Small cars like the Fiesta and Focus are the next big thing at Ford, true, but the company isn't exactly getting out of the truck business. It has new engines and a new heavy-duty version for its F-Series lineup, still the best-seller in the U.S. On the SUV side, it's finally embracing the crossover movement. Soon, its only body-on-frame SUVs will be the Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator. You've already seen the new Super Duty (Truck Trend, November/December 2009); here's what else is coming from Ford:
2011 Ford Explorer: The truck-based, rear-drive model that had peak sales of 431,000 in 1998 sold only 78,000 units 10 years later. Even the Chevy TrailBlazer and Dodge Durango ceased production ahead of it. The new, unibody model is based on the front-drive (Ford Taurus) platform (Ford America concept shown). It will be available with AWD, and essentially replaces the Freestyle/Taurus X in Ford's lineup. Engines will include the 3.7-liter Duratec V-6 and the 3.5-liter EcoBoost, making about 265 horsepower. Ford may add a 2.0-liter EcoBoost four later for better Corporate Average Fuel Economy numbers. On sale late 2010.
2011 Ford F-150 EcoBoost: Ford's new engine technology, combining dual variable valve timing for the twin-cam head, direct gas-injection, and a turbocharger makes its long anticipated pickup-truck debut. If tuned to the same level as the Mustang's V-6, at 305 horsepower and 280 pound-feet, the 3.7-liter EcoBoost in the F-150 would make more power than the 4.6-liter V-8 and come close to the 5.4-liter's 320 horses, while vastly improving fuel mileage. It's Ford's alternative to a light-duty diesel. On sale fall 2010.
2011 Lincoln MKX/Ford Edge: Lincoln's midsize crossover gets a moderate facelift, including the "split bow" grille, new rear fascia with LED taillamps and oval chrome exhaust tips. Seats and the instrument panel are all new, and the interior features hand-stitched French seams. Also, you control stereo volume and fan with touch-sensitive horizontal bars that follow your finger with a ray of light as you turn them up and down. Ford says it works with gloves, as long as they're not ski gloves. Suspension has been retuned to cure the current model's floatiness.
The Sync system gets upgraded to a new program called MyLincoln, there's a 4.2-inch color nav/info monitor, adaptive cruise control, the MKT's parking assist system and, most important, the new, optional 3.7-liter EcoBoost V-6, rated 305 horsepower and 280 pound-feet. The Edge gets a similar face lift. On sale fall 2010.
2011 Ford Transit Connect EV: It's expected to look very much like the four-cylinder gas Transit Connect, but with an Azure Dynamics Corporation powertrain using a lithium-ion battery pack. Expect very low volumes. On sale late 2010.
2012 Ford Escape: The next model will be a bit smaller, based on Ford of Europe's next-generation Kuga crossover, itself a derivative of the Focus platform. No plans for a Mercury Mariner replacement, though Lincoln will get its own version. Ford will add a plug-in hybrid for 2013. On sale late 2011.
2012 Ranger: After Ford figured out that an F-150 cut down to F-100 size wouldn't save much money or fuel, especially with the F-150 EcoBoost in development, it considered the global Ranger replacement being developed in Australia. Engines would likely include the new 1.6-liter EcoBoost four, but the project remains iffy for the U.S.
2014 Econoline replacement: Depending on the success of the Transit Connect, Ford may replace its venerable big van with the European Transit, its larger brother. On-sale date is uncertain.
2011 Super Duty: Features a version of the 411-horsepower, 6.2-liter V-8 in the F-150 SVT Raptor, and the new Scorpion Diesel, a 6.7-liter V-8 with aluminum heads. On sale fall '10.
2012 Ford C-Max: Mazda5 competitor based on the Focus. On sale mid- to late '11.