1980s z126b

Published on October 31st, 2016 | by BajaBusta


1989: Ford & Nissan Collaborate On A FWD Mini-Van

Often described as a mini mini-van, a carry-all, and a pure bred Japanese with American schooling, America’s next small van on the U.S. scene was intended for Lincoln-Mercury’s customers.  It was a collaboration between Ford and development partner Nissan.  Engineering mules were routinely observed on the open streets of Ford Motor Company’s Dearborn, Michigan, world headquarters complex.  The test vehicles were Aerostar vans with stubby front-end of the Nissan/Ford project grafted aboard.  If normal practice held, this indicates at least the powertrain of the un-named (at the time) American Japanese Hybrid was being tested for engine compartment cooling.
The stimulus for a mini-mini-van for Ford’s luxury division was the sudden explosion of luxury minivans from other manufacturers.  Oldsmobile’s GM300 APV Silhouette and Chrysler’s Town & Country, both highly equipped versions of more pedestrian people movers.  It seemed clear the Lincoln Mini-van wasn’t ready until the 1993 model year at the soonest.  It was also rumored to be an all inclusive package with full-time all-wheel-drive to offset the competitors head start.


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