Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Ford Mystere Concept

The Ford Mystere concept car was introduced to the press on October 5, 1955. The full-sized Mystere featured a hinged bubble glass top, rear fins, and a rear engine compartment designed to accommodate either a gas-turbine or conventional engine.

Source: Ford

America’s Favorite Classic Mustang – the ’65 Convertible – Returns with All-New Ford-Approved Body Shell

Matt Patrias and Ed Orzechowski adjust the driver’s door on the new Ford-licensed 1965 Mustang convertible body shell. The new body shell is made from high-quality, automotive-grade steel that is better than the original and features modern welding techniques. It makes its debut Nov. 1 at the SEMA show in Las Vegas. More information is available at

The original Mustang – America’s favorite classic convertible – can now be assembled complete with all-new Ford-approved restoration parts

New first-generation Mustang body shells can be made into ’64½, ’65 or ’66 models, depending on the trim and powertrain that is installed during the rebuild

New ’65 Mustang body shells are made with stronger steel and use modern welding techniques, making them better than the original

DEARBORN, Mich., Oct. 28, 2011 – It’s a classic car lover’s dream come true: Now it is possible to build a ’64½, ’65 or ’66 Mustang convertible from the wheels up using the all-new Ford-approved and officially licensed body shell.

The body shell for the original Mustang convertible, now in production and available for restorers as a Ford-licensed restoration part, gives classic car enthusiasts a new option in putting their classic dream Mustang ragtop back on the road.

“The 1964-66 Mustang is the most restored vintage vehicle. But the number of original 1964-66 vintage bodies is shrinking every year,” said Dennis Mondrach, Ford Restoration Parts licensing manager. “Most of the original Mustangs left in scrapyards are rusted or wrecked beyond repair. The new body shell is made of virgin metal and uses modern welding techniques. It comes rustproofed, and after final adjustment and finish preparation of the body panels, it is ready for painting and final assembly.”

To build a restored Mustang using the new shell, the powertrain, suspension and brakes, the electrical systems, the interior and trim can either be bought new or transferred from an existing car to the new body. Original parts that can’t be reused from an old Mustang can be replaced with Ford-approved restoration parts. Mondrach says that nearly all the parts needed to build a complete new 1964-66 Mustang convertible, except for some minor body hardware, are now available from Ford-approved classic parts suppliers.

Ford-approved Mustang restoration parts can be found at

For a restoration part to be approved by Ford, suppliers must meet or exceed the fit, finish and quality of the original, said Mondrach. In order to keep classic Ford-built vehicles on the road, Ford allows parts suppliers access to original technical drawings, blueprints and specifications for parts.

The new body shell not only can save restorers time and money, but enable them to build a strong, well-engineered classic.

“Instead of spending money fixing rust and welding in new panels, restorers can now simply transfer their powertrain, interior and trim parts onto the new body shell,” said Mondrach.

The ’65 Mustang body shell is constructed of higher-grade steel than the original, said Jim Christina, vice president of Dynacorn International, the Ford-approved company that is manufacturing the ’65 Mustang. “We use a modern universal automotive-grade steel that is actually stronger than the original, and modern welding techniques along with more welds to strengthen the body,” Christina said.

The ’65 body is in production now and can be delivered by freight truck to any address. The ’65 Mustang body includes the doors and trunk lid and all the sheet metal from the radiator support to the taillight panel except the hood and front fenders. Those items are available separately. The ’65 Mustang body shell starts at $15,000.

America’s love affair with the original Mustang is still going strong after nearly 50 years. Debuting in April 1964, the original Mustang sold more than 1.2 million units – including more than 174,000 convertibles – before its first redesign in 1967. The 1964-66 Mustang has long been America’s most popular classic car of the postwar era. It is frequently the No. 1 most insured car at Hagerty Insurance, the world’s No. 1 insurer of classic and collectible cars.

The new body shell can be made into a 1964½, 1965 or 1966 Mustang, based on the powertrains and trim parts added to it. It is the third classic Mustang body shell now available to restorers. The other two are the 1967-68 and the 1969-70 fastback bodies.

Ford will display a new 1965 Mustang body shell Tuesday through Thursday at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show in Las Vegas. It will be parked next to a restored 1965 convertible to demonstrate the high quality of the assembly.

Source: Ford

Where Henry and Clara Ford Called “Home”

By 1914, Henry Ford's fame had reached global proportions, and he and Clara were ready for a home that offered them more privacy and a chance to indulge in their interests in gardening and bird watching.

Henry and Clara chose to build their new home on a 1,300-acre tract of land in Dearborn, Michigan, approximately two miles from Mr. Ford’s birthplace. The new fifty-six room residence and estate were named “Fair Lane” after an area in County Cork, Ireland, the birthplace of Mr. Ford's foster grandfather, Patrick Ahern.

Fair Lane

By 1914, Henry Ford's fame had reached global proportions, and he and Clara were ready for a home that offered them more privacy and a chance to indulge in their interests in gardening and bird watching.

Henry and Clara chose to build their new home on a 1,300-acre tract of land in Dearborn, Michigan, approximately two miles from Mr. Ford’s birthplace. The new fifty-six room residence and estate were named “Fair Lane” after an area in County Cork, Ireland, the birthplace of Mr. Ford's foster grandfather, Patrick Ahern.

Fair Lane: a Fitting Home

In keeping with the Fords’ love of nature, Fair Lane was built with rough-hewn Ohio limestone to harmonize with the surrounding countryside. The grounds, designed by noted landscape architect Jens Jensen, were transformed from farmland into a natural, native landscape.

During the Fords' residency, Fair Lane bustled with activity. In addition to the residence and its powerhouse, the estate included a summer house, man-made lake, staff cottages, gatehouse, pony barn, skating house, greenhouse, root cellar, vegetable garden, 1,000-plant peony garden, 10,000-plant rose garden, a "Santa's Workshop" for Christmas celebrations, maple sugar shack, working farm for the Ford grandchildren built to their scale, agricultural research facilities and 500 birdhouses.

Green Power

Henry Ford had long been interested in alternative energy. When he built Fair Lane, he harnessed the power of the Rouge River to run the estate entirely on hydroelectric power.

Fair Lane’s hydroelectric power was generated in a stand-alone powerhouse on the property. The powerhouse was dedicated by Thomas Alva Edison, Henry Ford's good friend and the famous inventor, in October 1914. The eight-foot dam powered two 55-kilowatt generators that continue to function today.

This dam was particularly important to Henry Ford, not only because it provided efficient and inexpensive power, but also because it was non-polluting. Ford cared deeply about the natural world and made efforts large and small throughout his life not to affect it adversely and to conserve it whenever he could.
Reducing Fair Lane’s Environmental Impact

Around his home, Ford installed bat houses to control mosquitoes organically and avoid the need to introduce harmful chemicals into the environment. Stories abound of the incredible lengths Ford took to make sure that local wildlife was safely relocated before he’d begin work at a new site—including stories that he would hire boys to track down every last squirrel! And in 1913 he was instrumental in getting the McLean Migratory Bird Bill (to protect the birds from illegal hunting) through Congress, where it otherwise would likely have been ignored without Ford's strong campaigning.

Fair Lane Today

Henry Ford died at Fair Lane in 1947, and Mrs. Ford lived there until her death three years later. In 1952, the Ford Motor Company purchased the estate from the heirs. In 1957, the company donated the residence, powerhouse, 210 acres, and $6.5 million to the University of Michigan for the creation of the Dearborn campus.

Today, an Environmental Interpretive Center and the River Rouge Bird Observatory are also located on the university grounds, where the adjacent area along the Rouge River is home to many species of birds and other animals.

The Henry Ford Estate, including 72 of the original 1,300 acres, was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1966. Public tours of the historic home have been ongoing since the 1970s, and include a wide variety of educational programs.

Source: Ford

Monday, October 3, 2011

2012 F150 SVT Raptor

Click Here to read the review and to see more pictures.

Source: Internet

Ford Unveils 2012 Harley Davidson

Click Here to read about the 2012 Harley Davidson Edition and to view more pictures.

