Archive for the ‘Ford’ Category
Even though the small crossover market is where all the action is right now, full-size SUVs still have their appeal, which is why companies like Ford are still willing to invest in reinventing them. This is the new 2018 Ford Expedition, the new version of the big ol’ bruiser we all know and love, although the new model has gone a bit trim.
Make no mistake, the 2018 Ford Expedition is still a sizable thing though. It is vast enough that you can access the third row seats as easy as climbing in the second row thanks to a large opening. And even though the car is 300 pounds lighter than its predecessor it is one of the safest things on the roads by virtue of its size and all-new high-strength, aluminum-alloy body and redesigned high-strength steel frame. But in spite of all of this Ford engineers have made sure the massive SUV remains convenient by employing latest technologies such as active park assist with 360 degree camera.
Speaking of features, 2018 Ford Expedition is packed inside the cabin with the latest connectivity and convenience equipment. After all, there is plenty of space in there. You get Wireless charging, Wi-Fi hotspot, rear seat entertainment system, SYNC 3 and SYNC connect, 12-volt power points, six USB chargers and a 110-volt power, 12-speaker B&O PLAY premium audio system, Advanced cargo manager with an adjustable shelf behind the third row, and Panoramic Vista Roof. As for power, it comes from Ford’s celebrated 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine with standard Auto Start-Stop plus a class-exclusive new 10-speed automatic transmission.
“When Expedition was introduced 20 years ago, it set the standard for active families who simply needed a big and strong SUV to take them places,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford president of The Americas. “Today’s families want even more smart technology to help them cover more ground safely, more efficiently and more comfortably – all while staying connected to friends and family.”
In the off chance you’ve been on a remote island for the last several weeks and are only now reestablishing a connection with civilization, I’ll start by saying Super Bowl LI took place over the weekend, and it was quite the event. I guess there were a few points scored and something about a comeback, but I was in it for the car advertisements. After all, these aren’t your normal adverts – companies pay upwards of $170,000 per second to get their product front and center for the big game, and that means we saw the major makes go full-bore with the commercial gloss. Tons of car-related adverts were aired, and we’ve got ‘em all right here.
Some were funny and goofy, others were dramatic and heartfelt, and some were just straight up weird. But hey, that’s how it goes when vying for the attention of consumers soaked in beer and guacamole.
Which advertisements caught your eye? Let us know in the comments!
Continue reading to see all the car adverts from Super Bowl LI.
When it comes to iconic movie cars, “Eleanor” from Gone in 60 Seconds is one of the most prominent Mustangs that comes to mind, but “Eleanor” isn’t the only old-school movie Mustang worth remembering. Remember Steve McQueen’s dark green Mustang Fastback in the movie Bullitt? Well, if you’ve seen the movie you would, because that dark green Mustang, like “Eleanor,” partook in a pretty sweet car chase. Over the years there have been two special editions that have worn that special Bullitt badge with the first being offered in 2001 and based on the GT model at the time and another back in 2009. Both were available in Dark Highland Green paint and got a few upgrades that included suspension tweaks, custom exhaust, upgraded brakes, and even an engine upgrade or two. Now, a recent behind-the-scenes video posted by The Rock is leading some to believe that the Bullitt badge will make another comeback.
If you click play, you’ll get to see The Rock talk about spending time in Ford’s wind tunnel, which is interesting, but what really catches the eye are the renderings behind some of the crew in the video right around the three-minute mark. The Mustang in the rendering features a dark green paint, dark five-spoke wheels, and there’s even a crosshair-styled badge on the rear. Of course, we only get a quick glance at the rendering in the background, but the guys over at Mustang6g.com all seem to think it is indeed the next iteration of a Bullitt Mustang.
So far, Ford has remained silent on the matter. But, considering the iconic pony car has now been updated, it’s quite possible that Ford will be releasing another special-edition model with the Bullitt badge soon – even as early as later this year or in early 2018. For the record, the 2001 Bullitt model was sold in 5,582 examples while the 2009 model only saw 816 examples built. Now that Ford has found out what it is like to have people beating down its door to get on a buyers list (thing Ford GT) it’s quite possible that this Bullitt model will have an even shorter run that may not even top 500 examples. For now, however, that’s all we know, so go ahead and click play to see what could be the next Bullet for yourself.
