Category Archives: Ford

Lincoln Surprises L.A. With 2019 Nautilus

Change is in the air at Lincoln, with the brand’s lineup now largely updated for the 2018 model year, Lincoln has moved on to the task of eliminating its dated Mark based naming scheme. It has a long way to go, but the resurgent luxury car maker has gotten off to a good start with the surprise unveiling of the 2019 Nautilus CUV.

Undoubtedly inspired by Jules Verne and the submarine of the same name that made its appearance in Twenty Thousand Leauges Under The Sea, this land based Nautilus ventures into a new era for Lincoln. The exterior styling of the Nautilus is a tasteful update of the current MKX with the front fascia embracing a new grille and headlights. These changes look more upscale than before, and are a noticeable improvement over the old winged grille. The rear fascia is more restrained, but the clear look tail lights are a nice touch.

The interior of the Nautilus is a sleek and elegant space with the dashboard dominated by a 12.3 inch digital gauge cluster, while the hand stitched leather wrapped steering wheel and Lincoln’s shift by wire push select transmission preserves the brand’s core traits. Occupants will also be pleased with the 22-way adjustable Ultra Comfort leather seats that promise to create a sitting position that is both comfortable and beneficial, especially for the driver.

The Nautilus also comes with beefy performance credentials to backup its svelte looks. No, it cannot send electric jolts through certain species of Giant Squid, but this Nautilus still manages to jolt the senses thanks to its two available engines. A 2.0 liter four cylinder engine is standard issue and is good for a healthy 245 horsepower, but buyers looking for more performance can opt for the 2.7 liter turbocharged V6 that brings 335 horsepower and an equally stout 380 lb-ft of torque to the open road. Both engines are mated to an eight speed automatic, and are paired with fuel saving Stop/Start technology, as well as available front or all-wheel drive.

Lincoln’s decision to pitch the Mark naming scheme was mainly due to the big updates that all of their models have received (especially the Nautilus) as well as name retention in the minds of potential buyers. Lincoln execs also confirmed that new names will be coming for the two remaining Mark named holdouts the MKZ and the popular MKC crossover, but we expect that to not take place for a few more years.

Pricing information was not released, but look for pricing to not venture too far from the current MKX which starts at $38,260 and went all the way up to $45,560 depending on trim level and options. It will be interesting to see how the new name will affect sales in the long term, but we’re confident that the 2019 Nautilus will still be a top choice in the large luxury CUV segment.

2018 Mustang

2018 Ford Mustang To Bring 460 Horsepower, Other Tweaks To Buyers

The 2018 Ford Mustang already has shaken the muscle car world thanks to its slew of updates which aim to refine the car even further. While more style and comfort are welcome features, Ford’s performance updates are causing quite the stir.

The tweaked 5.0 liter V8 now produces 460 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque which is a notable upgrade over the old engine. The engine benefits from an all new “Drag Strip” mode which helps trim the 0 to 60 time to a swift four seconds flat. This is mainly due to the drag mode tweaking the shifting and power delivery from the 10-speed automatic transmission, which reduces excess wheel slip.

“Typically when you shift gears you give up time” stated Mustang chief engineer Carl Widmann. “In drag mode, the engine’s torque doesn’t drop when you shift.” To illustrate this point, Widmann claimed that drag mode made the Mustang faster off the line than the $94,000 Porsche 911 Carrera (an impressive claim indeed.)

The company didn’t leave EcoBoost buyers out to dry with these updates, and has transferred some of the GT’s magic to the four cylinder version of the Mustang. Power is up to 310 horsepower, with torque increasing by 30 lb-ft to a revised 350 lb-ft. When equipped with the 10-speed and the forementioned drag mode, the four cylinder can make the sprint to 60 mph in five seconds.

Ford is opening up ordering for the 2018 Ford Mustang this week, with the first units arriving at Ford showrooms shortly after.

Ford Ousts Fields In Management Shakeup

In a move that aims to address a recent slide in Ford’s core automobile shares, The company is set to formally oust CEO Mark Fields, and also shuffle three other excecs in an effort to create a new corporate structure, according to those familiar with the situation.

