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  1. Thanks for the polite reply, I appreciate it. Now I understand you might be in a sensitive position, so anything about internal processes I bring, you are most welcome to not directly respond. This right here is an example of some past phases, which may or may not mirror the present. I did leave some things out, for IP reasons. I have noticed in the second visual, VP stage the first phase of final tophat put into testing, now is indeed some 12 months before Job 1. That is very different than before, as the above example was the CD391 program. Second one is from much more recently. Tooling trials I thought came after VP? Perhaps Ford has sped up their process, meaning a lot of things that use to come much earlier in program development, can be done much later in the game? “Launch” phase develops between the FDJ and the J1 Gateways, which is, from when the design is finished and frozen until when everything is confirmed within the Plant to start serial Production, which is confirmed at the J1 Gateway. The main activities would be: Engineering Completion: By working with the suppliers, the final engineering of each part is finalized and the suppliers tools done and tested. First off tool parts are manufactured and, with these, the second Prototype Build is done: VP or Verification Prototype. The intention of these builds is to test not only the engineering design meet the Vehicle requirements (Customer and Legal) but also that the supplier’s tools, and in some cases also the processes, can produce parts that also meet these requirements. In house processes are also tested and fine tuned, like BIW (Body In White) and Paint facilities. Manufacturing processes are defined and training planned. Some of the VP vehicles are used to train plant operators on assembly processes, as well as to define in detail the assembly process. From these two activities is normal that changes are made to the product, not affecting its features, but to polish some parts, making them better suited for assembly, for example. Homologation activities kick off: On a project as complex a whole vehicle, and with so many different legal requirements, the homologation activities are long and resource consuming. Some of the VP vehicles will be destined, not only for Engineering Verification testing, but also for homologation activities, such as environmental emissions or crash tests. The main sub Gateway of this phase would FEC, or Final Engineering Completion. By “passing through” this Gateway the project is confirmed to have met the Product Requirements outlined during the Strategy phase and it is ready to go into production. The Project Manager and sponsor will be allowed then to commit the resources to “launch” the vehicle into the plant. This stage is what is more known as “Launch”, as the vehicle enters the plant and the Pre Production Builds are conducted. These Pre Production Builds are mostly two: Tool Trial (TT) and Pre Production (PP). The intention of the first is to try out all the manufacturing processes, both in house and at the supplier base. This will tense, for the first time, this processes, confirming they are able to deliver, in time, to cost and quality (Just in Time philosophy) the product. These vehicles will be used for the so called PV testing (Production Verification) to confirm that what has been built using industrial processes still meets product requirements. During VP the testing is called DV (Design Verification). The last build before going into serial production is the PP, as a last trial to fine tune and polish processes, complete training of BAU operators and users. The other main Launch activity will be the marketing plans initiation and the Press Release, usually done with PP vehicles, as they would be the most refined ones so far. The Launch phase finishes with the Job 1 confirmation, with the confirmation of entering full serial production and ramp up, once it has been confirmed all the processes are capable of delivering parts and vehicles in time, to cost and quality. Let’s not forget that the product has been validated as meeting requirements twice: at M1 during the delivery phase and at VP during the first half of the Launch phase. MP1 Mass Production 1&2 MP1 - produce first customer saleable unit through the full production system without retrofit and delivers Okay-to-Buy target MP2 - begin acceleration to full production line rate at the required level Suppliers, Manufacturing facilities ans Assembly Plants have completed Production Validation and are capable to accelerate at MP1 and are stable at MP2 Ford is either using a later phase of prototyping for field runs or running a much shorter timetable on final development. They say that P552 development wrapped for engineering sign-off in December 2013 and Job 1 was November 11, 2014. Heck, this was the point Ford had reached according to my T3 affiliated contact in 2017. P702 Final Appearance Approval on November 17, 2017 at 4:06PM CST Actual 2021 F-150 in Metal Clearly at Ford there is still a very long gap till production and Allen Park would've built their own first units in 2018, before River Rouge built the first test units in April 2019? We saw