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Archive for the ‘Ford’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Ford Mustang By Tucci Hot Rods

50 years on the market is a long time, and the Mustang is coming up on 53 years as of 2018, the year that the sixth-gen model gets a serious facelift. That facelift brings new looks, updated technology, and more power to one of America’s favorite muscle cars, and now, it’s serving as the basis for at least seven concept cars at the 2017 SEMA show in Las Vegas. The one we’re looking at here is developed by Tucci Hot Rods, and it’s one of the most intensive Mustangs that we’ve ever seen. We’re talking about engine modification, custom exterior work, custom interior work, and a supposed top speed of 200 mph. Whether or not it can really do that remains to be seen, but I’ve seen the modification list, and I have to admit, it’s not that farfetched.

Needless to say, Tucci Hot Rods had to put some serious work into the Mustang to get it to this point. Not that it’s necessarily a slouch. This concept is based on the 2018 GT, so we’re talking about a starting power output of 460 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque (yes, that’s 25 ponies and 20 pound-feet more than the pre-facelifted model.) At this time, technical specifications are still shrouded in mystery, but we do know what the standard model’s “less-than-four-second” sprint to 60 is probably easily topped by this custom GT. This Mustang will be fully revealed when SEMA kicks off, so until then, let’s talk a little more about what Tucci Hot Rods did to push this Mustang over the top and faster than 200 mph…

Exterior

  • John’s Auto Restoration paint
  • Tucci Hot Rods aluminum pro mod wing and rear diffuser
  • Ultimaker 3D-printed hood vents
  • Stroud parachute

2018 Ford Mustang By Tucci Hot Rods - image 740040

If you know the 2018 Mustang, then looking at the picture above should hit you right in the feels. To put it simply, it’s still got most of the stock ‘Stang styling, but there’s a completely different front fascia that has the corner vents closed completely off (this could be for extra downforce on the front end) Speaking of downforce, Tucci Hot Rods added a much more prominent spoiler to the front and to the sides to help keep the ‘Stang planted as well. We can’t see much of the rear, but you can bet that there is a massive diffuser and there’s most certainly a large spoiler in the rear too, most likely of the active variety. Considering the car is designed to break the 200-mph barrier, it’s likely there’s a parachute strapped to the rear end as well.

With that in mind, there’s a lot of extra engine work going on under the hood, and that’s why you’ve got those deep intake bellows sitting on each side of the grille – just waiting to channel air into the monster lurking under the hood. More about that later, though. For now, you’ll have to make due with the knowledge that Jon’s Auto Restoration took care of the matte-grey look while Tucci Hot Rods threw on the aluminum pro mod wing and rear diffuser. Those hood vents, while appearing stock are actually 3D-printed by Ultimaker, and as I mentioned before, there is a parachute out back, supplied by Stroud. The car rides on Forgeline GTD1 Open lug wheels. They are 19-inch units, but measure just nine-inches wide up front and 11-inches wide out back. Those wheels just so happen to wear Hoosier rubbers — 265/25-series up front and 315/35-series out back.

All told, it’s not too bad, but we’ll have to see what it looks like in the metal once the doors at SEMA open and we can get a good look. Until then, let’s talk a little about what’s going on inside this 200-mph beast.

Interior

  • Cobra Sebring Pro-Fit GT driver’s seat
  • Cobra Suzuka Pro-Fit GT passenger’s seat
  • Schroth Pro-Fit II 6 pt. HANS harnesses
  • Tucci Hot Rods 8 pt. roll cage
  • TMR Customs interlocking roll cage clamps

2018 Ford Mustang By Tucci Hot Rods - image 740046

For the most part, the interior was left alone. By that, I mean that the dash, center console and the rest of the stock goodies still exist in their natural habitat. What has changed, however, is pretty important for a car that does 200 mph. I’m talking, of course, about the seats, the roll cage, and the racing harnesses to keep asses in the seats should things go awry. So, Tucci Hot Rods threw in a Cobra Sebring Pro-Fit GT seat for the driver and a Cobra Suzuka Pro-Fit GT seat for the passenger. And, those who get the glory of riding in those seats will be held in place by Schroth Pro-Fit, six-point HANS harness. Finally, Tucci Hot Rods threw in an eight-point roll cage that’s held in place by TMR Customs interlocking roll cage clamps.

Drivetrain

  • Hellion twin turbo kit
  • Mishimoto radiator, transmission cooler and oil cooler
  • Turned by HP Tuners
  • G-Force driveshaft and rear axles
  • DEI exhaust wrap
  • Ford Performance by Borla exhaust
  • RideTech triple adjustable air ride suspension
  • Wilwood Aero (six-piston front / four-piston rear) brakes
  • Ford Performance front and rear sway bars

2018 Ford Mustang By Tucci Hot Rods - image 740047

Ah… we finally get to the real meat and potatoes of this custom build. Of course, there’s still a little while before the car is shown off in all of its glory, so specs are limited at best, but we do know what has been done under the hood, and it’s nothing short of magnificent. First, let me start off by explaining where Tucci Hot Rods had to start. They picked themselves up a 2018 Ford Mustang Fastback – you know, the one with the 5.0-liter V-8 and a 10-speed automatic transmission. Out of the gate, that engine is good for 460 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. That’s not bad, and it’s enough to get the Mustang to the 60-mph benchmark in “less than four seconds.” But, that’s not good enough for a modded out muscular beast, now is it?

Of course, it’s not, and that’s why it’s been fitted with a Hellion twin turbo kit to cram as much air as possible into that intake sitting up top. And, that’s why this baby has those custom intake bellows on either side of the radiator grille. And, with all of that extra intake, there’s bound to be a need for a custom exhaust, so the Ford Performance Borla exhaust system is a perfect fit for this application (and it’ll sound good too.) In addition, there’s some DEI exhaust wrap applied within the vicinity of the turbos to prevent too much heat exchange under the hood while a Mishimoto radiator, transmission cooler, and oil cooler will keep the necessary fluids within a safe operating range during the most extreme conditions. Finally, to help handle all of the extra add-ons, HP tuners was commissioned to do a custom tune for this monster of a Mustang.

As of now, there’s no word as to how much horsepower or torque this baby produces, or how fast it can get to 60 mph. But, it has been promised that it can hit the 200-mph benchmark. If I had to guess, I’d say we’re looking at somewhere around 800 horsepower, that would be enough to justify the addition of the G-Force driveshaft and rear axles – a necessary evil when you have that kind of power going to the rear wheels. Of course, we’ll know more about the specs by the time it debuts at the SEMA show, so stay tuned for updates.

Conclusion


2018 Ford Mustang By Tucci Hot Rods - image 740042

At this point, I have to say that this build looks highly impressive, but a Mustang Fastback hitting 200 mph seems like something out of a wet dream for Ford fanboys as opposed to reality itself. Then again, Tucci Hot Rods did put some serious work into this ‘Stang as well. Since it’s a concept for SEMA it’s hard to say whether or not we’ll ever know for sure that it can hit that magical speed, but it sure would be nice to see, don’t you think? Either way, the build list is outrageous and promising at the same time, so we’ll be keeping our eyes open at SEMA. Check back with us at the end of the month for the latest update on this mean beast!

  • Leave it
    • A little over the top
    • Can it hit 200 mph?
    • Color could be better

References

Ford Mustang


2018 Ford Mustang - image 702254

Read our full review on the 2018 Ford Mustang.


2017 Chevrolet Traverse SUP Concept - image 740208

Read more 2017 SEMA Show news.

PostHeaderIcon Ford Mustang By DRAGG

The Ford Mustang can be customized in a number of different ways and we’re seeing a full lineup of them at the 2017 SEMA Auto Show. One of these cars is this particular Mustang. It may look the part of an actual police car – it even has a push bar, for crying out loud! – but it’s anything but one. What it is though is a custom Guardian-themed police car created by Drag Racing Against Gangs and Graffiti (DRAGG), a non-profit, youth-oriented automotive after-school program that encourages kids to race on the drag strip against actual police officers.

I don’t know if this Mustang can hold its own on a drag strip, but I’m pretty sure it’s not built for that environment either since it’s been described, among other things, as “eco-friendly.” However it’s made out to be, this Mustang does have a bigger purpose than just being a SEMA showpiece. It was created by DRAGG to be a symbol of unity and purpose, to encourage troubled kids to turn their backs on knucklehead environments and focus on being a part of improving their communities together with the local police forces that serve these locations. Visually, it’s one of the most arresting (no pun intended) creations among all the SEMA-bound Mustangs. Purposefully, it’s probably one of the most important customized Mustangs we’ve seen in quite a while.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Ford Mustang by DRAGG

Exterior

  • Rally Innovations custom front splitter
  • Federal Signal emergency lighting by West Coast Lights and Siren
  • Commercial Auto Body custom paint
  • 3M graphics and logos by Ron’s Signs
  • Metalhaus Inc. police push bar
  • Petty’s Garage custom rear spoiler
  • Velgen VFMP10 wheels
  • Michelin tires

2017 Ford Mustang By DRAGG - image 740274
“It’s hard to imagine this Mustang not striking fear in the hearts of those that cross paths with it”

It’s hard to resist the urge of calling this a cop car because it’s all dressed like one. It’s got all the graphics and logos of a police cruiser and it even has Federal Signal emergency lighting and an actual push bar, two components that were provided for by West Coast Lights and Siren and Metalhaus Inc., respectively. On the aero front, the Mustang receives a custom front splitter from Rally Innovations, a custom rear spoiler from Petty’s Garage, and a set of 20-inch Velgen VFMP10 wheels that are all wrapped up in Michelin tires, measuring 275/30/20 in the front and 305/30/20 at the back.

It’s hard to imagine this Mustang not striking fear in the hearts of those that cross paths with it. I certainly wouldn’t want to have this car occupying real estate space in my rear view mirror. The good news is that it’s actually not a full-fledged police car, but the mere suggestion that it looks like one is enough to guarantee it’s legitimacy.

Interior

  • Leather interior kit by Katzkin
  • Sport pedal kit
  • Kicker audio system

2018 Ford Mustang - image 702221
“The interior looks exactly like what a standard ‘Stang cabin should look like”

If this were an actual police cruiser, the interior will take on a completely different look to it. It’s going to have a screen that separates the front and rear sections and it’s going to have one of those fancy computers that cruisers all have. It might even have live ammunition all over it. But none of those are present in this Mustang. Instead, the interior looks exactly like what a standard ‘Stang cabin should look like. There are added benefits like a leather interior kit from Katzkin, a sport pedal kit, and an audio system from Kicker. But by and large, the interior is just a well-dressed version of a standard cabin. I don’t know if that’s a good thing, but it’s how it’s presented. We’ll take it for what it is.