Source: Internet

Monday, September 19, 2011

Ford Evos Concept

Said to be the "ultimate expression" of Ford's new global design language, the Evos concept is a 4-door fastback sporting gull-wing doors. As you might expect, the concept is a plug-in hybrid, featuring lithium-ion battery technology. It is also able to seamlessly integrate with a driver's personal information stored in the "cloud." Ford had four key benefits in mind here — personalization, enhancement of the driving experience, a smart electrified powertrain and a means of looking after the driver's well-being. That's right — this thing will even monitor your heart rate. But we'll get into that if the tech ever sees production.

Source: Internet

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Ford Increases Soy Content in Foam, Adds Head Restraint as New Item for Sustainable Material

•Ford and Lear Corporation have introduced a new head restraint foam with 25 percent of the polyol replaced with soy

•75 percent of Ford’s North American-built vehicles feature bio-based foam in the head restraints. Vehicles include the Ford F-150, Taurus, Explorer and Fusion

•All Ford North American-built vehicles use bio-based foam in seat cushions and backs. Ford’s use of bio-based foam has helped the company reduce its petroleum oil usage by more than 3 million pounds annually and carbon dioxide emissions by more than 15 million pounds

Dearborn, Mich., Aug. 31, 2011 – Ford and Lear Corporation are taking another leap forward in sustainable technology with the introduction of new head restraint foam that has 25 percent of the polyol replaced with soy.

Seventy-five percent of Ford’s North American vehicles feature bio-foam in the head restraints, including the Ford F-150, Taurus, Explorer and Fusion. All Ford Motor Company vehicles built in North America use bio-foam content in the seat cushions and backs.

“We are continuously looking for new ways to expand our use of bio-based foam, and head restraints are a perfect example,” said Debbie Mielewski, technical leader, Ford Plastics Research. “It’s a new location with higher soy content. We’re not stopping at head restraints, either. There are still many other applications in which traditional foam can be converted to bio-based soy foam on vehicles, such as energy-absorption areas, steering wheels and armrests.”

The extended use of soy foam results from the continued research collaboration between Ford and Lear; Ford first used sustainable soybean oil-derived seating foam on the 2008 Mustang. The collaboration also generated the recent complete conversion of all Lear North American Ford seating cushion foam to Lear SoyFoam™.

SoyFoam is up to 24 percent more renewable than petroleum-based foam. The biomaterial has helped Ford reduce its annual petroleum oil usage by more than 3 million pounds. The use of SoyFoam also has helped Ford reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by more than 15 million pounds. SoyFoam also can provide a 67 percent reduction in volatile organic compound emissions.

“Our success with the introduction of sustainable products confirms customer acceptance of the technology and the need for green automotive interior innovation,” said Ash Galbreath, director, Advanced Materials and Comfort Engineering for Lear Corporation. “Lear’s advancement of ecological breakthroughs is intended both to reduce product sensitivity to petroleum raw material price fluctuations and lessen our impact on the environment.”

A sustainable solution

Ford was the first automaker to demonstrate soy-based foam could be formulated to pass the stringent requirements for automotive applications, pioneering its use in seats for the 2008 Ford Mustang and in headliners for the 2010 Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner.

Ford and Lear have earned several awards for the technology, including the Society of Plastic Engineers’ Innovation Award and R&D Magazine’s annual R&D 100 Award for development and use of soy-based foam in vehicles.

Ford continues to research the use of other renewable sources for foam, including palm, rapeseed and sunflower oil in markets around the world where those commodities are locally available and cost effective.

Eco-friendly solutions

Ford’s “Reduce, reuse and recycle” commitment is part of the company’s broader global sustainability strategy to reduce its environmental footprint while at the same time accelerating the development of advanced, fuel-efficient vehicle technologies around the world.

Over the past several years Ford has concentrated on increasing the use of non-metal recycled and bio-based materials whenever possible, provided these materials are environmentally favorable and meet all performance and durability requirements. Examples include soy foam seat cushions and gaskets, wheat straw-filled storage bins, recycled resins for underbody systems, recycled yarns on seat covers and natural-fiber plastic for interior components.

Source: Ford

Ford Evos Concept

You’ve heard us use the term “global design” before on; it basically refers to the foundation of new Ford products that can be used worldwide. To simplify that even further, it’s like automotive DNA. And, it’s also part of the One Ford product plan.

Click Here to watch a video.

The Ford Evos Concept, which will officially debut at the 64th Frankfurt International Motor Show, held September 15-25, 2011, might give you the biggest hint of all regarding the DNA of the next generation of Ford cars and crossovers.

“The Ford Evos Concept is a strong statement of intent from the global design team, and highlights the compelling vision we have for our future products. We believe that the new generation of buyers around the world has higher expectations for a more premium design language in all products,” explained J Mays, Group Vice President, Design and Chief Creative Officer.

Click Here for a Ford Evos Concept - technology demonstration

Take special note of the interior and exterior of the four-seater. There’s a fastback roof profile, which screams aerodynamic efficiency. There’s a sporty appearance. Its architecture is muscular. And about the face: The familiar Ford inverted trapezoid grille has been moved upward, which you might have already noticed on the new Focus Electric and Focus ST.

But it’s not only the design that’s important here. “The Ford Evos Concept unites three key elements which are at the core of our One Ford global product strategy: outstanding design, smart technologies and fuel economy leadership,” said Derrick Kuzak, Group Vice President of Global Product Development.

Driver interaction and awareness are key features. You’ve heard references to “the cloud”? It’s alive and well here. The technology on the Ford Evos Concept reflects a new generation of driver interaction and awareness currently under development in the Ford Research and Innovation laboratories. Seamless connectivity between the vehicle and the driver’s “personal cloud” of information is at the heart of its capabilities. Ford researchers are focusing efforts on delivering four key customer benefits: personalization, enhancement of the driving experience, looking after the driver’s well-being and smart electrified powertrain optimization.

Using information from the cloud, the vehicle can provide the same connected lifestyle the driver experiences at home or office. The car knows the driver and automatically adapts handling, steering and engine controls to deliver a dynamic driving experience. For example, imagine if it could automatically play the same music or news program that was just streaming at home, or heat or cool the interior to an ideal temperature before you got in, without input from you, since it would predict your departure time based on your calendar. Wirelessly communicating with devices in the home, it could close the garage door and switch off the lights automatically as it pulls away.

Learning driver habits and capabilities, the technology can overlay map and weather data sourced from the cloud to adjust powertrain, steering, suspension and braking systems for comfort and safety.

And Ford researchers have already developed technologies focused on driver wellness, such as the heart-rate monitoring seat and certified allergy-free interiors. With a seamless connection to the cloud, the Ford Evos Concept monitors the physical state and workload of the driver and adjusts the driving experience accordingly. The concept is also equipped with advanced air quality sensors and filtration systems to help allergy sufferers. Location-aware, it can access air-quality data from the cloud and proactively suggest a healthier route to the destination.

In dynamic driving situations, the vehicle may simplify the appearance of the instrument panel to display only necessary gauge information and switch the driver’s connected smartphone to Do Not Disturb mode to help keep the focus on the road.

What about performance? The Ford Evos Concept is a state-of-the-art lithium-ion plug-in hybrid (PHEV) powertrain, providing the same next-generation performance and fuel economy as the Ford C-MAX Energi scheduled for introduction in North America in 2012 and Europe in 2013. Cloud connectivity would provide further opportunities to enhance performance and efficiency by selecting the optimum combination of powertrain modes for any given journey. Ford researchers are working to increase understanding of driver behavior, develop accurate protocols to predict it and enhance the trip by providing the smartest use of fuel or battery for the situation. The cloud-optimized powertrain would automatically “know” when to save energy and switch modes, using information about the vehicle’s predicted travel route, any emission zone restrictions during the journey and current weather conditions.

“We wanted the Ford Evos Concept to give a clear message about where Ford design is heading – shaping vehicles that are fun to drive, have a premium appeal but, above all, are stunningly beautiful,” said J. “The first fruit of this vision will be ready sooner than you might think – you’ll see it in around four months rather than four years. We can’t wait to introduce the first production car to include this new Ford design to our global customers.”