those in May 2019 in camo if IIRC. P702 Job 1 was eventually delayed a total of 4-5 months to October 12, 2020. I swear I saw a May 15th or June 15, 2020 Job 1 for that pre-pandemic in a supplier PDF. It disappeared rather quickly I remember. Tooling Trials I think, never precede that stage of prototyping, so color me confused right now. Or are tooling tryouts, different Tooling Trials? Bronco Tooling Trials were said to be mid-2020, when scheduled for 12/7/2020 J1. Eventually it became September 2020 for TT, when dealing with a March 22, 2021 Job 1. Later got delayed again to May/June Job 1 though. Thank you for your response, it is much respected and appreciated insight. Very good point and quite understandable, as I don't know either. Maybe what Ford Calls X0 or X1 mules? The earliest phase of prototyping, before M1 which has the underbody or running gear of the next gen vehicle, whereas "X" mules do isolated tests for differing components? FRAP just as I imagined it, being shutdown, means S650 must be delayed then. Unfortunate. They are not even producing MY 2022 until January, so even if S650 was Q4 2022, it easily slips into first half of 2023. No new products there? Does that include the coupe then? Sounds like the sedan claim is farfetched or perhaps maybe that hasn't been identified to plant staff yet? If another new product was planned, maybe it's MY 2024 from the getgo and doesn't reach FRAP personnel until 18 months out? Something definitely isn't going right due to chip shortage and they're playing their cards much closer to vest as a result. Typically anyway, 90% of prototype testing is within company proving grounds and not really public. Only the Germans, turned it into a regular marketing stunt. I guess Ford is content with their own controlled environment and until the last MY is in showrooms, I guess to hide it away.
  2. Yes, I think we all know this to be true and thanks to people like you, we learned this quite early some 3 1/2 years ago. Sadly a lot of the enthusiast public continue to miss this and keep mentioning it "moving to an Explorer platform". Twin Turbo is aware of the cancelled CD6 car as a leading Mustang contributor and enthusiast out of GB, even pre-S550. That being said, it's always very special to hear from those of you out of UK and Australia, two very powerful Anglophone Mustang markets that are not as fickle as Continental Europe (excl GER) in terms of using your purchasing power to keep the pony/muscle car and V8 alive (especially Australia). I think Dearborn PDC, have an edict to withhold publication of any imagery or visual access for S650. I don't even see the next Super Duty either, which says a lot doesn't it? I knew about P708 back in 2018 and 3 years later, it has yet to be seen. Hiding in plain sight seems like a convenient excuse, as they're still somewhat noticeable anyway compared to your stock S550. I have seen mules that only had a manufacturer's plate and no other visible alterations, falling upon the gaze of spy photographers, let alone the more S650 mules in S550 shells somehow missing photogs, both amateurs and professionals. Ford has gone out of their way, to hide these vehicles unlike the past. Rather mysterious. What worries me more, is I don't hear much about it anymore being adjacent to the inside. Just regurgitated info or bluff & BS hearsay. I hope it is not 2024MY now, as 2022 S550 begins production quite late on January 3, 2022 and 2023 S650 was Job 1 originally May 30th or early June 2022, back in early 2020 pre-pandemic. Pardon me, but when in terms of "last time" and "updated"? That didn't exactly happen with S550 to my recollection. In fact, we (anyone curious) got very lucky, despite Ford falling behind a bit with S550 in the first half of 2012. By falling behind, they allegedly had a final exterior design direction set in January 2012, but for some reason leadership refused to go directly to locking it in with engineering. It somehow lacked "punch" according to J Mays, even as Theme A. Design instead made further styling changes to "fix it" until the summer of 2012, when it became 100% definitive and then Design released it to engineering to carefully freeze. JANUARY 2012 FINAL DESIGN SELECTION S550 PROGRAM DEARBORN HQ REVISED S550 THEME A DESIGN The interior design effort, apparently began in 2010 and interior design freeze was supposed to parallel the exterior freeze in mid-2012, but ended up being remaining on schedule in June 2012, a few months after the final interior design was reached in late 2011/early 2012. Ford delayed the exterior design freeze on S550 by some 5-6 months and might have been targeting an April 2014 launch for 50th, instead of September 2014: -- An inside guy who caught wind of the infamous September 2012 consumer clinic leak/breach, chimed in sneakily he was on the team and said S550 design freeze was expected end of November/by early December 2012. 