Thursday, October 31, 2013

Catching Ghosts with the Ford Escape



What happens when you give Motor City Ghost Hunters a Ford Escape? They use it to investigate ghosts, of course. Find out what happened when the Ford Escape transported the team to the Ford Gratiot Lighthouse, a location of suspected paranormal activity in Michigan.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

2014 Ford Fiesta with New 1.0-Liter EcoBoost Engine Sets New Benchmark for Fuel Efficiency, Power

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  • 2014 Ford Fiesta with new 1.0-liter EcoBoost® engine achieves fuel efficiency rating of 32 mpg city, 45 mpg highway and 37 mpg combined
  • Fiesta is only vehicle in subcompact class to return 45 mpg highway and produce 120-plus horsepower
  • 1.0-liter EcoBoost makes U.S. debut in 2014 Ford Fiesta
The new Ford Fiesta equipped with the award-winning 1.0-liter EcoBoost® engine will be America’s most fuel-efficient non-hybrid, gasoline-powered car with a certified 45 mpg rating on the highway, topping Honda Fit by 12 mpg and Toyota Yaris by 8 mpg on the highway.  

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has certified the 2014 EcoBoost-powered Ford Fiesta, arriving at dealers later this year, at 45 mpg highway.

The fuel economy rating not only establishes the Fiesta 1.0-liter EcoBoost as best-in-class, but it also outperforms some competitors’ diesels and hybrids on the highway driving cycle. The 2014 Honda Insight achieves 44 mpg highway, while the 2014 Volkswagen Golf diesel with a manual transmission delivers 42 mpg highway.

This also makes the Fiesta the only car in its class that produces more than 120 horsepower and achieves 45 mpg on the highway. Plus, while the 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine is officially SAE-certified at 123 horsepower and 125 lb.-ft. of torque, it features an overboost function that allows it to make more than 145 lb.-ft. for up to 15 seconds.

“With the new Fiesta 1.0-liter EcoBoost we’re pushing into fuel economy numbers only seen on hybrids and diesels,” said Joe Hinrichs, executive vice president and president of the Americas for Ford. “Coupled with the new Fiesta ST, Fiesta covers the performance-efficiency continuum in the subcompact segment better than any other nameplate in the market.”

Fuel economy is often cited as the No. 1 purchase consideration in the subcompact class, according to Ford research.

The EPA rating is for both the four- and five-door five-speed manual-equipped 2014 Ford Fiesta with SE Manual EcoBoost Package, which is also certified at 32 mpg city and 37 mpg combined.
Automotive journalists named the 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine in the 2014 Ford Fiesta International Engine of the Year in 2012 and 2013. The smallest engine in the growing EcoBoost family is increasingly the choice of Ford customers in Europe, where it is now available on five nameplates, accounting for 32 percent of Focus sales and 26 percent of Fiesta sales this year. Robust demand for the 1.0-liter in Europe prompted Ford to double production capacity at its state-of-the-art Cologne, Germany, plant to more than 1,000 engines a day.

EcoBoost technology combines smaller-displacement engines with turbocharging, direct injection, variable valve timing and proprietary Ford software to bring customers outstanding performance and fuel economy. Ford EcoBoost engines deliver up to 20 percent better fuel economy than larger-displacement gasoline engines.

Ford’s global EcoBoost engine family now includes the 1.0-liter three-cylinder; 1.5-liter, 1.6-liter and 2.0-liter four-cylinder engines; and the powerful 3.5-liter V6 engine. EcoBoost technology is available in every region Ford serves worldwide, and will be offered on approximately 80 percent of the company’s global nameplates by the end of this year.

Beyond the efficient new EcoBoost powerplant, Fiesta’s aerodynamic design also helps save fuel. Along with cruise control, the Fiesta SE Manual EcoBoost Package package adds a rear spoiler, side air deflectors, underbody shields, lower grille blockers and low-rolling-resistance tires that, together, decrease the amount of fuel needed to push the car through the air at speed.

In addition to the new leadership claim for highway fuel efficiency, the new Fiesta boasts a best-in-class suite of technologies and features that gives drivers an ideal blend of a connected world and an untethered driving experience.

A new MyFord Touch® system with 6.5-inch touch screen featuring enhanced voice control is now available, providing drivers more options than ever for navigation, communication and entertainment functions. SYNC® AppLink™ capabilities pioneered on the first Fiesta continue to allow access and control of Ford-approved smartphone apps through voice commands and other controls for drivers on the go, helping them keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. Turn-by-turn navigation remains part of SYNC Services.

Ford MyKey® is a new feature for Fiesta. MyKey enables parents in particular to encourage safer driving and limit their teenagers’ exposure to risk at the wheel. The system allows owners to configure maximum speed and audio volume limits. It mutes audio until safety belts are fastened and ensures driver aids, safety systems and more vigorous alerts cannot be deactivated when used.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Superhero Car That Goes With The Flow



Fiesta Movement agent Alex Carpenter imagines a Fiesta that can leap tall buildings.

Studio@Gawker and Ford challenged the Ford Fiesta Movement Agents to re-imagine the their 2014 Fiestas as super heroes and to create a video telling the story of their Fiesta's features as super powers.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Horses of a Different Color: From Gulfstream Aqua to Ruby Red, 50 Years of Shifting Ford Mustang Color Favorites

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  • Ford Mustang exterior paint color popularity shifts from the top-selling green and blue in the 1960s to best-selling black and red today
  • Red has been consistently popular throughout Mustang’s history and is the top seller overall, adorning about 21 percent of all Mustangs
  • The past 50 years of Mustang have brought eye-catching, special-edition colors like Mystichrome, Playboy Pink and Gotta Have It Green to the road
  • Exterior paint colors help bond Mustang owners to create clubs dedicated not only to the car but to specific colors
The world has changed dramatically in the past 50 years and the favored color choices of Ford Mustang drivers have shifted as well. As television transitioned from black-and-white to color, Mustang reflected the incoming fashion trends with a palate of vibrant colors.

In the five decades since, color shifts to more muted browns and yellows and back to today’s bolder hues have given Mustang a different tint from many other cars.

While the best-selling vehicle color in the U.S. today is white, Mustang bucks the trend; just a mere 10 percent of Mustangs sold today are white.

Currently, black is the best-selling Mustang exterior paint color, up 10 percent over the last decade to account for 28 percent of all 2013 Mustangs sold. By comparison, only about 1.5 percent of customers between 1967 and 1973 went for black Mustangs according to historical production data provided by Marti Auto Works, the licensed supplier of Ford Motor Company production records.

On the other hand, red which has always been a popular color for sports cars, accounts for nearly 21 percent of all Mustangs ever sold. One of the most traditional colors – it owned just over 10 percent of total Mustangs sold in 1967 – red Mustangs account for approximately 22 percent of all Mustang sales over the last decade.

Blue has made a comeback recently, after dominating the early years of Mustang, reaching a peak of 30 percent of all cars in 1968 when six different shades were offered. The availability of eye-catching shades like Grabber Blue and Kona Blue have helped that primary color capture as much as 23 percent of sales in recent years.

Other early favorites such as green, yellow and brown have largely faded away in the 21st century. Green and yellow have mostly been found on limited edition Mustangs like the Bullitt and Boss 302 while the last brown Mustangs were built in 1989.

In addition to the typical color palate, Mustang has been offered in a variety of specialty shades ranging from hot Playboy Pink in 1967 to color-shifting Mystichrome on the 2004 SVT Cobra to today’s Gotta Have It Green. As a vehicle that first prided itself as “the car designed to be designed by you,” Mustang has offered customers their pick of colors, packages and special editions to make Mustang their own.

“Our Mustang owners are passionate about their cars, and the exterior paint color they choose invokes an emotional response to the vehicle,” said Melanie Banker, Ford Mustang marketing manager. “Mustang owners buy a vehicle in School Bus Yellow or Grabber Blue because it reflects what they want their Mustang to say to the world about them.”

The passion that surrounds the Mustang brand and customer is punctuated by the color that wraps the exterior of the vehicle. For some owners, the Mustang paint color runs deeper than the paint on the shell of the vehicle – it helps create a bond between fellow Mustang owners who share the same passion for their cars.

The Yellow Mustang Registry is dedicated to the owners and enthusiasts of yellow Mustangs. Founded in 2001, the registry has more than 8,932 members and 8,984 registered vehicles worldwide, and has hosted more than 60 events since its founding. The yellow Mustangs in the registry range from early Springtime Yellow, offered 1965-66, to Zinc Yellow, introduced in 2000.

Similarly, AllRedMustangs.com devoted to “Ford Mustangs 1964-present – as long as it’s red,” has more than 1,300 members across 14 countries.

“Your car is an extension of you and embraces your personality,” says Steve Schattem, president and owner, AllRedMustangs.com. “I think red has become more popular over the years since the Mustang became America’s muscle car.