Source: Ford/Youtube

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

2012 Ford Harley-Davidson F-150 Offers the Ultimate in Performance, Style with New Features, Class-Leading Power

The 2012 Ford Harley-Davidson™ F-150 delivers on the custom cool design that the lineup has been known for, with new snakeskin leather interior accents, a new stylized bodyside graphic and a new wheel and premium paint color. Combine that with a standard 6.2-liter V8 engine and plenty of technology, and it delivers power, capability and style like no other.

•2012 Ford Harley-Davidson™ F-150 offers distinctive new design enhancements with snakeskin leather interior accents and unique bodyside graphic. Also new for 2012 are 22-inch machined-aluminum wheels with painted accents and unique center cap as well as a premium exterior color choice – White Platinum Tri-Coat

•Standard content includes the voice-activated Navigation System, a 4.2-inch productivity screen, power moonroof and Remote Start System

•The truck is powered by a 6.2-liter V8 gasoline engine, which uses big-bore architecture to deliver a best-in-class 411 horsepower and 434 lb.-ft. of torque and provides maximum trailer towing capability of 7,500 pounds
Download Technical Specs

STURGIS, S.D., Aug. 9, 2011– The 2012 Ford Harley-Davidson™ F-150 delivers on the custom cool design the lineup is known for, with new snakeskin leather interior accents and a stylized bodyside graphic. Also new are the wheel design and a premium paint color. Combine that with a standard 6.2-liter V8 engine and plenty of technology, and it delivers power, capability and style like no other.

“This is a great pairing of two icons of the open road: Ford and Harley-Davidson. Both brands appeal to truck owners and motorcycle enthusiasts alike,” said Marc Lapine, Ford F-150 marketing manager. “For 2012 we worked with Harley-Davidson to continue to push the styling envelope while still delivering the durability and power that F-150 is known for and that our collective customers expect. It perfectly captures both brands.”

The successful collaboration between Ford and Harley-Davidson has produced 10 F-150 models, as well as six Super Duty F-250 and F-350 models, and in 2009 the first Harley-Davidson F-450 edition truck. Ford has sold more than 70,000 Ford Harley-Davidson F-Series trucks since the brands teamed up in 1999.

Design in the details

The exterior of the 2012 Ford Harley-Davidson F-150 offers a bold front fascia and six-bar billet-style bright chrome grille, and it boasts “Harley-Davidson” bright chrome badging. The truck also has a lowered appearance with a standard, fully integrated deployable running board.

Also standard are new 22-inch machined-aluminum wheels with painted accents and Harley-Davidson bar and shield logo on center cap. The paint selection is classic Harley-Davidson – Tuxedo Black and White Platinum Tri-Coat; this is the first year white has been offered.

New graphics on the bodyside of the truck are executed in a unique snakeskin texture, while “Harley-Davidson” dimensional lettering is featured on the box side. The snakeskin is inspired by tank inserts on premium-level Harley-Davidson motorcycles and also comes into play on the interior.

“This is the first time we’ve captured the full spectrum of light to dark on the exterior,” said Mike Massara, F-150 program manager. “The graphic flows and accents the design curve of the truck, yet brings the texture of the snakeskin into the vehicle, which is something that’s very difficult to do.”

Interior trim panels are covered in high-gloss Tuxedo Black paint, while the console lid and upper steering wheel carry the snakeskin leather. The scuff plate features brushed aluminum with snakeskin texture. All interior chrome surfaces feature a satin finish. Premium snakeskin leather-trimmed seats come with accent color inserts and unique cloisonné badge.

The 2012 Ford Harley-Davidson F-150 interior is customized to appeal to the truck buyer who appreciates the attention to detail for which both Ford and Harley-Davidson are renowned.

Examples are the seats and the console lid featuring handmade cloisonné badges that are produced by the same company that makes badges for Harley-Davidson motorcycles; the console has limited-edition serialization plates, which include laser-engraved VIN and build numbers.

Nearly every member of the Harley-Davidson F-150 team at Ford is a Harley-Davidson owner.

Superior convenience

The 2012 Ford Harley-Davidson F-150 offers plenty of technology options to meet customer needs. Key to helping customers take advantage of all the capability offered by the Harley-Davidson F-150 is a standard 4.2-inch LCD (liquid crystal display) productivity screen.

This screen offers a range of menu options, giving the customer important information on everything from fuel economy to towing performance. The menu is navigated through a five-way button on the steering wheel; the screen is positioned between the tachometer and speedometer.

Additionally, the 2012 Ford Harley-Davidson F-150 comes equipped with a standard voice-activated Navigation System that integrates several functions, including voice-recognition destination entry, climate control and SiriusXM Satellite Radio into one easy-to-use system, displaying them on an 8-inch touch screen.

For the customer who wants more control of transmission gear selection, SelectShift Automatic™ transmission functionality is standard. A toggle switch located on the console shift lever engages the mode, where the transmission doesn’t second-guess the driver, giving total control over gear selection and performance feel.

Other standard features on the 2012 Ford Harley-Davidson F-150 include:

•Power moonroof
•Rear view camera
•Second-row heated seats
•Ambient lighting
•Remote Start System
•110-volt power inverter
•Power-adjustable performance pedals
Potent power

Ford tapped into a bit of its proud racing heritage to create the 6.2-liter V8 gasoline engine, which uses big-bore architecture to produce impressive horsepower and torque. The gasoline engine delivers a best-in-class 411 horsepower and 434 lb.-ft. of torque and provides maximum trailer towing capability of 7,500 pounds.

Customer benefits of the 6.2-liter V8 gasoline engine include:

•SOHC valvetrain with roller-rocker shafts: The single overhead camshaft (SOHC) per cylinder head design results in a stiff valvetrain that allows optimized camshaft lift profiles and results in great low-speed torque. The roller-rocker shafts allow valve angles to be splayed, resulting in optimized intake and exhaust port layout for better breathing

•Dual-equal variable cam timing: Intake and exhaust valve opening and closing events are phased at the same time to optimize fuel efficiency and performance throughout the engine speed range and throttle positions

•Two spark plugs per cylinder: Due to the large bore size, two spark plugs per cylinder are used to more efficiently burn the fuel-air mixture in the combustion chamber, enabling better fuel economy and increased engine torque. The twin plugs also help the engine maintain a smooth, stable idle

•Dual knock sensors: A knock sensor on each bank of cylinders of the V8 engine allows the spark timing of each cylinder to be individually optimized real-time, throughout the engine speed range. The engine learns the optimum timing via an adaptive algorithm

F-Series firsts

Harley-Davidson F-Series trucks have continuously been pushing the envelope of innovation, bringing a variety of features to F-Series for the first time, including:

•20-inch wheels
•22-inch wheels
•Wet-on-wet paint
•Badges as interior ornamentation
•All-wheel drive
•Power deployable running boards
•High-gloss painted interior

Source: Ford

Ford's New Small-Vehicle Platform Is Turning Heads

Start with the ingredients needed to build an exceptional new small car: smart design, high-quality underbody and powertrain, and streamlined production.

The result is the revolutionary 2012 Focus. Now transform the recipe. Take that smallcar platform and design a sleek, versatile and compact SUV; then create a clever multi activity vehicle that has anticipated a family’s needs. Keep innovating. That is how Ford uses a forward-thinking formula to build 10 unique world-class small vehicles from a single platform. Meet the dynamic C-segment lineup.

How does the C-segment platform make Ford an even better car company? Building many cars off one platform provides Ford with economies of scale that, in turn, allow the company to offer vehicles with some of the most sophisticated features in the world at affordable prices. Any one of the Ford C-platform models could redefine the world’s expectations of a small car, delivering an unprecedented level of technology, features, craftsmanship, ride quality and quietness. “The new C-sized family from Ford will be the strongest demonstration yet of how we’re harnessing the company’s global resources to deliver real customer benefits,” says Derrick Kuzak, group vice president of Global Product Development for Ford. “The scale we’re generating makes it possible to deliver all that.”

