Thursday, May 31, 2012

Ford to Host Five-City Focus ST Performance Academy

  • Consumer driving events to feature 2013 Ford Focus ST in New York; Washington, D.C.; Boston; San Francisco and Los Angeles this summer
  • Event to feature two driving courses – first is performance training, second is timed autocross

DEARBORN, Mich., May 30, 2012 – For sport compact fans, the only thing better than driving the new Ford Focus ST is driving the Focus ST on a course with professional instruction and timed autocross hot laps.
That, and more, is what Ford is bringing to driving enthusiasts in New York; Washington, D.C.; Boston; San Francisco and Los Angeles this summer, beginning June 30 in New York.
The events will happen on Saturdays in June, July and August in each market. Events will include 48-foot race trailers, a fleet of Focus STs for training, timed competition, as well as pre-event racing instruction.
Events will open at 9 a.m. and run all day through 6 p.m. Locations and dates are:
  • New York, IZOD Center, June 30
  • Washington, D.C., FedEx Field, July 14
  • Boston, Gillette Stadium, July 21
  • San Francisco, Candlestick Park, Aug. 4
  • Los Angeles, Dodgers Stadium, Aug. 11
Pre-registration is live at Participation will be limited and will be honored on a first-registered, first-served basis.
“Our fans have expressed extremely high interest in this car, but we know the proof is in the pudding,” said Lisa Schoder, Ford Focus ST Marketing manager. “We want ST fans, as well as drivers of competitive vehicles, to be able to taste this car firsthand.
“What better way to do it,” she added, “than to bring the car to the people with the help of professional driver instruction on closed courses.”
Focus ST, Ford’s first global performance car, will integrate a collection of advanced and sport-oriented technologies previously unavailable to North American customers. The combination of these technologies into a refined, yet high-performance sport compact will elevate the category and further cement Focus as the most complete compact car range sold in North America.
Among the more visible options will be the Tangerine Scream metallic color that will be offered exclusively on Focus ST, as well as race-inspired Recaro® seats with matching color accents.
Ford is offering drivers who preorder a 2013 Focus ST the GoPro® HD Hero2 Motorsports Edition camera pack upon delivery. Already a staple in the motorsports and action sport communities, a GoPro is the ideal camera to capture a spirited drive or Focus ST track day. The first 1,000 presale orders placed between May 1 and Aug. 20 are eligible for the GoPro HD Hero2 camera system. Cameras will be sent after vehicle delivery.
More information regarding Focus ST can be found at or

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

By the Sustainable Numbers: A Look at the 2013 Ford Fusion

  • The all-new Ford Fusion “greens up” for the 2013 model year with continued use of sustainable materials; from seat fabric to sound-absorbing material, Fusion employs green solutions to reduce petroleum-based content
  • Recycled cotton, clear plastic bottles and soybeans among unique Fusion materials
  • Materials from recycled automotive battery casings on the Fusion will utilize close to 2 million pounds of recycled plastic per year

DEARBORN, Mich., May 29, 2012 – When Ford’s all-new Fusion hits America’s highways this fall, it will carry some unexpected materials beneath its aerodynamically fuel-efficient body:

