11]
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Cadet57
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RE: Ford Motor Cancels New Rear Wheel Drive Chassis

Thu Jan 15, 2009 1:52 am

Superfly is going to go to bed crying tonight.  Wink

But seriously, this isnt good news. I wonder if this means the end of the Town Car/Grand Marquis and would only leave the Crown Vic available as a fleet car.
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stasisLAX
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RE: Ford Motor Cancels New Rear Wheel Drive Chassis

Thu Jan 15, 2009 1:57 am



Quoting Cadet57 (Reply 1):
But seriously, this isnt good news. I wonder if this means the end of the Town Car/Grand Marquis and would only leave the Crown Vic available as a fleet car.

I would think that it would mean the end of the Panther platform. Ford will probably not want to make any updates to it to keep it in step with new safety regulations and the upcoming higher CAFE standards.  sigh 
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety!" B.Franklin
 
PHLBOS
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RE: Ford Motor Cancels New Rear Wheel Drive Chassis

Thu Jan 15, 2009 5:18 pm



Quoting StasisLAX (Reply 2):
I would think that it would mean the end of the Panther platform. Ford will probably not want to make any updates to it to keep it in step with new safety regulations and the upcoming higher CAFE standards.

IIRC, production for the Panther-platform cars will, for now, continue until the St. Thomas, Ontario plant closes sometime after 2010.

This is very unfortunate and will, no doubt, tick off law enforcement agencies, limo companies and funeral parlors (that utilize hearses) that have been very loyal to Ford, Lincoln and even Mercury.

While many limo and hearse builders & owners plus even some taxi companies have since diversified their vehicle rosters (not sure if this was done completely by choice) with SUV and even FWD platforms; law enforcement agencies have, for the most part, stayed with full-size RWD cars for patrol vehicles. Since these vehicles are purchased w/taxpayer money, making a vehicle that is strictly for law enforcement purposes only will be more costly than utilizing an existing, more mass-produced retail car platform.

While some are now using the FWD Impala; many police agencies might be still timid using a FWD Ford platform (probably the Taurus if it were to happen) after getting burned by previous Taurus police models from the early-to-mid 1990s. Yes, I'm aware that the present and new Taurus is different from the old '86-'07 models; but IMHO, Ford will have to do more convincing.

I'd be curious to know what the percentage breakdown of NEW police vehicles consist of the Ford PI (Crown Vic) and Dodge Charger?

The fallout from this news could be a repeat of what happened in 1997 when the RWD Caprice (a law enforcement favorite of the 90s) was gone; although unlike 1997, the future of the present Charger platform could be in doubt as well.

At present, Ford STILL does not recommend that police agencies use their Special Service Packaged Explorers and Expeditions for pursuit duites; though the rival Chevy Tahoe does offer a full-blown police-pursuit package. Will this instigate a change? Although, the next-generation Explorer may be emasculated to the point where law enforcement agencies will pass on it.

Personally, I hope there will be a re-think on this because if this goes through; anybody wanting a larger car than a current mid-size or RWD for towing purposes (yes, I'm aware that the heavy-duty Class III tow packages were dropped from cars years ago) will automatically be FORCED to make the jump to a more gas-thirsty SUV or CUV.

Granted, gas jumping past $4/gallon last summer and the future increases in CAFE (the latter could have been prevented IMHO) certainly does damper sales of larger vehicles and SUVs; but that doesn't necessarily mean that there's no market for such.

What will happen if gasoline prices stay relatively level or drop again? Don't think it could happen? I'd suggest one looks back to the mid 1980s.

IMHO, Ford may regret this decision a few years from now.
"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
 
Superfly
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RE: Ford Motor Cancels New Rear Wheel Drive Chassis

Thu Jan 15, 2009 6:39 pm

This doesn't make any sense.
What does fuel efficiency have to do with not being RWD?
There are plenty of RWD cars today that get decent fuel efficiency including their own Mustang and discontinued LS and Thunderbird.
Even the existing Panther platform gets good mileage.
Bring back the Concorde
 
PHLBOS
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RE: Ford Motor Cancels New Rear Wheel Drive Chassis

Thu Jan 15, 2009 9:26 pm



Quoting Superfly (Reply 4):
This doesn't make any sense.

Sadly, what else is new?

Quoting Superfly (Reply 4):
What does fuel efficiency have to do with not being RWD?

Two words: Curb weight.

Mainly because (all things being equal) when one compares 2 cars of similar size but one is FWD and the other RWD; the RWD is usually heavier. Hence, a heavier vehicle means lower gas mileage. This is also why an AWD/4WD vehicle will get lower mileage than a similar-sized 2WD model.


Quoting Superfly (Reply 4):
There are plenty of RWD cars today that get decent fuel efficiency including their own Mustang and discontinued LS and Thunderbird.
Even the existing Panther platform gets good mileage.

'Fly, I know where you're coming from, but sadly, the definition of good and decent mileage is both relative and has changed since the 1980s.

Once upon a time, a car that got 25 mpg was considered fuel efficient; now, it's considered a fuel guzzler.

A Mustang (excluding the Shelby models), for its vehicle type, does get decent mileage; however, with enviros (many of whom are now in power) preaching a 35 mpg AVERAGE (not merely a highway rating) that standard alone makes even the present Ford Focus, never mind the legendary pony car, a gas guzzler. Mind you, I don't support that mindset (I'm sure you know that) but that's the reality of where we seem to be heading.

Since the LS and T-Bird have long since been discontinued well before gas prices went haywire and new regs were signed into law; it's essentially pointless to compare them now in terms fuel economy.

