Ford to Introduce Futura Mid-Size Sedan
Ford Motor Co. announced at the New York Auto Show that it would follow the introduction of four all-new cars in 2004 with a new, mid-size sedan in 2005 – the 2006 Ford Futura – as part of a comprehensive revitalization of the Ford brand’s lineup."We’re applying every lesson we have learned about vehicle interior design, packaging, diving dynamics, and powertrain performance while adding a dose of design edge from the Ford 427 concept to create the new Ford Futura," said Steve Lyons, president of Ford Division.Futura, which will be Ford’s second full hybrid vehicle, will fall in the mid-size car market. The vehicle will offer I-4 and V-6 engines, and will come with a range of fuel efficient, modern transmissions including manual, automatic, and continuously variable transmission (CVT).Standard will be an all-aluminum 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine based on Ford’s new global I-4 engine architecture. The engine, which weighs approximately 40 pounds less than the current Zetec 2.0-liter I-4 engine, will be fitted with a counter-rotating balance shaft and will feature four valves per cylinder.Like the Escape Hybrid, the Futura Hybrid pairs a 2.3-liter I-4 gasoline engine with a 65-kilowatt electric motor. A full hybrid, the vehicle will have the ability to run on full-battery power, the gas engine alone, or gas and battery together.The Ford Futura, Five Hundred, and Freestyle are among the 65 new products that Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury plan to introduce in North America in the next five years. The Futura’s new-vehicle architecture will form the basis for up to 10 new products and 800,000 units of volume across all three brands in the next three years.