“Color registries are a great way to bring people with a commonality together. It’s another way to share a common bond,” says Schattem.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Ford Focus: World's Best-Selling Nameplate



People all over the world love the Ford Focus. They love it so much, it's the number one selling nameplate in the world for the first half of 2013. Take a look at the Ford Focus by the numbers.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Vandemonium in Vegas! Ford Prepares to Unleash 10 Custom Transit Connect Vehicles at SEMA 2013

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  • Ford shows off the all-new and versatile 2014 Transit Connect with 10 customized van and wagon models for the annual SEMA show in Las Vegas
  • Custom builders will present a variety of ideas, from a mobile upscale clothing boutique to an on-the-go hot rod repair shop
  • Ford, a leader in the large passenger vehicle segment with Transit Connect since 2009, plans to launch an all-new Transit Connect Wagon and Transit Connect cargo van early next year
Ford’s all-new Transit Connect Wagon and Transit Connect cargo van will roar into the Specialty Equipment Market Association’s annual show with 10 custom-modified versions at the Las Vegas Convention Center Nov. 5-8.

The industry’s top aftermarket custom builders transformed six Transit Connect vans and four wagons, expressing their creativity through elaborate interior reconstructions, blazing graphics and eye-catching exteriors. This reimagining of Transit Connect showcases the lineup’s versatility and creative potential – especially for commercial use.

Ford Transit Connect, named International Van of the Year 2014, has been a smart choice for small business owners since it launched in North America in 2009. The compact van earned the 2010 North American Truck of the Year title, adding to its global reputation for durability and toughness that dates back to its launch in Europe in 2003.

As Ford launches the newest version of Transit Connect, two distinct models will be offered – the traditional, hard-working cargo van, a panel-side hauler; and an all-new wagon model, a stylish, spacious and fuel-efficient people mover. Transit Connect Wagon features sliding doors and flexible, fold-flat seating for up to seven passengers.

For SEMA 2013, Ford challenged aftermarket customizers to show how the 2014 Transit Connect could take families and businesses further by imagining what is possible. The builders responded, with wild designs, cool custom features and over-the-top ideas.

Meet the stars of Vandemonium

  • Blood & Grease transformed a Transit Connect cargo van into a high-end fashion boutique on four wheels
  • CGS Motorsports created a mobile speed shop for the drag strip
  • eJudged repurposed a Transit Connect into a stylish mobile hot spot, loaded with technology for the road
  • Impulse Marketing & Media looks back to a simpler time; it transformed a Transit Connect cargo van into a baked goods delivery vehicle
  • K-Daddyz Kustomz created a mobile workplace for graphic design
  • LGE*CTS Motorsports turned a Transit Connect Wagon into a Cross Country cruiser complete with top-of-the-line technology
  • Mobsteel created the ultimate mobile billboard – a chopped and lowered Transit Connect cargo van promoting what Detroit Steel Wheel Company does best
  • Pentech Automotive turned a Transit Connect Wagon into a vehicle gamers can take on the road
  • Strange Motion designed a Transit Connect Wagon especially for its BMX team, with room to haul six bikes and six people

And there’s more to come. Stay tuned for details on a yet-to-be-unveiled 10th customized Ford Transit Connect that will be on display at SEMA next month.

To see the full Vandemonium family, visit the #FordSEMA Dreamcase here: http://ford.to/1cwVX6y.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Fighting Above Its Weight Class – Hollywood Hot Rods Ford Mustang GT Convertible Goes Supercar Style for SEMA

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  • Hollywood Hot Rods builds a custom 2014 Ford Mustang convertible with supercar style and performance for SEMA
  • All bodywork modifications are executed in hand-formed aluminum including the custom lift-off roof
Like a middleweight who decides to challenge a heavyweight in the ring, Hollywood Hot Rods decided to take on the supercars with its 2014 Ford Mustang GT convertible at SEMA 2013. While the classic style and proportions of Mustang say performance even in stock form, the team at Hollywood Hot Rods wanted to create something truly unique with this project car.

“We really wanted to take the customization of this Mustang to the next level,” said Troy Ladd, owner of Hollywood Hot Rods. “Instead of simply adding accessories and a custom paint job, we wanted to really change the car.

“So we decided to redesign some key elements of the car, like the roof and rear section; to create a completely new and bold design that propels Mustang into supercar status while retaining classic Mustang DNA.”

More than 150 hours of went into reshaping the entire rear section of the Mustang project car in metal. Another 250 hours of hand-forming went into crafting the aluminum lift-off roof. All body modifications including the front splitter, side scoops, skirts and diffuser are custom fabricated in aluminum.

This Hollywood Hot Rods Mustang has the mechanical credentials to back up its looks, with a Ford Racing Whipple supercharger and Banks Power water-methanol injection system bringing the 5.0-liter V8 to an estimated 750 horsepower. Underneath, a Cortex Racing X-treme grip track suspension system keeps the tires planted so all that power can be put to use.

“We used extreme body modifications, serious race car handling, huge horsepower and a full custom interior to create an American supercar,” added Ladd.

Exterior:
  • Handmade lift-off aluminum hard top
  • Completely redesigned tail section
  • One-off handmade aluminum body accessories, front grille, air splitter, rear wing
Engine:
  • 5.0-liter V8 with Ford Racing Whipple supercharger
  • Banks Power water-methanol injection system
Suspension:
  • Cortex Racing, X-treme grip track suspension including rear Watts linkage and torque arm
  • JRI coilover dampers at all four corners
  • StopTech six-piston brakes

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Ford Focus Extends Streak As Best-Selling Vehicle Nameplate Worldwide through First Half of 2013

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  • Ford Focus maintains its leadership as the best-selling vehicle nameplate globally, based on Ford analysis of the latest Polk global vehicle registration data for the first half of 2013
  • Globally, Focus is up 20 percent in the first half of 2013 compared with the same period last year
  • In addition, Ford Fiesta ranks as the fourth best-selling vehicle overall, and is the world’s best-selling subcompact vehicle through June 2013
  • Ford is the only brand with two nameplates among the global top five best-sellers
Ford Focus, the best-selling vehicle nameplate in the world in 2012, retains the title for the first half of 2013.

In addition, Ford Fiesta ranks as the fourth best-selling vehicle – making Ford the only brand to have two nameplates among the global top five best-sellers, according to Ford analysis of Polk global vehicle registration data.

Ford Focus grew 20 percent in the first half of 2013 from the same period last year, to 589,709 vehicle registrations, driven primarily by increasing demand from customers in China and other Asian countries. Focus in China is up 137 percent from 2012, to a total of 202,380 vehicles, making China the single biggest global market for the car with one-third of Focus sales.

Xiao Bing, a 31-year-old sales manager for an IT company in Beijing, is one such new Focus customer.

“The new Focus looks high-tech and meets my aesthetic expectations,” Bing says. “It has significantly changed from the previous model. The car’s handling is great. When I test-drove it, the new Focus cornered smoothly. Overall, it’s the best combination of looks, performance, value and fuel economy.”

Customers are responding enthusiastically to Focus in other Asian countries, as well. Through September, Ford reports Focus sales are up 193 percent in Indonesia, 72 percent in both the Philippines and Vietnam, and 42 percent in Thailand.

Fiesta also a best-seller

Ford Fiesta joins Focus among the five global best-sellers, and earns the top spot as the best-selling subcompact car globally, with 356,434 units registered in the first half of 2013.

“Fiesta is off to a terrific start, and Focus just keeps getting better – especially in China,” said Jim Farley, Ford executive vice president, global marketing, sales and service and Lincoln. “This is One Ford at its best: great-looking vehicles with great fuel economy, leading quality, technology and fun-to-drive personalities.”

Combined, global registrations of Ford’s small cars – Fiesta and Focus – total 946,143 vehicles for the first six months of the year, representing an 8 percent increase.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

New Ford Transit Connect Taxi Ready for Service from New York City to Los Angeles to Hong Kong

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  • Ford Transit Connect Taxi adds Hong Kong to list of global cities where the vehicle will be in service
  • All-new this model year, Ford Transit Connect Taxi features an unmatched combination of performance, fuel economy, safety, comfort and flexibility
  • Ford C-MAX Hybrid also being adopted by taxi operators across the United States, where Ford leads with 60 percent share of the taxi market
DEARBORN, Mich., Oct. 21, 2013 – Ford Motor Company today adds Hong Kong to the list of global cities served by its Transit Connect Taxi, building on the vehicle’s popularity among taxi operators in New York City, Chicago, Miami and Los Angeles.

All-new this model year, Ford Transit Connect Taxi features an unmatched combination of performance, fuel economy, safety, comfort and flexibility.

“Ford Transit Connect Taxi has proven itself in taxi fleets across the U.S.,” said Raj Nair, group vice president, global product development. “Now, we are building on that success, offering the vehicle for sale in even more markets, including global cities like Hong Kong.”