The existing Panther platform got very good mileage when compared to either their land-yacht-sized predecessors or current mid-size to large SUVs but is considered a guzzler when compared to a Focus or even a V6-powered Taurus. I agree that an available diesel-powered model would certainly help the RWD sedans in the fuel economy department.

The upcoming 2010 Fusion Hybrid model (which very could be a hit in fleet sales as well as the retail market) could easily offset any fuel mileage penalties that a RWD Ford/Mercury/Lincoln would incurr.

Again, one would hope this decision (on the Interceptor) would either change or at least Ford would get its head out of the sand and retool/revamp the existing Panther platform.

If the most successful Boeing commercial plane (the 737) still uses the same cross-section shell and nose of the older, long-defunct 707 (for that matter, Boeing's even making a newer version of its large 747); why can't Mullay (sp.) use a similar approach with Ford's RWD full-sizes?
"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
 
VonRichtofen
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RE: Ford Motor Cancels New Rear Wheel Drive Chassis

Thu Jan 15, 2009 9:38 pm

Looks like Superfly is going to have to buy a BMW to get a new rear wheel drive sedan  Wink
 
Superfly
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RE: Ford Motor Cancels New Rear Wheel Drive Chassis

Thu Jan 15, 2009 10:58 pm



Quoting VonRichtofen (Reply 6):
Looks like Superfly is going to have to buy a BMW to get a new rear wheel drive sedan Wink

HELL NO!
NEVER, NEVER, NEVER would I buy a BMW!
There is the Chrysler 300C or I'll just hang on to my old car.

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 5):
If the most successful Boeing commercial plane (the 737) still uses the same cross-section shell and nose of the older, long-defunct 707 (for that matter, Boeing's even making a newer version of its large 747); why can't Mullay (sp.) use a similar approach with Ford's RWD full-sizes?

...because Boeing is a smart company that is ran the way an aircraft manufacture should. Ford & GM decisions over the past 5 years defy logic.
Bring back the Concorde
 
VonRichtofen
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RE: Ford Motor Cancels New Rear Wheel Drive Chassis

Thu Jan 15, 2009 11:02 pm



Quoting Superfly (Reply 7):
HELL NO!
NEVER, NEVER, NEVER would I buy a BMW!
There is the Chrysler 300C or I'll just hang on to my old car.

Hehehe, I forgot about the 300C. Though up here they're usually "ghetto'd" out (huge rims etc.)

Mercedes has some nice rear drive beasts too.
 
cptkrell
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RE: Ford Motor Cancels New Rear Wheel Drive Chassis

Fri Jan 16, 2009 12:15 am

Really unfortunate as most here have mentioned. Even after the unanimous recognition that "Detroit" still doesn't get it, we still see much of the myopic "get dollars today-tomorrow is another day", auto company syndrome.

Everybody (including myself at times) hails Alan Mullaly as a saviour for FoMoCo just like most did when "Maximum" Bob reigned-in GM. The deal is that you can't justify serving a little banquet dinner when you only have enough to serve a good KFC at the next party. If you're smart, you'll serve the KFC while you are straterizingajingthing to prepare for the banquet.

Maybe this is what Mullaly is doing by shit-canning the new platform. But WHY dump zillions of dollars into the Rouge River with a totally re-styled 2010 Mustang that few will even notice, even more zillions on an all-new F150 with a "man step" that public might very well confuse for last year's all not-new model and resource manpower and dollars out the window with the Lincoln Concept junk-bucket?

The future of Ford (and the others) does not, can not, rely on the cost-saving FWD platforms for all people for all things. That the cancelling of Ford's new RWD platform is a temporary result of (hopefully) temporary economic downturns is somewhat understandable, what's not understandable is some of their ventures in throwing money at questionable ROI.

Shit, I guess if I had all the answers, I'd be back in Detroit (NOT!) but it really grieves me to see some of what I consider real missed shots. Regards...jack
all best; jack
 
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stasisLAX
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RE: Ford Motor Cancels New Rear Wheel Drive Chassis

Fri Jan 16, 2009 12:22 am



Quoting Superfly (Reply 4):
This doesn't make any sense.
What does fuel efficiency have to do with not being RWD?

'Fly, it's the multi-million dollar investment involved in developing a rear-drive platform that will sell in relatively limited numbers. The platform development was mainly assigned to Ford Australia for the next generation of the Falcon. With the global economy going down the crapper, the number of RWD units that Ford could sell worldwide (mainly U.S., Middle East, and Australia) just didn't make financial sense for Ford.

It's depressing as hell. I guess the largest sedan we'll see from Lincoln will be the current MKS at least for the foreseeable future.  sorry 
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Cadet57
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RE: Ford Motor Cancels New Rear Wheel Drive Chassis

Fri Jan 16, 2009 1:43 am



Quoting StasisLAX (Reply 10):
'Fly, it's the multi-million dollar investment involved in developing a rear-drive platform that will sell in relatively limited numbers.

Lots of police cars. Lots of taxis. And they are not cheap.
Doors open, right hand side, next stop is Springfield.
 
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stasisLAX
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RE: Ford Motor Cancels New Rear Wheel Drive Chassis

Fri Jan 16, 2009 2:00 am



Quoting Cadet57 (Reply 11):
Lots of police cars. Lots of taxis. And they are not cheap.

But public-service fleets alone will most likely not generate enough sales for Ford to finance the engineering and development of an all new RWD platform that is to be sold worldwide.
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety!" B.Franklin
 
Cadet57
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RE: Ford Motor Cancels New Rear Wheel Drive Chassis

Fri Jan 16, 2009 2:21 am



Quoting StasisLAX (Reply 12):
But public-service fleets alone will most likely not generate enough sales for Ford to finance the engineering and development of an all new RWD platform that is to be sold worldwide.

