NEW HIGH PERFORMANCE PACKAGE FOR 2020 MUSTANG DELIVERS 330-HORSEPOWER AND GT HARDWARE

By jfawler | Posted in New Ford Vehicles on Monday, April 15th, 2019 at 1:51 PM

 

  • 2.3L High Performance Package provides entry-level Mustang buyers the first EcoBoost® engine powered by Ford Performance to deliver a projected 330 horsepower and 350 lb.-ft. of torque – the most powerful four-cylinder sports car offered by an American automaker

 

  • Poised to attack at autocross, 2.3L High Performance Package adds Mustang GT brakes and Mustang GT Performance Package aerodynamics and suspension components to make it the highest-performing production four-cylinder Mustang ever

 

  • Initially a passion project that began with a Focus RS engine swap, the High Performance Package became a green-lit production program to strengthen Mustang’s entry-level performance offering in under 10 months – just in time for Mustang’s 55th anniversary

 

Strengthening Ford’s performance reach for 2020 and just in time for the pony car’s 55th anniversary, the new 2.3L High Performance Package for the entry-level Mustang EcoBoost® creates the most powerful four-cylinder sports car offered by an American automaker. This is the result of a unique EcoBoost engine powered by Ford Performance and upgraded handling components from the Mustang GT Performance Package.

“The Ford Performance Focus RS 2.3-litre engine is a high-revving marvel, and anyone who’s driven this EcoBoost engine instantly loves how quickly it responds and delivers power,” said Carl Widmann, Mustang chief engineer. “When our team got the chance to try this specially built engine in a Mustang, we immediately agreed, ‘We have to do this.’”

Reminiscent of development of the original Mustang in 1964, the car began as a five-person skunkworks project in the Ford Performance garage. Following an experiment with a Focus RS engine swap, the Mustang team leveraged Ford’s quickening product development times to accelerate and complete the design-to-approval process for the 2.3L High Performance Package in under 10 months.

Available on the entry-level Mustang EcoBoost fastback coupe or convertible models this fall, the Mustang EcoBoost package was developed to feel at home both on thrilling mountain and coastal roads and even on the most precise autocross courses thanks to its Mustang GT brakes, performance tires, and chassis and aerodynamics hardware from the Mustang GT Performance Package.

 

MOST POWERFUL ENGINE YET IN A MUSTANG

 

 

To make their project a reality, members of the Mustang team traveled to Valencia, Spain, home of the Ford Performance-tuned 2.3-litre engine, to convince plant management to build a new variant of the turbocharged four-cylinder specifically for Mustang. Then, with the Ford Performance-designed engine as a starting point, they tuned the EcoBoost to more broadly and responsively deliver a projected 330 horsepower and 350 lb.-ft. of torque achieved with premium fuel (per the SAE J1349 standard).

Having secured production of the die-cast alloy block and high-performance cylinder head, the engineering team specified a 5 percent larger 63-millimetre twin-scroll turbo compressor and a larger radiator, then calibrated the engine to run both Ford’s 10-speed SelectShift® automatic and 6-speed Getrag manual transmission.

The 2020 Mustang 2.3L High Performance Package is designed to run 0-60 in the mid-four-second range on premium fuel, with top speed increasing to 155 mph, a 10 mph gain over the 2019 EcoBoost Performance Package and 34 mph faster than the base EcoBoost Mustang.

“It’s not just the horsepower gains over the standard 2.3-litre EcoBoost, it’s the broader torque curve that delivers 90 percent of peak torque between 2,500 and 5,300 rpm, which is 40 percent wider than the base EcoBoost engine,” said Widmann. “Plus, horsepower holds stronger up to the 6,500-rpm redline – enabling more usable power and torque for enthusiasts and weekend autocrossers to enjoy.”

Helping to deliver 143 horsepower per litre, the new 2.3L High Performance Package includes a fully active quad-tip exhaust system with a signature tuned sound.

 

PACKED WITH ENTHUSIAST HARDWARE

 

 

The new 2020 2.3L High Performance Package feels sharp and nimble, with an aggressive road-holding stance, near-balanced 53/47 weight distribution and fully independent suspension, plus chassis and aerodynamic upgrades from the Mustang GT and its Performance Package.

For greater steering precision, the team added an alloy strut tower brace to stiffen the chassis at the front. To improve stopping power and fade resistance, the 2.3L High Performance Package adds larger four-piston fixed callipers with 13.9-inch front rotors from Mustang GT. It features a 32-millimetre sway bar up front and a tubular 21.7-millimetre bar at the rear.

New performance calibration tuning is applied to the electronic-controlled power steering, antilock braking, stability control and five driver-selectable drive modes. For improved cornering, a 3.55:1 limited-slip rear axle is included, plus package-specific 19×9-inch machined-face aluminum wheels and 255/40R summer tires.

For an aggressive look, the new EcoBoost 2.3L High Performance Package includes a large black front splitter and belly pan, plus brake cooling ramps from the Mustang GT Performance Package – add-ons that also work to reduce front-end lift and improve brake cooling. A blacked-out grille with offset Mustang tri-bar pony emblem, 2.3L High Performance Package side badges and magnetic gray side mirrors and raised blade rear spoiler add to the performance look, while a unique metallic gray stripe crosses the hood.

An engine-spun aluminum instrument panel with oil pressure and turbo boost gauges, plus a serialized dash plaque highlight the interior.