Drivetrain


2017 Ford Mustang By DRAGG - image 740275
  • 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine
  • 310 horsepower
  • 350 pound-feet of torque
  • Six-speed manual transmission
  • Borla exhaust
  • Air Raid intake
  • Jet-Hot high-performance coatings
  • Lucas Oil engine products
  • Ford Performance lowering springs
  • Eibach sub-frame and rear sway bars by America Muscle
  • Wilwood six-piston high-performance brakes
“The additions include a new cold air intake from Air Raid, high-performance coatings from Jet-Hot, a new Borla exhaust system from Ford Performance”

At the heart of this fearsome creation is a 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine that produces 310 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque. It’s unclear though if the output still stands after all the tuning work done on the car’s engine. On that end, the additions include a new cold air intake from Air Raid, high-performance coatings from Jet-Hot, a new Borla exhaust system from Ford Performance, and enough engine oil products from Lucas Oil that will ensure that the whole engine runs as smooth as smooth can be.

Given its redesigned purpose, I’d still be surprised if the output on this Mustang approaches the numbers provided by the big dog V-8 Mustang. That version is good for 460 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of twist, which might be a lot to ask for this tuned version sporting the smaller EcoBoost engine. I do expect improved performance out of it, even if there are minimal gains from a power point-of-view. It certainly would behoove even the most hardcore of tuners to put all the improvements in this section without at least expecting any improvements to come out of all of it.

On the chassis and suspension front, we can at least confirm that there are also tangible upgrades featured in the program. Lowering springs from Ford Performance should help ensure a more spirited ride while the Eibach sub-frame and rear sway bars from America Muscle will do nothing but help improve the ‘Stang’s toughness and durability. Last but not least are the six-piston high-performance brakes from Wilwood. If for nothing else, any decent tuning project on the Ford muscle car will need nothing less than stronger brakes.

Conclusion


2017 Ford Mustang By DRAGG - image 740273

I’m a big fan of this custom job for a number of reasons. First, I like that DRAGG went with one of its core missions and dressed it up as a police car. It’s not an actual police car in terms of overall function, but it certainly looks like one from a visual point of view. I also like that the NGO didn’t try to do too much to promote its message. It’s already clear with the final product and any additions that it could’ve made wouldn’t have made any difference. Resisting the urge to go all-out on the cabin upgrades is also a nice move, although I wouldn’t be surprised if other people thought differently. I just think it would’ve been unnecessary because at the end of the day, this custom project is more than just a tuning build. It’s a call for something bigger and far more important. It’s a call for troubled young kids to resist the urge of the streets and use the time they have on something more worthwhile like, say, drag racing with local police officers. It’s not the safest after-school activity by any means, but it’s one that fosters positive relations between the community and the law enforcement officials that try to keep it as safe as safe can be.

  • Leave it
    • Not something you’ll see on the road, unless it’s an actual police cruiser
    • Interior could’ve had more add-ons

References

Ford Mustang


2018 Ford Mustang - image 702254

Read our full review on the 2018 Ford Mustang.


2017 Chevrolet Traverse SUP Concept - image 740208

Read more 2017 SEMA Show news.

PostHeaderIcon Ford Mustang By Roush Performance

The upgraded 2018 Ford Mustang is already in showrooms, and all major tuners are now rolling aftermarket upgrades for both the EcoBoost and GT versions. With the 2017 SEMA Show just around the corner, the updated Mustang also received its fair share of wild concept cars, some of which might make it into production at some point. One such model comes from Roush Performance, a tuning company that has been modifying Mustangs for over two decades now. Finished in a modern take on the classic Grabber Green color, this beefed-up muscle car takes its styling cues from the iconic Mustang Boss 429 of the early 1970s.

Unlike most Roush-modified Mustangs, this green beast sports a custom-built widebody that turns the basic GT into a full-fledged race car. The motorsport-inspired look is backed by carbon-fiber aerodynamic devices, while the interior boasts everything a proper race car needs. From the Recaro racing seats with harnesses to the roll cage and the carbon rear seat delete, this Mustang is ready to hit the track at any given time. Drivetrain updates are also on the table, but information is still limited in this department. We should find out more at the SEMA Show, so stay tuned for updates. Meanwhile, let’s have a look at what we already know about this concept car.

Continue reading to learn more about Roush Performance’s latest concept car.

Exterior

  • Custom widebody kit
  • Carbon-fiber aero elements
  • Vented engine hood
  • Vossen wheels and Continental tires
  • Grabber Green paint

2018 Ford Mustang By Roush Performance - image 740245
“Changes are rather dramatic up front, where the bumper is a massive departure from the standard Mustang GT”

Roush has been building some mean, evil looking Mustangs in recent years and this SEMA Show project is no different. The body kit used for the facelifted ’Stang GT is rather complex, combing not Roush’s new kit for the 2018-model-year pony car, but also a custom widebody layout.

Changes are rather dramatic up front, where the bumper is a massive departure from the standard Mustang GT. Not only are the side vents under the LED daytime running light are bigger, but the main intake is wider too. Down below, there’s a massive, race-inspired carbon-fiber splitter that enhanced aerodynamics, while giving the coupe an aggressive stance.

The standard grille with the honeycomb mesh and the slanted side bars has been replaced with a Roush specific element with horizontal slats. The engine hood now sports a big bulge in the middle, as well as heat extractors on each side, toward the nose.

“Onto the sides, it's the massive wheel arch extensions and the carbon-fiber side skirts that draw attention”

Onto the sides, it’s the massive wheel arch extensions that draw attention. The side skirts are wider too and feature carbon-fiber lower areas. More carbon-fiber can be found in the mirror caps, while the front fenders have specific “Roush” lettering. The coupe rides on custom 20-inch wheels developed by Roush in cooperation with rim specialist Vossen. These are wrapped in Continental Extreme Contact tires. The profile is rounded off by function quarter window scoops and a lowered ride height.

Around back, the heavily modified Mustang features a revised diffuser, carbon-fiber aerofoils, and a big carbon-fiber spoiler. There’s no photo of the rear section yet, but I bet this Mustang also features larger exhaust pipes. The exterior is finished in a custom paint by Sherwin Williams that’s heavily based on the historic Grabber Green.

left
right
1970 Ford Mustang Boss 429 2018 Ford Mustang By Roush Performance

Interior

  • Recaro racing seats
  • Sparco harnesses
  • Watson Racing roll cage
  • Rear-seat delete
  • Katzkin leather trim

2018 Ford Mustang By Roush Performance - image 740247
“Arguably the biggest upgrade are the Recaro racing seats, which are paired to Sparco four-point racing harnesses”

Sadly, there are no photos of the interior, which is the norm with SEMA Show concepts launched before the event begins, so we can’t see the long list of updates Roush operated inside the cabin. Arguably the biggest upgrade are the Recaro racing seats. These are paired with Sparco four-point racing harnesses and a carbon-fiber rear-seat delete by Anderson Composites, the same company that provided carbon elements for the aerodynamic kit.

The race-prepped interior is backed by a Watson Racing roll cage, as well as Roush’s very own performance instrument cluster. But this Mustang isn’t a stripped out race car. Roush also added new floor mats and a Ford Accessories leather interior kit by Katzkin. Needless to say, it’s a combination you can get in most Roush products nowadays, but with an extra touch of racing goodness through the rear-seat delete and other weight-saving measures.

Drivetrain

  • Performance cold-air intake
  • Active exhaust system
  • Three-way adjustable suspension
  • Brembo GT brakes

2018 Ford Mustang By Roush Performance - image 740246
“The V-8 gained a new cold-air intake and performance exhaust system”

Under the modified hood lurks the naturally aspirated, 5.0-liter V-8 engine that comes with the standard Mustang GT, but Roush made several modifications. A new performance cold-air intake was fitted, while the standard exhaust system was replaced with the tuner’s active quad x-pipe layout. No word on output figures yet, but it’s safe to assume that this V-8 delivers a bit more than the standard 460 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of twist.

“The beefed-up drivetrain is backed by a Roush three-way adjustable suspension”

The mill mates to the recently introduced 10-speed automatic, which makes the GT the quickest non-Shelby Mustang ever with a 0 to 60 mph sprint of “less than four seconds”
(with Drag Strip setup enabled, of course). With all the extra oomph, the Roush model should be quicker by at least a tenth-second, but I can’t point out a specific figure since the official acceleration rating is not available as of October 2017.

The beefed-up drivetrain is backed by a Roush three-way adjustable suspension and enhanced stopping power through Brembo GT series brakes.

Conclusion


2018 Ford Mustang By Roush Performance - image 740038

When it comes to modded Mustangs, Roush products are as good as they get, usually raging from mildly upgraded cars to aggressively beefed-up packages that put a whole lot of extra oomph under the hood. This concept is a good example of the former, but it packs a very attractive body kit that makes it look as it just came off the race track. The Boss 429-inspired paint and detailing is also cool to have, but it remains to be seen whether this things becomes a production model in the future.

  • Leave it
    • Just a concept for now
    • Deserves more power

References

Ford Mustang


2018 Ford Mustang - image 702254

Read our full review on the 2018 Ford Mustang.


2017 Chevrolet Traverse SUP Concept - image 740208

Read more 2017 SEMA Show news.

PostHeaderIcon Ford Mustang By Roush Performance

The upgraded 2018 Ford Mustang is already in showrooms, and all major tuners are now rolling aftermarket upgrades for both the EcoBoost and GT versions. With the 2017 SEMA Show just around the corner, the updated Mustang also received its fair share of wild concept cars, some of which might make it into production at some point. One such model comes from Roush Performance, a tuning company that has been modifying Mustangs for over two decades now. Finished in a modern take on the classic Grabber Green color, this beefed-up muscle car takes its styling cues from the iconic Mustang Boss 429 of the early 1970s.

Unlike most Roush-modified Mustangs, this green beast sports a custom-built widebody that turns the basic GT into a full-fledged race car. The motorsport-inspired look is backed by carbon-fiber aerodynamic devices, while the interior boasts everything a proper race car needs. From the Recaro racing seats with harnesses to the roll cage and the carbon rear seat delete, this Mustang is ready to hit the track at any given time. Drivetrain updates are also on the table, but information is still limited in this department. We should find out more at the SEMA Show, so stay tuned for updates. Meanwhile, let’s have a look at what we already know about this concept car.

Continue reading to learn more about Roush Performance’s latest concept car.

Exterior

  • Custom widebody kit
  • Carbon-fiber aero elements
  • Vented engine hood
  • Vossen wheels and Continental tires
  • Grabber Green paint

2018 Ford Mustang By Roush Performance - image 740245
“Changes are rather dramatic up front, where the bumper is a massive departure from the standard Mustang GT”

Roush has been building some mean, evil looking Mustangs in recent years and this SEMA Show project is no different. The body kit used for the facelifted ’Stang GT is rather complex, combing not Roush’s new kit for the 2018-model-year pony car, but also a custom widebody layout.

Changes are rather dramatic up front, where the bumper is a massive departure from the standard Mustang GT. Not only are the side vents under the LED daytime running light are bigger, but the main intake is wider too. Down below, there’s a massive, race-inspired carbon-fiber splitter that enhanced aerodynamics, while giving the coupe an aggressive stance.

