The Ford Freestarwas introduced by Ford Motor Company in 2004. Ford was redesigning its family vehicle line up and at the same time had changed its naming strategy to rename all their automobiles to words beginning in F. The Freestar replaced the Ford Windstar for the 2004 model year.
The Freestar minivan can accomodate up to seven passengers.Hoping to appeal to families with five or more members, the Freestar was designed to recapture some of the consumer family market lost to SUV segment. One of the attractions of the Ford Freestar is the fold flat option of the third row seating which allows the minivan to carry cargo for its passengers on a trip such as a family vacation.
The ford Freestar was built on the Ford V platform and featured a 4.2 Liter Essex engine with a four speed automatic transmission. The base model was offered with a smaller 3.9 Liter engine.
The Freestar was offered in Five trim levels including the Se, Sport , SEL and the Freestar Limited.Unfortunately the name change of the vehicle proved to be ill advised and was nicknamed the “Ford Fiasco” by some of its critics. Naseem Javed, president of ABC Namebank International was quoted as saying about the name change, “It will cause confusion and chaos for consumers”. This appears to be what happened as the Freestar, which was really a slight redesign of the very popular Windstar, saw sales dropped dramatically. Ford decided to pull the van from the lineup and the product was dropped in 2006.
When Ford built the Ford Five Hundred it did so with the intention of invoking nostalgia in the older generation of consumers. Both the name and the bodystyle were intended to engender a feeling of returning to the good old days. Specifically the Five Hundred body style was based on the old classics such as the Fairlane 500 and the Galaxie 500 that had been so popular through the fifties and seventies.
The Five Hundered was a full size vehicle with a front wheel drive. It was created intentionally to be longer than it’s competitors, The Chevrolet Impala and the Toyota Avalon. The reasoning behind this was simple enough. Ford felt that those in the full size car market wanted a larger roomier vehicle so Ford capitalized on this by making the Five hundred slightly bigger.
Three trim lines were offered: the SE, the SEL and the Five Hundred Limited. Only one engine was offered in the first Five hundreds, the 3.0 Liter Duratec 30 V6 engine with a either a continuously variable transmission or a six-speed automatic transmission.
Unfortunately, the Ford Five Hundred had only a bland reception when it was introduced and only lasted from 2005 through the 2007 model year. The reception for the vehicle was so cool in fact that many dealers never actually kept the vehicle stocked on the lot but would order one if a purchase was actually made. In 2007, Ford renamed the Five Hundred now calling it the Ford Taurus. A change in name only in fact, so much so that employees at the 2007 Detroit Auto Show simply removed the Five Hundred badge from the car on the rotating stand and replaced it with the Taurus badge.
For those people looking for a work horse of a truck, the Ford F-350 is the truck to have. Intended for commercial and industrial uses, Ford introduced these trucks in 1998 for the 1999 model year. The trucks are assembled at the Kentucky Truck Assembly Plant in Louisville, Kentucky.
The Ford F-350 Super Duty is the type of truck you can expect to find on farms and ranches. It is a truck intended to be worked hard and it’s definitely built that way. The F-350 may look a little like the older traditional F-250 Heavy Duty and the F-350 but looks are about the only thing these have in common. The trucks are built to such standards that the F-250 Super Duty is more durable than the traditional F-350.
The new and improved F-Series Super Duty trucks have heavier duty body-on-frame steel ladder frames, axles, springs, brakes, transmissions and have higher towing capacities. Ford built the Super Duty series to be heavier and tougher in the field and the trucks do not disappoint.
The Super Duty trucks are offered with several engine options, including both gasoline and diesel. The 5.4 liter modular V8 with 260 horsepower comes in the base model and the largest offered is the 6.0 L Power Stroke diesel engine. Four transmissions are also available, from a five speed manual transmission for gasoline engines, a six speed manual for diesel engines and the new Torqshift five speed 5R110 automatic transmission.
The Ford F-250 truck is newer breed of pickup truck introduced by Ford Motor Company. Intended in every way to be a true work horse, the F-250 has added towing options, a heavier axles, springs, brakes, transmissions and more powerful engines with much higher payload and towing capacities.
By the time the tenth generation of the F-series truck was developed, Ford was looking at splitting the F-150 and the F-250 into two different body styles. The early versions were just F-250′s however, as 2007, it was renamed the F-250 Super Duty.In the beginning the regular F-250(light duty) was an F-150 which heavy duty axles and suspension whit 7 lug wheels and had a load leveling rear suspension system.
By 1998, Ford had developed the F-250 Super Duty and dropped the Ford F-250 Light Duty truck name. This light weight version was now offered as a 7700 package for the F-150.