 

NEW ECOBOOST HANDLING PACKAGE

 

 

Increasing lateral acceleration grip and stopping power, the available EcoBoost Handling Package includes semi-metallic brakes, specially calibrated MagneRide® dampers and a TORSEN® 3.55:1 limited-slip rear axle. Wider 19×9.5-inch premium painted aluminum wheels with 265/40R Pirelli P Zero Corsa4 summer tires provide traction, while a 24-millimetre solid rear sway bar, up from 21.7 millimetres, improves handling balance.

The new EcoBoost Handling Package is available exclusively on the 2020 Mustang EcoBoost fastback coupe with the 2.3L High Performance Package with either 6-speed manual or 10-speed automatic transmission.

 

NEW SMART TECHNOLOGY, COLOURS, AND MORE

 

 

FordPass Connect, now standard on Mustang for 2020, allows owners to interact with their vehicles via a smartphone. Using FordPass Connect’s phone application, owners can locate their parked car, lock and unlock it, and check vehicle status, such as fuel, oil levels and maintenance alerts. For automatic transmission-equipped Mustang models, the system has a remote start feature. The availability of these features varies by market.

Available SYNC® 3 with AppLink adds enhanced voice recognition communications, 911 Assist and two smart-charging USB ports.

Four new Mustang colours for 2020 include Grabber Lime, Iconic Silver, Red Hot Metallic Tinted Clearcoat and Twister Orange. New 17-inch sparkle silver-painted aluminum wheels now come standard on the base 2020 Mustang EcoBoost.

The 2020 Ford Mustang with 2.3L High Performance Package arrives at dealerships this fall.

VIEW MUSTANG INVENTORY

ALL-NEW FORD ESCAPE BRINGS STYLE AND SUBSTANCE TO SMALL SUVS WITH CLASS-LEADING HYBRIDS, FLEXIBILITY AND EXCLUSIVE TECHNOLOGY

By jfawler | Posted in New Ford Vehicles on Tuesday, April 2nd, 2019 at 8:00 PM

With today’s reveal of the stylish new Escape, featuring the small SUV’s best-ever performance, flexibility and smart new technology, Ford is reinventing the model that helped drive the popularity of the segment.

Escape, which debuted the world’s first hybrid SUV in 2005, brings back two hybrid choices for 2020, a standard hybrid and a plug-in variant, and introduces technologies ranging from drive modes and driver-assist features to electric vehicle ingenuity and on-board connectivity.

“This all-new Escape brings a sleeker, sportier design with the capability to take you on just about any of your life’s adventures,” said Kumar Galhotra, Ford’s president, North America. “With our class-leading hybrid powertrains, customers will spend less time at the gas station and more time on the road.”

To create a sportier look for the all-new Escape, designers turned to some of the most high-profile sports cars in the Ford showroom. The shield-shaped trapezoidal grille is inspired by the sixth-generation Mustang, while the lower front end borrows from Ford GT. Compared to the current model, the all-new Escape stands lower, wider and longer.

With a sloped roofline, optimized lift gate spoiler and strake, and efficient underbody, the all-new Escape is the most aerodynamic to date. Meanwhile, it sheds more than 200 pounds from the current model, due in part to the extensive use of high-strength, lightweight steel.

Every model in the lineup, whether powered by one of two EcoBoost® engines or the all-new hybrid powertrains, targets an EPA-estimated range of at least 400 miles per tank.** The standard hybrid with front-wheel drive targets best-in-class EPA-estimated range of more than 550 miles.*

Best-Performing Escape Ever

New powertrains and transmission systems, a reduction in weight, improved aerodynamics and updated suspension system all contribute to one undeniable fact: this is the best-performing, most fun-to-drive Escape ever.

Gas engine-powered models as well as the standard hybrid are available with all-wheel drive. EcoBoost-equipped models get a new quick-shifting 8-speed automatic transmission for smooth, responsive shifting, while every Escape receives an all-new suspension and improved isolation with a new isolated rear subframe.

“This new vehicle performs like no other Escape before,” said Jim Hughes, Escape chief program engineer. “It’s quick, it’s responsive and, in staying true to the standard set by three generations of Escapes before it, it’s a heck of a lot of fun to drive.”

The new 2.0-litre EcoBoost engine, available on Titanium, is projected to produce 250 horsepower and 275 lb.-ft. of torque using 93 octane fuel, while turning in a 0-60 mph time up to 10 percent faster than the outgoing Escape 2.0-litre. When properly configured, it is rated to tow 3,500 pounds.***

The all-new 1.5-litre EcoBoost, standard on S, SE and SEL, is projected to produce 180 horsepower and 177 lb.-ft. of torque using 93 octane fuel. When properly configured, it is rated to tow 2,000 pounds.*** To help conserve fuel, the 1.5-litre EcoBoost debuts cylinder deactivation, a Ford first for North America, which senses when one cylinder isn’t needed and shuts it down automatically. The system can activate or deactivate a cylinder in 14 milliseconds to maintain a smooth ride.

SE Sport and Titanium models come standard with Ford’s innovative fourth-generation hybrid propulsion system, which includes an all-new 2.5-litre Atkinson cycle hybrid engine and electronic continuously variable transmission. The front-wheel-drive hybrid model is projected to produce a combined system horsepower of 198, and a top speed of 85 mph in electric-only mode.

The plug-in hybrid variant, available on every trim level except S and SE Sport, projects a best-in-class EPA-estimated range of at least 30 miles in electric-only mode. Escape Plug-In Hybrid has a Level 1 / Level 2 AC charging port. Using a 110-volt Level 1 charge, the estimated time to fully charge the battery is 10 to 11 hours. Using a 240-volt Level 2 charge, charge time drops to roughly 3.5 hours.