2012 S550 FIBERGLASS 1:1 Just right before that, we got this unusually deliberate leak of the front end shape on November 20, 2012 testing at PDC. Coincidence? Probably not, as Ford was just about locking it in finally. NOVEMBER 2012 S550 M1/2 Mule At that point, I was now personally 100% certain what the car looked like upfront and most people couldn't piece it together for another year, instead swallowing a bunch of Fusion-based BS renderings being tossed around. I just didn't bother acknowledging the majority of 2012 renderings, save for the rare clever guesses BELOW, that felt VERY insider-derived and not as uninformed insight as pretended... Just look at those, drawn up without any prototypes out in existence. The accuracy felt very rather psychic... From the end of 2012 to spring 2013, Alan Mulally and Co started showing the car to outside affiliates (ie Ken Block, etc), behind closed doors w/ironclad NDA. Ford management were confident at that point S550 production design was a done deal and okay to show privately, to key people. Turns out the inside guy from October 5, 2012 was dead accurate and gave away the design freeze date for the S550, before it even passed that stage. How Ford never investigated that leak, IDK. According to Dave Pericak, Joel Piaskowski, and designer Kemal Curic in 2014, the first S550 body prototypes were built in May 2013. Like clockwork, we had infamously got these on camera and published on June 10, 2013. In June 2013, Ford CLEARLY didn't hide it all from street runs, except in bagging it up real well and putting special red tape over the newly 3-dimensional taillights. There is no reason that wouldn't suffice for S650 8 years later, in July 2021. My core point here is, Ford locked in the final S550 exterior design in 2012, roughly 6.5 months before we saw it in camouflage in 2013. It takes typically several months to build the first hand assembled testers wearing the serial design. When they built the first S550 prototypes in May 2013 at Allen Park, they were not hidden for very long from unrestricted field runs. They got them out there almost immediately in June and the first spy shots, were almost certainly tipped off for photographers. At this point, S650 is long past that stage and yet nowhere to be seen. 2024 model now or what? Other than a leak I personally saw and that Chinese sculpture, absolutely nada. Twin Turbo knowing all of this, can tell something is off and I notice it too. I think this has to do with the past 4-5 years as seen by the 2018 Expy and 2020 Explorer taking forever to b seen, but even the media has nothing relevant to report on this car and I find it very peculiar. It's like someone is also going out of their way to shut out a litany of Ford people here from knowing a lick about it outside of Team Mustang/S650, as I can tell none of you know anything about what's happening and that's very rare, unlike with Bronco, Ranger and '21 F-150. As well as many others, so it's an avoided topic in most cases. What are they so desperate to hide? There's no new insight, not to mention certain job positions have shuffled regarding S650 from I have seen. People have been reassigned or left Ford, like my ex-S650 Ford contact, who cites his NDA as a reason not to talk with me about it. No one is entitled to knowing what a corporation is doing of course, but it is rather atypical compared to what has transpired previously. Even the updated MCA S550 was caught 2 years early (very unexpectedly) as a mule in October 2015, then resurfaced in full testing regalia in Fall 2016, 1 year before they hit lots in December 2017. Either there is a lot to worry about or something special is coming, that warrants the immense secrecy. This is probably accurate unfortunately, but I wonder what changed between S550 and S650, which warrants this level of deep secrecy? They aren't reinventing the wheel or the Mustang formula, so it's odd. It's really business as usual, now with HEV. Someone did say something somewhere recently about S650, which my personal source won't confirm nor deny. 3.5L Powerboost equivalent as top model, 5.0L V8 as mid-level, and 2.3L as base. AWD plus, sedan as well. He described the direction it would take, a grand tourer. I cannot trust that yet. The last name checks out though, in terms of Ford personnel. I didn't want to mention him, since I am still skeptical of the sedan, but FRAP has so much capacity, that is unused at the moment (Continental, Fusion) and that "Mustang derivative", just might be a 4-door indeed and not a special edition vehicle like GT500 or etc. S197 shares quite a lot with S550, but that didn't stop Ford from trotting out S550 prototypes, within just weeks of building the first integrated components or verification prototypes in May 2013, to field testing them in June 2013 with no hesitation and courting the media immediately. I understand they were pissed about the August 2013 leak, of the full front end testing. As well as Ranger clay by Wheels Magazine in February 2019 (the worst leak) and pandemic leaks on Bronco via TFL, but it doesn't compute how that factors into S650. Your theory I disagree with, because countless vehicles with little to no differences, with Michigan Manufacturer's plates, are often spy-photographed for little to no reason, as it's obvious to intelligent observers, they are almost always test vehicles of some sort. Anything without an MI manufacturer's plate or registration (Europe/Asia/Australia), is not worth any attention to any "spy" photographers. Basically, they are not really out there