Maybe not, but there are alot of companies that use the panther chassis, such as those PHLBOS mentioned above. Those would also all add sales. Limos, hearses, taxis. There are a lot of cars there and not alot of options when it comes time to find a replacement.
Doors open, right hand side, next stop is Springfield.
 
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stasisLAX
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RE: Ford Motor Cancels New Rear Wheel Drive Chassis

Fri Jan 16, 2009 2:34 am



Quoting Cadet57 (Reply 13):
Maybe not, but there are alot of companies that use the panther chassis, such as those PHLBOS mentioned above. Those would also all add sales. Limos, hearses, taxis. There are a lot of cars there and not alot of options when it comes time to find a replacement.

Perhaps the all-wheel drive version of the '10 Taurus (with the 350 hp Eco-Boost twin turbo V6) will be considered a viable alternative to the Crown Vic for fleet and public-safety use.
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety!" B.Franklin
 
ltbewr
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RE: Ford Motor Cancels New Rear Wheel Drive Chassis

Fri Jan 16, 2009 3:49 am

In what is the biggest market for taxi cabs in the USA, New York City, the Crown Vic, even in it's 'stretched' version for taxi use, is being quickly passed over for 'hybrid' Chevy's, Toyotas, Nissans due to their much better city fuel mileage. Many police departments need room not high speed to do their jobs, the ability to operate on bad roads, off road or in bad weather and have found AWD SUV's to be much better for about the same price as a full-sized RWD car. With a declining market from those markets and from the older drivers for 'traditional' RWD cars, it makes sense to not invest in a new RWD platform and instead in the future with true hybrids, plug in hybrids, higher mileage tech and so on.
 
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stasisLAX
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RE: Ford Motor Cancels New Rear Wheel Drive Chassi

Fri Jan 16, 2009 8:24 am

More news on Ford and GM canceling future development and engineering on RWD platforms.

"The Blue Oval has been vocal about its plans to develop a new generation of RWD sedans for both its Ford and Lincoln brands, but with demand for big and powerful sedans on the decline management have revised those original plans. In light of rising fuel costs and toughening fuel economy standards, Ford has decided to drop plans for new RWD sedans.

Speaking with Automotive News at this week’s Detroit Auto Show, Ford design chief J Mays said the RWD future was “out of the cycle plan.” He went on to reveal that Ford would focus its design efforts on other segments and that the path it was going down at the moment was all about fuel efficiency. “We're not talking about RWD," he said."

Source: http://www.motorauthority.com/ford-r...nsiders-large-car-rwd-program.html

And more bad news - GM is canceling development on its new RWD chassis for full-sized Chevrolet and Buick sedans, as well as chopping a proposed smaller (than the CTS family) RWD Cadillac sedan - about the size of the BMW 3-series.

"There have been all manner of reports about General Motors’ future RWD plans over the past 12 months, with everything from the carmaker merging its Zeta and Sigma architectures for a new super platform to the introduction of a new compact RWD design to be called Alpha. According to latest reports, GM has halted its future development of its Zeta platform and any new vehicles that would have been spawned from it.

The information came directly from vice-chairman Bob Lutz, who revealed to Australian media at this week’s Detroit Auto Show that tougher fuel-economy standards and GM’s current financial crisis were the reasons behind the move.

“The strategy we had a few years ago of basically deriving a whole sweeping global portfolio off the Australian Zeta architecture ... frankly, we have had to abandon that dream,” Lutz said."

Source: http://www.motorauthority.com/gm-axe...wd-chevrolet-and-buick-sedans.html

So very depressing.

[Edited 2009-01-16 00:29:49]
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety!" B.Franklin
 
Kiwirob
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RE: Ford Motor Cancels New Rear Wheel Drive Chassis

Fri Jan 16, 2009 8:51 am



Quoting Superfly (Reply 4):
This doesn't make any sense.

Makes sense to me.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 4):
What does fuel efficiency have to do with not being RWD?

Front wheel drive cars tend to be more efficient than rear wheel drive ones, that nice long driveshaft to the rear diff wastes power and is inefficient. Plus you also have packaging efficiency, given the same vehicle length a transverse front wheel drive vehicle have more interior space than a rear wheel drive vehicle.

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 5):
why can't Mullay (sp.) use a similar approach with Ford's RWD full-sizes?

Fords US full size vehicles are built body on frame which is not an easy kind of construction to use if you want to pass crash regulations, unitary construction is safer and easier to engineer, that's why everyone major manufacturer abandoned body on frame decades ago. Besides I doubt the Aussies would want to go backwards and use a dinosaur platform instead of their current one which is better.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 7):
There is the Chrysler 300C or I'll just hang on to my old car.

So you would prefer to drive around in a modified old Mercedes e class with chav body than a BMW?

As for police vehicles why not use Pontiac's, the Aussie police use them, they are a decent rear drive plafrom and I'm dead certain that they would outperform most current US built police vehicles. Thinking about taxis has anyone ever sat in a London black cab, they have far more space in a more compact footprint with greater luggage capacity than a Ford Crown Vic.
 
Alessandro
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RE: Ford Motor Cancels New Rear Wheel Drive Chassis

Fri Jan 16, 2009 8:52 am

The Mazda RX is RWD as well....
From New Yorqatar to Califarbia...
 
Superfly
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RE: Ford Motor Cancels New Rear Wheel Drive Chassis

Fri Jan 16, 2009 10:49 am



Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 17):
So you would prefer to drive around in a modified old Mercedes e class with chav body than a BMW?