Lest you think a single platform means limited style, take a look at the range of silhouettes. Every C-platform vehicle employs kinetic design language, which makes them look like they’re in motion even while they’re standing still. They’re unique unto themselves, yet they all reflect Ford Motor Company President and CEO Alan Mulally’s “ONE Ford” strategy, in which the fleet is similarly excellent—and distinctly recognizable—the world over. The C-platform exemplifies the commitment Ford has to giving you exceptional value in today’s changing automobile market.

That’s vital because, as Kuzak points out, “people downsize cars, not expectations. They want the amenities they’re used to in larger vehicles. They want a small car that is fully appointed with the right materials, craftsmanship and quality.” Without a doubt, they’re going to want a C-car.

If you boil down the many benefits of an all-electric vehicle to one simple fact, it may just be this: no more trips to the fuel pump. An all-electric version of the flagship Focus is due late this year, and it should come as no surprise that the first fuel-free rechargeable passenger car from Ford has been done right. The 2012 Focus Electric will have a better miles per- gallon equivalent than the Chevrolet Volt* and will have about half the charging time of the current Nissan Leaf using 240-volt charging. “Its advanced powertrain will deliver zero emissions without compromising driving enjoyment,” Kuzak says. “And its suite of smart driver information technologies will transform the way customers think about energy usage and their transportation needs.”

Indeed, you’ll love that the Focus Electric’s connectedness goes well beyond the wall plug. It comes with a unique execution of SYNC® with MyFord Touch™ driver connect technology; electric-vehicle-specific features will allow you to keep tabs on battery charge, distance to your charging point, expected range surplus and other helpful data that make it easy to live with an electric vehicle. The driver interface allows you to change settings to optimize your range, and at the end of each trip it displays cool info such as how many miles were gained through regenerative braking, how much energy was consumed and the amount of money you saved compared with a gasoline vehicle. You can even monitor vehicle settings and charging remotely from your smartphone. And when it comes time to plug in, a Value Charging technology powered by Microsoft®** tells you when to charge to get the cheapest utility rates. Also, if some distant cousin shows up with an electric vehicle made by another company, you’ll be able to graciously let him or her charge up in your garage because of the fact that Ford had a leadership role in creating the industry standards for electric-vehicle plugs.

On the open road, the Focus Electric shares many of the dynamic driving characteristics of the zippy, gas-powered edition, including the European-engineered steering, handling and braking. The difference, of course, is the all-electric powertrain and single-speed transmission, which give you off-the-line responsiveness with the speed of switching on a light. And the engine smoothly accelerates to a projected top speed of 84 mph.

It’s time for a fresh take on the compact family vehicle. Introducing the C-MAX, an all-new, unique multiactivity vehicle that features twin sliding rear doors and flexible 5+2 seating— so everybody in your brood can easily fit comfortably for any occasion. This vehicle embodies an entirely new realm of performance, convenience and versatility. Take, for instance, the optional hands-free liftgate. So long as you have your Intelligent Access key fob in your pocket or bag, you don’t have to dig for it while balancing armloads of groceries and a wriggling dog on a leash. Just wave your foot under the rear bumper and the liftgate opens on its own. You can even set how high you want it to rise.

That is only the beginning of what the C-MAX has to offer. Another hallmark of the car’s versatility is the flexible 5+2 seating configuration, which features an ingenious mechanism that allows the middle seat in the second row to fold down and flip beneath the right-hand seat, instantly creating walk-through access to the third row. Everyone sits up high in the C-MAX—the better to enjoy the view through the optional fixed panoramic roof—and the driver enjoys a veritable command center, with optional push-button start, an elevated gearshift and easy access to the car’s plethora of other technology. Tune in to optional HD Radio®, monitor the optional rearview camera, or, with optional SYNC with MyFord Touch, call someone on your phone’s contact list, have text messages read to you, check the weather or traffic, get directions or control the cabin temperature—all using simple voice commands. That keeps your hands on the wheel and your focus on the road.

Step on the gas, and you’ll be impressed with the punch you get from the optional allaluminum 1.6-liter EcoBoost™ I-4 engine, as well as how little fuel it uses, thanks to the car's combination of direct-injection turbocharging and twin independent variable camshaft timing. The multi-link rear suspension and new torque-vectoring control allow you to take sharp corners with confidence, and the car's safety features go so far as to monitor tire pressure and notify you of any inconsistencies. And when you arrive at your destination, the optional Active Park Assist will guide the vehicle smoothly into the best-suited parallel parking space, to the cheers of everyone onboard. Even more good news: The C-MAX will also be available in a shorter, five-passenger hybrid and Energi plug-in hybrid model.

Source: Ford

All-New Ford Ranger

Click here for the Youtube video.

or Click Here for another video of the Ranger.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Ford Fiesta Celebrates 35th Birthday

•2011 marks 35 years since the 1976 launch of the Ford Fiesta – a car that has achieved iconic status in Europe and around the world

•15 millionth Fiesta produced in July, with demand for the sixth generation model showing no signs of waning

•Ford celebrates Fiesta landmarks with interior and exterior revisions and upgrades to keep the highly popular model on top of its game

COLOGNE, Germany, July 29, 2011 – The Ford Fiesta is celebrating two milestones in the summer of 2011, reaching its 35th birthday with a total of 15 million cars produced worldwide.

But despite turning 35, Fiesta is showing no signs of a mid-life crisis. In fact, it looks sharper than ever inside and out thanks to a refreshing facelift.

The Ford Fiesta reached the 15 million production landmark this month, a figure boosted by the popularity of the latest generation model. Ford has built a million of the current model since it debuted 28 months ago.

As Europe’s best-selling small car in 2009, 2010 and on track to accomplish the same feat in 2011, the Fiesta is one of Ford’s greatest success stories – appealing to several generations of drivers with its attractive styling, practicality, efficiency and performance.

“The Fiesta is a special car that has a special place in the hearts of European customers and car lovers around the world,” said Roelant de Waard, vice president, Marketing, Sales and Service, Ford of Europe. “It’s a testament to the original Fiesta from 1976 and the engineers who have developed and improved the car through more than three decades that the Fiesta remains one of the world’s most popular cars.

“Times and technologies have changed, but as long as the Fiesta continues to deliver the style, economy and performance elements that have been present from the very beginning, it will remain an enduring success.”

To keep the Fiesta’s dynamic styling and customer appeal as fresh as ever, Ford is introducing a number of exterior and interior styling changes.

Furthermore, two new exterior colours – Mars Red and Fashionista – are now available and Digital Audio Broadcasting radios, enabling drivers to tune into a larger range of stations with better sound quality where present, are introduced alongside Sony audio systems, both equipped with the signal-improving Diversity Antenna.

From the Fiesta Trend onwards the range now has carpet-backed rear seats and a map pocket on the rear of the driver’s seat. The enhanced Fiesta Trend also adds fog lamps with chrome surrounds and unique wheel trims for the exterior. Inside, new bright silver applications for the air vents and door levers create a striking contrast with a new dark grey interior package. A full leather soft-touch steering wheel, trip computer and attractive new seat trim are also being added.

The Fiesta Sport and Titanium feature the same updates, while the recently unveiled Fiesta Sport Special Edition adds exclusive features including leather seats, black alloy wheels, gloss black interior detailing and silver exterior elements.

The range topping Fiesta Titanium boasts further upgrades, including a new chrome strip for the upper front grille, exciting new 15-inch alloy wheels and a woven headliner. New partial leather seats are also available as an option.

“These upgrades ensure that the Fiesta continues to put its best foot forward in terms of style, equipment and comfort, just as it has done for the past 35 years,” said de Waard.

“With 15 million sales worldwide, the customer response to the Fiesta as a small car package speaks for itself, and we hope the carefully selected upgrades to the current Fiesta will further improve its appeal to small car drivers across the globe.”

The very first Fiesta was produced in Valencia, Spain, in 1976 as Ford’s practical and economical response to a fuel crisis that was gripping the world, and it immediately tapped into a small car demand in Europe and around the world.

Valencia continues to build the current Fiesta production with Ford’s manufacturing plant in Cologne, Germany, now producing the majority of new Fiestas. The Fiesta also is built in Nanjing, China, Rayong, Thailand, and Cuautitlàn, Mexico.