The standard grille with the honeycomb mesh and the slanted side bars has been replaced with a Roush specific element with horizontal slats. The engine hood now sports a big bulge in the middle, as well as heat extractors on each side, toward the nose.

“Onto the sides, it's the massive wheel arch extensions and the carbon-fiber side skirts that draw attention”

Onto the sides, it’s the massive wheel arch extensions that draw attention. The side skirts are wider too and feature carbon-fiber lower areas. More carbon-fiber can be found in the mirror caps, while the front fenders have specific “Roush” lettering. The coupe rides on custom 20-inch wheels developed by Roush in cooperation with rim specialist Vossen. These are wrapped in Continental Extreme Contact tires. The profile is rounded off by function quarter window scoops and a lowered ride height.

Around back, the heavily modified Mustang features a revised diffuser, carbon-fiber aerofoils, and a big carbon-fiber spoiler. There’s no photo of the rear section yet, but I bet this Mustang also features larger exhaust pipes. The exterior is finished in a custom paint by Sherwin Williams that’s heavily based on the historic Grabber Green.

left
right
1970 Ford Mustang Boss 429 2018 Ford Mustang By Roush Performance

Interior

  • Recaro racing seats
  • Sparco harnesses
  • Watson Racing roll cage
  • Rear-seat delete
  • Katzkin leather trim

2018 Ford Mustang By Roush Performance - image 740247
“Arguably the biggest upgrade are the Recaro racing seats, which are paired to Sparco four-point racing harnesses”

Sadly, there are no photos of the interior, which is the norm with SEMA Show concepts launched before the event begins, so we can’t see the long list of updates Roush operated inside the cabin. Arguably the biggest upgrade are the Recaro racing seats. These are paired with Sparco four-point racing harnesses and a carbon-fiber rear-seat delete by Anderson Composites, the same company that provided carbon elements for the aerodynamic kit.

The race-prepped interior is backed by a Watson Racing roll cage, as well as Roush’s very own performance instrument cluster. But this Mustang isn’t a stripped out race car. Roush also added new floor mats and a Ford Accessories leather interior kit by Katzkin. Needless to say, it’s a combination you can get in most Roush products nowadays, but with an extra touch of racing goodness through the rear-seat delete and other weight-saving measures.

Drivetrain

  • Performance cold-air intake
  • Active exhaust system
  • Three-way adjustable suspension
  • Brembo GT brakes

2018 Ford Mustang By Roush Performance - image 740246
“The V-8 gained a new cold-air intake and performance exhaust system”

Under the modified hood lurks the naturally aspirated, 5.0-liter V-8 engine that comes with the standard Mustang GT, but Roush made several modifications. A new performance cold-air intake was fitted, while the standard exhaust system was replaced with the tuner’s active quad x-pipe layout. No word on output figures yet, but it’s safe to assume that this V-8 delivers a bit more than the standard 460 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of twist.

“The beefed-up drivetrain is backed by a Roush three-way adjustable suspension”

The mill mates to the recently introduced 10-speed automatic, which makes the GT the quickest non-Shelby Mustang ever with a 0 to 60 mph sprint of “less than four seconds”
(with Drag Strip setup enabled, of course). With all the extra oomph, the Roush model should be quicker by at least a tenth-second, but I can’t point out a specific figure since the official acceleration rating is not available as of October 2017.

The beefed-up drivetrain is backed by a Roush three-way adjustable suspension and enhanced stopping power through Brembo GT series brakes.

Conclusion


2018 Ford Mustang By Roush Performance - image 740038

When it comes to modded Mustangs, Roush products are as good as they get, usually raging from mildly upgraded cars to aggressively beefed-up packages that put a whole lot of extra oomph under the hood. This concept is a good example of the former, but it packs a very attractive body kit that makes it look as it just came off the race track. The Boss 429-inspired paint and detailing is also cool to have, but it remains to be seen whether this things becomes a production model in the future.

  • Leave it
    • Just a concept for now
    • Deserves more power

References

Ford Mustang


2018 Ford Mustang - image 702254

Read our full review on the 2018 Ford Mustang.


2017 Chevrolet Traverse SUP Concept - image 740208

Read more 2017 SEMA Show news.

PostHeaderIcon Trucks & SUVs Are The New High-Dollar Collectables

Antique vehicle prices are a good indicator as to how popular and culturally esteemed a vehicle has become over the decades. While Ferraris, Porsches, and other exotics can pull seven-figure bids at auction, they’re old news. These days, classic pickup trucks and SUVs are exploding in value – especially those with exceptionally low miles and all its factory-supplied parts. A perfect example of this just rolled across the Barrett-Jackson stage in Vegas this past weekend. Check out this 1989 Ford Bronco.

This two-door SUV didn’t need a reserve to push its price skyward; it saw an organic auction end with the winning bid of $40,700. That’s a 146-percent increase over its original MSRP of $16,526! That same money would have bought 2.5 Broncos back in the day.

There are two factors for this Bronco’s high bid: one, yes, SUV and pickup prices are beginning to rise dramatically and two, this Bronco was practically perfect. It only has 1,606 actual miles, still rides on the original Goodyear Wrangler tires, has zero damage, and has tons of factory options. Making it even more special is its listing as a “promotional vehicle.” It was likely used by Ford for marketing purposes, perhaps at auto shows or advertising, and bought by a collected rather than being sold to the general public. We’ve got more information on this true survivor down below.

Continue reading for more information.

1989 Ford Bronco XLT


Trucks & SUVs Are The New High-Dollar Collectables - image 740182
“This special Bronco is fitted with the XLT trim package, which in 1989 was a near-luxury trim”

This special Bronco is fitted with the XLT trim package, which in 1989 was a near-luxury trim. It has its original Raven Black paint and Dark Charcoal cloth interior. Outside, the Bronco has the wagon-wheel-style, 15-inch steel wheels wrapped in the original Goodyear Wrangler AT tires with outline white letters. It also has the removable fiberglass roof with privacy glass. The power-operated, tailgate-mounted rear glass is also tinted and has the optional defrost feature. The rear bumper has the center step with a ball mount for towing.

Inside, this Bronco has front bucket seats with the center console and rear bench seat. It’s got tilt steering, the factory tachometer, electric shift 4WD, cruise control, A/C, an AM/FM/cassette radio, power locks, and power windows.


Trucks & SUVs Are The New High-Dollar Collectables - image 740183
“The Windsor V-8 was good for 185 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque”

Under the hood is Ford’s classic 5.0-liter V-8 with fuel injection. A four-speed automatic with overdrive sends power to the two-speed transfer case and then to the rear axle, which has a 3.55:1 gear ratio. The Bronco also came equipped with the heavy-duty battery and “super engine cooling” system. The Windsor V-8 was good for 185 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque back in 1989, which was pretty good for those days.

A Future Collectable Today


Trucks & SUVs Are The New High-Dollar Collectables - image 740180
“Not too many folks were thinking SUVs and pickups had that same potential value”

It’s somewhat common for someone to store a Corvette, Camaro, or Porsche in a garage for 30 years hoping to get a big return on their investment. Not too many folks were thinking SUVs and pickups had that same potential value, so there are considerably less factory-fresh examples floating around. That, combined with the rise in popularity of the category, has antique examples in Concourse quality condition to go for top dollar.

Needleless to say, if an automotive investor is looking for something besides muscle cars, imports, or exotics, the American workhorse might be a great place to look.

References

Ford Bronco


2020 Ford Bronco - image 705394

Read our full speculative review for the 2020 Ford Bronco.


2016 Ford Mustang Convertible Neiman Marcus Limited-Edition - image 649848

Read more auction news.

PostHeaderIcon Trucks & SUVs Are The New High-Dollar Collectables

Antique vehicle prices are a good indicator as to how popular and culturally esteemed a vehicle has become over the decades. While Ferraris, Porsches, and other exotics can pull seven-figure bids at auction, they’re old news. These days, classic pickup trucks and SUVs are exploding in value – especially those with exceptionally low miles and all its factory-supplied parts. A perfect example of this just rolled across the Barrett-Jackson stage in Vegas this past weekend. Check out this 1989 Ford Bronco.

This two-door SUV didn’t need a reserve to push its price skyward; it saw an organic auction end with the winning bid of $40,700. That’s a 146-percent increase over its original MSRP of $16,526! That same money would have bought 2.5 Broncos back in the day.

There are two factors for this Bronco’s high bid: one, yes, SUV and pickup prices are beginning to rise dramatically and two, this Bronco was practically perfect. It only has 1,606 actual miles, still rides on the original Goodyear Wrangler tires, has zero damage, and has tons of factory options. Making it even more special is its listing as a “promotional vehicle.” It was likely used by Ford for marketing purposes, perhaps at auto shows or advertising, and bought by a collected rather than being sold to the general public. We’ve got more information on this true survivor down below.

Continue reading for more information.

1989 Ford Bronco XLT


Trucks & SUVs Are The New High-Dollar Collectables - image 740182
“This special Bronco is fitted with the XLT trim package, which in 1989 was a near-luxury trim”

This special Bronco is fitted with the XLT trim package, which in 1989 was a near-luxury trim. It has its original Raven Black paint and Dark Charcoal cloth interior. Outside, the Bronco has the wagon-wheel-style, 15-inch steel wheels wrapped in the original Goodyear Wrangler AT tires with outline white letters. It also has the removable fiberglass roof with privacy glass. The power-operated, tailgate-mounted rear glass is also tinted and has the optional defrost feature. The rear bumper has the center step with a ball mount for towing.

Inside, this Bronco has front bucket seats with the center console and rear bench seat. It’s got tilt steering, the factory tachometer, electric shift 4WD, cruise control, A/C, an AM/FM/cassette radio, power locks, and power windows.


Trucks & SUVs Are The New High-Dollar Collectables - image 740183
“The Windsor V-8 was good for 185 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque”

Under the hood is Ford’s classic 5.0-liter V-8 with fuel injection. A four-speed automatic with overdrive sends power to the two-speed transfer case and then to the rear axle, which has a 3.55:1 gear ratio. The Bronco also came equipped with the heavy-duty battery and “super engine cooling” system. The Windsor V-8 was good for 185 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque back in 1989, which was pretty good for those days.

A Future Collectable Today


Trucks & SUVs Are The New High-Dollar Collectables - image 740180
“Not too many folks were thinking SUVs and pickups had that same potential value”

It’s somewhat common for someone to store a Corvette, Camaro, or Porsche in a garage for 30 years hoping to get a big return on their investment. Not too many folks were thinking SUVs and pickups had that same potential value, so there are considerably less factory-fresh examples floating around. That, combined with the rise in popularity of the category, has antique examples in Concourse quality condition to go for top dollar.

Needleless to say, if an automotive investor is looking for something besides muscle cars, imports, or exotics, the American workhorse might be a great place to look.

References

Ford Bronco


2020 Ford Bronco - image 705394

Read our full speculative review for the 2020 Ford Bronco.


