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Discussion Starter #1
Why does Ford's US sedan market get such boring styling? When I took a trip to Australia in 2002, I saw a Taurus Ghia (Gen III). It had slightly better styling than the U.S. counterpart in the form of Sable-type headlights, wraparound corner bumper lights, and a sharper looking bumper altogether. The interior seems to have had a standard center console shifter as well.

http://homepage.mac.com/aslater18/tcca/ghia1.jpg' alt='' width='280' height='210' class='attach' />[/url]

[url=http://homepage.mac.com/aslater18/tcca/ghia2.jpg][img]http://homepage.mac.com/aslater18/tcca/ghia2.jpg' alt='' width='105' height='79' class='attach' />[/url]

That aside, it looks like 1996-1997 were the only years the Taurus was there. Why? I think it has to do with Ford's boring US design team. The Focus? Euro design flat out. The Gen II Contour? Based on the European Mondeo. What have Ford's sedan designers in Dearborn been doing? Yes, the Gen IV Taurus is nice, but it still lacks a certain panache. Now, look at some of the offerings by Ford Australia, specifically the Ford Falcon. This could be a Taurus replacement that would finally turn heads. With specs ranging from the basic to the luxury, form the sports sedan to the station wagon, the Falcon has proven its worth in the Aussie market. (they even had a "Ute" model until recently... remember the Ford Ranchero/Chevy El Camino? They live still down there). The Falcon even has a V8 option. Take a look a this:

[url=http://homepage.mac.com/aslater18/tcca/falcon1.jpg][img]http://homepage.mac.com/aslater18/tcca/falcon1.jpg' alt='' width='480' height='292' class='attach' />[/url]

[url=http://homepage.mac.com/aslater18/tcca/falcon2.jpg][img]http://homepage.mac.com/aslater18/tcca/falcon2.jpg' alt='' width='491' height='296' class='attach' />[/url]

[url=http://homepage.mac.com/aslater18/tcca/falcon3.jpg][img]http://homepage.mac.com/aslater18/tcca/falcon3.jpg' alt='' width='420' height='198' class='attach' />[/url]

[url=http://homepage.mac.com/aslater18/tcca/falcon4.jpg][img]http://homepage.mac.com/aslater18/tcca/falcon4.jpg' alt='' width='489' height='365' class='attach' />[/url]

[url=http://homepage.mac.com/aslater18/tcca/falcon5.jpg][img]http://homepage.mac.com/aslater18/tcca/falcon5.jpg' alt='' width='475' height='230' class='attach' />[/url]


...and don't get me started on the Ford Performance Vehicle line!

Ford Australia Passenger Vehicles:
[url=http://www.ford.com.au/showroom/passenger/Passenger_Vehicles.asp]http://www.ford.com.au/showroom/passenger/...er_Vehicles.asp[/url]

Ford Performance Vehicles Australia:
[url=http://www.fpv.com.au]http://www.fpv.com.au[/url]
 
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Ford isn't the only company with styling problems... Have you looked at the new Chevy's? They're just plain nasty! :puke: Before that they were incredibly boring, too. Also, what other car looked like the Taurus in 96-99? Ford made a VERY bold move away from boxy styling with the 96 and took a huge risk with doing that, but they were successful with it. B)
 

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I want a Falcon :(
 

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that faclon is the ****.. you can also get it with a 4.0L DOHC twin turbo engine I think. Now THAT'S performance!
 

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What the crap!? Jeez I'm movin!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Originally posted by jason8225@Jul 31 2004, 12:05 PM
Ford isn't the only company with styling problems...  Have you looked at the new Chevy's?  They're just plain nasty!  :puke:  Before that they were incredibly boring, too.  Also, what other car looked like the Taurus in 96-99?  Ford made a VERY bold move away from boxy styling with the 96 and took a huge risk with doing that, but they were successful with it.  B)
They weren't that successful in the Gen III. It was radical, it moved heads, BUT it lost Ford's spot as the #1 selling midsize sedan in America. The design wass radical, but the main reason for the return to angles in Gen IV was because a lot of people were turned off by the overzealous use of round elements in the car.

That is, of course, the Ford AOD Transmission plague aside...

The Taurus is a great car with a great reputation in the past, but, like so many other midsize sedans these days, it's suffering from fleet-vehicle oversaturation and it simply gets 'lost in the crowd'

Edited to add:
I'm not trying to put down the Taurus in any way, but as far as style goes, Ford North America has a LONG way to go.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Originally posted by 95SE@Jul 31 2004, 12:29 PM
that faclon is the ****.. you can also get it with a 4.0L DOHC twin turbo engine I think. Now THAT'S performance!
Falcon Engine Options: Inline 6 or V8

Barra 182 - 4.0L DOHC VCT I6 - Manual
Barra 182 - 4.0L DOHC VCT I6 - Automatic Transmission with Sequential Sports Shift
Barra 240T - 4.0L DOHC VCT TURBO I6 - Manual
Barra 240T - 4.0L DOHC VCT TURBO I6 - Automatic Transmission with Sequential Sports Shift
Barra 220 - 5.4 L SOHC V8 3V - Manual
Barra 220 - 5.4 L SOHC V8 3V - Automatic Transmission with Sequential Sports Shift

Boss 260 - 5.4 L DOHC V8 4V - Manual

Boss 260 - 5.4 L DOHC V8 4V - Automatic Transmission with Sequential Sports Shift

Oh yeah, and MOMO shift knobs and steering wheels are an option, too along with DVD/game entertainment option, mini-fridge, DVD Sattelite nav, and "Premium Interior Command Centre with Dual Climate Control, Large Colour Screen and Trip Computer" with a 100-watt 6-disc in-dash changer.