Hybrid models feature four EV modes that allow customers to select the settings most suitable for their individual needs. This means:

  • In Auto EV mode, the vehicle decides whether to run on gas or electric power
  • In EV Now mode, drivers can operate on all-electric driving
  • In EV Later mode, drivers can switch to full gas-powered driving to conserve electric miles for later
  • In all-new EV Charge mode, drivers can continue to charge the battery while driving and generate electric-only miles to use later

Un-Rivaled Flexibility

Sliding second-row seats in gas engine-powered models allow rear-seat passengers to enjoy best-in-class maximum second-row legroom with the seats in the full rearward position, plus increased knee clearance and footwell length for a more comfortable ride.

With the second-row seats in the full forward position, the rear cargo area extends roughly six inches to offer 37.5 cubic feet of cargo space in gas engine-powered models (cargo and load capacity limited by weight and weight distribution). The cargo area was designed to accommodate four sets of golf clubs or a full-size dog crate.

The all-new Escape Hybrid packages its liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery smartly below the second-row seats rather than occupying a significant portion of the cargo area. The briefcase-shaped battery in the standard hybrid measures approximately one-third the size of the old Escape Hybrid battery.

Despite a slight drop in vehicle height and with the hybrid battery packaged below, the engineering team was able to increase headroom throughout. First- and second-row headroom, shoulder room and hip room all improve versus the current Escape.

Smartest Escape Ever

With a selectable drive mode system standard across the lineup, Escape makes it easy for Escape owners to create the ride experience they desire – or the one that conditions demand. Modes are tailored for normal, eco, sport and slippery, plus snow and sand conditions.

Titanium models are available with an all-new heads-up display, a first-for-Ford in North America. The feature that projects information onto a 6-inch screen, giving drivers easy access to important information such as vehicle speed without taking their eyes off the road.

Class-exclusive driver-assist technologies include available Active Park Assist 2.0 and Evasive Steering Assist. Active Park Assist 2.0 allows the driver to park in a parallel or perpendicular spot with the touch of a button, without having to work the steering wheel, gear shifter, gas or brake pedal. Evasive Steering Assist detects a slower-moving or stationary vehicle ahead and provides steering support that can assist the driver to avoid an imminent collision.****

Escape comes standard with Ford Co-Pilot360, and makes available other driver-assist features such as Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go and Lane-Centring.

FordPass Connect is a standard feature that provides 4G LTE Wi-Fi for up to 10 mobile devices with compatible wireless subscription service. FordPass Connect also gives drivers remote access to their Escape, allowing them to use their smartphone to lock, unlock, locate and start the vehicle, as well as monitor key vehicle diagnostics.

Drivers and passengers can keep compatible mobile devices charged with an available wireless charging pad in the front centre console. Also available are type A and type C USB charging ports as well as three 12-volt charging sockets.

An 8-inch touch screen – standard on SE models and above – shares information with the available 12.3-inch all-digital instrument cluster, which displays important vehicle information such as speedometer and fuel level. It uses 3D animated graphics to indicate the drive mode.

Available SYNC® 3 is compatible with available features such as Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Ford+Alexa and Waze navigation. For music lovers, Escape offers an available 575-watt 10-speaker B&O Sound System by Bang & Olufsen.

The all-new Escape, available in S, SE, SE Sport, SEL and Titanium series trim levels, is built at Louisville Assembly Plant in Kentucky. Vehicles are due to reach showrooms this fall. Plug-in hybrid units are due to arrive next spring.

History of Escape

Escape debuted on North American roads for the 2001 model year, introducing drivers to a unique blend of style, convenience, efficiency and capability. In its first full year on sale, Escape became America’s best-selling small SUV.

For the 2005 model year, Ford became the first U.S. manufacturer to offer a hybrid when it introduced the Escape Hybrid, the world’s first-ever hybrid SUV. Between 2004 and 2012, 114,000 Escape Hybrids were sold.

For the 2013 model year, Ford introduced a third-generation Escape, with European styling shared with its global cousin, Kuga. The change proved popular, and Escape remained one of the top-selling vehicles in the Ford showroom – and in the fast-growing small SUV segment. To date, Ford has sold more than 4.5 million Escapes in North America; more than 98 percent of them are still on the road today.***** Escape is the company’s second best-selling vehicle in the United States, trailing only F-Series.

NEW FORD F-SERIES SUPER DUTY PICKUP RAISES BAR AGAIN WITH NEXT-LEVEL CAPABILITY, POWER AND TECHNOLOGY

By jfawler | Posted in New Ford Vehicles on Wednesday, February 13th, 2019 at 8:47 PM

  • Next-level capability: New 2020 F-Series Super Duty will offer its highest-ever conventional, gooseneck and fifth-wheel towing and payload ratings
  • Next-level power: Most powerful Super Duty yet launches with two new engine offerings including all-new advanced 7.3-litre gasoline V8 and upgraded third-generation 6.7-litre Power Stroke® diesel V8; all-new heavy-duty 10-speed TorqShift® automatic transmission
  • Next-level technology: New F-Series Super Duty now offers class-exclusive Pro Trailer Backup Assist, while its Trailer Reverse Guidance is now compatible with fifth-wheel and gooseneck trailers; standard FordPass Connect with 4G LTE modem and available wireless charging keep you connected; smart driver-assist features such as automatic emergency braking are standard on XLT series and above

DEARBORN, Mich., Feb. 5, 2019 – Ford, America’s truck leader, introduces the next level of Built Ford Tough heavy-duty pickup truck capability, power and technology with the new 2020 F-Series Super Duty pickup.

