Ford Five Hundred
|Manufacturer||Ford Motor Company|
|Assembly||Chicago, Illinois, USA|
|Body style(s)||4-door sedan|
|Layout||Front engine, front-wheel drive / Four-wheel drive|
|Platform||Ford D3 platform|
|Engine(s)||3.0 L Duratec 30 V6|
|Transmission(s)||Ford Motor Company/ZF CVT|
6-speed Aisin automatic
|Wheelbase||112.9 in (2,868 mm)|
|Length||200.7 in (5,098 mm)|
|Width||74.5 in (1,892 mm)|
|Height||61.5 in (1,562 mm)|
|Fuel capacity||19 US gal (72 L; 16 imp gal)|
The Ford Five Hundred (code name D258) is a full-size sedan that was produced by the Ford Motor Company during the 2005 to 2007 model years in North America. The Five Hundred, along with the Ford Freestyle and the Mercury Montego, ended production at Ford's Chicago Assembly Plant during June 2007. In North America, the name evoked the classic Fairlane 500 and Galaxie 500 models of the 1950s through 1970s. The Five Hundred was assembled at Ford's Chicago Assembly plant, which previously produced the Taurus. The Five Hundred was introduced as production-ready at the 2004 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, and entered production that summer. However, the Ford Five Hundred nameplate is still used in the Middle East for the 2008 model year, despite having the name "Taurus" used on it in the U.S.
A facelifting redesign for the 2008 model year debuted during the 2007 North American International Auto Show, but the Five Hundred was rebranded as the 2008 Ford Taurus, which returns that name to the Ford retail lineup after a one-year absence. The facelifted model newly entered the Middle East market as the Ford Five Hundred, starting from the 2008 model year. The previous Taurus -- which used a different chassis and was a smaller vehicle size -- was available in the 2007 model year for private fleet sale and in Canada, with no significant changes from the 2006 model year. However, Ford doesn't sell the fifth-generation Ford Taurus in Mexico, leaving only the Chrysler 300/Dodge Charger as the only full-size sedans there.
The Five Hundred was classified as a large car. It is longer than its competitors (such as the Chevrolet Impala and Toyota Avalon) but still a foot shorter than the Crown Victoria. Interior room was emphasized in the Five Hundred's development, and interior materials include imitation carbon fiber as well as traditional woodgrain.
Available powertrains consist of a 3.0 L Duratec 30 V6 engine, and the choice of a continuously variable transmission or six-speed automatic transmission. Five Hundred models were equipped with either Continental 17" tires in the SE and SEL trims; the Limited trim featured 18" Pirelli sports tires. The AWD (All Wheel Drive) system is taken from the Volvo XC90. It is not a “full time” system; when as power is needed in the rear the AWD system activates.
The car was based on the Ford D3 platform (also known as the Volvo P2 platform), which also supports the Volvo S60, S80, XC70, and XC90 SUVs. This platform was used on the similar (and also soon to be out of production) Mercury Montego (which is not available in Canada), and is also the basis for the Ford Freestyle crossover SUV.
The Five Hundred was designed to match the large car interior volume, but at the same time still have manageable outside dimensions, while delivering a lower than average fuel use. Its design is also notably tall for a sedan, giving drivers a high H-point and an SUV or minivan-like command of the road. The Five Hundred's trunk was also larger than those of its competitors, so it can hold 8 full-sized loaded golf bags. The Crown Victoria's trunk is 20.6 cubic feet, compared to Five Hundred's 21 cubic feet, making it the largest trunk on any sedan sold in North America, and four cubic feet larger than the Taurus. Befitting its Volvo roots, the Five Hundred garnered class leading results in crash tests conducted by the IIHS as well as NHTSA.
Production and sales
The Five Hundred began production on July 12, 2004 in Chicago, Illinois and became available to the public in September 2004. Criticized by the automotive press for its bland styling and weak 203 hp (151 kW) engine, the Five Hundred has received a lukewarm reception. August 2006 sales were down by half compared to 2005, with the Taurus outselling the Five Hundred by two to one. 2006 sales have been down month over month since its launch including 22% in 2006 over 2005 as a whole. (Note: 2006 Ford Taurus was produced and sold primarily for the fleet market.) Ford made a large production run before shutting down the Taurus production. The Atlanta plant produced its last Taurus in Fall 2006, after which the manufacturing facility is to be sold. Sales of the Five Hundred were very slow in Canada, with many Ford dealerships not even stocking the car on their lots.
Market, trim lines and features
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 (AU$28,883) (for a front-wheel drive SE) and range to US$28,495 (AUD$36,106) (for an all-wheel drive Limited).
The 2006 Five Hundred was hardly changed at all, with minor improvements made. However, at this time, the Five Hundred now offered a Navigation Radio made by Pioneer for Ford and Sirius Satellite Radio.
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.
There is a new Chrome Package available, which includes 18-inch eight-spoke chrome wheels (Chromed over plastic spokes) and a chrome mesh grille. Also new for 2007 is a 5-year / 60,000-mile (97,000 km) powertrain warranty, and 2007 models built after 9/4/06 have standard front-seat-mounted side air bags, as well as Ford's innovative Safety Canopy side air curtain system. It is claimed to go about a top speed of (110 mph (180 km/h)) if the traction control is off.
The restyled Five Hundred sedan, which was first shown at the 2007 Detroit Auto Show was renamed as the Taurus for the 2008 model year. The rebadging announcement was made at the 2007 Chicago Auto Show, and Ford employees hastily removed the badging from a Five Hundred on a rotating stand, and replaced it with Taurus badging. The Ford Freestyle was also discontinued, in favor of the 2008 Ford Taurus X, which is a facelifted revision of the Freestyle. The updated Five Hundred / Taurus included an upgraded 263 hp (196 kW) 3.5 L V6, replacing the 203 hp (151 kW) 3.0 L V6 for the 2008 model year, along with new front and rear styling. The CVT transmission, used with the AWD powertrain, is replaced by the standard 6-speed. The Mercury Montego was renamed as the Sable as well.
- MyFord500.com- Features news releases, links, photo galleries, and specifications.
- 2006 Ford Five Hundred
- "So we got a Ford Five Hundred". DriveArabia.com. 2008-02-10. http://www.drivearabia.com/news/2008/02/10/so-we-got-a-ford-five-hundred/. Retrieved on 2008-02-10.
- "Ford Five Hundred to become 'Taurus'". MSNBC.com. 2007-02-06. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17003763. Retrieved on 2007-02-06.
- Mays, Kelsey (2006-11-27). "Ford Five Hundred Expert Review". Cars.com. http://research.cars.com/go/crp/research.jsp?aff=pe&revid=50622&makeid=14&modelid=7655&year=2007&revlogtype=20§ion=reviews. Retrieved on 2007-02-17.
- Dear, Clare (2006-05-26). "New siblings put Ford back in car game". London Free Press. http://lfpress.ca/cgi-bin/publish.cgi?p=140394&x=articles&s=wheels. Retrieved on 17 February 2007.
- "Ford Motor Company Reports November U.S. Sales". Automotive.com. 2006-12-01. http://www.automotive.com/features/90/auto-news/24931/index.html. Retrieved on 2007-02-17.
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