  • Denim material equivalent to slightly more than two average-sized pairs of blue jeans
  • 38.9 clear plastic 16-ounce recycled bottles
  • About 31,250 soybeans
“Building vehicles with great fuel economy is our highest priority in reducing impact on the environment,” says Carrie Majeske, Ford product sustainability manager. “With every new product design, we also are charged with increasing the use of renewable and recyclable materials in our cars, utilities and trucks to reduce impact on the environment.”
Fusion’s jean pool
Noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) control is held to world-class standards in the all-new Ford Fusion with post-industrial, recycled cotton used as sound-absorbing material. In every Fusion, the denim equivalent of slightly more than two pairs of average-sized American blue jeans helps to nullify unwanted road, wind and powertrain noise. Paired with other noise-reducing practices and techniques Ford engineers have implemented for years, the 2013 Fusion will provide customers with a quiet, relaxing driving environment.
Clearly sustainable
Fusion’s North American cloth seat surfaces are made with 100 percent REPREVE® yarn, which is a hybrid of post-industrial and post-consumer waste (or materials once utilized for industry purposes; and materials used by everyday consumers respectively). Cloth-seat Fusion models contain the equivalent of 38.9 recycled, clear 16-ounce plastic bottles. This fabric meets or exceeds all of Ford’s rigorous durability and performance standards and has a luxurious feel.
Post-consumer plastic water and soda bottles are collected, chopped, ground, melted and reformulated into chips. These chips are then extruded and textured into fiber. The fibers are then used in the creation of fabric, then dyed, finished and rolled for shipment.
Excess fabric from each procedure in the process is recycled back into the system to further eliminate waste.
Foam from soy
The foam used in seat cushions, seat backs and head restraints is a soy-based sustainable material, with the equivalent of approximately 31,250 soybeans.
Ford first used soy-based foam in the Ford Mustang in 2007. Today, Ford uses soy foam on every vehicle built in North America. Ford’s use of soy foam has reduced petroleum production by more than 5 million pounds and carbon dioxide emissions by more than 20 million pounds annually.
Post-consumer materials
Every 2013 Fusion utilizes plastic made from recycled car battery casings. These post-consumer materials were otherwise destined for a landfill. This plastic may be found in fender splash shields and other underbody components. Annually, these applications on the Fusion utilize close to 2 million pounds of recycled plastic.
Unique contributions add up
“We are holistic in reducing our environmental footprint by utilizing post-industrial (blue jeans), post-consumer (battery cases) and sustainable materials technologies (soy foam),” Majeske says. “We do whatever makes the most sense for each application and environmentally from a lifecycle perspective.
“These are steps our customers can appreciate, they are cost-effective and they are better – in the long run – for our planet,” she adds.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Weekend Getaways Stressful, Survey Says; Travelers Worry Over Gas Prices, Traffic, Other Drivers

  • As summer travel season kicks off, gas prices, traffic jams and other drivers rank as the top three most stressful aspects of a weekend trip – according to a Harris Interactive survey commissioned by Ford
  • One third of U.S. adults surveyed worry most about the cost of gas, 23 percent say traffic is the most stressful part of getting away for the weekend, and 17 percent find other drivers on the road the most anxiety-inducing factor
  • All-new Ford Escape, now in dealerships, can provide some relief: Fuel-efficient technology can lower your burden at the pump, technologies like Blind Spot Information System (BLIS® can help you keep tabs on other drivers, and the vehicle’s hands-free power liftgate provides an easier way to pack

DEARBORN, Mich., May 25, 2012 – Getting away from familiar surroundings for the weekend should be a great way to relax and forget about the pressures of everyday life, but a new survey finds even a weekend getaway has its hassles.

An online Harris Interactive survey commissioned by Ford in May found nearly one third of U.S. adults say the cost of gas is the most stressful part of a weekend trip. Other stress factors include dealing with traffic and other drivers on the roads.
Nearly one quarter of those surveyed cite traffic as the most stressful part of getting away, while almost 20 percent say it’s other drivers creating the most stress en route to their destination of choice. Eleven percent find packing and unpacking for a trip induces the most stress.
The all-new Ford Escape may be able to help. With three engine options certified at 30 mpg or better on the highway, stress over high gas prices can be eased. If you’re worried about other drivers on the road, Escape’s Blind Spot Information System (BLIS®) technology will help you keep an eye on them. Using hands-free Ford SYNC® technology with navigation can help you find the best travel routes while avoiding road construction and traffic tie-ups. And Escape’s hands-free power liftgate should go a long way toward making it easier on those who hate loading and unloading all the gear needed for the long weekend getaway.
“The Escape was designed with the road trip in mind – providing top-of-its-class fuel economy, smart features such as SYNC with navigation and plenty of cargo space,” said Jason Sprawka, Ford Marketing manager for the all-new Escape.
It’s good to get away
Over this upcoming long weekend, an estimated 30 million motorists will journey an average of 642 miles – 150 miles less than last year’s average travel distance of 792 miles, according to a AAA survey of travelers’ intentions. With the fuel efficiency of the all-new Ford Escape, drivers would only need to fill up once on a 600-mile trip.
The Harris survey reveals that on average, drivers are willing to travel four hours to a weekend destination, with the younger crowd – those 18 to 34 – willing to drive five hours to get away for a few days.
“There is so much to see and do in every pocket of America,” says Robert Reid, U.S. travel editor for Lonely Planet. “Eighty-three percent of our travel community told us they had taken, on average, more than three road trips over the past couple of years. Summertime is the perfect season to gear up for these long weekend trips and explore your own backyard.”  
Weekend travel is more popular than ever, with half of all U.S. adults – nearly 103 million – taking at least one weekend trip per year. According to a 2009 Travel Industry Association report, almost 30 percent of Americans took five or more weekend trips the previous year.

