Ford Fox platform

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Ford Fox platform
88Mustang 9917.JPG
Overview
ManufacturerFord Motor Company
Production1978–2004 model years
Body and chassis
ClassCompact
Midsize
Personal luxury car
Pony car
LayoutFR
Body style(s)2-door convertible
2-door coupe
3-door hatchback
4-door sedan
5-door station wagon
Vehiclessee below
Chronology
SuccessorFord SN-95 platform
Ford D2C platform
Ford MN12 platform
Ford D186 platform
Ford CE14 platform
 
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Ford Fox platform
88Mustang 9917.JPG
Overview
ManufacturerFord Motor Company
Production1978–2004 model years
Body and chassis
ClassCompact
Midsize
Personal luxury car
Pony car
LayoutFR
Body style(s)2-door convertible
2-door coupe
3-door hatchback
4-door sedan
5-door station wagon
Vehiclessee below
Chronology
SuccessorFord SN-95 platform
Ford D2C platform
Ford MN12 platform
Ford D186 platform
Ford CE14 platform

The Ford Fox platform is a rear wheel drive, unitized-chassis, automobile architecture used by Ford Motor Company in North America. Introduced for the 1978 model year, it would go on to be produced until 1993 in its original version; a substantial redesign of the Ford Mustang in 1994 extended its life another 11 years. Designed to be relatively lightweight and simple, in keeping with the general downsizing of Detroit designs in the late 1970s, the Fox platform served as a replacement for many models derived from the original Ford Falcon (dating from 1960). The Ford Fairmont and Mercury Zephyr were introduced as the replacements for the Ford Maverick and Mercury Comet.

Eventually, thirteen distinct Ford models in several market segments would be built off it, with multiple bodystyles and powertrains. As downsizing became more common in the American automotive industry in the late 1970s and early 1980s, the Fox platform was used for many nameplates that underwent downsizing. As the industry shifted to front-wheel drive, the Fox platform was used less for family cars and more for sporty cars; from 1989 to 1993, it was used exclusively by the Mustang.

Design history[edit]

The Fox platform, like most compact and mid-size cars of the late 1970s, was designed with a rear-wheel drive layout. In contrast to the full-size Fords and Mercurys of the time, the Fox platform used unibody construction. Due to the wide variety of cars using the Fox platform from its introduction, it was designed to accommodate 4-cylinder (naturally aspirated and turbocharged), inline-6, V6, and V8 engines. During the 1980s, the Fox platform would be adapted for the use of diesel engines.

1983 changes[edit]

In 1983, the Fox platform was involved in a major shift of the Ford, Mercury, and Lincoln product ranges. The 1980 redesign of the Ford Granada, Ford Thunderbird, and Mercury Cougar had been poorly received by buyers; due to popular demand, Ford had also reversed its decision to discontinue its full-size, rear-wheel drive cars in the early 1980s. To rectify this, the midsize car range was facelifted. In an act of downsizing, the base model of the full-size model range became a midsize car while the upper-trim car became the sole full-size car. The Ford LTD replaced the Granada while the Marquis replaced the Cougar sedan and wagon. In addition, the Fox platform became the home of the Lincoln Continental (both replacing the Versailles and splitting it from the Town Car). Returning solely to the personal-luxury segment, the Thunderbird and Cougar personal-luxury coupes were redesigned for 1983, becoming the first aerodynamic-bodied Fords.

The introductory Ford Fairmont and Mercury Zephyr were discontinued at the end of the model year and replaced by the front-wheel drive 1984 Ford Tempo and Mercury Topaz. Their replacement was part of a growing trend among American car manufacturers towards the adoption of front-wheel drive; most Fox-platform cars either adopted front-wheel drive or were eventually discontinued. After the 1989 redesign of the Ford Thunderbird and Mercury Cougar, the Fox platform had been pared down to two models: the Ford Mustang and the Lincoln Continental Mark VII.

SN-95[edit]

The Fox-platform Ford Mustang was redesigned for the 1994 model year under the body family program code name Fox-4. This version was wider and approximately 60% of the parts were redesigned. The SN-95 platform finally ended production with the last 2004 Mustang. This platform was replaced for the 2005 Mustang (code named S-197), with the new Ford D2C platform.

Vehicles[edit]

Vehicle NameImageProductionPredecessorSuccessorNotes
Fox-platform vehicles (Compact)
Ford FairmontFord Fairmont sedan 1.jpg1978–1983Ford MaverickFord Tempo
Mercury ZephyrMercury Zephyr Z7.jpg1978–1983Mercury CometMercury Topaz
Ford DurangoFord Durango Side.jpg1981Ford Ranchero
  • The Durango was a limited-production factory-commissioned conversion of the Ford Fairmont Futura 2-door by National Coach Corporation
  • Approximately 200 produced
Fox-platform vehicles (Mid-Size)
Ford Granada1982 Ford Granada wagon1980–1982Ford Granada (1975–1979)Ford LTD
  • The Granada was updated and took on the LTD name for 1983.
  • 1982 Granada was the first American Ford to wear the revived "Blue Oval" badge.
Ford LTD1984 Ford LTD 4-door1983–1986Ford GranadaFord TaurusLTD was an updated version of the 1980-1982 Ford Granada
Mercury Cougar
(sedan/wagon)
1982 Mercury Cougar GS wagon.jpg1980–1982Mercury MonarchMercury MarquisCougar sedan / wagon models discontinued after 1982 model year.
Mercury Marquis1983 Mercury Marquis1983–1986Mercury CougarMercury Sable
Lincoln Continental
(sixth generation)
1984-1987 Lincoln Continental -- 09-03-2010.jpg1982–1987Lincoln VersaillesLincoln Continental (D186/seventh generation)
Fox-platform vehicles (Pony Car)
Ford Mustang1979 Ford Mustang Official Pace Car.jpg1979–1993Ford Mustang IIFord Mustang (SN-95)
Ford Mustang (SN-95)1999-04 Ford Mustang coupe.jpg1994–2004Ford MustangFord Mustang (D2C)
Mercury CapriMercuryCapriRS.jpg1979–1986Mercury Capri II (1976–1978)
Fox-platform vehicles (Personal Luxury Car)
Ford Thunderbird
(eighth and ninth generations)
Ford Thunderbird 1983-1987 Aero Bird-1.jpg1980–1988Ford Thunderbird (seventh generation)Ford Thunderbird (tenth generation/MN-12)Produced in two generations (1980-1982 "Box Birds" and 1983-1988 "Aero Birds")
Mercury Cougar
(fifth and sixth generation)
5th Mercury Cougar.jpg1980–1988Mercury Cougar coupe (fourth generation)Mercury Cougar (seventh generation/MN12)Same as Thunderbirds
Lincoln Continental Mark VIILincoln-Continental-Mark-VII.jpg1984–1992Lincoln Continental Mark VILincoln Mark VIIIThe Mark VII was the first American-market car sold with composite headlamps and anti-lock brakes.

External links[edit]