2001 thunderbird

2001 thunderbird

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Many of us experienced spontaneous attitude adjustment right there in the parking lot. Consider the splendidly wasteful proportions. The cockpit affords only one more cubic foot of passenger space than the front half of a Focus but is adrift in an ocean of bodywork. Point the Thunderbird down the boulevard, and more than eight feet of car arrives before your smiling face. Another seven feet and change emblazoned with chrome "Thunderbird" script continues to slide by after you're already gone.

Mixed up in ordinary traffic, the Thunderbird looks dramatic. The low hood scoop and long sweeps of the fenders make for lovely scenery out the chrome-ringed and radically curved windshield. To the rear, the canvas top luxuriates in a yawning bay while the hindquarters take their time dovetailing downward and inward to a smart point, leaving just enough room for a shallow trunk bracketed by two ruby-red afterburners.

In an era when engineers squeeze every millimeter of a car for packaging efficiency, the new Thunderbird squanders real estate in a way that hasn't been practiced in Detroit for decades. Like many of its predecessors, the new Thunderbird is also something of a floater. Normally, we despise such ungainly creatures. With this car, however, Ford seems to have struck the right suspension balance.

Let's face it, this portly pound convertible including the pound hardtop will never be a Honda S Screwing the suspension down tight would have only exaggerated the weakness in the structure and made the ride a kidney-rattling chore.

As it is, the Thunderbird's spongier springs percent-softer front coils than in the Lincoln LS, 8 percent softer in the rear and more compliant shocks blur some of the dynamic sharpness so widely praised in other forms of this chassis. The T-Bird exhibits more rolling in the corners and pitching under acceleration and braking than its sister cars, and the suspension rebounds lazily over low-frequency road irregularities such as wallows and dips.

No surprise that the Thunderbird pushes 0. Its dynamic behavior quickly chills any thoughts of mad switchback slashing, although Ford hints that it may offer a Sport package in the future. For now, the Thunderbird goes on its series Michelins and a sophisticated multi-element suspension with predominantly aluminum members. They preserve some of the platform's precise turn-in and dynamic stability.

Opinions diverged over the Thunderbird's structure. Some found the body and steering-column quivering to be unacceptable, and compared with the megahertz champion, the Chevrolet Corvette roadster, it is bad. Others thought the Thunderbird maintained reasonable composure over all but the worst surfaces, especially compared with the never-ending spasms that must be endured in some cheaper Yankee droptops.

How you feel about the Thunderbird will depend largely on the national origin of the car you're trading in. The same holds true for cockpit serenity. Normal voices are all that is required up to about 70 mph; beyond that the wind starts kicking at the back of the seats like a toddler on a coast-to-coast flight. We won't complain if Ford offers a wind blocker or opens up the dual exhaust more to reincarnate the T-Bird's vintage burble. The 4. The engine, which Ford tweaked to offer less aggressive throttle tip-in, doesn't really make itself heard except during woolly full-throttle stomps.

Then it can vault the car to 60 mph in a convincing seven seconds flat with the hardtop on, 0. Better aerodynamics or natural car-to-car variation may account for the difference. As in the LS, the 5R55N five-speed automatic's first two ratios are thinly spaced, so time spent in second is short.

You'll get just 14 brief miles per hour to enjoy second gear before the transmission moves on, making initial shifting seem a little frenzied. The intention seems to have been to preserve acceleration without pushing the car into gas-guzzler territory, against which it teeters precariously. A Black Appearance Package added a high-gloss black accent to the leather-wrapped steering wheel and automatic transmission gear selector, while additional appearance packages added a Parchment cloth soft top roof , color-keyed accents on the steering wheel and gear selector lever, and seat centers.

These packages, which were dependent upon the exterior color selected the Black Appearance Package was available regardless of exterior color , were only available on the Premium trim level of the Thunderbird. Other personalization options included the color of the removable hardtop roof, as well as a choice of several different inch aluminum-alloy wheels.

All Thunderbirds received a "50th Anniversary" badge. The Cashmere edition, with a production run of 1,, featured a commemorative dashboard plaque, cashmere exterior paint and medium gray soft top convertible roof; hard top; 50th Anniversary front fender emblems; teal-accented third rear brake lamp with illuminated "Thunderbird" script; two-tone gray and dark gray interior with Cashmere perforated leather-trimmed seating; color-keyed instrument cluster with turquoise gauge needles and "Ford Thunderbird" door sill plates round.

If there was a marketing effort by Ford Motor, I wasn't aware of it. Naturally, sales didn't meet expectations. Automotive journalist Doug DeMuro called the eleventh-generation Thunderbird a "Retro Failure", naming it "a lot of a [ sic ] disappointment" and noting that its initial warm reception had faded since its introduction. DeMuro primarily criticized the Thunderbird's similarity to the LS, interior, and price.

With respect to the interior, he noted the apparent cheapness of the plastic used and the sharing of many switches with Ford's other models while admiring the retro styling of the door panels. He also criticized the engine, calling it lackluster and lacking sport. In his opinion, Ford made the 11th generation Thunderbird for people who were nostalgic for the first couple generations, not for a discerning buyer of a modern sports or luxury car: obviously, this was a recipe for poor sales numbers and production longevity.

He ultimately rated the Thunderbird similarly to the Lincoln Town Car of the era in his "DougScore" metric, rating both somewhat below average and calling both geriatric. In addition, a similar Thunderbird was featured in The Cat in the Hat. The live-action film Thunderbirds featured a heavily modified 11th generation Ford Thunderbird, a fully functional full-sized six-wheeled prototype called FAB 1. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

This article is about the eleventh generation of the Ford Thunderbird automobile. For general Thunderbird information, see Ford Thunderbird. Motor vehicle. Main article: Ford Thunderbird. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 6, Car and Driver.

Thunderbird Specialities. Retrieved February 6, RM Sothebys. November 15, Retrieved September 9, Automotive News. Motor Trend. February 25, Powersport California Custom. July 6, July 7, July 4, Archived from the original on December 20, Retrieved May 10, December 3, Screen Rant. May 21, Ford vehicles. Ford Motor Company. E-Series Cutaway F F Category Commons. Hidden categories: CS1 maint: url-status Use mdy dates from January Articles with short description Short description is different from Wikidata Commons category link is on Wikidata.

Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history. Help Learn to edit Community portal Recent changes Upload file. Download as PDF Printable version. Wikimedia Commons. Personal luxury car.

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