Thirty-five years, six generations and 15 million cars after its debut, the Fiesta continues to offer practicality, style and efficiency to car buyers of all ages

SourceL Ford

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Three-Cylinder Ford Fiesta Coming To U.S.

2012 Ford Fiesta customization pack

If you thought the 40 mpg highway fuel economy rating of the 2011 Ford Fiesta SFE model was impressive, just wait until the reveal of the three-cylinder version, which is reportedly destined to land in the U.S.

The car will come powered by a turbocharged 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine that should deliver horsepower and torque equal to or even better than the four-cylinder 1.6-liter unit currently found in the Fiesta, which means at least 120 horsepower on tap.

The latest information was revealed by Ford powertrain executive Greg Johnson, who spoke recently with Automotive News.

He said Ford’s EcoBoost technology was enabling the automaker to build engines that developed around 120 horsepower per liter. The three-cylinder example will enter production next spring and should appear shortly after in European versions of the Fiesta.

There’s no word on when it will appear in U.S. versions of the car but it shouldn’t be too long after. Ford also plans to install the engine in its Ka and Figo hatchbacks sold overseas but neither model is likely to be sold in the U.S. Both are smaller than the Fiesta, which means pricing would have to start lower--a segment Ford may not be ready to encroach.

In case you haven't been paying attention over the last year, EcoBoost is the name given to Ford’s engines that feature technologies designed to improve performance while simultaneously reducing fuel consumption.

The core of the EcoBoost technologies is turbocharging and direct fuel injection though in the case of Ford’s new three-cylinder engine there’s also variable-valve timing, an offset crankshaft and a host of other technologies. For full details on the tiny powerplant, click here.

Note, Ford isn’t the only automaker investigating the gains of downsizing engines in the effort to boost fuel economy. Rival automakers and independent suppliers alike are designing and building their own compact engines as well.

Source: Internet

Monday, July 4, 2011

U-Haul Won't Rent Trailers to Explorer Drivers

There's a good chance that some of you honestly don't remember the Ford / Firestone debacle that went down in the mid/late 90s. Like the Audi / 60 Minutes firestorm for people of my generation, the Ford / Firestone thing is simply a bit of automotive history.

Unfortunately for anyone who owns an Explorer, this bit of history is not soon forgotten. At least, not if you plan to visit a U-Haul office anytime soon. Despite Ford no longer fitting Firestone tires to the Explorer nor the new one being even remotely similar to the contraption it was then, U-Haul blames the name and has a strict no trailer rental policy to this day as Consumer Reports found out when trying to rent a small trailer for yard mulch.

And as anyone who's been to a U-Haul knows, these aren't employees, they're policy robots like at the post office or DMV -- if the computer says no, there's nothing you can do.

Source: Internet

Spy Photos: 2013 Ford Shelby GT500...EcoBoost? KR?

Let's take stock of what we have from these spy photos of a Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 prototype: Full cage, canards (GT500s do lift at speed), lower ride height, additional / revamped intercooler, larger rear brakes (current GT500 has 11.8-inch rotors), Nurburgring badge.

And now let's go for a quick walk down a more speculative road: The intercooler looks and is placed a lot like an Air:air intercooler (black car, closeup on the next page) would be, though one person thinks that the void area between the fins is too small for that. An Air:air intercooler would make sense if we were looking at a turbocharged V8 (branded EcoBoost despite absolutely no eco benefit) which would make sense as that's the direction Ford is going and affixing EcoBoost badges to a halo car works in a Reaganesque trickle-down theory of coolness.

And as high as the percentage is that the cage and racing seats present in both cars are for testing safety purposes, the Boss 302 has been incredibly popular for Ford despite it being slower than the GT500. (At least in our test it was.) There has to be some demand for a track-focused, ready-to-race Shelby with 500+ horsepower and a cage. The last KR was a disappointment, could this be the car we wanted it to be?

Did we miss anything here? What else could we be looking at? Oh, and where's that new Mach 1 we were expecting from Ford?

Source: Insideline

Spy Photos: 2013 Ford Flex Facelift

When the Ford Flex first went on sale in 2009, it was a refreshing, pleasantly boxy alternative to the current crop of similarly shaped minivans. Unfortunately, like so many things that are refreshing and different, the Flex quickly faded into the background after an initial spike. Too bad, too, because it's good.

Well, Ford's doing something about that for 2013 when the Ford Flex is expected to undergo its first major upgrade. We can see from these spy shots that the 2013 Ford Flex is going to get in line and pick up the Explorer-like mesh-and-bars face treatment along with projector-beam foglights and wrap-around headlights, again, like the Explorer.

Interior and engine upgrades are still unclear.

Source: Edmonds/Insideline

The New Taurus ~ Part Rocket, Part Science

First Look at the 2013 Ford Taurus and Taurus SHO
April 23rd, 2011

It’s difficult to pick the most noteworthy feature of the 2013 Ford Taurus, but let’s start with how the flagship sedan manages to make a bit of automotive history: It is the first car in the Ford North America lineup to offer the new 2.0-liter EcoBoost™ engine. Beyond that, the new Taurus also touts improved fuel economy, more smart technology, a fresh look and additional safety features. And did we mention the Taurus SHO is the sportiest model yet to wear the performance badge? But more on that one in a minute.

The 2.0-liter EcoBoost combines a turbocharger with gasoline direct injection, and is expected to deliver best-in-class highway fuel economy of at least 31 mpg, as well as an estimated 237 horsepower and 250 lb.-ft. of torque. Meanwhile, the standard 3.5-liter V6 is projected to deliver unsurpassed fuel efficiency among V6 segment competitors while still delivering increased performance, with an anticipated 290 horsepower. Both engines are mated to unique six-speed automatic transmissions that offer optimized gear selection for off-the-line power delivery in lower gears, while benefiting fuel economy with higher gears that keep the engine turning efficiently at lower revolutions while cruising.

On the technology front, class-leading offerings include SYNC® with MyFord Touch™, which replaces many traditional buttons, knobs and gauges with clear, colorful LCD screens and steering wheel-mounted five-way toggles. The Taurus is available with a wide variety of audio and navigation connectivity alternatives as well as comfort and convenience options. For example, you might dig the new heated steering wheel, a nice companion to heated and cooled leather-trimmed seats.

For driving performance, the new Taurus utilizes torque vectoring control, which uses a slight – virtually imperceptible to the driver – amount of braking force on the outside front wheel when accelerating through a corner. This minimal brake force provides an effect similar to a limited-slip differential, and the vehicle feels smaller and more maneuverable. The Taurus also adds curve control, a unique Ford braking innovation aimed at slowing the vehicle if it senses that a driver inadvertently enters a curve too quickly. The electric power-assisted steering improves response and feel as well as helps to conserve fuel.

Improving safety of the new Taurus brought enhanced airbag restraints with optimized tethering and venting to specifically tailor deployment force to occupant size, position and seat belt status.

Now, from the see-your-voice-matters department comes the new Taurus SHO. Ford absolutely listened to SHO buyers and enthusiasts to strengthen the design and driving quality of the 2013 model. Fun fact: Roughly half of 2010 SHO customers had not previously considered nor shopped Ford, and frequently it’s high-end sedans – think 3- and 5-Series BMWs and Acura TLs – that are trade-ins.

Giving the SHO a unique look is a performance-inspired grille in black mesh, flanked by series-specific high-intensity discharge headlamps. Behind the front wheel openings, a fender-mounted scallop contains a subtle SHO badge. Unique 19-inch premium painted wheels wearing standard P255/45VR-19 all-season tires fill out the openings; buyers can opt for 20-inch machined and painted wheels. SHO-specific sideview mirrors – also in contrasting black – are heated, have memory functionality and contain downward-facing puddle lamps; the driver’s side features auto-dimming. In the rear, Taurus SHO has a decklid-mounted spoiler.

Performance attributes include the award-winning and fuel-efficient 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6, delivering 365 horsepower and 350 lb.-ft. of torque, mated to a six-speed high-capacity 6F55 SelectShift Automatic™ transmission, for up to 25 EPA-rated mpg on the highway.

