The light-duty F-150 may be the MVP of the Ford truck roster, but there also are plenty of fan favorites on the heavy-duty side of the ball, and that popularity is paying off for the folks who build the 2015 Ford F-Series Super Duty. That’s because the Blue Oval’s Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville will welcome 350 jobs and an $80 million investment to build more models of the F-250, F-350, F-450 and F-550. “Customer demand for F-Series Super Duty trucks is growing substantially, and F-Series overall is America’s best-selling truck for 37 years running,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford president of The Americas. “Building on more than 100 years of manufacturing in Kentucky, we are proud to expand our profitable growth in the region as a result of our leadership in trucks and SUVs.” Another result: Backed by the increased production capability, the plant is expected to produce the 5-millionth Super Duty truck later in 2014, an achievement that’s taken fewer than 15 years. Of course, it also will help that the 2015 Ford F-Series Super Duty benefits from a major powertrain overhaul, thanks to the debut of the next-gen 6.7-liter Power Stroke V-8 turbodiesel that serves up more torque, more horsepower and more towing capability than the previous engine. Added Jimmy Settles, UAW vice president, National Ford Department: “We are happy to be adding new jobs at Kentucky Truck Plant, because we know the impact these jobs will have on the local community. It’s especially rewarding to know these jobs come as a result of customer demand. It shows customers understand and appreciate the dedication our UAW Ford workers put into delivering top-quality products like Ford F-Series Super Duty.” (Note: Along with the 2015 Ford F-Series Super Duty, the automaker’s Kentucky Truck Plant also will build the 2015 Ford Expedition and the significantly redesigned 2015 Lincoln Navigator.) Source: http://media.ford.com/content/fordmedia/fna/us/en/news/2014/01/30/ford-invests–80-million–creates-350-jobs-at-kentucky-truck-pla.html Written by Charles Krome. Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company.
Engineers are hard at work perfecting the redesigned 2015 Ford F-150, but they could use some help with the finishing touches. So, Ford is sending out the call to truck lovers, asking them to describe how they would put the new F-150 through its paces. Even better: One of those folks will go beyond describing the process and actually get behind the wheel of a new 2015 Ford F-150 to go through it. It’s part of the automaker’s “You Test” campaign, which will see as many as five lucky Ford fans star in a YouTube video while running the F-150 through their personally designed proving grounds. Entries will be accepted at www.BuiltToughTest.com through May 31, 2014, with the winner(s) to be named before Sept. 1, 2014. The 2015 Ford F-150 will reach dealerships soon after that, raising the bar for capability, style and efficiency, while also lowering its curb weight by up to 700 lbs. The key difference-maker here will be the truck’s extensive use of aluminum instead of steel for body panels. The former is much lighter than the latter, yet still delivers the robust strength demanded of a full-size pickup—as the You Test campaign will show. “We prove every day our trucks are Built Ford Tough—now we’re asking truck customers to help us prove it too,” said Eric Peterson, Ford F-150 marketing manager. “We’re looking for people who know how to punish a truck. Built Ford Tough isn’t just a tagline; it’s the philosophy that drives us every day to make the best trucks out there, and it’s what has made F-Series the No. 1 truck for nearly 40 years.” Source: https://media.ford.com/content/fordmedia/fna/us/en/news/2014/01/30/you-test-it–ford-offers-opportunity-to-be-among-first-people-be.html Written by Charles Krome. Photo courtesy of Ford.
The best-selling vehicle nameplate in the world is worn by the 2014 Ford Focus, which led the industry in sales registrations through the third quarter of 2013. According to the latest data from the experts at Polk, customers around the world registered 856,587 Focus models during that time, representing a 16.1 percent jump in volume over the same period in 2012. Further, the Focus expanded its lead over the No. 2 entry to 75,000 registrations. Among the key enablers of that performance: The company’s decision to unify the Focus platform in markets across the world as part of the One Ford strategy. Said Jim Farley, Ford executive vice president of global marketing, sales and service and Lincoln: “Our success with Focus serving more and more customers around the world underscores the strength of our One Ford plan. We remain absolutely committed to developing a full family of vehicles that, like Focus, offer outstanding quality, fuel efficiency, safety, smart design and value.” In fact, as a perfect example of the global popularity of the 2014 Ford Focus, the car’s top market through the first nine months of 2013 was China, where customers pushed up registrations by 85 percent on the strength of 303,481 registrations. But it’s not just the Focus that’s benefiting from the company’s new international approach. The 2014 Ford Fiesta joined the Focus on the global top-5 list for the period in question, thanks to 545,968 registrations of its own. Both the 2014 Ford Focus and Fiesta remain on sale in the United States, of course, with the former priced from $16,810 and the latter starting at $14,100. Source: http://media.ford.com/content/fordmedia/fna/us/en/news/2014/01/27/double-digit-growth-strengthens-ford-focus-lead-as-best-selling-.html Written by Charles Krome. Photo courtesy of Ford.