at all testing like OP mentioned, plain and simple, as both amateur and professional photographers, didnt decide overnight to ignore them. The S650 mules simply disappeared from public sight and thus neither S650 mules or actual integrated vehicles, are testing on real world runs. Only controlled zones or in dark of the night. They cannot do that forever, as digital prototyping can be misleading and so can controlled environments. The S650 chief engineer left his post abruptly and many people assigned to S650, changed programs, left Ford in 2020, or etc. That's both conflicting and concerning. The OP's question cannot be simply answered, by saying, "It's based on S550, so people aren't catching it" or "just testing at night". One is just trying to be certain, it's still on track and has not fallen significantly behind. If testing at night, well Ford is gonna have to put S650 into in public rounds eventually and get proper feedback for engineering sign-off, which is typically reached under a year before market launch. From 1990 Town Car FN36 in December 1988 (launched October 5, 1989) to 2021 Bronco U725 (delayed). And you still gotta test it well before that, in those same often public conditions too. Bronco was forced to surface on camera, 11 months before planned Job 1 of 12/7/2020. And that itself was deliberately held back from view, yet still got decent media coverage before that. Media is not doing their part, staying ahead of things on S650 and leaving people in the dark, to fend for themselves. Seems like an afterthought, compared to the attention the S550 got. With Bronco, I understand the 25 year absence, but this is also still a Ford Icon vehicle and poor due diligence is being paid by the lot of media, focusing on the dumbest fluff of topics nowadays instead and not checking in with their Ford contacts on the program. Unlike the average person, I try to be smarter about insight and I don't rely on YouTubers and see a concern, when my Ford friends/acq in general are at a loss as to what's happening. By comparison, Camaro is in limbo with Alpha 2 vs VSS-R, Stellantis always kicks the can down the road and ditched Giorgio, and the last one standing, seems to keep changing trajectory from CD6 to "D5" once again, or BEV. Under Alan Mullally he wanted One Ford to dictate a 7/8 year life cycle for newly introduced S550. Mark Fields pushed it forward to MY 2021 on an entirely new platform. Hackett consolidated it into a revised vehicle and then instituted an EV replacement for late 2020s. The lack of consistency is concerning, as a very well informed Mustang buyer. You are often very helpful with answering my questions, but I must disagree. I do believe that this might apply to both Bronco and now S650, but with S550 this wasn't the case at all and it was almost immediately available in every circumstance. They built the first S550 mules in spring of 2012 and appeared in June 2012 as cut and welded S197s. A unique front end mule appeared in November 2012, 100% S550 fore of A-Pillar. First S550 prototypes were built in May 2013, appearing in public the second week of June 2013. Sales began in September 2014, after August JoB 1. At this point one doesn't see anything new and we have been seeing S650 mules since February 2020. They disappeared from view as OP said and nothing else seems to be brewing. The last time I saw this weird gap was with the Explorer, which was seen as a camouflaged CD6 mule (U504 body) from October 2016 until the first actual prototype was snapped in June 2018 by an amateur photographer spotting it and no professional photographer like Brenda Priddy even bothered to look out for it for weeks. They were running around DTW since April 2018. OCTOBER 2016 SPY SHOTS - U625 X1/M1 CD6 Mule? JUNE 2018 U625 PROTOTYPE - First Spy Shot I unfortunately think we will, as there is a slow pattern Ford is abiding by and that means, hiding them by all means necessary until maybe 1 year out. Outside of the Mach 1, I hate the 2018+ and I am desperate to move onto the next generation, since about January 2017 (reveal of '18)
  3. For the Fusion, that was a very quick fix and felt very last minute. A running change like that can take 12-15 months to launch from final sign-off without major retooling (IIRC). Minor sheetmetal changes, feel like a 1 1/2 to 2 year affair from sign-off to Flat Rock/Wayne/Hermosillo? I attributed that to Hackett, wanting to reduce complexity of CD391 since it was now a zombie car. As for the 2018MY Explorer bumper refresh? Definitely Fields and not Hackett. It was mysterious to say the least, as CD6 mules were everywhere from fall 2016 to spring 2018. June 2018 debuted the real deal in camo, since launch was 1 year away and it was "safe" to show it off. Ford has just never been able to wisely justify a sound business case for a company wide unibody RWD architecture since Fox in the 70s/80s. The minute they set out to create the FWD DN5 in 1979 (for Taurus), it was just never the same and always seems to fail or get neutered so much, it isn't viable. MN12 didn't make the cut, nor did DEW98, and for the early-mid 2000s Global Rear Wheel Drive Architecture(?), and now CD6. GE1 is about the only thing a little similar, but no sedans (yet).
