Mike Brown shares his story of how music moved him to get into designing streetwear – and how this collaboration with Ford allows him an opportunity to share the best of San Francisco with the world.
Monday, February 29, 2016
Sunday, February 28, 2016
Unique Mobile Climate and Road Simulators Help Knock Out Squeaks and Rattles in All-New Ford F-Series Super Duty
- Unique mobile climate and road simulators test all-new F-Series Super Duty and other vehicles for squeaks and rattles so Ford can minimize these noises ahead of production
- The company’s eight mobile climate and road simulators are completely portable, allowing Ford to efficiently test prototype vehicles; one unit was moved to Kentucky Truck Plant to conduct noise testing of the all-new Super Duty
- In these mobile labs, vehicles in development are subjected to simulated rough terrain and road surfaces, as well as to extreme differences in humidity and temperature – from 20 degrees below zero to 120 degrees Fahrenheit – to help detect and minimize squeaks and rattles
DEARBORN, Mich., Feb. 25, 2016 – Ford is using mobile climate and road simulators to minimize squeaks and rattles in the all-new 2017 F-Series Super Duty – the toughest, smartest, most capable Super Duty ever.
Rigorous testing with this equipment includes some of the most extreme conditions imaginable. The simulators are known as Transportable Environmental Four Posters, in reference to their 18-wheeler portability and four-point road simulators that sit under each wheel when a vehicle is in the chamber. Ford is the only automaker to use these mobile simulators.
“Mobile climate and road simulators are absolutely key to finding unwanted noises in the early stages of vehicle development,” said Craig Schmatz, Ford F-Series Super Duty chief engineer. “Extreme climates and terrains are especially known for bringing out squeaks and rattles. Identifying and mitigating these noises long before a vehicle goes into production is one more way Ford is working to deliver great vehicle quality.”
In these mobile labs, Ford puts prototype vehicles through their paces on all manner of simulated terrain and road surfaces, as well as in extreme humidity and temperatures ranging from a bone-chilling 20 degrees below zero to a blistering 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
Thanks to the portability of these simulators, Ford can move them all over the world to test prototypes wherever and whenever a vehicle is undergoing development. To test the all-new Super Duty, Ford moved one of the simulators to Kentucky Truck Plant, which has produced more than 5 million Super Duty trucks since the vehicle was introduced in 1999.
Before the first all-new Super Duty charges off the line, it will have logged more than 12 million cumulative miles of testing – more than any of its predecessors – to ensure the promise of Built Ford Tough.
Controlled environment allows for comprehensive testing
These initially patented mobile climate and road simulators help Ford ensure quality in a way that’s as unique as it is innovative. The ability to perform tests on-site at Ford facilities is immensely more efficient than sending a vehicle to another location and waiting for results. Prototypes undergo testing all the way to production, with the controlled environment allowing trained experts and advanced audio-sensing equipment to identify the causes of noise.
For each vehicle launch, climate and road simulation testing is overseen by a Ford launch engineer and a plant vehicle team engineer who work diligently to prevent squeaks and rattles; for Super Duty, this was Abdul Mohammed and Dave Massengill, respectively. This testing is part of the company’s focus on quiet quality – a motto boldly emblazoned on each of the eight simulators as a reminder.
“Ford takes its commitment to delivering quiet quality seriously – devoting a lot of resources to deploying the best people and tools,” said Vy Tran, Ford North American launch supervisor for squeak and rattle testing. “Ford’s approach to testing for squeaks and rattles, both for Super Duty and other vehicle launches, helps the company put customers behind the wheel of vehicles they can enjoy with their ears as much as their eyes and hands.”
Ford worked with suppliers and other companies to develop the Transportable Environmental Four Posters, which have now been used for more than 100 global vehicle launches.
Aside from full-vehicle testing, Ford also performs component-level testing to help limit squeaks and rattles. For instance, the company subjects instrument panels to shake testing on custom stands called Transportable Instrument Panel Sound Testing Evaluation Rigs.
“Simulator technology has come a long way in helping to reduce noises in vehicles,” said Timothy Wittrock, Ford North American current model supervisor for squeak and rattle testing. “Transportable Environmental Four Poster technology has been instrumental in reducing squeaks and rattles under various operating conditions to deliver a whisper-quiet driving experience for customers.”
Mobile climate and road simulators are but one part of a large suite of tools Ford uses to create high-quality vehicles.
Saturday, February 27, 2016
Cleveland Engine Plant Gets $145 Million Upgrade, Creates 150 Jobs for New EcoBoost Engine Production
- Ford investing $145 million to upgrade Cleveland Engine Plant, creating or retaining 150 jobs as part of the company’s commitment to 8,500 jobs and invest $9 billion in its facilities across the United States over the next four years
- Jobs and investment to support production of all-new second-generation 3.5-liter EcoBoost® engine family for 2017 Ford F-150 lineup
- All-new 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor to feature high-output version of second-generation 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine, producing more power with greater fuel efficiency
CLEVELAND, Feb. 26, 2016 – Ford is investing $145 million to upgrade its Cleveland Engine Plant – creating or retaining 150 jobs to support strong demand for an all-new second-generation 3.5-liter EcoBoost® engine family for the 2017 Ford F-150 lineup.
The investment in second-generation EcoBoost engine technology is part of the $9 billion commitment the company made in the 2015 Ford-UAW collective bargaining agreement to invest in its U.S. plants. Ford, which has 80,000 U.S. employees, is committed to creating or securing 8,500 hourly jobs in communities across Michigan, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, New York and Ohio over the next four years. Since 2011, Ford has invested more than $10.2 billion in its plants across the United States.
Cleveland Engine Plant produces the current version of the 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine, which powers 2016 Ford F-150, Explorer, Expedition, Transit, Flex and Taurus.
“Ford customers have embraced EcoBoost’s unbeatable combination of power and efficiency, with more than 60 percent of F-150 customers choosing trucks powered by EcoBoost,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford president, The Americas. “This second-generation 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine is another great example of Ford continuously improving and innovating to give these hardworking customers the best engines and trucks we can.”