Americans’ ideal weekend escape?
For a quick getaway, a full 26 percent of those surveyed by Harris chose the beach or the lake as the ideal destination. For 23 percent, the ideal weekend is just staying home. Only 8 percent of those surveyed would choose to visit out-of-town relatives, the same number that would opt for camping.
All-new Ford Escape – the right vehicle for any activity
Whether loading up bikes and kayaks or hauling home lumber or flowers from weekend errands, the new Escape offers more cargo space than the previous model and a number of storage bins and unique storage features. With a roomy second row and standard cargo tie-downs, this Escape is ready to handle loads large or small.
Escape’s hands-free power liftgate brings new technology to the SUV market and makes it easier to stow gear. A gentle kicking motion under the center of the rear bumper activates, unlocks and raises the liftgate when the driver has the Escape key fob in his or her possession. This allows quick and easy access to the cargo area without needing to set down packages or dig around for the keys.
BLIS and navigation
The all-new Escape features Ford BLIS. Radar sensors behind each rear wheel (that are hidden by the rear of the vehicle) alert the driver if another vehicle enters the “blind zone,” which extends from the rearview mirrors to approximately 10 feet behind the rear bumper. The system does not activate if another vehicle is passing unless that vehicle remains in the zone longer than three seconds.
BLIS is coupled with cross-traffic alert, which warns the driver of approaching vehicles when backing out of a parking spot.  
SYNC connectivity coupled with MyFord Touch® screens come standard in the all-new Ford Escape, with navigation technology to give turn-by-turn directions to avoid unintended detours. By connecting a cell phone to SYNC, drivers can call ahead to make restaurant reservations or book rooms without taking their hands from the wheel.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Ford Motor Company and Dealers Expect to Achieve $1 Million April Fundraising Goal for High Schools

DEARBORN, Mich., May 23, 2012 – In April, Ford and its dealers partnered in a special challenge to raise $1 million for local high school programs through more than 300 Drive One 4 UR School events throughout the U.S. Today, both announced that based on initial reports that are still coming in, they expect the $1 million goal will be achieved.
Since its inception in 2007, the Drive One 4 UR School initiative has raised at least $11 million and provides up to $6,000 per event through test drives of Ford products. More than 1,150 dealers have hosted more than 2,800 events, partnering with their local high schools to participate in the program. Funds raised can be applied to any area where the school needs support – athletics, music, even to fix damages from natural disasters. 
“We are excited to congratulate the schools, dealers and communities who worked so hard to reach this challenging goal in April,” said Tracy Magee, Ford Experiential Marketing manager. “The Drive One 4 UR School program was developed as a fun, engaging way to help high schools raise and apply money where they need it, and we realized that if we really focused our efforts in April, we could make a difference by raising money to protect important educational programs and services.”
How Drive One 4 UR School events work
For each Drive One 4 UR School event, Ford and Lincoln dealers work with a local high school to schedule a test-drive fundraising event. The dealers provide the cars to be test-driven, the high school organizes the event itself, and both work together to get the word out to their community. For every valid test drive completed, Ford Motor Company donates $20 to the participating high school, up to $6,000.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Sounds of Fusion

In May of 2012, three legendary Techno artists from Detroit, Joshua Harrison, Keith Kemp and Tom Newman took on a project: use analog and digital sounds from the 2013 Ford Fusion to create three distinct original tracks. Utilizing everything from the shutting of doors to the pleasant chimes welcoming you into the vehicle, each track's use of percussion and rhythm was derived from the car itself.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Voting Now Open to Determine Final Design of First-Ever SEMA Mustang Build Powered by Women

DEARBORN, Mich., May 24, 2012 – Voting is now open to help select the final concept for the first-ever SEMA Mustang Build Powered by Women. To vote now through June 3, the public is invited to visit: to view three different design concepts and vote on the one they would like to see used for the build. Voters will be entered into drawings to win several prizes.
Announced earlier this week, the SEMA Mustang Build Powered by Women is a collaboration between Ford Motor Company and the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA). Led by the SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN), a 2013 Mustang GT donated by Ford will be completely modified using the winning design from start to finish by women.
Beginning with three concepts developed by women designers and concluding with women volunteers performing the hands-on modifications, the project is meant to shine light on women working in the automotive aftermarket and to encourage more women to pursue careers in the industry.

