Sorry I’ve been neglecting these the past few nights. My work schedule changed and I’ve been working much later than usual, and by the time I’d get home I lacked the mental capability to create these. That’s over now, as the late shifts were the last hurdle to get the promotion at work I wanted. Sadly that means less driving of interesting (and not-so-interesting) cars, but better pay and hours that match up closer to my wife’s schedule, which she’s over the moon about.
Because of my neglect/absence, let’s make this a multi-part question.
1: What vehicle would you axe from a chosen manufacturer’s lineup, and why?
2: What vehicle from a different manufacturer (different parent company, so no F-PACE to Land Rover, for instance) would you substitute in its place?
3: What minor changes - other than the badge - would have to happen to the substitute vehicle to make it feasible, presuming a licensing deal or something was in place (like the Scioyotbaru trio, or Vibe/Matrix)?
4: What would you call this model?
My vote would be for Ford to kill the Volvo S80-based Ford Taurus: it’s capable and comfortable, but it’s relatively stagnant, doesn’t get much attention or funding, and the Police Interceptor version is greatly outsold by the Explorer Police Utility. The original conceptual execution of the Five Hundred and reborn Taurus was great, especially with the sizeable greenhouse, roomy interior, and spacious trunk, and was an acceptable Crown Victoria replacement despite being FWD or AWD instead of RWD and having the fuel door on the wrong side, which is important to older and disabled owners and drivers. The redesign with the tighter and shorter cabin and angled trunk may be better aerodynamically and acoustically (and definitely is of higher quality, but I’m only speaking of the conceptual execution, not the products themselves) but isn’t as charmingly practical as the Five Hundred.
In the spirit of the questions tonight, I think Ford could replace the Taurus with the Chevy Caprice aka Holden Commodore. It is also somewhat stagnant and neglected, as is its smaller sibling the SS, but it is federally allowable, something Ford’s Falcon is not. This gives Ford a truer Crown Victoria successor, being RWD and fairly utilitarian. Plus it’s already police-certified, if Ford wanted to continue that offering. I think Ford would probably do better with the Caprice than Chevy has, and it could be a stopgap until the rumored Mustang-based RWD sedan débuts, if ever.
Ford-izing it wouldn’t take much: MyFordTouch, 5.0L Coyote V8 and the 3.5L EcoBoost for engine choices (thanks, DoYouEvenShift), a less-bland front and rear, and it’s mostly there. Chevy soldiers on with the Impala and forgettable SS sedan, and few outside law enforcement would notice. Perhaps it would become as popular as the Crown Victoria, allowing both Ford and Holden’s Australian factories to remain open.
As for the name, one could hearken back to The Andy no wrong amsserGriffith Show when he and Barney would drive around Mayberry in various Ford Galaxies, but given the nature of the vehicle, perhaps Chimera or Griffin would be more appropriate.
Well, Oppofolk, what comes to mind with these questions? Feel free to spitball, there’s no wrong answer.