2002 Ford Thunderbird

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(from Ford Press Release)  The 2002 Thunderbird is a production version of the Thunderbird concept car that stole the spotlight at auto shows in 1999 and 2000.

Although the design evokes memories of a simpler time, it wonít take 50 yards of driving in a new 2002 Thunderbird to transport one back to the future. The new Thunderbird uses the latest engineering technologies to instill confidence in the driver.

Itís a well-balanced, rear-wheel drive car that utilizes a rigid, computer-engineered chassis and a fine-tuned four-wheel independent suspension system employing lightweight materials to reduce unsprung weight and improve response.

The rack-and-pinion steering gear is a variable-assist design, providing lower turning efforts at parking speeds and higher-level road feel at highway speeds.

Thunderbird comes standard with 17-inch cast aluminum wheels and all-season tires.

Four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes (ABS) are standard and employ electronic brake force distribution (EBD). The brake rotors are vented for optimal performance and endurance and calipers are dual piston-type for quick response and evenly distributed pressure.

An optional all-speed traction control system helps ensure driver confidence in adverse road conditions. The system provides excellent start-up on slippery surfaces and improves cornering stability.

As pushrods have gone the way of the poodle skirt, all 2002 Thunderbirds will be equipped with a smooth-operating, all-aluminum 3.9-liter DOHC V-8. The engine produces an estimated 252 horsepower at 6,100 rpm and peak torque of 267 ft. lbs. at 4,300 rpm and uses a new generation powertrain electronic controller (PTEC).

The engine was designed along with a specially engineered close-ratio, five-speed automatic transmission that provides performance and efficiency along with minimal levels of noise, vibration and harshness (NVH).