Yep.

BMW is my least favorite auto manufacture in the world.
I'd rather have a Russian car over a BMW.
I am dead serious.
Bring back the Concorde
 
keesje
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RE: Ford Motor Cancels New Rear Wheel Drive Chassis

Fri Jan 16, 2009 11:30 am

"new RWD chassis for full-sized Chevrolet and Buick sedans"

I think the problem is in the "full-sized" part of this quote

Some here were in denial but reality is starting kick in, also if you don't like it.

Light high tech efficient is the future.

"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
A342
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RE: Ford Motor Cancels New Rear Wheel Drive Chassis

Fri Jan 16, 2009 1:52 pm



Quoting Superfly (Reply 19):
I'd rather have a Russian car over a BMW.
I am dead serious.

Yes. You have already told us that you love ZILs.  Smile
Exceptions confirm the rule.
 
Superfly
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RE: Ford Motor Cancels New Rear Wheel Drive Chassis

Fri Jan 16, 2009 2:10 pm



Quoting Keesje (Reply 20):
Some here were in denial but reality is starting kick in, also if you don't like it.

Light high tech efficient is the future.


Please find another thread to plug your silly political mantra.
BTW, what does your leader ride around in?
Granted The leader of The Netherlands is not as high of a target as the POTUS.

Quoting A342 (Reply 21):
Yes. You have already told us that you love ZILs.

Yes. Give me a limo or sedan Zil over a BMW any day!
Bring back the Concorde
 
PHLBOS
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RE: Ford Motor Cancels New Rear Wheel Drive Chassis

Fri Jan 16, 2009 4:47 pm



Quoting Superfly (Reply 7):
Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 5):
If the most successful Boeing commercial plane (the 737) still uses the same cross-section shell and nose of the older, long-defunct 707 (for that matter, Boeing's even making a newer version of its large 747); why can't Mullay (sp.) use a similar approach with Ford's RWD full-sizes?

...because Boeing is a smart company that is ran the way an aircraft manufacture should. Ford & GM decisions over the past 5 years defy logic.

'Fly, I believe you missed the connection I was attempting to make. Before he joined Ford, Alan Mullaly used to be w/Boeing IIRC.

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 17):
Fords US full size vehicles are built body on frame which is not an easy kind of construction to use if you want to pass crash regulations

 redflag  Until the NTSB started failing any car without side air-bags, Ford's Panther platform vehicles continuously earned 4 to 5-star crash-test ratings.

Also, after an accident, a body-on-frame vehicle is less likely to be listed as totalled when compared to a unitized-constructed vehicle facing a similar accident.

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 17):
unitary construction is safer and easier to engineer

More like CHEAPER and easier to engineer. However, a BoF car is EASIER and cheaper to repair in the event of an accident than a unitized vehicle.

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 17):
that's why everyone major manufacturer abandoned body on frame decades ago.

While Chrysler hasn't had a BoF-constructed CAR since the '66 Imperial, GM abandoned the practice on for WEIGHT-reduction reasons (which hinders fuel economy). Back in the 70s, even the compact Chevy Nova had BoF construction. For Ford, outside of their full-sizes, their only other BoF-constructed cars were the mid-size '72-'79 Torino/Elite/LTD II, Montego/Cougar/XR-7. The T-Birds were BoF from 1967 through 1979.

HOWEVER, most trucks and SUVs (real ones not the pseudo-car-based ones) still use BoF construction to this day.

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 17):
As for police vehicles why not use Pontiac's, the Aussie police use them, they are a decent rear drive plafrom and I'm dead certain that they would outperform most current US built police vehicles

I thought about this last night. Pontiac COULD launch a police-version of its new G8 sedan (if it has the guts to - they used to offer police versions of its Catalina and LeMans sedans back in the 70s & early 80s). That could be payback for what happened in 1997. However, the G8's long-term future (along with the Charger) could still be in doubt.

I haven't sat in a G8 sedan yet (I plan to when the Philadelphia Auto Show comes to town later this month) so I can't personally comment on the interior cabin yet. My main concern is that it may have the same narrower cabin width as the Charger and the FWD Impala and Taurus (unless the 2010-redo includes a wider cabin).

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 17):
Thinking about taxis has anyone ever sat in a London black cab, they have far more space in a more compact footprint with greater luggage capacity than a Ford Crown Vic.

As I stated earlier, because the taxi industry doesn't NEED pursuit vehicles nor requires 2-man units (this is where cabin-width issues come into play, especially with respect to aftermarket radios, computers, etc. found in a typical patrol vehicle); they have the flexibility to opt for a different types of vehicles.

The only other fleet vehicle industry majorly impacted by this is the hearse/funeral industry. The main reason why a modified Lincoln Town Car and even a FWD Cadillac DTS is still used over the Navigator and Escalade is because it's a lot easier to load/unload a casket on a station wagon than even a 2WD SUV (which is still higher off the ground).

Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 15):
Many police departments need room not high speed to do their jobs, the ability to operate on bad roads, off road or in bad weather and have found AWD SUV's to be much better for about the same price as a full-sized RWD car.

As Harry Morgan/Col. Potter would say, "Horse-hockey!"

You must've missed my earlier post regarding WHY SUVs haven't been more utilized by police forces; BOLD emphasis added.

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 3):
While many limo and hearse builders & owners plus even some taxi companies have since diversified their vehicle rosters (not sure if this was done completely by choice) with SUV and even FWD platforms; law enforcement agencies have, for the most part, stayed with full-size RWD cars for patrol vehicles. Since these vehicles are purchased w/taxpayer money, making a vehicle that is strictly for law enforcement purposes only will be more costly than utilizing an existing, more mass-produced retail car platform.