In addition to the 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine that has been a success throughout the F-150 lineup, the 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor will be powered by Ford’s all-new second-generation, high-output 3.5-liter EcoBoost that produces more power with greater efficiency than the previous 6.2-liter V8. The high-output 3.5-liter EcoBoost is a Raptor-exclusive in the F-150 lineup, paired with an all-new 10-speed transmission for improved efficiency.
As the cornerstone of Ford’s global engine strategy to reduce fuel consumption and emissions, EcoBoost engines, introduced in 2009, deliver the same capability as larger-displacement engines, with significantly better fuel economy. EcoBoost uses smaller overall engine size combined with turbocharging, gasoline direct injection and variable valve timing to provide customers the power they want and the fuel economy they need.
“This is very exciting news for the hardworking men and women of Cleveland Engine Plant and the Ohio community as a whole,” said Jimmy Settles, UAW vice president, National Ford Department. “The team at Cleveland Engine is thrilled to begin building one of the most technologically advanced engines ever designed for the all-new F-150 Raptor.”
Cleveland Engine Plant opened in 1951 and employs more than 1,500 people. It has produced more than 1 million EcoBoost engines since 2009.
Along with the current 3.5-liter EcoBoost for F-150, the plant builds the 2.0-liter EcoBoost for Edge, the 2.3-liter EcoBoost for Explorer, Mustang and Lincoln MKC, as well as the 3.7-liter V6 rear-wheel-drive application for Mustang.
All-new Ford F-150 Raptor
The all-new 2017 F-150 Raptor is the toughest, smartest, most capable Raptor ever. It features an all-new purpose-built, high-strength steel frame unique to Raptor, plus a high-strength, military-grade, aluminum-alloy body that helps save more than 500 pounds versus the previous version for improved off-road performance and capability.
Larger FOX Racing Shox have more suspension travel, plus all-new terrain management technology and the availability of redesigned industry-exclusive beadlock-capable wheels that increase grip in low-traction conditions help F-150 Raptor tackle North America’s toughest trails.
F-150 Raptor will be built at Dearborn Truck Plant. The new truck goes on sale in the United States and Canada this fall.
Friday, February 26, 2016
Jhené Aiko, Mike Brown and Va$htie discuss how this collaboration with Ford provides a platform for them to share San Francisco’s culture with the world.
Thursday, February 25, 2016
Five customers were given never-before access to the toughest, smartest, most capable Super Duty ever. Hear in their own words why We Own Work.
Meet our team of Insiders recruited directly from industries owned by Super Duty. Hear their questions around the first-ever aluminum heavy duty truck and get ready for a raw, uncensored view of the all-new 2017 Super Duty.
Wednesday, February 24, 2016
- Ford Motor Company lighting innovations are guided by human psychology, as lighting inconsistencies and contrast irregularities can cause irritability and even depression
- First debuting on the Ford F-150, and now available on the new Ford Fusion, the automaker’s Crystal Diamond Light is designed to disperse broad, even lighting that can help reduce irritability while improving efficiency by up to 62 percent – lowering cost and enhancing aesthetics
- Interior lighting is designed with the human eye in mind to offer optimal light perception and good contrast for night vision; because men and women see colors differently, the shade must be universally accepted by the color cones of both sexes
DEARBORN, Mich., Feb. 24, 2016 – In the niche world of automotive lighting design, decisions are judiciously made with the knowledge that each can impact human psychology.
Consider this familiar scenario:
At the end of a long workday, there is still a traffic-clogged roadway to contend with on the drive home. Fellow commuters are stuck too, growing impatient, irritable, and often distracted. As the minutes tick away, the sky grows darker. By the time the car pulls into the garage, the driver is grumpy, even a bit depressed.
Ford lighting designers and engineers say this irritable mental state is, in part, due to poor automobile lighting and the mechanisms humans rely on for coping. The lighting experts at Ford are working to make life a bit brighter.
“We know that gradients and homogeneity affect people’s moods,” said Arun Kumar, Ford optics expert and design engineer. “We also know the eye wants to focus on contrast changes and other inconsistencies in lighting – it’s an automatic function of the brain that can irritate mood.”
The latest solution is a LED lighting innovation Ford calls Crystal Diamond Light. The lighting improves efficiency up to 62 percent while lowering cost. It also miniaturizes the fixture, an aesthetic desired by designers. The diamond-like facets of the lens offer even, broad distribution of light.
Crystal Diamond Light first debuted on the Ford F-150, and is now migrating to other models, starting with the new Ford Fusion.
“The efficiency of this lighting not only helps to stabilize the psyche, but also has the potential to affect global environmental savings,” said Kumar. “As we democratize this lighting innovation to a broader audience, the impact could be significant, with millions of gallons of fuel potentially saved on a global scale.”
Consideration of human physiology is also a factor with interior lighting.
Around the time the world was preparing for Y2K and the predicted doom that would ensue, Ford began work to update its corporate green interior dash lighting. The mandates included choosing a color that is pleasing to the eye – one that provides a higher quality of lighting, with good contrast for twilight and night vision. And because men and women see some colors differently, the shade had to be universally accepted by the color cones of both sexes.
“Another obvious issue was to design for people who have color deficiencies,” said Shannon O’Day, Ford interactions and ergonomics core engineer. “You can’t use a deep saturated red or green for dash lighting because those are colors people most typically have problems with. Eight percent of the global population has this issue, and most are male.”
Red and green are typically reserved for emergency buttons, such as hazard lighting.
Designers and engineers opted to light the Ford vehicle dashboard in Ice Blue™ – a color more easily seen and perceived as brighter by the human eye, and one that cuts through the clutter, explained O’Day.
While Ice Blue is the color of choice for illuminating the Ford dashboard, an available feature for many Ford vehicles allows customers to change ambient lighting colors with in-car controls.
Still, it’s the physiology that matters most to designers.
“Color is one among many factors that make lighting functional and pleasing,” said O’Day. “In the end, it’s really about the eye, what it perceives, and how it affects the driver.”
Tuesday, February 23, 2016
Ford is taking you inside the studio with DJ/Producer, The Alchemist to see what inspires him to create original music as part of his collaboration with Ford.