Jim Hackett the chief of Ford’s autonomus vehicle program will assume full control from Fields, with the company poised to make an announcement later today.

The departure of Fields comes amid a 40 percent slide in Ford’s share price, and slower than expected progress in the development of mobility solutions. This is in contrast to when Fields first took the reigns three years ago from Alan Mually, and promised to bring newfound vigor and vibrancy to Ford’s corporate operations.

Fields departure also comes after he was viciously criticized by investors and members of Ford’s board two weeks ago for the company’s deteriorating financial results. Fields appeared to try and address these failures by cutting 1,400 salaried jobs in the company, but that wasn’t enough to curb the damage that was already done.

Hackett will have plenty of things to do when he formally assumes control of the company. A big project is supercharging Ford’s research into autonomus vehicles. Ford is currently lagging behind larger firms like General Motors, as well as Silicon Valley upstart companies in the race to develop self driving vehicles. Ford originally revealed that it would have a vehicle on the road by 2021, but both GM and Google have beaten Dearborn to the punch with self driving test vehicles.

The strong growth of Tesla in recent years also highlighted how behind Ford was in developing electric vehicles. While the company does have plug-in versions of the Focus and Fusion, the axed Ford C-Max proved to be a sales flop, and Ford still does not have a competitor for the Chevrolet Bolt EV.

Hackett will also need to address a 25 percent decline in overall sales especially in compact and mid-size cars, with the company making little if any money on the vehicles it does sell. A wave of safety recalls has also focused unwanted attention on vehicle quality.

The departure of Mr. Fields is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg, with three other executives expected to be moved as part of the shakeup. Joseph R. Hinrichs head of Ford’s Americas Division will broaden his role, and become executive vice president of global operations. James D. Farley Jr., who currently oversees Ford Europe, will be appointed head of worldwide marketing and sales. Lastly, Marcy Klevorn (Ford’s chief technical officer) will take over Mr. Hackett’s old posistion at the mobility division.

It will be interesting to see if this corporate shakedown will help improve Ford’s long term performance, and also what models could end up on the chopping block as part of any Hackett motivated turn around plan.

 

Lincoln Ups The Luxury SUV Game With 2017 Navigator

The Lincoln Navigator has been the perfect representation of Lincoln’s fortunes in recent years. When it first appeared in 1997, it literally set the luxury SUV segment ablaze with its slick (for the era) styling as well as its copious amounts of luxury.

All seemed well, that is, until the second generation Escalade came along. The big Caddy quickly outpaced the Navigator in sales, and as a result, the big Lincoln (as well as the brand that supported it) fell further and further behind in relevance. Lincoln understands how crucial the Navigator is to its identity, and has pulled out all the stops to make it shine once again.

The exterior styling will be the first thing that many observers will notice when looking at the 2017 Navigator in full detail. Wheras its predecessor had the elegance of a tacky pair of hoop earrings, the latest Navigator embraces an all new design, and the end result is very stunning to look at. The front fascia borrows the mesh grille from the Lincoln Continental and the big Lincoln star emblem softly glows when the driver walks up to it. The light show is part of a multi stage welcoming routine that also illuminates lights in the lower front fascia, taillights, as well as the puddle lamps. The Navigator also features adaptive headlights that vary their intensity depending on vehicle speeds. Like the Expedition, the Navigator features aluminium body panels which help reduce weight, and also increase its fuel economy.

The interior of the Navigator was designed to embody Lincoln’s “Quiet Luxury” principle, and it is a soft lush space, filled with high end materials, and three rows of ambient lighting. Like the Continental, the Navigator can be equipped with Lincoln’s all new 30-way perfect position seats that offer heating, cooling, and massage elements. The second row seats can be equipped either as a full bench or separate captains chairs. Meanwhile, the third row seats feature power recline technology to help free up room for passengers especially bigger ones.

Rear seat occupants also have an extensive suite of entertainment at their disposal thanks to the dual 10.0 inch screens on the front seatbacks. They can play media streamed from paired Android devices while Sling Media users can receive TV channels through the system. Audiophiles will also be pleased to know that the top tier sound system is a potent 20-speaker Revel II system. Lincoln’s Black Label trim plays a key role in the 2018 Navigator and is the top tier offering in the Navigator lineup. In addition to the standard Black Label trim, the Navigator also has two model exclusive Black Label variants that bring unique design touches to the interior.