Steering wheel–mounted paddle shifters enable the Taurus SHO to match revs for smooth, quick, manually selected downshifts. For the new model, these have been reconfigured for more intuitive operation, with one paddl for upshifts and the other for making smooth, matched-rev downshifts. As with the Taurus, the SHO models also feature torque vectoring control. And the new Performance Package includes Electr Stability Control track mode with true off, performance brakes and track-tuned calipers and a sport-tuned suspension.

When it came to the 2013 Taurus and Taurus SHO, Ford approached the cars’ upgrades with “obsessive attention to detail,” explained Mark Fields, the Ford President of The Americas. “The new Taurus builds on the transformation we achieved in the 2010 model. Delivering so many upgrades so soon further underscores Ford’s leadership and commitment to delivering high-quality, fuel-efficient cars for our customers.”

Click Here to check out the new 2013 Taurus SHO.

Click Here to check out the 2013 Taurus.

Source: Ford

Ford reveals its all-new, purpose-built Police Interceptor Utility Vehicle

Ford Motor Company, the police vehicle market leader for 15 years, has done it again. The company unveiled the all-new Police Interceptor Utility vehicle in Chicago.

To develop the all-new Police Interceptor Utility, Ford engineers worked hand-in-hand with Ford's Police Advisory Board of law enforcement professionals, which provided input on key vehicle attributes such as safety, performance, durability, driver comfort and functionality.

“Their feedback mattered to us,” said Scott Tobin, Ford vehicle line director for cars and crossovers. “Safety and durability were at the top of their list. So safety and durability were at the top of ours.”

Since law enforcement officials have specific needs, Ford's engineers designed several features to address the special requirements of the job. Including:

Ballistic Door Panels: These are certified by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) to stop all Type III and all lesser NIJ rounds.

75 MPH Crash Test Rated: Ford Police Interceptors are purpose-built to pass 75-mph rear-end crash testing. (Ford is the only manufacturer to publish results.)

Personal Safety System: Designed to protect, the Personal Safety System™ is a holistic, networked safety approach. The always-on-alert Safety Canopy® System includes a rollover sensor, along with roll-fold, side-curtain airbags. Meanwhile, the Interceptors are structurally tough. A reinforced, heavy-duty unibody architecture creates multiple crush zones.

Interior Comfort: The driver seat is six-way power adjustable with lumbar support. Plus, both front seats feature sculpted foam at the bottom of the seat back to accommodate an officer's utility belt. And inserted into the seatback, are anti-stab plates, designed to protect front-seat occupants.

The Police Interceptor utility crossover complements the Taurus-based sedan in Ford's police lineup. The utility vehicle will come in front- and all-wheel-drive models, and will be powered by a naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V6 making at least 280 hp working with a six-speed automatic transmission.

The utility vehicle and sedan are part of Ford's dual approach to replacing the aging Crown Victoria, which remains the most popular car for police around the country. Ford is breaking away from that car's tried-and-true mold of V8 power channeled to the rear wheels, though the company is quick to say the all-wheel setup will be just as effective for officers.

"This is a very diverse industry with multifaceted requirements," said Jim Holland, chief engineer of the police utility vehicle. The utility vehicle is also said to get 20 percent better fuel economy than the current Crown Vic.

Both vehicles were tested by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and the Michigan State Police.

Ford's new Police Interceptor utility will be manufactured at Ford's Chicago (Ill.) Assembly Plant and will be offered without interruption when production of the Crown Victoria Police Interceptor ends in late 2011.

Source: Ford

Friday, June 3, 2011

Cars Made Of Strange Stuff

Ford's hemp prototype

Henry Ford might have had something strange in his pipe when he came up with the idea for this 1941 prototype, which was made of resin-stiffened hemp fiber (what's hemp?). He was so confident of the car's strength; he put it through a remarkable test.

Fuel of the Future

When Henry Ford told a New York Times reporter that ethyl alcohol was "the fuel of the future" in 1925, he was expressing an opinion that was widely shared in the automotive industry. "The fuel of the future is going to come from fruit like that sumach out by the road, or from apples, weeds, sawdust -- almost anything," he said. "There is fuel in every bit of vegetable matter that can be fermented. There's enough alcohol in one year's yield of an acre of potatoes to drive the machinery necessary to cultivate the fields for a hundred years."

Ford recognized the utility of the hemp plant. He constructed a car of resin stiffened hemp fiber, and even ran the car on ethanol made from hemp. Ford knew that hemp could produce vast economic resources if widely cultivated.

Ford's optimistic appraisal of cellulose and crop based ethyl alcohol fuel can be read in several ways. First, it can be seen as an oblique jab at a competitor. General Motors had come to considerable grief that summer of 1925 over another octane boosting fuel called tetra-ethyl lead, and government officials had been quietly in touch with Ford engineers about alternatives to leaded gasoline additives. Secondly, by 1925 the American farms that Ford loved were facing an economic crisis that would later intensify with the depression. Although the causes of the crisis were complex, one possible solution was seen in creating new markets for farm products. With Ford's financial and political backing, the idea of opening up industrial markets for farmers would be translated into a broad movement for scientific research in agriculture that would be labelled "Farm Chemurgy." 2

Why Henry's plans were delayed for more than a half century:

Ethanol has been known as a fuel for many decades. Indeed, when Henry Ford designed the Model T, it was his expectation that ethanol, made from renewable biological materials, would be a major automobile fuel. However, gasoline emerged as the dominant transportation fuel in the early twentieth century because of the ease of operation of gasoline engines with the materials then available for engine construction, a growing supply of cheaper petroleum from oil field discoveries, and intense lobbying by petroleum companies for the federal government to maintain steep alcohol taxes. Many bills proposing a National energy program that made use of Americas vast agricultural resources (for fuel production) were killed by smear campaigns launched by vested petroleum interests. One noteworthy claim put forth by petrol companies was that the U.S. government's plans "robbed taxpayers to make farmers rich".

Gasoline had many disadvantages as an automotive resource. The "new" fuel had a lower octane rating than ethanol, was much more toxic (particularly when blended with tetra-ethyl lead and other compounds to enhance octane), generally more dangerous, and contained threatening air pollutants. Petroleum was more likely to explode and burn accidentally, gum would form on storage surfaces and carbon deposits would form in combustion chambers of engines. Pipelines were needed for distribution from "area found" to "area needed". Petroleum was much more physically and chemically diverse than ethanol, necessitating complex refining procedures to ensure the manufacture of a consistent "gasoline" product.

However, despite these environmental flaws, fuels made from petroleum have dominated automobile transportation for the past three-quarters of a century. There are two key reasons: First, cost per kilometer of travel has been virtually the sole selection criteria. Second, the large investments made by the oil and auto industries in physical capital, human skills and technology make the entry of a new cost-competitive industry difficult.

Until very recently, environmental concerns have been largely ignored. All of that is finally changing as consumers demand fuels such as ethanol, which are much better for the environment and human health.

Henry Ford takes a whack at the automobile which he
"grew from the soil." This 1930s marvel withstood the
impact of a sledgehammer and in retrospect was the
first 'green' car made in America, manufactured using
resonated plant fiber and powered with hemp biofuels.
Other attributes of the vehicle, as reported by the article
in Popular Mechanics, included a steel tubular frame
which was 2/3 lighter than a steel counterpart and the
use of soybeans and other organic matter throughout.

Ford's home-grown creation was first featured in the
February 1941 edition of Popular Mechanics and was
expected to best any automobile being manufactured
at that time. The only thing that could stop Ford from
succeeding, did; Prohibition on the very hemp he used.

Ford's dream came to an end resulting from legislation
when Congress enacted The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937.
Though it was intended to control and tax marijuana,
the legislation made it impossible for citizens to follow
and hemp and marijuana have been illegal ever since.

Source: Internet

Friday, April 1, 2011

2012 Ford Focus

The Basics

In a sea of sensibly-sized and relatively fuel-efficient—yet all rather humdrum—small cars, the 2012 Ford Focus has just a little more personality.

Key Takeaway

With the 2012 Focus, Ford shows that small cars don't have to feel so banal, with charismatic compacts that are more satisfying to drive, more luxurious, and better-equipped.