With incredible headroom and legroom in all three rows, the 2014 Ford Transit Connect just scored a most fitting honor: It was endorsed as “the perfect vehicle for the vertically gifted” by the Chicago chapter of Tall Clubs International—a global organization for men and women of at least 6’ and 5’10”, respectively. “People of a certain stature have to make special considerations for head and leg room when out buying a new car,” said Brian Comeno, president of Tall Clubs International. “Car shopping is very tough, and if you are concerned about fuel efficiency, smaller is sometimes the way to go. “The Transit Connect provides both comfort and fuel efficiency, giving people who are vertically gifted important factors that go into purchasing a new vehicle.” In fact, looking at headroom alone, the 2014 Ford Transit Connect offers first-/second-/third-row dimensions of 46.8 in./45.1 in./41.3 in. That compares to headroom dimensions of 41-in./39.7-in./38.3-in. in a traditional Toyota minivan. Then, in terms of fuel efficiency, the 2014 Ford Transit Connect Wagon also delivers EcoBoost-enabled EPA marks of 22 mpg city/29 mpg highway/25 mpg combined. No mainstream minivan could top 22 mpg when this story went to press. “People who are vertically gifted can’t just go out and buy any vehicle they want,” continued Comeno. “The Transit Connect is much more in tune with providing comfort, as well as fuel efficiency and of course, fun.” Priced from $22,000, the 2014 Ford Transit Connect Wagon will be available to drivers of all sizes early this year. Source: http://media.ford.com/content/fordmedia/fna/us/en/news/2014/01/24/all-new-ford-transit-connect-endorsed-by-tall-clubs-internationa.html Written by Charles Krome. Photo courtesy of Ford.
The first 2015 Ford Mustang GT fastback, helping celebrate the Mustang’s first 50 years on the market, sold for $300,000 at a recent Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Arizona. All proceeds from the winning bid will go to the JDRF, which is the leading global organization for funding of type 1 diabetes research. Barrett-Jackson’s 2015 Ford Mustang GT goes into the books as part of an extensive roster of past pony cars auctioned for charity, including an all-time auction top-10 list of: 1967 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Super Snake fastback : An MSRP of $8,000 was deemed too high to put this car into production in 1967, so the only one ever built brought $1.3 million when it crossed the auction block in 2013. 1967 Ford Mustang fastback : In 2013, a bidder paid $1.07 million for the star car of the remake of “Gone in 60 Seconds,” which came out in 2000. 1965 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R fastback : One of just 34 GT350s prepared for the 1965 motorsports season by Shelby American, this example went for $$990,000 in 2012. 1969 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 convertible : Carroll Shelby’s own convertible had surpassed 70,000 miles before being auctioned for $742,000 in 2008. 2007 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 coupe : Earning $648,000 in 2006, the first GT500 of its generation set fresh records for power and speed; although they’ve since been eclipsed by current models. 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429 Sportsroof coupe : Forget the roof, this Boss was one of the first 50 powered by the “820-S” NASCAR engine, and went home for $605,000 at a 2007 charity event. 2007 Ford Shelby GT Mustang coupe : The revived Hertz rent-a-racer reeled in a $600,000 bid at auction in 2007. 2008 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500KR coupe : A king’s ransom of $550,000 was the take for the first “King of the Road” production model, auctioned in 2008. 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429 Sportsroof coupe : Configured for drag racing, yet still with the factory plastic wrap on its seats, this low-mileage model went under the hammer in 2013 for $555,000. 1965 Ford Shelby GT350 Supercharged fastback : This one-of-a-kind prototype previewed new style upgrades for the 1965 production car and proved worthy of a $528,000 winning bid in 2007. Sources: https://media.ford.com/content/fordmedia/fna/us/en/news/2014/01/17/first-retail-2015-ford-mustang-gt-could-join-the-list-of-most-va.html and https://media.ford.com/content/fordmedia/fna/us/en/news/2014/01/20/first-retail-unit-2015-ford-mustang-gt-fastback-sells-for-300.html Written by Charles Krome. Photo courtesy of Ford.