The Transit Connect Taxi Ford unveiled in Hong Kong comes equipped with a Ford-engineered, clean-burning liquefied petroleum gas fuel system. It is designed to run on Hong Kong’s well-established LPG infrastructure, providing dependability, low maintenance and long-range travel.

In the United States, Ford owns nearly 60 percent of the taxi market. On sale since 2010, Ford Transit Connect Taxi serves passengers in some of the most demanding taxi markets, including Las Vegas, Philadelphia and Boston.

Taxi of the future today

The 2014 Ford Transit Connect Taxi comes with a new powertrain – a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine paired with a new, fuel-efficient six-speed automatic transmission – providing drivers with quick response as well as durability, low-rpm cruising and an expected best-in-class highway fuel economy rating.

In addition, Transit Connect will be the only taxi in America offered with a compressed natural gas and LPG engine prep package. Conversion to CNG and LPG is supported by Ford Qualified Vehicle Modifiers, enabling significant fuel cost savings.

Ford’s second-generation Transit Connect Taxi features a lower vehicle height, providing improved roof clearance for taxicab companies to place advertising on the cabin roof. A new interior hood release gives drivers easy access to check fluid levels prior to starting a shift.

The new Transit Connect Taxi also is longer, offering seating for five and increased cargo capacity. It has an expected best-in-class 60.5 cubic feet of cargo volume behind the second row. The vehicle can accommodate a compressed gas tank, while still leaving ample room for luggage.

The Transit Connect Taxi floor has been lowered for improved access to the cabin, and it can be modified for wheelchair accessibility through Ford’s Qualified Vehicle Modifier program.

Ford C-MAX Hybrid chosen by taxi operators

In addition to Transit Connect Taxi’s success, Ford C-MAX Hybrid is being adopted by taxi operators right from dealer lots. Taxi operators like the vehicle’s utility, maneuverable size and class-leading U.S. EPA combined fuel economy of 43 mpg. C-MAX Hybrid taxis are on the road in San Francisco and New York.

Taxi operators attribute Ford C-MAX Hybrid’s class-leading fuel economy, 522-mile overall range and spaciousness to its success in taxi fleets. C-MAX Hybrid offers best-in-class passenger volume, plus best-in-class front- and second-row headroom and legroom, and plenty of room for cargo.

In addition, Ford C-MAX Hybrid’s ease of entry and exit is one of its top-rated features by customers – important for passengers quickly entering and exiting the vehicle.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Ford Prepares to Unleash ‘Vandemonium’ at 2013 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, Launches Online Vehicle Dreamcase


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  • Ford launches Dreamcase, an online vehicle display previewing 28 of the 57 vehicles the company will showcase at the 2013 SEMA show next month in Las Vegas
  • Ford is bringing “Vandemonium” to SEMA, with 10 customized Transit Connect Wagons and Transit Connect cargo vans
  • Special guest Gene Simmons of KISS and his wife, actress Shannon Tweed, will unveil a customized 1956 F100 hot rod on the Ford stand for a Nov. 5 event at 1 p.m.
Ford Motor Company will roar into Las Vegas next month, showcasing 57 customized vehicles and delivering several exciting announcements as it goes further for the Specialty Equipment Market Association’s premier annual event.

Ford will highlight its rich history of longtime relationships with aftermarket tuners at the 2013 SEMA show, taking over more than 27,000 square feet inside Las Vegas Convention Center Nov. 5-8. Ford will also occupy more than 110,000 square feet of the convention center’s Silver Lot, where company-sponsored racing schools from Miller Motorsports Park will take center stage in “Ford Out Front.”

The Ford exhibit will feature modified versions of Ford’s most popular models, including Fiesta, Focus, Fusion, Mustang, F-150 and Super Duty. Ford and its aftermarket modifiers will also highlight what’s possible when the European styling of Transit Connect Wagon and Transit Connect cargo van is mixed with the creativity of the industry’s top builders and customizers – “Vandemonium” will be the result.

Leading up to the show, Ford will release renderings of the best SEMA project vehicles in Dreamcase, a digital display. The first vehicles to be featured in Dreamcase are 2014 Mustangs and Fiestas, outfitted with the best aftermarket upgrades and wearing custom colors. Enthusiasts are encouraged to view the vehicles in Dreamcase at ford.to/1cwVX6y.

Ford will also host a press event at its stand at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 5, inside Las Vegas Convention Center. In addition to the announcements Ford has planned, special guest Gene Simmons of KISS and his wife, actress Shannon Tweed, will reveal a 1956 F100 truck to be featured in a charity auction, with proceeds going toward funds for a new children’s hospital near Tweed’s hometown in Saskatchewan, Canada.

Ford at SEMA highlights

Race fans will have plenty to talk about and see as Ford Racing makes an exciting major announcement about its 2014 racing program.

Ford’s indoor exhibit will be home to “Vandemonium” – 10 Transit Connect Wagons and cargo vans treated as blank canvas by aftermarket tuners to illustrate the vehicle’s use beyond family or commercial transportation. The modifications go beyond eye-catching custom paint or new fascia. The builders incorporated a functionality that captures the spirit of Transit Connect, including creating a mobile boutique, working bike shop and a portable two-person gaming lounge. Look for the first custom Transit Connects to be previewed in Dreamcase this Tuesday, Oct. 22.

Ford will offer race fans at SEMA the opportunity to be among the first to play Xbox One’s “Forza Motorsport 5,” which goes on Nov. 22 of this year. Enthusiasts can take the new Ford Fiesta ST for a virtual spin at the exclusive Xbox One demo stations on the show floor, including the custom designed 2014 Fiesta ST MRT Xbox show car.

At the “Ford Out Front” display outside of the convention center, attendees will see how Ford takes customers further on the road, off the road and on the track. Media will have the chance to ride in Rallycross Fiestas driven by Ken Block and Tanner Foust. Fans will also get in on the action, with ride sessions offered for the Fiesta ST and F-150 SVT Raptor used at Ford-sponsored racing schools.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

When Is a Ford Mustang, Not a Mustang? When It’s a Ford T5

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In addition to the usual changes like new headlights to meet local regulations, Ford Mustangs destined for the German market between 1964 and 1979 also got one more change – they were rebadged as Ford T5.

The removal of the Mustang branding came because German truck manufacturer Krupp owned the Mustang trademark in Germany and sold trucks with that branding for many years. Rather than fight over the rights to the name, Ford opted to re-badge the pony car as T5, which had been used as the internal project code during development of Mustang.

The soon-to-be iconic galloping horse emblems were retained, but the fender badges, rear gas cap and steering wheel branding were all replaced with T5 emblems.

Other than the branding, the mechanical changes to T5, as well as to Mustangs for other countries, were mostly limited to replacing the exterior lighting to meet European regulations, as well as some suspension tuning changes and installation of the shock tower brace from the Shelby GT350 to better suit continental roads.

Mustang was sold in Germany with T5 badging from 1964 through introduction of the third-generation 1979 model.

In many export markets including Germany, Mustang and T5 were available through select Ford dealers as well as a secondary channel, the United States military’s P-X system where personnel who were stationed overseas could buy a wide variety of personal items including cars.

“Over the years, many of T5s that ended up in civilian hands in Europe were first purchased by soldiers stationed in Germany,” said John Clor, Ford Mustang historian and author of The Mustang Dynasty. “Some soldiers had their cars shipped back stateside at the end of their tour of duty while others sold them to German civilians.”

Of the more than 4,000 Mustangs sold outside North America in 2012, nearly one in four was sold through military channels.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Large or In Charge | Ford Fusion Hybrid "And Is Better" TV Commercial



In this Ford Fusion commercial, a couple driving through town in a new Fusion find themselves wondering what it would be like to be large or in charge. As they discover, it's really not that pleasant. "OR" says choose. "And" says have it all. That's why Ford is an AND company.

Friday, October 18, 2013

The Fox Body Mustang: A Return to Form

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“Thou shall never do a slantback front end.” That was the commandment from Gene Bordinat, Ford's vice president of design, “Henry Ford II only wants vertical front ends, and he'll show us the door if we ever try anything like it.”

This mantra hung over the early development of the third-generation of Ford's wildly successful Mustang. In 1975 Ford designers began the job of redesigning the iconic pony car for the coming 1980s. The car and country had been through a roller coaster 20-year period and both were in something of an identity crisis.

What defined a Mustang? Compact value and efficiency? A luxurious personal tourer? A muscle-bound performance bargain?

Two teams of designers in Dearborn and a third from the Ford-owned Ghia studio in Italy began competing for the privilege of crafting an all-new Mustang. By the fall of 1975, full scale sketches and clay models were being turned out and refined.

From the outset the only thing that was certain was that the finished product would be a very different sort of steed from Mustang II. That car had been a response to growing concerns in the late-1960s about fuel economy, creeping vehicle size, and safety.

