Monday, December 9, 2013

A New Star is Born: 2015 Mustang Revealed


A New Star is Born: 2015 Mustang Revealed

Dec-06-2013 11:40 AM ET


VIDEO: All-New Ford Mustang Revealed in Dearborn
DEARBORN – Pangs of anticipation were finally quenched Thursday as the all-new Mustang made its global debut launching in six locations around the world simultaneously: New York; Los Angeles; Dearborn, Barcelona, Spain; Sydney and Shanghai.
In Dearborn, Mich., employees, retirees, dealers, suppliers and media gathered at the Ford Conference and Event Center for the big reveal.  It included opening statements from Chief Operating Officer Mark Fields, an introduction to the very first retail Mustang owner from 1965, Gail Wise, and design and engineering overviews provided by global design chief J Mays  and Frank Davis, executive director, North America Engineering.
Before the reveal, @Ford spoke with several employees, including Cindy Parkhurst, a Material Planning and Logisitics employee at Flat Rock Assembly Plant where the Mustang is built. 
“I am actually very proud to be chosen to be a part of this, we’re very proud of our plants and this is really exciting,” Parkhurst said.
Jacer Aguilar, another FRAP employee who works in Human Resources had this to share, “I think the thing I am most proud of is that by working at Flat Rock I have actually seen the people that work with the product (current Mustang and future models), and have learned how much of an impact the car has had on their lives. This car has helped a lot of families and has put a lot of children through college. We all rely on Ford products and they touch the lives of so many people.”
Currently, FRAP employs more than 3,000 hourly workers who will have a hand in building this next generation pony car.
 “It is a very exciting day for everyone at Ford but also for anybody who has ever owned a Mustang or admired a Mustang, it is a special day and we hope all of you will remember this day as you move forward,” said Fields.
“As you know, when you get in a Mustang it ignites that sense of optimism and freedom and it just puts a smile on your face when you slide into that seat and wrap your hands around the steering wheel.” said Fields.
No doubt a large contributor to the Mustang-generated grin is the unbridled power that lurks beneath the hood – a feature that only gets enhanced in the new model with three of the most fuel-efficient Mustang engine options ever:
  • 5.0-liter V8 boasting 420 horsepower and at least 390 lb.-ft. of torque
  • 2.3-liter EcoBoost that achieves 305 horsepower and at least 300 lb.-ft. of torque
  • 3.7-liter V6 that gets 300 horsepower and at least 270 lb.-ft. of torque.

Any of the above will be married to either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission with paddle-shifters being added to the automatic option.
“Mustang is not only one of the most successful cars in the lineup, it’s also become a cultural icon,” said Fields. “On Facebook Mustang has more than 5.5 million fans, more than any other car and interestingly more than half of those fans are from outside of the U.S., so it has universal appeal.”
According to the Mustang design team, this appeal will only grow as the new generation gallops onto the market.
“You look at this silhouette and what you see here is a bloodline and it runs back and courses through the veins of every Mustang since 1964,” said Mays before pointing out specific design features unique to the new model.  From the shark-nose paired with a gaping grill to the muscular body side panels and the rear haunches that are 40 mm wider than the outgoing model, this Mustang is ready to capture everyone’s attention.
Next Davis took to the stage with his introduction to the many engineering advancements the 2015 model will include.
“There were really three key elements that went into building this car,” said Davis. “One was putting the zoom in the new Mustang, second was raising the bar from a ride and handling perspective and establishing this Mustang as a world class ride and handling vehicle, and third, we focused on making this Mustang the most technologically advanced Mustang ever.”
He pointed again to the engine options to explain the power and fuel efficiency of the new model and listed features such as the independent rear-suspension intended to meet high performance and ride requirements of the new car.
Launch control, now available on all trims, selectable steering and four selectable drive modes (normal, wet/snow, sport and track) are all technologies that have been incorporated into the new Mustang  to give drivers even more control of their driving experience.
According to reaction following the reveal, all of the above will result in success for the new addition to the Ford lineup.
“Awesome, it’s an awesome vehicle, very aesthetic and beautiful, it follows a lot of the tradition of Mustang and it takes time for your eyes to take it all in,” said Evangelos Skoures, an 8-year Ford veteran  who works on emission sensors in Research and Advanced Engineering.
Skoures also is the lucky owner of one of only 52 Woodward Dream Cruise Edition Mustang’s that were built in 1997. “I was driving down Woodward Ave. and I saw a white Mustang with Blue stripes in the window of Ed Schmid Ford and was told the one in the showroom was the last Woodward Dream Cruise Edition remaining in southeast Michigan.  So I just had to buy it.” Just another example of the magnetism of Mustang.
Those who were unable to attend the reveal event, but want to join in the excitement of the Mustang launch build-up, have only to reach for their smartphones.  Global Marketing Director Chantel Lenard explained the new #MustangInspires social media initiative that allows everyone do get involved in the Mustang buzz.
Using Instagram, anyone with a Mustang story to share can do so by posting their Mustang photo and including #MustangInspires in the description. There are more than a million Mustang pictures on Instagram already.
Exact on-sale dates for the new Mustang were not released, but it was suggested the vehicle will be hitting showrooms sometime next fall.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Compressed Natural Gas Comes to Ford F-150 Fall 2013

