Monday, April 30, 2012

First Ford Dealers Certified to Sell Focus Electric – America’s Most Efficient Five-Seater – with National Rollout to Follow

  • First 67 dealers are certified and ready to sell Ford’s first gas-free, all-electric car – the 2012 Ford Focus Electric – arriving this spring
  • Focus Electric is scheduled to be available nationwide by the end of 2012
  • The 2012 Focus Electric is America’s most fuel-efficient five-passenger vehicle – certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to offer the equivalent of 110 miles per gallon (MPGe) city
  • Focus Electric will be joined later by the new 2013 Ford Fusion – aiming to be America’s most fuel-efficient gas- and hybrid-powered midsize sedans – to help create one of the industry’s most fuel-efficient car lineups

DEARBORN, Mich., April 30, 2012 – The first Ford dealers have been officially certified to sell the company’s first all-electric car – the 2012 Ford Focus Electric – America’s most fuel-efficient five-seater with an EPA rating of 110 MPGe city that is capable of being recharged in nearly half the time as Nissan Leaf.
The 67 dealers are in California, New York and New Jersey –markets that account for a large percentage of electrified vehicle sales and will begin seeing the Focus Electric later this spring. By the end of the year, Focus Electric will be available nationwide.
Certification means the dealerships have met the automaker’s guidelines for dealers selling electric vehicles – including installation of at least two onsite charging stations and participation in highly specialized training in the field of electric vehicles.
“The amount of hard work and resources dealers put into becoming certified really is a testament to how excited they are, how excited customers are and how excited we are about electric vehicles, starting with Focus Electric,” said David Gutman, Ford’s field operations manager.
With more motor power, standard features, passenger room and faster charging time than Nissan Leaf, dealers have been eager to start selling Focus Electric.
First, however, they had to satisfy a list of other requirements to become certified, including:
  • One of the two required charging stations at the dealership must be in the customer area and the other must be in the service area
  • At least one Focus Electric must be available at all times for demonstrations and events
  • Of the sales consultant, sales manager, service advisor and service manager jobs at each location, 80 percent must meet specific electric vehicle training certification requirements that cover topics including advanced knowledge of electrification
  • Each showroom will have point-of-purchase display materials including digital assets and window signage
  • Participation in a Ford Go Green Dealer Onsite Facility Assessment to identify energy and cost saving opportunities with a goal of facilitating energy efficiency, lower operating expenses and carbon footprint reduction
Fuel efficiency for all
The Focus range soon will be joined by the new 2013 Ford Fusion – aiming to be America’s most fuel-efficient gas- and hybrid-powered midsize sedans – to help create one of the industry’s most fuel-efficient car lineups. The Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid is projected to become America’s most fuel-efficient midsize sedan by achieving more than 100 MPGe in electric mode.
“Ford is giving customers the power of choice for leading fuel economy regardless of what type of vehicle or powertrain technology they choose,” said Eric Kuehn, chief nameplate engineer, Focus Electric. “The Focus and Fusion are great examples of how we transformed our fleet of cars, utilities and trucks with leading fuel efficiency.”
Focus Electric has been certified by the EPA to offer 110 MPGe in the city and 105 MPGe combined, beating Nissan Leaf by 6 MPGe.
Focus Electric also offers a faster charging system that allows for a full recharge in nearly half the time of Nissan Leaf thanks to a larger on-board charger. A unique value charging feature powered by Microsoft is designed to help owners charge their vehicles at the cheapest utility rates, which makes charging Focus Electric less costly than charging Nissan Leaf.
Production of the Focus Electric began in December 2011 at Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Mich. More information about MAP can be found here.
After first being available in California, New York and New Jersey, Focus Electric will be available in 19 markets across the U.S. by summer’s end, nationwide by the end of the year.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

At 662 HP, 2013 Ford Shelby GT500 Certified As World’s Most Powerful V8! Segment-Leading Fuel Efficiency

