One of the biggest stories of the day is a brand restructuring at Ford. There has been an announcement that Ford is exclusively going with FWD (front-wheel-drive) models excluding the Mustang, F-Series, Explorer and Expedition. The Mustang will retain its rear wheel drive. The F-series and Expedition will be offered in RWD and 4X4. The Explorer will be offered in FWD and AWD. All of the remanding models will only come in FWD.
Lincoln Motor Company is going through some transition as well. All the new models besides the Expeditions will be offered in Rear Wheel Drive except the Navigator which will also be offered in 4X4 also. Lincoln will get a sedan and coupe based off the stretched Mustangs platform. If the market allows, Lincoln will replace the MKZ at the end of its life-cycle with a RWD short wheel drive ATS fighting sedan, and possible coupe. Word is a large RWD model could spawn to compete with the 7-series, S-class, A8, and the upcoming flagship Cadillac Sedan. The large flagship sedan from Lincoln would don the Continental nameplate. If the Continental nameplate gets the green light the iconic suicide doors will also make their comeback. Just like GM has done with Cadillac, Lincoln will now have mostly exclusive platforms and drivetrains.
Here’s where things get exciting! Mercury will be re-entering the US market in 2016-2017. The new Mercury will emerge as a budget Audi fighter. All Mercury’s will come standard in AWD. Ford’s new formula allows Ford to become the bread and butter, allowing Mercury to become a step up. Mercury can now justifiably command more of a price premium than its ford counterparts.
In other news: Chrysler, GM, and BMW have big announcements of their own.
Dodge is getting rid of all the FWD models when the Journey gets replaced. The new Dodge models will be RWD and AWD from now on. The redesigned Caravan will carry on as a light-wight four-cylinder convertible that's reminiscent of a Mazda Miata. SRT has decided to address the Vipers slow sales. A topless Viper will be coming to the line-up by 2015. This new topless Snake will be getting a huge drivetrain upgrade to compete with the Porsche 918 Spyder. SRT will be adding a plug-in electric system to boost performance and mileage from the V-10. Two electric motors will be added to the front wheels making the Viper handle even better in corners. The new Viper will drive up to 25 miles on electric power alone.
Your Corvette dreams will be coming true at GM. The next Corvette variant will be called the ZR2. It will offer three things that all Chevrolet car enthusiasts want. This variant of the Corvette will have a mid-engine. The Z06's 625hp Supercharged 6.2-liter will me one of the motors that propel this rocket. In the front compartment a modified Voltec electric motor will supply extra grunt, making the ZR2 a hybrid. The Voltec motor will add 75 to 95 more horses that will be controlled through an 8 speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. The ZR2 model will also receive a pickup bed; allowing for the versatility of an El-Camino. To accommodate the mid-engine layout the ZR2 will be stretched 6 to 8 inches, and have a mid-gate for easy access to the gasoline generator. Expect upward of 700 hp from the ZR2.
The last news of the today is from BMW who will be adding the M3½ D X-Drive to its lineup. The M3½ D X-drive uses traits from both the 3 and the 4-series. It will be an aggressively sleek estate wagon with 4-series styling cues. BMW is calling the M3½ D X-Drive a 5 door grand coupe with 3 series ride comfort. Since this estate bares the M you can expect it to fall in line with the rest of the M-series offering from the exterior. The M3½ D X-Drive will be only offered in manual, with a diesel motor, and AWD. The BMW 3½ D X-Drive will also only come in one hue, called “Automotive Journalism Brown”.
Oh yeah……, Happy April First!!!
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