The '79 Mustang would be based on Ford's new “Fox” midsize platform and given a tidy 100-inch wheelbase. A minimum of two bodystyles were targeted – a more conservative notchback first and then a racier fastback model. Compared to Mustang II, a higher priority was placed on the fun-to-drive aspects, interior space, limiting weight and improved aerodynamics.

Within these parameters the teams worked their magic and things were proceeding along the path laid out by the boss. Many of the early fiberglass bucks resemble a sleeker, more refined take on the Mustang II's design elements. Bucketed headlights, a formal upright grille, and a lower sportier stance. Lots of variations were presented including larger personal luxury cars, vinyl tops, surprisingly compact economy versions – there was even a woody station wagon design!

In April 1975, everything changed when Jack Telnack returned to Dearborn after an overseas tour of duty that included a stint at Ford of Australia and then as the vice president of design at Ford of Europe. Telnack was a rising star in Ford's design department and eventually succeeded Gene Bordinat when he retired in 1980.

Telnack took over as the lead for one of the competing groups. Seeing the boxy designs that had been put to full scale, he wondered aloud why sleeker, more European-style design elements weren't being introduced. They existed in sketches but not in the cars physical models. Telnack pushed his team to introduce those elements as well as the previously forbidden slantback grille. With this newly unleashed creative freedom, less traditional shapes began to emerge by early 1976.

What's perhaps most interesting is the aggregation of different design elements from various styling concepts. The basic proportions for the fastback and notchback were developed by February of '76 and the winning design themes from Telnack's group were complete by July. Refining the details meant remixing different styling elements from several earlier models - the laid back grille came from a June clay model, quarter window louvers from April, side strakes were avoided, and four sealed beam headlights allowed for a low, wedge-like hood line.

The result was unlike anything else on the road. Modern and European-inspired but clearly American. What would become the 1979 Mustang had significantly more leg and shoulder room than the Mustang II, a tidy 2,700-pound curb weight and improved outward visibility. The new shape was Ford’s first serious stab at reducing air resistance with the lowest drag coefficient on the road at the time – 0.44 for the fastback and 0.46 for the notchback. The wedge hood and higher seating position even allowed the driver to see the road surface four feet closer to the car. Topping off the new look, stylists even altered the famous galloping Mustang logo, making it more muscular with a longer stride.

Today, we know these cars as the “Fox Body” Mustangs. They went on to be one of the most long-lived and successful platforms in the history of the nameplate with a production that lasted from 1979 to 1993. Along the way, Ford reintroduced the Mustang GT in 1982 and the Mustang convertible in 1983. In 1984 the limited production Mustang SVO was launched followed by the first SVT Cobra in 1993.

Fox Mustangs remain popular with street and drag racers for their light weight and compact design. More than 2.6 million third-generation Mustangs eventually ended up parked in driveways across the country. Click through the gallery above to see how the styling on this much loved car came together.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Ford EcoBoost Police Interceptors Outrun Chevrolet Caprice V8, Hemi Dodge Charger in Michigan State Police Testing

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  • Ford EcoBoost® Police Interceptor sedan repeats top performance and retains its title as best-in-class overall acceleration pursuit vehicle
  • New Ford EcoBoost Police Interceptor utility vehicle acceleration faster than Chevrolet Tahoe and all base V6 competitors
  • Ford Police Interceptors maintain segment sales leadership for 16 years straight
Ford, manufacturer of the best-selling police vehicles since 1996, trumped Chevrolet and Dodge in recent instrumented acceleration testing by the Michigan State Police. The new Ford EcoBoost®-powered Police Interceptor sedan bested both the Chevrolet Caprice V8 and Hemi Dodge Charger, while Ford Police Interceptor utility with EcoBoost took down the V8-equipped Chevrolet Tahoe.

“These tests conducted by the Michigan State Police are an important validation of best-in-class performance in outright acceleration – the most critical measure of police pursuit vehicles,” said Bill Gubing, Ford chief engineer. “Agencies tell us if the bad guys see the police vehicle quickly close in pursuit, they’re less likely to try to run. If this can help reduce the number of high-speed chases, then we could improve public safety on our nation’s roads.”

Preliminary results of Michigan State Police testing show the fastest of the fast – the 2014 Ford Police Interceptor sedan with standard all-wheel drive – posted a 0-60 mph time of 5.66 seconds, compared to 6.04 seconds for the 5.7-liter Hemi-equipped Dodge Charger with optional all-wheel drive.

The Ford EcoBoost-powered sedan also topped the 6.0-liter V8-equipped Chevrolet Caprice, which clocked a 6.01-second 0-60 mph time.

The gap in acceleration only grows in Michigan State Police 0-100 mph testing: Ford Police Interceptor turned a 13.5-second 0-100 mph time, while Dodge Charger posted 14.70 seconds and Chevrolet Caprice took 14.35 seconds.

The new Ford Police Interceptor 3.5-liter EcoBoost-powered utility vehicle made its debut in Michigan State Police testing, and while competition was close among sedans, the Ford utility left its rivals in the dust. Compared to the 5.3-liter V8-powered Chevrolet Tahoe, which posted a 0-60 mph time of 8.22 seconds and a 0-100 mph time of 21.95 seconds, the Ford Police Interceptor utility vehicle with standard all-wheel drive hit 60 mph in 6.28 seconds and 100 mph in 15.51 seconds.

Ford’s Police Interceptor utility vehicle is proving particularly attractive to agencies that could use the added space and versatility it provides. Gubing pointed out these tests demonstrate police agencies don’t have to sacrifice performance for the additional space and functionality Police Interceptor utility delivers. Approximately 60 percent of Ford Police Interceptor sales are the utility vehicle, with 40 percent for the sedan.

Even without EcoBoost, the base 3.7-liter V6 Ford Police Interceptor utility with all-wheel drive is faster than Chevrolet Tahoe V8. Police Interceptor clocked an 8.02-second 0-60 mph time, with Tahoe lagging behind at 8.22 seconds. Police Interceptor led Tahoe in the 0-100 mph test too – 21.0 seconds to 21.95 seconds.

Ford Police Interceptors are gaining attention with agencies nationwide as a means of balancing law enforcement’s need for speed in pursuit-rated vehicles with the need to save money. Switching from traditional V8-equipped police vehicles to powerful but more efficient Ford EcoBoost V6 vehicles achieves that.

With Ford’s announcement in September of a new non-pursuit-rated, fuel-efficient 2.0-liter EcoBoost-equipped Special Service Police sedan, the company now offers law enforcement agencies the power of choice when they want to maximize efficiency and power.

For more information on Ford Police Interceptor, visit www.FordPoliceInterceptor.com.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Ford Reduces Water and Oil Use in Plants Globally with Expansion of Near-Dry Machining Technology

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  • Ford continues to expand the use of near-dry machining, also known as Minimum Quantity Lubrication or MQL, which considerably reduces water and oil use, and improves plant air quality by eliminating the airborne mist produced by traditional wet machining
  • Ford now has six plants in North America, Asia Pacific and Europe that have implemented the MQL process
  • MQL replaces the use of large quantities of conventional metal-working fluids and provides the same amount of lubrication with much less environmental waste
As part of its commitment to sustainability, Ford Motor Company has added its dry machining capability to six plants globally – a number that will nearly double in the next few years.

Near-dry machining, also known as Minimum Quantity Lubrication or MQL, is a process that lubricates cutting tools with a fine spray of oil exactly when and where it is needed. In comparison, conventional wet machining floods the part with metal-working fluids, requiring large amounts of fluid to cool and lubricate the tools used to make engines and transmissions.

For a typical production line, MQL can save more than 280,000 gallons of water per year, or enough to fill 5,600 average-sized bathtubs. Cologne Engine Plant in Germany decreased water use per engine by 50 percent from 2011 to 2012 by switching to the MQL process.

“Reducing the environmental footprint of our plants is a critical part of Ford’s overall sustainability commitment,” said Andrew Hobbs, director of Ford’s environmental quality office. “Expanding new processes such as MQL across our global network of facilities allows us to have an even greater impact.”

MQL also reduces the amount of oil needed to machine an engine or transmission 80 percent or more, to approximately 100 milliliters – or about half the size of an average drinking glass. Without the need for a coolant system across most engine production lines, MQL also helps to reduce energy use. While conventional wet machining produces an airborne mist, MQL eliminates that mist, improving air quality in the plant.

Plants that have switched to the MQL process include:

  • Changan Ford Engine Plant (China)
  • Craiova Engine Plant (Romania)
  • Cologne Engine Plant (Germany)
  • Livonia Transmission Plant (Michigan)
  • Romeo Engine Plant (Michigan)
  • Van Dyke Transmission Plant (Michigan)

“MQL technology will also be incorporated into future engine and transmission plants, underscoring our commitment to advanced manufacturing processes that reduce water and resource requirements,” said Bill Russo, director of manufacturing for Ford powertrain operations.