Monday, February 22, 2016
Ford Expands Ford Smart Mobility at Mobile World Congress, Unveils New Kuga, Confirms SYNC 3, FordPass for Europe
- Ford today reveals the new Kuga SUV and announces its SYNC 3 connectivity technology comes to Europe this year; Ford also continues to expand Ford Smart Mobility – the company’s plan to be a leader in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, customer experience, and data and analytics
- Ford President and CEO Mark Fields tells Mobile World Congress in Barcelona that the company will triple engineering investment in driver assist technology, speeding the roll-out of semi‑automated systems that make it easier to park and drive in heavy traffic
- New FordPass customer experience platform for Europe coming. FordPass partners will include BP, parking payment company Mobile City and Ford Carsharing
BARCELONA, Feb. 22, 2016 – Ford CEO Mark Fields today unveils the new Kuga SUV and will confirm Ford’s SYNC 3 connectivity technology is coming to Europe and commit to tripling Ford’s engineering investment in semi-autonomous vehicle technologies as the company continues to expand its Ford Smart Mobility plan.
Fields’ keynote at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona will focus on Ford’s transition from an automotive company to an auto and a mobility company through Ford Smart Mobility – the company’s plan to be a leader in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, customer experience, and data and analytics.
Fields will also confirm FordPass, the company’s new customer experience platform, debuts this year in Europe. New partners for FordPass include BP and Mobile City, a leading mobile parking payment company. FordPass also will integrate Ford Carsharing, run with Germany’s Flinkster Carsharing.
“As we look to the future, it is clear we are on the cusp of a revolution in mobility – from car sharing to autonomous driving to the customer experience,” Fields said. “Technology and innovation provide us with the opportunity to address these trends and to make people’s lives better by changing the way the world moves.”
You can watch the keynote live here at 14:00 CET http://www.mobileworldlive.com/mobile-world-congress-keynotes/
The sophisticated new Kuga will offer technologies and updates to make driving simpler, safer, more enjoyable and more affordable. These include Ford’s new SYNC 3 communications and entertainment system, innovative driver assistance technologies, an ergonomic and comfortable interior and a new 120 PS 1.5-litre TDCi diesel engine.
The bold and sporty new Kuga that debuts at Mobile World Congress also will offer Ford’s Perpendicular Parking technology that helps drivers park hands‑free in spaces alongside other cars; an enhanced version of the Active City Stop collision avoidance system; and Ford’s Adaptive Front Lighting System for optimised visibility in low light. Further sophisticated technologies include Hands-Free Liftgate and Ford Intelligent All Wheel Drive.
Ford is tripling its driver assist technology engineering investment to make it easier to drive in heavy traffic and park, while developing fully autonomous vehicles for the future. The significant increase in investment announced today will enable Ford to research and develop driver assist technology that transfer more driving tasks to the vehicle and provide more comfort and safety to the driver.
These will include Traffic Jam Assist and Fully Active Park Assist that Fields announced Ford will roll out in the next three years.
Ford is taking two distinct pathways toward vehicle automation. First, the company has a dedicated team developing driver assist technology that is focused on delivering increasing levels of automation.
Traffic Jam Assist helps the driver with steering, braking and acceleration in heavily congested traffic situations on motorways. Easily activated by pushing a button, the system helps keep the vehicle centred in the lane and brakes and accelerates to keep pace with the vehicle in front.
Fully Active Park Assist will help drivers by steering and controlling the transmission, throttle and brake to seamlessly pull into a parking spot at the touch of a button.
Further semi-autonomous technologies already introduced by Ford include Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection, a camera- and radar-based system that detects vehicles and people in the road ahead; and Intelligent Speed Limiter, which could help prevent drivers from exceeding speed limits, and potentially from incurring costly speeding penalties.
“The use of semi-autonomous functions such as Traffic Jam Assist and Fully Active Park Assist make driving easier and more enjoyable for our customers,” said Ken Washington, vice president, Ford Research and Advanced Engineering.
As for the future, Ford also has a dedicated fully autonomous vehicle programme in Aachen, Germany, and in Palo Alto, California, and Dearborn, Michigan, in the U.S., with more than a decade of experience.
Ford is seeking to deliver autonomous capability that does not require driver input described by the SAE International as Level 4 of automation. At this level of capability, autonomous vehicles will likely be offered first in climates that support optimal sensor performance and in areas that have been mapped in high resolution 3D.
Already, Ford is the first automaker to test fully autonomous vehicles in winter weather, including snow, and recently announced plans to triple the company’s autonomous vehicle development fleet making it the largest of all automakers.
“We are committed to making autonomous vehicles available for millions of people,” Washington said. “Within well-defined areas and with favourable environmental conditions, we predict that fully autonomous driving will be possible within four years, and that autonomous vehicles will play a significant role in making travel safer, more enjoyable, and more accessible.”
A new customer experience
FordPass features four elements. A Marketplace offering access to mobility services and partners; trusted and knowledgeable FordGuides who are always there to help members to resolve mobility challenges; Appreciation, where members are recognised for their loyalty; and FordHubs, where consumers can experience new innovations.*
Through FordPass owners will be able to manage their vehicle, including scheduling maintenance services. The partnerships announced today will bring significant benefits to FordPass members as follows:
- The partnership with BP will reward members with exclusive offers and geolocation services, adding to loyalty partners including McDonalds and 7-Eleven. In the future, FordPass may enable members to search for nearby BP locations based on facilities available. Ford and BP can envision helping members to fill up at the right time and in the right place. This might for example include members remaining comfortable inside a vehicle and not stand outside in the cold or the heat, while a robot does the refuelling
- Through its existing partnership with Flinkster, one of the biggest car sharing companies in Germany incorporating dealerships, FordPass will offer 24-hour access to more than 4,000 cars country-wide. This includes Ford Carsharing’s fleet of 190 vehicles, from Transit to Fiesta, and Flinkster’s own fleet of cars, most of which are Ford vehicles
- Parkopedia, the global database for parking spaces, allows all FordPass members to search for parking, based on location, cost, availability and user ratings. In addition, as an on-street parking payment provider, Mobile City will help to provide a more seamless parking experience by enabling drivers to pay fees through FordPass . That could mean no need to keep coins, or for the right change, and beyond that – supporting a future that could see members’ cars park themselves in off-street facilities
“This all-new platform that we are launching in Europe later this year is really about listening to people’s needs and developing ways to help them move better. It’s also about convenience, connecting consumers with the world and making it all incredibly easy,” Fields said.
