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A taste test of Ford's future

During our visit to Ford's new Dearborn Development Center, World of Wheels had two all-too-brief, but all-very-interesting taste tests of some coming Blue Oval technology.

During our visit to Ford’s new Dearborn Development Center, World of Wheels had two all-too-brief, but all-very-interesting taste tests of some coming Blue Oval technology. First was the all-new Duratec 35 V6 engine powering the Lincoln MKZ (formally Zephyr) sedan. Though we only had two laps with the 3.5-litre engine underfoot, it seems to be a vast improvement over the aged Duratec 3.0-litre. Mated to a six-speed automatic, it makes 263 hp and 249 lb-ft of torque in the Lincoln and appears smooth and powerful (and dare we say Honda-like). We also sampled a new all-wheel-drive system that will debut on the Ford Fusion and MKZ for 2007. An engineer let us wind out the car around a soaked skid pad; we found it remarkably stable, even at “I’d never drive like this on public roads,” speeds. Ford says it’s more technologically advanced than the AWD systems found in the Freestyle and Five Hundred.

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