Performance for the 2018 Navigator comes from a revised version of the 3.5 liter EcoBoost twin-turbocharged V6 that Lincoln claims is good for 450 horsepower and 500 lb-ft of torque. These figures are roughly on par with the Ford Raptor, and the Navigator also utilizes the same 10-speed automatic to shunt all that power to either the rear or all four wheels.

It will be interesting to see if all these updates can help brighten the Navigator’s sales fortunes once it enters full production. For perspective, Cadillac sold over 27,000 Escalades last year, while Lincoln only sold 10,000 Navigators despite the old model being $11,000 cheaper than the $78,000 MSRP wielded by the base Escalade.

Ford Unveils 2017 Fiesta ST

Ford’s pint sized track terror the Fiesta ST has proven to be a solid sales success thanks to its impressive levels of performance as well as its financially attractive pricing ladder. The Blue Oval aims to continue this successful path with the 2017 Ford Fiesta ST.

A key change is found under the hood of the newly updated hot hatch. Power and overall refinement are up, but the engine drops a cylinder in the process. You heard that correctly, this iteration of the ST is the first ST model to be powered by a three cylinder engine.

The engine also loses a bit of displacement versus the old 1.6 liter, but the 195 horsepower this turbocharged three banger produces is 17 more than the old engine which relied on temporary moments of overboost to achieve its 197 horsepower figure.

Ford claims that the new Fiesta ST will make the sprint to 60 mph in 6.7 seconds which is nearly identical to the outgoing engine. Trque is also the same, but peak torque arrives lower in the rev band than before which should help improve acceleration times slightly. Port and direct injection has been fitted to the engine in an effort to not only reduce C02 emissions, but also cut down on carbon buildup in the valves.

In addition to the new engine, buyers also get to choose from three distinct driving modes Normal, Sport, and Track. Normal mode is, as expected, the setting with full safety net system engaged with Sport and Track modes gradually removing them.

The exterior styling is all new, but the look is still distinctivly Ford, which is good since the company appears to not be trying to mess with a good thing with this redesign. Ford chose to only preview the 3-door version in its press images, but look for the 5-door version to once again be the sole choice for U.S. buyers.

Ford promises higher levels of customization and personalization features for Fiedta buyers with owners being able to customixe trim elements suvh as the gearshift lever, flat bottom steering wheel, and exterior door handles

Look for more information on pricing and other options to gradually roll out in the weeks leading to the ST’s debut in Geneva with more details emerging closer to the ST’s formal launch to dealers worldwide.

Ford Unveils Aluminium Bodied 2018 Expedition

While the era of the full-size SUV may appear to be drawing to a close with the prevelance of car based CUVs, Ford still has big plans for this segment, and has unveiled the newly redesigned 2018 Ford Expedition.

2018 Expediton

The 2018 Expedition is the long awaited replacement for the current generation model, which was in desperate need of updates to stay competitive. The exterior styling has been tightened, and is less bulbous looking than before with all aluminium bodywork helping to shed weight. The end result has a strong resemblance to its rival, the Chevrolet Tahoe, and embraces copious amounts of chrone trim.

Thankfully the slick design also retains key Expedition elements, including its trademark power running boards, beefy tailights, as well as its broad and functional side profile. Wheel sizes are also up, and top tier Expedition models now come equipped with 22 inch wheels (wheras the old model maxed out at 20 inches.) Lower trim models feature 17 inch wheels, and Ford designers did a much better job of hiding the muffler and spare tire versus the old model.

2018 Expedition

The 2018 Expedition also grows in length with the standard model gaining four inches of length, on top of the three inches that the wheelbase gains. The newly renamed Expedition Max long-wheelbase model (the EL moniker was pitched for 2018) gains one inch in length, but uses the same wheelbase as before.

At the moment, the EL accounts for about 40 percent of Expedition sales, but Ford claims that this figure will shrink with the new model since the standard length version now boasts more cargo space than before.