2016 Ford Mustang Convertible Neiman Marcus Limited-Edition - image 649848

Read more auction news.

PostHeaderIcon The 2018 F-150 Earns Big With IIHS Safety Ratings – Except For One Thing

The Ford F-150’s skin might be made from recycled beer cans, but the full-size pickup scored very well in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s barrage of testing. Since it debuted in 2015, the current F-150 has scored a “Good” in all crash tests. But, things aren’t all rainbows and butterflies for the half-ton pickup. The 2018 F-150 is too short-sighted to earn the IIHS’ Top Safety Pick+. The reason: it can’t see well in the dark.

The IIHS rates the F-150’s headlights as “Poor” in all five of its tests.

Both the base halogen headlights in the lower-trimmed F-150 and the LED headlights in the more expensive models scored a “Poor” in visibility testing. The halogen lights’ low and high beams fall short in straightaway visibility on the left and right sides of the road. The low beams only give 149 feet of visibility on the right, and 89 feet on the left and the high beams only shine 412 feet and 317, respectively. In curves, the headlights perform even worse, providing an average of only 102 feet of visibility with the low beams and 148 feet with the high beams in the four different curve tests done by the IIHS.

Jumping up to the LED headlights don’t help the situation, though they perform a tab bit better. The low beams shine 323 feet on the right and 168 feet on the left, while the high beams shine 544 feet on the right and 428 feet on the left. In turns, the LED low beams illuminate an average of 135 feet ahead, and the high beams shine an average of 163 feet ahead. The unfortunate trade-off for the better performance is excessive glare for oncoming traffic with the low beams. They exceed the IIHS’ glare threshold between 94.8 and 187.9 percent. That’s not good.

There’s more to this story below.

Safety Ratings Are Big For Customers


The 2018 F-150 Earns Big With IIHS Safety Ratings – Except For One Thing - image 740101

It’s odd why Ford didn’t do any better. The IIHS has been testing headlights since 2016, and the F-150’s new-for-2018 front-end styling should have accounted for the evaluation. Of course, Ford isn’t the only automaker scoring low on this new test, but Ford certainly had the chance to make it right with the F-150’s 2018 refresh.

Sadly, the headlights have cost the 2018 F-150 the IIHS’ coveted Top Safety Pick+ award. The F-150 would have earned this rating for 2018 thanks to its new Front Crash Prevention technology. The optional Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection and Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go scored a “Superior” in the IIHS’ testing. The truck automatically and completely avoided rear-end crashes at 12 mph and 25 mph.

Still, the 2018 Ford F-150 earns the IIHS’ Top Safety Pick award, which is one level down from the Top Safety Pick+ award. And, aside from the headlights, the only other test criteria that didn’t meet a perfect score of “Good” was the ease-of-use of the rear-seat LATCH system, which earned a “Marginal.”

Headlights


The 2018 F-150 Earns Big With IIHS Safety Ratings – Except For One Thing - image 740111
Trim level(s) XL trim
XLT trim
Lariat trim
Low-beam headlight type Halogen reflector
High-beam headlight type Halogen reflector
Curve-adaptive? No
Automatically switches between low beams and high beams (high-beam assist)? No
Overall rating P
Trim level(s) Lariat trim equipped with 502A package
Raptor trim equipped with Raptor Technology package
King Ranch trim
Platinum trim
Low-beam headlight type LED reflector
High-beam headlight type LED reflector
Curve-adaptive? No
Automatically switches between low beams and high beams (high-beam assist)? Yes
Overall rating P
Trim level(s) Raptor trim
Low-beam headlight type LED reflector
High-beam headlight type LED reflector
Curve-adaptive? No
Automatically switches between low beams and high beams (high-beam assist)? No
Overall rating P

2015 Ford F-150 Crew Cab Small Overlap Crash Test

2015 Ford F-150 Crew Cab Side Impact Crash Test

References

Ford F-150


2018 Ford F-150 - image 700449

Read our full review on the 2018 Ford F-150.

Ford F-Series


2017 Ford Super Duty - image 648458

Read our full review on the 2017 Ford Super Duty.

PostHeaderIcon Ford Mustang By Air Design

Ford Mustang by Air Design

The Ford Mustang is going to be well-represented at the 2017 SEMA Auto Show as a total of seven different versions of the muscle car will be in attendance at the aftermarket show. The large volume isn’t a surprise to regular SEMA attendees. The ‘Stang, after all, is one of the most tuned cars in the business today and a show that celebrates that very sub-section of the industry is going to feature its share of Mustang models.

One of the versions we’ll see at this year’s show comes to us by way of Air Design, a tuning firm that has a long history of dynamic and easy-to-install accessories for models ranging from muscle cars like the Mustang all the way to massive pick-ups like the GMC Sierra. Air Design’s reputation for creating understated yet effective body kits has become its calling card, and we see it on full display with its latest custom creation for the iconic Ford muscle car. It is disappointing, however, that upgrades to the powertrain are limited compared to other Mustangs that we’ll see at the show. You can’t win them all, I guess, though I suppose that Air Design is more willing to show off its expertise than it is willing to try to dip its toes in unchartered waters.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Ford Mustang by Air Design

Exterior

  • Ford Mustang by Air Design
  • Body Kit from Air Design
  • New front splitter, side skirts, and rear diffuser
  • 21-inch Forgiato Fratello ECL wheels; Pirelli P Zero Tires

2018 Ford Mustang By Air Design - image 740031
“The front splitter adds a breathe of aggressiveness to the front section”

This section is where Air Design’s expertise lies so it’s no shock that the tuner’s focus lies here. The focus is clear here. Dress up the muscle car in a body kit to make it look more imposing. Consider the aerodynamic upgrades a plus in this regard too. The result is actually impressive in its own way because the car looks awesome. The front splitter adds a breathe of aggressiveness to the front section and while it’s hard to make out from this one photo, there is a new rear diffuser at the back that should carry the same aesthetic and aerodynamic benefits.

That’s the scope of Air Design’s body kit, but the program doesn’t just end there because the tuner also added licensed accessories from Ford itself to bring the whole kit together. The hood vents, air curtains, side scoops, and window louvers are all part of this catalog.


2018 Ford Mustang By Air Design - image 740030
“The kit also includes a set of 21-inch Forgiato Fratello ECL wheels, all of which are wrapped in Pirelli P Zero tires”

Individually and all together, their functions involve improving the car’s design and its handling characteristics. To that end, Air Design did a great job putting all of the pieces together. It even collaborated with Sherwin Williams to give the ‘Stang a silver paint finish with custom black stripes and finished the upgrades with a set of 21-inch Forgiato Fratello ECL wheels, all of which are wrapped in Pirelli P Zero tires.

Interior

  • Recaro Leather Seats; Tinted Windows
  • Kicker Audi System

2018 Ford Mustang - image 702250

Note: Standard Ford Mustang pictured here.

The modifications in this section are limited compared to what was done to the exterior. In fact, it’s arguably the weakness of this tuning build since all we can look forward to are the Recaro leather seats, the Sundial window tint, and a new audio system by Kicker. On the bright side, the audio setup helps give the Mustang a real custom tune feel to it. On the other hand, the absence of any other meaningful upgrade means that ‘Stang owners can probably get more bang for their buck if they look elsewhere for their cabin upgrade needs.

Drivetrain

  • Borla Exhaust
  • 310 Horsepower
  • 350 Pound-feet of Torque

2018 Ford Mustang By Air Design - image 740033

Note: Borla exhaust system pictured here.

“Air Design’s single upgrade in this section of the car is a Borla exhaust system”

The donor car for Air Design’s tuning build is the base Mustang. That means that it’s only carrying Ford’s 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine. It’s still good enough to produce 310 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque, but it’s a ways away from what its V-8-powered counterpart is capable of. The Mustang GT, for those who aren’t familiar, packs 460 ponies and 420 pound-feet of twist. But 310 horses is still decent for a base model and owners can even maximize its performance credentials by pairing it with a 10-speed automatic transmission and dressing it up with Ford’s own Performance Package. That’s a good route to take, something that I’m not quite as sure of when it comes to Air Design’s upgrades for the muscle car’s smaller EcoBoost engine. In fact, Ford itself indicated that Air Design’s single upgrade in this section of the car is a Borla exhaust system. That’s it.

I’m sure that the new exhaust system will spell improvements for the Mustang, but at the end of the day, there’s not much to see here, at least if you’re looking for power and performance enhancements. You can find better options elsewhere, including some other ‘Stangs that will participate at the event. The good news is that even with a lack of significant enhancements on this section, the tuner didn’t leave out the upgrade offerings it has for the muscle car’s chassis and suspension.

These mods come in the form of a new brake system that makes use of six-piston callipers in the front and four-piston units in the back. Drilled and slotted rotors from Wilwood – 15 inches in the front, 12.9 inches in the back – complete the drivetrain upgrades for the Air Design-tuned Ford Mustang GT.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a kit that gives the Ford Mustang a meaner and more imposing mug, you won’t be able to do a lot better than what Air Design is showing off at the 2017 SEMA Auto Show. The kit really is all about looks and the tuner nailed it in that regard. The addition of an exhaust also spells improvements from a performance standpoint.

But, if you’re looking for something entirely different, something that stretches the capabilities of the muscle car past the point of its own performance prowess, then this program isn’t for you because it’s not going to do any of that. It won’t be the fastest Mustang. It won’t be the most powerful Mustang. But as far as looking the part of a muscle car, Air Design’s program for the ‘Stang is as good a choice as anything that you’ll see at SEMA.

  • Leave it
    • Minimal engine upgrades
    • Nothing too special in the cabin
    • Better options elsewhere

References

Ford Mustang


2018 Ford Mustang - image 702254

Read our full review on the 2018 Ford Mustang.


The Kia Stinger Gets Baptized For SEMA - image 739814

Read more 2017 SEMA Show news.

PostHeaderIcon 2018 Mustang GT Performance Pack Level 2 Announced

After many long evenings of reportedly covert work in the garage, the Mustang technicians are now ready to present the enthusiasts with the Mustang GT Performance Pack Level 2. Mind you, real Mustang fans probably won’t like what they have done since the main purpose of this Pack is to make the GT more of a sports car and less of a muscle car. 

So instead of big air boxes and large exhaust Mustang GT Performance Pack Level 2 comes with features that enhance cornering and aerodynamics. And there are numbers involved now. The pack features a 67 percent stiffer rear stabilizer bar, a 12 percent stiffer front stabilizer bar, 20 percent stiffer front springs and rear springs that are 13 percent stiffer. A true, red-blooded Mustang fan might almost be tempted now to call this treatment gay.

At any rate, 2018 Mustang GT Performance Pack Level 2 is designed for those who want to track their car. So it gets a lower, more aggressive stance, aerodynamically balanced high-performance front splitter and rear spoiler, and Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires. What’s more, it comes with retuned steering and MagneRide suspension for extra grip and cornering abilities. Long story short, the GT has shed some of its muscles to learn a few ballet moves.