  • The 5.8-liter supercharged V8 in the 2013 Ford Shelby GT500 is SAE certified at 662 horsepower and 631 lb.-ft. of torque
  • The world’s most powerful production V8 is backed up by chassis, aerodynamic and braking performance that makes the GT500 an outstanding all-around sports car
  • Even with 112 horsepower more than the 2012 GT500, fuel economy is increased by 1 mpg both city and highway, 5 mpg better than Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

DEARBORN, Mich., April 26, 2012, – The all-new supercharged 5.8-liter powerplant in the 2013 Ford Shelby GT500 has been officially SAE-certified as the most powerful series production V8 in the world with peak output of 662 horsepower and 631 lb.-ft. of torque. That’s more power and torque than low volume sports cars costing tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars more than the GT500, which is the most fuel-efficient vehicle in its segment. In fact the 2013 GT500 is the most fuel-efficient car with over 550 horsepower in any segment available in America.
Unlike high-strung engines found in much more expensive exotic supercars, the GT500 engine generates its massive thrust throughout its operating range with 395 lb.-ft. of torque available just off idle at 1,000 rpm. More than 90 percent of the peak torque is available from 2,200 to 5,800 rpm so that no matter when you squeeze the go pedal, the GT500 will just get up and run.
The combination of the new TVS 2.3-liter supercharger, twin overhead camshafts and four valves per cylinder ensures this stallion can breathe all the way to 7,000 rpm with the peak power production coming at 6,500 rpm and holding fairly steady right to the rev limit.
“Our goal is to create outstanding all-around performance cars, not just stoplight-to-stoplight sprinters,” said Jamal Hameedi, SVT chief engineer. “We’ve backed up this amazing powerplant with a more refined chassis tuning that helps keep the rubber on the pavement without punishing the driver’s spine and six-pot Brembo brakes that dissipate speed with ease stop after stop.”
The broad, flat torque curve of the GT500 engine makes it tractable and easy to drive whether trolling along in traffic or powering out of a turn on a twisting country road. With more than enough grunt to push the coupe to 200 mph and beyond, the chassis has been tuned to absorb the road imperfections that can cause instability at high speeds. The revised front fascia and splitter help manage the flow of air around and under the GT500 so that it offers 33 percent more effective aero loading at 160 mph compared to the 2011 model and feels more firmly planted.
“The engineers at Ford SVT focused on the fundamentals first with solid mechanical grip and strong brakes,” added Hameedi. “On top of that platform they added advanced driver-adjustable electronic assist features including launch control, Bilstein adjustable damping, AdvanceTrac stability control and electric power-assisted steering.”
Even with the most powerful production V8 in the world, the 2013 Shelby GT500 improves on the fuel efficiency of the 2012 model with an EPA-estimated 15 mpg city, 24 mpg highway and 18 mpg combined with no gas guzzler tax. That’s 5 mpg better on the highway than the 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 even with an extra 82 horsepower and 75 lb.-ft. being generated under the hood. With the 2013 GT500 world-class performance no longer has to mean a world-class thirst for fuel.
The 2013 Ford Shelby GT500 will be built at AutoAlliance International Plant in Flat Rock, Mich.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

All-New Ford Escape with EcoBoost Engine EPA-Certified at 33 MPG, the Most Fuel Efficient Small SUV on Market

  • All-new Ford Escape certified by U.S. EPA at class-leading 33 mpg with an automatic transmission, which is preferred by the majority of American drivers; all Escape engine offerings achieve 30 mpg or better on the highway
  • Escape’s 1.6-liter EcoBoost® engine is 2 mpg better than the Honda CR-V and 5 mpg better than Toyota RAV4 on the highway
  • New Escape delivers 5 mpg better than the previous model and better highway fuel economy than the outgoing Escape Hybrid

