The Truth About Cars » Ford http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Fri, 21 Nov 2014 14:00:42 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » Ford http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Los Angeles 2014: Ford Freestyle Ecoboost Debuts http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/los-angeles-2014-ford-freestyle-ecoboost-debuts/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/los-angeles-2014-ford-freestyle-ecoboost-debuts/#comments Wed, 19 Nov 2014 15:38:14 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=947473 Oh wait, we mean Taurus X. Oh wait…nevermind. The big news for 2016 is the addition of an Explorer Platinum trim, which gets the 3.5L Ecoboost V6 as standard. Think of it as an Explorer Sport for those who don’t want an Explorer Sport. There’s also a 2.3L Ecoboost replacing the old 2.0L unit.

The post Los Angeles 2014: Ford Freestyle Ecoboost Debuts appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
2016-Ford-Explorer

Oh wait, we mean Taurus X. Oh wait…nevermind.

The big news for 2016 is the addition of an Explorer Platinum trim, which gets the 3.5L Ecoboost V6 as standard. Think of it as an Explorer Sport for those who don’t want an Explorer Sport. There’s also a 2.3L Ecoboost replacing the old 2.0L unit.

The post Los Angeles 2014: Ford Freestyle Ecoboost Debuts appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/los-angeles-2014-ford-freestyle-ecoboost-debuts/feed/ 76
Los Angeles 2014: Ford Shelby GT350 Revealed http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/los-angeles-2014-ford-shelby-gt350-revealed/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/los-angeles-2014-ford-shelby-gt350-revealed/#comments Tue, 18 Nov 2014 01:36:01 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=946442 No new details have been announced since today’s earlier briefing (and Ford is still cagey regarding output, only stating “over 500 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque) but at least we have pics that aren’t just crappy CGI renderings. At this point, it’s worth wishing a hearty “thank you” to our army of sources who […]

The post Los Angeles 2014: Ford Shelby GT350 Revealed appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
ford-shelby-gt350-01

No new details have been announced since today’s earlier briefing (and Ford is still cagey regarding output, only stating “over 500 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque) but at least we have pics that aren’t just crappy CGI renderings.

At this point, it’s worth wishing a hearty “thank you” to our army of sources who fed us dead-on accurate info about the car over a year in advance. We salute you.

ford-shelby-gt350-01 ford-shelby-gt350-02 ford-shelby-gt350-03 ford-shelby-gt350-04 ford-shelby-gt350-05 ford-shelby-gt350-06 ford-shelby-gt350-07 ford-shelby-gt350-08

The post Los Angeles 2014: Ford Shelby GT350 Revealed appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/los-angeles-2014-ford-shelby-gt350-revealed/feed/ 35
Quote Of The Day: America, F*** Yeah http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/quote-day-america-f-yeah/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/quote-day-america-f-yeah/#comments Mon, 17 Nov 2014 18:14:02 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=946426 “If you want a world class sports car with the following attributes – an iconic horse on the badge, a high-revving 500+ hp naturally aspirated V8 with a flat plane crank, massive Brembo brakes and a manual transmission, you have to buy a Ford. Not a Ferrari.” -TTAC contributor David Walton on the new Ford […]

The post Quote Of The Day: America, F*** Yeah appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>

The All-new Shelby GT350 Mustang CGI image

“If you want a world class sports car with the following attributes – an iconic horse on the badge, a high-revving 500+ hp naturally aspirated V8 with a flat plane crank, massive Brembo brakes and a manual transmission, you have to buy a Ford. Not a Ferrari.”

-TTAC contributor David Walton on the new Ford Shelby GT350. Discuss.

The post Quote Of The Day: America, F*** Yeah appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/quote-day-america-f-yeah/feed/ 145
Our First Official Look At The Ford Shelby GT350 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/first-official-look-ford-shelby-gt350/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/first-official-look-ford-shelby-gt350/#comments Mon, 17 Nov 2014 17:40:34 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=946354 All we’ve got for now are these CGI renders and a clip of the exhaust. But Ford’s most track-focused pony car will have a flat-plane crankshaft displacing 5.2L Also on board is MagneRide suspension, and an optional diff cooler to chill the Torsen LSD. A 6-speed manual is the sole transmission offered. Massive 6-piston Brembo […]

The post Our First Official Look At The Ford Shelby GT350 appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Click here to view the embedded video.

All we’ve got for now are these CGI renders and a clip of the exhaust. But Ford’s most track-focused pony car will have a flat-plane crankshaft displacing 5.2L

Also on board is MagneRide suspension, and an optional diff cooler to chill the Torsen LSD. A 6-speed manual is the sole transmission offered. Massive 6-piston Brembo brakes squeeze 15.5 inch front and 15 inch rear rotors. 19×10 and 19×11.5 inch rims are wrapped in bespoke Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires. We’ll see this snake in the flesh at this week’s 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show.

The All-new Shelby GT350 Mustang CGI image The All-new Shelby GT350 Mustang CGI image The All-new Shelby GT350 Mustang CGI image The All-new Shelby GT350 Mustang CGI image

The post Our First Official Look At The Ford Shelby GT350 appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/first-official-look-ford-shelby-gt350/feed/ 16
Detroit Three Contribute $26M To Detroit Grand Bargain Fundraiser http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/detroit-three-contribute-26m-detroit-grand-bargain-fundraiser/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/detroit-three-contribute-26m-detroit-grand-bargain-fundraiser/#comments Thu, 13 Nov 2014 13:00:13 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=944713 As part of the overall strategy of lifting Detroit out of bankruptcy, the Detroit Three have signed on to provide the Detroit Institute of Arts with a $26 million contribution to be distributed over the next 20 years. Detroit Free Press reports Ford and General Motors each contributed $10 million, while Fiat Chrysler Automobiles threw […]

The post Detroit Three Contribute $26M To Detroit Grand Bargain Fundraiser appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Detroit-Bankruptcy-Art-5

As part of the overall strategy of lifting Detroit out of bankruptcy, the Detroit Three have signed on to provide the Detroit Institute of Arts with a $26 million contribution to be distributed over the next 20 years.

Detroit Free Press reports Ford and General Motors each contributed $10 million, while Fiat Chrysler Automobiles threw in $6 million to the pot. Toyota added $1 million, and a group of suppliers gave the museum $2.2 million.

The total contributions made up part of the $100 million DIA had sought for its part of a grand bargain fundraising effort at the center of Detroit’s restructuring plan, an effort totalling $816 million that would go to reduce employee pension cuts and save the museum’s collection from the auction block.

The Detroit Three’s contribution took some time to work out, as their respective charitable foundations normally commit to one-time and short-term donations. Thus, the trio came together to meet with other foundations to understand how best to go about throwing down for the cause, as well as with Judge Gerald Rosen, the judge who helped put the grand bargain together. By April, Ford committed its $10 million, with GM and its foundation splitting their contribution, and FCA directly adding its $6 million.

The post Detroit Three Contribute $26M To Detroit Grand Bargain Fundraiser appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/detroit-three-contribute-26m-detroit-grand-bargain-fundraiser/feed/ 31
Editorial: A Tale Of Two Cities http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/editorial-tale-two-cities/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/editorial-tale-two-cities/#comments Mon, 10 Nov 2014 18:03:13 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=943617 Two weeks ago, residents of the Windsor, Ontario region learned that Ford would not be bringing a new engine program to the two Ford assembly plants in the area. Although the small engine program was a long-shot from the start (it had apparently been destined for Mexico, but union officials tried to “steal it away”), […]

The post Editorial: A Tale Of Two Cities appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
6862231

Two weeks ago, residents of the Windsor, Ontario region learned that Ford would not be bringing a new engine program to the two Ford assembly plants in the area. Although the small engine program was a long-shot from the start (it had apparently been destined for Mexico, but union officials tried to “steal it away”), news reports and enthusiastic publicity campaigns from union head Jerry Dias had given the impression that the new engine deal was all but sewn up. For residents of the auto-dependent city, with an unemployment rate of 8.9 percent (compared to 6.5 percent nationally), the decision was a blow to their collective morale.

A few hundred miles away, the stage was being set for an announcement by Honda Canada. A small car program would be coming to their plant in Alliston, north of Toronto, worth $857 million (CAD). The government would contribute about 10 percent of that. In return for the government grant,

“…Honda Canada will not only be the first plant in the world to launch the next generation Civic into mass production, but will be responsible for developing the manufacturing processes and tooling trials that will form the manufacturing base at all Honda plants globally that will build the next Civic model.”

 

 

While no new jobs will be created from this investment, it does safeguard the future of Alliston for a considerable amount of time. The Honda announcement also embodies two trends at play in Canada. The first is that big subsidies for auto manufacturing plants are on the decline for now. Ford’s small engine plant was apparently hobbled by a “big ask” from the Blue Oval. Honda’s grant, at around $85 million, is relatively small. Chrysler got nothing during their most recent attempt to get governments to chip in for a revamped Windsor minivan plant. In the end, they went ahead with Windsor anyways. Many in the pro-union camp argue that generous subsidies are the only way to attract auto investment and compete with the Southern United States and Mexico, who are keen to throw money at any auto assembly plant coming their way.