It turns out that not only is the newest Ford Mustang on display at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, so is the oldest. Positioned at the gateway to the Blue Oval’s exhibit, the 1962 Ford Mustang I Concept was the first car to bear the “Mustang” moniker, as well as the first to wear the now iconic “galloping pony” badge. But while a few other styling cues to migrate to the much-loved pony car, the Ford Mustang I Concept was definitely a horse of another color. The radical-looking roadster wrapped a sleek and futuristic aluminum skin around a tubular-steel space frame, with its two seats mounted directly to that structure. As a result, the Ford Mustang I boasted ahead-of-its-time adjustable pedals and an adjustable steering wheel. Motivation for the Mustang I came from a 1.5-liter V-4 engine that was borrowed from Ford of Germany and mounted just behind the seats for optimum weight distribution. Retuned to meet SCCA guidelines and sporting a two-barrel Weber carburetor, the powerplant could push 106 horsepower and 96 lb.-ft. of torque through its four-speed transaxle. Now, that may not sound like much grunt, but with the Ford Mustang I weighing about 1,450 lbs. in racing trim, the result was a power-to-weight ratio that’s slightly better than that of today’s Ford Fiesta ST hot hatch. Ford also claims that, during the car’s public premiere, racing legend Dan Gurney used it to lap the classic Watkins Glen road course at “times only slightly off the pace of the F1 race cars.” In the end, according to Ford, the automaker’s execs were “convinced they would have a hit with a more practical four-passenger version that kept the spirit of the original Mustang.” Fifty years and millions of Mustangs later, it’s obvious they were right, too. The Ford Mustang I Concept, one of just two built, will be on display through the Detroit auto show from Jan. 18-26, 2014, then return to its home as part of the automotive collection at The Henry Ford cultural complex. Source: http://books.google.com/books?id=2NsDAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA93&dq=Mustang+I+V4+engine#v=onepage&q=Mustang%20I%20V4%20engine&f=false . Written by Charles Krome. Photo by Charles Krome.
It’s true: Thanks to the efforts of Ford Component Sales and licensee United Pacific Industries, enthusiasts can now purchase a brand-new body shell for the classic 1932 Ford 5-Window Coupe, one of the icons of international hot-rod culture. As Ford fans may remember, the shell made its premiere late last year at the 2013 SEMA Show in Las Vegas and, after a sizzling reception, the company decided to move forward with a production version. According to Dennis Mondrach, restoration licensing manager for Ford Component Sales, the result is that: “With the 1932 Ford 5-Window Coupe body shell, you can literally build a classic-looking hot rod, ordering Ford restoration parts right from your computer, and avoid visiting a wrecking yard.” As another bonus, the new shells are stamped from new metal, then finished with a rust-preventative coating, and all components adhere to the automaker’s rigorous quality standards. Mondrach also know the perfect finishing touch: “Ford Racing can supply crate motors and performance products to suit any appetite. Most of the parts needed to complete a build–including hardware, drivetrain, interior parts, even instruments with classic or customized faces–are available. You can build your car as a classic, or upgrade the components and build your own version of an icon that was part of the cruising culture in the 1950s and 1960s. You choose.” Gearheads interested in other projects also can choose officially licensed body shells for the 1940 Ford Coupe and 1965-70 Ford Mustang, as well as a growing range of licensed replacement parts for everything from fenders to radiators to old-school badging. To find an official Ford Restoration Parts Licensee in your area, or check parts availability for a classic Ford car or truck, please visit: www.FordRestorationParts.com . Source: http://media.ford.com/content/fordmedia/fna/us/en/news/2014/01/10/car-enthusiasts-can-experience-hot-rod-lifestyle-with-1932-ford-.html Written by Charles Krome. Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company.
Moving the modern-day muscle-car segment firmly into the 21 st century, the completely redesigned 2015 Ford Mustang will be the first Blue Oval product to reach the market with next-gen Sync AppLink technology. As before, the system provides a further enhancement to Ford’s Sync and MyFord Touch features, and allows drivers to access some of their favorite mobile apps. But now, that tech has been further upgraded with even easier-to-use controls and menus, as well as the ability to read mobile alerts and notifications even if the radio is on and/or the required app isn’t active. The Sync AppLink system also will showcase a new “voice pass-through” technology that allows drivers to leverage the voice-recognition features of their own devices while in the car. As a result, they’ll be able to use the same voice commands to operate the app when it’s connected to the car as when it isn’t, for a more enjoyable and consistent experience. Further, the 2015 Ford Mustang’s Sync AppLink feature will be able to provide apps with access to certain real-time vehicle data, like speed and GPS-based location, for personalized functionality. Ford fans also should note that, once the new Sync AppLink feature launches as standard equipment in the 2015 Ford Mustang, the automaker will begin introducing it to the rest of its lineup, too. “Ford led the industry in giving drivers the ability to control their smartphone apps on the go with the introduction of SYNC AppLink in 2010,” said Raj Nair, Ford group vice president, global product development. “We are now making the in-vehicle app experience simpler and more intuitive to further help drivers keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.” Source: https://media.ford.com/content/fordmedia/fna/us/en/news/2014/01/07/enhanced-ford-sync-applink-launcing-first-on-all-new-mustang.html Written by Charles Krome. Photo courtesy of the Ford Motor Company.