The Blue Oval has been vocal about its plans to develop a new generation of RWD sedans for both its Ford and Lincoln brands, but with demand for big and powerful sedans on the decline management have revised those original plans. In light of rising fuel costs and toughening fuel economy standards, Ford has decided to drop plans for new RWD sedans.

Speaking with Automotive News at this week’s Detroit Auto Show, Ford design chief J Mays said the RWD future was “out of the cycle plan.” He went on to reveal that Ford would focus its design efforts on other segments and that the path it was going down at the moment was all about fuel efficiency. “We're not talking about RWD," he said.

Ford CEO Alan Mulally and product chief Derrick Kuzak confirmed the development of a new RWD platform last year, but six months after the original announcement managers were already beginning to rethink the feasibility of the project.

The new platform was expected to be jointly developed with engineers in Australia and would have spawned models for both the Ford and Lincoln brands.