The big?and no doubt depressing?news for Aussie Ford fans lately has been the talk of future Falcons moving to a Front Wheel Drive platform. We first spoke of this back in late August, but a topic like this will be hot for some time to come.
The latest word, following Ford chief Alan Mulally?s recent visit to our shores, is that the Falcon will eventually move to a global platform; probably that used by the US-market Taurus.
Ford Vice President of Product Development, Derrick Kuzak, reckons it?s something of a certainty.
?When we work globally and we look at vehicles that are similar in terms of the market segments and the customers we?re trying to serve, large sedans and large utilities like Falcon and Territory have similar needs and customers to vehicles like Flex and Taurus in North America,? he said.
The goal then, says Kuzak, becomes trying to figure out how to serve both the Australian and the US market in the most intelligent way financially; and this raises the point that there is no technical benefit to having two utterly different cars doing the same job in the two different markets.
In line with this thinking, Ford as an international business, is moving towards Alan Mulally?s golden ?One Ford? plan, where more and more components are to be shared across the different models in the various markets around the world. The main differences then being little more than aesthetic and whatever region-specific technical necessities may be required.
All of this is, of course, built around the need to reduce development and engineering costs in the company.
What of the FPV brand? All Wheel Drive is also likely to be an option and no doubt any performance variants will be most appealing in that form. Of course, to the average Ford nut here in Australia, it?s Rear Wheel Drive or bust.
To be fair, Mulally has not yet confirmed whether the Falcon will indeed switch to a FWD format, but it?s probably fair to say the writing is on the wall.
Hang in there, Falcon fans. With the recent release of the FG, it should be at least another five years before you?ll need to worry about seeing a FWD Falcon vying for Car of the Year.