“The Ford 427 concept that debuted at this year’s Detroit auto show leads our revitalized corporate look for sedans,” says Ed Golden, design director for Ford North America. The Futura, which arrives in calendar year 2005 as a 2006 model, essentially will replace the Taurus and will slot above the Focus and below the 500 and the Freestyle in Ford’s revamped passenger-car lineup. (The 500 and Freestyle arrive a year earlier, in fall 2004 as 2005 models.) The Futura’s all-new powertrain lineup will include four- and six-cylinder engines and a continuously variable transmission (CVT) as well as a gasonline-electric hybrid powertrain, making it Ford’s second production hybrid vehicle after next year’s Escape Hybrid. The Futura, whose architecture will spawn up to ten new Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury models over the next few years that the company hopes will account for 800,000 annual sales, promises to be a worthy competitor to the Accord, Camry, Altima, and Passat.