2018 Expedition

As mentioned earlier, the 2018 Expedition switches to all aluminium body panels, and this change plays a key role in the Expedition losing 300 lbs of flab. A lighter frame also contributes, and Ford claims that it is much stiffer than before which should reduce flex, and improve overall handling behavior.

A 3.5 liter twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6 is still the only engine choice avalible, and Ford promises it will be more powerful, though the company stopped short of formally revealing output figures for it. Regardless, look for the new engine to be an improvement over the 365 horsepower unit found in the current generation Expedition

The transmission will also gain more gears with the old six speed automatic being replaced by the same 10-speed automatic that also sees duty in the Ford F-150, and the recently unveiled 2018 Mustang. Engine stop/start technology is standard, and buyers can choose from rear or all-wheel drive, with the latter option still incorporating a low range transfer case.

Ford also did not reveal towing figures, but look for it to improve slightly on the 6,500 and 9,200 lb rating wielded by the current generation Expedition lineup. The company’s steer by knob Pro Trailer Backup Assist is avalible as an optional extra to help make life easier for RV and boat owners.

2018 Ford Mustang To Boast First Ever 10 Speed Automatic

Ford has big plans for the 2018 Ford Mustang and it shows in the tasteful evolution that the company officially unveiled Tuesday morning in events in Los Angeles and Detroit.

The exterior styling has been revised, and is especially noticeable in the front fascia with a heightened rear spoiler highlighting the rear of the car.

That said, the 2018 Ford Mustang’s biggest changes are found in its performance hardware 2018 Mustangwhich aim to help it stay ahead of the Chevrolet Camaro. The 3.7 liter V6 has been retired, and the engine lineup is slimmed down to two offerings with lower trims being powered exclusively by the 2.3 liter EcoBoost turbocharged four cylinder.

Meanwhile the 5.0 liter “Coyote” V8 carries over and benefits from a suite of advancements that make it more potent and efficient at the same time. A highlight feature is the “dual fuel” system which makes the engine both direct and port injected. Ford did not release any horsepower estimates, but promises that “[i]t is more powerful and revs higher than any Mustang GT before it.”

Both four cylinder and V8 Mustangs recieve a revised manual transmission that features a twin disc clutch and a dual mass flywheel. The 2018 Mustang interiorsix speed automatic joins the V6 in retirement, and is replaced with the same 10-speed automatic that also sees duty in the 2018 F-150.

In addition, the 10-speed is the first such transmission ever equipped to a Mustang, and is the second production 10-speed currently in the muscle car segment (the 2018 ZL1 Camaro is the first.)

Along with the performance upgrades, Ford engineers also upgraded the Mustangs chassis and even added MagneRide suspension damping to the Mustang’s arsenal of tricks. This neat technology is part of the Performance Package and it can be equipped to both four cylinder and eight cylinder models.

As expected, the interior of the 2018 Mustang carries over largely unchanged, but an all new digital instrument cluster is avalible for the first2018 Mustang gauges time as well as pedestrian detection and Pre-collision assist technologies. The rest of the cabin benefits from better soft touch materials, and adds other premium accents to help boost the upscale yet functional vibe the cabin projects.

We look forward to hearing more about the 2018 Ford Mustang soon, and finding out if the new transmission and chassis enhancements allow it to keep ahead of its donestic muscle car rivals the Chevrolet Camaro and the Dodge Challenger.

 

 

2018 Mustang

2018 Ford Mustang Breaks The Internet With New Front Fascia

Keeping upcoming vehicles a secret is becoming harder and harder these days, and thanks to a poorly timed video leak, we now have a good look at the 2018 Ford Mustang.

The leaked b-roll footage was posted on www.mustangg6.com and once you stomach the obviously royalty free soundtrack, it does 2018 Mustangoffer a compelling look at the car. For starters the new front fascia is on full display, and is a droopier affair than before, with more upright fog lamp surrounds and a lightly tweaked grille.

Meanwhile, the rear fascia features equally minor tweaks, and the spoiler switches from an intergrated piece to one that is higher mounted perhaps in 2018 Mustanga bid to improve downforce on the rear end. The 2018 Mustang featured in the video clip is a GT Performance Package model, and the 5.0 liter badges confirm that the Coyote V8 engine will carry on, at least for the time being. No interior shots were featured in the b-roll, but expect it to largely carryover unchanged.

