initiates a flurry of new cars for 2005
with a sleek flagship for the fleet
called the Five Hundred. Built on a
tight platform borrowed from Volvo of
Sweden, the Five Hundred is a responsive
four-door sedan with mid-size body but
the cabin of a big car and one of the
largest trunks on the market.
Ford's legendary muscle car, is new
for 2005 in coupe format based on a
new rear-wheel-drive architecture with
six-inch wheelbase boost and the promise
of best-yet handling and braking.
Ford's full-size Crown Victoria sedan
carves out enough room in the cabin
to haul a team of tall basketball players
plus heaps of gear stuffed into the
cavernous trunk. The rear-wheel driveline
and a chassis with wheelbase extending
nearly ten feet comes from a platform
also used by Lincoln's elite Town Car.
There's ample power from a V8 rigged
with high-tech hardware and tuned for
low-torque output. The 4.6-liter Ford
plant in standard application produces
224 hp. An optional performance package
adds dual exhaust pipes and boosts output
to 239 hp.
trim grades continue as the Crown Victoria
Standard, up-level LX, deluxe LX Premier
and LX Sport, the latter with equipment
added for keen performance plus a monochromatic
body coated in shades like Dark Toreador
Red. Side air bags appear on the list
of options, along with TCS and a six-disc
CD changer. A power moonroof is available
for LX and LX Sport models.
popular family cars from Ford fit in
the mid-size class and appear in configurations
of a four-door sedan and five-door station
wagon. All issues for 2005 line up in
simplified trim sequences as SE or SEL.
Cabins for sedans hold five or six due
to a choice in front seat style -- bench
or buckets. The three-person front bench
for Taurus SE contains a flip-down center
back section that becomes a console
when tipped forward. A console that
has an open bin in front and a closed
compartment in back splits two front
buckets for Taurus SEL.
wagon version brings seats for seven
or eight with an optional rear-facing
third bench. Engines for Taurus include
Ford's 3.0-liter Vulcan V6, rated at
153 hp, and a dual-cam Duratec version
available on SEL that rises to 200 hp.
Ford's four-speed automatic transaxle
mates with either engine. A premium
package for SEL adds leather seats,
a six-disc CD changer, electronic climate
controls and automatic headlamps.
pony car arrives in 2005 riding a new
platform with six-inch wheelbase stretch
and new powertrains packed below that
classic long hood. The RWD chassis carries
MacPherson struts and a three-link live
axle with Panhard rod. Exterior styling
is fresh although familiar Mustang signatures
have been retained -- those C-scoops
on flanks, tri-part lamps on the tail
and a galloping pony in chrome planted
at the center of the prow.
Mustang's cockpit also earns a makeover
with new accessories like chrome gauge
rings and aluminum trim panels, while
an optional color-configured instrument
cluster brings 125 color choices for
backlighting the dashboard gauges. More
standard equipment is aboard, such as
one-touch up/down power windows, a keyless
entry system and power locks.
powertrains motivate the new Mustang.
Standard plant is a new 4.0-liter V6
for the base model pumping 210 hp. Mustang
GT stocks a 4.6-liter V8 ripper pushing
300 hp. Five-speed manual transmissions
are standard. The V8 has a Tremec 3650
gearbox, while the V6 uses a Tremec
T5. Optional is a five-speed automatic.
Trims work with packages -- V6 Deluxe
and V6 Premium, GT Deluxe and GT Premium.
Another legendary name at Ford -- Thunderbird
-- morphs into a sleek two-seat roadster
with strong power on tap from a big
V8. The design is a contemporary homage
to Ford's brilliant two-seat sports
car from 1955. Thunderbird for 2005
shows rolled edges over finely carved
fenders and tailored components such
as retro-round headlights and chrome-coated
grilles in egg-crate scheme, an indented
air scoop centered on the hood, chrome
air ports on flanks and round red lamps
etched into a curvy tail.
comes from Ford's 3.9-liter aluminum
V8 with electronic throttle control
and variable cam timing. It delivers
280 hp with an automatic five-speed
transmission and optional shift-it-yourself
SelectShift mode. A colorful cockpit
contains a pair of buckets and designer
touches such as new aluminum appliqué
trim doors and the center dash stack.
In the cluster of instruments, the white-faced
analog speedometer and tachometer use
needles tinged in Thunderbird Blue.
Safety systems extend to frontal and
side-impact air bags for both seats.
New body paints come with this year's
'Bird, such as Bronze and Vintage Mint
A subcompact series grouped under the
Focus label -- best-selling small car
in the world -- subdivides into four
formats as a four-door sedan, five-door
station wagon and hatchbacks in three-door
and five-door configurations. Model
classification follows body styles with
ZX3 for the three-door hatchback and
ZX5 for the five-door hatch, ZX4 as
a four-door sedan and ZXW for the wagon.
Design revisions on the body for 2005
include new headlamp clusters, a larger
diamond patterned grille and a fresh
fascia with broad air intake and round
provides surprising room from a concise
cabin with twin buckets in front of
a fold-down bench and back bay for gear.
Two different four-cylinder engines
add spark to Focus for 2005. A new base
engine is the 2.0-liter Duratec plant
producing 136 hp. The ZX4 ST performance
sedan earns a 2.3-liter Duratec four-pack
worth 151 hp. Brakes with ABS are standard
on the ST sedan, but ABS shows up on
the list of options for trims of S,
SE and SES. Also, side-impact air bags
are available on all Focus models this
Ford's new sedan brings the tight handling
traits of a European touring car and
a generous passenger compartment with
seats for five plus luxury gear. Passengers
ride higher than on seats in other sedans.
Ford labels the design as Command Seating
and compares the upright seat position
to that of a high-hiked SUV.
The Five Hundred features front-wheel-drive
(FWD) or all-wheel-drive (AWD) traction.
The AWD system is the Haldex equipment
from Volvo. All issues draw power from
a 3.0-liter Duratec V6 engine with a
six-speed automatic transaxle by Aisin
for FWD and a continuously variable
transmission (CVT) by ZF-Batavia for
for Five Hundred consist of the well-equipped
SE, deluxe SEL and top-flight Limited.
The SE edition carries the CVT and disc
brakes with anti-lock brake system (ABS)
and traction control system (TCS), 17-inch
aluminum wheels, a keyless entry keypad,
air conditioning, power controls for
windows and locks, six-way power for
the driver's seat, front buckets and
a split bench in back that folds down
flat and a stereo system with CD player.
Deluxe Limited rolls on 18-inch aluminum
wheels and gets a premium stereo system
with six-disc CD deck plus leather seats.