It appears the warm welcome the new Mustang received in the United Kingdom has emboldened Ford to offer their “special” models in markets they traditionally wouldn’t get close to. A case in point is the launch of the new 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor in the Chinese market.
The first batch of 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor production trucks have departed for China, offering the people of the red republic something they haven’t really experienced before: a cool and macho pickup truck with the performance of a sports car and off-road capability of a Range Rover. The Raptors for China are all four-door SuperCrew models which might seem like an overkill size-wise. But as you know the Chinese like their cars big. They are always te first to get long wheelbase versions of luxury saloons and SUVs.
So if you are a Chinese person and you are excited for the launch of the 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor in your country, let us tell you that it’s a dopeass truck with military-grade, high-strength, aluminum-alloy cab, high-output version of the 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine, plus a Ford-built 10-speed automatic transmission and advanced six-mode Terrain Management System, plus Ford Performance-engineered high-strength steel frame with custom Fox Racing shocks with higher ground clearance, BFGoodrich off-road tires and full dual-performance exhaust system.
You gotta love old Mustangs. The look, the smell, the tire-squealing torque – it’s all classic muscle car stimuli that’s sure to evoke something if you’re even the least bit interested in cars. As such, it’s a platform that’s seen a ton of reimagining over the years, from light modification to complete overhauls. This particular restomod falls towards the more extreme side of that spectrum, boasting an incredible 1,000 horsepower at the rear wheels. Responsible for the build is Timeless Kustoms, a speed shop based out of southern California, which took its outrageous pony car down the road a little ways to Jay Leno’s Garage in order to give the former Tonight Show host and lifelong car guy a looksee.
“Today’s featured vehicle,” Jay begins, “1965 Ford Mustang Fastback, so far from stock that it’s hilarious. This is exactly the kind of car that just gets the comments section going.”
What started as an unblemished six-cylinder coupe was transformed into what it is now through 10,000 hours of exhaustive tweaks, tuning, and modifications. Timeless Kustoms did a complete teardown before hitting it full force with the upgrades, and clearly, pulled no punches in executing the build.
But let’s get to the party piece under the hood. Providing motivation is a 5.1-liter Coyote V-8, which gets a supercharger and two turbos to stuff an insane amount of air into the cylinders.
At over 23 minutes, the video is a bit on the long side, but there’s plenty of footage of the build and a healthy amount of tech specs to get you excited for your own wrenching adventures.
Last month we covered the story about how the 2017 Ford Mustang miserably failed Euro NCAP testing, earning the worst rating out of the 15 recently tested vehicles: two out of five stars. It did worse than a number of models, including models like the Hyundai Ioniq, Audi Q2, and even the SsangYong Tivoli. It’s a bit surprising, but testing showed that there is a high chance for upper-body injury and head injury for rear passengers during frontal crashes and a high possibility of whiplash for rear passengers in side-impact testing. Front passengers are also at risk of injury thanks to those airbags that don’t inflate properly. Meanwhile, a similar U.S.-Spec model performed fairly well during IIHS testing, with “Good” ratings for Moderate overlap, side impact, roof strength, head restraints, and seats, to go with an acceptable rating for small overlap testing. So, what separates the U.S.-spec and Euro-spec models? A serious lack of equipment and it proves that the blue oval has its sights on something other than safety.
The two-star NCAP rating can be blamed on the lack of safety equipment for rear passengers, semi-autonomous safety technology, and the fact that the front airbags that didn’t deploy properly. See, the Euro-spec model doesn’t get things like a forward-collision warning system or other safety features like lane-keep assist or pre-collision assist – all things that are standard or available on U.S.-spec models. There are no rear seatbelt pretensioners or load limiters which means lots of body movement for rear passengers in the unfortunate event of an accident. One child test dummy was even found to have slid under the seatbelt during a full-width frontal test while the other smacked his head on the interior trim.
So far, Ford has remained largely silent on the issue but, according to NCAP, has said that orders placed after May 2017 will be for the facelifted 2018 model that will include pre-collision assist with pedestrian protection, forward collision warning, autonomous emergency braking, and a lane-keeping aid. It’s great that Ford wants to rectify the situation with the facelifted model, but what does the failed testing of the current model really mean?