But the past year has seen Canada go from “the most expensive place to build a car” to a jurisdiction with a currency that now sits at roughly 10-15 percent lower than the U.S. dollar. This reduces labor costs while making exports more competitive for Canada, while reducing the outright need for generous government “investment” (though don’t think that will stop auto makers from trying). What was once considered a dying sector propped up by government cash now appears to have a future. Sort of.

GM is still almost certain to pull out of Oshawa in 2016, once their obligation to the Canadian government runs out. Ontario has also failed to attract a brand-new assembly plant since Toyota opened their Woodstock plant roughly a decade ago. But Ford has invested nearly $1 billion in the Oakville plant that produces the Edge, and Toyota is going to start producing the Lexus RX in Cambridge. Chrysler will not only build the next-generation minivan in Windsor, but its Brampton plant will likely crank out the 300, Charger and Challenger until the end of the decade.

For a stretch of time, Ontario looked to be the next Australia, with its auto manufacturing sector driven out by exorbitant costs (some of them related to a commodity-driven economy). But for now, things appear to be on the up.

The post Editorial: A Tale Of Two Cities appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/editorial-tale-two-cities/feed/ 40
Farley, Odell Exchange Roles In Ford Exec Shuffle http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/farley-odell-exchange-roles-ford-exec-shuffle/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/farley-odell-exchange-roles-ford-exec-shuffle/#comments Mon, 10 Nov 2014 11:00:34 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=943409 Two Ford execs are about to have their passports stamped, as marketing chief Jim Farley and Ford of Europe general Stephen Odell are switching roles and addresses, effective on New Year’s Day 2015. Both execs will continue to report to Ford CEO Mark Fields, who had this to say on this exchanging of executives: We […]

The post Farley, Odell Exchange Roles In Ford Exec Shuffle appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Jim Farley, Ford Executive Vice President of Global Marketing, Sa

Two Ford execs are about to have their passports stamped, as marketing chief Jim Farley and Ford of Europe general Stephen Odell are switching roles and addresses, effective on New Year’s Day 2015.

Both execs will continue to report to Ford CEO Mark Fields, who had this to say on this exchanging of executives:

We are excited to see Jim and Stephen take on these new roles as they bring unique skills, experience and fresh perspectives to these critical positions. These moves also underscore our commitment to develop our senior leaders through deep experience within both our business units and our global skill teams.

Farley has been in his current role since 2007, having come over to the Blue Oval after a decade of leading Toyota’s marketing efforts. Come January, he’ll be tasked with executing the One Ford plan in Europe “to achieve profitable growth through an unprecedented focus on new products, a strong brand and increased cost efficiency.”

Odell held down the fort since 2010, and was Volvo’s CEO and president from 2008 to 2010. He’s also been with the company for 34 years, and will work on building Ford’s and Lincoln’s global presence “through innovative new digital communications and transforming the retail experience for customers.”

The post Farley, Odell Exchange Roles In Ford Exec Shuffle appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/farley-odell-exchange-roles-ford-exec-shuffle/feed/ 5
Junkyard Find: 1976 Ford Courier http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/junkyard-find-1976-ford-courier/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/junkyard-find-1976-ford-courier/#comments Thu, 06 Nov 2014 14:00:45 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=941073 After the ’79 Chevy LUV Junkyard Find we saw yesterday, it seems appropriate to follow up with another Malaise Era Japanese small pickup with Detroit badging. I found this Ford-badged Mazda B1800 just a couple of rows away from the LUV. It’s three years older and much rougher than the Chevy (Isuzu). Vehicles mostly don’t […]

The post Junkyard Find: 1976 Ford Courier appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
18 - 1976 Ford Courier Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinAfter the ’79 Chevy LUV Junkyard Find we saw yesterday, it seems appropriate to follow up with another Malaise Era Japanese small pickup with Detroit badging. I found this Ford-badged Mazda B1800 just a couple of rows away from the LUV. It’s three years older and much rougher than the Chevy (Isuzu).


17 - 1976 Ford Courier Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinVehicles mostly don’t rust much in the Denver area, thanks to the single-digit humidity, but this one appears to have spent some time in the Midwest.
01 - 1976 Ford Courier Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinAs is often the case with junked vehicles, all sorts of stuff belonging to the previous owner was still inside. Here’s a notebook with records of fuel and oil purchases stretching back to the mid-1980s. Check out the sub-dollar-per-gallon prices of February 1986; while this era’s crash in oil prices was a boon for me as I delivered pizzas in my 351W-powered Mercury Cyclone, it was also the primary cause of the collapse of the Soviet Union as well as the sales death of little trucks like this one.
03 - 1976 Ford Courier Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinReally cheap new-vehicle buyers in the 1970s didn’t want to spend several hundred bucks for a factory AM radio— yes, audio gear was expensive back then, even before the vehicle manufacturers’ markups— so they got the “radio delete” package and then added a relatively cheap aftermarket rig like this Philco.


Imagine Johnnie Taylor buzzing tinnily out of that dash-mounted whizzer cone!
06 - 1976 Ford Courier Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe driver’s door is hanging by a thread. This truck gave its all.
11 - 1976 Ford Courier Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe hubcaps stayed with it to the end, though.

01 - 1976 Ford Courier Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1976 Ford Courier Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1976 Ford Courier Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1976 Ford Courier Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1976 Ford Courier Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1976 Ford Courier Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1976 Ford Courier Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1976 Ford Courier Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1976 Ford Courier Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1976 Ford Courier Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1976 Ford Courier Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1976 Ford Courier Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1976 Ford Courier Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1976 Ford Courier Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 - 1976 Ford Courier Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 16 - 1976 Ford Courier Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 17 - 1976 Ford Courier Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 18 - 1976 Ford Courier Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

The post Junkyard Find: 1976 Ford Courier appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/junkyard-find-1976-ford-courier/feed/ 31
Of Penalties And Priorities http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/penalties-priorities/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/penalties-priorities/#comments Wed, 05 Nov 2014 18:01:06 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=941265 Yesterday’s announcement of record fines for Hyundai and Kia regarding their incorrect fuel economy claims is the strongest message yet that the Department of Justice ” firm commitment to safeguarding American consumers, ensuring fairness in every marketplace, protecting the environment, and relentlessly pursuing companies that make misrepresentations and violate the law.” But if your cars […]

The post Of Penalties And Priorities appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
du0zq

Yesterday’s announcement of record fines for Hyundai and Kia regarding their incorrect fuel economy claims is the strongest message yet that the Department of Justice ” firm commitment to safeguarding American consumers, ensuring fairness in every marketplace, protecting the environment, and relentlessly pursuing companies that make misrepresentations and violate the law.” But if your cars kill scores of people due to neglience, you’re getting off easy.

As Ryan Beene of Automotive News reports

“…Hyundai and Kia will pay a $100 million civil penalty, spend $50 million to establish an independent fuel economy certification group and forfeit some 4.75 million greenhouse gas emission credits the companies have banked under the EPA’s tailpipe emissions regulations — estimated to be worth more than $200 million, according to a joint statement by the Justice Department and EPA.”

All totaled, up, that’s about $350 million worth of penalties. GM paid about one-tenth of that in relation to federal safety law violations stemming from the now-infamous Chevrolet Cobalt ignition switch deaths.

The penalties in the Hyundai/Kia case come despite Hyundai’s voluntary reimbursement program for owners of the affected vehicles. Hyundai/Kia aren’t the only ones to have enacted such a program either. Ford set up a similar program for owners of the C-Max and Fusion, but hasn’t been fined by the EPA for similar misstatement of fuel economy numbers.

Maybe we ought to revisit the way we test for fuel economy figures altogether?

The post Of Penalties And Priorities appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/penalties-priorities/feed/ 52
Badge Engineering Gone Right: The Ford Laser TX3 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/badge-engineering-gone-right-ford-laser-tx3/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/badge-engineering-gone-right-ford-laser-tx3/#comments Mon, 03 Nov 2014 18:43:56 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=939817 Aside from the Ford Probe/Mazda MX-6, the collaboration between the Blue Oval and the pride of Hiroshima didn’t produce much in the way of performance cars. But a little know rebadge effort did give Ford a 4WD, rally-derived pocket rocket. As an attempt by Ford to break into the Japanese market, Ford leveraged their partnership […]

The post Badge Engineering Gone Right: The Ford Laser TX3 appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Aside from the Ford Probe/Mazda MX-6, the collaboration between the Blue Oval and the pride of Hiroshima didn’t produce much in the way of performance cars. But a little know rebadge effort did give Ford a 4WD, rally-derived pocket rocket.

As an attempt by Ford to break into the Japanese market, Ford leveraged their partnership with Mazda to build cars like the Laser and Telstar, which used Mazda mechanicals in an effort to build right-sized cars that would appeal to Japanese consumers. The Laser was also exported to select markets like Australia and New Zealand.

A performance trim, dubbed the TX3, was offered, featuring the Mazda B6 and BP twincam motors used in the Miata and hot versions of the 323. But the TX3 Turbo and Turbo 4WD were the real stars, offering the same running gear and performace as the Mazda 323 GTX. While they offered the B6T and BPT engines of our 323 GTX (and the JDM-only second generation, which used a 1.8L turbo mill), they also suffered from fragile drivelines and uncaring owners.