Compressed Natural Gas Comes to Ford F-150 Fall 2013

Jul-31-2013 6:10 AM ET


​DEARBORN - Ford Motor Company will expand its fleet of vehicles capable of running on compressed natural gas by adding the option to the 2014 Ford F-150 this fall. With the addition of the F-150, Ford will offer eight commercial vehicles with the gaseous-prep option and will be the only manufacturer with an available CNG/LPG half-ton pickup.
The gaseous-fuel prep option will be available on the F-150 with the 3.7-liter V6 and customers interested in the CNG F-150 will first order their truck with the CNG/LPG engine prep which costs approximately $315.
Next, the customer chooses from a list of Ford Qualified Vehicle Modifiers to supply fuel tanks, fuel lines and the unique fuel injectors. Depending on the size of the tanks chosen, the upfits range in cost from $7,500 to $9,500.
Considering the cost for CNG is roughly $1 per gallon less than unleaded regular fuel, and that a CNG equipped F-150 can travel up to 750 miles on one tank (depending on the tank size selected), Jon Coleman, Ford Fleet Sustainability and Technology manager, said buyers will be able to see a return on their investment in as little as 24 to 36 months.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, CNG usage can carry the added benefit of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 30 percent.
Other CNG/LPG vehicles already in the Ford fleet include:
• Transit Connect van and wagon
• Transit van, wagon, cutaway and chassis cab
• E-Series van, wagon, cutaway and stripped chassis
• F-Series Super Duty pickup and F-350 chassis cab
• F-Series Super Duty chassis cab (F-450, F-550)
“Businesses and fleet customers have been asking Ford to make F-150 available with CNG capability to take advantage of the fuel’s low price and clean emissions,” said Coleman.
Ford expects to sell more than 15,000 CNG/LPG-prepped vehicles this year, an increase of more than 25 percent over 2012.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Software Emerges as ‘Secret Sauce’ to Ford EcoBoost Success



Jul-26-2013 10:50 AM ET

DEARBORN – Mike Kluzner’s experience is considered only somewhat unusual among the ranks of Ford’s in-house software engineers. Kluzner got his start designing laser weapon systems capable of disabling the navigation systems of enemy satellites.

His employer? The former Soviet Union.

Today, Kluzner designs software for onboard fuel system diagnostics on Ford vehicles sold worldwide. Kluzner holds more than 20 patents on onboard diagnostics.

“During my work for the military, I was trained very early on how to establish and maintain consistent product performance,” said Kluzner, who was born Mikhail Igor Kluzner and has lived in the United States since 1990. “This became part of my engineering DNA.

“The same process for analyzing key physical relationships works for what we do today in engine combustion, catalyst chemistry and mechanics,” he added. “These are all part of Ford’s software engineering expertise.”

Kluzner, who began his career with the company in 1996, is one of dozens of in-house powertrain control software engineers at Ford. A large part of these engineers’ jobs is to continually improve and reinvent the control strategies on Ford’s award-winning EcoBoost® engines.