All SUVs that offer either a police or special service package (AGAIN, Ford does NOT recommend the Explorer and Expedition special service packages for pursuit purposes) carry a higher price tag AND get lower fuel economy than the current police-packaged car offerings. FYI, the police-packaged Chevy Tahoe is of the 2WD variety; the 4WD model is a special-service package (not intended for pursuit purposes).

I do agree with you with regards to SUVs being roomier than most cars; which is why I've been stressing CABIN WIDTH on the various larger car offerings. Among CARS, only Ford's Panther-platform cars offer 60" of shoulder room; all its newer competitors fall short of that.

If large V8 RWD cars do indeed go away, I would expect to see many police departments buying more gas-thirsty SUVs (Ford's Expedition is heavy enough to be exempt from CAFE laws). Long story short, the cure may be worse than the disease (in the police fleet fuel economy department).

Quoting StasisLAX (Reply 10):
I guess the largest sedan we'll see from Lincoln will be the current MKS at least for the foreseeable future.

One reason why the Town Car wasn't killed off yet was because when some limo coach builders were reviewing the MKS; they flat out rejected it because of its narrow (compared to the Town Car) cabin width. Additionally I'm sure that the current V6 engine would be a bit of a strain for a stretched version of the MKS. At least the FWD Cadillac DTS offers a more powerful V8.

Quoting StasisLAX (Reply 12):
But public-service fleets alone will most likely not generate enough sales for Ford to finance the engineering and development of an all new RWD platform that is to be sold worldwide.

I wouldn't necessarily underestimate the service fleet market. While it is smaller than the retail market (always has been); it can be profitable. Over time, companies HAVE to replace/renew their vehicle fleets; this isn't necessarily true for the private individual. Example: I still own a '97 Crown Vic.

Since the main issue for dropping the new RWD chasis was due to cost; would it NOW make sense to finally upgrade the Panther platform? It certainly would cost less than developing a whole new platform. IMHO, this should've been done at least 2 years ago.

Quoting StasisLAX (Reply 14):
Quoting Cadet57 (Reply 13):
Maybe not, but there are alot of companies that use the panther chassis, such as those PHLBOS mentioned above. Those would also all add sales. Limos, hearses, taxis. There are a lot of cars there and not alot of options when it comes time to find a replacement.

Perhaps the all-wheel drive version of the '10 Taurus (with the 350 hp Eco-Boost twin turbo V6) will be considered a viable alternative to the Crown Vic for fleet and public-safety use.

If you're talking about a possible police-packaged version of the new Taurus, you may want to read my earlier post:

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 3):
While some are now using the FWD Impala; many police agencies might be still timid using a FWD Ford platform (probably the Taurus if it were to happen) after getting burned by previous Taurus police models from the early-to-mid 1990s. Yes, I'm aware that the present and new Taurus is different from the old '86-'07 models; but IMHO, Ford will have to do more convincing.

A couple other issues/concerns with a Taurus police model (in addition to the fore-mentioned '90-'95 debacle) are these:

1. Will the cabin width be wider than the current model ? This could be an issue for 2-man city patrols when one adds all the extra equipment in the cockpit (radios, computers, etc.).

A year ago when I flew to MHT, I rented a 2008 Mercury Sable (it was the only vehicle available aside from a minivan); while I was impressed with the legroom, I could tell that the cabin width would be tight for 3-across seating in the rear. This is why I would NOT consider the Taurus/Sable/now MKS true full-sizes but rather large mid-sizes.

Side note: Cabin width is one reason WHY many people in the retail market abandoned cars for SUVs (even small ones). Within the last 3 years, I've known at least 4 people who traded in their small to mid-size sedans for compact or mid-size SUVs; one of them traded in his '96 Corolla for a new RAV4 earlier this year back when gas was still $4/gallon.

2. Will a more potent engine be offered for a true pursuit package? This is especially critical for state highway patrol vehicles. At present, the V8 Charger offers the best performance in terms of acceleration and top speed (150 mph). While the fore-mentioned Eco-Boost could show promise; the probable higher maintenance and repair costs could have the potential to doom it.
"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
 
Kiwirob
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RE: Ford Motor Cancels New Rear Wheel Drive Chassis

Fri Jan 16, 2009 7:10 pm



Quoting Superfly (Reply 19):
I'd rather have a Russian car over a BMW.
I am dead serious.

I don't believe I've ever heard a more stupid comment coming from a person who is apparently a car guy. I get driven in Russian cars all the time and I hate them, death traps the lot of them.
 
Kiwirob
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RE: Ford Motor Cancels New Rear Wheel Drive Chassis

Fri Jan 16, 2009 7:16 pm



Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 23):
However, the G8's long-term future (along with the Charger) could still be in doubt.

Holden will flog the Commodore for at least 10 years, especially if this model cycle runs like most previous ones, Holden will give it a new nose and tail every 18-24 months. You can also get a long wheelbase version called the Statesman if you really need more space.
 
Kiwirob
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RE: Ford Motor Cancels New Rear Wheel Drive Chassis

Fri Jan 16, 2009 7:48 pm



Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 23):
HOWEVER, most trucks and SUVs (real ones not the pseudo-car-based ones) still use BoF construction to this day.

Which are classified as commercial vehicles and don't have to be crash tested to the same standards as passanger vehicles.
 