The Ford Laser TX3 is but a footnote in the canon of Japanese performance cars. Nevertheless, its an under-appreciated bright spot in an ultimately doomed partnership. The similarity between the two cars echoes the near identical nature of the Subaru BRZ and Toyota GT86 – but pre-dated even Subaru’s own 4WD turbocharged efforts by a good 5-10 years.

The post Badge Engineering Gone Right: The Ford Laser TX3 appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/badge-engineering-gone-right-ford-laser-tx3/feed/ 28
Junkyard Find: 1985 Mercury Grand Marquis LS Colony Park Station Wagon http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/junkyard-find-1985-mercury-grand-marquis-ls-colony-park-woodie-station-wagon/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/junkyard-find-1985-mercury-grand-marquis-ls-colony-park-woodie-station-wagon/#comments Fri, 31 Oct 2014 13:00:21 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=938577 The popularity of the full-size station wagon went into steep decline during the course of the 1980s, thanks to competition from minivans and less truck-ish SUVs, and there wasn’t a particularly compelling reason to get a Mercury wagon instead of its near-identical, cheaper Ford sibling, so the 1979-1991 Mercury Grand Marquis Colony Park wagon was […]

The post Junkyard Find: 1985 Mercury Grand Marquis LS Colony Park Station Wagon appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
13 - 1985 Mercury Colony Park Wagon Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin
The popularity of the full-size station wagon went into steep decline during the course of the 1980s, thanks to competition from minivans and less truck-ish SUVs, and there wasn’t a particularly compelling reason to get a Mercury wagon instead of its near-identical, cheaper Ford sibling, so the 1979-1991 Mercury Grand Marquis Colony Park wagon was uncommon then and near-extinct now. I do see some Ford LTD Country Squires in wrecking yards nowadays— this ’86 woodie and this ’87 woodie, for example— but this Colony Park is the first I’ve seen in at least a decade.
01 - 1985 Mercury Colony Park Wagon Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThis generation of Colony Park wasn’t quite as majestic as its 1950s and 1960s predecessors, but it also got about twice as many miles per gallon as those barges.
11 - 1985 Mercury Colony Park Wagon Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe good old familiar 302-cubic-inch Windsor V8, still fitted with a carburetor in 1985, powered this wagon.
25 - 1985 Mercury Colony Park Wagon Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinOpera lights!
17 - 1985 Mercury Colony Park Wagon Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThis fender trim has a very maze-like shape.
08 - 1985 Mercury Colony Park Wagon Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinAre there little speakers in the steering wheel, or are those holes merely decorative?
10 - 1985 Mercury Colony Park Wagon Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe Colorado sun has not been kind to these leather seats.

The Grand Marquis kicked some Buick and Oldsmobile butt, to hear Mercury tell it.

01 - 1985 Mercury Colony Park Wagon Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1985 Mercury Colony Park Wagon Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1985 Mercury Colony Park Wagon Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1985 Mercury Colony Park Wagon Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1985 Mercury Colony Park Wagon Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1985 Mercury Colony Park Wagon Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1985 Mercury Colony Park Wagon Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1985 Mercury Colony Park Wagon Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1985 Mercury Colony Park Wagon Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1985 Mercury Colony Park Wagon Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1985 Mercury Colony Park Wagon Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1985 Mercury Colony Park Wagon Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1985 Mercury Colony Park Wagon Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1985 Mercury Colony Park Wagon Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 - 1985 Mercury Colony Park Wagon Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 16 - 1985 Mercury Colony Park Wagon Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 17 - 1985 Mercury Colony Park Wagon Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 18 - 1985 Mercury Colony Park Wagon Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 19 - 1985 Mercury Colony Park Wagon Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 20 - 1985 Mercury Colony Park Wagon Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 21 - 1985 Mercury Colony Park Wagon Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 22 - 1985 Mercury Colony Park Wagon Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 23 - 1985 Mercury Colony Park Wagon Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 24 - 1985 Mercury Colony Park Wagon Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 25 - 1985 Mercury Colony Park Wagon Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

The post Junkyard Find: 1985 Mercury Grand Marquis LS Colony Park Station Wagon appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/junkyard-find-1985-mercury-grand-marquis-ls-colony-park-woodie-station-wagon/feed/ 158
Ford Brings Telematics To Law Enforcement For Greater Safety, Transparency http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/ford-brings-telematics-law-enforcement-greater-safety-transparency/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/ford-brings-telematics-law-enforcement-greater-safety-transparency/#comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 14:00:53 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=937850 To further transparency and improve safety, Ford and Telogis have debuted a system that will gather information on a given police officer’s driving practices. The Detroit News reports the system — having debuted in both Explorer- and Taurus-based Police Interceptors last week — can track speed, when lights are switched on, whether an officer is […]

The post Ford Brings Telematics To Law Enforcement For Greater Safety, Transparency appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Chicago PD Ford Explorer Interceptor

To further transparency and improve safety, Ford and Telogis have debuted a system that will gather information on a given police officer’s driving practices.

The Detroit News reports the system — having debuted in both Explorer- and Taurus-based Police Interceptors last week — can track speed, when lights are switched on, whether an officer is wearing their seat belt et al, all in real time from its place under the dashboard.

The goal? For agencies to use the information to improve how their officers drive, and to have detailed records linked to any crashes that may occur in the line of duty. Ford’s manager of business and product development, Bill Frykman, explains:

Vehicle accidents are the leading cause of officer fatalities, and even the slightest improvements in driver training and behavior within law enforcement organizations can potentially save lives. Whether in emergency operation or not, vehicle data from this technology, in context with different driving situations will help illustrate to police organizations where changes can be made that will have a profound effect on officer safety.

The telematics technology originated in Ford’s line of commercial fleet models back in 2009, with Telogis coming in to help the automaker bring the system to the law enforcement market. Ford has no access to whatever is recorded, with the data secured between the vehicle and the agency that owns it.

The Los Angeles Police Department will be the first to implement the system, with other agencies coming on-board in early 2015.

The post Ford Brings Telematics To Law Enforcement For Greater Safety, Transparency appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/ford-brings-telematics-law-enforcement-greater-safety-transparency/feed/ 43
Editorial: The Game Changer That Never Was http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/editorial-game-changer-never/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/editorial-game-changer-never/#comments Tue, 28 Oct 2014 16:21:43 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=937138   For months, news of new investment at Ford’s two engine plants in Windsor, Ontario has been making the rounds. The supposed story was that Windsor would get a new family of small, fuel-efficient engines, and possibly even hybrid powertrains. The (wishful) thinking was that the profitable assembly of these powertrains might lead to small […]

The post Editorial: The Game Changer That Never Was appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
2011mustanggt_50l_09

 

For months, news of new investment at Ford’s two engine plants in Windsor, Ontario has been making the rounds. The supposed story was that Windsor would get a new family of small, fuel-efficient engines, and possibly even hybrid powertrains. The (wishful) thinking was that the profitable assembly of these powertrains might lead to small car production in Canada.

This past week, it emerged that Windsor would not get the new engine family, which would apparently have led to the creation of 1,000 direct jobs and as many as as 9,000 indirect jobs. Both Ford of Canada and the Ontario and Canadian federal governments could not agree on how large of a subsidy would have to be given out to bring the engine assembly to Ontario.

In the aftermath, new details are emerging. For starters, the investment was slated to go to Mexico (where small cars like the Fiesta are built), and Unifor, Canada’s auto worker union, tried to “steal the program”. Unifor’s Jerry Dias noted that the engines are destined for assembly plants in Mexico and there was a “heavy ask” from Ford in terms of subsidies.

This makes perfect sense: small cars are notoriously unprofitable, and building their powertrains in a high-cost jurisdiction makes little sense. Ford is rumored to be moving production of the Fiesta to Thailand, since Mexican assembly isn’t leading to a profitable North American-spec Fiesta. The idea of Canadian production of the Fiesta, or another small car, is a bit of a pipe dream.

On the other hand, all is not lost for Canadian manufacturing. Ford recently committed to building the next-generation Edge at their Oakville Assembly Complex, which means an additional 1,000 jobs. And the Windsor plants are currently building large V8 engines for Ford’s popular pickup trucks. Some outlets have suggested that the left-leaning Ontario government was interested in the smaller engines, since it sees fuel efficient small cars as the way of the future. But the sales data and consumer appetite for big pickups on both sides of the 49th Parallel suggest that Windsor’s current product portfolio – the 5.0L Coyote V8 and other larger engines – is the right one for current market conditions.

 

The post Editorial: The Game Changer That Never Was appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/editorial-game-changer-never/feed/ 59
Exported To Detroit: Next Ford Focus RS Won’t Be Built In Michigan http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/exported-detroit-next-ford-focus-rs-wont-built-michigan/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/exported-detroit-next-ford-focus-rs-wont-built-michigan/#comments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 12:00:46 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=933714 Fans of fast Fords will be glad to know that our sources at the Blue Oval have confirmed that the Ford Focus RS is on its way for a 2016 debut. It will be (relatively) affordable, provide a measurable performance boost above a Focus ST, and it will be imported from Europe. According to our […]

The post Exported To Detroit: Next Ford Focus RS Won’t Be Built In Michigan appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Ford-Focus-RS-2-450x309

Fans of fast Fords will be glad to know that our sources at the Blue Oval have confirmed that the Ford Focus RS is on its way for a 2016 debut. It will be (relatively) affordable, provide a measurable performance boost above a Focus ST, and it will be imported from Europe.