Super Duty trucks are intended to be primarily commercial/industrial use pickup trucks and have been designed with that in mind. They have a heavier duty body on frame design and come with a 7.3 Liter Powerstroke diesel V8 engine and either a six speed manual transmission or a five speed 5R110W automatic transmission. There are three different cab options with include the standard that can carry up to three passengers all the way up to a crew cab with four full doors and seating for up to six passengers.
The Ford F-150 is a full size pickup from Ford Motor Company. Not only is the F-150 one of the workhorses in Fords stable, it is also one of the oldest trucks on the market. The F-150 has been in continous production for more than five decades and was the best selling truck in the United States for more than 23 years.
Originally called the Ford Bonus-Built, the truck was first introduced in 1948 and came with options like see clear windshield wipers that functioned by operating a foot plunger, a passenger side windshield wiper and sunvisor and a passenger side taillight.
The first engine used in the trucks was the 226 CID Flathead 6 engine with a three speed light duty transmissions. These were produced from 1948 through 1951.
Ten generations of the trucks have been produced and in recent years, larger versions of the F-150 have included a 4 door model called the F-150 Supercrew. Intended as a mostly as work truck meant to be able to carry 4 grown men comfortably, supercrew has worked very well for families as well due to the roomy interior.
By 1976, the F-series truck was the best selling truck in the United States, a position it has never relinquished. It has been estimated that this series truck makes up over 50% of Ford Motor Company’s profits. A trend that it appears will continue well into the 21st century.
The Ford Explorer Sport began as a trim model variations of the Ford Explorer however it did not remain that. The vehicle proved very popular with the younger consumer and demand was such for the automobile that it evolved into its own unique brand. The Sport was one of the earliest Explorer models produced and stayed on the market from 1991 through 2003.
The Explorer Sport tended to be a statement automobile. Families were not really attracted to it for the simple fact that it was a two door model and two door vehicles do not lend themselves to families with small children.
Most people who were interested in purchasing the Sport really considered it more like a utility sports car. Things could be hauled in it, you could take it offroad and it just looked cool. It came with a 4.0 L Cologne V6 engine, which provided enough power to satisfy most customers.
By 1998 the 2 door Explorer Sport was the only Sport Utility Vehicle offered by Ford in the two door trim level. It was also the only one offered on a shorter 10 inch wheel base.
The Explorer Sport was offered in both two wheel drive and four wheel drive variations. and was intended to be a replacement for the two door Ford Bronco.
The Ford Explorer is a Sport Utility Vehicle primarily used by families and those who prefer the look of an SUV to that of a minivan. Most SUV’s are designed to haul people and cargo and to look good doing it. The Explorer certainly fits that category.
Built by Ford Motor Company and introduced in 1990, the Ford Explorer introduced the world to a new concept vehicle, the Sport Utility Vehicle. Several variations of the Explorer have been developed and four wheel drive is offered with different trim models. The Explorer XL was offered from 1991-1997 and was equiped with a 4.0 Liter V6 engine and and a four speed automatic transmission or a five speed manual transmission.
An Upscale Eddie Bauer Edition Explorer was among the first generation of Explorers and was in production from 1991 through 1994.
The Ford Explorer Limited Edition was even more upscale than the Eddie Bauer model. It came with more features as standard equipment such as Sutomatic headlights, foglamps, automatic transmission, auto dimming rear view mirror and a center roof console with outside thermometer as well as a compass.
Although the Ford Explorer was offered with four wheel drive as an option. The vehicle was never intended to be used as a true off road vehicle and most people never considered using it as such.
The Ford Expedition is a large family size SUV built by Ford Motor Company. Built to fit between the smaller Explorer and larger and now discontinued Excursion.
The Excursion was discontinued in 2007 and Ford made a larger version of the Expedition, the EL/MAX to fill this spot. The regular size Expedition and the larger version now fill the two top slots in the SUV line up for Ford.
By 2009, Ford had increased the size of the Expedition to hold up to 8 passengers. The Expedition XLT offers a front bench seat version and a range of engine sizes.
Made specifically with families in mind, Ford offers an Electronic Pneumatic self leveling/load leveling suspension system to aid in towing heavy travel trailers. Ford markets the Expedition to families who plan to take vacations. The Air suspension system is optioned with the heavy duty trailer tow package.
The Expedition was introduced to replace the full sized Bronco. The Expedition was given both a 4.6 Liter engine and a 5.4 Liter engine that were both more powerful than anything that was offered in the Bronco.
In 2007, Ford introduced the Expedition in a hybrid model. The 4.6 electric gas hybrid engine was based on the Ford Lion V6 engine . For the 2009 model year powered retractable running boards were offered along with the option Ford SYNC, a voice activated, multi-entertainment/navagation package.
