The debut of the Windstar minivan took place in 1994. The car turned out to be modern and stylish in design. Quite dynamic – “a hundred” from standstill in 13.5 seconds, with an almost two-ton mass. But with active driving it is very voracious (about 18 liters per 100 km). The main driving force is a 3.0-liter V6 gasoline engine with multi-point injection. Made by Windstar in Canada.
In 1998, the model was restyled. Windstar of this model year has become not only safer and more environmentally friendly than its classmates, but also opened a new stage in the history of minivans.
The cabin has three rows of seats for six passengers and a driver. If desired, the configuration of the seats can be varied. For the convenience of passengers, a sliding door is now on the left. The second row of seats can be moved in the transverse direction, opening the passage to the third row on the right or c left side. The structural strength in frontal collisions has increased: for the driver and front passenger seats.
Windstar is the first minivan on which not only frontal, but also side airbags will be installed. The latter will protect against side impacts of the head and chests of the front ones.
There are two V6 engines to choose from: 3.0 liter and 152 hp. and 206-horsepower 3.6 liters. Both units are paired with a 4-band automatic transmission. The first, despite less power, accelerates the car to a maximum speed of 180 km / h. The speed limit developed by the second unit is electronically limited at 175 km / h.
The technical features of the car also include a rear semi-independent suspension, equipped with pneumatic elements with varying stiffness depending on road conditions. Front disc brakes, rear drum brakes, the car is equipped with ABS. The standard equipment of the car also includes air conditioning, electronic compass, high-end audio system. For a fee, the interior will be decorated with leather.
According to the creators, Windstar is the most environmentally friendly minivan. Its gas engine, fully compliant with the federal LEV standard, with some refinement, will be able to meet the requirements of the California ULEV standard. It is interesting that in this case, the developers did not have to sacrifice a power of 3.8 liters of V6 engine for the sake of clean air – the power unit still produces 200 hp, which is the best indicator among minivans.
As options, an electric sliding door drive is offered, with remote control. Press the button on the keychain – and both doors will open access to the salon. Click another – close.
The problem with almost all minivans is a limited view, which, combined with the rather large dimensions of the car, makes maneuvers in a limited space a rather difficult task, Ford experts decided a distance sensor that alerts the driver with an audible signal about an obstacle. Also, good visibility provides a large area of glazing.
Another option is a sophisticated audio system that allows front and rear passengers to listen to different things at the same time: say, the front ones have a tape recorder, and the rear ones have a CD player through headphones.
Since model year 2003, all Windstar modifications have been equipped with body-colored bumpers, aerodynamically shaped exterior mirrors, and, upon request, with the proprietary AdvanceTrac anti-skid system, and new built-in child seats (LATCH system).
The engine is now only one – 3.8 L V6, 203 hp, 325 N • m.
Over the years, Windstar has been very popular as a kind of benchmark for family cars. But now all attention can switch to an updated version of the family Freestar, the 2004 model range. Since Ford has now decided that all passenger car names should begin with the letter “F,” the updated Windstar minivan has become Freestar. In fact, this is the same Windstar, only slightly remodeled and with much better handling.
Freestar, in addition to an updated appearance, received more expensive materials in the cabin, airbags for all three rows of seats and a new suspension, which became slightly stiffer, which protects the car from turning over. More convenient access to the third row of seats, which fold to a completely flat state and a new dashboard design.
The car is equipped with a cast iron 3.8-liter Essex V-6 engine with a capacity of 193 hp. There is a version of the power unit with a volume of 4.2 liters and a capacity of 201 hp. Also, the engineers worked to reduce engine noise – the mounts were completely replaced and vibration eliminated. Ford Freestar received disc brakes with ABS, a 4-speed automatic transmission with a leading front axle.