2002 Ford Thunderbird


2002 Ford Thunderbird

2002 Ford Thunderbird

Motoring excitement returns to Ford showrooms with the introduction of the all-new 2002 Thunderbird.

The Thunderbird comes standard as a convertible and offers an optional removable top with classic porthole windows. The removable top weighs 83 pounds for easy removal and installation.

The close-coupled proportions of the classic Thunderbird provided the inspiration for this model’s 107.2-inch wheelbase. Its reverse-wedge body shape is higher at the front fender and a-pillar than at the rear, unlike most cars on the road, capturing the laid-back, relaxed ride characteristic of the original.

The designers of the modern Thunderbird took great care to borrow classic styling cues, but to never lose the modern look. Among other details, the car’s two-seat configuration, hood scoop, round headlamps, egg-crate grille and porthole windows all pay homage to the past with 21st century materials, technology and design language.

For the new 2002 Thunderbird to be called a true American dream car, it would have to feature heart-throbbing V-8 power. But as a modern icon, it would have to be smooth-running power. The Thunderbird team found its answer in Ford Motor Company’s new 3.9-liter V-8 designed for the Lincoln LS.

The Thunderbird noise, vibration and harshness team’s challenge was to develop performance that delivers to the customer the promise of sportiness without compromising comfort. Accomplishing this goal meant eliminating unwanted noises and tuning preferred noises to the desired sound quality.

Top-down turbulence on the Thunderbird is reduced because of the steep angle of the windshield. With airflow visualization, engineers were able to ensure the wind crossing over the windshield doesn’t create unwanted cabin turbulence that would interfere with conversation. The Thunderbird antenna is embedded in the windshield to reduce wind noise from whistling that can occur with an outside-mounted antenna.To achieve the desired ride comfort and keep handling crisp, Thunderbird engineer’s chose lower spring rates than the average sport sedan, then put in larger-diameter shock absorbers. The Thunderbird’s low-speed-tuning shocks help keep the car precise over small bumps in the road and maintain a relaxed ride.

To achieve the desired ride comfort and keep handling crisp, Thunderbird engineer’s chose lower spring rates than the average sport sedan, then put in larger-diameter shock absorbers. The Thunderbird’s low-speed-tuning shocks help keep the car precise over small bumps in the road and maintain a relaxed ride.

Thunderbird uses a power rack-and-pinion steering gear with variable assist to provide low-effort maneuvers at parking speeds and a high level of road feel at highway speeds. The gear is mounted to the forward X-brace for improved response.

The 2002 Thunderbird revives an old American icon as a mild-powered grand tourer. It is questionable as to whether or not this car lives up to it’s old heritage. The styling is definately tastefull and reminiscent of older models but the power level leaves something to be desired. The Thunderbird that used to be sold as direct competition to the Chevrolet Corvette now rivals the Camaro V6.

This car, its style, the statement it makes, the feelings it evokes will make it an icon in its own right, says Jim O’Connor, President of Ford Division. For those who, like me, really loved the original Thunderbirds, this moment has been 45 years in the making. We’re all thrilled that it’s finally here and can hardly wait to get behind the wheel.

Story by Ford

In Detail

submitted by Richard Owen
built at Detroit, Michigan, USA
engine V8
position Front
displacement 3934 cc / 240.1 in³
bore 86.11 mm / 3.39 in
stroke 85.1 mm / 3.35 in
compression 10.55:1
power 187.9 kw / 252.0 bhp @ 6100 rpm
specific output 64.06 bhp per litre
bhp/weight bhp per tonne
torque 362.0 nm / 267.0 ft lbs @ 4300 rpm
front tires P235/50R17 95V
rear tires P235/50R17 95V
front brakes Discs w/Power Assist & ABS
f brake size x 300 mm / x 11.8 in
rear brakes Discs w/Power Assist & ABS
r brake size x 287 mm / x 11.3 in
steering Rack & Pinion w/Variable Assist
f suspension Unequal-Length Control Arms w/Coil Springs, Shock Absorbers, Sta
r suspension Unequal-Length Control Arms w/Coil Springs, Shock Absorbers, Sta
curb weight 1712 kg / 3774 lbs
wheelbase 2724 mm / 107.2 in
front track 1537 mm / 60.5 in
rear track 1529 mm / 60.2 in
length 4733 mm / 186.3 in
width 1829 mm / 72.0 in
height 1323 mm / 52.1 in
transmission 5-Speed Automatic
gear ratios 3.22:1, 2.41:1, 1.54:1, 1.00:1, 0.75:1, :1
final drive 2.69:1