PHLBOS
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RE: Ford Motor Cancels New Rear Wheel Drive Chassis

Fri Jan 16, 2009 7:53 pm



Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 25):
Holden will flog the Commodore for at least 10 years, especially if this model cycle runs like most previous ones, Holden will give it a new nose and tail every 18-24 months. You can also get a long wheelbase version called the Statesman if you really need more space.

That's all well and good for the Holden but if GM, Ford & Chrysler remain heck-bent on doing away w/every RWD model except Corvettes, Camaros, Mustangs & Challengers; neither Pontiac nor Chevy will utilize the Holden in North America.

IIRC, production approval of a Chevy version of the G8 (supposedly reviving the Caprice badge) was cancelled a few months back.
"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
 
Kiwirob
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RE: Ford Motor Cancels New Rear Wheel Drive Chassis

Fri Jan 16, 2009 8:03 pm

But is is possible that GM allow Holden to produce these specifically for the North American police market. Holden already make police specific models for the Australasian market and I think for several middle eastern countries.
 
Cadet57
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RE: Ford Motor Cancels New Rear Wheel Drive Chassis

Fri Jan 16, 2009 8:26 pm



Quoting StasisLAX (Reply 14):
Perhaps the all-wheel drive version of the '10 Taurus (with the 350 hp Eco-Boost twin turbo V6) will be considered a viable alternative to the Crown Vic for fleet and public-safety use.

 rotfl  Yeah, A ford taurus limo. I can see it now. And I know lots of funeral directors that'll just be lining up for the new Mercury Sable hearse...
Doors open, right hand side, next stop is Springfield.
 
PHLBOS
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RE: Ford Motor Cancels New Rear Wheel Drive Chassis

Fri Jan 16, 2009 9:03 pm



Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 28):
But is is possible that GM allow Holden to produce these specifically for the North American police market. Holden already make police specific models for the Australasian market and I think for several middle eastern countries.

One thing to keep in mind; on average, the number of patrol vehicles sold nationwide in the States alone is about 60,000 per year, clearly enough to be considered mass-production. Since the CAFE mandates apply to ALL mass-produced vehicles (both fleet & retail) under 8500 lbs. (gross vehicle weight) sold in the U.S. (both domestic & import); not only would these vehicles hinder GM's fleet CAFE, but they would be also subject to a hefty gas guzzler tax. Remember, these vehicles are purchased with TAXPAYER MONEY! Additionally, many retired fleet vehicles find their way into the used retail vehicle market.

Back in the late-80s; many police departments had to apply to the I.R.S. for possible exemptions from gas guzzler taxes imposed on them for every 5.8L LTD Crown Vic. police cruiser they purcahsed. Not sure if the exemptions were ever apporved.

Bottom line: the less bureaucratic garbage automakers and buyers go through, the better.
"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
 
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stasisLAX
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RE: Ford Motor Cancels New Rear Wheel Drive Chassis

Fri Jan 16, 2009 9:52 pm



Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 30):
Back in the late-80s; many police departments had to apply to the I.R.S. for possible exemptions from gas guzzler taxes imposed on them for every 5.8L LTD Crown Vic. police cruiser they purcahsed. Not sure if the exemptions were ever apporved.

I think we should all remember that there are NUMEROUS alternative options for police cruisers other than full-size RWD sedans. We have Tahoe, Expedition, Explorer, Charger, 300, Mustangs, and even Impalas as police vehicles. Also remember that there are now laws in many states that prohibit high-speed pursuits due to concerns for officer and public safety. The days of huge LTDs and Monacos with 400+ CID V8s that can pursue at 125 mpg are long gone. As a former state trooper friend once told me, "No criminal can escape police radio".  yes 

And as for the need for RWD sedans that are required to offer 3-across seating, that's another false need. In fact, that's why the automakers offer full-size SUVs, larger CUVs, and 8 passenger mini-vans for consumers.  yuck 
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety!" B.Franklin
 
Superfly
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RE: Ford Motor Cancels New Rear Wheel Drive Chassis

Fri Jan 16, 2009 9:54 pm



Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 24):
I don't believe I've ever heard a more stupid comment

People have their preferences.Deal with it.
Bring back the Concorde
 
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stasisLAX
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RE: Ford Motor Cancels New Rear Wheel Drive Chassi

Fri Jan 16, 2009 9:59 pm

Quoting Cadet57 (Reply 29):
Yeah, A ford taurus limo. I can see it now. And I know lots of funeral directors that'll just be lining up for the new Mercury Sable hearse...

How about a Buick LaCrosse or Enclave as a hearse? With the surge in cremations, you only need room for an urn....

[Edited 2009-01-16 14:01:44]
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety!" B.Franklin
 
Cadet57
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RE: Ford Motor Cancels New Rear Wheel Drive Chassis

Fri Jan 16, 2009 10:09 pm



Quoting StasisLAX (Reply 33):
How about a Buick LaCrosse or Enclave as a hearse?

Too small and the frame wont support it.

Quoting StasisLAX (Reply 33):
With the surge in cremations, you only need room for an urn....

The US as a whole will only be 50% cremation by 2025, So there will still be alot of calls that require a hearse. Furthermore, on a regional basis, we're only at about 25% cremation here.
Doors open, right hand side, next stop is Springfield.
 
A342
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RE: Ford Motor Cancels New Rear Wheel Drive Chassis

Fri Jan 16, 2009 11:20 pm



Quoting StasisLAX (Reply 31):
The days of huge LTDs and Monacos with 400+ CID V8s that can pursue at 125 mpg are long gone.