Ford continues to work toward cutting water use 30 percent per vehicle by 2015. Between 2000 and 2012, Ford reduced global water use by 62 percent – about 10 billion gallons.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Ford, University of Michigan Create New Kind of Battery Lab to Speed Development of Future Electrified Vehicles

  • World-class facility at the University of Michigan allows Ford to collaborate with battery cell manufacturers, suppliers, university researchers and startups to test new battery concepts on a small scale that could be replicated for full production
  • Facility will make it possible for Ford to build on 20 years of battery research, and to test experimental battery chemistries while reducing the risk and cost to suppliers
  • Ford is the only automaker to invest in the new battery lab facility; latest collaboration builds on a 60-year history between Ford and the University of Michigan

A new $8 million battery lab opened today at the University of Michigan that will help Ford develop batteries that are smaller, lighter and less expensive to produce. The work could accelerate development of battery-powered vehicles that are more efficient and affordable than today’s models and that go farther on a single charge.

The lab is a battery manufacturing facility designed to support pilot projects. State-of-the-art manufacturing methods will be used to make test batteries that replicate the performance of full-scale production batteries, allowing for faster implementation in future production vehicles.

“We have battery labs that test and validate production-ready batteries, but that is too late in the development process for us to get our first look,” said Ted Miller, who manages battery research for Ford. “This lab will give us a stepping-stone between the research lab and the production environment, and a chance to have input much earlier in the development process. This is sorely needed, and no one else in the auto industry has anything like it.”

The lab is the result of collaboration between Ford, battery suppliers, the University of Michigan, and the state and federal governments, and it holds the potential for major advancements in extending battery life and durability. Ford, the only automaker to invest in the facility, contributed $2.1 million. Other investors include the University of Michigan, Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the U.S. Department of Energy.

Ford has been supporting battery research for more than 20 years. Last year, the company invested $135 million in design, engineering and production of key battery components, and doubled its battery testing capabilities. Ford was able to accelerate durability testing, with test batteries now accumulating 150,000 miles and 10 years’ life in about 10 months.

Even so, battery development is in its infancy, and more research is needed. Just as critical, said Miller, is the need for new chemistries to be assessed in a credible cell format, which means small-scale battery cells can be tested in place of full-scale production batteries without compromising the test results.

“It is way too early in the battery race to commit to one type of battery chemistry,” said Miller. “In the span of 15 years, the industry has gone from lead-acid to nickel-metal-hydride to the lithium-ion batteries used in Ford C-MAX and Ford Fusion hybrids on the road today. Others in the auto industry have placed their bets, but we are convinced a better solution will require input from a multitude of partners.”

Ford’s electrified vehicle lineup includes five models equipped with advanced lithium-ion batteries. Earlier-generation vehicles featured nickel-metal-hydride batteries. Lithium-ion batteries are about 25 percent to 30 percent smaller, and can provide about three times the power per cell of nickel-metal-hydride batteries.

Miller said locating the lab on a university campus will be a draw for battery suppliers to work on complex problems in a common environment. “We need to work on these problems together in a neutral lab setting,” he said. “This way, we all win. I think you are going to see a lot of companies in the battery supply chain come to Michigan to use this facility, in very short order.
 
“This is important for the state of Michigan, too,” Miller added. “Previous investments have been focused on battery production, and now our state becomes a research core for batteries. The University of Michigan benefits, because the best and brightest from car companies, suppliers and academia will come here. In turn, that will attract the best students. We need to nurture the next generation of battery scientists, and it helps Ford that the campus is less than 40 miles from Dearborn.”

Monday, October 14, 2013

2014 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor Named ‘Off-Road Truck of Texas’ by Texas Auto Writers Association


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  • 2014 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor captures “Off-Road Truck of Texas” title, named by Texas Auto Writers Association
  • New Raptor Special Edition answers customer calls for more exclusivity in addition to truck’s unmatched off-road capability
  • Ford F-150 SVT Raptor has been honored by TAWA every year since its introduction in 2009
The Texas Auto Writers Association named the 2014 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor “Off-Road Truck of Texas.”
From Thursday through Saturday, TAWA members put trucks through rigorous testing at Knibbe Ranch near San Antonio.
“Members of Texas Auto Writers pushed Raptor to the limit on one of the most rugged off-road courses in Texas,” said Doug Scott, Ford truck group marketing manager. “Raptor again showed why it’s the most capable off-road pickup in America, as well as America’s favorite.”
Since hitting the market in 2009, Ford F-150 SVT Raptor continues to find new fans and achieve sales success, with record sales performance eight of the past 10 months and sales up 14 percent this year. With sales expected to remain strong, Ford is increasing Raptor production, growing assembly from three trucks per hour to five trucks.
Continuously improved each year since its debut, the 2014 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor Special Edition – the latest variant – adds interior and exterior upgrades to further differentiate its appearance, and to appeal to luxury truck buyers seeking uncompromised performance off-road.
Key enablers to Raptor’s impressive performance are functional design cues and segment-exclusive suspension technology. Raptor is seven inches wider than a base F-150 to make room for the additional suspension components that enable its off-road capabilities.
Internal triple-bypass shocks by FOX Racing Shox – the first on a production truck – give Raptor 11.2 inches of front suspension travel and 12.1 inches at the rear to handle tough terrain at high speeds. An electronic locking rear differential and Torsen® limited-slip front differential provide excellent capability for rock crawling and other low-speed off-road activities.
Industry-exclusive beadlock-capable wheels are available to further help increase grip in low-traction conditions, along with high-intensity discharge headlamps for improved visibility. SYNC® with MyFord Touch® is available for added connectivity.
 
SVT Raptor is available exclusively with a 6.2-liter V8 engine producing 411 horsepower and 434 lb.-ft. of torque, mated to an electronic six-speed SelectShift Automatic® transmission with tow/haul mode. Raptor SuperCrew is rated to tow up to 8,000 pounds, complementing its unparalleled off-road capabilities.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Nuts or Bolts | Ford Fusion "And Is Better" TV Commercial



In this Ford Fusion commercial, a couple driving their new Fusion wonder what it would be like to have to pick nuts or bolts. They find out that nothing would ever work quite right. "OR" says choose. "And" says have it all. That's why Ford is an AND company.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Co-Creating Solutions to Measure Fuel Economy: Winners of Ford OpenXC Fuel-Efficiency App Challenge Announced

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  • Ford takes customer-centric approach to developing new tools to help vehicle owners measure and understand their own personal fuel economy
  • Demonstrating the potential for drivers to maximize their fuel consumption in a fun, easy-to-understand layout, app developer Fuelytics of Cincinnati wins the grand prize in the Ford OpenXC Fuel-Efficiency App Challenge
  • Five runners-up also announced; winner and finalists take home nearly $50,000 in prizes
Ford embarked on a first-of-its-kind approach to helping customers understand their own personal fuel economy with an app developer challenge providing unprecedented access to in-vehicle data. With more than 20 entrants creating apps to help vehicle owners understand their personal driving habits, Fuelytics, a Cincinnati-based app developer, is taking home the grand prize in the Ford OpenXC Fuel-Efficiency App Challenge.

Fuel economy is one of the top considerations for vehicle purchase. Many elements factor into fuel economy, including driving behavior, climate and terrain. The goal of the challenge is to identify ways to enable drivers to better understand their personal fuel economy.

“This challenge stepped outside of the normal methods of business and sought creative ideas from the open-source development community to tackle an issue we’ve all experienced – understanding personal fuel economy,” said Jim Farley, executive vice president of Ford global marketing, sales and service and Lincoln. “We want drivers to have the tools to understand what fuel economy they can expect in various driving situations, and how they can improve it.”

The competition, announced by Farley in April at the New York International Auto Show, encouraged innovation through Ford OpenXC, an open-source connectivity platform.

Through the advent of smartphone technology, open-source development has surged for Android and iOS platforms. As the car and connectivity worlds converge, Ford is leveraging developer interest in writing open-source applications for smartphones. Increased interest in these developments also means consumers receive more choice through a wide range of applications that help them measure and understand their own personal fuel economy.

An April survey of consumer attitudes conducted by Penn Schoen Berland for Ford affirms the increasing importance of fuel economy:

  • Half of all drivers measure their fuel economy every time they fill the tank or have the car serviced
  • Most consumers would change the way they drive if they knew it would significantly improve fuel economy: 79 percent would change acceleration, 68 percent would change their speed and 62 percent would choose a different route
  • Nearly three out of four drivers said they already make an effort to drive more efficiently

“Ford has a history of offering innovative ways to help consumers drive more fuel efficiently through technologies such as MyFord Mobile and SmartGauge® with EcoGuide,” said Paul Mascarenas, Ford chief technical officer and vice president, Research and Innovation. “Fuelytics, along with the other app developers, used the same principles to develop their data-driven applications, and we’re proud of their efforts.”