Also note however, the base Falcon XT, with a 4.0 inline 6 and manual transmission starts at just under $24,000 USD
 

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The Taurus failed here for a few reasons

-Too Expensive
-Wierd Looking
-FWD
-Small Engine

That pretty much killed in a country which loves its high output RWD V8s..(falcon and commodore). And do put it into perspective, for the money the Taurus costed when it was sold I could get into a Falcon XR8 or atleast an XR6-t with change left over.
 

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Ford's mainstream performance throne belongs to the Mustang and only the Mustang. Bringing the Falcon here means the Falcon and the Mustang sharing the throne.
 
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Don't forget, Ford was the only American company with RWD V8's sedans for quite a few years there. Dodge and GM went all FWD. :rolleyes: A Crown Vic PI or one equipped with the handling and performance package is pretty darn nice, very strong, peppy and fun to drive and they'll easily last 10+ years and 250k+ miles. Ford didn't have to deal with any competition so they just made minor upgrades to keep the current line going. However, I still think the Panther platform is one of the best, if not the best, car platform out there. B) But, it is scheduled for an update in the next couple of years or so.

Also, you make a comment about bland styling, but don't forget ford has a TON of new vehicles coming out starting this month and running over the next couple of years. And, next year, we are supposedly going to see the 3.5L Duratec to up the ante on a performance line, plus the next generation SVT products will be released about 1 year from now. :)
 

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Bringing the Falcon here means the Falcon and the Mustang sharing the throne.
Not exactly, the mustang has 2 doors and is far from a luxury car..

The falcon reminds me more of something alone the lines of the twin turbo Audi S4..
 

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Originally posted by jason8225@Aug 1 2004, 10:15 AM
Don't forget, Ford was the only American company with RWD V8's sedans for quite a few years there.  Dodge and GM went all FWD.  :rolleyes: 
A) Crown Vic PI or one equipped with the handling and performance package is pretty darn nice, very strong, peppy and fun to drive and they'll easily last 10+ years and 250k+ miles.  Ford didn't have to deal with any competition so they just made minor upgrades to keep the current line going.  However, I still think the Panther platform is one of the best, if not the best, car platform out there.
B)  But, it is scheduled for an update in the next couple of years or so.
Look for some action on the Panther platform soon, now that the MOPAR boys have the 300C and the Magnum out on the street. They freshened up the Vicster a couple of years ago, but it sorely needs MORE POWER! Like at least the 5.4 3 valve as an option. The forthcoming 6.2 sounds sweet, as well.
 

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I'm with everyone who wants the Aussie design team here in the States...Ford's designers/engineers/etc. in the states have long been weak. Why would they have allowed for so long the Camaro/Firebird V6s of the 90's to outperform Mustang GTs - that was outrageous...The new Five Hundred looks like the Audi A4/A6 which are nice cars, but the design is unoriginal.

The Aussie Falcon looks like it would be a bad ass car to have! Can anyone say why Ford can't build it here? It's a guaranteed winner if they would (I would say "could", but if GM can bring the Holden Monaro over from Australia as a Pontiac, then Ford could do the same then, though keep the Falcon name!)...
 

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Remember that GM is FAILING with the Monaro/GTO. WHY? It looks like a Grand Am. The car drives terribly and feels like a big pile of jello. Ford sees that, and is afraid that if they bring the Falcon over here, there are two possible outcomes. 1- It bombs. They lose a crapload of money, and are back to square one. 2- It does really well. So well, that it unseats the Mustang as Ford's bread and butter performance car. Then, Ford needs to upgrade the Mustang to keep up, costs get higher, prices get higher, consumers buy less. It's simple economics.

I would love to see the Falcon come up here, but when you look at these factors, you quickly realize that it probably isn't likely to happen. Ford is too afraid of failure to take that kind of a risk, and unfortunately, risk is typically the only way to get a payoff.

Hokie...I don't know where you got your facts from about the Camaro/Firebird V6s outperforming the Mustang GTs. That's just plain lunacy. The Camaro was offered with two V6s. The smaller V6 is a good match for a Duratec Gen III Taurus. The larger V6 is a good match for a Gen III SHO. The V6s were no match for the V8 Mustang.

JR
 

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Originally posted by godspunk32@Aug 1 2004, 09:47 PM

Hokie...I don't know where you got your facts from about the Camaro/Firebird V6s outperforming the Mustang GTs. That's just plain lunacy. The Camaro was offered with two V6s. The smaller V6 is a good match for a Duratec Gen III Taurus. The larger V6 is a good match for a Gen III SHO. The V6s were no match for the V8 Mustang.

JR
Late 90's Camaro SSes featured the LS1. It had somewhere around 350Hp.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Styling aside, the GTO had it's suspension 'tweaked' to supposedly cater to the American market. from what I've read, the Monaro has a much better suspension.

<rant>
American carmakers bring in these european/foreign designs, and screw them up. They did the same thing with the Cadillac Catera. They mismatched a euro engine with an American tranny (or the other way around, I forget) and it totally screwed the car up. It seems like everywhere else, the buyer dictates what they want in a car, but here in the U.S., the automaker dictate what the buyer wants in a car. It's shameful to think it, but it's the awful truth. Amercan cars are getting their asses handed to them by Japanese and European automakers. Hell, even the Taiwanese and Koreans are catching up to us. Yes, the new Thunderbird is awesome, but it's priced out of reach. I fear the same will happen to the new Mustang. Destined to be a novelty, not the standard that they used to be. The GTO could be a hotbed for the American sports car, but GM screwed that up. Wait a few years, however, it may improve. Time will tell.
</rant>
 
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