Keep reading to connect the dots that led to this failed safety test
Ready the wings, fire up the nachos, and prepare yourself for some daytime drinking. Super Bowl LI is upon us, and whether you’re rooting for the Patriots or the Falcons, this great American pastime is sure to bring plenty of entertaining advertisements during the commercial breaks. As such, just before kickoff, Ford will lead the charge with a new 90-second ad that spotlights a few mobility solutions the brand has in the oven to help make our lives easier. Coinciding with the ad is a new interactive brand experience studio that’s opening up in New York City, which promises a more in-depth look at what Ford imagines the future of transportation will look like.
The studio is called FordHub, and it’s located in the Westfield World Trade Center. Ford hopes the new hub will help it connect with consumers and inspire “imagination and dialogue” about the future of mobility through a variety of activities, exhibits, and interactive displays.
Included is a glimpse at what Ford imagines to be the “City of Tomorrow,” highlighting some of the technologies people might use to get around. There’s also a real-time look at New York’s current transportation status, including traffic info, trains, ferries, and more.
Then there are games like the Last Mile Challenge, which pits attendees against the clock in a virtual race to get from A to B using multiple transportation solutions, and Mustang over Manhattan, wherein participants must virtually build Ford’s famous muscle car on top of the Empire State Building.
Finally, Ford is also announcing the Mobilize New York Challenge, which invites proposals to solve NYC’s transportation problems, with more than $30,000 in cash prizes offered as motivation.
Continue reading for the full story.
The facelifted Ford Mustang did pretty well here in the U.S. when the IIHS put it through the paces at its crash test facility. It scored “Acceptable” in small overlap testing, and “Good” it moderate overlap, side collision, roof strength, and head restraints and seats testing. But, Ford fans over in Europe are stuck with the pre-facelifted model for a bit longer, as it didn’t perform all that well in Euro NCAP’s crash testing, scoring just two stars out of five when everything was said and done. In fact, out of the 15 cars recently tested by NCAP, including models like the Volvo V90 and S90 duo, the Audi Q2, Hyundai Ioniq, Suzuki Ignis, and even the SsangYong Tivoli, the 2016 Mustang was the absolute weakest link.
Now, before we get into the results, I want to make note that the Euro version of the Mustang doesn’t have all of the same equipment that’s found on the U.S. version, including things like seatbelt pre-tensioners and load limiters in the rear and a Forward Collision Warning system, among others, so that two-star rating isn’t completely representative of how safe the Mustang is, but it’s troubling nonetheless. Where the Mustang really failed was in relation to rear passengers, where the lack of pretensioners and load limiters play a huge role. In full-width frontal testing, rear test dummies showed significant potential for injury to the upper body, and thighs. Rear seat dummies also showed a high possibility of whiplash during a rear impact. Rear sitting children also have the potential for head injury during lateral impact and torso injury during frontal impact.
Front seat passengers saw mixed ratings during the Frontal Offset Deformable Barrier testing with the driver having adequate protection over most of their body, with the neck and thigh protection rated as good. The front passenger saw adequate protection for head and lower legs, while having good protection of the neck, torso, and thighs. During rear testing, front seat occupants received a marginal rating for whiplash protection. It should also be noted that the front driver and passenger airbags didn’t inflate properly on frontal offset testing, which also led to such a low rating. During the full-width front test, the rear passenger slid under the seat belt while the rear child dummy smacked his head on the interior trim during side impact crash testing.
Keep reading for the rest of the story
The Ford GT40 was a legend, but the Ford GT of 2005 and 2006 didn’t exactly meet Ford’s expectations, only selling 4,038 of the originally planned 4,500. Sadly, the final 11 bodies that were built got the worst fate of all, being torn apart and invoiced as service parts. But, Ford is looking to rectify the GT name and has done so with the introduction of the new Ford GT. Originally expected by the masses to have a heart of gold – more specifically, Ford’s flat-plane crank V-8 – Ford shocked us all when it announced an EcoBoost V-6 as its weapon of choice. That FPC V-8 could have been insanely powerful when coupled with some potent forced induction, but this EcoBoost isn’t exactly a slouch either. In fact, it has been SAE rated at 647 horsepower and 550 pound-feet of torque, something that makes it the most powerful EcoBoost engine ever produced and the GT the fastest production car to ever sport a Ford badge.