That's what Ford would like us to think with its new Focus, yet here it's true. The new Focus not only looks more flamboyant and sophisticated inside and out; it's also a more engaging drive than most other on-a-budget small sedans, and it offers some features that haven't up until now been offered in this class.

There's no longer a Focus Coupe, but there are two beautiful body styles—a four-door sedan or five-door hatchback—from which to choose. Both models have some nice creases and curves; and thankfully, Ford's saccharine chrome louvered grille, from several of its larger vehicles, hasn't been carried over here. Inside, the design is pleasingly complex—incorporating a cockpit-like instrument panel arrangement, with a thick center stack, some nice surface sculpting, and vertically-oriented vents.

An all-new 2.0-liter direct-injected four-cylinder engine powers the entire Focus lineup for 2012. It makes 160 horsepower and 146 pound-feet of torque and comes paired with either a five-speed manual gearbox or six-speed PowerShift dual-clutch automatic. You have to rev the engine to access its perky side, but the dual-clutch gearbox does a great job keeping the revs high and uninterrupted when you need it; there's also a Sport mode, or you can control shifts yourself with a little +/- button on the side of the shift knob instead of paddle-shifters or a separate gate. While the powertrain requires a little diligence, the ride-and-handling compromises are about the best it gets. The Focus handles as well as—or better than—the most deft handler in the class, the Mazda3, with a suspension that doesn't crash and bang over rough transitions. Ford's electric power steering system provides nice weighting and it performs well, providing precise control but not transmitting much feel of the road.

The Focus's inherent sportiness extends to its interior, which feels, in top Titanium trim (with upgraded sport seats), more like that of a smart European sport-sedan cabin than a low-priced small car. The base seats in the 2012 Ford Focus are quite good, with better support than those of most other affordable small cars. And whether you choose the sedan or hatchback, you get back seat accommodations that are virtually the same, with just enough legroom and headroom to fit even those over six feet. With the leather upholstery, there's no skimping on look and feel in back; you won't get mid-size comfort, but there's enough comfort back there for most six-footers.

Ford is giving shoppers a choice as to whether they want a basic small car or a much more sophisticated one with all the features and options of a larger one. Prices on the Focus range from $16,995, including destination, for the base 2011 Ford Focus S, up to about $27k for a loaded Titanium. At the top of the line, the Titanium earns you MyFord Touch, an upgraded ten-speaker Sony sound system, HD Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio, sport seats, a sport suspension, and sport wheels with summer performance tires. A number of the Titanium's features—including the Sport package—are optional on the SEL.

One other segment-exclusive feature that will be available in the Titanium is Active Park Assist—that's the system Ford has offered on several more expensive models that essentially allows the car to steer itself into a spot while you modulate the brake. In a city-savvy small car like the Focus—rather than one that's more likely to be valet-parked—it finally makes sense.

Source: Internet

Monday, March 28, 2011

Supply Limited For Black, Red Vehicles

If you're looking for one of several Ford or Lincoln vehicles in black or red, you'd better be ready to settle with what's out at the dealership—and potentially even paying a little extra. Ford has just told its dealerships to halt orders of some models with certain hues of semi-metallic red or black paint, because of a supply interruption due to the recent earthquake in Japan.

Tuxedo Black is temporarily not offered for order on a number of Ford trucks and SUVs, as well as the Ford Taurus and Lincoln MKX. There's also a problem with red for Ford F-Series Super Duty and Ranger pickups, Econoline vans, and the Ford Focus and Lincoln Navigator.

According to CNN Money, both hues rely on an ingredient called Xirallic to get a slightly metallic look, and the recent natural disaster in Japan caused a supply disruption from the company that was providing it.

Don't look for the shortage to last that long; Ford is looking for another ingredient to take its place.

Source: Internet

Amazing 2011 Fiesta Crash and Testimonial

Poor Squeezie - Amazing 2011 Fiesta Crash and Testimonial

This was such a compliment to us and to Ford Motor Company that I had to share. Angela Williams, a customer who bought our very first lime squeeze 2011 Fiesta, got hit in a head-on collision by a drunk driver during broad daylight a few days ago. You can find a video of the aftermath of the crash on at YouTube.

The crash was bad, but as you'll see from the photos, those class-exclusive driver knee airbags allowed Mrs. Williams to walk away from the crash. Here is what she had to say:

"Please tell Randall Ford that I definitely want another Fiesta. If she could help us locate another I would be forever grateful. This car, from what the police said, at the very least saved my legs. I want to write a testimonial and send to Ford, but not sure who to send it to. I want to let them know how much I appreciate the engineering and safety features that helped save my life."

We are locating her another Fiesta as we speak. Nothing says customer loyalty like a life that has been spared! Thanks to the engineers at Ford who make safety standard.

Source: RandallFord/Youtube

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Ford Gained Market Share Across Much Of Model Line

Between 2008 and 2010, the U.S. auto industry—and the auto market as a whole—went through a sea change. In addition to bankruptcies from GM and Chrysler, discontinued brands, and retired model lines, the economy forced many brands to make hasty changes to their model lines.

And somehow, Ford managed to continue the upswing that it had started heading into the period—with some impressive gains in sales and market share.

R.L. Polk & Co. has helped put this into perspective: In a post, analyst Tom Libby explains that Ford's overall gain in market share from calendar-year 2008 to CY 2010 is more than the entire market share of Subaru, Mazda, or Volkswagen.

Over those two years, Ford has gained a very impressive 2.5 percent of market share, up to about 14.8 percent for 2010.

What's even more impressive is that the market share hasn't been earned through just a few halo vehicles. During those two years, eight of the seventeen Ford models have gained market share.

The Ford Fusion, F-Series, and Escape each gained a half a percent or more from 2008 to 2010. while only the Explorer, Crown Victoria, and Expedition (along with the discontinued Taurus X) lost market share—and even in all of those cases it was a tenth of a percent or less.

Those are great signs for the brand and the company, as its success hasn't been rooted in a particular vehicle line, or type of vehicle—although it does remain somewhat dependent on the F-150 as a profit center. The brand also otherwise looks well-positioned for rising gas prices—a heightened concern over the past several weeks given recent political upheaval throughout the Middle East and North Africa.

According to Autodata—and cited by MSN Money—Ford is one of just two, out of all the U.S. and Asian automakers, to reduce its average incentives last month—while its sales grew 13 percent.

Ford is expected to finish February with about 16 percent of the market, ranking it after General Motors but ahead of Toyota.

Source: Polk

Thieves Steal Gas By Drilling Into Tanks

Gas prices are rising, and we're all already feeling it at the pump. Political instability abroad and economic instability at home seem to be conspiring to suck our wallets dry as fast as our gas tanks. But now some enterprising thieves are hurrying the process along, drilling into the tanks of parked cars to steal their refined payload.

The area around Fort Mill, SC, just southwest of Charlotte, North Carolina, is apparently feeling the pinch at the pump more acutely than elsewhere. Five incidents of drill-wielding gas theft have come out of South Carolina's York County, according to the local Sheriff's Office.

Drills in hand, the thieves pounce at night, stealing the gas, leaving the tanks in need of repair. Some of the owners of the cars vandalized thus far hadn't realized the full scope of the matter until the car was at the repair shop--likely after discovery by the mechanic.

The thefts have so far been localized to five streets in the Baxter Village and Bailiwyck areas of Fort Mill. If you're in those areas, you might want to boost security on your car in a visible manner to deter the thieves and avoid a costly repair--and another fill-up.

Source: Internet

2012 Ford Focus To Get 40-MPG EPA Rating

2012 Ford Focus

40 miles per gallon seems to be the new magic number in the automotive industry and Ford could be considered heavy weight in the category. With the official 40-mpg rating of the 2012 Ford Focus by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Ford now has four vehicles with a 40-mpg or greater rating. As you might guess that is the most of any manufacturer currently. What is even more interesting is the research that backs up Ford’s strategy for superior fuel economy, their method and we quite like the technology as well.