High Gear Exterior by Jennifer Seely

Chromatic Exterior by Jennifer Seely

Fast Metal Exterior by Theresa Contreras
The three concepts are:
  • High Gear: Designed by SBN Member, Jennifer Seely of Ford Motor Company, High Gear a luxury Mustang concept – is inspired by international products in categories such as jewelry, couture clothing and architecture. Designed to stimulate the senses by fusing luxury and power, the results are fresh and exciting, propelling Mustang into a whole new arena  
  • Chromatic: Designed by SBN Member, Jennifer Seely of Ford Motor Company, the ultimate pop culture edition Mustang takes a futuristic design approach drawing inspiration from such pop culture elements as street art and products for an exciting color palette that is free of all boundaries and disciplines. The anthracite-colored chrome body as a base exemplifies the neon colors bringing this Mustang to life. Design details include anthracite-colored chrome exterior, bright cyan wheels and white leather racing interior coupled with an aggressive track suspension and V8 roar
  • Fast Metal: Designed by SBN Member, Theresa Contreras from L&G Enterprises. Theresa takes the American muscle car to a whole other level using tone-on-tone dark metallic finishes and red accents for a dramatic design that underscores Mustang’s DNA, raw speed and power
Source Interlink Media (SIM), a partner in the project, posted the three concepts on several of its websites so the public can vote for the design that will ultimately be selected. The concept with the most votes will be used for the build, which will take place at SIM headquarters in El Segundo, Calif.
“Women play a significant role when it comes to customizing a vehicle,” said Bryan Harrison, senior manager of councils for SEMA and project manager on the build. “From purchasing the vehicle and determining what modifications to make, to executing the actual modifications and driving the customized vehicle, women are key players in the entire process. The SEMA Mustang Build demonstrates just how integral women are to customizing today’s cars and trucks.”
The completed vehicle will debut at the 2012 SEMA show in Las Vegas. The modified Mustang will then be auctioned off on eBay, with money raised to benefit the SEMA Memorial Scholarship Fund. The fund is dedicated to fostering the next generation of automotive aftermarket leaders and innovators by awarding cash scholarships to winning applicants.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Ford, Microsoft Tout Focus Electric Technologies as the Future of More Affordable, Efficient Transportation