Marketed as the new Thunderbird, the Ford EXP was introduced in April 1981. Ford Division General Manager Louis E. Latalf once said of the Exp “We’re introducing another two-seater with the same flair, but the EXP will be a very affordable, very fuel efficient car matched to the lifestyles of the eighties”. Ford perceived that households were shrinking to one and two person households without small children. This young upwardly mobile generation was the target audience.
EXP, according to a Popular Mechanics article, stood for Erika Project Personal Car. However this claim was never substantiated. The first generation, called the EXP Turbo Coupe featured a 1.6 Liter CVH I4 engine available with a five speed MTX-III manual transmission or a three speed FLC automatic transmission.
Though aimed at the younger sports car market, sales remained sluggish for the EXP. This was due in part to the underperfomance of the engine. Although 200 pounds heavier than the Escort, the EXP had a smaller engine. To correct this problem, Ford designed the EXP Luxury Coupe. It was given a throttle-body injected version of the 1.9 Liter engine.
The EXP Sport Coupe was given a fuel injected high output version of the 1.9 Liter CVY engine and special handling components and performance bucket seats.
By 1988, Ford had done all it could to save the sporty two seater, however sales continued to slide and in October 1988, the last EXP was produced.
The Ford Excursion was the largest SUV in the Ford line up from years 2000 to 2005. Classed as a heavy duty pickup truck and built on that platform, it was one of the most popular SUV selected for conversion to a limousine. Classified as a heavy duty vehicle, the Excursion was exempt from Corporate Average Fuel Economy regulations.
Initially the Excursion had a 7.3 Liter Powerstroke diesel engine . This engine was undersized for the weight of the vehicle and the Excursion was heavily critized for its poor fuel economy which ranged about 12 mpg for city driving and 14 mpg for the highway. Ford was slow to rectify the problem and not until 2003 was this engine replaced with a more powerful 6.0 Liter Powerstroke diesel engine. With the addition of this new engine, power and fuel economy increased and noise levels were reduced.
Originally the Excursion had a four speed automatic transmission but this was upgraded to a five speed automatic in 2003. This was the same year that the Eddie Bauer Excursion was introduced with an upscale trim package.
The Exursion was discontinued in 2007 as Ford needed to free up capacity at the Louisville plant that produced the Super Duty pick up trucks. A more fuel efficient extended length Expedition was designed and the Excursion was dropped from the line up.
The Ford Escort was introduced 1991 by Ford Motor Company. Classed as a compact car, the Escort was the replacement vehicle for the retired subcompact Ford Pinto. It was the first front wheel drive car built by Ford for the North American Market. At that time, Ford owned 25% of Mazda and the Escort was actually built on the Mazda B Platform. The Escort was one of Ford’s most successful vehicles and in only it’s second year became the best selling vehicle in the United States.
The first generation of the Escort utilized a 1.6 Liter CVH engine and was offered as a two door hatchback and a four door station wagon. In 1982 a four door hatchback was also introduced.
Ford redesigned the Escort for the 1988 model year and the engine, which had been upgraded in 1985 to a 1.6 Liter turbocharged CVH I4 engine was also updated with a revised camshaft. The redesign is referred to the “88.5″ year Escort. By 1992, Ford began to offer the Escort as a three or five door hatchback, a sedan or a wagon. Ford offered each of the models for the same price. The only difference was in the LX-E Escort which was a sporty pony version of the Escort. This model included sporting equipment such as four wheel disc brakes, sport suspension and sport interior.
By 2001, sales of the Escort had declined and Ford began offering it for fleet sales only.
Ford Motor Company introduced the Ford Escape in 2001 to compete in the compact SUV market against the compact SUVs produced by Toyota and Honda. A luxury model, the Mercury Mariner, was also introduced concurrently by the Mercury division of Ford.
The first versions of the Escape were offered with the 2.0 L Zetec engine and a manual transmission. Ford recognized that most consumers never intended subject their SUV’s to rough off road terrain but had chosen the SUV has a sportier version of a minivan or station wagon. To improve ride quality for these consumers, Ford changed from solid rear axles which were being used for most SUV’s to an independent suspension and rack and pinion steering to provide a more car like ride. A full time all wheel drive was provided as an option, this included a locking center differential activated by a switch on the dashboard.
By 2004, Ford had developed an Escape Hybrid that proved to be 75% more fuel efficient that its counterpart, the traditional gasoline only Escape.
A new base engine was developed for the 2005 Escape,the powerful 3.0L Duratec V6 engine. And the changes didn’t stop there. For 2009, many changes were introduced and Ford rebadged the compact vehicle as the ZD Escape. Due to rising gas prices, Ford downgraded the engine back to a four cylinder and the Escape was now only offered as an automatic. Exterior designs were also changed and the Ford emblem was made bigger and set prominently on the front grille. Safety was upgraded as well as side airbags were offered as a standard feature for the first time.