Ford-led fuel-saving innovations have been effective in informing consumers of their driving habits. After six months on the road with their Ford plug-in hybrid electric or battery electric vehicle, customers are taking nearly 30 percent of their trips using no gas, compared to the beginning of vehicle ownership when about 20 percent of trips are gas-free.

The OpenXC Fuel-Efficiency App Challenge is more proof Ford is reaching even broader audiences through the creation of data-driven apps that assist the driver. For example, Fuelytics created an application that presents fuel efficiency through a series of easy-to-read gauges drivers can follow on their smartphones. The app ranks how well a driver’s vehicle performs compared with other models of the same year.

Developers used Ford’s OpenXC hardware and software development kit to read a wide array of real-time vehicle data. Understanding the many factors that play into personal fuel economy, including temperature, terrain, traffic conditions and individual driving styles, the apps created provide fun, engaging ways to consume personal fuel-efficiency data through custom dashboards and platforms offering real-time advice.
The winners:
  • Best overall – grand prize ($25,000): Fuelytics helps drivers visualize fuel consumption and other trip data seamlessly in real-time
  • Best overall – second prize ($15,000): Eco-Dash introduces a custom dashboard with a new and unique way of looking at fuel efficiency
  • Best overall – third prize ($5,000): Dash provides consumers with smart insights into their driving, thereby incentivizing safer, greener driving that reduces costs
  • Honorable mention ($3,000): Effective Eco Driving offers several fun mini games that challenge drivers to improve fuel efficiency
  • Popular choice ($1,000): Here we go gives real-time tips for improved fuel efficiency
  • Personal fuel-efficiency recognition award: Drive Trace Application helps drivers learn, compare and share information about driving styles and thereby optimize fuel usage

Friday, October 11, 2013

Motor City: A Rich History - Mustang Countdown



For more than a century, the automobile and the city of Detroit have grown up together, each influencing the other. Throughout the highs and lows, the cars and the community have been chronicled at Detroit Historical Museum which is located in the city's cultural center.

One of the stars of the museum's collection is the 1963 Ford Mustang II concept. The Mustang II debuted 50 years ago at the United States Grand Prix at Watkins Glen, New York. Produced from one of the development prototypes for the upcoming production model, it gave the world its first real preview of what the 1965 Mustang would look like.

The industry and the city that is home to it have been through many difficult periods of the years, but both are currently experiencing a renaissance by refocusing on the fundamentals. The mix of startup businesses like Shinola and classic elements of the city are drawing new residents and entrepreneurs, just as the auto industry is coming back with an emphasis on great products.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

A Look Back: 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 302

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  • Inspired by the Ford Mustangs that won the 1966 and 1967 Trans-Am championships, Ford responded to new competition by creating the best Mustang of the time, the 1969 Boss 302
  • With a unique look created by designer Larry Shinoda and a high-output 302-cubic-inch V8, the Boss 302 became one of the most legendary Mustangs ever
While it might be nice to have a market segment all to yourself, that can easily lead to complacency. Competition, on the other hand, pushes everyone to keep getting better. Nowhere is this truer than in the realm of performance cars like Ford Mustang.

When Mustang debuted in April 1964, there was nothing else like it on the market, and more than 1 million customers snapped one up in the first two years. This overnight success did not go unnoticed by other automakers, and competitors soon arrived to up the ante; Ford took up the challenge.

In early 1968, Semon E. “Bunkie” Knudsen was named president of Ford Motor Company and Larry Shinoda joined the design staff. Knudsen was a strong believer that performance could help sell more cars, and soon after his arrival Shinoda and chief engineer Howard Freers were assigned to create an even higher performance Mustang. The new model would be inspired by the cars that won the first two Trans-Am championships in 1966 and 1967.

In his 1979 book “Mustang!,” author Gary Witzenburg quotes Freers as saying they were instructed to build “absolutely the best-handling street car available on the American market!” Chassis engineer Matt Donner set to work developing a heavy-duty suspension setup to take advantage of Goodyear’s highest performance street tire of the time, the F60 Polyglas.
The result would come to be known as the Boss 302.

During development testing, the extra loading transmitted to the chassis by these tires led to front suspension damage on the prototype. The chassis reinforcements that resolved the issue were ultimately added to all Mustangs, thus improving the breed.

A high-performance version of the 302-cubic-inch small-block V8 provided the necessary motivation to take advantage of the upgraded chassis. The new wedge chamber cylinder heads on the 302 featured canted valves for improved airflow, helping it to generate 290 horsepower and 290 lb.-ft. of torque.

Meanwhile in the design studio, Shinoda crafted a unique look for this special Mustang. The air scoops on top of the rear fenders of other 1969 Mustangs were eliminated, and C-shaped stripes with the name Boss 302 were added to the front fenders. The hood and trunklid were painted flat black, and a functional spoiler to reduce lift was added below the front bumper.

The 1969½ Mustang Boss 302 debuted in March 1969, just short of five years after the original Mustang. Race-prepared versions of the Boss 302 generated an estimated 450 horsepower with dual four-barrel carburetors, and just missed out on the 1969 Trans-Am championship before winning again in 1970.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Ford Celebrates 100th Anniversary of the Moving Assembly Line with New Goals for Advanced, Flexible Manufacturing

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  • By 2017, Ford will increase its global flexible manufacturing to produce on average four different models at each plant around the world
  • Largest manufacturing expansion in 50 years with eight new assembly plants and six new powertrain plants globally to support growth and retain approximately 130,000 manufacturing jobs around the world
  • Ford ramping up new advanced manufacturing techniques such as 3D printing, advanced prototyping, robotics and virtual simulation to lead the next generation of manufacturing


As today marks the 100th anniversary of the moving assembly line invented by Ford Motor Company under the leadership of Henry Ford, the company is building on its legacy of innovation by expanding advanced manufacturing capabilities and introducing groundbreaking technologies that could revolutionize mass production for decades to come.

Ford is rapidly expanding its advanced manufacturing capabilities and boosting global production to meet surging consumer demand. By 2017, Ford will increase its global flexible manufacturing to produce on average four different models at each plant around the world to allow for greater adaptability based on varying customer demand. Ford also projects 90 percent of its plants around the world will be running on a three-shift or crew model by 2017, which will help increase production time more than 30 percent.

“One hundred years ago, my great-grandfather had a vision to build safe and efficient transportation for everyone,” said Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford. “I am proud he was able to bring the freedom of mobility to millions by making cars affordable to families and that his vision of serving people still drives everything we do today.”

Also in 2017, virtually all Ford vehicles will be built off nine core platforms, boosting manufacturing efficiency, while giving customers the features, fuel efficiency and technology they want anywhere in the world. Today, Ford builds vehicles on 15 platforms and has the freshest lineup in the industry.

“Henry Ford’s core principles of quality parts, workflow, division of labor and efficiency still resonate today,” said John Fleming, Ford executive vice president of global manufacturing. “Building on that tradition, we’re accelerating our efforts to standardize production, make factories more flexible and introduce advanced technologies to efficiently build the best vehicles possible at the best value for our customers no matter where they live.”

Ford’s recent expansions in global manufacturing and production have helped to retain 130,000 hourly and salaried jobs around the world.

They also put the company on pace to produce 6 million vehicles in 2013 – approximately 16 vehicles every 60 seconds around the world. By 2015, Ford will have opened the facilities below:
  •  2011: Ford Sollers Elabuga Assembly Plant – Russia
  • 2012: Ford Sollers Naberezhnye Chelny Assembly Plant – Russia
  • 2012: Chongqing #2 Assembly Plant – China
  • 2012: Craiova Engine Plant – Romania
  • 2012: Ford Thailand Motors – Thailand
  • 2013: Chongqing Engine Plant – China
  • 2013: Nanchang Assembly – China
  • 2014: Cama├žari Engine Plant – Brazil
  • 2014: Chongqing #3 Assembly Plant – China
  • 2014: Chongqing Transmission – China
  • 2014: Sanand Assembly Plant – India
  • 2014: Sanand Engine Plant – India
  • 2015: Hangzhou Assembly – China
  • 2015: Ford Sollers Elabuga Engine Plant – Russia
An innovation that changed the world

One hundred years ago today, Henry Ford and his team at Highland Park assembly plant launched the world’s greatest contribution to manufacturing – the first moving assembly line. It simplified assembly of the Ford Model T’s 3,000 parts by breaking it into 84 distinct steps performed by groups of workers as a rope pulled the vehicle chassis down the line.
The new process revolutionized production and dropped the assembly time for a single vehicle from 12 hours to about 90 minutes.