  • Ford and Microsoft appearing this week at the Future in Review Conference (FiRe) – a forum for leading technology experts – to demonstrate how the new 2012 Focus Electric’s technologies can help address future global transportation challenges
  • Customers can charge the Focus Electric in half the time of Nissan Leaf due to the car’s higher-capacity on-board charger and at a reduced cost thanks to Microsoft’s value charging technology – a key benefit of the MyFord® Mobile app
  • MyFordMobile users can monitor charging, receive alerts, find charge stations, plan trips and more from their smartphones or computers, making the transition to a battery electric vehicle lifestyle effortless
  • Focus Electric is rated America’s most fuel-efficient five-passenger vehicle with an EPA-estimated 110 MPGe city while offering more motor power, passenger room and standard features than Nissan Leaf
LAGUNA BEACH, Calif., May 24, 2012 – As the first Focus Electric gas-free models arrive at dealerships, Ford and Microsoft executives are highlighting the car’s connectivity and recharging technologies as the kind of innovations required to help address global transportation challenges such as congestion and oil dependency.
The executives are joining other technology leaders through Friday at the Future in Review Conference (FiRe), a forum to discuss ways to solve even bigger looming issues such as global gridlock that could happen in major cities if urbanization and vehicle ownership growth continue unchecked.
“Ford and Microsoft continue to demonstrate the importance of marrying automobiles with  creative technologies such as the features built into SYNC® and MyFord® Mobile that help people stay connected to their digital lives,” says Sheryl Connelly, Ford Global Trends manager. “These innovations will be even more important in a future where urbanization and growing vehicle ownership could literally grind major cities to a halt around the world.”
“Microsoft technology is opening up new possibilities for the connected car in areas that both augment and transcend today’s systems,” says Ben Smith, director of program management for Windows Embedded at Microsoft. “From using simple voice commands to navigate to the nearest coffee shop or manage the interior temperature, to using the vehicle’s on-board technology to find the most economical place to charge up, Microsoft and Ford are changing the way people interact with their vehicle.”
Ford and Microsoft jointly released the first generation of SYNC in 2007 as part of a shared commitment to creating a better-connected car experience through the Ford SYNC software platform. SYNC has been a hit with customers since the initial version was launched in late 2007, with more than 4 million Ford vehicles now equipped with SYNC.
Combining forces on EVs
SYNC is one of many technology features available on the gasoline-free 2012 Ford Focus Electric and is shared across Ford’s electrified vehicle lineup. SYNC with MyFord Touch® offers multiple ways – including voice commands – for customers to manage and control their phone, navigation, entertainment and climate functions. Plug-in hybrids and all-electric models have additional options for monitoring information like battery state of charge.
Additionally, Ford Focus Electric customers have access to MyFord Mobile, which is accessible via smartphone or Web-based interface to perform key tasks. This mobile application can monitor a vehicle’s state of charge or its current range, locate charge stations and plan routes.
Off-peak charging
The MyFord Mobile app harnesses the power of cloud computing through another unique capability developed with Microsoft called value charging.
With value charging, the app keeps track of when participating local utilities switch to lower off-peak charging rates, helping to minimize costs by helping owners in the U.S. charge their vehicles at the cheapest utility rates.
Drivers can enable a single setting in the app and then plug in their cars without ever worrying about what time the rates change in their area. The network monitors utility rate schedules and automatically transmits a signal to the vehicle through embedded cellular connectivity to start charging at the lowest cost.
“The MyFord Mobile Microsoft value charging technology can help save customers money now and, in the future, lessen the pressure on our infrastructure as more electrified vehicles hit the streets,” says Bill Frykman, Product & Business Development, Ford Connected Services.
The MyFord Mobile app will be available for use on most major smartphone platforms including Android, BlackBerry and iPhone. The same capabilities can also be accessed through a mobile Web app for other platforms as well as a secure Ford website.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Ford Hands-Free Liftgate Tested in Downpours, Carwashes and Against Rolling Balls, Dogs and Shopping Carts

  • Hands-free liftgate available on all-new Ford Escape faced extreme testing in dozens of scenarios to ensure it won’t open unprompted, and only when you want it to
  • Ford and its supplier, Brose, tested the sensors that control the liftgate in heavy rains, carwashes and against running dogs, rolling balls and shopping carts
  • Sensors are programmed to open only with leg motion in conjunction with detection of the key fob, which breaks a miniature electrical field alerting the system to respond
Ford Hands-Free Liftgate Tested in Downpours, Carwashes and Against Rolling Balls, Dogs and Shopping Carts

DEARBORN, Mich., May 23, 2012 – The hands-free liftgate available on the all-new Ford Escape faced torrential downpours, dogs and bouncing balls among other tests to make sure the back end only opens when the customer wants.
A gentle kicking motion under the center of the rear bumper activates, unlocks and raises the liftgate when the driver has the Escape key fob in their hand, pocket or bag. This allows quick and easy access to the cargo area without needing to set down packages or dig around for keys. The same motion closes the hatch.
The system safeguards against accidental openings by being programmed to open with leg motion and the breaking of a miniature electric field – not when a ball rolls under the car or when the vehicle hits a bump on the road.
“We tested the system in various settings, including at minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit in our climate chamber to freeze the bumper,” said Dominik Nical, a Ford engineer in Germany who oversaw testing. “We saw no unintended openings, and it still opened when the test subject needed it to.”
Nical said Ford and system supplier Brose tested the Escape in numerous environmental conditions ranging from extreme cold snow to high heat and monsoon-like rain.
Errant balls and shopping carts
Besides Mother Nature, the system was also tested numerous times against errant shopping carts hitting the rear of the Escape, a bouncing basketball going under the liftgate, a dog running underneath the bumper and someone polishing the rear bumper. None of these scenarios caused the liftgate to open.
“The system is very robust,” Nical noted. “It is designed to detect a kicking motion without deploying when other scenarios occur, making the customer confident in the technology.”
In fact, Ford engineers even employed individuals passing by on the street in Dearborn to help the calibration process by providing “sample kicks,” Nical added.
The secret lies within how the software is calibrated, according to engineers who designed the system. The sensors, located between the tailpipes, detect both the shin and kicking motion of the key holder. The combination of that motion and the signals sent between the vehicle and the key fob activates the system.
For now this feature is only available on the all-new Escape but has potential to improve other touch and gesture technology that Ford is testing.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

