Lincoln D472 Crossover Due for 2009MY
Ford and GM Abandon Minivan Market – Backfill with Crossover SUVs – Lincoln Gets D472
Ford showed its Fairlane Crossover Concept at the 2005 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. It received rave reviews and is now scheduled for production in the 2008 calendar year – or 2009 model year. Before Fairlane arrives Ford will abandon the traditional minivan market surrendering to the competitive pressures from more advanced and popular minivans from Japanese makes and Chrysler. Ford is not alone. GM is pursuing a similar strategy. GM will abandon their unsuccessful minivan lineup and rely on their Lambda (Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia, Saturn Outlook) Crossover SUVs to fill the minivan market positions.
Production Fairlane has higher roof and traditional sedan doors instead of center opening doors.
Minivan sliding doors are history.
But this story is not about Fairlane or about the demise of the Freestar minivan or the Mercury Monterey minivan (already dead). This is about the Lincoln D472 – the Lincoln derivative of the Ford Fairlane (D471). Ford North American design chief Peter Horbury admitted that they looked at a mild derivative of the Fairlane as the Lincoln, but thankfully this alternative was abandoned. Can you imagine what the new age Lincoln grille would look like on the slab-sided Fairlane.
Take a look at the above photo. This is NOT the Lincoln. It’s the Ford. The Lincoln D472 is a complete reskin of the Fairlane concept. Retaining the basic hardpoints the Lincoln is has more curves – yep, going back to those seven Lincoln design elements Horbury has been selling. It has a relatively fast rear end that comes across as much more appropriate for the luxury end of the business.
Apparently, the D472 was to have been powered by the Yamaha 4.4L 32v V8 that is presently in the Volvo XC90 and S80, but Ford has found the Yamaha powerplant to be much too expensive and will instead have V6s as the initial D472 powerplants. By the time D472 gets out, Lincoln will have its own 3.7L V6 and high performance 3.5L twin turbo V6. With the styling differentiation and these unique-to-Lincoln engines, D472 will have enough content to pull itself away from the Fairlane.
And, of course, unless calmer heads prevail, the D472 will be the MKsomethingoranother.