Friday, Ford released a press release that educated the media on the fuel efficient model range and research that shows consumers leaning towards fuel efficiency. According to Derrick Kuzak, group vice president, Global Product Development, ““Our customers tell us that fuel economy is the top reason for purchasing a Focus. The all-new Focus meets that demand with great fuel economy, class-leading technologies and features, exceptional standards of craftsmanship and driving dynamics typically reserved for larger, more expensive vehicles.” What makes this achievement more significant is how Ford has chosen to execute their offering of mpg to the customer.

What sets the Ford Focus apart from some of the competition? Besides the 14 class leading features, ones that will have some 50 commercials to promote them to the public, the Focus also employs a six-speed automatic transmission that is used in the Super Fuel Economy (SFE) model. Think of the SFE model as similar to the Hyundai Elantra Blue and if you were going to place bets, then we would put our money on other companies following suite. In other words we believe we will start to see designated high efficiency models. One of the more interesting and unique features of the 2012 Ford Focus is the Active Grille Shutter System.

The system features a motorized shutter system that has horizontal vanes. These vanes can rotate some 90 degrees to block airflow and are controlled by the cars ECU. The shutter system can rotate the horizontal vanes in 15 different directions to control the amount of airflow into the radiator. When the vanes are completely close the system reduces the drag on the vehicle and therefore the CO2 emissions. How much? Two percent. The system also helps keep the driver more comfortable by keeping the vanes closed during cold start to allow the engine to warm up quicker.

Ford says, “Great looks, smart technology and true performance.” What will you say? If you are in the market for a new small car you owe yourself a close look at the 2012 Ford Focus so you can try it on for size—and technology.

Source: Internet

2012 Ford Focus Video: MyFord Touch And (A Few Of) Its 10,000 Words

2012 Ford Focus Sedan and Hatchback

The Ford Sync system is now installed in about 70 percent of U.S. Ford models, in a total of 2.5 million vehicles. With voice-command-based, hands-free access to cellphones and media players, via Bluetooth and USB, Sync arguably helps keep your eyes on the road by replacing button-pushing with words.

The next step up from Sync is MyFord Touch, featured in the 2011 Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX, and now offered in the 2012 Ford Focus that's just reaching dealerships this month.

In case you missed our coverage of MyFord Touch in the Edge and MKX, the system introduces the combination of a beautiful, tablet-like touch screen, five-way toggle buttons on the steering wheel, and additional, smaller gauge-cluster displays. It's generally been well-received, and in our first few drives with the system, we can see that there's a bit of a learning curve but we find the system more intuitive than most.

That said, not all testers have come away very impressed with MyFord Touch. Consumer Reports bashed the system for its confusing controls, cluttered touch-screen layout, and sometimes sluggish screen response, saying that while the system worked well for complex commands it was clumsy for everyday controls.

One thing that few could fault (because it's simply the best in the business at this time) is the much-expanded voice-command set introduced with MyFord Touch; it gets a new voice-recognition (VR) engine and a new command structure that opens up the system to recognizing about 10,000 voice commands, according to Ford. That's about ten times the number of commands that earlier versions of Sync could respond to.

Nearly every feature in the vehicle that doesn't directly pertain to driving can now be controlled through voice commands; that includes climate control, the sound system, hands-free calling functions, and trip computer and navigation functions.

Destination street address completely skips the clunky keypad destination entry process that you have to deal with in many high-end luxury cars—it's one of the best examples of the expanded abilities—and instead allows you to simply address the entire street address, including the street number, street name, and city, with one voice input. MyFord Touch then has you verify the input and set the destination.

Ford Sync systems engineer Dominic Colella recently took us on a tour of Sync's expanded voice commands in a MyFord Touch–equipped 2012 Focus and his examples point out that you don't, as in some systems, reach a wall where you're not sure which command to give next—we appreciate how the interface will, if in doubt, give a series of numbered options in most cases.

The system has quite awesome speech-recognition ability and can even tune to Sirius channels by the station name, or by a specific FM frequency, as opposed to simply numbered presets as in most other voice command systems. The interface will also boast similar levels of interactivity with upcoming apps for Pandora and Stitcher.

"Basically any piece of information that your song is known by, you can request to play over VR," Colella said.

Watch the video clip here for some examples of how well these expanded voice commands work.

MyFord Touch is standard on the 2012 Ford Focus Titanium and optional on Focus SEL models.

Source: Ford

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

1962 Ford Cougar Concept Car

Source: Internet

1955 Ford Mystere Concept Car

Source: Internet

1943 Ford Works Lot

Source: Internet

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Camping in a Ford Model T

Long before there was a motel in every town folks who traveled by car had to make do with whatever comforts they could carry in the primitive automobiles of the day. Normally that meant sleeping on the ground with, at best, protection from a canvas cover attached to the side of the vehicle. A few innovators went a step further, turning the car into a mobile bedroom. Henry Ford's remarkably versatile Model T lent itself to such conversions, becoming the first wheeled "camper" since the covered wagon. The car above, which caught my attention at the Model T 100th Centennial in Richmond, Indiana this year, is a charming example. It got the occupants off the ground, provided basic shelter, and included storage space for bedding, pots and pans, and the various paraphenalia needed when camping away from normal conveniences. Just to prove how practical it may have been in its time, the owners actually slept in their Model T en route to the event.

Source: Internet

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Best Buy, Not Dealerships, To Oversee Ford Focus Electric Home Chargers

The 220-volt home-charging stations that make electric-car ownership a lot easier—and possible, for heavy commuters—are admittedly more like home appliances than traditional auto accessories.

But it's still a bit surprising that Ford [NYSE: F] has chosen Best Buy, rather than its dealerships, to supervise deployment and installation of home charging stations for the 2012 Ford Focus Electric, which was officially revealed in production form today at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

In a move that makes sense but might keep customers from seeking help from the Ford dealership as much as they otherwise might, Best Buy is also handling warranty and repair for the charging station. Focus Electric owners will be able to purchase the stations through 1,200 Best Buy stores across the U.S. or through the Best Buy website, then the retailer's Geek Squad service and support crew will schedule an electrical audit and professional installation.

Unlike the charging station for the 2011 Nissan Leaf, the Ford charging station won't be a permanent home installation; it plugs into a 240-volt drier-style outlet and can be removed when needed—such as when the owner moves.

Ford has said that with the 240-volt, charging system, permitting the system's 32-amp maximum capability, the Focus Electric will charge fully in as little as three to four hours—about half the time of the Nissan Leaf. That comes thanks to the 6.6-kW on-board charger.

The price for the home charger, at $1,499 with a standard installation, is also substantially less than that of the Nissan Leaf.

When the connector is plugged into the Focus Electric's charge port, a light ring illuminates to show a proper connection, then the ring lights up in quadrants to show the approximate stage of charge completion.

The Focus Electric, which goes on sale late this calendar year, will offer enough range to satisfy the needs of most driving Americans, Ford says, and is emphasizing the driving experience more than Nissan has with the Leaf. Top speed for the Focus Electric, in final specs revealed at CES, is 84 mph.

This isn't the first time Best Buy's name has been mentioned at CES. GM's OnStar just announced the other day that its hardware would be available for purchase for non-GM vehicles at the electronics retailer's stores.

Source: Internet

2012 Ford Focus ST

Hot hatches, how we love thee. Punchy, pint-sized, yet utilitarian and able to fly (just) under the radar, these do-it-all wonders never cease to please. The 2012 Ford Focus ST is no exception, and this video even treats us to a bit of turbo spool action.

As B-roll footage, it's not particularly exciting, but it does give us yet another look at the car, and this time it's actually moving.

Source: Internet

2012 Ford Focus Electric Live Unveiling At 2011 Detroit Auto Show

Ford’s Volt and Leaf rival has been revealed, making its world debut last week at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and then reappearing again this week at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show. We are, of course, talking about the 2012 Ford Focus Electric, the Blue Oval’s first mass-produced electric car and possibly the pick of the bunch out of the Ford-GM-Nissan trio.

Below is a video of the new model’s unveiling in Detroit this week, with Ford’s product chief Derrick Kuzak and chairman Bill Ford touting all of its benefits.

Source: Internet