According to our source, the 2.3L Focus RS will be equipped with all-wheel drive and be priced a couple of thousand dollars higher than a loaded Ford Focus ST3. But getting your hands on one will be tough.

The Focus RS will have to be imported from Europe, since it apparently won’t fit down the production line at the Michigan Assembly Plant that builds our Focus. This means a very limited run of cars, serving as a halo car for those who want something more rally-inspired than a Mustang.

The post Exported To Detroit: Next Ford Focus RS Won’t Be Built In Michigan appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/exported-detroit-next-ford-focus-rs-wont-built-michigan/feed/ 16
Koesters: Ford May Build PHEV For Europe Should Demand Rise http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/koesters-ford-may-build-phev-europe-demand-rise/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/koesters-ford-may-build-phev-europe-demand-rise/#comments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 11:00:09 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=933746 While U.S. consumers can opt for a PHEV version of the Fusion or C-Max, European customers have had to look elsewhere. This could change soon, however. Automotive News reports Ford is “actively considering” bringing over a PHEV to go up against offerings from Volkswagen, Mitsubishi, Toyota and Volvo, according to vehicle line director for large […]

The post Koesters: Ford May Build PHEV For Europe Should Demand Rise appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
2015 Ford C-Max Energi

While U.S. consumers can opt for a PHEV version of the Fusion or C-Max, European customers have had to look elsewhere.

This could change soon, however.

Automotive News reports Ford is “actively considering” bringing over a PHEV to go up against offerings from Volkswagen, Mitsubishi, Toyota and Volvo, according to vehicle line director for large cars in Europe, Uli Koesters.

The reason the Blue Oval hadn’t planned on playing the game? Low demand in Europe for PHEVs overall. Koesters could immediately bring a PHEV to market, such as one based upon the Fusion’s European cousin, the Mondeo, but only if the interest is there:

I believe the plug-in take-up in Europe is not quite as ready as some people would like to think, but it is clearly a technology that can do a lot better at significantly reducing fuel consumption and that is why we are actively looking at it.

At the moment, the most popular PHEV is the Mitsubishi Outlander, with 8,953 units sold in H1 2014. Volvo, meanwhile, sold the fewest PHEVs in the same period, moving only 3,233 V60s.

The post Koesters: Ford May Build PHEV For Europe Should Demand Rise appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/koesters-ford-may-build-phev-europe-demand-rise/feed/ 6
Automakers, Utilities Collaborate On Plug-In Cloud Charging Technology http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/automakers-utilities-collaborate-plug-cloud-charging-technology/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/automakers-utilities-collaborate-plug-cloud-charging-technology/#comments Fri, 17 Oct 2014 14:00:49 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=932394 A group of eight automakers are collaborating with 15 utility companies in the United States to give PHEVs and EVs the ability to communicate with the latter party and the grid through cloud computing. Edmunds reports the group of eight — BMW, Ford, General Motors, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Honda, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota and Mitsubishi — along […]

The post Automakers, Utilities Collaborate On Plug-In Cloud Charging Technology appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Ford Focus EV Cloud Charging

A group of eight automakers are collaborating with 15 utility companies in the United States to give PHEVs and EVs the ability to communicate with the latter party and the grid through cloud computing.

Edmunds reports the group of eight — BMW, Ford, General Motors, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Honda, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota and Mitsubishi — along with the 15 companies, Sumitomo Electric Industries and the Electric Power Research Institute, are developing a platform that would use the cloud to better manage energy usage and grid efficiency “while still meeting the needs” of PHEV and EV owners. The platform is called the Open Vehicle-Grid Integration Platform.

OVGI would operate as follows: an owner would plug their car in as usual, then set a time for when the vehicle would be back on the road. The utility company could then send a message to the car to stop charging during peak power use, or, if doing so would hinder the vehicle’s ability to get back on the road, allow the vehicle to continue charging until it was ready to go.

In turn, the companies could offer their customers incentives to offer their plug-ins to the grid through lower rates on electricity usage. Customers can opt-out, charge elsewhere, or have the vehicle ignore the request.

The first OVGI test is occurring this week at Sacramento Municipal Utility District’s Customer Service Center, where the tech will be demonstrated before federal, state, automotive and utility representatives and officials.

The post Automakers, Utilities Collaborate On Plug-In Cloud Charging Technology appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/automakers-utilities-collaborate-plug-cloud-charging-technology/feed/ 15
Junkyard Find: 1993 Ford Taurus SHO http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/junkyard-find-1993-ford-taurus-sho/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/junkyard-find-1993-ford-taurus-sho/#comments Fri, 17 Oct 2014 13:00:05 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=931626 While the Ford Taurus has been the most numerous vehicle in American self-service wrecking yards for at least 15 years, most of the time they are the background against which the more interesting cars stand out. Only the SHO version seems worthy of inclusion in this series, and until today we’ve seen just just this […]

The post Junkyard Find: 1993 Ford Taurus SHO appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
13 - 1993 Ford Taurus SHO Down On the Junkyard - Picture By Murilee MartinWhile the Ford Taurus has been the most numerous vehicle in American self-service wrecking yards for at least 15 years, most of the time they are the background against which the more interesting cars stand out. Only the SHO version seems worthy of inclusion in this series, and until today we’ve seen just just this ’96 Taurus SHO with V8. These cars have been very affordable for quite some time, but there remains enough of an enthusiast base to keep most of the survivors on the road. Here’s one that I spotted in the San Francisco Bay Area back in August.
LTXS10-NickShots-336We see quite a few Taurus SHOs in 24 Hours of LeMons racing (in fact, Sajeev Mehta reviewed one for us a while back), and they’re both very quick and very fragile. Transmissions, engines, brakes, suspension— you name it, the Taurus SHO can break it in spectacular fashion.
09 - 1993 Ford Taurus SHO Down On the Junkyard - Picture By Murilee MartinThe heart of the first- and second-gen Taurus SHO is the frantic Yamaha-designed V6 engine. This one was good for 220 horsepower, which sure doesn’t seem like much these days.
04 - 1993 Ford Taurus SHO Down On the Junkyard - Picture By Murilee MartinThis one even has the manual transmission.
18 - 1993 Ford Taurus SHO Down On the Junkyard - Picture By Murilee Martin20 years from now, when the few remaining ’93 SHOs are worth big currency units, someone will find this post and marvel at the idea of a rust-free California car like this going to The Crusher. Reminds me of the very solid ’70 Buick GS I saw in the Oakland U-Pull, circa 1983.

Another reason why the Taurus is the best selling car in America, again.

01 - 1993 Ford Taurus SHO Down On the Junkyard - Picture By Murilee Martin 02 - 1993 Ford Taurus SHO Down On the Junkyard - Picture By Murilee Martin 03 - 1993 Ford Taurus SHO Down On the Junkyard - Picture By Murilee Martin 04 - 1993 Ford Taurus SHO Down On the Junkyard - Picture By Murilee Martin 05 - 1993 Ford Taurus SHO Down On the Junkyard - Picture By Murilee Martin 06 - 1993 Ford Taurus SHO Down On the Junkyard - Picture By Murilee Martin 07 - 1993 Ford Taurus SHO Down On the Junkyard - Picture By Murilee Martin 08 - 1993 Ford Taurus SHO Down On the Junkyard - Picture By Murilee Martin 09 - 1993 Ford Taurus SHO Down On the Junkyard - Picture By Murilee Martin 10 - 1993 Ford Taurus SHO Down On the Junkyard - Picture By Murilee Martin 11 - 1993 Ford Taurus SHO Down On the Junkyard - Picture By Murilee Martin 12 - 1993 Ford Taurus SHO Down On the Junkyard - Picture By Murilee Martin 13 - 1993 Ford Taurus SHO Down On the Junkyard - Picture By Murilee Martin 14 - 1993 Ford Taurus SHO Down On the Junkyard - Picture By Murilee Martin 15 - 1993 Ford Taurus SHO Down On the Junkyard - Picture By Murilee Martin 16 - 1993 Ford Taurus SHO Down On the Junkyard - Picture By Murilee Martin 17 - 1993 Ford Taurus SHO Down On the Junkyard - Picture By Murilee Martin 18 - 1993 Ford Taurus SHO Down On the Junkyard - Picture By Murilee Martin

The post Junkyard Find: 1993 Ford Taurus SHO appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/junkyard-find-1993-ford-taurus-sho/feed/ 77
Dispatches Do Brasil: Salão do Automóvel de São Paulo (A Preview Of The Sao Paulo Auto Show) http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/dispatches-brasil-salao-automovel-de-sao-paulo-preview-sao-paulo-auto-show/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/dispatches-brasil-salao-automovel-de-sao-paulo-preview-sao-paulo-auto-show/#comments Thu, 16 Oct 2014 15:40:42 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=932081 With an expected attendance of over 750,000 visitors, the biannual São Paulo Auto Salon opens its doors to the public on October 30th and will go on for 11 days. By far the largest of this kind of fair in Latin America, the organization of the show ambitions to turn it into one of the […]

The post Dispatches Do Brasil: Salão do Automóvel de São Paulo (A Preview Of The Sao Paulo Auto Show) appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
everestfront-550x412

With an expected attendance of over 750,000 visitors, the biannual São Paulo Auto Salon opens its doors to the public on October 30th and will go on for 11 days. By far the largest of this kind of fair in Latin America, the organization of the show ambitions to turn it into one of the five largest in the world and make it the world’s premier compact car launch platform. In 2012, only with Brazilian tourists going to see the show in the city of São Paulo, that city grossed over R$250 million. This year, expectations are that tourism, and all other businesses involved, will make 30 percent more than they did at the last one.