Other engineers in the group have backgrounds that include designing software to detect damage to heat tiles on the international Space Shuttle, as well as work in particle physics.

The importance of these software engineers to the global expansion of the EcoBoost franchise is hard to overestimate. The software they are working on must manage and optimize increasingly sophisticated hardware in the EcoBoost engines to make Ford vehicles more powerful, cleaner and fuel efficient.

“No doubt, turbocharging, direct injection and cam timing hardware are key ingredients of Ford’s EcoBoost recipe, but the secret sauce is the software,” said David Bell, Ford global boost system controls engineer. “The hardware existed, but without our unique software and engine tuning, EcoBoost wouldn’t have been as successful with consumers.”

Secret sauce for EcoBoost
Ford’s EcoBoost engines faced several challenges when the technology first launched in 2009. One was overcoming consumers’ resistance to radically smaller engines with fewer cylinders. Another was the technical difficulty of making powerful engines while still meeting tightening emissions regulations. Click here for the full story

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Mustang Countdown


Mustang Countdown

Jun-26-2013 10:45 AM ET

North America

DEARBORN - As of April 17, 2014, Ford Motor Company will be the only manufacturer with two nameplates on the exclusive list of vehicles that have made it to 50 years of uninterrupted availability without missing a model year. On that date, Ford Mustang joins the F-Series pickup truck in achieving this impressive accomplishment. In anticipation of this special day, we’re joining the legions of fans around the world to celebrate not only the car itself, but the culture that has developed along with it, with a new video series called Mustang Countdown.

With more than 9.2 million Mustangs sold over five decades, almost everyone has a story to tell about the pony car.

When launched, Mustang was an instant sensation and, over time, became more than just a car by inspiring millions of people with a lifestyle they could aspire to. With nearly 3,000 movie and TV appearances around the world, countless song references, parade appearances, toys and more, Mustang has thoroughly permeated the social fabric that connects us all together.

We’re collecting and sharing some of those stories each week on Mustang Countdown as we explore how this pony earned such a special place in the hearts of fans from not only New York to California, but Shanghai to London and Iceland to Argentina.
Episode one takes another look at the Mustang I concept that launched the name in 1962. Every Wednesday over the rest of 2013 and into 2014 we’ll take a dive into archives, garages, toy shelves, entertainment and much more to examine our collective love affair with the Ford

Monday, June 17, 2013

Q-and-A with NASCAR Drivers before Michigan International Speedway

Q-and-A with NASCAR Drivers before Michigan International Speedway

Jun-14-2013 6:00 AM ET

Dearborn Yesterday the Ford Racing team visited World Headquarters to test our great products and meet with employees. @Ford Online had the opportunity to talk with a few of the drivers about the upcoming race.
 
How was your experience at the track this morning? Did you have any favorite vehicles?
Trevor Bayne: All of them were awesome. Obviously the Mustang had the most power, and the GT500 was pretty epic. But the Fiesta ST I think impressed a lot of us. The stick shift and the sportier car, we had fun with it.
 
Travis Pastrana: For me it was just awesome to get to spend time with all the employees and all my fellow competitors. It was really fun to jump into all the cars. [Joey] Logano was the best on the skid pad, it was kind of depressing. I thought I was doing pretty good, and he’s going around with an automatic. I was like, ‘How’d you get that to do that.’ It was pretty cool.
 
Greg Biffle: I love going to the race track, and it’s been a while since we got to go on the wet track. We got to have a lot of fun with the Mustang on the wet and dry track. My favorite was the Explorer Sport with the EcoBoost engine – lots of power. I’m a big fan of the EcoBoost engine and the 365 horsepower. The thing really, really goes. And we want to put the gas down and go, but yet it still gets the good fuel economy.
 
Brad Keselowski: I had a blast driving all the different Ford vehicles, running around all the tracks and finding their limits. But you’ve got to love the Fiesta ST. That car, it’s just a little pocket rocket and it gets it done. I had a lot of fun with that, but really there isn’t a bad car to have fun with on the test track.
 
How did you like getting to spend some time with the employees?
Biffle: It’s great to see all the employees; they build great products and are all working very hard. It gives them a chance to come out and see the drivers – I’m sure they watch us every Saturday and Sunday. So it’s fun to meet them.
 