“Super Duty customers have demanding and diverse needs – from towing heavy trailers to repairing critical infrastructure,” said Kumar Galhotra, Ford president, North America. “Productivity is their lifeblood and their truck is their biggest tool. Our new Super Duty has more power, more payload and towing capability and better technology than ever to help these customers build a better world.”

F-Series Super Duty had the most market share in industries such as government with more than 60 percent share, petroleum with 50 percent share and utility services with more than 45 percent share, according to Ford analysis of IHS Markit TIPNet U.S. registration data, January 2017 through November 2018. Assembled in the United States, Ford’s F-Series Super Duty is built with pride at both Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville and Ohio Assembly Plant in Avon Lake.

New F-Series Super Duty improvements include new gas and diesel engines, an all-new 10-speed automatic transmission, chassis upgrades, exterior and interior design updates, and smart advanced technology that raises the bar again in towing, payload and connectivity.

All-new powertrains for improved performance and capability

An all-new Ford-designed and Ford-built 7.3-litre V8 joins the standard 6.2-litre V8 in Super Duty’s gas engine stable. The Ford-designed and Ford-built third-generation 6.7-litre Power Stroke® diesel V8 is upgraded to deliver more power and torque. An all-new Ford-designed and Ford-built 10-speed heavy-duty TorqShift® automatic transmission is paired with the 7.3-litre V8 and third-generation 6.7-litre Power Stroke® diesel V8. Ford is the only manufacturer to design and build all of its heavy-duty engine and transmission combinations – ensuring the powertrain works seamlessly with all chassis components and vehicle calibrations.

“With the addition of the 7.3-litre V8, upgrades to our 6.7-litre and the debut of an all-new 10-speed transmission, we are delivering the strongest, most capable Super Duty powertrain offerings yet,” said Mike Pruitt, Ford Super Duty chief engineer.

The 7.3-litre gas V8 engine delivers high performance in a compact package. Based on decades of commercial engine experience, this 7.3-litre is expected to be the most powerful gas V8 in its class – providing durability, ease of maintenance, and the towing and payload capability customers want. It uses an all-new cam-in-block, overhead valve architecture with cast iron block and forged steel crankshaft for maximum durability. Port injection with variable-valve timing optimizes the intake and exhaust to match performance with workloads. Oil jets cool the pistons under heavy loads.

Super Duty’s third-generation 6.7-litre Power Stroke includes a new 36,000-psi fuel injection system with all-new injectors that precisely meter and spray up to eight times per stroke to control noise levels and optimize combustion. This innovative inboard exhaust diesel V8 features a redesigned electronic-actuated variable-geometry turbocharger that provides improved pumping efficiency and throttle response. Structural enhancements increase the strength of the cylinder head, block, connecting rods and bearings to handle higher cylinder pressure and increased output. New steel pistons provide higher firing pressure capability and less friction – meaning improved performance and more horsepower and torque than ever.

The truck’s standard 6.2-litre gas V8 rounds out the three engine choices for Super Duty customers. This workhorse offers heavy-duty truck customers proven capability at an affordable price.

Ford is making its all-new 10-speed TorqShift automatic transmission available across all three Super Duty engine offerings for the new 2020 model. This TorqShift features a wider gear ratio span than the 6-speed and is designed for the harshest towing conditions. The heavy-duty transmission continues to offer class-exclusive live-drive power takeoff, which allows the operator to engage industrial equipment and accessories, such as snowplows, with the truck in motion.

This electronically controlled transmission has selectable drive modes that include normal, tow/haul, eco, slippery, and deep sand and snow. The entire unit is so cleverly engineered that – even with four extra gears – it fits in the same space as the 6-speed and weighs only 3.5 pounds more.

Technology that assists and improves productivity

For 2020, class-exclusive new Pro Trailer Backup Assist makes negotiating even the largest trailers into the tightest of spaces easier than ever before. With hands off the steering wheel, drivers use the Pro Trailer Backup Assist knob to easily steer the trailer via the reverse camera. The truck’s Trailer Reverse Guidance system shows trailer angle and direction, and provides steering suggestions to most efficiently direct a trailer backward. Both systems are built to accommodate all trailer styles, including fifth-wheel and gooseneck trailers.

Because today’s work is a 24/7 proposition, staying connected is essential. Every new 2020 Super Duty includes FordPass Connect embedded 4G LTE modem with Wi-Fi access for up to 10 devices, keeping crews in communication no matter where the job might take them.

Available lane-keeping alert helps you stay between the lines on the road, while the Blind Spot Information System with trailer coverage monitors for vehicles in your blind spots – even when towing. Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking aids in avoiding or mitigating collisions with other vehicles. These features are standard on XLT and above Super Duty models. Modern touches include the addition of wireless charging and USB-C ports to power your devices.


Powerful upgrades inside and out

Across the range, an enhanced front-end design allows for optimized cooling and lighting performance under heavy loads. For the first time, all dual-rear-wheel Super Duty trucks are fitted with a uniquely designed high-airflow grille optimized for maximum powertrain cooling.

Super Duty’s LED headlamps have a new look with improved performance, while high series trucks feature continuous signature lighting. An improved front bumper and air dam optimize cooling and make using utility hooks easier. A freshened tailgate design, revised tail lamps and new rear bumper convey bolder Built Ford Tough style.

Decorative appliqués on the doors and media bin door have been updated on Lariat, while on Platinum edition trucks, these pieces have been updated to Onyx Argento wood. The interior of the Limited model is completely refreshed, with colours updated to Ebony and Highland Tan to provide a refined, modern feel. Limited features authentic materials like genuine leather, a coarse ash wood in black and modern brushed aluminum trim. Crafted details include decorative stitching on the leather-wrapped instrument panel topper, wrapped door armrests, seating and centre console lid, and an embroidered Super Duty logo added to the floor mats. A soft headliner in Miko® suede is intended to give the cabin an expansive feel.