Since we are still a couple of weeks away, here’s a quick overview of the confirmed and the speculated, based on nationality. Check back next week as we cover the big debuts in depth.

The Americans

The Chrysler group will surely be among those most visited. Spies have taken pictures of pre-production run, Brazilian-built Renegades, which are, frankly, generating strong interest. Depending on price, it should be a hit.  Jeep will also show its Cherokee and this will be the first time most of us will be able to lay our eyeballs in person on the thing. Challenger and Viper should be shown yet again, but mostly as attention getters as there are no official plans for them in Brazil.

GM will show the latest Corvette and this should garner interest. There are strong indications that they will finally get around to importing the thing (about time). A Camaro Z28 should also make the rounds. For the real world, a Spin minivan in “adventure” guise is rumored, including an a la Wrangler, back hatch-mounted spare.

Ford will also be busy showing imports. The new Edge, and the body-on-frame Everest SUV will be shown. Most importantly, the Mustang seems set to become Brazilian, the first time ever; Ford will import its wild pony, though only for 2016. Of course the new line will be shown, and the Ka should be of particular interest for Brazilians, though the new Focus shown elsewhere will be hidden as the three front triangles one has been here for less than a year.

The Chinese

If you fall down, try again. After relative success when they first arrived, the Chinese have been beaten down by government intervention, high depreciation, continued worries on quality, and mechanically (some) and dynamically (most) have been considered abject failures. Changing strategy, most makers will now focus on CUVs, ranging from compact to gigantic as their hatches and sedans have proved uncompetitive so far.

The French

…will be very busy. PSA should get a lot of visitors as they continue to spin off the DS sub-brand into its own brand. All models will be present and the most important launch is the DS 6WR, a midsize CUV-SUV-thing with turbo engines of up to 200 hp. Citroën will show off the Cactus, but to underscore that it will not be for us, the model shown is the show-circuit one. Peugeot meanwhile, has real news. For the first time in Brazil, it will exhibit its compact 2008 CUV, slated for Brazilian production and on sale by the middle of next year. To attract attention, besides the civilian version, the 37-inch wheeled, V6 biturbo motivated 2008 DKR that will compete in the 2015 Dakar Rally will be here. Another anticipated car is the Brazilian market 208 compact hatch in GT trim, an homage we can say to the European GTi as engines (1.6L, 165 hp) and number of doors (5 and not 3) will be different.

Renault has not confirmed the Duster pickup, but it should go on sale by midyear 2015 will be proudly shown off. If true, they will have a busy stand, because besides concepts, that will be the only launch. Beyond that possibility, both redesigned Fluence and Duster are confirmed. What has not been confirmed are exactly what changes are expected to the Duster. Some say only externally, and in the front it will be retouched. For Duster fans, the most important news will be if the inside finally follows the redesigned and much more inspired new Logan and Sandero interiors. Speaking of the hatch, the Stepway “adventure” version will make its debut and surely generate sales and visits for Renault.

The Italians

Alfa Romeo will again tug our hearts and show off their full line (what there is of it) in São Paulo. Rumors as to their return have been growing of late and a full line show can’t be a coincidence (can it?). The 4C will collect millions of flashes, from a distance, as Alfa Romeo is usually one of those who show but don’t allow touching.

Fiat has not officially denied or confirmed any new launches for the Salon. As the largest Brazilian maker, the new Uno should be enough to generate lines at the stand, but they always have a surprise or two up their sleeves. I wouldn’t call you crazy if you expect to see the 500L and even the 500X (also already in pre-production in the new factory) make an appearance. Besides, the female model selection is usually best in show.

The Germans

Audi will probably show coupe and convertible of the new, angular TT. Taking a page from China, the extra-long A8L is confirmed and, if Brazilian plutocrats demonstrate enough interest, could be imported.

BMW will show the electric line, i3 and i8, and surely talk in the backstage to authorities of the necessity of credit and financing to popularize such cars in this country. Besides those and the regular line, the homely X4 and Series 2 Active Tourer will be launched. Sort of German, but I will include it here; MINI will show off its also homely new line, including the 5-door hatch.

Mercedes Benz will show their regular line and the crazily-powerful, AMG-branded or not, vehicles launched in other international salons recently. In a good moment in Brazil, probably beating their über rivals in sales this year, some of their models will not be shown at their stand, but will rather rub shoulders with such luminaries and exotics as Rolls Royce, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Porsche and others in the so-called “Super Cars’ Space”.

Volkswagen will have lots of attractions. In the Brazilian line, the adventure line of the demure up! will be presented, as will the SpaceFox, a sort of a cross between a minivan and station wagon. It will receive the changes the hatch it derives from (the Fox) has already received. The best news though is the Jetta. VW has confirmed local production for the new one (one less Mexican import), which will submit to the same re-skin the American Jetta suffered recently.

The Japanese

Honda will showcase its new HR-V or Vezel. Maybe they’ll even settle on a name… The car will use a 1.8 engine and aim at EcoSport and Duster. The Civic Si makes its glorious return. This time it will be imported only in coupe form, use a 2.4, and be sold for a modest R$115,000. The re-styled CR-V is also likely to show.

Nissan will show its re-styled Versa and March, both of which are already in production at their new Brazilian plant, which marks the first time Nissan is producing in its own factory here, as its Livina minivan is built by Renault at the French facility. To call even more attention, the re-tuned 553 hp, Nissan GT-R will grace the stand.

Called 86 here, the Toyota twin of the Toyota-Subaru collaboration will appear yet again. It was shown back in 2012, but nothing came about. This time around Toyota promises to import it. Showing mostly the regular line, it seems Toyota is focusing on Lexus.

Lexus will focus more on CUVs than sedans. After importing and failing to sell their sedans for lack of prestige and an excess of ambition (priced higher than the equivalent German suspects, much more known and oozing in prestige), might be that the bizarre NX could do the trick. I wouldn’t hold my breath though as things like Land Rover Evoque and Audi Q3 are firmly entrenched in the category and command much better brand recognition.

At least Lexus tries; Acura and Infiniti have given up the pretense and will be noticeable only by their absence.

The Koreans

…also known as Hyundai-Kia, seem not too interested. Hyundai promises to show its pseudo-German Genesis, while Kia neither acknowledges nor denies rumors that the K900 will appear for the first time in South America.

The others

Jaguar, Ferrari, Maserati, Porsche, Volvo, among others will all be here. In spite of showing only what has already been seen and launched elsewhere, they always attract a crowd as the Salon is a real opportunity for many a Brazilian to see these cars up close. Depending on attractiveness though, and if people are not too interested, some of these brands, sometimes, are known to throw caution in the wind and hide the ropes, letting the hordes actually open and close doors, mess with the switchgear and sit in the cars.

 

The post Dispatches Do Brasil: Salão do Automóvel de São Paulo (A Preview Of The Sao Paulo Auto Show) appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/dispatches-brasil-salao-automovel-de-sao-paulo-preview-sao-paulo-auto-show/feed/ 12
Ford Hires 850 To Build New F-150 Ahead Of 2015 UAW Negotiations http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/ford-hires-850-build-new-f-150-ahead-2015-uaw-negotiations/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/ford-hires-850-build-new-f-150-ahead-2015-uaw-negotiations/#comments Tue, 14 Oct 2014 11:00:43 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=930842 In anticipation of high demand for the 2015 Ford F-150 — as well as covering its bases ahead of negotiations with the United Auto Workers in 2015 — the Blue Oval is hiring 850 employees to help assemble the reborn king of Truck Mountain at the automaker’s Dearborn, Mich. plant. Bloomberg reports the new hires […]

The post Ford Hires 850 To Build New F-150 Ahead Of 2015 UAW Negotiations appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
2015_Ford_F-150_Pickup_Truck

In anticipation of high demand for the 2015 Ford F-150 — as well as covering its bases ahead of negotiations with the United Auto Workers in 2015 — the Blue Oval is hiring 850 employees to help assemble the reborn king of Truck Mountain at the automaker’s Dearborn, Mich. plant.

Bloomberg reports the new hires bring the total of hourly employees brought into the fold since 2011 to 14,000, 2,000 more than pledged to the UAW three years ago, when it promised to hire 12,000 by 2015. The 850 will be split up, with 500 headed for assembly, nearly 300 to stamping, and over 50 allocated to Dearborn Diversified.