2013 Shelby GT500: Durability

Here's a historical look at Carroll Shelby and what he meant to the SVT team, as well as the new 2013 Shelby GT500.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Sunday, May 20, 2012

All-New 2013 Ford Escape Set to Pace NASCAR Stable of Races at Kentucky Speedway

The all-new 2013 Ford Escape will pace all three NASCAR races at Kentucky Speedway in June, including the June 30 Quaker State 400 Sprint Cup series event. 
·         Two-time Daytona 500 champion Matt Kenseth unveiled the pace car version of the Escape today in a media program at the Louisville Assembly Plant.
·         The race marks the Ford Escape’s debut as a pace car, the latest in a series of pace car firsts for Ford in NASCAR. 
·         The 2013 Escape is being produced at the newly transformed Louisville Assembly Plant.
LOUISVILLE, KY (May 15, 2012) – Ford Motor Company rolled out its latest NASCAR pace vehicle today – the all-new 2013 Ford Escape – which will make its pace vehicle debut during the NASCAR Sprint Cup race weekend at nearby Kentucky Speedway June 28-30.
The Escape pace car was unveiled at the Louisville Assembly Plant by two-time Daytona 500 champ and Ford NASCAR driver Matt Kenseth, who was on hand to drive the vehicle for the first time as part of a media program outside the plant where the new vehicle is built.
The new Escape will pace all three events -- Thursday’s (June 28) NASCAR Camping World Truck series UNOH 225 event, Friday’s (June 29) NASCAR Nationwide series Feed the Children 300 race and Saturday’s (June 30) NASCAR Sprint Cup series Quaker State 400 race in prime time.
“I am glad I got to be part of this ceremony today,” said Kenseth. “Not only did I get a chance to drive the all-new Escape for the first time, but I had a chance to tour the new plant and meet some of the workers who built the vehicle, which was really neat.”
"They are proud of the new Escape, as they should be. It's a really sharp vehicle that will look great leading the field at Kentucky."
The Escape pace vehicle recently rolled off the assembly line at the newly-transformed Louisville Assembly Plant.   It’s just a short, one-hour trek to Kentucky Speedway where one of America’s best-selling vehicles will lead the field to the green flag in NASCAR.
“We’re delighted to highlight another exciting new vehicle to the huge and passionate NASCAR fan base,” said Jamie Allison, director, Ford Racing. “The all-new Escape is the perfect match for Kentucky Speedway because it is built in Louisville.
“The new Escape offers a blend of exciting styling and the performance attributes to handle the pace car duties that weekend,” said Allison. “And we are sure there will be a lot of proud Ford workers in the grandstands who helped build the pace vehicle.”
Ford and its Cincinnati Region Area Ford Dealers are one of the original sponsor partners of the Kentucky Speedway, a relationship that began during the construction of the track in 1999. Ford has been the only “official automotive vehicle” partner of Kentucky Speedway since the first race at the track in 2000.
This marks the latest in a line of exciting pace car debuts for Ford. In addition to being the first manufacturer to use an all-electric pace vehicle with the 2012 Focus Electric which paced April’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond, Ford was also the first to use a hybrid to start a NASCAR event when the Fusion Hybrid served as pace car for the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in 2008.
Ford also was the first manufacturer to unveil its 2013 race car model, when it showed off the ’13 Fusion to media in January of this year.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid

Ford dealers are now taking orders for the C-MAX Hybrid, which will be more affordable than Toyota Prius v while achieving better fuel economy.