DEARBORN, Mich., April 27, 2012 – The new Ford Escape is certified by the U.S. EPA as the most fuel efficient small SUV with an automatic. The Escape’s 1.6-liter EcoBoost® engine is certified at 33 mpg – 2 mpg better than the Honda CR-V and 5 mpg better than Toyota RAV4.
All three engines in the new Escape are EPA-certified at 30-plus mpg on the highway. The 2.0-liter EcoBoost, certified at 30 mpg on the highway, beats the Toyota RAV4 by 3 mpg and the Chevrolet Equinox by 6 mpg.
“The fuel economy of the all-new Escape showcases the continued success of Ford’s development of smaller, yet more powerful engines, “ said Raj Nair, group vice president, Ford Global Product Development. “Ford understands people want fuel-efficient vehicles without  sacrificing power and space requirements.”
Escape’s 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine – offered for the first time in North America – delivers 33 mpg highway and 23 mpg city, produces 178 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. of torque, topping the Mazda CX-5 by more than 20 horsepower and 30 lb.-ft. of torque.
Those looking for maximum power coupled with solid fuel efficiency can opt for the 2.0-liter EcoBoost with 30 mpg on the highway and 22 mpg in the city. The 2.0-liter EcoBoost delivers 240 horsepower and 270 lb.-ft. of torque. It is also rated at 3,500 pounds towing, which leads the pack for small, turbocharged SUVs.
The Escape’s 2.5-liter offers 31 mpg on the highway – a 3 mpg improvement over the outgoing standard engine – and 22 mpg in the city.
EcoBoost engines are standard in the SE, SEL and Titanium editions. The SE and SEL models come with the 1.6L standard and the Titanium comes with the 2.0-liter. The 2.5-liter is available in the S edition.
With the EPA certification, the Escape is the latest vehicle to join Ford’s fuel-efficient lineup. Ford now offers eight vehicles with 40 mpg or more and 11 vehicles with fuel-efficient EcoBoost engines.
Top fuel economy and performance
EcoBoost engines are at the core of Ford’s plan to offer outstanding fuel efficiency for millions of drivers. By 2013, more than 90 percent of Ford’s North American lineup will be available with EcoBoost technology. Ford also holds more than 125 patents on EcoBoost engine technology.
Both new Escape engines combine EcoBoost’s core technologies of direct fuel injection and turbocharging and add twin independent variable camshaft timing (Ti-VCT) to deliver even better miles per gallon and save customers money on fuel.
In Escape, EcoBoost engines are mated to specially calibrated, six-speed SelectShift Automatic®transmissions, which are standard. Drivers who want more hands-on experiences can manually control gear selection from a switch on the left-hand side of the shifter.
Improved aerodynamics
Fuel efficiency in the new Escape is helped by a new Active Grille Shutter System. Positioned between the grille opening and the radiator, the shutter is monitored by the engine control module. The grille automatically opens and closes to maintain the ideal operating temperature and optimize aerodynamics.
The new Escape arrives in U.S. dealerships next month. In addition to class-leading fuel efficiency, Escape features a liftgate with motion-sensing technology similar to video games’ and an upgraded MyFord Touch® system that makes connecting with digital devices even easier.
The Escape is built at Ford’s Louisville Assembly Plant in Kentucky.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Ford Focus Electric...First Gas-Free NASCAR Pace Car

Ford makes NASCAR history when the all-new Ford Focus Electric becomes the first gas-free pace car to ever lead the field for a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. The Focus Electric is performing all pace car duties at the Richmond 400 at the Richmond International Speedway April 28, 2012.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Ford Unveils Historic All-New Focus Electric Pace Car for NASCAR Capital City 400 Race This Weekend

  • Ford unveiled its 2012 Focus Electric that will become the first all-electric pace car to pace a NASCAR race this weekend in the Capital City 400 presented by Virginia is for Lovers.
  • Lt. Governor Bill Bolling of the Commonwealth of Virginia was on hand to help unveil the pace car along with NASCAR’s managing director of Green Innovation Mike Lynch, and Eric Kuehn, chief nameplate engineer, Ford Global Electrified Programs.
  • The 2012 Focus Electric pace cars were unveiled at the Virginia State Capitol before being delivered to Richmond International Raceway for duty this weekend.