Tested to Built Ford Tough standards

The new F-Series Super Duty debuts as the most tested pickup in the company’s history. It endured more than 12 million miles of testing for the 2017 model year, which was increased by an additional 7 million miles for 2020 to ensure the new Super Duty can stand up to the rigors the most exacting truck customers demand of it. This torture includes running the truck around the clock under the most extreme loads and through all kinds of environmental conditions using dynos, test tracks and public roads. Because the testing surfaces and durability test tracks are so punishing, many of the miles are run using robot drivers that can handle the abuse better than humans to ensure every F-Series truck is Built Ford Tough.

Ford’s new 2020 F-Series Super Duty will start shipping to dealers this fall.

By jfawler | Posted in News on Wednesday, January 16th, 2019 at 8:30 PM

  • Alliance leverages the two global automakers’ strengths to better compete, innovate and serve customers
  • Alliance does not involve cross-ownership between the two companies
  • Companies to first deliver medium pickup trucks for global customers, aiming to start in 2022, and intend to follow with commercial vans in Europe
  • Van and pickup agreements are targeted to deliver scale and efficiencies for each company starting in 2023
  • Volkswagen and Ford also are committed to exploring potential collaboration on EVs, autonomous vehicles and mobility services

DETROIT, Jan. 15, 2019 – Volkswagen AG and Ford Motor Company today announced the first formal agreements in a broad alliance that positions the companies to boost competitiveness and better serve customers in an era of rapid change in the industry.

Volkswagen CEO Dr. Herbert Diess and Ford CEO Jim Hackett confirmed that the companies intend to develop commercial vans and medium-sized pickups for global markets beginning as early as 2022. The alliance will drive significant scale and efficiencies and enable both companies to share investments in vehicle architectures that deliver distinct capabilities and technologies.

The companies estimate the commercial van and pickup cooperation will yield improved annual pre-tax operating results, starting in 2023.

In addition, Volkswagen and Ford have signed a memorandum of understanding to investigate collaboration on autonomous vehicles, mobility services and electric vehicles and have started to explore opportunities. Both companies also said they were open to considering additional vehicle programs in the future. The teams will continue working through details in the coming months.

“Over time, this alliance will help both companies create value and meet the needs of our customers and society,” Hackett said. “It will not only drive significant efficiencies and help both companies improve their fitness, but also gives us the opportunity to collaborate on shaping the next era of mobility.”

Diess added: “Volkswagen and Ford will harness our collective resources, innovation capabilities and complementary market positions to even better serve millions of customers around the world. At the same time, the alliance will be a cornerstone for our drive to improve competitiveness.”

The alliance, which does not entail cross-ownership between the two companies, will be governed by a joint committee. This committee will be led by Hackett and Diess and will include senior executives from both companies.
Commercial van and pickup collaboration


Ford and Volkswagen both have strong commercial van and pickup businesses around the globe, with popular nameplates such as the Ford Transit family and Ranger as well as the Volkswagen Transporter, Caddy and Amarok.

The companies’ collective light commercial vehicle volumes from 2018 totaled approximately 1.2 million units globally, which could represent the industry’s highest-volume collaboration as production scales.

Demand for both medium pickups and commercial vans is expected to grow globally in the next five years. The alliance will enable the companies to share development costs, leverage their respective manufacturing capacity, boost the capability and competitiveness of their vehicles and deliver cost efficiencies, while maintaining distinct brand characteristics.

Through the alliance, Ford will engineer and build medium-sized pickups for both companies which are expected to go to market as early as 2022. For both parties, Ford intends to engineer and build larger commercial vans for European customers, and Volkswagen intends to develop and build a city van.

About Volkswagen Group

The Volkswagen Group with its headquarters in Wolfsburg is one of the world’s leading automobile manufacturers and the largest carmaker in Europe. The product spectrum ranges from motorcycles to small cars and luxury vehicles. In the commercial vehicle sector, the products include ranges from pick-ups, buses and heavy trucks. The Group operates 120 production plants in 20 European countries and a further 11 countries in the Americas, Asia and Africa. Every weekday, around 642,292 employees worldwide produce nearly 44,170 vehicles, and work in vehicle-related services or other fields of business.www.volkswagenag.com.

ALL-NEW FORD EXPLORER GOES FASTER AND FURTHER WITH PERFORMANCE-TUNED ST AND NO-COMPROMISE HYBRID

By jfawler | Posted in New Ford Vehicles on Monday, January 14th, 2019 at 11:18 PM

  • Following the reveal of the all-new Ford Explorer at Ford Field, Detroit last week, two all-new family members join the model’s broadest-ever lineup – Explorer ST and Explorer Hybrid
  • All-new Explorer ST, the newest SUV from Ford Performance, is the most fun-to-drive and powerful Explorer ever with a specially tuned 3.0-litre EcoBoost® engine projected to make 400 horsepower and 415 lb.-ft. of torque and reach a targeted top track speed of 143 mph
  • All-new Explorer Hybrid is a no-compromise Ford hybrid SUV designed to offer performance and capability in a fuel-efficient package; 3.3-litre hybrid powertrain produces 318 combined system horsepower and is projected to return an EPA-estimated range of more than 500 miles between gas station fill-ups in the rear-wheel-drive model

DETROIT, Jan. 14, 2019 – Completing its broadest-ever lineup of Explorer SUVs, Ford today revealed two all-new models that will take Explorer drivers faster and further than ever before.