The hiring spree is in part due to the two-tier system put into place seven years ago, with new Ford employees making just over half of the $27/hour wage veteran employees are paid. The system will likely be on the table when the UAW begins negotiations with the Detroit Two and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles next year.

The total number of employees working for Ford stand at 84,000 in North America, up from 75,000 in 2011, when the pledge was made.

The post Ford Hires 850 To Build New F-150 Ahead Of 2015 UAW Negotiations appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/ford-hires-850-build-new-f-150-ahead-2015-uaw-negotiations/feed/ 17
Junkyard Find: Electric-Powered 1988 Ford Ranger Custom http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/junkyard-find-electric-powered-1988-ford-ranger-custom/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/junkyard-find-electric-powered-1988-ford-ranger-custom/#comments Fri, 10 Oct 2014 13:00:16 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=926825 I’ve just driven a couple of modern electric cars, the Mitsubishi i-MiEV and the Tesla Model S, and they’re real cars. Actually, the i-MiEV is a perfectly serviceable short-distance commuter and the Model S is the best street car I’ve ever driven, but I was ready to hate both of them a lot, because all […]

The post Junkyard Find: Electric-Powered 1988 Ford Ranger Custom appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
15 - Electric 1988 Ford Ranger Down On the Junkyard - Picture By Murilee MartinI’ve just driven a couple of modern electric cars, the Mitsubishi i-MiEV and the Tesla Model S, and they’re real cars. Actually, the i-MiEV is a perfectly serviceable short-distance commuter and the Model S is the best street car I’ve ever driven, but I was ready to hate both of them a lot, because all my previous experience with EVs had involved growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area in the 1970s and hearing a lot of eat-yer-vegetables talk from earnest green types about how electric cars are good for you, when in fact those cars sucked stringwart-covered pangolin nodules. Then, of course, there are all the flake-O electric conversions from the 1980-2000 era that I’ve seen, a fair number of which appear in self-service wrecking yards as long-abandoned EV conversions are towed out of back yards and driveways. In this series, we’ve seen this EVolve Electrics 1995 Geo Metro and this 1988 Chevrolet Sprint Electric Sport, and there have been others too stripped to be worth photographing. Today we’re going to look at a California-based Ford Ranger that still has just about all its electric running gear.
14 - Electric 1988 Ford Ranger Down On the Junkyard - Picture By Murilee MartinSome EVs like this were put together for driving around in warehouses, others were built by government agencies trying to showcase green technologies, and still more were built by backyard electric-car fanatics. Ford even built their own electric Rangers later on.
04 - Electric 1988 Ford Ranger Down On the Junkyard - Picture By Murilee MartinSince the battery box (or what I am assuming is the battery box) is so small, my guess is that this truck was made for short-distance indoor use. Running parts inside hangars at nearby Oakland Airport?
Note: Crab Spirits did some research and found this truck on the North Bay Electric Automobile Association website for us. It turns out to be a veteran of the 2004 North Bay Eco-Fest, i.e., it was admired by a lot of earnest Marin County green types, all of whom probably abandoned their 20-mile-range EVs the moment they could buy a Leaf.
17 - Electric 1988 Ford Ranger Down On the Junkyard - Picture By Murilee MartinI thought about buying these gauges for eBay reselling later, but it didn’t seem worth the hassle.
09 - Electric 1988 Ford Ranger Down On the Junkyard - Picture By Murilee MartinThe motor was still there when I visited this yard about a month ago, but the value of the copper inside it means that this is one part that will not go to The Crusher.
06 - Electric 1988 Ford Ranger Down On the Junkyard - Picture By Murilee MartinGreat big Bycan battery charger under the hood.
16 - Electric 1988 Ford Ranger Down On the Junkyard - Picture By Murilee MartinI doubt that the sight of this truck had Chevron execs trembling.
19 - Electric 1988 Ford Ranger Down On the Junkyard - Picture By Murilee MartinI didn’t check underneath to see if the original automatic transmission was still installed. The shifter might have been just used to control forward and reverse.

01 - Electric 1988 Ford Ranger Down On the Junkyard - Picture By Murilee Martin 02 - Electric 1988 Ford Ranger Down On the Junkyard - Picture By Murilee Martin 03 - Electric 1988 Ford Ranger Down On the Junkyard - Picture By Murilee Martin 04 - Electric 1988 Ford Ranger Down On the Junkyard - Picture By Murilee Martin 05 - Electric 1988 Ford Ranger Down On the Junkyard - Picture By Murilee Martin 06 - Electric 1988 Ford Ranger Down On the Junkyard - Picture By Murilee Martin 07 - Electric 1988 Ford Ranger Down On the Junkyard - Picture By Murilee Martin 08 - Electric 1988 Ford Ranger Down On the Junkyard - Picture By Murilee Martin 09 - Electric 1988 Ford Ranger Down On the Junkyard - Picture By Murilee Martin 10 - Electric 1988 Ford Ranger Down On the Junkyard - Picture By Murilee Martin 11 - Electric 1988 Ford Ranger Down On the Junkyard - Picture By Murilee Martin 12 - Electric 1988 Ford Ranger Down On the Junkyard - Picture By Murilee Martin 13 - Electric 1988 Ford Ranger Down On the Junkyard - Picture By Murilee Martin 14 - Electric 1988 Ford Ranger Down On the Junkyard - Picture By Murilee Martin 15 - Electric 1988 Ford Ranger Down On the Junkyard - Picture By Murilee Martin 16 - Electric 1988 Ford Ranger Down On the Junkyard - Picture By Murilee Martin 17 - Electric 1988 Ford Ranger Down On the Junkyard - Picture By Murilee Martin 18 - Electric 1988 Ford Ranger Down On the Junkyard - Picture By Murilee Martin 19 - Electric 1988 Ford Ranger Down On the Junkyard - Picture By Murilee Martin 20 - Electric 1988 Ford Ranger Down On the Junkyard - Picture By Murilee Martin 21 - Electric 1988 Ford Ranger Down On the Junkyard - Picture By Murilee Martin

The post Junkyard Find: Electric-Powered 1988 Ford Ranger Custom appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/junkyard-find-electric-powered-1988-ford-ranger-custom/feed/ 21
Exclusive: Lincoln’s Upcoming RWD Crossover http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/exclusive-lincolns-upcoming-rwd-crossover/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/exclusive-lincolns-upcoming-rwd-crossover/#comments Tue, 07 Oct 2014 12:06:36 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=927137 Thanks to TTAC‘s sources inside the Blue Oval (the same ones who scuttled rumors of a revived Ford GT), we can exclusively reveal that the long awaited RWD Lincoln is in the works, along with a Ford counterpart. But the newest rear-drive Blue Oval vehicle won’t be a sedan ala the Lincoln Continental or a Ford […]

The post Exclusive: Lincoln’s Upcoming RWD Crossover appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
1024px-2011_Ford_Territory_(SZ)_Titanium_TDCi_wagon_(2011-11-17)_01

Thanks to TTAC‘s sources inside the Blue Oval (the same ones who scuttled rumors of a revived Ford GT), we can exclusively reveal that the long awaited RWD Lincoln is in the works, along with a Ford counterpart. But the newest rear-drive Blue Oval vehicle won’t be a sedan ala the Lincoln Continental or a Ford Falcon revival. It’s going to be a crossover.

On the surface, the idea of two rear-drive crossovers makes zero sense at all. Rear-wheel drive is now primarily used for enhanced driving dynamics, and a crossover isn’t exactly the kind of vehicle that stands to benefit from such a layout. But Ford has tried this before with the Australian market Territory (above) a vehicle that was widely lauded for its performance and practicality.

But a closer look at the dynamics of the auto market place shows that a new full-size sedan is a fool’s errand. The full-size market is shrinking with each year, as large crossovers take an increasing bite out of a once dominant segment. The next generation Ford Taurus is rumored to be dead in the water after it bombed a series of design clinics – instead, a large Ford sedan based on the Fusion’s CD platform will be built for the Chinese market, alongside Project GOBI, a large Lincoln sedan, akin to the MKS, but focused on Chinese tastes and sold world wide.

Aside from the growing crossover market, there’s also the matter of police car sales. Year-to-date, the Explorer Police Interceptor sales are up 52 percent while Taurus Interceptor sales are down 7 percent, with the Explorer outselling the Taurus by a 2:1 margin. By combining the SUV bodystyle and rear-drive dynamics in a Pursuit rated package, Ford could offer a police vehicle that offers law enforcement officials the best of both worlds, while also offers an alternative to the Chevrolet Tahoe that is more fuel efficient and able to use the same mounting points for police hardware as previous Ford vehicles.

A civilian version would be a slightly different beast. Although rear-drive would be a way to differentiate itself from the Edge and MKX, most of the new upcoming RWD CUVs would likely leave the showroom with AWD. We don’t know much about powertrains, styling details or even a moniker for the future Lincoln, but we do know the name for the upcoming Ford version.

Explorer.