  4. Noted, just saw this. More on topic, very pleased to see that the Mach E might eat into Tesla more and more, because I cannot stand the cult of Tesla nor Elon Musk.
  5. LOL, it was that unnoticeable? I hated the ruination of the chiseled headlamps and the new tacky taillight treatment for the MCA. Only saving grace was Fusion Sport. It was so cheesy and definitely among the first designs approved under both Moray Callum and Mark Fields being in charge. Under One Ford, both Alan Mulally and J Mays oversaw a nice Ford brand renaissance, which ended in 2016 with this ugly MCE and cartoony P558 Super Duty. Ugly 2018 F150 and Mustang followed. Luckily the '17 Raptor was unaffected.
  6. Yes, I do. Mulally's okaying of the decision to keep the Explorer unchanged for almost 5 years, bears the brunt of why it was so long in production against One Ford desires. Not to mention moving it to D4 in the first place, but that is understandable in terms of how all of that came together in late 2007/early 2008.
  7. I see a hole in that argument, as the decision was still made for the Ranger and effort as taken as well. The Bronco return didn't come out of thin air, as he made it come to fruition. Why is it that back in 2016 under his leadership, Bronco was already earmarked for MY 2021, Job 1 in early summer of 2020, with a launch date of late summer 2020? Design work began under him with mostly the same targets, which were fully realized in the end. He didn't stop any aspect of Bronco, yet what one reads here at times acts as if Hackett came in on his white horse and changed it from a bland Everest convertible into what it is now. Hackett kept things moving along--great--and reenvisioned the C727 into the Mach E, but I don't buy a lot of what I am reading, when a lot of what actually transpired contradicts it. I'm not certain I believe that at all, as the greater modularity of CD6 was canceled most certainly in mid-2017 upon Hackett taking charge. S650 took its current form in May 2017 and abandoned a CD6 basis in favor of reuse. Saying something like that, when a lot of evidence might point to the contrary is questionable. The Fusion didn't rot on the vine either, because by early 2017, it was 4.5 years old and at that point next to none of you here, made any mention of such a thing. The real story was, a lot of cuts to boost the stock price were made under the new leadership of Jim Hackett. That included canceling the Fusion, which might have not been his choice alone. Plus Focus. I do blame Fields for trying to move the Focus to Mexico and belatedly caving into Trump's politicking by changing it to China so last minute. Ultimately anything sedan related for USDM, died under Hackett. By comparison, Fields was trying to buy time and pushed back a new Fusion into CY 2020. I honestly would like proof of the cancellation of CD6, when Ford was testing these vehicles during the said period in and around Dearborn, as well as Colorado. Hackett did a lot of good things, but it all didn't originate under him nor did all the blunders magically happen before his tenure. A whole Bronco program just doesn't happen in less than 3.5 years. The final design for the Bronco was defined in July 2018, some 14 months after Fields left, meaning a lot of planning started in and overlapped with his tenure. So much here has turned into possible opinionated hearsay and gossip, that it comes across as slanted and rather unfair. I couldn't give a damn about the man personally, but I like to see things be a bit more balanced. Huh? Very well written, but a lot those cars involved Jacques Nasser, Bill Ford, and Mulally at the helm, plus some of them Nasser's predecessor LOL. Fields was Bill Ford's sidekick during the early-mid 2000s after he left Mazda, but I can only imagine he had only so much say-so. Ford was really suffering during those post-Firestone days and Bill did what he could until Mulally came along in late 2006. I cannot give Hackett full credit for everything coming out today, because a lot of these programs already existed in 2014-2016. I can praise some of them for great final execution (Mach E), but it's obvious a few were dialed in well before May 2017 and yet he keeps getting high marks for them. Just like I cannot give Fields credit for initiating any Ford programs in progress in 2012/13, yet didn't surface for a few years. The 2018 Expedition and Navigator were something Mulally had to commit to under his leadership, because they were almost getting the axe under him and being left to die, until around 2011ish, when the '15MY updates quietly entered planning and then the aluminum T3 U55x SUVs entered development in 2012. A key final decision maker was Fields in 2014-15 on U55x and they were generally well lauded, even if too late to the party. The investment in Lincoln brand is something that was championed by Fields above all, yet you would think he was AWOL during development of the current Navigator and all products launched post-2016 model year going off of the comments I have read here the past year, against Fields. The Continental rename from D544 MKS was his own doing, even if the final design itself was mostly done before that. I can agree with the bold, but it would be nice to have specifics and see if each model program matches that claim independently. The Fusion cancellation had nothing to do with him, yet