The all-new Explorer ST and the all-new Explorer Hybrid complete a lineup that includes a variety of driver and passenger comforts, an array of technologies that improve every drive, and new powertrain options that deliver power and efficiency.

The new Explorer family, which follows on the heels of Ford’s hot-selling new Expedition, goes on sale this summer. As America’s favourite SUV, Explorer will set the pace for the rest of the Ford’s utility lineup, which continues growing this year with an all-new Escape – and more.

“This new generation of Explorer recognizes that every family – and every driver – is unique,” said Hau Thai-Tang, Ford executive vice president, product development and purchasing. “With an all-new ST and an all-new hybrid, there truly is an Explorer for every adventure.”

These latest additions to the all-new Explorer family – built at the Ford Chicago Assembly Plant – will join base, XLT, Limited and Platinum models in showrooms.

ST thrills continue with all-new Explorer ST

Continuing the expansion of the ST brand, the all-new Explorer ST is the most powerful and fun-to-drive Ford SUV ever.

Engineered by the Ford Performance team, Explorer ST uses a specially tuned 3.0-litre EcoBoost® engine projected to achieve 400 horsepower and 415 lb.-ft. of torque. A top speed target for track drivers stands at 143 mph.

“We designed it to be an ST from the beginning,” said Ed Krenz, Ford Performance chief functional engineer. “There’s no mistaking its ST DNA. It has a performance feel with sustained performance capability and wears an unmistakably ST appearance. More than anything, it’s just a hell of a lot of fun to drive.”

Explorer ST delivers an engaging driving experience with a quick-shifting 10-speed automatic transmission and standard four-wheel drive with selectable traction control. Available upgrades include an ST Street Pack and an ST Track Pack. Both have 21-inch aluminum wheels with differing levels of performance brakes and feature larger vented rotors, red-painted brake callipers with stainless steel pistons, and larger brake pads for even better stopping power.

As with Edge ST, Explorer ST offers a Sport mode for an exhilarating ride. When engaged via the selectable drive mode dial in the centre console, the steering system tightens for sportier reaction, the gas pedal responds more aggressively, gears hold longer and shift quicker, and an enhanced engine note plays through the cabin.

Visually, Explorer ST stands out courtesy of a black mesh grille insert, liftgate appliqué, lower bodyside details, roof-rack side rails and skid plate elements. “EXPLORER” badging stretches across the front edge of the hood.

Inside, a 12.3-inch all-digital instrument cluster is standard. A flat-bottomed, heated steering wheel embossed with an ST logo and unique floor mats are subtle cues exclusive to Explorer ST. Leather sport bucket seats with micro-perforation, City Silver accent stitching and ST logo complete the sporty feel.

Explorer ST comes standard with a Class III Trailer Tow Package with Cargo Management System and Active Park Assist 2.0 – Ford’s new driver-assist parking system that takes control of the steering wheel, gas pedal, brake pedal and gear shifter during parallel and perpendicular parking maneuvers with a simple touch of a button.

Explorer Hybrid offers no-compromise efficiency

Ford is reinventing the standard for hybrids – introducing an entirely new generation of vehicles this year that bring out the best in hybrid capability with great performance and the freedom to go further.

The all-new Explorer Hybrid, which features a 3.3-litre hybrid powertrain, is projected to produce a combined system 318 horsepower. An EPA-estimated range of more than 500 miles between gas station fill-ups is targeted for the rear-wheel-drive model*.

An all-new 10-speed modular hybrid transmission provides SUV capability. Unlike previous hybrid vehicles, a specially designed liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery is built into the Explorer chassis below the second-row seats to preserve cargo and passenger space.

“Reduced cargo space in hybrids is a thing of the past for Ford customers,” said Bill Gubing, Explorer chief engineer.

Available in Limited edition trim, Explorer Hybrid comes with Active Noise Cancellation, Ford Co-Pilot360 Assist+™ driver-assist technologies, leather seats with micro-perforation and accent stitching, second-row heated seats, a 14-speaker B&O premium sound system, wireless phone charging pad and 10-way power adjustable driver and front passenger seats.

*Actual range will vary. Final EPA-estimated ratings available in the 2019 calendar year.

2020 FORD EXPLORER – REDESIGNED FROM THE GROUND UP

By jfawler | Posted in New Ford Vehicles on Thursday, January 10th, 2019 at 3:47 PM


Ford today introduces its all-new 2020 Explorer – a complete redesign of America’s all-time best-selling SUV – that now features the broadest model lineup ever, more power and space, and smart new technologies to help tackle life’s adventures.

Explorer is now more capable, comfortable, sportier and roomier in all three rows thanks to Ford’s flexible new rear-wheel-drive architecture. The strengths of the all-new Ford Explorer were showcased at a special reveal event for employees, fans, dealers, suppliers, government officials and media today at Ford Field in Detroit, where Ford brought to life how it can help American families get the most out of their road trips. The all-new SUV arrives this summer.

“Explorer drivers told us what they want – more capability, more power, more space,” said Hau Thai-Tang, Ford’s head of product development and purchasing. “They want more technology, not just for the driver, but for the whole family. And they want all of it with a beautifully sporty exterior. This new Explorer gives them all of that, and more, helping make every journey more enjoyable.”

Improved off-road capability comes courtesy of intelligent four-wheel drive and an available new Terrain Management System that features seven easy-to-engage drive modes. Powertrain offerings include a 3.0-litre turbocharged EcoBoost® V6 projected to produce 365 horsepower and 380 lb.-ft. of torque using 93-octane gas, making this the most powerful Explorer ever. The Explorer lineup now features standard, XLT, Limited, Limited Hybrid, ST and Platinum models.