“A passion to create something special is what really drove this project,” said Tom Barnes, Mustang vehicle engineering manager. “And that really showed in the off-the-clock way we went about doing our work.”

The post 2018 Mustang GT Performance Pack Level 2 Announced appeared first on Motorward.

PostHeaderIcon Don’t Fall Out! Ford F-150’s Doors Can Fly Open

Ford is issuing a safety recall for roughly 1.3 million F-150 and Super Duties from 2015 to 2017 over concerns the door latch can become inoperable, which could lead to the door not opening, or worse, the door flying open while driving. Ford says two mechanical problems can lead to the condition. One, the latch could become frozen and two, the cable running from the inside handle to the latch can become kinked. In either scenario, serious safety problems arise.

Basically, it boils down to the door not latching or unlatching when it shouldn’t. That’s bad, especially if somebody needed to enter or exit quickly, say in an emergency. What’s worse, Ford says the door could appear closed, yet the latch be unsecured. That could lead the door to fling open while taking a turn. Forget to put a seatbelt on, and somebody is leaving the truck in a bad way.

Thankfully, Ford says it has no reports of injuries stemming from this problem but is replacing door latches on a select number of aluminum-bodied F-Series trucks. These include the current-generation F-150 built from March 2014 up through the new 2017 Super Duty built in 2016. The full list of recalled trucks is below. The recall covers 1,101,107 F-Series trucks in the U.S., 222.408 in Canada, and 21,090 in Mexico for a total of 1,344,605.

Ford’s solution to the problem is installing a “water shield” over the door latches to prevent water from getting inside. Ford didn’t specify whether the latches freeze due to rust or if actual ice was accumulating in colder weather. Regardless, Ford dealership technicians will inspect the parts and repair them if necessary.

Continue reading for more information.

The F-Series Trucks Under Recall

  • 2015-2017 F-150 built at Dearborn Assembly Plant from March 12, 2014 to December 31, 2016
  • 2015-2017 F-150 built at Kansas City Assembly Plant from August 11, 2014 to December 30, 2016
  • 2017 Super Duty vehicles built at Kentucky Assembly Plant from October 8, 2015 to September 1, 2016

Owners can also cross-reference their vehicles’ VIN with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website to find recall information specific to their vehicle.

References

Ford F-150


2015 Ford F-150 - image 537938

Read our full review on the 2015 Ford F-150.

Ford F-Series


2017 Ford Super Duty - image 648458

Read our full review on the 2017 Ford Super Duty.

PostHeaderIcon Video Memo: Ken Block Spotted on Detroit Streets – Gymkhana 10 Could be Underway

Everyone loves watching a good Ken Block video, and why shouldn’t you – the man sure can drive. And, just recently, YouTuber Revin caught Block and his 1965 Ford Mustang Hoonigan RTR tearing the hell out of Detroit streets. Who wouldn’t start shaking in their boots and biting their nails hoping it’s for the next Gymkhana – after all cool things do happen in Michigan; Transformers was filmed there not that long ago. But, word has it – thanks to Nate Stoebner, a line producer on the shoot – that the next Hoonigan video would focus on Mustang history and there may not be stunts.

Be that as it may, the streets were shut down, and Block was leaving his classic calling card – smoke – all over the highway in Detroit. Either way, Gymkhana 10 hasn’t even been confirmed, and a local business even reports that Block and the Hoonicorn were there for some other kind of video. Maybe it was a commercial or some kind of promotional video – it doesn’t matter we’re all itching to see it. But for now, check out the quick YouTube video below, then let us know what you think.

References

Ken Block’s Hoonicorn V2


Ken Block Announces the Hoonicorn V2: A 1,400-Horsepower Monster - image 691807

Read more about the Ken Block’s Hoonicorn V2.


2016 Ford Focus RS RX By Hoonigan Racing - image 672856

Read more Ken Block news.

PostHeaderIcon New Tires Could Make Ford Mustang GT as Quick as the BMW M4

The summer may be long gone, and you may have already put winter tires on your car, but Ford just decided to launch a new set of summer tires for the Mustang GT. Not exactly the best timing out there, but hey, we’re talking about a set of high-performance Michelin rubber, so I’m not going to complain. Specifically, the V-8-powered Mustang GT is now available with Michelin Sport 4S tires, which will make their mass-market North American debut on the pony car. While these tires aren’t exactly new in Europe, where they’re offered on some performance cars, they have yet to make it to the United States on regular production cars. What’s more, the Mustang GT isn’t getting the usual Pilot Sport 4S, but a custom version made specifically for this model.

Ford says that its engineers took learnings from the Ford GT supercar and the Shelby GT350 Mustang to develop this special tire. Designed with optimal wet and dry grip, increased braking distance, and lateral handling performance in mind, the custom-tuned Pilot Sport 4S features an ultra-reactive tread pattern that adapts continuously to the road, and a hybrid belt of aramid and nylon that ensures optimum transmission of steering input to the road. The hybrid elastomer that forms its outer rib delivers more dry grip to help relieve stress under hard cornering, while the middle and inner rib improve braking.

Sized 275/40-19 for the rear and 255/40-19 for the front, the new tires will also enable the Mustang GT to achieve a sub-four-second sprint from 0 to 60 mph. No figures are available as of this writing, but Ford says that this will be possible only with the optional 10-speed automatic transmission and Drag Mode function. This means that the Mustang GT could be as quick as the BMW M4. It doesn’t get more exciting than this!

References

Ford Mustang


2018 Ford Mustang - image 702950

Read our full review on the 2018 Ford Mustang.


2017 Ford Focus RS by Rally Innovations - image 738197

Read more Ford news.

PostHeaderIcon New Tires Could Make Ford Mustang GT as Quick as the BMW M4

The summer may be long gone, and you may have already put winter tires on your car, but Ford just decided to launch a new set of summer tires for the Mustang GT. Not exactly the best timing out there, but hey, we’re talking about a set of high-performance Michelin rubber, so I’m not going to complain. Specifically, the V-8-powered Mustang GT is now available with Michelin Sport 4S tires, which will make their mass-market North American debut on the pony car. While these tires aren’t exactly new in Europe, where they’re offered on some performance cars, they have yet to make it to the United States on regular production cars. What’s more, the Mustang GT isn’t getting the usual Pilot Sport 4S, but a custom version made specifically for this model.

Ford says that its engineers took learnings from the Ford GT supercar and the Shelby GT350 Mustang to develop this special tire. Designed with optimal wet and dry grip, increased braking distance, and lateral handling performance in mind, the custom-tuned Pilot Sport 4S features an ultra-reactive tread pattern that adapts continuously to the road, and a hybrid belt of aramid and nylon that ensures optimum transmission of steering input to the road. The hybrid elastomer that forms its outer rib delivers more dry grip to help relieve stress under hard cornering, while the middle and inner rib improve braking.

Sized 275/40-19 for the rear and 255/40-19 for the front, the new tires will also enable the Mustang GT to achieve a sub-four-second sprint from 0 to 60 mph. No figures are available as of this writing, but Ford says that this will be possible only with the optional 10-speed automatic transmission and Drag Mode function. This means that the Mustang GT could be as quick as the BMW M4. It doesn’t get more exciting than this!

References

Ford Mustang


2018 Ford Mustang - image 702950

Read our full review on the 2018 Ford Mustang.


2017 Ford Focus RS by Rally Innovations - image 738197

Read more Ford news.

PostHeaderIcon An Old Entry To Neiman Marcus’ Christmas Book Will Hit The Auction Block In Vegas Next Month

It’s become somewhat of an annual tradition for the auto industry to wait with baited breath to find out which car is making its way into Neiman Marcus’ Christmas Book. We’re going to have to wait a little longer to see who makes it on the catalogue this year, but fret not because if you’re itching to own a previous entry in the Christmas Book, a 2016 Ford Mustang Convertible that was featured in the 2015 edition of the Christmas Book is now on the auction block, lined up to hit the hammer at a Barrett-Jackson event in Las Vegas next month.

The Mustang Convertible’s inclusion to the 2015 Christmas Book was a huge deal, in part because it joined a list of other exotics to have had the privilege to be featured in the holiday catalog. Other cars to have graced the pages of Neiman Marcus’ book include a Jaguar XJL Supercharged, Chevrolet Camaro Convertible, Aston Martin Vanquish Volante, and an Infiniti Q60. Safe to say that the Mustang Convertible is in good company among that roster of models. As far as this particular model is concerned, Barrett-Jackson describes it as one of only four Mustang Neiman Marcus Edition models in existence. It has, among other things, a Neiman Marcus badging includes #004 badge on the dash, Neiman Marcus illuminated door-sill plates, and a framed Certificate of Authenticity. Oh, and it also has just 73 miles tacked onto it so it’s still as good as new.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

There’s more to the 2015 Ford Mustang Convertible Neiman Marcus Edition than meets the eye


2016 Ford Mustang Convertible Neiman Marcus Limited-Edition - image 649848

If you missed out on owning one of the four 2015 Ford Mustang Convertible Neiman Marcus Editions back in 2015, now’s your chance to redeem yourself. The Barrett-Jackson listing does not indicate a reserve price either so you better be prepared to make your bids count should you decide to take a stab on buying it.

For those who need a refresher, this particular Mustang Convertible is unlike most of its standard peers. It has all of the identifiable markings of a Neiman Marcus Edition car – the badging, door-sill plates, and COA all scream “Neiman Marcus!” – and, more importantly, it also benefits from having its 5.0-liter V-8 engine tuned by no less than Roush Performance, which provided it with an engine upgrade that resulted in the car having 727 horsepower at its disposal. It’s safe to say that with that kind of credential, this Mustang Convertible is going to attract a lot of bids when it goes up for auction next month.

A brief refresher on our favorite Neiman Marcus Edition models to make it to the Christmas Book

It’s become an annual tradition for the luxury department store to feature a car on its Christmas Book. I don’t know how long the tradition dates, but we’ve seen all of them from the last decade, beginning with the 2007 BMW M6 Convertible from the 2006 Christmas Book all the way up to the 2017 Infiniti Q60 from last year’s catalog.

We’re going to save our comprehensive rankings of the best Neiman Marcus Edition models for another day. For now, though, we’re putting a spotlight on our five favorite models to be featured in the retailer’s annual holiday gift book.

5) Maserati Ghibli S Q4 100th Anniversary Neiman Marcus Limited Edition (2014 Christmas Book)


2014 Maserati Ghibli S Q4 100th Anniversary Neiman Marcus Limited Edition - image 572118

In my mind, the Maserati Ghibli S Q4 is one of the most underrated performance sedans in the market today. I’ve had that sentiment for a long time now, so it was very reassuring to see it grace the pages of the Neiman Marcus Christmas Book back in 2014. Like most of its kind, the special edition Ghibli S Q4 received unique exterior and interior details to separate itself from standard Ghiblis. For one, it was dressed up in a Grigio Maratea exterior paint finish with gloss black door handles, a Shadowline exterior trim, and commemorative center caps acting as complementary style cues.