I have that so many times in the past year, when the whole narrative was different 3-4 years earlier. Why is it so convenient to smear someone's legacy well after they are gone, just because a lot of nice products are now coming to surface? I understand that many live and breathe Ford not only personally, but professionally. However I see so many contradictions here, it defies logic and reality of what I have observed carefully. Fields was NOT responsible for the decision under Al, to drag out the U502's MCA to MY 2016. That was a whole 4.5 to 5 years after market launch in December 2010. Those MCA changes were set in 2013, according to the team responsible and went on sale in 2H 2015. That wasn't Field's fault, because an early 2019 Job 1 for the U625 was already February 4, 2019 as of September 2016. We started seeing CD6 mules for it in October 2016. They kept testing into the same week that Fields was "talked to" in May 2017 and then resigned mysteriously. In my observation, he never canceled the CD6 Explorer and if he did, he certainly got it moving again before he left Ford. Or are you all telling me, that Ford will randomly test mechanical mules wearing pre-MCA pieces in deep camouflage and sheathing for the heck of it? None of these claims existed back in 2017-18, yet now show up in retrospect 3-4 years later. I call that revisionist history, forgetful memories, or something not being communicated clearly. I am not even certain development of that new Explorer ever stopped. In fact, the belated MCA for 2016 and the sheer amount of big changes meant, it warranted at least a 3 year run through late 2018/early 2019. Job 1 was May 6, 2019, because Hackett made it happen over the last 23.5 months as CEO. Unless Fields on the day he resigned in May 2017 magically canceled the CD6 Explorer as a parting gift (and Hackett restarted it a week later), I am not believing any of that. Maybe for other CD6 vehicles, but even so that still leans very Hackett with the timeline. I am all about timelines telling the truth and not hearsay from years past. I greatly respect you jpd80, but I have to say for a long time you've been claiming the Fusion was updated in 2015 and it most definitely wasn't. It was updated for 2017 and entered production on April 4, 2016, launching around May or June 2016. Mondeo came even much later, due to the late CD391 launch in 2014 via Spain. I really didn't like the Fusion MCA changes at all and hated the 2019MY even more, as the original car was beautiful and graceful looking, with some added punch. Field's final full year was 2016, but he was there through May 19, 2017. A full 4.5 months. From CD622 (Zephyr?) to CD714, he made a lot of plans for CD6, especially for Lincoln. Mustang included. No one heard anything about a RWD Lincoln utility taking Explorer out of its D4 misery, until several months after he took the helm. A lot of people here in retrospect, dismissed TTAC's tidbit as "farfetched" in 2014. In the end, they were right ironically enough and low and behold CD6 SUVs. Alan for all of his great leadership, seemed ever so content to continue a reliance on D3/D4 or throw everything unibody on CD4, plus scrapped a new USDM Taurus on CD4 in April 2013. That wasn't really Fields' doing was it? With all due respect, I keep seeing conflicting statements. Did Fields shutter and attempt to ruin CD6 utilities or did he hamper the car component, in favor of the utilities. As far as I knew, he came up with too many plans which had questionable business cases, didn't motivate Wall Street, was indecisive and tried to stretch out a few products. As well as tried to come after Hinrichs vindictively over some issues, that he was shown the door. All cancelations, such as the Fusion and Focus were rightfully blamed on Hackett. Taurus indirectly, as he didn't cancel its replacement, Mulally did. Are we really sure he even did that, when that vehicle was in steady testing from 2016 to 2018? There are photos to prove it, but they don't really tell the whole story. What they do say is, something was in development both before, during, and after his resignation on the Explorer front. Much of designs for these U6xx SUVs were completed in 2016 weren't they, so I don't see how these theories that he slowed it all down make sense? They were not seen in final spec until June 2018. Here's a timeline: October 2016 photos of CD6 Mule: March 2017 Test Mule April 2017 Test Mule May 2017 Test Mules August 22, 2017 Spy Shots As you can see it was in consistent testing throughout 2017 (and there's even more into 2018), so where does this theory even come from that he halted anything Explorer? It was always end of 2018/early 2019 SOP since the days of Mulally, that even in 2016-17 it was still moving along. An explanation would help clear up why these were out and about, yet "no development" was happening. It's a waste of resources to be even doing that isn't it? Between Fusion, Explorer, and Aviator I can't say I am convinced of what Fields did wrong there, outside of his temperament, corporate culture, and indecisiveness. The Fusion MCA was blander, even if the end product was good. The product was coming (Bronco, Ranger, Aviator, Corsair), but everything needs time to be executed. Too much revisionist history or vague accusations, which becomes too much of a circle jerk and no longer open discussion.