By reducing the money, time and manpower needed to build cars as he refined the assembly line over the years, Ford was able to drop the price of the Model T from $850 to less than $300. For the first time in history, quality vehicles were affordable to the masses. Eventually, Ford built a Model T every 24 seconds and sold more than 15 million worldwide by 1927, accounting for half of all automobiles then sold.

“Ford’s new approach spread rapidly, not only to other automakers but also to manufacturers of phonographs, vacuum cleaners, refrigerators and other consumer goods,” said Bob Casey, former curator of transportation at The Henry Ford, and author of The Model T: A Centennial History. “The assembly line became the characteristic American mode of production.”

In 1914, Ford instituted the “$5 workday,” a significant wage at the time, to enable his employees to buy the vehicles they built. The move created loyalty among Ford workers and is credited with giving rise to a new middle class of consumers unencumbered by geography, free to travel the open roads, to live where they please and chase the American dream.

Ford fans today are honoring Henry Ford and his ingenious moving assembly line. National Geographic Channel will mark the occasion with an in-depth new documentary as part of its “Ultimate Factories” program airing Friday, Oct. 18. Information about the documentary and local air times can be found here.

New technologies shape the future

Ford already is realizing the benefits of advanced manufacturing technologies that will shape the future. For example, Ford engineers are developing a highly flexible, first-of-its-kind, patented technology to rapidly form sheet-metal parts for low-volume production use. The technology, known as Ford Freeform Fabrication Technology, or F3T, will lower costs and speed delivery times for prototype stamping molds – within three business days versus two to six months for prototypes made using conventional methods.

Additionally, Ford is expanding its capabilities in 3D printing, which creates production-representative 3D parts layer by layer for testable prototypes. With 3D printing, Ford can create multiple versions of one part at a time and deliver prototype parts to engineers for testing in days rather than months.

Ford also is investing in robotic innovations to improve vehicle quality and production efficiencies. For example, the company’s new dirt detection system uses robotic vision to create a digital model of each vehicle in final assembly to analyze paint and surface imperfections in comparison with a perfect model. The result has been significantly improved surface quality on Ford vehicles and more time for operators on the assembly line to address complex issues. Robotics, in this case, allow Ford to work smarter in improving products for customers and allowing workers to focus on more critical thinking tasks.

Finally, through Ford’s “virtual factory,” the company can improve quality and cut costs in real-world manufacturing facilities by creating and analyzing computer simulations of the complete vehicle production process. This includes simulations of how assembly line workers have to reach and stretch when building a vehicle to ensure the work conditions meet Ford ergonomic standards. Since the implementation of this virtual process in 2001, the number of ergonomic issues during physical builds has been reduced by nearly 20 percent.

“Technologies such as 3D printing, robotics and virtual manufacturing may live in research but have real-world applications for tomorrow and beyond,” said Paul Mascarenas, chief technical officer and vice president, Ford Research and Innovation. “We use Henry Ford’s spirit of innovation as a benchmark for bringing new technologies into the manufacturing process.”

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Don’t Mess With a Yellow Jacket: Vortech’s Supercharged Ford Mustang Packs a SEMA Sting

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The Project Yellow Jacket Ford Mustang created by the team at Vortech Superchargers packs a serious sting for its upcoming debut at the 2013 SEMA show in Las Vegas.

“As a lifelong Ford fan, I was inspired to create this project car when I realized Ford doesn’t offer yellow on the 2014 Mustang,” said Brian Ellis, sales, marketing and social media manager for AirPower Group. “We wanted to create something really eye-popping with a mechanical package to match the appearance.”

The team at Vortech added 3D Carbon’s Boy Racer kit, along with a carbon-fiber cowl induction hood and other carbon accents from TruFiber all finished in a custom paint supplied by DuPont.
Under the carbon-fiber hood sits the potent 5.0-liter Coyote V8 engine topped off with a Vortech V-3 Si supercharging system packing 605 horsepower and 473 lb.-ft. with 7.5 psi of boost. Other upgrades include:

  • Webasto custom electronic sunroof
  • Wheels and tires: iForged Icon three-piece wheels – 20- x 9-inch front, 20- x 11-inch rear (black chrome centers with flat black lips) wrapped in Falken Azenis FK453 tires (275/40/20 front, 315/35/20 rear)
  • Suspension and braking: Custom powder-coated Maximum Motorsports Road & Track box suspension package and Baer 6S six-piston brakes at all four corners

Monday, October 7, 2013

Remanufacturing Features



Saying that a Ford Remanufactured engine is "Original Equipment" is only the beginning of the story. See what makes buying a Ford Remanufactured engine unique.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Ford Warriors in Pink, 19 Years Strong, Continues as a Symbol of Unity in the Fight Against Breast Cancer

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  • Gilles Marini, actor and active warrior for the cause, has created this year’s celebrity-designed T-shirt and will join Ford Warriors in Pink® in New York City this month to help raise awareness in the ongoing fight against breast cancer
  • Ford Warriors in Pink and celebrity news site PopSugar launch video series “In Her World,” featuring prominent women sharing their stories of success and challenge
  • Ford Warriors in Pink honors Breast Cancer Awareness month with additional new inspirational video series and special-edition apparel in its 19th year in the battle against breast cancer
Ford Warriors in Pink® – the program created by Ford Motor Company to raise awareness and funds in the fight against breast cancer – continues its 19-year quest to keep the subject of breast cancer a part of everyday life. This month, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Warriors in Pink and actor Gilles Marini will be in New York City promoting the limited-edition T-shirt Marini created to aid in the fight against the disease.

Additionally, Ford Warriors in Pink is launching two distinct video series: One, “In Her World,” created by celebrity news site PopSugar, is an intimate look at prominent women and their stories of inspiration. The other, “Courage Talks,” part of the Models of Courage campaign created in 2012, covers the difficult conversations breast cancer patients will inevitably face.

“Ford Warriors in Pink will continue to be a united force in the fight against breast cancer,” said Tracy Magee, Ford experiential marketing manager. “As long as there are women and men out there battling breast cancer, we will be here fighting alongside them.”

Marini, who has appeared on television in “Dancing with the Stars,” “Switched at Birth” and “Brothers & Sisters,” as well as in the movie “Sex and the City,” has joined the Warriors in Pink team to be an active warrior in the fight against breast cancer. A full 100 percent of the net proceeds from the limited-edition “United with Love” T-shirt he created will go to the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation.

Like so many, Marini has been personally affected by the disease. After losing his father to cancer at a young age, then watching his sister-in-law battle breast cancer, Marini is passionate about the cause. “I want to help put an end to breast cancer,” he says. “Too many lives have been lost already.”

Marini’s design retails for $20 and can be purchased from www.fordcares.com; the T-shirt will also be available for sale, along with select apparel from the 2013 Warriors in Pink collection, through a Warriors in Pink multistop tour in New York City Oct. 8-9.

Messages of hope

Ford Warriors in Pink continues to spread awareness, and is partnering again with CBS prime-time talent to create public service announcements featuring Warriors in Pink apparel that will air throughout October. These PSAs will feature talent from “2 Broke Girls,” “The Good Wife,” “NCIS” and other popular CBS shows.

To continually unite the breast cancer community, the two distinct video series Ford Warriors in Pink has launched are aimed at spreading messages of hope, courage and awareness.

New for 2013, the Warriors in Pink partnership with PopSugar on the launch of “In Her World” takes an intimate look at the lives of high-profile women to get an idea of what challenges and inspires them. This inspirational video series illuminates key aspects of their passions, successes and personalities – and includes women directly affected by breast cancer. PopSugar has also created a special Ford Warriors in Pink segment that portrays an intimate interview with Marini. Available this month, these videos can be viewed on the PopSugar website, www.popsugar.com, and on Warriors in Pink social media platforms.

Additionally, Ford’s Models of Courage campaign, created in 2012, is launching “Courage Talks,” a new video series featuring breast cancer survivors sharing their experiences in order to help guide those difficult conversations associated with the disease. From fear to hope, tough subjects and honest discussions, the series covers it all. Available now, the talks can be viewed on the Warriors in Pink Facebook page, under the tab “Courage Talks.”

Ford Warriors in Pink

Ford’s commitment in the fight against breast cancer runs well beyond raising funds. The company is dedicated to making a difference 365 days a year by encouraging women to become informed and visit their doctors, educating them about how early detection saves lives. 2013 marks Ford Motor Company’s 19th year of support; to date, Ford has dedicated more than $120 million to the cause.

The entire 2013 Ford Warriors in Pink collection is available at www.fordcares.com. A full 100 percent of net proceeds from sales go to support organizations fighting breast cancer.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Ford Motor Company Honored with Two Awards from Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council

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  • Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council recognizes Ford as Corporation of the Year; Ford Supplier Diversity Development program director honored for individual achievements
  • This is the fourth consecutive time Ford has won Corporation of the Year – underscoring the company’s ongoing commitment to minority- and women-owned businesses
  • Ford aims to source at least 10 percent of U.S. purchases from minority- and women-owned businesses
Ford Motor Company has been named Corporation of the Year by the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council (MMSDC). Ford was honored for its excellence and commitment to working with and helping to develop and mentor minority business enterprises. This is the fourth year in a row Ford has been honored as Corporation of the Year.