Mobility – new ways of getting about
As part of Ford Smart Mobility, the company is working to expand the range of car-sharing and parking services offered in European cities and towns.
In London, with its new GoPark pilot, Ford is building a predictive parking system – capable of directing drivers to streets where they’re most likely to find a space. A group of residents from the borough of Islington have volunteered to take part – with their cars being equipped with plug-in devices to give live data for traffic and parking conditions. The pilot includes both Ford and non-Ford vehicles.
Also in London, Ford’s on-demand GoDrive car-sharing pilot is now trialling on-street parking on certain streets. Since launching last year, the service has expanded to 25 hubs across the city, each with guaranteed parking, at locations that include London Waterloo railway station and London City Airport.
In Germany, bookings for Ford Carsharing, designed to serve small and medium sized cities, as well as large towns, were up by 76 per cent in 2015, with customers already driving more than 1 million kilometres in total during the year. The service is offered by Ford Germany and their dealers with 170 Ford Carsharing stations all over Germany.
Connectivity, data and analytics
Ford also at Mobile World Congress today demonstrates on new Kuga for the first time in Europe its new SYNC 3 communications and entertainment system. SYNC 3 allows drivers to control audio, navigation, and climate functions plus connected smartphones using simple, conversational voice commands.
The company is announcing new apps for the system that can be voice-activated using SYNC AppLink, and include enabling drivers to earn money by transporting packages. The MyBoxMan app enables drivers delivering a package for others to earn around €5-8 for a typical five kilometre journey.**
Ford will on Feb. 24 at Mobile World Congress announce the winners of the Ford Smart Mobility Game Challenge. Developed with Cologne Game Lab and launched last year at Gamescom, the largest interactive games trade fair in Europe, the Ford Smart Mobility Game Challenge invited developers to create game concepts that could solve real-life problems in urban mobility
Saturday, February 20, 2016
- Focus RS will be first car in North America to offer a winter tire and wheel option as a factory accessory
- Focus RS Winter Wheel & Tire Package includes Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4 tires, 18-inch silver-painted wheels, tire pressure monitoring sensors, and center caps all fully mounted and balanced
- Package is certified to Ford Performance standards; arrives at dealerships ready for installation
DEARBORN, Mich., Feb. 17, 2016 – Customers of Ford’s all-new all-wheel-drive 350-horsepower Focus RS will now be able to order a fully certified winter tire kit for great driving enjoyment in the snow. The Focus RS Winter Wheel & Tire Package offers customers a unique set of wheels and tires – the first time an original equipment manufacturer is making a check-the-box winter tire option available in North America.
“We started this project knowing what our RS customers really want out of their cars,” says Adam Wirth, chassis supervisor, Ford Performance. “This tire package allows RS owners to continue spirited driving even in the snow.”
Ford Performance developed this package so the most demanding Focus customers can be outfitted with optimum equipment for winter conditions. The challenge was that normal vehicle testing procedures require certification with production wheels and tires; winter-only standards had never been authored. To bring this package to owners, the first step Ford Performance had to undertake was creating a new set of standards specifically suited for brutal winter conditions.
These new standards were put to the test in extreme cold and snow in Northern Michigan and Sweden, to guarantee the quality and performance Ford customers expect. Engineers and technicians tested a wide variety of high-performance winter tire and wheel setups to determine the optimum combination for ride, handling and performance in various wintry conditions.
The winning setup is a 225/40R18 Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4 tire mounted to a new 18x7.5-inch wheel, which looks very similar to the base Focus RS option, but is finished in sparkle silver to hide salt spray. The set is complete with tire pressure monitoring sensors and center caps fully mounted and balanced and ready for installation at the dealer.
The wheel and tire are narrower, to provide improved snow traction, while the overall diameter is smaller, so owners can fit chains if necessary.
“We fully expect our more extreme-weather customers to take advantage of the ability to use snow chains,” Wirth says a smirk.
The Ford Performance All-Wheel Drive fitted to Focus RS will take full advantage of these new winter tires.
“Settings are completely driver-preference,” notes Wirth. “Customers are able to utilize all four drive modes to suit their driving style in winter conditions.”
Focus RS Winter Wheel & Tire Package is available only in North America – a $1,995 option. For customers in Canada, the package comes standard on Focus RS. The Focus RS arrives at dealerships in North America this spring.
Friday, February 19, 2016
- 2016 Ford F-150 2.7-liter EcoBoost® V6 beat four competitors, including Ram 1500 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6, in head-to-head mileage, payload and performance tests conducted by PickupTrucks.com
- F-150 recognized for ideal combination of best-in-class gas mileage, great capability and strong driving performance
- Revolutionary 2.7-liter EcoBoost is a hit with truck customers – representing 30 percent of F-150 retail sales
DEARBORN, Mich., Feb. 15, 2016 – The 2016 Ford F-150 with 2.7-liter EcoBoost® V6 engine has been named winner of PickupTrucks.com’s Texas Truck Showdown Max MPG fuel economy challenge.
Ford F-150 beat out four competitors, including Chevrolet Silverado 1500 5.3-liter V8 and Ram 1500 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6, thanks to its ideal combination of great gas mileage, capability and strong driving performance.
“In the end, we were impressed with the F-150 for its capability, fuel efficiency and composure when pushed hard, said Mark Williams, editor of PickupTrucks.com. “For a small V-6 engine, it’s very impressive how well it almost eliminates the typical compromises half-ton customers have become accustomed to.”
A hit with customers, sales of F-150 with 2.7-liter EcoBoost are 30 percent of the nameplate’s retail performance, fulfilling Ford’s great expectations for this revolutionary engine. Combined sales of 2.7-liter and 3.5-liter EcoBoost engines account for 60 percent of F-150 sales.
When equipped with the available 2.7-liter EcoBoost with standard Auto Start-Stop, F-150 4x2 has best-in-class EPA-estimated gasoline fuel economy ratings of 19 mpg city, 26 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined (actual mileage will vary).