Big win for Ford Racing on Sunday, how did that feel?
Bayne: That was a pretty big win for us and our team. This season we’ve been trying to get some sort of momentum and every time something good happens something bad was happening. But this time we had something really good happen by going to victory lane.
 
You got married just before the big win. Can you share a little about that?
Bayne: Man it was cool. Ashton and I have been dating for three years now and she’s never gotten to go to victory lane with me. I’ve won two races since we’ve started dating. She told me as soon as we got married I had to go ahead and win to get the pressure off and to prove to people I should have married her a long time ago. So there was a little bit of pressure but we got through, got to victory lane and got Ford its 200th win, so that was a little bit of the icing on the cake.
 
How’s the season going for you so far?
Pastrana: It’s my first full season with Jack Roush and the whole racing program is absolutely awesome. I’ve got Trevor Bayne to kind of look up to every weekend. I can see where the bar is and then figure out how to get there. We’ve got a long way to go. But I know that I have the speed, and what it’s going to take to get there. I know we have the team to back me, everything to get there – I just have to figure out how to stop crashing and start winning some of these things.
 
Keselowski: We’ve had a great start to the season, scoring a lot of top 5s, very close to quite a few wins – it just keep coming up that little bit short. We led the points score earlier in the year, had a little bit of a stumble in the month of May, but we’re on our way to rebound. I think we’re going to be in great standing to hopefully win some races and be in contention for the championship at the end of the year.
 
Are you hoping to get Ford Racing its 1,000th win?
Bayne: We’re trying this weekend. We get the first shot on Saturday in the Nationwide Series. If that doesn’t happen then the guys have a chance on Sunday. But we’d like to go ahead and get it in the books on Saturday. That’d be really cool.
 
Are you looking forward to the race this weekend at Michigan International Speedway?
Bayne: MIS has been good to us since the repave, especially in the Cup Series. We’ve qualified sixth and seventh. Running in the top 10 of both of those races – we blew an engine in one and we blew a tire in the other. If we can get through that I think we’ll be really fast. The Nationwide Series, I’ve not driven since they’ve repaved the track – so I’m looking forward to that. The high speeds, being wide open and just going really fast in those Mustangs.
 
Pastrana: This is going to be my first time here, but I’m really looking forward to racing here in Michigan. I have a lot of friends and family out in this area. Everyone’s going to be coming to the race and I’d like to put on a good show for them.
 
Biffle: Right in the backyard. We take a lot of pride in winning this race. I’ve won it three times and finishing second last week gives us a little momentum. We think we’re getting closer and closer, we’re getting our cars better. We still have a little ways to go, but this is a great track for us. So our best chance all season to win is this weekend.
 
Keselowski: We love coming back home to Michigan. What we like about it is we’re so close to headquarters here. We’re hoping to see a lot of Ford employees supporting us in the race and hopefully we can win in front of them.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Ford, propelled by F series and Escape, achieves best May since '06


A 31 percent gain for the Ford F-series pickup and a monthly record for the Escape crossover helped Ford Motor Co. reach its best May U.S. sales total since 2006.

Overall, Ford sales rose 14 percent from a year ago to 246,019, or just 6,875 units fewer than General Motors. It outsold Toyota Motor Sales by more than 38,000 units.

Ford sold more than 70,000 F series for the first time in more than six years. Escape sales rose 26 percent to 29,123, the highest monthly volume in that nameplate's 13-year history.

Ford's upscale brand, Lincoln, posted flat sales, though deliveries of the redesigned MKZ sedan, which accumulated a backlog of orders as the company held back shipments for additional quality inspections, were up 42 percent.

"Our products have been performing very well, so we're outpacing the industry growth," Ken Czubay, Ford's vice president of U.S. marketing, sales and service, said during a conference call today. "There's great demand for the Ford products and we anticipate seeing ongoing share growth."

Ford said it plans to increase North American production 10 percent in the third quarter from the same period of 2012, to 740,000 units.

The Fusion and Focus each recorded 10 percent sales gains, enough to make them the two top-selling cars made by the Detroit 3. The Fusion's total of 29,553 units was a May record for the car, which is making a serious run at the Japanese sedans that typically dominate the mid-sized segment.