So, how fast is it? Well, Ford took one driver and put him behind the wheel of the new GT, a McLaren 675LT, and a Ferrari 458 Speciale, then told him to give it his all around the Calabogie Motorsports Park in Canada. The end result put the Ford GT at the top, lapping the track with a best time of 2:09.8 while the McLaren fell short by one second at 2:10.8. The prancing horse performed even worse, posting a lap time of 2:12.9. Ford set out to topple the main competition, and it did just that, as all three were prepped with new fluids, fresh tires, and optimal suspension settings, and raced in identical conditions. Not a bad feat to accomplish.
But, it’s important to remember that the most powerful EcoBoost powertrain wouldn’t be enough if it wasn’t for the lightweight nature of the new GT, which tips the scale at just over 3,000 pounds. That makes its power-to-weight ratio a staggering 4.72 pounds per pony. “The Ford GT is all about performance,” said Raj Nair, Ford executive vice president, global product development, and chief technical officer. “We achieved considerable weight savings with the carbon fiber architecture. We then reinvested some of that savings into where it counts most – performance, specifically, the active dynamics. The result is an even faster car.”
Ultimately, the engine is able to deliver peak torque from 3,500 rpm onward, which isn’t bad for the car’s intended purpose, and it tops out at a respectable 216 mph. But, it leads one to wonder: will there be a more powerful version in coming years?
Keep reading for the rest of the story
New Technology, Attractive Looks, and Energetic Power to Keep Mustang Convertible Competitive Through 2020
The facelifted Ford Mustang had a somewhat awkward debut when a leaked promotional video forced Ford to pull the covers off the updated pony car a little earlier than expected. That may have pushed the timetable forward a bit, but probably not much. Just a few days after the coupe made its unexpected debut, Ford has taken the liberty of announcing the facelifted convertible version that comes with all of the bells and whistles found in the new coupe, but with unlimited headroom and an overwhelming desire to hit the open road feel the breeze in your hair. Like the coupe, the 3.7-liter V-6 is a thing of the past so, when it hits dealers this fall, you’ve got a big choice to make – succumb to having a four-cylinder muscle car or with the 5.0-liter V-8.
Speaking of the engines, the convertible gets the same drivetrain upgrades as the coupe, which means that little EcoBoost should see an increase in torque, while you should find that the V-8 offers a little more bang for your buck. So far, Ford has kept official specs of the updated engines under wraps, but I suspect the 2.3-liter will see a 20 to 30 pound-foot increase in the Torque Department while the 5.0-liter could be raised to as much as 450 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. The latter of which would make for a 15 horsepower and 20 pound-foot increase over the pre-facelifted model.
As far as the body goes, it also gets all of the same updates that are found in the coupe, which means it has more muscular rear haunches, new LED headlamps, a redesigned front fascia, and a slightly redesigned grille. The biggest changes come in the form of exterior lighting with LED lighting up front, redesigned taillights, and redesigned taillights. The EcoBoost models should see the same dual-exhaust outlets while the GT will get a more aggressive quad outlet setup. Both models get a new rear diffuser that helps them look a little better from behind. Three new paint colors will be available for the exterior to go with 12 different wheel options.
Inside, the updated Mustang is brought into the modern ages with a 12-inch digital instrument cluster that is customizable based on your personal preferences. There’s the addition of something called MyMode that remembers your specific driving preferences when you enter the car, and the addition of Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection – a feature that should make Cars and Coffee meets a little safer for everybody, don’t you think?
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The history of the Ford Mustang extends more than 50 years, and in that span, a the muscle car’s legacy has been defined by a number of custom tunes and special edition models. As rich as that history is though, there is one model that trumps them all, largely because Shelby only built one model of it as a prototype. That model was the 1967 Shelby GT500 Super Snake, and to this day, it remains as the most expensive Mustang ever sold when it fetched $1.3 million at a Mecum auction back in 2013.