The all-new Explorer comes packed with more than a dozen new standard features for only $400 more over the previous model. Standard features include a power liftgate, 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine with all-new 10-speed transmission, 8-inch digital touch screen with SYNC® 3, FordPass Connect Wi-Fi service for up to 10 devices and more.

Owners will find design and engineering updates throughout that deliver comfort and SUV functionality. Explorer’s stylish, sloped-roof silhouette protects rear-seat headroom, while its comfort-enhanced second-row seats slide to improve access to the third row.

“We obsessed about what Explorer customers need and want,” said Bill Gubing, Explorer chief engineer. “We met with customer groups, pored through internet forums, and dissected social media posts to determine what they love about today’s Explorer and understand their pain points. Then we found ways to improve it across the board. Every enhancement on this all-new Explorer was inspired by our customers.”

Technology designed to heighten the experience of traveling

Building upon Ford’s push to bring more driver-assist technology to market, the all-new Explorer introduces available Active Park Assist 2.0. The class-exclusive feature – standard on Explorer Platinum – allows the driver to park in a parallel or perpendicular spot with a touch of a button without having to work the steering wheel, gear shifter, gas pedal or brake pedal. Available reverse brake assist, also standard on Platinum, uses radar and ultrasonic sensors to detect an object in Explorer’s path, and can apply the brakes automatically to avoid an imminent collision when the vehicle is backing up at a low speed – such as when exiting a driveway.

Explorer also is available with Ford’s all-new Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control with Speed Sign Recognition. In addition to automatically slowing when traffic ahead slows and helping keep the vehicle centred in its lane, the system uses cameras to read speed signs and, combined with the available navigation system, adjusts cruise control settings accordingly.

Explorer comes standard with Ford Co-Pilot360, a suite of driver-assist technologies including:

  • Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking, which includes Pedestrian Detection, Forward Collision Warning and Dynamic Brake Support
  • Blind Spot Information System with Cross-Traffic Alert
  • Lane-Keeping System
  • Rearview camera with built-in lens cleaner
  • Auto headlamps with auto high-beams

Other available Ford Co-Pilot360 technologies include Evasive Steering Assist, which provides steering support to help avoid a collision; and Post-Impact Braking provides braking after a collision to lessen injury and damage caused by a secondary crash event.

“It’s not about filling the vehicle with technology for technology’s sake,” said Chris Billman, Ford Co-Pilot360 engineering manager. “It’s about improving the experience, making driving less stressful, and helping the driver to feel more confident behind the wheel.”

Passengers in all three rows will enjoy FordPass Connect, a standard feature that serves up 4G LTE Wi-Fi for up to 10 mobile devices with a compatible wireless subscription service. FordPass Connect gives drivers remote access to their Explorer, allowing them to use their smartphone to lock, unlock, locate and start the vehicle, as well as monitor key vehicle diagnostics.

Explorer features an available 10.1-inch touch screen mounted in portrait configuration on the centre stack. Navigation maps can fill the entire screen for easy viewing, or split the space with audio information. The screen uses capacitive glass comparable to what consumers are accustomed to on smartphones and tablets, providing a quicker, more responsive interaction with the updated SYNC 3 system. Standard SYNC 3’s more intuitive layout gives drivers compatibility with available features such as Apple CarPlay®, Android Auto® and Waze navigation.

A wireless charging pad is available that allows customers to recharge compatible mobile devices, and up to four USB ports, including new type-C outlets, charge next-generation mobile devices. Up to three 12-volt outlets and a 110-volt outlet are also available.

For music lovers, Explorer offers an available 980-watt, 14-speaker B&O premium audio system. Access to SiriusXM satellite radio is standard and comes with new touch screen graphics and functionality – including a display of the day’s sports scores. HD Radio is standard on Limited and Platinum models.

The touch screen shares information with the available 12.3-inch all-digital instrument cluster, which displays important vehicle information such as speedometer and gas gauge. It uses 3D animated graphics to change information depending on which of the seven drive modes are selected using the available Terrain Management System.

Meticulously recrafted to be the best Explorer ever

Ford’s recipe for Explorer has always relied on three main ingredients – capability, comfort and design. The new rear-wheel-drive architecture enables bumper-to-bumper improvements that include an even more athletic appearance, increased capability and the best passenger accommodations in an Explorer ever.

The powerful new engine lineup features a pair of EcoBoost entries – a 2.3-litre turbocharged I-4 that comes standard on base, XLT and Limited models, and a 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged V6 that powers Explorer Platinum. The reinvigorated 2.3-litre engine is projected to produce 300 horsepower and 310 lb.-ft. of torque, with improved performance over the outgoing Explorer equipped with the same engine.

“A vehicle like Explorer can’t just be good-looking,” said Craig Patterson, Ford SUV marketing manager. “Explorer customers need it to do certain things. They need to be able to drive certain places and haul specific items. This Explorer performs no matter what adventures you have in store.”

Up to seven selectable drive modes are available for customers to tailor their drive experience to road, weather and terrain conditions on demand. Rear-wheel-only Explorer drive modes include normal, sport, trail, slippery, tow/haul and eco. Vehicles equipped with intelligent four-wheel drive add a deep snow and sand mode for improved performance off-road.

Rear-wheel drive also enables more towing capability when properly equipped, regardless of engine. Vehicles equipped with a 3.0-litre EcoBoost can tow up to 5,600 pounds, a 12 percent increase over outgoing models with 3.5-litre EcoBoost. New models outfitted with a 2.3-litre EcoBoost and Class III Trailer Tow Package can tow up to 5,300 pounds, versus the 3,000 pounds today’s similarly equipped Explorer is capable of.