Czubay said demand for the Fusion is surging in California and Florida, where domestic cars have long performed poorly. He said its retail share of the segment in California more than doubled from a year ago, to 8 percent. The hybrid version of the Fusion is selling off dealer lots in an average of six days in the Los Angeles and Miami.

Ford said May was the best month ever for a group of vehicles it calls the Super Segment, with sales up 19 percent to 96,266. The group consists of the Fusion, Escape, Fiesta subcompact, Focus compact and C-Max Hybrid crossover.

Sales of the Ford Mustang fell 16 percent, but Ford officials noted that it was the car's best month since last June and that its share of the segment has remained steady. The Flex, down 17 percent, was the only Ford crossover or SUV to post a decline.


Read more: http://www.autonews.com/article/20130603/RETAIL01/130609991#ixzz2VFXATX8V
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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Making the Switch to a C-MAX Energi Plug-in Hybrid



Lyle Dennis is a huge supporter of the Chevy Volt: he founded a website dedicated to the Volt, owned the eighth unit off the production line and drove it for 14,000 miles. So why did he recently make the switch from the Volt to the Ford C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid?

“It all started really when my wife decided she wanted a Nissan Leaf to replace her SUV,” he said. “Since the Leaf could only go 75 miles, and we have three kids, I needed a car that could operate on electricity for my short commute but also have the capability for long drives with the whole family.”

The ability to seat five people comfortably came to the forefront for him during a trip over the summer. At that point, the family owned a Leaf and a Volt, and they planned on renting a larger car to transport the entire family for a road trip. But that didn’t work out quite the way they expected.

“Due to an error at the rental company, we found ourselves without a rental car on the day of our trip,” he said. After that he decided to pursue the C-MAX Energi to make sure they owned a car that could seat five and make long drives when needed.

As a close follower of the automotive industry in general and electric vehicles in particular, Dennis had known about the C-MAX Energi since 2011 when Ford announced it at the North American International Auto Show. The five seats and utility of the C-MAX Energi appealed to him.

He put in his order, and he has been driving his new C-MAX Energi since December. The car’s EV-only range and top speeds impressed him so far.  “It is fun to drive, technical and utilitarian,” he said. “It has lots of cool features and things to try.  It handles my commute to and from work without gas, which was my main goal.  And now I have peace of mind if my family needs to go on a long trip.”

You can learn more about this story by visiting insideevs.com, where Dennis goes in depth on his first impressions of the C-MAX Energi.

Here at Ford Lincoln of Ocala, we are eager to help you receive all the necessary information on your next vehicle purchase.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Spring into Action With Your Ford!



While the first official day of spring doesn’t necessarily feel like it for most of the U.S., we know that spring lies ahead. For many of us, the change of season means we’re preparing to spend more time outside and likely more time in our Ford vehicles, and even more when the summer months come! So, we’ve put together Ford style tips to help get you in the mood to be sprung for spring!

1. Escape the clutter: What is it about spring being synonymous with cleaning? Well, if you can’t beat it, join it! Take this time to clean out and organize your vehicle. Wadded up fast-food wrappers or other trash thrown in the backseat? Toss it for good. Coins deposited in all the cup holders? Organize them and keep them in one place. And do you really need three sweatshirts in the backseat for just-in-case scenarios? Time to clean out the garage too while you’re at it. We’re just sayin’.

2. Maintenance is your Super Duty: Did you park/store your Ford for the winter? Time to get it raring to go again. Even if you didn’t park it for the winter, maintenance still pertains; make spring the time of year to always do some basic maintenance, such as checking the fluids, replacing window wiper blades, checking the engine coolant and ensuring your tires are properly inflated.

3. Focus on a wash and wax: Winter is the time that all sorts of gross gunk can accumulate since some people don’t visit the car wash that often, from dirt to road salt and brake dust. Head to the car wash, or even better, get outside and do the deed yourself!