Look for more information to be revealed over the next few weeks. The 2018 Mustang was originally supposed to be unveiled at the 2017 North American International Auto Show last week, but was scratched at the last minute for unknown reasons.

Ford Unveils 2018 F-150, Confirms New Diesel, 10-Speed Automatic

With its debut fast approaching, Ford has unveiled the revamped 2018 F-150 ahead of its debut at the 2017 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

The bulk of the key 2018 upgrades are found under the hood, and aim to upstage rivals. Confirming a long stream of rumors, Ford has revealed that it has finally equipped its aluminium bodied truck with an all new 3.0 liter turbodiesel V6. While Ford chose to not 2018 F-150 1reveal formal performance statistics or fuel economy figures, the Blue Oval did reveal that the oil burner is paired to a 10-speed automatic transmission.

Meanwhile, the base engine for the 2018 Ford F-150 is an all new 3.3 liter V6 that produces 282 horsepower and 252 lb-ft of torque. These figures match the outgoing 3.5 liter unit, and the pickup is also available with a 2.7 liter 2018 F-150 2EcoBoost V6, 3.5 liter twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6, and a 5.0 liter V8. All three engines carryover to the 2018 model, and each one has been tweaked to deliver better performance and fuel economy though Ford is keeping formal performance data for these engines a secret too.

The 3.3 liter retains the older six speed automatic transmission, but the other three engines follow the diesel’s lead, and are bolted to the new 10-speed automatic transmission. A start/stop system is standard across the board in an effort to help keep overall fuel economy in check.  The 10-speed here is the latest example of an era where higher cog counts are slowly becoming more important in the quest for both higher fuel economy, and compliance with tighter mileage and emissions regulations.

The exterior of the styling is more of a freshening, and the 2018 F-150 features an all new twin slat grille that stretches out into a pair of all new headlights that look much slicker than before. The new headlights as well as the redesigned front bumper make the F-150 reminiscent of the Super Duty, and also accent its newfound width. Rounding out the list of tweaks are an array of wheel designs that range from 17 to 22-inches.

The interior of the 2018 F-150 is largely carried over from the previous generation, but Ford stylists have upgraded it with two new interior colors dubbed Dark Marsala and Navy Pier. Select F-150 variants can also be equipped 2018 F-150 3with imitation carbon fiber trim on the dashboard, though we will wait until we see it in person to truly determine if it is indeed close to duplicating the real thing or not.

The 2018 F-150 is scheduled to go on sale this fall with full pricing information being announced closer to its official launch to dealers. When it eventually ends up in the hands of buyers, the diesel variant will go head to head with the Ram 1500 HFE which is the current efficiency king in the pickup truck segment.

Ford Confirms Hybrid Mustang, F-150 models

In an announcement released earlier today, Ford Motor Company CEO Mark Fields revealed that th company is ramping up its investment in hybrid vehicles and that it is bringing hybrid capability to the Mustang and F-150 models.

Revealed to be part of a $4.5 million dollar push towards electrification that involves 13 new models, the Mustang and F-150 versions would help the inititave reach more customers with the Mustang in particular standing out as the world’s only hybrid muscle car offering.

Ford chose to not go into depth regarding both hybrid systems, but Fields did reveal that the Mustang hybrid will deliver “V8 power and even more low end torque.” This could mean that the proposed hybrid system would be offered on the mid-range V6 engine, but we’ll have to wait until the model is unveiled to judge for ourselves.

As for the F-150 version details surrounding it are even murkier but Fields did slip that the new hybrid truck would be an electrified alternative to the EcoBoost V6 while also serving as an on board generator for certain equipment when put to use out on the job site.

The biggest announcement however is where all of these vehicles will be built with the company recently scrapping its plans to build a manufacturing facility in San Luis Potisi Mexico. Instead, the company will invest this green future with upgrades at its Flat Rock, MI assembly plant which is currently the home for Mustang production and will help generate new jobs in the area as well.

Look for more information to.be unveiled at the 2017 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.