  8. Oh really? Seems like revisionist history anytime his name comes up, yet a lot of today's products and architectures were initiated under him... Hackett doesn't deserve all the credit for everything great and Alan left 7 years ago, meaning a lot of what was planned for C2, CD6, T3, and T6 goes to Mr. Fields. Just because the Mach-E was just going to be a compliance EV and that the mediocre Ecosport was federalized, doesn't meant it was entirely doom and gloom under him from 2014 to 2017. (And yes I know of other weaknesses) A lot of good stuff he tried to do, somehow gets conveniently brushed over for some reason on here (like a CJ) and I guess automatically attributed to Hackett. It has yet to be seen, what becomes of the S650 Mustang for 2023 (which is echoing the Fox-4), as the original plan under Fields was going to be fully redesigned inside-out by last month for 2021MY. How compromised will it be riding on a dated offshoot of a late 90s luxury platform? Not to mention, how CD6 got dumbed down to no longer supporting cars after he left, in favor of resources being reallocated to C2 offshoots and EVs. Fields had his issues, but a throwaway CEO he was not. Mazda was such a bland disaster in the late 90s, that he gave them back their pizzazz by the early 2000s as a Dearborn appointee to Hiroshima (Zoom-Zoom). His corporate culture was probably controversial, but everything he initiated into development before he left Dearborn, is generally paying off. No CEO was ever able to get a Bronco program going until he was in charge, let alone bringing back the Ranger into the fold after Alan jettisoned the previous aging plant and refused to invest in another for either P525 or T6 P375 (hoping buyers would go after V6 P415 trucks instead). A 28 year veteran of the company, he had his bad qualities, but shoulders way too much blame on here for reasons unbeknownst to me. How much of Hackett's cost-cutting tricks have paid off ultimately?
  9. Exactly. This is everywhere, when you reference "Ford P708" and has been for years now. It's not really new info, so I myself have been surprised at how a lot of folks are oblivious to this? It's coming around November of 2022 I hear. Anyone else hear different? 2022MY update was way more hush-hush than the new truck for 2023. We should see mules running around and then the real deal hopefully.
  10. JX1

    '23MY S650 mule spied

    Ah, gotcha. Answered so much and makes a lot of sense.
  11. I don't think he did. He wasn't chief then. He took over in 2014.
  12. I agree, Ford was already designing stuff like this in 2010! Evos definitely was meant to signal what was being devised, but couldn't be shown yet. It wasn't Mustang specific, but the front end of Evos definitely previewed it on the grille and lower half. For years I just called it the Fusion concept, until I realized upfront it somewhat teased the Mustang. The Evos headlight shape was Mustang, while the placement against the grille was more Fusion/Mondeo. Mustang was positioned lower. However, I don't think they were done by the summer of 2011, when everything wrapped on Evos and they prepared for Frankfurt 2011. This is where Ford was circa fall of 2011: According to a magazine and some insiders, it was definitive and a final choice was made around January 2012, Theme A. For some reason Ford didn't feel it was 100% yet, so instead reached that final point in the summer of 2012 when it was handed off to engineering, but didn't really lock it in until late in the year. You can see how some details are missing in that early 2012 review, meaning they achieved all of what we know as the 2015-17 by summer. By December (guessing), it was 99.9% final. It was rumored some changes were made in 2012 that delayed things, which explains how they locked in the final interior first, 5-6 months before the exterior. Usually exteriors are done first, but cuz of revisions, it got flipped. Tyler Blake who designed the '03 Expy and '04 F150 in the late 90s as a young dude, submitted these in 2010 and in 2011. Mays knew what he wanted. The Evos looking that way, was intentional. The Fusion/Mondeo actually differs from Evos in some ways, that the S550 adopted instead.