4. Go on an Expedition: We spend far too much time indoors in the winter; time to plan a road trip! Maybe it’s a weekend adventure, or simply a day-long getaway. See the world’s biggest this or smallest that, or simple become an explorer in a part of town you’ve always wanted to see. Or just drive your Ford vehicle to the mountains and go for a hike! Embrace The Great Outdoors. And whatever you decide to do, be sure to post a photo of you and your Ford right here at Ford Social!

5. Fiesta now, no more siesta! We’ve been known to get a little lazier in the winter – it’s cold, so we hibernate and want to just curl up on the couch and stay warm. But now that the world around us is defrosting, we’re looking forward to doing more activities. How about you? Itching to get into the outdoors? Attend car shows? Tell us your spring plans!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Atlas Concept: Should Ford Build This Truck?



Looking for the latest about the Ford Atlas Concept? Click here to read about what went into the design work that led to the creation of the concept vehicle.

Tell us, what do you tow and haul? Work equipment, toys for weekend activities or something else? And if you could build the ultimate tow/haul truck, what kind of features would it have? Does fuel economy matter? How would you make towing a trailer easier?

While you’re thinking about those questions, allow us to introduce the Ford Atlas Concept, revealed on January 15, 2013, at the North American International Auto Show. The Blue Oval™ has built the Atlas Concept as a way to explore how to improve a truck’s towing and hauling characteristics, and it also offers a glimpse at where Ford trucks may be headed in the future.

Fuel efficiency and productivity are key for the Atlas Concept, which has some breakthrough capabilities. Take for example the Active Grille Shutters that automatically stay open when additional engine cooling is needed in low-speed or hot weather driving situations, then close for better aerodynamics when cruising at steady speeds. There are also Active Wheel Shutters, a Drop-Down Front Air Dam and Power Folding Running Boards. And there’s a next-generation EcoBoost® under its hood with Auto Start-Stop engine shutoff technology to save gas in stop-and-go driving, but this truck-enhanced version pauses the Auto Start-Stop when the truck is towing.

The prominent wheel arches, the wide stance and the chiseled grille – all the elements of this truck’s design are both tough-looking and functional, including the multiple integrated tie-down points and 110-volt electrical outlets in the cargo box as well as the Dual-Purpose Tailgate Step and Cargo Cradle. Ford improved its Tailgate Step, which makes getting in the back of the truck even easier now by adding the ability to also act as a cargo cradle, lifting and holding extra-long cargo items above the truck and freeing valuable bed space. There’s also Trailer Backup Assist, a segment-first innovation for backing a trailer with the twist of a knob while monitoring the maneuver using the large center stack-mounted screen, and Dynamic Hitch Assist helps precisely line up the truck’s hitch with the trailer coupling. Hidden Cargo Ramps are lightweight loading ramps that stow below the cargo box for items such as dirt bikes.

So, what do you think? Should Ford build this truck? And don’t forget to tell us what you tow and haul and what features make doing that easier!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Shelby Launches 575hp Raptor

AUTOS: Shelby Launches 575hp Raptor

The all-terrain Ford F-150 performance pickup is enhanced with more power, improved handling and special graphics.

AutoWeek  | http://www.autoweek.com/  |  Posted March 29, 2013   New York, NY



 
 
 

Three different graphics packages are available for the Shelby-enhanced 2013 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor. (Photo: Shelby American)

 
Shelby has revived the muscle pickup truck with the 575-horsepower Shelby Raptor.

Based on the 2013 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor, the Shelby Raptor adds enhanced power and handling, along with three Shelby graphics packages.

Shelby unveiled the Raptor at the New York Auto Show, along with the 1,200-horsepower Super Shelby Mustang.

Shelby American president John Luft said the truck was created to conquer any terrain with “serious velocity.”

Shelby mounted a 2.9-liter supercharger to the truck's 6.2-liter V8 engine, boosting it 164 horsepower to 575. A six-speed automatic transfers power to all four wheels.

An “off-road” mode calibrates the transmission, stability and traction control systems to operate under high-speed off-road situations. The Shelby Raptor is also equipped with 35-inch BF Goodrich all-terrain tires.

Only 100 Shelby Raptors will be built per model year.

Shelby-fying the Raptor costs an extra $17,995 on top of the cost of the SVT Raptor, which carries a $44,625 base price including shipping.

This story originally appeared at Autoweek.com.