Ford Five Hundred

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Ford Five Hundred
Ford500a.JPG
2005 Ford Five Hundred Limited AWD (All-Wheel-Drive)
Ford500C.JPG
Interior view from outside, 2005 Ford Five Hundred Limited (black leather with wood trim)
Overview
Manufacturer Ford Motor Company
Production July 2004–April 2007
Model years 2005–2007
Assembly Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Body and chassis
Class Full-size
Body style 4-door sedan
Layout Front engine, front-wheel drive / Four-wheel drive
Platform Ford D3 platform
Related Mercury Montego
Volvo S60
Volvo S80
Volvo XC90
Ford Freestyle
Powertrain
Engine 3.0 L Duratec 30 V6
Transmission ZF Batavia CFT30 CVT
6-speed Aisin F21 automatic
Dimensions
Wheelbase 112.9 in (2,868 mm)
Length 200.7 in (5,098 mm)[1]
Width 74.5 in (1,892 mm)
Height 61.5 in (1,562 mm)
Chronology
Successor Ford Taurus (fifth generation)

The Ford Five Hundred was a full-size sedan[2] produced by the Ford Motor Company during the 2005 to 2007 model years in North America. Intended as an upscale option to the company's popular mid-size Taurus, it was built on their slightly larger "global" D3 platform. The "Five Hundred" name was intended to evoke the successful Fairlane 500 and Galaxie 500 models of the 1950s through 1970s.

Design[edit]

2000 Ford Prodigy diesel-electric concept, which partly influenced the body design of the Five Hundred/Montego

The full-size Five Hundred (code name D258) was introduced at the 2004 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Both it and the midsize Ford Fusion were part of Ford's initiatives of developing all-new passenger cars.

The production design was based on the 2000 Ford Prodigy concept car[citation needed] and reflected an effort to deliver the most spacious interior possible in a full-size body, at mid-size fuel consumption.[citation needed] The Ford Crown Victoria and Ford Taurus had not seen a platform change for nearly a decade. They had long been neglected by the company, relying instead on cosmetic and mechanical changes, and as such were no longer competitive with Japanese rivals whose offerings were updated more frequently. During the preceding ten years, Ford had relied too much on SUVs and light trucks, whose sales had dropped as a result of rising crude oil prices[citation needed]. In particular, the Taurus was planned to be discontinued as the company believed that the nameplate's brand equity had declined with a lack of development, though the Crown Victoria would remain in production for fleet sales.

The Five Hundred (the similar Mercury Montego, and Ford Freestyle crossover SUV) are based on the Ford D3 platform (a variant of the Volvo P2 which supports the Volvo S60 and S80 sedans, V70 wagon, and XC70 and XC90 SUVs). Reflecting its Volvo roots, the Five Hundred has garnered class leading results in crash tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.[citation needed]

The Five Hundred entered production on July 12, 2004[3] in Chicago, which previously produced the fourth-generation midsize Taurus, becoming available to the public in September 2004. While the Taurus's direct replacement in the midsize classification was the slightly smaller Ford Fusion introduced in 2005, many considered the slightly larger Five Hundred [4][5] which replaced the Taurus on the Chicago Assembly line to be its more natural successor.

2005[edit]

Trim lines and engines[edit]

2005 Five Hundred SE
2005-2006 Five Hundred SEL

Three trim lines were offered: SE, SEL, and Limited. An all wheel drive system was available across the range. Base prices start at US$22,795 for a front-wheel drive SE and range to US$28,495 for an all-wheel drive Limited.

Available powertrains consist of a 3.0 L Duratec 30 V6 engine rated at 203 hp (151 kW) and 207 lb·ft (281 N·m) of torque, and the choice of a continuously variable transmission or six-speed automatic transmission. The Haldex AWD (All Wheel Drive) system is based on that used in the Volvo S80 and Volvo XC90.

Reception and sales[edit]

The Five Hundred was praised for its interior volume, design functionality, amenities for its price point, and safety features, but criticized for bland styling and weak 203 hp (151 kW) engine[6] - deficiencies considered sufficient to hurt its potential appeal.[7][8]

Consumers agreed, giving it a lukewarm reception. Sales of the Five Hundred were very slow in Canada, with many Ford dealerships not even stocking the car on their lots. August 2006 sales were down by half compared to 2005, with the Taurus outselling the Five Hundred by two to one. 2006 sales were down month over month since its launch including 22% in 2006 over 2005 as a whole.[9] (The 2006 Taurus was produced primarily for the fleet market.)

