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Old 11-30-2003, 12:09 AM   #1
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Thumbs up 2004-05 Ford Line-up

2005 Ford Freestyle

Beneath this camouflaged sheetmetal is the chassis found under Ford's upcoming 500 sedan. Here, however, that chassis is carrying the Freestyle crossover SUV. Like other crossovers, the Freestyle is part SUV, part minivan, part station wagon. Ford executives insist that the Freestyle is a crossover and not simply another minivan. Not to be confused with Ford's new minivan called Freestar, the Freestyle is not a direct replacement for any other model. However, this vehicle's overall height is similar to a minivan's, and it has a rear hatch. Unlike a minivan, Freestyle has hinged rear doors, rather than sliding ones. Up front the difference is more subtle, with the Freestyle offering a higher hoodline and longer front clip than the typical minivan. To put things in perspective, consider the Freestyle worthy competition for Chrysler's new Pacifica crossover.


2004 Ford Ranger

Ford will stick closely to its current design for the Ranger pickup for at least two more years. Despite major changes in competitors' models, Ford has only minor tweaks in store as indicated in this photograph. Through the rough disguise of this 2004 Ranger, you can see modest changes to the front end. The grille insert, lower fascia, fenders and hood are marginally different from today's model. Ranger has been the forgotten vehicle at Ford in recent years, even though it still leads in sales among compact pickup trucks. Once scheduled for a complete makeover, including a wider cab and cargo box, in 2003, the Ranger program has been delayed until the 2006 model year due to the company's cost cutting.


2005 Ford Super Duty

With Ford readying an all-new F-150, can a new Super Duty be far behind? Obviously not. You can look for a line of new heavy-duty F-250 and F-350 trucks to roll into showrooms early in 2004. The bigger vehicles borrow many of the features of the new F-150, but will have their own styling. Indeed, the Super Duty will have the rugged look that big-pickup buyers prefer. As this computer-enhanced view shows, there's a grille that shouts "heavy-duty" even louder than the design of the current truck. Other features to look for are higher sides on the cargo box and more powerful diesel engines.


2004 Ford Freestyle

Here comes another crossover, a sport utility vehicle based on a passenger car. This one is the Freestyle, and though Ford has no problems with the concept behind this type of vehicle, the company seems to have run into trouble with the styling. Based on our photos, Freestyle looks like little more than a tall station wagon. Ford wants to change that impression. With this in mind, the company has designed a new front end that looks a lot like the front of Ford trucks, especially its SUVs. In addition, company photos of the vehicle will show angles that emphasize its SUV features and play down its station wagon appearance. As a side note to the vehicle's development, Ford changed its name--for a product development timeline--at the last minute. For many months, it was known by the code name Crossover. After much criticism from inside and outside the company, the Crossover name was discarded. Objections to Crossover included the idea of two images for one product, plus some inference of changing identities, or dress.


2005 Ford Small SUV

Look for Ford to proceed with an SUV smaller than Escape in its lineup for 2005. The vehicle shown here in elaborate disguise is a Brazilian Ford, a peewee version of the Escape. It appears identical to the Escape in photos, but on close inspection differences show up in headlights, mirrors, spare tire location, front fascia and rear hatch opening. There will be only one engine available under the little vehicle's hood: a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder. Ford is seriously considering bringing either this vehicle or an updated version of it to the U.S. market within three years. That time delay is caused by the need to meet U.S. safety requirements.


2004 Ford Ranger

Ford will wait a critical two or three years before it introduces the Ranger's larger-size replacement. Meanwhile, this improved model of the current pickup, with facelift, is getting ready for its debut as a 2004 model. The bigger truck that will boast more muscle for towing and hauling is due to be introduced as a 2006 model.


2004 Ford CrossTrainer



Ford will use a highly modified Volvo V70 chassis as the basis for this crossover to arrive in 2003 as a 2004 Ford. While all the sheetmetal on this prototype does not conform exactly to the final styling shapes, the stance of the wheels, body proportions, glass and general appearance are true. Initially, the vehicle will be front-drive only, with an awd version to follow about a year after introduction. A transverse 200-hp 3.0-liter V6 figures to be the first powerplant on the production list. Later, a 250-hp 3.5-liter V6 will be offered. At first glance, the CrossTrainer appears little more than a new station wagon. But it stands a full 4 in. taller than the Taurus. Marketing plans for the CrossTrainer are still being worked out, but the company expects to position it slightly above Taurus. See earlier CrossTrainer spy reports below and the newest Ford Freestyle version above.

Though you can't really tell by the photos, Ford's future "Cross-Trainer" is several inches taller than any midsize sedan now on the market. Its other dimensions--length and width--are about the same as today's Taurus sedan's. The V6-powered vehicle, set for production in early 2003 as a 2004 model, is just shy of 200 in. in length. Close inspection of photos of prototype models of CrossTrainer show station wagon/van/ SUV styling. The chassis is front-wheel-drive-based, though all-wheel drive will be an option under a 7-passenger cabin layout.

Ford will build an additional 4-door sedan on this same CrossTrainer chassis, arriving about a year later than CrossTrainer. While the major dimensions are nearly identical, the sedan's roof will be 3 to 4 in. lower. Look for the new car to fit between Taurus and Crown Victoria in Ford's model lineup. And you can expect a Mercury version as well.


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Old 11-30-2003, 12:25 AM   #2
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Hmmm, Ford has really fallen in love with that black and white spotted camo look. They seem to be using it on every car I've seen in a recently-taken spy photo. I am looking forward to the 2005 model year - Ford is going to be introducing a lot of new/redesigned vehicles and they look to be good.
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Old 11-30-2003, 01:25 AM   #3
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Is there going to be any cars besides the Focus and the Mustang?

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Old 11-30-2003, 02:11 AM   #4
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Those are some ugly SUVs lol
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Old 11-30-2003, 02:38 AM   #5
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fugly
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Old 11-30-2003, 03:39 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by SVT4ME
Hmmm, Ford has really fallen in love with that black and white spotted camo look. They seem to be using it on every car I've seen in a recently-taken spy photo. I am looking forward to the 2005 model year - Ford is going to be introducing a lot of new/redesigned vehicles and they look to be good.
the prototypes are always camoflaged and covered up until the vehicles exterior is officialy released,ford isnt the only company that does this
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Old 11-30-2003, 04:47 AM   #7
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Yes, I know that, I'm not retarded. My point was that Ford seems to have decided that *when* they camo a car, it will be the same type of camo. Spy photos of the Mustang and others show the same look for the camo - white and black spots.
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Old 11-30-2003, 08:27 AM   #8
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Oh wow. I soon hope that they change the style of the Ranger. Grill changes? Big whoop. And is Ford gonna be rid of the Taurus? And if so, have they come up with a replacement for it?
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Old 11-30-2003, 01:36 PM   #9
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My wife is interested in the cross-trainer thingy, hopefully it isn't $42,000 like the pacifica, we went and looked at one of those, also, way way to heavy, but I've never been a mopar guy. The one thing lacking in the focus wagon is that third rear seat that faces to the rear for two kids.
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Old 11-30-2003, 01:50 PM   #10
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Sorry, but I'm with who it was that said "fugly" C'mon Ford!
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