/ IN THE WORLD OF MOTORS
RUBRIC LEADS / MIKHAIL GZOVSKY
Today, cars in retro style are in fashion. Perhaps the beginning of this trend was perhaps the Volkswagen New Beatle, now on the takeoff of the Chrysler RT Cruiser, and soon the revived "automobile icon" of America - the Ford Thunderbird - will appear.
The peak of popularity of the Thunderbird came in 1954–1957, when the first, two-seater model was released. Over the next four decades, Ford, despite repeated modernizations of the Thunderbird, failed to construct a machine that would repeat the success of the first-born. In 1997, the model disappears from the lineup … to appear as a concept car two years later, and the car will rise from the ashes to the series any day.
Despite the deliberately simple design, inspired by the ancestor of the 50s, in terms of the Thunderbird technique of the 2002 model year, he stepped far forward. The body is largely composed of lightweight composite materials and steels, weight distribution along the axles - 50:50. But the concept of the car essentially remained the same: it is a powerful rear-wheel-drive two-seater roadster, quite accessible to the average American.
The novelty is slightly larger than the Thunderbird of the 1955 model year and is also equipped with a V-shaped eight-cylinder engine, although its volume instead of 4.7 liters is only 3.9 liters. This unit has been installed on the Lincoln LS for several years, but now the engine had to be modernized so that the Ford would react to the gas pedal with the powerful throttle characteristic of the first Thunderbird from low revs. Respect is not so much 254 "horses" as 267 N.m of torque! And so that passers-by would understand what kind of car rushed past them, the exhaust system was tuned in the same manner as that of the ancestor. For this, the engineers dashed a lot of miles on the 1955 roadster, remembering the characteristic sound of the motor.
To achieve high dynamic qualities, I had to work hard on a five-speed gearbox, traditionally automatic. The gears were made “short”, and provided a low noise level and acceptable fuel consumption - an average of about 14 l / 100 km.