AWD All Around

On the heels of winning the North American Truck of the Year honors with its XC90 SUV, Ford Motor Co. reveals Volvo will source all-wheel-drive systems to the parent company as the technology proliferates across its lineup. Richard Parry-Jones, group vice president-global product development and chief technical officer, tells Ward's AWD will become available on a wider array of Ford and Ford-owned

February 1, 2003

1 Min Read
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On the heels of winning the North American Truck of the Year honors with its XC90 SUV, Ford Motor Co. reveals Volvo will source all-wheel-drive systems to the parent company as the technology proliferates across its lineup.

Richard Parry-Jones, group vice president-global product development and chief technical officer, tells Ward's AWD will become available on a wider array of Ford and Ford-owned products, especially the premium ones. For example, Lincoln's Navicross concept cross/utility vehicle features all-wheel drive.

But as the technology rolls out, it will be optional instead of standard because, adds Parry-Jones, AWD typically is eschewed in regions such as the Southwest.

Sales are expected to be concentrated in “the slippery states” and Canada, he says. “Now, how do you get the cost out?” Parry-Jones asks rhetorically. He answers his own question: “Economies of scale.”

That means using the same technology across all vehicle lines, instead of devising a new system for each application. Volvo's AWD system is featured in the V70, S60 and the acclaimed XC90.

This won't be the first technology Ford has claimed from Volvo, as the XC90's gyro-based anti-rollover system is destined for the Expedition and Navigator.

Meanwhile, Parry-Jones reiterates Ford's position on front-wheel drive as its drivetrain of choice, admitting, “Rear-wheel drive still has a place, but as niche vehicles.”

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