Ford Confirms It’s Developing New RWD Cars

By Chris Haak

01.10.2008

In a move that sounds very similar to the way GM developed its full size RWD Zeta platform for global markets, auto industry publication Automotive News reported today Ford company leaders confirmed that Ford is developing new rear-wheel drive cars for its Ford and Lincoln brands in the US.

Ford’s plans, which haven’t yet been fully revealed, call for the company’s Australian operations to develop a new global rear-wheel-drive architecture. This new platform would likely support production versions of well-received concepts such as the Ford Interceptor and the Lincoln MKR, both of which I saw in person and were very attractive, desirable vehicles. The platform would also likely support the eventual replacement for the old-as-dirt Crown Victoria, Grand Marquis, and Town Car. If it’s as flexible as GM’s new Zeta architcture is, it could also underpin the next all-new Mustang.

Unlike GM, which has consolidated all production of its large RWD vehicles in Australia (until Camaro production begins in Oshawa), Ford said that there are many reasons why not to produce all of their vehicles in Australia – namely, exchange rates and freight costs to go halfway around the world.

In the same week that GM canceled plans for a new DOHC V8 due to CAFE concerns, Ford is pushing ahead with a new large car architecture. This move shows not only that there may be life after 35 mpg CAFE, but also that 2008 is going to be a bumpy year for the industry.

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Author: Chris Haak

Chris is Autosavant's Managing Editor. He has a lifelong love of everything automotive, having grown up as the son of a car dealer. A married father of two sons, Chris is also in the process of indoctrinating them into the world of cars and trucks.

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6 Comments

  1. I am totally psyched about fullsize cars getting way better mileage than we’re used to. That kind of engineering achievement is just awesome to think about!

  2. I don’t care whether it’s small, medium or large as long as it’s driving the rear wheels. Hope it’s true.

  3. Yeah, bring on the rear-drivers! FWD cars just don’t do it for me, never, never will. I like the RWD set-up.

  4. I’d gladly swap my Mustang Convertible for a 4-door Falcon drop top. (stick shifts only need apply)
    Bring on the Australian RWDs.

  5. I’ll take a small RWD car, thank you very much.

  6. Couldn’t Ford of Australia (where the platform’s coming from) use a small RWD platform as well? Can’t the engineers shorten the platform, use it here, in Australia and Europe, and spread out the costs of the platform considerably? I think that’s the way to go in addition to the larger platform.

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