The engine produces 325 horsepower and 375 lb.-ft. of torque with a maximum payload rating of 2,250 pounds and maximum tow rating of 8,500 pounds – ideal for meeting mid-range capability requirements and the needs of more than 90 percent of light-duty truck customers.
“We designed Ford F-150 to be a game changer,” said Doug Scott, Ford truck group marketing manager. “We’re proud that customers and third parties recognize the all-new F-150 as the toughest, smartest, most capable and most efficient F-150 ever.”
Thursday, February 18, 2016
- All-new Ford Fusion V6 Sport helps protect your car and your wallet from damaging potholes with new computer-controlled shock absorbers
- Pothole damage costs U.S. drivers approximately $3 billion a year
- At the touch of a button, Fusion V6 Sport drivers can change the car’s suspension setting from normal to sport mode – for the perfect combination of control and finesse
DEARBORN, Mich., Feb. 18, 2016 – Potholes may be unavoidable, but Ford has figured out a way to make them less jarring.
While it’s impossible to miss all potholes, Ford engineers have developed an advanced computer-controlled shock absorber system for the all-new Fusion V6 Sport, a 2017 model year vehicle, which significantly reduces that unpleasant feeling one gets when driving down a pothole-riddled road.
According to AAA, pothole damage cost U.S. drivers approximately $3 billion a year and drivers report paying $300 to repair pothole-related vehicle damage. The Fusion V6 Sport is the first Ford car equipped with a computer-controlled shock absorber system – or continuously controlled damping – as a standard feature. This advanced technology helps to protect your car and your wallet.
“The new Fusion V6 Sport substantially reduces the harsh impact potholes often deliver,” says Jason Michener, Ford continuously controlled damping engineering expert. “Our new pothole mitigation technology works by actually detecting potholes and ‘catching’ the car’s wheel before it has a chance to drop all the way into the pothole.”
Fusion V6 Sport is the first midsize sedan in its class to feature this technology – neither Honda Accord nor Toyota Camry offers such an advanced suspension system.
Along with a 2.7-liter twin-turbocharged V6 EcoBoost® engine projected to deliver 325 horsepower, Fusion V6 Sport’s smart new suspension system provides better handling while helping protect your car and your wallet from damaging potholes.
Onboard computers analyze multiple signals collected from 12 high-resolution sensors – adjusting the dampers every two milliseconds for the best vehicle response in every situation. When the edge of a pothole is detected, the car’s computer adjusts the dampers faster than the blink of an eye to their stiffest settings so the wheel doesn’t fall as far into the pothole. Because the tire and wheel don’t drop as far, they don’t strike the opposite side of the pothole as harshly. The rear suspension can respond even faster, with a signal from the front wheel providing a pre-warning to the rear wheel well before it reaches the pothole.
“We tested and tuned this system by driving over countless potholes – subjecting Fusion V6 Sport to the brutal, square-edged potholes of our Romeo Proving Grounds to finesse the software,” said Michener. “It was long hours of not very pleasant work, but the results are well worth it.”
What this means for drivers of the all-new Ford Fusion V6 Sport is a sedan that’s exciting in the corners while still offering a smooth ride. Suspension tuning can be changed at the push of a button – normal mode balances comfort and handling for daily driving, while sport mode’s increased overall damping rates allow the car to respond quicker to driver input and to corner flatter for more spirited driving.
The all-new Fusion V6 Sport with continuously controlled damping and pothole mitigation technology arrives at Ford dealerships this summer.
Ford also has a test center in Belgium that replicates the effects of the world’s worst potholes and other extreme surfaces. Lommel Proving Ground incorporates test tracks covering 50 miles, and more than 100 extreme surfaces replicated from 25 countries, including 1.2 miles of potholes.
Wednesday, February 17, 2016
A salty old sea captain gets a lesson in navigation, courtesy of Ford F-150’s class-exclusive Pro Trailer Backup Assist.
Tuesday, February 16, 2016
The Ford F-150, with its class-exclusive LED side-mirror spotlights, shines some much-needed light on a lonesome country crooner.
Monday, February 15, 2016
Sunday, February 14, 2016
Tina and Ricky have hit a special point in their relationship – the exact moment Ricky realizes he may be all that and a bag of chips, but not quite as awesome as the Ford Fusion.
Thoughtfully designed inside and out, the Fusion is a four-door sedan that resists blending in. We’ve given the Fusion a distinctive silhouette and an array of available smart technologies. Its bold look ignores the old notions of what a full-size sedan is expected to be.
Saturday, February 13, 2016
As SUV Demand Grows, Ford Expands Popular Explorer Line with New XLT Sport Appearance Package for 2017
- Ford Explorer – best-selling SUV in the world over the last 25 years – adds new XLT Sport Appearance Package for 2017, further expanding Ford’s family of SUVs
- New Ford Explorer XLT Sport Appearance Package features dark-accented exterior, including 20-inch Magnetic Gray wheels, grille, mirror caps and rear appliqué, and Ebony Black body side molding
- Interior enhancements include Dark Earth Gray front seats with leather bolsters by Salerno and Miko® suede for inserts and door panels
DEARBORN, Mich., Feb. 9, 2016 – Giving SUV buyers a fresh option for a sportier-looking ride, Ford adds the new Explorer XLT Sport Appearance Package to its popular full-size SUV lineup for 2017. The addition of the package expands Explorer offerings to six models. Other versions include base, XLT, Limited, Sport and the Platinum edition.
Explorer buyers are demonstrating an interest in unique models. Sales of Explorer Sport and Platinum, the two top models, account for approximately 30 percent of Explorer sales in the U.S. market. The new XLT Sport Appearance Package joins the Explorer family beginning this summer.
The 2017 Ford Escape, launching in the coming months, will feature a unique Sport Appearance Package as well.
“Our Sport Appearance philosophy is rooted in the fact that we know exterior appearance is the No. 1 consideration in SUV purchase decisions,” said Omar Odeh, Explorer brand marketing manager.
“The XLT Sport Appearance Package is a dramatic offering that gives customers another attractive option.”
