Friday, March 31, 2006

All Wheel Crazy at Ford, article at AutoBlog

Remember in the 80's when the craze was the switch to Front Wheel Drive? Now Ford thinks the shift will be to All Wheel Drive. Well, this isn't really news, Ford had been planning an AWD version of the Fusion/Milan/MkZ (Zephyr) from the begining. But with sales of AWD versions of the 500/FreeStyles outpacing FWD versions, Ford now anticipates selling 500,000 AWD models in coming years. AWD isn't new to the market or Ford, there was the AWD Ford Tempo in the late 80's early 90's, and of course Subaru and Audi have been the pilars in the segment for decades. In recent years AWD has become a necesary option for near luxury offerings from Lexus and Infinity and even luxury makers like BMW and Mercedes. Chrysler has AWD versions of their 300/Magnum based on last generation Mercedes E Class mechanicals.

So it's no surprise that AWD would be in the product mix, it's very popular in the northern states. But the added price and complexity of AWD is just something that doesn't appeal to me. Will we see an AWD Focus?


Anonymous said...

Ford is avoiding the whole RWD with this AWD ploy. Even though I drive an AWD car, this disapoints , Ford will not compete with GM and Daimler Chrysler in the RWD market.

Midnight Magnum said...

An awd Focus with wrx power (230) would be nice. I see alot of 20 & 30's couples driving the WRX wagon, why not get a peice of that market. awd drive across the range as an option seems to be the trend, and not bad one at that.

Big Ford Fan said...

Anonymous, I won't allow anonymous posts in the future, but felt your comments had merit. I agree that Ford is trying to avoid RWD with AWD.

MidnightMagnum, maybe after we got the FWD Focus C-1 ST I could get behind you on that. But hell the Mazdaspeed3 is only coming with FWD, I'd settle for that. But again good point, Ford could offer an AWD option in the future. God knows the system is available on Volvos.