Calendar Year American sales
2004[10] 14,106
2005 107,932
2006[11] 84,218
2007 35,146

2006[edit]

The 2006 Five Hundred carried over relatively unchanged: a new Navigation Radio made by Pioneer for Ford featuring Sirius Satellite Radio became an option, and Traction Control was no longer standard on front wheel drive models as it was in the 2005 model year. A mid-year running change removed the exterior doorside trim molding on all trim levels in favor of a small sill molding at the bottom edge of the door.

2007[edit]

The 2007 Five Hundred remained basically unchanged. There were no substantial styling changes and no new powertrain options, but the SE model was discontinued because of the development of the new Ford Taurus in 2008. A minor styling change involved moving the trim pieces on the side from the middle of the doors to the bottom.

A new Chrome Package became available, which included 18-inch eight-spoke alloy wheels and a chrome trim mesh grille. Also new for 2007 was a 5-year / 60,000-mile (97,000 km) powertrain warranty, and models built after September 4, 2006 have standard front-seat-mounted side air bags, as well as Ford's innovative Safety Canopy side air curtain system.

Discontinuation[edit]

2008 Ford Five Hundred concept. Upon direction of Ford CEO Alan Mulally, this was renamed the Ford Taurus before its production

The Five Hundred ended production in April 2007, as did the Montego and Freestyle.[12] However, the model continued on, rebranded as the 2008 Ford Taurus, which made its debut at the 2007 North American International Auto Show as a mid-generational refresh of what would have been a 2008 Five Hundred had that nameplate continued on.

The updated Five Hundred / Taurus included a new 263 hp (196 kW) 3.5 L V6 and new front and rear styling. The CVT transmission, used with the AWD powertrain, as well as the Aisin 6-speed, were replaced by a new Ford-assembled 6-speed. Its sibling Mercury Montego followed the same course, being rechristened as a new generation Sable, while the related Freestyle crossover became the Taurus X.

Adding to the model line confusion, the previous Taurus (built on a Ford D186 platform, officially regarded as an American "midsize" but sufficient to carry the 1988-2000 Lincoln Continental) was available in the 2007 model year for private fleet sale and in Canada.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Newberry, Stephan (2005). The Car design yearbook 3. Merrell. ISBN 1-85894-242-X. 
  2. ^ "2005 Ford Five Hundred SE Sedan 3.0L V6 6-speed Automatic Features and Specs". Edmunds.com. 2010-03-10. Retrieved 2012-05-04. 
  3. ^ Binder, Alan K, ed. (2005). Ward's Automotive Yearbook 2005. Ward's Communications, Inc. p. 112. 
  4. ^ Williams III, G. Chambers. "2006 Ford Five Hundred Review". Fort Worth Star Telegram. 
  5. ^ Edsall, Larry. "2005 Ford Five Hundred Review". 
  6. ^ The New York Times http://autos.nytimes.com/2006/Ford/Fusion/245/10005/278058/researchReviews.aspx |url= missing title (help). 
  7. ^ Mays, Kelsey (2006-11-27). "Ford Five Hundred Expert Review". Cars.com. Retrieved 2007-02-17. 
  8. ^ Dear, Clare (2006-05-26). "New siblings put Ford back in car game". London Free Press. Retrieved 2007-02-17. [dead link]
  9. ^ "Ford Motor Company Reports November U.S. Sales". Automotive.com. 2006-12-01. Retrieved 2007-02-17. 
  10. ^ "Ford Achieves First Car Sales Increase Since 1999". Theautochannel.com. 2004-11-17. Retrieved 2009-04-28. 
  11. ^ "Ford Motor Company 2007 sales". January 3, 2008. 
  12. ^ Binder, Alan K, ed. (2008). Ward's Automotive Yearbook 2008. Ward's Communications, Inc. p. 115. 
  13. ^ "Ford Five Hundred to become 'Taurus'". MSNBC.com. 2007-02-06. Retrieved 2007-02-06. 

External links[edit]