The post Exclusive: Lincoln’s Upcoming RWD Crossover appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/exclusive-lincolns-upcoming-rwd-crossover/feed/ 118
Deep Dive: Ford 1.0L Ecoboost http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/deep-dive-ford-1-0l-ecoboost/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/deep-dive-ford-1-0l-ecoboost/#comments Mon, 06 Oct 2014 18:35:50 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=926729 Brown paint isn’t available from the factory and adding diesel would require pumping out its fuel system, but Ford’s Fiesta SFE is practically built for the Internet. Though sales projection for the turbocharged, direct-injected three cylinder subcompact are modest, the car is at least proving popular to discuss. TTAC has already triple-teamed the basics through […]

The post Deep Dive: Ford 1.0L Ecoboost appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Fiesta_front

Brown paint isn’t available from the factory and adding diesel would require pumping out its fuel system, but Ford’s Fiesta SFE is practically built for the Internet. Though sales projection for the turbocharged, direct-injected three cylinder subcompact are modest, the car is at least proving popular to discuss. TTAC has already triple-teamed the basics through capsule reviews – it is more composed than sporty, more mature than it is hoonish, and the selling proposition is a bit of a mystery. Ford sent me the car for a week’s evaluation as well. What’s left to be said?

Quite a bit actually, as long as you are interested in FoMoCo’s smallest production engine. This ain’t the paint shaker you’ve experienced in the Mitsubishi Mirage or other triples. If anything, it’s a sign of things to come.

Most North Americans associate three cylinder engines with improved fuel economy, reduced power and added vibration. In spite of this, Ford boldly suggests you spend an extra $995 to get the three cylinder over than the standard inline four. Horsepower (123) only improves by a modest three geldings over the 1.6 Sigma four, but 148 lb. ft. of torque (an improvement of 36) will get the driver’s attention. Fuel economy, at 31 city/43 highway/36 combined, is up by 3/7/5 versus the Sigma. While arranging for the loan, Ford also insisted that the 1.0L EcoBoost was a qualitative improvement too. That’s a bold claim, but 450 miles of driving convinced me that Ford pulled it off.

Vibration is inherent in three cylinder engines – an odd number of cylinders means there are no “equal but opposite” actions happening across the engine block to calm things down. Left to their own devices, triples tend to move around on their mounts and often make booming resonances. OEMs generally respond by adding counterrotating balance shafts. This minimizes vibration at the expense of fuel economy and power output, which isn’t much of a sales pitch.

Ford chose a different path. As seen in the below video, fore-and-aft motion was dealt with by intentionally unbalancing the flywheel and accessory pulley. The increased lateral motion was then handled via careful tuning of the engine mounts and their placement. They aren’t active mounts like some publications have reported, but they generally do the job. Startup is a touch rougher than a well-tuned inline four and buzz sometimes passes through the steering wheel at idle, but my passengers suspected nothing unusual ahead of the firewall. So far, so good.

Click here to view the embedded video.

An iron block allows for compact overall dimensions and cylinder walls of just 6 millimeters. The thin walls and dual cooling circuits in the engine (one for the block, one for the aluminum head) both aid warm-up times and improve efficiency. The oil pump is a variable-displacement unit and particularly improves efficiency at higher rpm. The crankshaft is also offset to reduce friction along the pistons. Some early press reports indicated that the Fiesta SFE features regenerative brakes as well. Don’t go looking for any additional batteries or electric motors – the car only features a “smart” alternator that cycles during deceleration to avoid unnecessary taxing of the engine. Start-stop isn’t offered in the US, but Ford said this was only due to market acceptance (the option is available with this engine in Europe).

Interestingly, the exhaust manifold is water-cooled and integrates directly into the cylinder head. (The upcoming 2.7L EcoBoost engine also features this construction). This water-cooling negates the need to dump extra fuel to cool the turbo at high rpm. Speaking of turbos, this specimen is of the small, low-inertia sort and spins up to 248,000 rpm. A vacuum-actuated wastegate keeps the turbo spooled when freewheeling to reduce lag. At least on paper, power and efficiency are both accounted for then.

???????????????????????????????

Power and efficiency were both accounted for during my driving as well. The gearing stops it from feeling Fiesta ST-fast, but 125 lb. ft. of torque at 2,500 rpm is plenty sufficient for city maneuvers if you don’t write for Car & Driver. Interstate performance was also among the best I’ve met in a subcompact – 70 mph equates to a peaceable 2,500 rpm, yet passing power is intact. My daily drive is a 40/40/20 split of highway/country/city driving. The overall result after 450 miles was 42.8 miles per gallon (I took one final Interstate drive before snapping the above picture). Driven like I owned it, I’m sure the Fiesta would yield at least a couple more mpg.

???????????????????????????????

So far, we’ve established that this is a high-feature engine that happens to be small. Does it require high-end maintenance then? Not according to Ford’s published schedule. Some competing small displacement turbocharged engines require unusual oil weights, but the 5W-20 Ford calls for should be an easy find at your local autoparts store. The side-mounted oil filter will be messy, but at least the entire underside of the engine bay isn’t totally shrouded in plastic (I’M LOOKING AT YOU, FORD ESCAPE 1.6!). The top of the engine resembles a spaghetti-monster of plumbing at first glance, but accessory belts, spark plugs and the other DIY maintenance items are all accessible. The shade tree mechanic isn’t obsolete yet then… depending how you feel about the timing belt. As with some of Ford’s other recent small engine implementations, the belt is sealed and immersed in oil to reduce friction, reduce noise and increase the service interval. An inspection is called for at 150,000 miles, but Ford expects the belt to last the life of the engine. That’s great if they are right, but the replacement will be exceptionally complex if they are wrong.

Quibbles aside, 450 miles was enough to convince me that the 1.0L EcoBoost is both a qualitative and quantitative improvement over the 1.6 Sigma. Those who consider the Fiesta too small may be more interested in the upcoming application in the Focus. Ford is currently mum on whether the Focus will be tuned for more output in North America, but these variants already exist in Europe – the 1.0L EcoBoost has achieved 160 hp with just software tweaks and 200 hp with hardware upgrades. Whether this particular engine sells in meaningful volumes in North America will probably hinge on the ability to pair the engine with an automatic transmission in the upcoming Focus, but the 1.0L Ecoboost is undoubtably a sign of the times. And I know at least 42.8 reasons why that isn’t a bad thing.

The post Deep Dive: Ford 1.0L Ecoboost appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/deep-dive-ford-1-0l-ecoboost/feed/ 112
Housekeeping: On Clickbait, Wish Fulfillment And The Ford GT http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/housekeeping-clickbait-wish-fulfillment-ford-gt/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/housekeeping-clickbait-wish-fulfillment-ford-gt/#comments Mon, 06 Oct 2014 17:26:20 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=926689 None of you could ever accuse me of having a particularly thick skin, but there is one accusation that does get to me. Cries of “clickbait” are often doled out in these pages. They seem to occur when somebody disagrees with the conclusions reached in the article, or when too much negative light is shed on […]

The post Housekeeping: On Clickbait, Wish Fulfillment And The Ford GT appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
2005_Ford_GT

None of you could ever accuse me of having a particularly thick skin, but there is one accusation that does get to me. Cries of “clickbait” are often doled out in these pages. They seem to occur when somebody disagrees with the conclusions reached in the article, or when too much negative light is shed on the reader’s pet brand. Cognitive lapses aside, these accusations get under my skin for a couple of reasons

  1. TTAC has never been under a mandate to increase our click count, and as long as I am at the helm, it will not be. Unlike other competitors, who tie everything from their editorial schedule to the compensation of their writers to “clicks”, we are allowed to sacrifice quantity in favor of quality and editorial independence. This means that in exchange for our freedom, we don’t get certain things, like unfettered press car access, or the budget to hire a copy editor. But our owners at VerticalScope have consistently understood and respected our need to liberate this site from the shackles of tyranny: in this case, click-based reporting, compensation structures etc. It comes at a significant cost, in terms of budget and salaries, but the end result is a website that can bring you The Truth About Cars, rather than baseless rumors, photos of celebrity genitalia and other unseemly editorial topics designed to juice our stats.
  2. In terms of ROI, a 1000 word essay on the topic of automobiles is hardly the stuff that clickbait is made of. Slide shows, listicles and the like are far better instruments to cheaply generate clicks, and they’ve never appeared on this site. Not agreeing with a point of view does not equal clickbait.

That’s not to say that all clickbait appears in the form of a Buzzfeed-esque “YOU WON’T BELIEVE WHAT THESE 25 ADORABLE BABY DIESEL WAGONS DID NEXT” piece of “content”. Sometimes, you get it in the blind repetition of totally baseless rumors that are, at best, wish-fulfillment for poorly trained, poorly paid bloggers and at worst, inaccurate information posted out of a reckless disregard for the realities of what it takes to bring a new vehicle to market.

On October 1st, Road & Track published a piece titled “All signs point to new Ford GT and 2016 return to Le Mans”. The piece was authored by respected motorsports figure Marshall Pruett, though it was largely filled with speculation and conjecture, though R&T, felt that Pruett’s sources and Pruett’s own track record were sufficient to run with the story. That alone lends a measure of credibility to the story, though as we’ll see, it was contradicted by our own sources.

In the piece, Pruett asserts that the Ford GT supercar will be revived in 2016, to coincide with Ford’s 50 year anniversary of its racing efforts at Le Mans. How does Pruett know this?