Inside, it received Cuoio premium leather dress-up, complete with a Piano Black lacquer trim and black contrast stitching on the seats, dashboard, and armrests. The stitched treatment continued on the tridents found on the headrests while a special Neiman Marcus Edition number badge and 100th-anniversary logo can be found on the center console, emphasizing the special edition stature of this model.

4) Aston Martin Vanquish Volante Neiman Marcus Edition (2013 Christmas Book)


2014 Aston Martin Vanquish Volante Neiman Marcus Edition - image 532252

There was a four-year run a few years ago wherein all four cars featured in the Neiman Marcus Christmas Book were European in heritage. One of those cars, the Aston Martin Vanquish Volante that appeared in the 2013 catalog, came with arguably the sexiest-looking paint job of any car I’ve seen in a long time. For those who don’t remember, the color chosen for the special edition Vanquish Volante was Seychelles Blue.

It’s hard to properly describe it, but it had a rich and shiny look to it that brought out the best of the Vanquish Volante’s design. Complementary design elements like the Atlantic Blue roof and the Aurora Blue stitching in the interior helped aid in enhancing the convertible’s character.

3) BMW M6 Convertible Neiman Marcus Limited Edition (2006 Christmas Book)


BMW Creates 2007 Limited Edition Individual M6 Convertible - image 739355

One of the first cars to grace the pages of Neiman Marcus’ Christmas Book was the 2007 BMW M6 Convertible. The best compliment I can give is that it set a good precedent for all succeeding cars. Even as far back as 2006, using exclusive paint colors was already in vogue. The M6 Convertible certainly had one in the form of a custom Ruby Black exterior finish remains a sight to look at to this day.

In addition to the fancy body color, the M6 Convertible Neiman Marcus Limited Edition also came with Piano Black trim elements and power sports seats wrapped in a custom Gold Brown shade of BMW Individual’s Merino leather material. As old as it looks now, this early offering to the Christmas Book remains as one of the best-looking ones.

2) Ferrari FF Neiman Marcus Limited Edition (2011 Christmas Book)


2012 Ferrari FF Neiman Marcus Edition - image 421060

Neiman Marcus really took it up a notch in 2012 when it identified the Ferrari FF as that year’s car showcase on its Christmas Book. Not that the FF needed any convincing to do so, but it was cool for Neiman Marcus to work on refining the Ferrari supercar’s aesthetic, including giving it a Grigio Caldo paint finish and a special interior plaque to properly identify it as a true special edition model.

Arguably the best feature of the FF Neiman Marcus LE though is tied into the other goodies that came with buying any one of the of 10 cars that Ferrari created specifically for the occasion. A lot of you may not remember this, but those lucky enough to buy the FF Neiman Marcus Limited Edition also received a spot at the 2012 Ferrari Winter Driving Experience in Aspen, Colorado.

1) McLaren 12C Neiman Marcus Limited Edition (2012 Christmas Book)


2013 McLaren MP4-12C Spider Neiman Marcus Edition - image 477145

The best of the best in my opinion. The McLaren 12C Neiman Marcus Limited Edition was offered in the 2012 Christmas Book and not only was it dressed for the holiday occasion – a Volcano Red body paint was a perfect shade for the Christmas season – but it also outgunned the Ferrari FF in terms of the added extras it came with.

Think a stop at the Ferreri Winter Driving Experience was exciting enough? Consider then what McLaren offered the year before: a McLaren luggage set, a business class trip to England, a VIP dinner with no less than former McLaren chairman Ron Dennis, and a tour f the McLaren Technology Center. As far as customer service was concerned, McLaren’s Christmas Book offer back in 2012 remains as one of the most memorable ones.

References

Ford Mustang


2016 Ford Mustang Convertible Neiman Marcus Limited-Edition - image 649842

Read our full review on the 2016 Ford Mustang Convertible Neiman Marcus Limited-Edition.


2018 Ford Mustang - image 702950

Read our full review on the 2018 Ford Mustang.

PostHeaderIcon Ford Focus RS by Rally Innovations

“Subtlety” is not one of the first words you think of when talking about the SEMA Auto Show. Proving as much is Ford, which is headed to the annual aftermarket show in Las Vegas with a series of specially modified Focus hot hatches. We’ve already seen the Blue Oval’s collaborations with Bloody Type Racing, VMP Performance, and a triple-team effort from Universal Technical Institute, Tjin Edition, and Pennzoil. Now, it’s Rally Innovations’ turn in the spotlight, and the rally racing tuner is bringing with it a heavily tuned Ford Focus RS that now looks like its ready to throw down in Baja or Dakar.

The project car officially goes by the name “Ford Focus RS Rally Revival,” and if there’s one thing that passes the proverbial eye test, it’s that this hot hatch looks ready to go flying in some sand dunes. It’s arguably the Focus hatch that underwent the heaviest and most significant of modifications among the four that are headed to SEMA. Given the new purpose it was given as a full-fledged rally marauder, it’s not far-fetched to think that the Focus RS Rally Revival can go throw down with the best rally cars. That’s the depth of Rally Innovations’ program for the Focus RS. It may sit at SEMA looking all peaceful and contained, but rest assured, there’s a beast lying underneath that modified body, and it’s one that’s itching to get uncaged.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Ford Focus RS by Rally Innovations

Exterior


2017 Ford Focus RS by Rally Innovations - image 738745
“There’s an intensity by which Rally Innovations tackled the Ford Focus RS’ exterior.”

There’s an intensity by which Rally Innovations tackled the Ford Focus RS’ exterior. You can see it by how the hot hatch looks post labor and there’s no question that it’s been retuned to fulfill one specific purpose: get down and dirty.

The front section is noticeably different with the addition of aluminum front splitters. You’re going to see this trend in the side and rear too, but its most distinct in this section because of its vulnerability to the elements in rally racing. Notice also the presence of those LED lamps on the radiator grille? Those are Baja Designs 3×3 Squadron Pro & S2 LED Amber and they’re high priority for any rally racer, especially this one. Then there’s the inclusion of the vents on the hood, which Rally Innovations installed in collaboration with Anaheim Rod & Custom.


2017 Ford Focus RS by Rally Innovations - image 738744
“The wheels themselves also benefit from getting diverters and mud flaps courtesy of RS4”

The wheels themselves also benefit from getting diverters and mud flaps courtesy of RS4 while the rear section of the newly created rally car is the recipient of an aluminum diffuser and a massive rally wing. Hard not to see that wing even from the angle of the photo.

Stainless steel latches from Sparco complete the functional upgrades on the Focus RS while an Avery Intense Blue and 3M Storm Gray vinyl wrap make up a significant part of the aesthetic enhancements.

Last but not least is the wheel-and-tire set-up. For this creation, Rally Innovations opted for a set of 19-inch OZ Racing Superturismo GT wheels and wrapped them all up in Nitto NT01 tires, 235/35- series tires on all four corners. Shop TPMS tire pressure monitoring sensors and Tred Wear raised white letter tire inserts complete the upgrades for this section of the hot hatch.

Interior


2016 Ford Focus RS - image 615129

Note: Standard Ford Focus RS pictured here.

“Rally Innovations stripped away the rear seats of the hot hatch and put in its own version of a four-point roll cage.”

Given that this is a rally car we’re talking about, the objective of the interior upgrades on the Focus RS is to make it as light as possible while also offering enough protection to ensure the safety and well-being of the driver and his navigator. On that front, Rally Innovations stripped away the rear seats of the hot hatch and put in its own version of a four-point roll cage.

Interior panels from R4S and EVO racing seats add to the quality of the custom job on the cabin. The seats in particular should come very useful considering how unforgiving rally terrains traditionally are. A custom R353 steering wheel and globe shift knob are important in their own way, the latter specifically since quick and rapid gear changes are arguably one of the most important skills needed for any full-fledged rally racer. Combine those new equipment with an Omni pod mount and Autometer Cobalt Series boost, oil, air/fuel and Pro Shift light gauges and all the requisite equipment needed to get a full rally run is right in the cabin and within reach of both the diver and navigator.

Last but most definitely not least are the HPI 4-point harnesses. Nobody should be reminded about the importance of safety when racing in a rally car.

Drivetrain


2016 Ford Focus RS - image 702708

Note: Engine of t he standard Ford Focus RS pictured here.

“Rally Innovations took those specs and added a series of refined equipment modifications”

Dressing the Ford Focus RS to look like a rally car is one thing. Actually turning it into one is another matter entirely. This is where Rally Innovations’ drivetrain upgrades come into the forefront. The base car still uses a 3.0-liter turbocharged I4 EcoBoost engine that’s paired to a six-speed manual transmission.

Rally Innovations took those specs and added a series of refined equipment modifications, including an upgraded intercooler, a high-flow induction kit, and a Ultra-High Performance Silicon Boost/Coolant hose kit that come by way of noted Ford tuner Mountune. A new CSF triple-pass high performance radiator was also installed and the same goes in the back of the car where a Ford Performance S-Type 3” cat-back exhaust makes its way into the picture. A special COBB Access Port V3 tune round out the drivetrain modifications on the Focus RS.

Neither Ford nor Rally Innovations divulged details on how much power this Focus RS rally car now boasts, but given that the standard version of the hot hatch is already capable of producing 350 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque, there’s no question that this project rally car has more of that on tap.

The likelihood of a significant increase in output is made more evident by the amount of modifications Rally Innovations put into the hot hatch’s chassis and suspension. Suffice it to say; the Focus RS now sits on coilovers (supplied by RS-R Sports-i) at all four corners with upgraded sway bars in the front and rear (courtesy of Eibach), and an adjustable camber kit from Whittling. Throw in the 4000 series front and rear slotted rotors from DBA USA and Rally Innovations’ own intercooler “X” brace, and you have the makings of a custom Focus RS that can can display its newfangled destiny on any rally course in the world today.

Conclusion


2017 Ford Focus RS by Rally Innovations - image 738197

I’m impressed by how this particular project turned out, and not because of the novelty that comes with turning a Ford Focus RS into an actual rally car. We’ve seen that before and we’re likely to see more of that again. What I am impressed with is how Rally Innovations somehow made this project look easy. I’m sure it wasn’t by any stretch, but if we judge the difficulties based on how much work was done and the result of all that work, it does feel like the people from Rally Innovations didn’t have too many sleepless nights working on this project.

The result is exceptional enough that I’m now legitimately curious to see how this rally car can perform when it lines up against its ilk in a race. Maybe somewhere down the road it’s going to happen. But for now, it’s going to be nothing more than a display at SEMA and a showcase of what Rally Innovations is capable of. Seems like a waste of a perfectly solid project car, doesn’t it?

  • Leave it
    • What was once the Focus RS is now all but gone
    • Not for everybody
    • Should be quite a handle on its own

References

Ford Focus RS


2016 Ford Focus RS - image 664701

Read our full review on the 2016 Ford Focus RS.


