Five different models show up in the 2007 car fleet from Ford. The flagship sedan is called Five Hundred, while a smaller variation is labeled Fusion. Sporty Mustang returns in coupe and convertible variations, as Carroll Shelby and the Ford Special Vehicle Team conspire to create a contemporary successor to that '60s-era Mustang muscle car -- Shelby GT500.
Ford's top sedan has a generous passenger compartment with high-riding seats for five plus loads of luxury gear. Five Hundred features front-wheel-drive (FWD) or all-wheel-drive (AWD) traction. All versions stock a 203-hp V6 engine with a six-speed automatic transaxle by Aisin for FWD or a continuously variable transmission (CVT) for AWD models. Trims consist of the deluxe SEL and top-flight Limited. Seat-mounted side air bags and Ford's Safety Canopy curtain-style side air bags apply to all 2007 editions, and a new chrome package adds chrome-coated wheels and chrome mesh in the front grille.
Ford's mid-size sedan slips in size between a smaller Focus and larger Five Hundred. Styling is keen, particularly at the prow with Fusion's bold three-bar grille and projector-beam headlamps. In the five-seat cabin, Fusion offers three tiers of trims with a base model plus Fusion SE and SEL. There are two engine options -- a 2.3-liter four-cylinder plant or twin-cam 3.0-liter V6. The four-pack makes 160 hp and ties to a five-speed manual or five-speed automatic. The V6, rising to 221 hp, uses a six-speed automatic. For added safety, curtain-style air bags are standard equipment in 2007.
Ford's subcompact series splits into four formats as a four-door sedan, five-door station wagon, and hatchbacks in three-door and five-door configurations. There's surprising room in the concise cabin with twin buckets in front of a fold-down bench. Two different four-cylinder engines add spark. The 2.0-liter base plant musters 136 hp, while a performance-geared 2.3-liter engine climbs to 151 hp. New sport seats for '07 apply leather surfaces and contrasting leather inserts. They're optional on the ST sedan and SE or SES hatchbacks, but also in the new Interior Upgrade Package with satin finish cabin trim.
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 bags stuffed into the cavernous trunk. The rear-wheel driveline and a chassis with wheelbase extending nearly ten feet comes from the platform of Lincoln's Town Car. There's ample power from a big V8. The 4.6-liter plant produces 224 hp, although an optional performance package adds dual exhaust pipes to boost output to 239 hp. Two trim grades for 2007 are Standard and LX, and the latest paint shade is Driftwood Beige Clearcoat Metallic.
Ford's pony car, riding on a rigid rear-wheel-drive (RWD) chassis, shapes up as a sporty two-door hardtop coupe or convertible. Special editions apply, like new GT California Special with unique fascias and door stripes. And fresh paints appear, such as Grabber Orange Clearcoat Metallic. Ford builds 2007 Mustangs in two trims. Mustang V6 stocks a 4.0-liter plant pumping 210 hp while Mustang GT pulls from a 4.6-liter aluminum V8 that hits 300 hp. The V8 links to a Tremec 3650 five-speed manual gearbox, while the V6 uses a Tremec T5. Optional is a five-speed automatic using Ford's 5R55S transmission.
Ford Shelby GT500
The history of Ford's popular Mustang marks another performance record with the debut of the 2007 Ford Shelby GT500. Conformed as a hardtop coupe or soft top convertible, GT500 becomes the most powerful factory-built Mustang ever, thanks to the bulging hood which conceals a supercharged 5.4-liter V8 spewing 500 hp through a Tremec TR6060 six-speed manual shifter. Big 18-inch Z-rated rubber applies, along with upgrades for suspension and huge four-piston Brembo brakes. The cockpit contains special gauges and lots of leather lining dash, roof pillars and the pair of bolstered sport bucket seats.