Hauling boats and trailers was certainly a priority for the Explorer team, but so was accommodating smaller items such as everyday drink bottles and cellphones. With every detail scrutinized, the new Explorer can boast 123 cubic litres of stowage space throughout the cabin, giving passengers in all three rows no shortage of places to stow personal items.

Available PowerFold® third-row seats and new E-Z entry second-row seats let drivers create a flat-floor cargo area that stretches out to offer 87.8 cubic feet of cargo space – wide enough to fit standard 4-foot building materials, depending on seating configuration. Accommodating families of all sizes, second-row seats feature a new mechanism that allows for easy entrance and exit to the third row using just one hand. Redesigned ISOFIX anchor points allow child seat installation anywhere in the second and third rows. Second-row windows are equipped with available retractable sunshades.

A stylish, modern design that is pure Explorer

A number of consistent design qualities have helped define Explorer over the past 29 years, and the design team strived to hold on to these important pieces of heritage. Longtime traits – including Explorer’s blacked-out A-pillars and D-pillars and body-colour C-pillars – are retained. Changes to the overall profile include a more sloping roofline and shorter front overhang, giving the vehicle a sportier, more stylish appearance.

Explorer comes standard with 18-inch painted aluminum wheels, but across the lineup drivers can opt for one of seven wheel designs, including 21-inch premium aluminum wheels available on Platinum models. Other Platinum differentiators include door handles with satin aluminum insert, liftgate appliqué, lower bodyside cladding insert, roof-rack side rails and a unique grille with satin aluminum finish.

Platinum models also feature a standard twin-panel moonroof, which allows light to flood the most comfortable Explorer cabin ever. Explorer Platinum includes special leather seats, plus leather-wrapped steering wheel, dashboard, door rollovers, and door and front console armrests.

The all-new Explorer is manufactured at Chicago Assembly Plant. New vehicles are due in showrooms this summer.

5 REASONS TO SWITCH TO WINTER TIRES

By jfawler | Posted in Tips & Tricks on Thursday, December 6th, 2018 at 5:51 PM

Winter is officially here and it’s time to face the cold hard facts: Is your vehicle prepared?

One of the most important things to consider when adapting to the colder climate is your vehicle’s tires. Having winter tires installed on your vehicle carries many advantages, including these 5:

1. Winter Tires Can Improves Your Stopping Distance

Special tread designs on winter tires help improve grip with the surface, allowing the vehicle to stop faster on snow and ice.

2. Winter Tires Can Provide Better Handling & Control

Winter tires can handle corners better than all-season tires in winter conditions.

3. Winter Tires Are Not Just For Ice & Snow

Soft rubber compounds remain flexible for better handling when temperates drop below 7º Celsius.

4. Winter Tires Can Save You Money

Many insurance companies provide discounts when winter tires are installed on vehicles, saving you money now and over time! Plus changing tires seasonally reduces wear on your original tires, helping extend the life and value of both sets of tires!

5. Vehicles With AWD/4WD Benefit From Winter Tires Too

All Wheel Drive or 4 Wheel Drive can help accelerate in winter conditions, but winter tires provide traction to help any vehicle corner and stop in ice and snow.

Does your vehicle have the right shoes on to combat the winter elements? If not, let our Parts Department show you all of your available options to make sure you have a safe and happy Holiday Season.

WHICH IS MORE SLIPPERY – LEAVES OR SNOW? FORD ENGINEERS REVEAL THE SURPRISING ANSWER

By Product Expert | Posted in Tips & Tricks on Wednesday, November 28th, 2018 at 12:48 PM

  • If you’ve ever found yourself skidding on leaves you’ll know that on the road – especially in the autumn – they can be a significant hazard for drivers
  • Ford engineers wanted to find out how they compared to snow, and came up with a smart way to find out
  • On the new Ford Focus Active, new “Slippery Mode” helps to reduce or mitigate skidding or swerving, especially for more slippery surfaces

They may be a crucial ingredient in creating the stunning autumnal landscapes so beloved by photographers, but in certain situations – when they are wet and in multiple layers – leaves can present a significant danger to drivers.

Those in the know have long compared the effect to driving on snow. But could the humble leaf really be as slippery as the white stuff? A group of Ford engineers have come up with an answer – after conducting a unique experiment in order to find out.

Getting the data for the snow was the easy part. This was sourced from vehicle testing in snowy Scandinavian locations. But there was no research to show how slippery leaves were. To fix that, the team gathered bags of leaves and used them to cover the test track at the company’s proving ground in Belgium. They then called in the help of a friction-testing device that identifies how slippery surfaces are by rolling over them.

After testing they did indeed find that, in certain situations, the leaves were as slippery as snow.

“It was fun to conduct the experiment but there was a serious point,” said Eddy Kasteel, development engineer, Ford of Europe. “Most people know to slow down and drive more cautiously for snow. But far fewer of us give the same respect to roads covered in leaves – that can be just as slippery.”

Slipperiness is measured in units called µ. The more slippery the surface the lower the number. In testing, and at their most slippery, the leaves measured a µ level between 0.3 and 0.4. Typically, the same µ levels observed on snow surfaces

The same engineers helped to develop “Slippery Mode” for the all-new Ford Focus Active crossover that goes on sale next month. Designed to improve traction on surfaces including ice snow and wet leaves, the system makes rapid readjustments to stability systems, acceleration and braking to help prevent the car from skidding, swerving or deviating from its intended path.

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