2016 Ford Focus RS – Driven - image 718773

Read our full driven review on the 2016 Ford Focus RS.

PostHeaderIcon Ford Says 2011-2017 Explorers Are Safe, But Will Fix Them Anyway

The Ford Explorer recently made headlines due to exhaust fumes entering the cabin and making people nauseous. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration received more than 2,400 reports on the issue, with at least 41 citing injuries and three reporting crashes due to the ill effects of the carbon monoxide fumes on the 2011 through 2017 Explorer. However, investigations by the NHTSA and Ford turned up no significant changes in CO levels in the cabin. Well, except for Police Interceptor models. Ford says the issue stems from aftermarket up-fit companies leaving unsealed holes from the installation of police equipment. Still, Ford says it will fix any of the 1.3 million affected Explorers at the owner’s request, despite Ford calling the vehicles safe.

Ford’s voluntary service is free to Explorer owners regardless of the warranty status or vehicle mileage. The fix includes reprogramming the air conditioner, replacing the liftgate drain valves, and inspecting the sealing of the rear of the vehicle. Ford dealerships will begin offering this service starting November 1, 2017, and will continue through December 31, 2018. Of the Explorers built in that 2011 through 2017 timeframe, roughly 1.3 million are in the U.S., 84,000 are in Canada, and 24,000 are in Mexico.

Continue reading for more information.

Why It Matters

It’s interesting that Ford is offering to inspect and replace parts on these 2011 through 2017 Explorers despite it claiming the vehicles are safe. Perhaps Ford is taking the high road and catering to its customers’ feelings of security and safety.
Or, Ford could know there is an issue and is trying to downplay the situation. Who knows? Speculation aside, it certainly is a sign of good faith for Ford to voluntarily inspect and replace items on every 2011 through 2017 Explorer in North America.

What do you think? Is Ford trying to scoot by or is the automaker making an honest attempt at consoling its customers’ fears of carbon monoxide poisoning? Let us know in the comments below.

References

Ford Explorer


2016 Ford Explorer - image 578432

Read our full review on the 2017 Ford Explorer.


2017 Ford Explorer – Driven - image 728384

Read our full driven review on the 2017 Ford Explorer.

PostHeaderIcon Ford Focus ST by Blood Type Racing

Launched in 2012, the latest Focus ST was the company’s range-topping hatchback until the RS model arrived for the 2016 model year. Although the ST was revised for 2015, the drivetrain remained unchanged, as did performance. As a result, the Focus ST lost its place under the spotlight as soon as the Focus RS made its entrance. Fortunately, several tuning companies are still offering upgrades for the ST, which remains an important model in the lineup despite being some five years old as of 2017. Blood Type Racing is one of those companies, and it just unveiled a flashy package for the 2017 SEMA Show.

Described as a concept that combines “lifestyle elements of moving images with motorsports,” Blood Type Racing’s Focus ST boasts several upgrades inside and out, as well as under the hood. And while the aero kit is heavily based on modern racing, the wheel design and the paint remind of flashy vehicles you usually see in the Fast & Furious franchise. What’s more, the hatchback sports a roof rack and a custom landing pad for drones. A rather awkward package for what sort of elements it combines, but more than suitable for an event like the SEMA Show.

Continue reading to learn more about the Ford Focus ST by Blood Type Racing.

Exterior


2017 Ford Focus ST by Blood Type Racing - image 738527
“Up front, it's the massive splitter that draws the most attention”

Blood Type Racing’s take on the Focus ST is somewhat weird, in the sense that it blends a race-specific exterior with a flashy paint and rims that are usually seen on tuning show cars (not exactly recommended for track use). But the car fits quite nicely in the SEMA Show context, where many tuning companies display out-of-the-box approaches on road-legal cars.

There are quite a few features that help this Focus ST stand out from the pack. Up front, it’s the massive splitter that draws the most attention. Made from carbon-fiber by Rally Innovations, it’s very similar to what we can usually seen on GT3- and GT4-spec race cars. The bumper and engine hood were also given a more aggressive design, but nothing compared to the really wide fenders from SoCal Garage.


2017 Ford Focus ST by Blood Type Racing - image 738528
“Around back, there's a massive, carbon-fiber wing atop the tailgate”

Onto the sides, we can see a set of B-Forged Performance wheels that measure 19-inch and feature a unique, twin-seven-spoke design and a brushed smoke gloss.The rims are wrapped in low-profile Toyo T1 Sports tires that sunk deep into the body under the flares. They look really cool, but I wouldn’t drive this car on a race track with this wheel and tire configuration. The blacked-out pillars and the carbon-fiber side skirts complete the look.

Around back, there’s a massive, carbon-fiber wing atop the tailgate, also provided by Rally Innovations. The roof carries a Thule rack system that includes a custom drone helipad that’s supposed to add “functionality to curb appeal.” But I think is just a fancy feature that’s not exactly useful, as landing a drone on such a small platform is rather difficult and inconvenient. But hey, drones are popular nowadays and I’m sure that most of the SEMA crowd will find this feature interesting.

Finally, the car is finished in a flashy Midnight Purple paint created by BASF, while the standard headlamps were replaced by Diode Dynamics units for a more modern look.

Interior


2014 Ford Focus ST - image 513098

Note: standard Ford Focus ST pictured here.

“Cabin upgrades include Sabelt carbon-fiber seats and a race-spec roll bar and harness system”

There are quite a lot of upgrades to talk about inside the cabin too. Arguably the most interesting is the racing package that includes Sabelt’s carbon-fiber seats with four-point harnesses. The latter are attached to an Autopower roll bar with harness bar, while the rear section comes with a BTR storage compartment for camera and drone. There’s also a SoCal Garage carbon-fiber steering wheel and a Ford Performance short-throw shifter. But this Focus ST isn’t just about racing and all the gear you need to make a cool video. Blood Type Racing also added all weather floor mats for enhanced practicality and illuminated door sill plates for a bit of glitz. Both were taken from the Ford Accessories catalog.

Drivetrain


2014 Ford Focus ST - image 513106

Note: standard Ford Focus ST pictured here.

“The 2.3-liter EcoBoost was enhanced with a Full Race Turbo kit that cuts turbo lag”

Under the hood, this souped-up hatchback hides the same 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine as the stock Focus ST. However, the four-banger was enhanced with a Full Race Turbo kit that cuts turbo lag for quicker throttle response and increased output. It also features a Borg Warner EFI turbo instead of the standard unit and a Ford Performance exhaust. Blood Type Racing also added a Mishimoto radiator and coolant reservoir, a new, improved intercooler, and a Hoonigan oil cap. A COBB Tunning Accessport tuner revised by Blood Type Racing rounds off the engine package.

Unfortunately, there’s no word as to how powerful the beefed-up EcoBoost engine is after all these upgrades. The unit cranks out 252 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque in stock configuration and this package could increase that to around 270 horses and 290 pound-feet. The extra oopmh should also drop the 0-to-60 mph sprint from the standard 5.9 to around 5.7 seconds.

More upgrades were made to the chassis, starting with a performance air suspension from Air Lift. A Pierce Motorsports underbody brace enhances stability, while a bigger brake kit from Wilwood provides the necessary stopping power.

Conclusion


2017 Ford Focus ST by Blood Type Racing - image 738198

While Blood Type Racing’s take is definitely exciting as far as performance upgrades go, it’s a bit too exotic (or may I should say flashy?) for my taste. And it has nothing to do with the purple paint. Though I’m not a big fan of these Fast & Furious type finishes, I actually like how it looks the Focus ST. What I don’t like about this build are the wheels, which are rather inappropriate for a race-inspired body. I also think that the roof rack system is out of place, while the drone roof pad is anything but necessary. Why would I want to land a drone on the roof on my car when I can use any surface on the ground? Sure, it’s not a bad idea if you look at this car as a SEMA Show project only, but it’s not a feature I’d pay for in an aftermarket tuning package.

  • Leave it
    • Roof rack doesn’t go well with the race-inspired design
    • Drone landing pad is a useless feature

References

Ford Focus ST


2014 Ford Focus ST - image 513093

Read our full review on the 2017 Ford Focus ST.


2017 Hyundai HyperEconiq Ioniq - image 737254

Read more SEMA news.

PostHeaderIcon Ford Focus RS “TriAthlete” by VMP Performance

The latest Ford Focus RS was unveiled for the 2016 model year and gave the hot-hatch term new meaning through its aggressive exterior, race-prepped cabin, and surprisingly powerful drivetrain. Rated at 350 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque, the Focus RS is significantly more powerful than anything else in this niche, including the much-praised Volkswagen Golf R. To put things into perspective, the Focus RS is quicker and more powerful than he awesome Porsche 718 Cayman. At the same time, it’s only marginally less powerful than the base Porsche 911, but around two tenths quicker from 0 to 60 mph. But while the Focus RS is arguably the most exciting hatchback you can buy nowadays, there are quite a few tuning companies that find a way to make it even better. VMP Performance is one of them, and its version of the Focus RS was just unveiled ahead of the 2017 SEMA Show.

Dubbed “TriAthlete,” because it can “smoke the competition in true Olympic triathlete style” at the drag strip, the road course, and on twisty backroads, this souped-up Focus RS boasts upgrades in just about any department. Fitted with parts from Ford Performance, CoBB Tuning, and Anderson Composites, among others, the “TriAthlete” is a more aggressive proposition inside and out, while its drivetrain is a significant departure from the standard 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine. Some details are still under wraps, but until Ford spills the beans at the SEMA Show, let’s take a closer look at what we already know about this exotic concept car.

Continue reading to learn more about the Ford Focus RS “TriAthlete.”

Exterior


2017 Ford Focus RS “TriAthlete” by VMP Performance - image 738440
“If you're a big fan of carbon-fiber, you'll definitely love this one”

Thanks to its beefed-up aero kit, the standard Focus RS is already a menacing hatchback on the outside. But that didn’t stop VMP Performance giving it an even more aggressive look. And if you’re a big fan of carbon-fiber, you’ll definitely love this one as the tuning firm used plenty of it. The engine hood, the front splitter, rear spoiler, rear diffuser, rocker panels and foglamps surround are all made from the lightweight material. But while the hood and the foglamp surrounds are identical to the standard model as far as design goes, the splitter extends the bumper closer to the ground, giving the front fascia a sportier look. The same goes for the side skirts, which feature aggressive extensions and winglets toward the rear wheels.

All these parts were sourced from Anderson Composites, a California-based company specialized in fiberglass and carbon-fiber components for late-model U.S. models.


2017 Ford Focus RS “TriAthlete” by VMP Performance - image 738441
“Exterior modifications continue onto the sides with a set of Forgestar CF5 Deep Concave wheels”

Exterior modifications continue onto the sides with a set of Forgestar CF5 Deep Concave wheels finished in matte black. The rollers measure 19 inches and are wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 high-performance tires. Unfortunately, there’s no photo of the rear section, but we can see a large wing atop the tailgate and it’s safe to assume that the diffuser is motorsport-inspired element that’s far more aggressive than the standard unit.