The Explorer XLT Sport Appearance Package features updates both inside and out:
- 20-inch Magnetic Gray wheels
- Magnetic Gray grille
- Magnetic Gray mirror caps
- Magnetic Gray rear appliqué
- Ebony Black body side cladding
- Black roof rack
- Explorer hood badge
- Dark Earth Gray leather for front seats, including outer bolsters by premium leather maker Salerno; Dark Earth Gray Miko® suede for seat back uppers and inserts with Umber scrim, and door trim inserts; Umber contrast stitching
- Explorer logo floor mats
The 2017 Explorer XLT Sport Appearance Package comes equipped with standard XLT features including a 3.5-liter V6 engine, Intelligent Access with push-button start, 10-way power driver’s seat with lumbar support, SYNC® 3, LED fog lamps and much more.
“In the market right now, across all our SUVs, customers are looking for unique colors, wheels and interior appointments,” said Odeh. “We’ve worked closely with Ford Design to deliver a unique look that will resonate with customers.”
Beginning this spring, Escape buyers can consider the Sport Appearance Package for 2017 as well – available for Escape SE and Titanium models. The package includes premium 19-inch Ebony Black aluminum wheels and high-gloss upper grille; black beltline molding and front fenders; partial leather sport seats with contrast stitching, and more.
SUV sales remain robust in U.S. market
Driven in part by increased sales to maturing millennials and continued interest from baby boomers – the two largest consumer groups in the U.S. market – SUV performance is robust and is expected to continue through the end of the decade.
More efficient than ever, with EcoBoost® engines available for every nameplate, Ford-brand SUV sales totaled more than 740,000 vehicles in 2015 – an increase of nearly 7 percent versus a year earlier. Escape sales in 2015 reached 306,492 vehicles – an all-time record. Sales of the new Edge grew 14 percent, with Explorer sales increasing more than 18 percent.
Thursday, February 11, 2016
What’s worse than running late to pick up your date? Having to battle Little Bro for the keys to your Ford Focus.
The Focus has a lot to offer. It’s a great drive – responsive and fun, with features that cater to comfort and convenience. With a standard Rearview Camera and optional Sony audio system*, the 2016 Ford Focus delivers by design.
Tuesday, February 9, 2016
- BraunAbility, the world leader in mobility vehicles, introduces BraunAbility MXV™ based on the 2016 Ford Explorer; MXV is the world's first wheelchair-accessible SUV, and continues BraunAbility's long line of automotive mobility innovations
- BraunAbility MXV gives wheelchair users the freedom of an accessible van with the style and capability of an SUV
- Ford Explorer revolutionized the SUV market, and reigns as the best-selling nameplate in the segment for 25 years; with its Explorer conversion vehicle, BraunAbility revolutionizes what independence means for wheelchair users
Chicago, Feb. 9, 2016 – The world's best-selling SUV for 25 years is now the world's only volume-production wheelchair-accessible SUV.
Ford Motor Company and BraunAbility have joined forces to create BraunAbility MXV™ – a wheelchair-accessible SUV that gives wheelchair users the quality and dependability of a BraunAbility mobility vehicle, and the adventurous, "unstoppable" spirit of an Explorer.
"We’re thrilled the Explorer name is connected to such a highly respected brand like BraunAbility," said Omar Odeh, Ford marketing manager. "Explorer has always been associated with helping people go places they otherwise could not, and BraunAbility MXV furthers that reputation."
BraunAbility MXV – available with Explorer base, XLT and Limited models – features patented sliding-door technology, removable driver and passenger seats, and a powered, lighted in-floor ramp. A sliding shifter and front seat base design provide for increased space, while an integrated key fob operates both door and ramp. There’s also an available tow package.
Interior space is maximized to create ample room for wheelchair navigation and comfort. Wheelchair users can drive the vehicle from a wheelchair or ride as a passenger. Notable dimensions include:
- 55-inch usable side door opening height
- 28 1/2-inch usable ramp width
- 58-inch interior height (vehicle center)
- 59-inch interior height (for driver and passenger)
- 55-inch interior floor length behind front seats
- 59 1/2-inch interior width at B-pillar
"Our customers are very excited to have a mobility option that reflects their individuality," said Nick Gutwein, BraunAbility president and CEO. "For us, Ford Explorer was the obvious choice. It’s an iconic American vehicle that reflects the ultimate in independence and freedom."
Featuring a 3.5-liter V6 engine, BraunAbility MXV delivers the performance and capability Explorer drivers have embraced for years, including an EPA-estimated 17 mpg city, 24 mpg highway and 20 mpg combined rating. Actual mileage will vary. MXV also delivers an estimated 5,000-pound maximum tow capacity.
BraunAbility MXV is produced at BraunAbility's 170,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Winamac, Indiana. It is sold at more than 200 authorized dealers throughout the United States.
Monday, February 8, 2016
Ford, Pivotal Collaborate on Software Platform for FordPass; Aim to Revolutionize Mobility for Consumers
- Ford is working with cloud-based software technology leader Pivotal to build a software platform supporting FordPass®, which plays a key role in Ford’s transformation into both an auto company and a mobility company
- By collaborating with Pivotal, Ford gains a wealth of rapid Internet software development methodologies, next-generation cloud platform, and analytics capabilities, as teams of IT engineers working at startup speeds continuously innovate new consumer experiences for FordPass
- In the near future, consumers could have the capability to access car-sharing and ride-sharing experiences via FordPass by incorporating mobility pilot programs currently under way as part of the Ford Smart Mobility plan
DEARBORN, Mich., Feb. 5, 2016 – Ford is working with cloud-based software technology leader Pivotal to build a software platform supporting FordPass® that will enable the company to rapidly innovate and iterate on new applications and mobility solutions for consumers.
FordPass – a free digital, physical and personal platform – features four benefits for members: Marketplace includes mobility services such as parking and sharing; FordGuides help consumers move more efficiently; Appreciation, where members are recognized for their loyalty; and FordHubs, where consumers can experience Ford’s latest innovations.
FordPass also will allow Ford owners with SYNC® Connect technology to remotely start, lock and unlock, and locate their vehicle – capabilities that will play a key role in future mobility services.
“With FordPass, we are making it easier for consumers, whether they own a Ford vehicle or not, to get where they need to go,” said Elena Ford, vice president, Global Dealer and Consumer Experience. “Working with Pivotal, Ford will be able to rapidly add new features and adapt mobility solutions and services that benefit FordPass members in the ways that fit them best.”