Man, I need to buy one of those things!  biggrin 
Exceptions confirm the rule.
 
cptkrell
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RE: Ford Motor Cancels New Rear Wheel Drive Chassis

Sat Jan 17, 2009 12:00 am

Reference StasisLAX and A342 comments about 400+ CID / 125 mph (I'm sure you meant 125 mph and not 125 mpg): When I was at FoMoCo we did 1967 427 CID (7L) Galaxies for the Highway Patrol(s) that wouldn't start breathing hard until around 140mph or so. Once in a while you can see one on an old TV show or at a classic car auction, externally identified by a clear glass aerodynamic housing over the vertical headlights design theme.

The real surprising thing about these vehicles is that the public could also buy them.

My perfect hearse would be an original Taurus station wagon, >they are so Camp!< with a midships 427 DOHC (or maybe an old Ford big block "cammer". We could package the stiff "under the bonnet". regards...jack
all best; jack
 
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stasisLAX
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RE: Ford Motor Cancels New Rear Wheel Drive Chassis

Sat Jan 17, 2009 1:46 am



Quoting A342 (Reply 41):
Man, I need to buy one of those things! biggrin

Um, yeah, damn typos! Miles Per Hour...
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety!" B.Franklin
 
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cpd
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RE: Ford Motor Cancels New Rear Wheel Drive Chassis

Sat Jan 17, 2009 7:34 am

Quoting Keesje (Reply 20):
Some here were in denial but reality is starting kick in, also if you don't like it.

Light high tech efficient is the future.

The car in your graphic is hardly high tech, and not particularly cutting edge. It's a mediocre platform with a 3 pointed star tacked on the front of it. It should have a Mitsubishi badged on it, and be called Colt. Or wait, is that already done?

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 28):
But is is possible that GM allow Holden to produce these specifically for the North American police market. Holden already make police specific models for the Australasian market and I think for several middle eastern countries.

Will not happen. They'll scrap Holden. It makes money, so they'll scrap it as soon as possible. That seems to be the idea of these big corporate managers, save your own nest, forget everything else.

How is it that plenty of other car makers manage to make efficient rear-drive cars, while Ford and GM claim it just isn't possible? Think BMW 520d. And then think of the Porsche 911, with superior fuel economy to the Toyota Camry. It is moderately light, yes, but a healthy dose of the fuel economy comes from good engineering.

Holden needs to hurry up with the diesel engined Commodore that has been under development for ages (while the execs wonder if they should bring it to market).

And many years down the track, we'll covet the days when cars were interesting and fun to drive, and when having a 500hp engine, doing 0-100km/h in 4.5 seconds wasn't a crime:

http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=NOJMRHBTdoM

I'm as caring for the environment as anyone else (I use public transport all week) - but can we please stop throwing the proverbial baby out with the bathwater... This is hysteria, a beat-up with no logical common sense prevailing.

GM and Ford have to do cars that are distinctive and attractive to buyers. They've tried copying the Japanese for 20 years and it didn't work - it got them in this silly state where they are now.

Only Holden didn't follow that trend. Mainly because - being on a big island, it is insulated away from the rest of GM - and it can get away with some smart design/project management and make things happen on small budgets that otherwise wouldn't happen. If that culture spread through the rest of GM and Ford, both of them wouldn't be in such a horrible situation now.

[Edited 2009-01-16 23:42:44]

[Edited 2009-01-16 23:53:36]
 
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stasisLAX
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RE: Ford Motor Cancels New Rear Wheel Drive Chassi

Sat Jan 17, 2009 7:42 am



Quoting Cpd (Reply 46):
Holden needs to hurry up with the diesel engined Commodore that has been under development for ages (while the execs wonder if they should bring it to market).

Seems to be the management culture at GM - analysis paralysis has set in at Holden.

And the management gurus at Ford Australia didn't design the Falcon for both left AND right hand drive markets.

Stunning stupidity!
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety!" B.Franklin
 
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cpd
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RE: Ford Motor Cancels New Rear Wheel Drive Chassis

Sat Jan 17, 2009 7:49 am



Quoting StasisLAX (Reply 47):
And the management gurus at Ford Australia didn't design the Falcon for both left AND right hand drive markets.

Agreed.

But Holden isn't totally dead - they've got superb designers and engineers. Commodore Sportwagon is a cracking product! It seems to be selling really well too. Can we bring back that can-do American Denny Mooney?

He must have been the exception to the GM management trend. His no-nonsense attitude made the current VE Commodore the stunning success it is. He got a $1,300,000,000 budget (not joking, it really was that big) and delivered something pretty good with it.

As of Friday, the rumour mill suggests improvements:

- run flat tyres (no spare, saving weight)
- light weight alluminium bodywork
- lighter seats
- further aerodynamic imrprovements
- smaller turbocharged engines (more efficient)

This looks like a pretty good recipe to keep things on the boil.
 
Cadet57
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RE: Ford Motor Cancels New Rear Wheel Drive Chassis

Sat Jan 17, 2009 7:48 pm



Quoting Melpax (Reply 45):
Most hearses here are based on the Falcon/LTD

Minus the side windows (why do they flip up? No use as far as I can see) and the rear lift gate instead of a outward swinging door, its a pretty sharp coach.
Doors open, right hand side, next stop is Springfield.
 
Kiwirob
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RE: Ford Motor Cancels New Rear Wheel Drive Chassis

Sat Jan 17, 2009 9:10 pm



Quoting Cpd (Reply 44):
The car in your graphic is hardly high tech, and not particularly cutting edge. It's a mediocre platform with a 3 pointed star tacked on the front of it. It should have a Mitsubishi badged on it, and be called Colt. Or wait, is that already done?

It's a good city car, lots of room in a small package. This chassis has never been used by anyone other than Mercedes, the platform the Colt used was the Smart 4four.
 