Additionally, Carla Traci Preston, director of Ford’s Supplier Diversity Development program, was honored for individual achievements in supplier diversity.

In 2012, Ford exceeded its sourcing goals by purchasing $5.7 billion in goods and services from minority-owned suppliers and $1.2 billion in goods and services from women-owned suppliers. Last year, Ford’s Tier 1 suppliers sourced $2.1 billion with Tier 2 minority- and women-owned companies.

“This win clearly underscores the company’s ongoing commitment to develop and grow its minority- and women-owned suppliers,” said Hau Thai-Tang, group vice president, global purchasing, Ford Motor Company. “As a company, it’s critical we continue to integrate supplier diversity into our sourcing process so that we remain highly competitive, innovative and sustainable.”

Preston, honored for her individual achievements to supplier diversity, received the Jethro Joseph Advocate of the Year award. This award is presented annually to an individual who is not a buyer, but still symbolizes through his or her actions the spirit and intent of supplier diversity in minority economic development.

“Ford Motor Company continues to be a leader when it comes to minority- and women-owned businesses,” said Louis Green, CEO, MMSDC. “Ford’s dedication and commitment to develop and maintain a diverse supplier base was established decades ago and will continue for decades to come.”

2013 marks the 35th anniversary of Ford’s Supplier Diversity Development program. Since 1978, Ford has spent $67 billion with more than 400 minority suppliers. Ford launched the program to deliver support to minority- and women-owned businesses, to create business opportunities for diverse suppliers to grow into profitable enterprises, and to further strengthen a Ford supplier network base that reflects the company’s work force and customer base.

“Because we live in a diverse world, it’s imperative we team up with the very best minority- and women-owned companies that reflect society’s landscape,” said Burt Jordan, vice president, Ford global vehicle and powertrain purchasing and supplier diversity. “Our diverse supplier base allows us to deliver great and innovative products and services that our customers around the world want and deserve.”

The Corporation of the Year award honors companies that actively include certified minority suppliers in their procurement opportunities. These companies assist in the development of minority suppliers, and promote supplier diversity within their organizations. They encourage other vendors and business partners to take an interest in supplier diversity, too.

In the automotive OEM category, the winner of the Corporation of the Year award must distinguish itself in a very competitive field. The selection criteria the committee uses include minority spend, mentoring, minority supplier development and other services that create sustainable growth of minority business enterprises.

For more information on MMSDC, please visit www.mmbdc.com. For information on the National Minority Supplier Development Council, go to www.nmsdc.org.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Trucks and Buildings Must Be Built Tough; Ford and AIA New York Talk About What It Takes to Make Something Last

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  • “Design with a Purpose: Built Tough” panel brings together Ford designers and American Institute of Architects New York members to discuss what it means to build tough and to design something that stands the test of time
  • Trucks and buildings are expected to provide functionality, safety and long-term reliability, but both are also expected to stand apart from the crowd
  • Trucks and buildings have a deep relationship, as trucks are part of the infrastructure of the construction industry; 55 percent of vehicles used on heavy construction jobs are Ford F-Series Super Duty trucks
Trucks and urban buildings are designed to stand the test of time, with surfaces and features that define purpose and capability. Both have evolved to meet the demands of a changing world.

Since debuting in 1948, Ford F-Series trucks have pushed the boundaries of what built tough means. New materials like high-strength steel enhance durability, while added features such as improved braking systems and productivity screens that display fuel economy and towing information make it easier for users to get work done. Similarly, advancements in architecture research and technology have led to new designs and to improved living and working conditions.

Today, Ford Motor Company and the American Institute of Architects New York are hosting a private luncheon and panel discussion, “Design with a Purpose: Built Tough,” intended to explore parallel design trends between those iconic buildings we admire and the powerful, utilitarian Ford F-Series trucks used to help build them. The discussion is a feature presentation of the first week of Archtober, the third annual Architecture and Design Month in New York City.

Some New York City buildings are symbols of the city, just as F-Series trucks have earned recognition as being synonymous with endurance and power. These buildings and trucks signal authority, while at the same time blending into the environment to which they belong.

Users of both trucks and urban buildings require functionality, safety and long-term reliability, and both are designed to last. New York’s Empire State Building has towered over the city for 82 years; for 41 years, it reigned as the tallest skyscraper in the world. Ford has more full-size pickup trucks on the road with at least 250,000 miles than any other automaker, and F-Series has been the best-selling vehicle in America for 36 years.

Trucks and Buildings Must Be Built Tough

“With trucks, every surface and feature must be crafted for utility while retaining an unmistakable Built Ford Tough look,” said J Mays, Ford group vice president and chief creative officer. “Trucks are similar to architecture, in that a building must clearly convey its use. Once inside the building, its layout needs to be practical, with intuitive features to assist the person occupying it. A truck operates the same way, with intelligent design that can complement the lifestyle of the person driving it.”
New York architects and Ford truck designers face similar challenges in creating something that lives up to the hype.

“We are constantly challenged with surpassing our own reputation,” said Rick Bell, a fellow of the American Institute of Architects and executive director of its New York chapter. “New York is one of the greatest cities in the world, and the work we create has global impact. Architects here have the privilege and responsibility of adding durable amenity to this tough, urban context. Millions of people live and work in New York. But it is also here that we dream and succeed. Our city combines form and function, fun and frenzy. Design provides the structure and inspiration.”

The connection between trucks and buildings goes further than answering similar design needs for durability, functionality and reliability. Both trucks and buildings signal economic improvement as well. Recovery in home construction translates to strong growth in truck sales, as business picks up and contractors invest in their primary work tool. Today, 55 percent of vehicles used on heavy construction jobs are Ford F-Series Super Duty trucks.

Panel participants include:
  • Rick Bell, FAIA, executive director, AIANY
  • Erik Churchill, project manager, SHoP Construction
  • Steven Colletta, vice president, Sciame Construction Company
  • J Mays, group vice president and chief creative officer, design, Ford Motor Company

Thursday, October 3, 2013

2014 Ford Mustang Cobra Jet Prototype Sells for $200,000 at Barrett-Jackson with Proceeds to Benefit National Multiple Sclerosis Society

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Last weekend at the Barrett-Jackson Auction Company’s Las Vegas sale, the 2014 Ford Mustang Cobra Jet prototype fetched $200,000. Ford Motor Company auctioned it at no reserve with proceeds benefitting the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. The organization assists those living with this unpredictable and often disabling disease of the central nervous system.

After spirited bidding that electrified the auction block, an anonymous bidder purchased the Cobra Jet. The winning bidder is not only the proud owner of the NHRA-legal vehicle, but they are now an honorary member of Team Mustang with full backstage passes to the Ford Product Development Center, Ford Design Studios and Ford Racing. The winning bid also made an important contribution in the fight against MS.

“Watching the car cross the block in support of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society was very rewarding,” says Dave Pericak, Mustang chief engineer. “It is an amazing competition-ready car that will make any team an instant force in its class. This Mustang Cobra Jet will be an inspiring reminder for anyone who sees it on the drag strip to continue working to combat the effects of MS.”

This Ford is powered by a 5.0-liter supercharged V8 mated to a T4 racing transmission, and boasts an optional traction “wheelie” bar, 8.50 ET certified chrome-moly safety cage, exclusive Cobra Jet-branded Weld wheels, three-link rear suspension, lightweight racing brakes, 9-inch rear axle, and custom Cobra-branded Recaro seats. The purpose-built factory race car was the prototype for the 2014 model year racer, and carries a unique serial number of #2014 BJMS CJXX1. Clad in a fiery orange satin finish with dark gray reflective stripes, it also bears a distinctive license plate with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s logo.

The winning bidder also received the following with their purchase of the Cobra Jet:

  • Training at Roy Hill’s Drag Racing School in Sophia, N.C.
  • Their experience captured for a future Mustang book and documentary
  • Video of the vehicle build, testing and the action from Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas

“We cannot be more grateful to the entire team at Ford Motor Company for their tireless work for our cause,” said Elana Sullivan, president of the Michigan Chapter of the National MS Society. “Because of the incredible outcome of this auction, we will be able to move even closer to creating a world free of MS.”

“We’re pleased this Mustang Cobra Jet captured so much attention at the Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas sale,” says Steve Ling, North America car marketing manager for Ford. “Ford’s long-standing relationship with Barrett-Jackson gives us the opportunity to help charities such as the National Multiple Sclerosis Society; Brain Injury Association of America; Carroll Shelby Foundation; and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation through unique vehicle sales.”