Friday, May 18, 2012

2013 Shelby GT500 Launch Control Ensures Smooth Starts Regardless of Surface Condition

  • 2013 Ford Shelby GT500 is the first to be equipped from the factory with launch control
  • SVT engineers have given Shelby GT500 drivers the ability to fine-tune the launch control settings, spinning wheels for consistent, maximum acceleration
DEARBORN, Mich., May 17, 2012 – Paraphrasing a classic quote – “With great power comes the need for great control” – the engineers at Ford’s Special Vehicles Team have stepped up to the plate to manage themassive output of the 2013 Shelby GT500.
Whether a driver is a track-day veteran or getting his first ultra-high-performance sports car, the new launch control system on the 2013 Ford Shelby GT500 will help ensure he gets smooth, consistent and fast starts every time.
Uncontrolled wheel spin is generally undesirable, whether commuting to work or racing away from the Christmas tree on a Friday night at the drag strip. Both safety and performance suffer when the wheels can’t get enough grip on the road. However, properly regulated, some wheel slip can be your friend.
“Launch control is essentially a special mode of the traction control system that integrates the brake and engine management systems to keep the tires balanced on the peak of the mu-slip curve in order to achieve maximum thrust,” explains John Pfeiffer, senior engineer, SVT Vehicle Engineering. “With so much more power and torque on tap from the new 5.8-liter V8, launch control makes it easier for drivers to take advantage of the performance.”
With launch control enabled, the driver just has to press the accelerator pedal to the floor and then smoothly and quickly release the clutch pedal just as he normally would when executing a clean start. The difference is that the electronics will automatically hold the engine steady at the desired speed and manage the rear brakes to allow the optimum amount of wheel slip for maximum traction.
“We recognize not every driver has the same style, and surface, tire and climate conditions vary,” said Eddie Khan, SVT Engineering supervisor. “Most of our competitors’ launch control systems have a fixed engine launch speed. We’ve given Shelby GT500 drivers the ability to adjust the engine speed to achieve best and most consistent performance, no matter where and when they drive.”
Shelby GT500 drivers can enable launch control in two ways – either through Track Apps™ on the 4.2-inch LCD in the instrument cluster or simply by tapping a switch on the left side of the instrument panel. When using the Track Apps screen, drivers can also adjust the desired engine speed for the launch in 100 rpm increments from 3,000 to 4,500 rpm. When first getting accustomed to launch control or if the pavement is cooler, a lower speed may be more appropriate. Switching to racing tires or running in an autocross event on a warm Saturday morning may call for a launch speed closer to the upper end of the range.
Once the desired engine speed has been set, launch control can be toggled on or off by tapping the instrument panel switch – more convenient than the intricate multistep process required on many other vehicles. After the launch control has been enabled or disabled, it retains that mode even after the engine has been switched off and restarted, something drag racers frequently have to do as they slowly make their way through the lines to the next quarter-mile pass.
“We developed this system to enable 90 percent of drivers to be able to achieve very fast, smooth and consistent starts with the Shelby GT500 regardless of their skill level,” said Khan. “Experienced drag racers may be able to get away slightly quicker, but chances are they won’t be as consistent.”
Veteran drag racers will find the Shelby GT500 also gives them extra flexibility. Switching off the traction control while the launch control is on produces an rpm-only mode that engine calibration engineer Tom Siebyla has tuned to keep the engine speed rock-steady with the electronic throttle and ignition without scrubbing off any speed with the brakes. Autocrossers or track-day racers can also mix and match the normal, sport and off modes of the stability control with the launch control to achieve the degree of sliding or control that best suits the conditions or their personal driving style.
For those times when there isn’t enough grip to use launch control effectively, such as dust or moisture on the pavement, Ford electronic brake control development engineer Dan Dunn has built smarts into the launch control that enable it to automatically switch off and revert to traction control.
“It’s not as intrusive as some TC systems have been in the past,” added Khan. “We wanted to help the driver make consistent starts without getting in the way.”
Launch control won’t do the driving, but it is a tool to help drivers extract consistent high performance from the most powerful production Mustang ever.
“For drivers who want to have some fun at their local drag strip with a stock machine, the 2013 Shelby GT500 is the ultimate bracket racer,” said Khan. “We’ve given our drivers the ability to exert control over all the power and torque this Mustang can produce.”