Over the years, Ford has revived the Super Snake name a number of different ways, most recently with the 2015 Shelby Super Snake, a special edition Mustang that was limited to just 300 units. Fast forward to this year and the Super Snake name is making another comeback with the launch of the Shelby Super Snake 50th Anniversary Edition. Yes, the one-and-only original 1967 Shelby GT500 Super Snake is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and for a car that has turned into arguably the most iconic Mustang in history, a special edition run of 500 units (499 more than the original Super Snake!) is the least Ford can do to commemorate the original Super Snake.
Like with most special editions, the 2017 Shelby Super Snake 50th Anniversary Edition comes with a long list of exclusive features and details, including new bodywork from Shelby, commemorative appointments to indicate its status, and best of all, the option to get the car’s power up to 750 horsepower.
The 2017 Shelby Super Snake 50th Anniversary Edition may never have the lasting legacy of the legendary 1967 Shelby GT500 Super Snake, but it is a fitting tribute to a muscle car that was completely ahead of its time in more ways than one.
Continue after the jump to read more about the 2017 Shelby Super Snake 50th Anniversary Edition.
Set to break cover later in 2017 for the 2018 model year, the revised sixth-generation Ford Mustang surfaced the Interwebz earlier than planned, after a promotional clip somehow managed to slip online. Only hours after the video gave us a good glimpse at the Mustang’s new features, Ford officially launched the facelifted pony car.
Not surprisingly, Ford’s design team didn’t meddle much with the car’s exterior, but I spotted a few significant changes in the front and rear. For starters, the Mustang has a new set of headlamps. The new units are shaped differently toward the fender, with the longer corner now facing downward. At the same time, the triangular turn signal previously placed behind the headlamp has been repositioned below as a long, orange stripe. The triple LED bars toward the grille carry over unchanged, but Ford did create a new main headlamp, adding an LED ring around it.
Down below, you can see that the LED daytime running lights are also new, as are the side vents. The large openings seen on the outgoing model have been replaced by smaller, triangular outlets and I can’t make up my mind whether this new feature looks good or not. The center vent is significantly wider now, extending where the previous outlets used to be. The lower vent also has a trapezoidal shape that no longer has the rounded edges of the previous Mustang. The big splitter is still there though. Around back, there are two main features to talk about. Ford revised the taillights, giving the tri-bar design a mild C shape oriented toward the fascia, and added a larger spoiler. The latter isn’t standard though, being a cost options on all models. Below, the mildly revised diffuser gets dual-tip exhausts on the EcoBoost model and quad-tip outlets on the GT version.
In case you’re wondering why I haven’t mention the base V6, it’s because Ford dropped the 3.7-liter engine from the lineup.
Ford has yet to release engine specs, but did say that the 2.3-liter EcoBoost gets more torque. The 5.0-liter V-8 also packs more oomph, but we don’t know much beyond the fact that it is “more powerful and revs higher than any Mustang GT before.” The manual transmission has been upgraded for the four-pot, while the V-8’s is a new design that includes a twin-disc clutch and dual-mass flywheel. The 10-speed automatic that Ford announced a while back is available for both engines. Other drivetrain highlights include revised shocks and stabilizer bars, MagneRide, and Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tires included in the optional Performance Package.
Inside, Ford promises softer materials in the more expensive trims, soft padding for the door rollover and knee bolsters, aluminum engine start button, and blue or red accent stitching for the premium seats. Ford also introduced an optional, 12-inch digital instrument cluster and MyMode, a new driving mode that enables drivers to create and save custom settings different than the basic Normal, Sport, and Track modes.
Pricing information and availability is not yet known, but Ford should announce more details soon. Stick around for a few review of the car.
Continue reading for the full story.
I like to take in all of the little details, so when I was at Cobo in Detroit for the press preview days of the Detroit Auto Show, I made it a point to sit in just about every vehicle I could. Pictures are worth a thousand words, sure, but they can also be a bit deceiving as I found out when it came to the Ford Fiesta. I’ve always been big into hatchbacks, and the Fiesta has intrigued me in recent years, but as soon as I laid eyes on it at the show, I realized just how small this car really is. There’s nothing wrong with a small car as long as there’s enough room inside, but when it comes to the Fiesta, that just isn’t the case.
