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Friday, April 22, 2005

More Zephyr Details

My previous comments on the Zephyer are here.

I have heard that the Zephyr will get the new 3.5L Duratec 35 engine, after it is introduced with the 3.0L. The HP numbers on the 3.5L aren't out, but they should be about 250HP, based on displacement. The Zephyr will also get AWD. Ford's strategy, apparently was to get the car out soon, and improve it later. Still no plans for a manual transmission, from what I have heard.

The larger engine and AWD will really help the car, I think. I hope that people aren't turned off by the weak first model.

7 comments:

NextGenAuto said...
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NextGenAuto said...

The larger engine my help, but you can be certain that the media will tear this car apart.

It will be difficult to sell this car even with the 250 hp engine. Part of the difficulty is pricing. This lincoln should not be priced far above 30k when fully optioned. The truth is, there are plenty of RWD derived sport sedans in the 30k+ range that would eat this car alive. And any magazine comparo would indicate this in vivid glossy color. I'd say price it between 27-30 to compete with entry-level sports sedans like the Acura TSX and the new VW Jetta.

This leads me to another item of conflict, what is the differnce between an optioned out ford and a mercury? It seems there isn't much. Then when you add an entry level lincoln into the spectrum, it really squeezes the mercury brand. It neither has the recognition of Ford or the perceptions of luxury that Lincoln has. Mercury's best chance for survival is to ditch all the redundant products and create something new (like a platform partner in a different form entirely, how about a coupe or a cool crossover?) Just my two cents.

The Auto Prophet said...

I agree. It has to be a great deal, or it will lose out to the BMW, Acuras, and Infinitis.

NextGenAuto said...

Perhaps that should be the strategy of the American manufacturers is to temporarily take a value centered stance, while improving product quality and design... eventually, the stigma of american autos will be a thing of the past. The Koreans did it.

Jonathan said...

Aren't lots of temporary 'strategies' why our domestic manufacturers are in such a sorry state? On WDET this morning they were talking about Alex Trotman's "Ford 2000" cost-cutting plan, which was of course just another short-term fix. You cannot cost cut you way to profitability, and you cannot cost cut your way to good products. When your business is always about getting another nickel out of the cars, I am not sure how selling them on value will equate to future successes. People will pay more for genuine value (ie Camry, et al) but they will not pay unsubsidized prices for cars that do not meet the value equation - which is of course totally subjective. I guess the irony is Toyotas get decontented over time too, but in places you cannot see. Like Like Potter Stewart and obscenity, you just know value when you see it, and until people see it at sticker price on Chevy's, they're not there. Without product, I do not think that there is hope for value.

The Auto Prophet said...

I see your point, however, it is not easy to deliver a car with multiple variations all at once, so automakers like to phase in new models. For example, GM rolls out the G6 base V6 sedan first model year, and then will release the coupe, upgrade V6, and I4 versions.

The Auto Prophet said...

I see your point, however, it is not easy to deliver a car with multiple variations all at once, so automakers like to phase in new models. For example, GM rolls out the G6 base V6 sedan first model year, and then will release the coupe, upgrade V6, and I4 versions.