By collaborating with Pivotal, Ford gains a wealth of cutting-edge modern software development methodologies, next-generation cloud platform and analytics capabilities and knowledge. At the pace of a startup, Pivotal and Ford IT engineers are working side-by-side to continuously innovate in developing and designing new consumer experiences for FordPass members.
“More than 100 years ago, Ford transformed how the world moved. Now, Ford is using Pivotal's cloud platform and technologies to do it again by bringing the Silicon Valley state of mind to the company,” said Pivotal CEO Rob Mee. “By collaborating with Pivotal on FordPass, Ford is proving they can innovate and move as quickly as any venture-backed startup.”
FordPass launches in April; membership is free for Ford vehicle owners and non-owners alike by registering online.
From experimentation to implementation
In the future, customers will be able to access both car-sharing and ride-sharing services via FordPass. Experimental work with Pivotal is now under way as teams are building the foundation for future applications and consumer experiences.
One of the first programs to result from the work is a Dynamic Shuttle service Ford is piloting for employees on its Dearborn, Michigan, campus. Dynamic Shuttle features smart ride-hailing technology with premium customized shuttles – applying insights from earlier experiments and research with urban commuters globally. The convenience of the service will allow employees to summon point-to-point rides on-demand.
With the pilot, once a mobile-based ride request is made, the Ford-developed software – including the algorithm that drives the platform’s technical capabilities – immediately determines the shuttle best suited to address the request without extending the travel time of riders already aboard. The rider is then sent an offer detailing proposed pick-up time and maximum duration of the trip. If the rider accepts the offer, the request is dispatched to the shuttle driver’s navigation interface, along with the most efficient route to complete the requests of all riders in the timeliest manner.
Another project Ford is working on is GoDrive, an on-demand public car-sharing pilot in London. The service offers customers flexible, practical and affordable access to a fleet of cars for one-way journeys with easy parking throughout the city. The pilot gives Londoners access to transportation through 50 cars positioned in 20 locations; one-way trips with guaranteed parking; pay-as-you-go, per-minute pricing that covers all fees; and availability of zero-emission Focus Electric cars.
Pilots ranging from on-demand shuttles to car-sharing services and more are some of the many potential applications of FordPass, with seamless integration into the smartphone app built on Pivotal Cloud Foundry® – the world’s most powerful continuous-innovation cloud platform.
FordPass is part of Ford Smart Mobility, the plan to be a leader in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, the customer experience, and data and analytics.
Consumers can sign up for more information and updates at MyFordPass.com.
Sunday, February 7, 2016
Saturday, February 6, 2016
- Ford Transit – America’s best-selling commercial van and the vehicle with the most configurations in its class – offers 58 vehicle configurations with the introduction of a dual sliding door option for 2016
- Owners can customize their Transit vehicles with the help of upfitters, including 12 located within 30 miles of Kansas City Assembly Plant, where Transit is built
- Ford built more than 100,000 Transit vehicles in North America for the 2015 model year, with Transit leading the company to post its best July commercial van sales in 15 years
These 11 specialty vans – tricked out for specialized jobs ranging from transporting art to rescuing puppies and teaching kids to surf – capitalize on the flexibility of Transit, which features the most configurations in its class.
1. Windy City Limousine
Chicago-based Windy City Limousine’s Ford Transit was converted by Battisti Customs of Elkhart, Indiana, to carry 13 passengers in luxury and style – with a wood floor, black leather couch-style seating and two flat-screen televisions.
2. So-Gnar’s Creative Hub
This shred-ready Ford Transit is modified with a custom boot dryer, snowboard rack, tuning bench and portable DJ booth to make snowboarding even more fun for its riders. “It’s an absolute dream of a creative hub that we can do anything out of,” says So-Gnar CEO Pat Milbery. Check out the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xDgpuL1FKV8
3. Prof. ZL Feng’s Art Transporter
The first Ford Transit buyer in the United States, ZL Feng, is an art professor and skilled artist who uses his van to transport his art to museums, galleries, art shows and art buyers’ homes.
4. The Grateful Grail Coffee Shop
The Grateful Grail (@gratefulgrail) mobile coffee shop cruises around Baltimore, Maryland, including local music festivals and events. Brothers and Grateful Grail owners Brian and David Seward customized the van themselves, and talented local artists Brian O'Rourke and Jae Meca painted this electrifying Ford Transit.
5. Surfers Healing’s Woody Van
Champion surfer Izzy Paskowitz and his Surfers Healing team use a Ford Transit to transport surfboards and life jackets as they introduce kids with autism to surfing. Check out the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8WlKYTbNyw
6. Park Place Caterers’ Mobile Kitchen
This jumbo Ford Transit van – customized with a liftgate and inverter to power a refrigerator and hotbox – delivers deliciousness across the Metro Detroit area.
7. Shultz’s Guest House’s Dog Rescue Van
Shultz’s Guest House uses its Ford Transit to transport orphaned dogs – sometimes from several states away – to a private 200-acre farm in Dedham, Massachusetts, where they are safe from being euthanized until permanent homes are found for them.
8. The Spread Mobile Deli
This Ford Transit is a mobile deli – serving breakfast and lunch sandwiches on wraps and fresh-baked bagels in and around Northeast Ohio.
9. Wag’n Tails’ Pet Grooming Studio
Wag’n Tails Mobile Conversions in Granger, Indiana, converts Ford Transit vans into fully self-contained mobile pet grooming studios, complete with full-size tubs, hydro-massage shampoo systems, grooming tables, blow dryers, vacuums and fridges.
10. Forrest Baker’s Mobility Van
Eighty-six-year-old Forrest Baker explores the Pacific Northwest with the help of his specially modified Ford Transit, which includes a lift for his off-road wheelchair, high-visibility lights and bull guard. “Without a doubt, this is the finest purpose-built vehicle I have ever had the pleasure of owning,” Baker wrote to his dealership of more than 45 years, Wendle Ford in Spokane, Washington.
11. Red Cross Emergency Response
Five new Ford Transit vans are in use as Red Cross emergency response and life-saving blood transport vehicles in Detroit; Lexington, Kentucky; Louisville, Kentucky; Cleveland, Ohio; and Portland, Oregon.