As a larger guy, I knew the Fiesta wouldn’t be that comfortable to me, but I didn’t realize just how cramped the rear of the cabin would be. To put it simply, there’s next to no foot or legroom back there. This made getting inside of the car through the small doors even more difficult, but still achievable. Once I was there, I found that there wasn’t a single position I could get into and actually be comfortable. At five-feet 10 inches, my feet were forced under the front seat and my knees embedded into the seat back – luckily, this model doesn’t have a plastic frame on the rear, or it would have been sheer hell. Moving the seats all the way forward yielded a little more room, but it still wasn’t comfortable, and it would have definitely put a damper on the comfort of the driver or front passenger.
But, it wasn’t all bad. The seat cushion and seat back in the rear was pretty soft, so that was pleasing to the back and rump, but outside of that, you couldn’t pay me enough to ride back there for any extended period of time unless it was absolutely necessary. And, if you weigh more than 250 pounds, you might want to bring some butter and a shoehorn, because getting out isn’t exactly easy. Up front, however, you’ll find that the seats are more than suitable for full-sized adults or those with a little extra meat on their bones. The seats slide back quite far for a small car; the seat belts had plenty of length, and the front was pretty comfortable to sit in. The doors are pretty small, so entering and exiting the vehicle isn’t exactly a breeze, but it isn’t really difficult either. Either way, if you have older kids, or plan to haul around your friends, do everyone a favor and buy something bigger – maybe the Ford Focus, for example. There’s significantly more room in that baby.
Ford Motor Company has just announced details on its massive electrification plans for the future, which include hybrid versions of existing models, new all-electric cars, as well as an autonomous hybrid. The brand plans to launch 13 new electric, hybrid, and plug-in hybrid electric cars in the next five years, but the biggest news is that the iconic Ford Mustang will also benefit from electrification.
According to Ford president and CEO Mark Fields, a hybrid version of the Mustang will be introduced in 2020. The first ever pony to feature an electric motor will be as powerful as a V-8 model and will boast “more low-end torque.” Specific information is not yet available, but Ford did say that the Mustang Hybrid will be built at the Flat Rock assembly plant in Michigan and that it will be available in North America only at first.
Alongside the Mustang, Ford will also develop a hybrid version of the F-150 pickup truck, which will offer “powerful towing and payload capacity and operate as a mobile generator.” The truck will also be made available by 2020 and sold in North America and the Middle East. The Transit Custom van is also set to take the hybrid route. This version will be made available as a plug-in in 2019 in Europe. Ford’s electrification plans also include an all-new, fully-electric SUV with an estimated range of “at least 300 miles” and a high-volume, autonomous hybrid vehicle “designed for commercial ride hailing or ride sharing.” The latter will debut in 2021. Finally, Ford is developing two new pursuit rated hybrid police vehicles.
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The Ford Mustang – it’s known as a man’s car, a muscle car, and one to keep your distance from at any gathering of cars. But, maybe it’s not so much of a man’s car anymore, as a group of 17 women from 14 countries have just labeled it as the Women’s Performance Car of the Year for 2016. That’s right, while the Mustang is masculine and has that muscle car goodness every man loves, women really love it too. And, it’s not the only Ford that women love. The Focus RS is also widely loved by the fairer sex as it came in a very close second, nearly earning its own Women’s Performance Car of the Year title.
“Ford Mustang is surprisingly loved by women who are after a sexy, sporty, masculine car that turns heads,” said Juliet Potter, Women’s World Car of the Year jury member from Australia. “Combining the car’s silver-screen celebrity status with real-life practicality, Mustang screams, ‘I am in control!’ and delivers the same behind the wheel with above-average grip and suspension.”
The Women’s Performance car of the Year is the only vehicle honor in the world that is granted by a panel of all women. And, one could argue that they do have really good taste, as the Mustang was given the highest award after being compared to a total of 294 competitors. The women have roared. And sorry to tell you, fellas, she doesn’t want you; she wants your Mustang. The worst part is, you don’t see women crashing mustangs at car meets, so maybe they actually know how to drive them better, too. All jokes aside, this is just one of many awards the Mustang has won over its long life, and we’re sure there are more to come. Excellent choice ladies! Now, can you please teach the men in the world how to drive them?