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stasisLAX
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RE: Ford Motor Cancels New Rear Wheel Drive Chassi

Sun Jan 18, 2009 3:33 am

Quoting Cpd (Reply 40):
But Holden isn't totally dead - they've got superb designers and engineers. Commodore Sportwagon is a cracking product! It seems to be selling really well too. Can we bring back that can-do American Denny Mooney?

Isn't there still a full-sized Holden Statesmen model sold in Oz? Here's my question - why wouldn't GM want to maximize their utillization that platform and sell a Chevy Caprice and a Buick Electra/LeSabre here in the U.S.? There would be minimum investment in bringing it to the U.S. IMO. And it could be sold alongside of the existing Lucerne and Impala since the RWD platform would be the premium sedan while the Impala and Lucerne (FWD) could be considered the more family-oriented "bread and butter" models.

[Edited 2009-01-17 20:09:45]
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety!" B.Franklin
 
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cpd
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RE: Ford Motor Cancels New Rear Wheel Drive Chassis

Sun Jan 18, 2009 3:58 am

Quoting StasisLAX (Reply 43):
Isn't there still a full-sized Holden Statesmen model sold in Oz? Here's my question - why wouldn't GM want to maximize their utillization that platform and sell a Chevy Caprice and a Buick Electra/LeSabre here in the U.S.? There would be minimum investment in bringing it to the U.S. IMO. And it could be sold alongside of the existing Lucerne and Impala since the RWD platform would be the premium sedan will the Impala and Lucerne (FWD) could be considered the more family-oriented "bread and butter" models.

There is - and it comes in V6, V8 versions. There are many reasons why you couldn't sell it in the USA - but mainly, the issue is that it isn't American - and that in some versions, it is more luxurious than a Cadillac.

[Edited 2009-01-17 19:59:19]
 
Kiwirob
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RE: Ford Motor Cancels New Rear Wheel Drive Chassis

Sun Jan 18, 2009 5:54 pm



Quoting Cpd (Reply 44):
it is more luxurious than a Cadillac

I disagree that's what really lets the VE and all it's varients including the Statesman down, the interior would really need a lot of work to bring it up to snuff as a proper luxury or even executive car.
 
Bongodog1964
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RE: Ford Motor Cancels New Rear Wheel Drive Chassis

Sun Jan 18, 2009 8:54 pm



Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 23):
The only other fleet vehicle industry majorly impacted by this is the hearse/funeral industry. The main reason why a modified Lincoln Town Car and even a FWD Cadillac DTS is still used over the Navigator and Escalade is because it's a lot easier to load/unload a casket on a station wagon than even a 2WD SUV (which is still higher off the ground).

Here in Europe many hearses have been FWD for a decade or so, as are nearly all cars.

I really can't see why either private users, taxi owners, or the police would want to stick with old RWD technology, when modern efficient FWD is available, UK police use high powered FWD Volvos without any handling or performance problems.

FWD is more space efficient, as the transverse engine takes up less space, you have no transmission & gear box tunnel inside the car, use less fuel as you don't have a great big transmission shaft to rotate, and the rear suspension takes up less space as well, due to it not being driven.

When I've been to the USA i've found taxis to be woefully short of space, both inside, and in the luggage space; compared to the UK and Europe.

Its time to be dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st Century.
 duck 
 
Springbok747
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RE: Ford Motor Cancels New Rear Wheel Drive Chassis

Sun Jan 18, 2009 9:09 pm



Quoting Cpd (Reply 44):
it is more luxurious than a Cadillac.

It doesn't even come close. We've had a Statesman for 4 years (sold it last year), and the interior was ok but not what you'd expect in a 'luxury' car. The Cadillacs have better interior. BTW..seems Cadillac are coming back here after 30 something years.

http://www.cadillac.com.au/
אני תומך בישראל
 
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stasisLAX
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RE: Ford Motor Cancels New Rear Wheel Drive Chassis

Sun Jan 18, 2009 9:30 pm



Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 46):
FWD is more space efficient, as the transverse engine takes up less space, you have no transmission & gear box tunnel inside the car, use less fuel as you don't have a great big transmission shaft to rotate, and the rear suspension takes up less space as well, due to it not being driven.

The major reason that the fleets (police, taxi, etc) demand the RWD chassis is the ease of drivetrain repairs and the lower cost of repair. The body-on-frame platform is also cheaper and easier to repair in case of accidents that requires bodywork.
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety!" B.Franklin
 
Bongodog1964
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RE: Ford Motor Cancels New Rear Wheel Drive Chassis

Sun Jan 18, 2009 10:15 pm



Quoting StasisLAX (Reply 48):
Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 46):
FWD is more space efficient, as the transverse engine takes up less space, you have no transmission & gear box tunnel inside the car, use less fuel as you don't have a great big transmission shaft to rotate, and the rear suspension takes up less space as well, due to it not being driven.


The major reason that the fleets (police, taxi, etc) demand the RWD chassis is the ease of drivetrain repairs and the lower cost of repair. The body-on-frame platform is also cheaper and easier to repair in case of accidents that requires bodywork.

When did you last hear of a FWD car needing drivetrain repairs ?
I remember the days of RWD when we used to have univesal joint failures, occasionally the prop shaft would end up on the floor.
In 20 years of FWD motoring, i have never had a gearbox or drive train failure.

One or two clutch plates, but they aren't difficult in well designed vehicle.

As for cars with chassis, they really are primeval.

Its just a case of backward thinking, and a fear of the unknown; it was just the same here until the RWD cars just weren't available any more.

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