Friday, February 5, 2016
Since 1977, Ford F-Series has introduced one innovation after another. No wonder F-Series trucks are the best-selling trucks in America for 39 straight years.
From anti-lock brakes to the SuperCrew cab to EcoBoost engines to the high-strength, military-grade, aluminum-alloy F-150, innovation has always been at the forefront with F-Series trucks.
Thursday, February 4, 2016
Innovative lighting helps get the job done in the dark–whether it’s a fiber optic bow light in a dark turkey blind, or the LED spotlights on the 2015 Ford F-150.
Wednesday, February 3, 2016
- All-new 2017 F-150 Raptor race truck continues Ford’s tradition of demonstrating the toughness and durability of F-150 through off-road competition
- Race truck based on Built Ford Tough production Raptor, including high-strength, military-grade, aluminum-alloy body, high-strength steel frame, all-new high-output 3.5-liter EcoBoost® engine and 10-speed transmission, torque-on-demand transfer case and race-optimized long-travel suspension
- Ford Performance is a premier automotive sponsor of off-road racing in the United States; company’s involvement in racing goes back 115 years to the efforts of founder Henry Ford
DEARBORN, Mich., Feb. 3, 2016 – There’s a roar in the desert – spitting sand and kicking up rocks. It’s the sound of the all-new 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor, running in the 2016 Best in the Desert off-road racing series’ new factory stock class.
The Raptor race truck will leverage Raptor’s production platform including its all-new high-output 3.5-liter EcoBoost® engine and 10-speed transmission, along with torque-on-demand transfer case.
“The all-new Raptor has the DNA of a Baja race truck, with a purpose-built engine, chassis and suspension that enables it to travel fast over challenging desert landscapes or crawl over rocky terrain,” said Jamal Hameedi, chief engineer, Ford Performance.
Putting the all-new Raptor through this grueling stretch of races will help demonstrate how a truck born in the desert is even more prepared to take on the very toughest of terrain.
Ford Performance is a premier automotive sponsor of off-road racing in the United States, and the company has a long history in motorsports. Shelby® GT350R-C Mustang and Ford GT compete in IMSA, with the supercar also running in World Endurance Championship international sports cars. Focus races in Rallycross, Fiesta runs in the World Rally Championship and touring cars, while Fusion, Mustang and F-Series appear in NASCAR and Mustang CobraJet competes in NHRA sportsman drag racing.
The purpose-built fully boxed frame of the all-new Raptor – the backbone of the truck – features more high-strength steel than the outgoing Raptor.
F-150 Raptor’s chiseled looks are reminiscent of Trophy Trucks – the fastest and most powerful class of off-road pickups. F-150 Raptor is six inches wider than standard F-150 for improved stability off-road.
The all-new race truck leverages the built-in capability and features of the production Raptor, including:
- Torsen front differential boosts off-road capability further, significantly increasing grip for the front end and allowing the truck to pull itself over obstacles and up steep grades – even when traction is split between the front tires
- First-ever dual exhaust and new Ford Performance 17-inch beadlock-capable wheels with next-generation BFGoodrich All-Terrain KO2 tires enhance off-road performance
“This is the most stock truck I’ve ever seen in my time building Ford race trucks,” said Greg Foutz, owner of Foutz Motorsports, Ford’s truck builder and primary race truck driver. “Without custom technology or other modifications, this all-new Raptor is ready to prove the toughness and performance in the Best in the Desert series.”
Modifications to the F-150 Raptor race truck include:
- Race-optimized three-inch-diameter external-bypass front and rear Fox Racing Shox similar to Raptor’s segment-exclusive internal-bypass Fox Racing Shox
- Race-optimized front and rear springs raise ride height to gain additional ground clearance and provide increased compression rate to handle extreme terrain
- Custom-fabricated roll cage
- MasterCraft seats with five-point harness safety belts and window nets
- LED light bars, racing fuel cell, Lowrance GPS, RacePak digital dash and data logger
The new factory stock class is the most production-specification class in the history of Best in the Desert. Joining Foutz in the truck is Tim Casey – both are multiple stock full-class desert racing champions.
“The technology and innovation built into this truck should help it surpass the competition,” said Foutz.
Technology to race smarter
F-150 Raptor is powered by Ford’s second-generation high-output 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine that produces more power with greater efficiency than the outgoing 6.2-liter V8, rated at 411 horsepower and 434 lb.-ft. of torque. The new 3.5-liter EcoBoost is a Raptor-exclusive in the F-150 lineup, and paired with an all-new 10-speed transmission for improved efficiency.
A new transfer case, which manages power distribution between the front and rear wheels, combines the best attributes of clutch-driven, on-demand all-wheel drive with durable, mechanical-locking four-wheel drive to send power to the wheels in slippery conditions.
Pioneering off-road driving mode technology has evolved into an all-new Terrain Management System™ that enables the driver to select modes to optimize driving dynamics to environmental conditions. Six preset modes help the truck power through different terrain and conditions:
- Normal mode for everyday driving
- Street mode for higher-performance, on-road driving
- Weather mode for rain, snow or ice
- Mud and sand mode for muddy, sandy trails and terrain
- Baja mode for high-speed desert running
- Rock mode for low-speed rock crawling
Dates and locations to catch F-150 Raptor racing events this year are as follows:
- Parker 425, Parker, Arizona, Feb. 4-7
- Mint 400, Las Vegas, March 10-14
- Laughlin Desert Classic, Laughlin, Nevada, May 5
- Vegas to Reno, Nevada, Aug. 17-20
- Bluewater Challenge, Parker, Arizona, Sept. 10-Oct. 6
- Pahrump Nugget 250, Pahrump, Nevada, Dec. 1-4
Tuesday, February 2, 2016
Best-in-Class Payload* feels even more effective when you know your cargo is well secured. See how Sean Riley lends a hand to a crew that specializes in window restoration of 19th century buildings.
The cargo is not only fragile and irreplaceable but it’s also heavy. Sean demonstrates how well the 2016 Ford F-150 handles the weight with unmatched payload capability and how well the cargo can be organized with the available class-exclusive BoxLink™ system.