The new Ford GT already has an intriguing storyline behind it. The ink on the official announcement of the new GT wasn’t even dry yet, and Ford had already received insane consumer interest in the new supercar. So much interest, in fact, that the LeMans version was added to Forza 6 early on, and then – to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the GT40’s 1966 LeMans victory – a full-sized Lego version of the LeMans racer was created. The LeMans racing program was extended to 2019 while Ford also dropped a GT Heritage edition with old-school livery. Just a few months later, a few GT Prototypes were caught speeding in Colorado and, at the start of December 2016, Lego announced a scaled-down kit of the new GT and LeMans-winning GT40 for the masses. But, that’s not the end of the line for the Ford GT, as it’s in the headlines yet again now that the very first production model has officially rolled off the line.
Let’s not beat around the bush. The new Ford GT is Ford’s halo car, and it was on a tight schedule to not only kick ass at LeMans, but to begin deliveries by the end of 2016. And, as of December 16, 2016, Ford has done just that, as Raj Nair – Ford’s Executive Vice President of Global Product Development and Chief Technical Officer – sat down inside the very first production model and personally drove it off the production line. We don’t know who the first few recipients will be, but needless to say, they are about to have a VERY nice Christmas.
When speaking of the new GT, Nair said, “For everyone involved in designing and developing this car, including all of our employees and suppliers, this is a moment to celebrate. The all-new Ford GT is a showcase of our strength in innovation and our commitment to delivering more for our customers – especially related to lightweight materials, aerodynamics, and EcoBoost engine technologies.”
Due to the heavy demand for the best car Ford has developed in a long time, it recently added an extra two years of production for the beast. This means that an extra 500 vehicles will be created by the time the production run is done, with a total of 1,000 production models set to grace this floating marble we call home. You’ve got to give Ford credit. It said it was going to begin deliveries by the end of the year, and it did just that. Even you non-Ford fans have to respect that!
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Ford ushered in a new generation of the Fiesta for 2017, with a focus on new looks, lots of interior amenities, new drivetrain options, and a desire to be the absolute best hatchback out there. As is the usual case with sporty little hatchbacks that go through a generational change, the new model is also making its way into sporting events, and in this case, we’re talking about WRC. The model you see here is M-Sports fighter for the 2017 FIA WRC season, and it comes complete with all of the goodies afforded by new FIA regulations that allow more power, better performance, new technology, and a unique look for each car.
According to the accompanying press release, 95 percent of this WRC racer has been designed from scratch and, while it’s based on the road-going Fiesta, there is little about this car that is stock. It’s got 380 horsepower on tap, new fully adjustable suspension, and at least 35 liters or 1.23 cubic feet of energy-absorbing foam over the current model. M-Sport’s Managing Director, Malcolm Wilson OBE, Said, “Entering a new era in the FIA World Rally Championship, there is a real sense of excitement throughout the team, and rightly so as I believe we have created something extremely special in the new Ford Fiesta WRC. Having driven the car myself, I can honestly say that it is one of the most impressive we have ever produced. It’s exciting to drive; it sounds fantastic, and it looks absolutely sensational.”
With that said, M-Sport has clearly put a lot of work into its WRC racer for the 2017 season, so let’s dive on in a take a better look at it.
We have a lot of nice cars here in the U.S., but there are some models we’re just not lucky enough to have. Think about models like the Volkswagen Scirocco, the Audi S1, or the recently discontinued Peugeot RCZ; all of these models graced the European market, but over here in the U.S., it has been like watching the cool kids play from a distance. And that tradition continues with two new special editions of the Ford Mustang that are being offered exclusively in the European market. Neither feature any crazy performance upgrades or anything of that nature, but one – the Mustang Blue Edition – comes in a Grabber Blue exterior finish while the other – the Black Shadow edition – gets a few blacked out details that ride against a Platinum White, Triple Yellow, Race Red, or Grabber Blue exterior color.
