The Five Hundred might be selling well. Or it might not. Nobody seems to notice, because nobody seems to notice the Five Hundred on the road, so anonymous is its styling.
To help fix that problem, Ford is giving the big sedan a once-over. Debuting at the 2007 Detroit auto show is the 2008 Five Hundred, which is all-new from the A-pillars forward. Ford says they're giving the Five Hundred "some of the Fusion magic." We think that means that they're making it less anonymous, but we're not sure.
The 2008 Five Hundred does get a Fusion-esque three-bar chrome grille-maybe that's what they're talking about. It also gets a sculpted hood, new front and read fascias, taillamps, and dual chrome exhausts. Limited models get chrome side vents, door handles, mirrors, and a chrome plinth.
In addition to the cosmetic changes, the Five Hundred gets a big, 60-hp boost in power. Last year's 3.0-liter V-6 is dropped in favor of Ford's new 260-hp 3.5-liter Duratec, mated to a new 6-speed automatic.
Revised shock towers give ten percent more suspension travel, and are accompanied by new shocks, springs, and a revised rear suspension. Stability control is finally available, and all-wheel drive models get the same intelligent system found in other Ford products.