  13. JX1

    '23MY S650 mule spied

    Thank you for explaining that for me, but why were they less hesitant to put out 2021 F150s to testing in May 2019 IN PUBLIC, just 2 weeks after what were first units built? Before that, it was mules of hybrid and EV using the last gen body. That's what throws me for a loop lol, as 8-10 years is a long time in corporate tendencies as you said. The newest F150 was the only anomaly when you compare to it the newer Explorer, Escape, Mach E, Maverick, Bronco, Ranger, and Bronco Sport, which took much longer to surface, as testing was kept from sight. It was weird to me, but you probably know more. What I did notice, is Ford under Hackett, deliberately kept such spy shots from surfacing of new models until +/- 1 year before on-sale date. Under the previous admins, it varied and they put them out as soon as they were ready or waited until about 1 1/2 years before on-sale date.
  14. JX1

    '23MY S650 mule spied

    That's not fully accurate is it? The S550 back in June 2013, was first seen in its production body, which aldo was the same story for 2015 F-150 (Atlas Concept teased it 5 mos earlier). According to the designer, the first full prototypes were built in May 2013 based on the design and hit the road quickly. I also remember seeing these photos in November 2012, plus reading a guy from Ford making this comment in October 2012, following leaked info of a September 2012 focus group clinic. Save for a few contradictions above (i.e. Ford claims they were done choosing in Jan of 2012), feels like S550 was locked in about a month before Xmas in 2012 and 5-6 months later, first prototypes were built in May 2013. Then on camera by early June. Matches 2021 F-150 to a tee, no hiding period (mid-April assembly & first shots May 2019). The Bronco and new Ranger were definitely hidden for a long time, but latest 2021 F-150 wasn't for some reason. That was already on camera within 2 weeks of the first p702 testers built in April 19, 2019, yet Bronco wasn't seen, on purpose. Didn't see it for 8 months, maybe because of Ranger leak and Bronco R concept (similar to 2015 F-150 testers & Atlas) From my googling, new Bronco according to some insiders, was designed up until middle of 2018 and then it was handed off to engineering, while smaller details were worked on for much longer. Styling wasn't locked in, until about 2 years before original pre-covid date of 12/7. Late 2018? Plus, Ranger leak from AUS in Feb of 19 was cuz of a final design decision that same month. Many engineers on that truck also point to Feb 2019 as a crucial point in the '23 Ranger for some reason, the same month we got that Wheels AU leak. Coincidence? Probably not, hence Ford being really pissed. With the not so major amount of changes made for '21, I doubt that the newest F150 design was dialed in anytime before 2018. Looks like it's usually a 2 yr gap and at highest, 3 yrs (aluminum '15 F150). So those prototypes were made pretty quick. 2015 F150 took way longer to show up and wasn't spotted in camo until roughly 1 1/2 years after the final styling (P552?) mockups were probably made in-house in 2011. I heard that from Jon Fontaine years ago, as he threw out 2011 as the year he saw the final shape. Maybe in that case, Ford wanted to debut the Atlas Concept first in Jan 2013 and held proper prototypes to vest? Plus wait until GM released their new '14 K2 1/2 tons? Atlas project took all of 2012 to develop, based on '15 design, I read. With that info, they stuck with aluminum previous gen body mules on daylight rounds until after the concept debuted. 2012 Aluminum test mule Anyway, no one knows if S650 runs will be played close to vest or put to public daytime runs, as soon as it's ready. It's up to those dudes 'n gals in charge, what goes to full field runs 24/7 or becomes a marketing experiment with "spy" pics. They didn't hide the S550, so we'll see what goes. They're only going to hide it if they need a concept to preview it first.