Recent meetings between GTE constructors on 2016 rules, as witnessed at Circuit of The Americas, have included a representative affiliated with Ford, and based on additional feedback, a launch of the Ford GT 24 Hours of Le Mans project would coincide with the introduction of the successor to the Ford GT, which ceased production in 2007. 

Based on additional feedback? What exactly does that mean? Pruett then asks Jamie Allison, the head of Ford Racing, whether plans are afoot for a revived GT. Allison’s response is about as close to an outright denial as one can get

“Our focus right now is, obviously, finishing the season on a high note at Petit Le Mans,” he said.  “Our focus is also working with our partners.  I do look forward into a future of some of the classes in the sport, including the P2 we just talked about.  We really have our near-term lenses on our participating in the sport and that’s really the scope that we are focused on.

“Anything beyond that would be strictly endeavoring into… just propagating something that is not within the scope of what we focus on. In our realm and in the world of sports-car racing, [we’re] really focused on our EcoBoost-powered DP and focusing on the season here as it comes to an exciting end at Petit Le Mans.”

It all adds up to pretty flimsy evidence that a new GT is in the works. Pruett makes a giant leap of his own, stating “Here’s the thing, Allison could have just said, “No.”  But he didn’t,” and then speculating on which high-end race shop could prepare the car, and suggesting a 2015 Detroit Auto Show debut.

Rather than follow the lead of a million other outlets and blindly regurgitate the story, we chose to wait to see if anyone could confirm the story. Here at TTAC, we have the luxury of being able to take time and talk to people who are in a position to give us a straight answer. And according to our numerous sources inside the Blue Oval and its suppliers, this story is worth less than Zimbabwean currency.

Despite its mythical status and strong secondary market values, the original Ford GT was considered a failure. It sold poorly, cost a ton of money to bring to market and was quickly axed.

Anyone with a basic understanding of how new vehicle programs work would know that even if there were budget, personnel, R&D resources and production capacity available, a 2015 introduction and a 2016 launch for a brand new sports car that shares virtually no common components with an existing vehicle is a laughably short timeline, bordering on fantasy. Our Ford sources, mired with the task of reviving Lincoln, supporting a struggling European unit and launching the most important vehicle in their portfolio, to be a flight of fancy from the enthusiast community. Another publication suggested that perhaps a super secret skunkworks team is hard at work on the car, but even this is little more than the stuff of car guy fantasy. Such teams do exist in certain capacities, but every new vehicle program, from the lowliest crossover to the most game-changing halo supercar has its own new vehicle program that is visible to the relevant employees who are responsible for tracking and reporting on the progress of these programs to top executives. Our sources are the people involved in these functions, and they were able to confirm that this program does not exist anywhere within Ford (stay tuned this week when we leak all of those juicy product details).

Here’s where things get out of control. R&T and Pruett did the original reporting, the vetting of sources and exercised judgment on running the story. Even if the info doesn’t pan out, that’s still the proper process for maintaining journalistic integrity.

What’s truly insidious is the fact that countless outlets outlets blindly regurgitated the item without making even the slightest attempt to verify its accuracy – or even worse, slyly admit that it was basically nonsense, but still run with it anyways. This is the most subtle and most insidious form of clickbait – publishing articles that are known to be false, out of negligence or a desire to deceive all in the name of boosting traffic stats. And it’s the kind that you’ll never, ever see on these pages. R&T has the kind of processes that are missing from the more unscrupulous players. They think there is something to the rumors and feel confident in reporting them, to the point that they will stand behind what they report. The other guys are happy to publish something they wouldn’t stand behind, and they are doing it with a wink and a nod. If the rumors don’t pan out, they’ll never be held accountable for reporting on it, and they know it.

All we get for it is less revenue, a need to go outside official channels for vehicle reviews, none of the traditional perks that the auto media is accustomed to and a select group of commenters eager to accuse this site of the very tactics that is deliberately eschews. We must be insane.

The post Housekeeping: On Clickbait, Wish Fulfillment And The Ford GT appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/housekeeping-clickbait-wish-fulfillment-ford-gt/feed/ 68
Ford Mulling Smaller Pickup, But Global Ranger Is Too Big http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/ford-mulling-smaller-pickup-global-ranger-big/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/ford-mulling-smaller-pickup-global-ranger-big/#comments Mon, 06 Oct 2014 15:59:25 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=926657 Ford is said to be mulling a smaller pickup to slot beneath the F-150, plucked from their existing global product portfolio. One thing we are sure of is that it won’t be the new “global Ranger” sold in world markets. Despite the relentless insistence of enthusiasts, Ford’s new Ranger will not be sold here because […]

The post Ford Mulling Smaller Pickup, But Global Ranger Is Too Big appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
1024px-Ford_Ranger_3.2_TDCi_Wildtrak_Doppelkabine_(III)_–_Frontansicht,_14._April_2013,_Düsseldorf

Ford is said to be mulling a smaller pickup to slot beneath the F-150, plucked from their existing global product portfolio. One thing we are sure of is that it won’t be the new “global Ranger” sold in world markets.

Despite the relentless insistence of enthusiasts, Ford’s new Ranger will not be sold here because it is simply too big. Calling it “90% of the F-150 size”, Ford’s Dave Scott told USA Today that the new truck would be a true small truck, rather than something mid-size like the new Chevrolet Colorado.

“We’re looking at it. We think we could sell a compact truck that’s more like the size of the old Ranger, that gets six or eight more miles per gallon (than a full-size truck), is $5,000 or $6,000 less, and that we could build in the U.S. to avoid the tariff on imported trucks,” he says.

And there lies the problem. How do you find a product cheap enough to sell at such a price point (the F-150 already starts at around $20,000), and then amortize the cost of producing it in an American factory and homologating it for FMVSS standards while still making a profit? Oh, and there’s the whole CAFE thing as well.

Despite the insistence of the internet small truck brigade, the case for the small(er) truck is largely predicated on desiring variety for its own sake. The obstacles to profitability are extremely high, and there aren’t enough customers demanding a small truck to make the exercise worthwhile. The alternatives are to bring a unibody “lifestyle truck”, as Ford is exploring, or letting your current mid-sizer sit on the vine for years, sans updates, as Toyota and Nissan have done with the Tacoma and Frontier. In Nissan’s case, even developing something affordable for North American consumers on a long amortized platform was deemed to be an economically unfeasible proposition, thanks to burdensome regulations and weak demand.

The alternative is to task a risk, listen to the cheerleaders and bring out a new mid-size truck…and then have your dealers upsell potential customers into a more profitable full-size truck that also happens to have four-figure rebates attached to it. Don’t think that’s going to happen? Go ahead, I’ll wait.

The post Ford Mulling Smaller Pickup, But Global Ranger Is Too Big appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/ford-mulling-smaller-pickup-global-ranger-big/feed/ 159
UAW Prepares For Autumn 2015 Detroit Three Negotiatons http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/uaw-prepares-autumn-2015-detroit-three-negotiatons/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/uaw-prepares-autumn-2015-detroit-three-negotiatons/#comments Mon, 06 Oct 2014 13:00:04 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=926465 Autumn 2015 will be a big moment for the United Auto Workers, as the union prepares to negotiate new contracts with the Detroit Three, with the aim of improving pay for both Tier 1 and Tier 2 members under conditions that weren’t there in the year prior to the Great Recession. The Detroit News reports […]

The post UAW Prepares For Autumn 2015 Detroit Three Negotiatons appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
UAW-logo-outside-Union-Solidarity-House

Autumn 2015 will be a big moment for the United Auto Workers, as the union prepares to negotiate new contracts with the Detroit Three, with the aim of improving pay for both Tier 1 and Tier 2 members under conditions that weren’t there in the year prior to the Great Recession.

The Detroit News reports the UAW wants the Detroit Three to give Tier 1 employees the first raise since 2007, as well as add more jobs to the factory floor. Meanwhile, the union is also facing pressure to improve the financial state of Tier 2 employees, who earn less than those grandfathered by the 2007 contracts, with benefits to match.

On the other side of the table, the Detroit Three want to reduce pension costs among those on the floor as they had with those who retired. GM and Ford offered buyouts for employees who agreed to forgo future benefits, while Chrysler froze its plans for 8,000 salaried employees in 2013.

Outside the conference room, Michigan’s right-to-work law will give current union members and new employees the right to not be a part of a union. That said, UAW president Dennis Williams says members in other right-to-work states have remained members despite the option to opt-out, and won’t focus all of his energy on this issue.

As far as striking is concerned, Williams want to avoid using that option “unnecessarily,” but does want the Detroit Three to know that his membership “have sacrificed,” and that new members “want a higher standard of living.” The union recently raised dues 25 percent to replenish its strike fund — having fallen to $600 million — to remind companies how serious the threat of work stoppage can be.

Finally, the UAW will continue to bring aboard transplants in the Southeastern United States, like those working for Volkswagen, Nissan and Mercedes-Benz, as well as suppliers, employees in the gaming industry, and those in higher education.

The post UAW Prepares For Autumn 2015 Detroit Three Negotiatons appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/uaw-prepares-autumn-2015-detroit-three-negotiatons/feed/ 28