the new ford fusion got it's face (grill, headlights) from this ford concept car, called the 427. it was a rear-drive platform with a 427 cubic inch v10 40v monster under the hood. the car got rave reviews on the show circuit, and tons of interest from enthusiasts concerning the platform and the engine. ford responded by producing the front-drive 3.0 fusion, based on a mazda platform. huh??
even more trajic than the 427-to-fusion metamorphisis is the ford forty nine concept. this car is so beautiful, it hurts. long, low, sleek, very american. sort of like the final generation thunderbird with balls. again, public reaction to this concept in 2001 was overwhelming. it was a tribute to the 1949 ford, which was a big hit. this car had many of it's design cues taken by the 2002 two-seater boutique thunderbird, which was too watered down to become the classic that the originals had become.
proof that ford has great minds at work, but they don't get to design cars for you and me.