Unfortunately, that’s really all these models are about, but they are specced pretty nicely. For instance, the come in the fastback body style and feature Fords Sync3 infotainment system to go with navigation and the “premium” audio system. The Blue edition comes in Grabber Blue only, but it does get a blacked out front spoiler, blacked out 19-inch alloy wheels, and black racing stripes along the hood, roof, and rear deck. Meanwhile, the Black Shadow edition, which can be had in three colors other than Grabber Blue comes with a blacked out pony emblem up front, shadowed hood ridges, black shadowing on the sides, and a blacked out 5.0-liter badge on the front fenders. It also rolls on 19-inch Y-Spoke alloy wheels, that are definitely the highlight of the entire package.
On the powertrain front, the Grabber Blue Mustang can be had with the 5.0-liter V-8 that delivers some 421 horsepower and upward of 400 pound-feet of torque or the 2.3-liter EcoBoost that delivers a cool 312 horsepower and around 320 pound-feet of torque. The Black Shadow edition is available only with the 2.3-liter. Transmission options include the six-speed manual and six-speed automatic.
The Ford Fiesta may not be as much of a hot hatch as its bigger brother, the Focus, but it is quite appealing to younger drivers. Also, being as small as it is, it was an immediate hit over in Europe. For the 2017 model year, the Fiesta enters its seventh generation and, unlike some models out there, the car has seen some drastic improvement over the previous generation. So far, Ford has announced four different variants of the Fiesta for 2017 that include a Fiesta ST-Line, Fiesta Titanium, luxurious Fiesta Vignale, and the Fiesta Active.
All four models feature their own distinctive styles. For instance, the Fiesta Active features an elevated ride height, dark cladding around the bottom edges of the car (because you know it’s fun to off-road the Fiesta,) and some contrasting paint. The ST-Line has a sportier look to it and is far more aggressive than the other models. Meanwhile, the Vignale features a satin Vignale grille pattern, as well as Vignale grille surround, foglamp surrounds, and a custom rear diffuser. New exterior colors for 2017 include Blue Wave, but the Vignale can also be had in Milano Grigio. Contrasting colors available include black, white, Bohai Bay Mint, and Chrome Copper.
What’s really more important is the technology onboard each of these models. Ford claims that the Fiesta is now the “world’s most technologically advanced small car.” By that, they mean that it features a B&O Play sound system and comes standard with Ford’s Sync3 infotainment system with screen sizes ranging up to a total of eight inches. The suspension system is all new, and the Fiesta now gets electronic torque vectoring control as well as a pre-collision assistance system with pedestrian detection. There’s also a parking assist system, automatic high beams, and traffic sign recognition. All of this is great and all, and the Fiesta is a far cry from the weird, ugly hatch it once was, but you can’t deny that the front end looks like a frowning fish.
In 2016, Ford returned to Le Mans to celebrate 50 years since the GT40 won the 24-hour event for the first time by racing the second-generation GT. The race car won its class and became the second Ford to triumph at Circuit de la Sarthe. Now, Lego is paying homage to FoMoCo’s success at Le Mans with a two-car set that includes both the old Ford GT40 and the new Ford GT.
Both miniatures feature the same livery as the cars that won their races. For instance, the 1966 GT40 is finished in black with white stripes, gold wheels, and wears the number 2, just like the car that Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon drove to victory half a century ago. As for the 2016 victor, the GT sports the red, white, and blue livery of Chip Ganassi. However, unlike the GT40, the GT is presented with number 66, which finished fourth in class at the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans. The winning car of Joey Hand, Dirk Muller, and Sebastian Bourdais used number 68.
The new LEGO Speed Champions set will also include racing driver figures for each car, a checkered flag, and even a trophy to recreate Ford’s history-making wins.
“Many people in my team grew up with the legend of Ford’s history-making 1966 victory – and experienced the excitement of building and design for the first time through LEGO bricks,” said Dave Pericak, global director at Ford Performance. “This kit is a powerful way to tell our Le Mans story, and will hopefully inspire the race drivers, engineers, and designers of the future.”
The new GT40 and GT set will be available to order on Lego’s official website starting March 1, 2017. The bundle will cost €34.99 in Europe and £29.99 in the U.K. Pricing for the U.S. market is not yet available, but we expect it to cost around $30 based on stickers for other two-car sets from the Speed Champions series. With the GT40 and GT, Lego’s Ford offerings will increase to six. A Ford Mustang set is on sale now, alongside a Ford F-150 Raptor with trailer, and Ford Model A hot rod.
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