Richmond, Va., April 25, 2012 – After being unveiled in a public ceremony today at the Virginia State Capitol, the 2012 Focus Electric pace cars are ready for their historic race weekend when they become the first all-electric vehicles to pace a NASCAR Sprint Cup event.
The two Focus Electric vehicles will perform all pace car duties for the Capital City 400 presented by Virginia is for Lovers Saturday night at Richmond International Raceway.
The two cars were unveiled by Eric Kuehn, chief nameplate engineer, Ford Global Electrified Programs; Mike Lynch, NASCAR’s managing director of Green Innovation; and Virginia Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling.
With Bolling and Kuehn in one pace car, and Lynch in the other, the two vehicles proceeded to drive through the streets of Richmond after the ceremony to Richmond International Raceway, where they were turned over for weekend duty to Dennis Bickmeier, president of RIR.
“It will be a special moment for NASCAR fans across the country, Virginians and the Ford family on Saturday night when the Focus Electric completes its first lap as the official pace car for the Capital City 400,” said Kuehn. “As Ford and NASCAR make history with the first all-electric pace car, we will also be demonstrating to thousands of race fans and millions more on TV that you can combine performance and fuel-efficiency.”
Bolling pointed out the pride the state of Virginia takes in having the all-electric pace car debut in Richmond.
“I was delighted to unveil the 2012 Ford Focus Electric pace car at the Virginia State Capitol. Virginia is the energy capital of the East Coast so it’s only fitting that the first ever all-electric pace car will debut at the Richmond NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race,” said Bolling. “NASCAR is not just great fun, but it is also big business, having a huge economic impact on the metro Richmond area each year. We love to have folks visit Richmond for our annual NASCAR races and take advantage of all that the Commonwealth has to offer.”
NASCAR’s Lynch pointed out this marks another historic moment in the sport’s history.
“The arrival of the 2012 Ford Focus Electric pace car is a strong example of how the innovation cycle around green transportation is accelerating,” said Lynch. “The Ford Focus Electric was held to the same highly demanding standard of any pace car, and more than met the performance requirements.   Seeing it on the track at Richmond International Raceway will be another historic moment for our sport.”
This marks the latest in a line of groundbreaking moments for Ford in NASCAR. In addition to being the first manufacturer to compete with a four-door sedan as its flagship model in 1998, Ford was also first to use a hybrid to start a NASCAR event when the Fusion Hybrid served as pace car for the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in 2008.
In January, Ford became the first manufacturer to show off its 2013 NASCAR race car when it unveiled the new 2013 Fusion racer to media in Charlotte, N.C.
Fuel-economy leadership
The all-new Fusion range, which includes EcoBoost, a hybrid and the Energi plug-in hybrid version, is the best example of how Ford is giving customers true power of choice for fuel-efficient vehicles.
This year, Ford will offer nine vehicles reaching an anticipated 40 mpg or more. Plus, the company is building six new electrified vehicles by the end of this year.
“The Focus and Fusion are great examples of how we transformed our fleet of cars, utilities and trucks with leading fuel efficiency – by electrifying entire vehicle platforms, instead of one-off specialty models,” said Kuehn.
Ford will offer fuel-efficient EcoBoost engines in 11 vehicles in 2012, up from seven in 2011, tripling the production capacity of EcoBoost-equipped Ford vehicles. This expansion of fuel-efficient offerings will be led by the 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine in the high-volume Escape compact utility vehicle and Fusion sedan.
Delivering up to 20 percent better fuel economy than conventional engines, EcoBoost uses smaller overall size combined with turbocharging and gasoline direct injection to bring customers the power they want and the fuel economy they need.
Focus Electric is America’s most fuel-efficient five-seat car that offers the equivalent of 110 miles per gallon (MPGe) city, 99 MPGe highway and operates entirely on battery-generated power. Focus Electric has been certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to offer 105 MPGe combined.
By comparison, the Nissan Leaf is certified at 106 MPGe city, 92 MPGe highway and 99 MPGe combined. Focus Electric features more passenger room, more motor power and a faster charging system that can nearly halve the charging time of the Leaf.
Ford is ramping up Focus Electric retail production in the first half of this year for dealership availability in California, New York and New Jersey. By the end of the year, Focus Electric will be available in 19 markets across the U.S.