The souped-up hatchback also features lighting components with RetroShop custom fitment by Diode Dynamics and lens tint by Anchor Room. A dark gray paint rounds off the menacing exterior, giving the carbon-fiber elements a more subtle look.

Interior


2016 Ford Focus RS - image 615129

Note: Standard Ford Focus RS pictured here.

“Much like the exterior, the cabin received some carbon-fiber parts”

There aren’t photos of the interior yet, but VMP Performance added a range of new features, starting with a Brey-Krause custom bolt-in harness bar and a Simpson Racing five-point harness. There’s no mentioning of racing seats, but it’s safe to assume that the harness comes with a race-spec unit for the driver.

The tuning firm also mentions some Ford Accessories, but there’s no specific info as to what that may mean. However, there’s a big chance that this Focus RS will be used to showcase some upcoming features from the brand. Much like the exterior, the cabin received some carbon-fiber parts, like the shift knob, the window switch cover, and the instrument cluster. Finally, there’s a cargo area protector in the trunk.

Drivetrain


2016 Ford Focus RS - image 702708

Note: Engine of t he standard Ford Focus RS pictured here.

“The beefed-up Focus RS uses the same engine 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine, but there are plenty of upgrades to talk about”

The beefed-up Focus RS uses the same engine 2.3-liter, four-cylinder EcoBoost engine as the standard model (paired to the six-speed manual transmission), but there are plenty of upgrades to talk about.

For starters, VMP Performance added a short throw shifter and a cat-back exhaust system from Ford Performance. There’s also a carbon-fiber cold air intake and an Accessport handheld tuner, both made by COBB Tunning, while the new internal wastegate actuator comes from Turbosmart. A dual port blow-off valve from Kompact rounds off the engine upgrade list.

“The chassis was also enhanced by means of a performance suspension from Air Lift”

The chassis was also enhanced by means of a performance suspension from Air Lift — the lowered ride height is more than visible from the outside — as well as DBA USA 4000 series slotted brake rotors at all four corners.

There’s no word as to how these upgrades modify engine performance, but it’s safe to assume that the turbocharged EcoBoost unit cranks out more than the standard 350 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque, although likely not by a lot. Still, the extra oomph, the new internals, and the revised aerodynamics should shave some two tenths of the Focus RS’ standard 0-to-60 mph time of around 4.6 seconds.

Conclusion


2017 Ford Focus RS “TriAthlete” by VMP Performance - image 738199

While we still have no information about the actual output and performance and we still need to see shots of the rear end and the cabin, it’s pretty clear that the Focus RS “TriAthlete” is one of the main highlights at this year’s SEMA Show. All I can say right now is that I wish VMP Performance would put this kit into production. I bet it wouldn’t be overly expensive and that it will turn the Focus RS into an even better car for weekends at the race track.

  • Leave it
    • Just a show car for now
    • We still don’t know much about its performance

References

Ford Focus RS


2016 Ford Focus RS - image 664701

Read our full review on the 2016 Ford Focus RS.


2016 Ford Focus RS – Driven - image 718773

Read our full driven review on the 2016 Ford Focus RS.

PostHeaderIcon Ford Focus RS By Universal Technical Institute, Tjin Edition, and Pennzoil

The SEMA Auto Show is just around the corner. That means a number of different things for a number of different automakers, specifically the Toyotas, Ford, and Hondas of the world. The Blue Oval is a regular presence at SEMA, and this year’s no different, as the company is planning to unleash as many as 50 different custom projects at the event. One of those projects is this Ford Focus RS, which comes to us by way of Universal Technical Institute, Tjin Edition, and Pennzoil.

It’s hard to escape the long name of the custom Focus RS because of the companies involved in its creation. What’s really cool about this project though is that it doesn’t straddle the line between realistic and overbearing. It just sits on the lawn of “realistic” comfortably, and that itself may be it’s biggest strength because Focus RS owners won’t have to worry about others thinking they’d lost their minds on a gaudy custom project. That’s not to say that it’s lacking in kits because it has its fair share of them. They’re just subtle enough that the identity of the Focus RS is still intact, as opposed to getting drowned by some overbearing custom work that’s too difficult to even stomach.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Ford Focus RS by Universal Technical Institute, Tjin Edition, and Pennzoil

Exterior


2017 Ford Focus RS By Universal Technical Institute, Tjin Edition, and Pennzoil - image 738196
“It’s called the Axalta Pennzoil yellow paint finish and it just so happens to be the biggest contribution of Pennzoil to the cause”

There’s not much in the way of modifications in this section, though, somewhat ironically, the most eye-catching of all is the car’s body color. Officially, it’s called the Axalta Pennzoil yellow paint finish and it just so happens to be the biggest contribution of Pennzoil to the cause. Not that it matters because the color itself bursts out of the body panels, giving the custom Focus RS is most identifiable feature. Complementing it is a carbon fiber aerodynamic body kit that you can see with the presence of a lip spoiler, side skirts, and a rear spoiler. It’s not clear if the spoiler is made of the same good stuff, though it wouldn’t be surprising if it is.


2017 Ford Focus RS By Universal Technical Institute, Tjin Edition, and Pennzoil - image 738195
“The tuners opted to use a set of 19-inch Rotiform wheels that are wrapped in a set of 245/35-series Falken FK150 tires.”

Last but certainly not least is the wheel-and-tire, two-hit combo. For this particular project, the tuners opted to use a set of 19-inch Rotiform wheels that are wrapped in a set of 245/35-series Falken FK150 tires.

Interior


2016 Ford Focus RS - image 615129

Note: Standard Ford Focus RS pictured here.

There are no photos of the interior as I write this, but it is known that the program will feature a bevy of interior upgrades. One of the most prominent of these mods is a Ford Accessories kit made up of carbon fiber bits and pieces, including a carbon fiber shift knob, instrument cluster, and window switch cover. The tuners also threw in
audio components from Kicker because no self-respecting, SEMA-bound project car is complete without some modification to the car’s audio system.

Drivetrain


2016 Ford Focus RS - image 702708

Note: Engine of t he standard Ford Focus RS pictured here.

“The team went to work by adding a new exhaust system and upgrading the shifter with a short throw system”

To be clear, the modified numbers brought about by all the drivetrain modifications have yet to be announced so, at best, we’re speculating on how much power this particular Ford Focus RS has under its hood. What we can tell you at this point is that the tuners opted for the version of the Focus RS that’s carrying a 3.0-liter EcoBoost I4 engine mated to a six-speed transmission. With these pieces in place, the team went to work by adding a new exhaust system and upgrading the shifter with a short throw system. A new intercooler with new piping from FullRace were also thrown in, as was a new intake from the same source to go with an Optima Battery. To help maximize the hot hatch’s potential, the tuners also added new coilovers from BC Racing and brakes from Baer, specifically six-piston caliper’s with rotors.

Altogether, these upgrades should be enough to help the Ford EcoBoost see an improved output that’s somewhere in the neighborhood of 400 horsepower. It’s not much of a mental upgrade by tuning standards, but it should be more than enough to turn the Focus RS into a full-fledged sports car hiding inside a hot hatch body.

Conclusion


2017 Ford Focus RS By Universal Technical Institute, Tjin Edition, and Pennzoil - image 738194

I like what I’m seeing from the work of Universal Technical Institute, Tjin Edition, and Pennzoil. I’m not blown away by it, but I appreciate how the tuners resisted from turning the Focus RS into something more than it probably should be. As a result, they were able to implement their modifications effectively without getting rid of the hot hatch’s identity. I get the urge to simply go all-out on a car like the Focus RS and, while it works on some occasions, it’s not a blueprint that has proven to be effective on a car like this.

References

Ford Focus RS


2016 Ford Focus RS - image 664701

Read our full review on the 2016 Ford Focus RS.


2016 Ford Focus RS – Driven - image 718773

Read our full driven review on the 2016 Ford Focus RS.

PostHeaderIcon SEMA 2017: Ford Focus RS by Rally Innovations

The last of the four top Focus tuner cars Ford is presenting at the 2017 SEMA show is this, the Ford Focus RS by Rally Innovations. Rally Revival is the theme for this special little hatchback, and it’s got all the hardware it needs to cash the checks its name writes. 

Power is taken care of in the Ford Focus RS by Rally Innovations with a whole host of aftermarket parts, all of which come from the best names in business. If you are looking to boost the performance of your EcoBoost engine, have a look at the list below as it provides you with some good names and devices you would need. The same is true of the chassis, although the upgrades here are a bit too serious for a street car. This car would drive off the show floor at SEMA and go straight on a rally course. And it would look right at home too, what with the rally car aero kit it is sporting. This Focus RS is also the only one that doesn’t get sporty interior upgrades, but a few functional ones.

Ford Focus RS by Rally Innovations Specs:

Base Vehicle

  • 2017 Focus RS
  • 3L I4 EcoBoost engine
  • 6-speed manual transmission

 Powertrain

  • Mountune
  • High-flow Induction kit & full intercooler upgrade
  • Ultra-High Performance Silicon Boost /Coolant hose kit
  • CSF triple-pass high performance radiator
  • Borla 3” catted down pipe
  • Ford Performance S-Type 3” cat-back exhaust
  • COBB Access Port V3
  • Ford Performance short throw shifter**

Chassis

  • RS-R Sports-i coilover suspension
  • Eibach front / rear sway bars
  • DBA USA 4000 series front / rear slotted rotors
  • Rally Innovations R4S intercooler “X” brace
  • Whiteline camber adjustment bushing kit front/rear

 Wheels & Tires

  • OZ Racing Superturismo GT (19”x8”) wheels
  • Nitto NT01 (235/35/19) tires
  • Shop TPMS tire pressure monitoring sensors
  • Tred Wear raised white letter tire inserts

 Exterior

  • Baja Designs 3×3 Squadron Pro & S2 LED Amber– driving/combo & wide cornering lighting
  • Rally Innovations:
  • Light plate
  • R4S aluminum front, side and rear splitters
  • R4S 1 pc aluminum rear diffuser
  • R4S wheel diverters & mud flaps
  • R4S rally wing
  • Hood vents (collaborated w/ Anaheim Rod & Custom)
  • Sparco stainless steel latches
  • Pekok Autobody body finish
  • Rolotech vinyl car wraps– Avery intense blue & 3M storm gray vinyl wrap with R4S graphic scheme

 Interior

  • Autometer Cobalt Series boost, oil, air/fuel and Pro Shift light gauges and Omni pod mount
  • Rally Innovations custom 4 pt. roll cage, R4S interior panels & rear seat delete
  • Sparco :
    • EVO race seats
    • R353 steering wheel & globe shift knob
  • HPI 4-point harnesses

The post SEMA 2017: Ford Focus RS by Rally Innovations appeared first on Motorward.

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