Along with the arrival of the car comes a new online buying process, one that seems likely to spread across the Ford lineup – it should be set for use with the Bronco, as well.
It’s a process that could mostly eliminate the worst parts of dealing with the sales department at a new-car dealership.
I mentioned it before, when ripping that Ford ad that got me riled during an NFL Sunday, but I still strongly believe the Ford Mustang Mach-E shouldn’t have “Mustang” in its name.
(Yeah, it’s Mach-E week around these parts. If you couldn’t tell. More to come on the Mach-E later today or next week.)
“Is the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E a proper Mustang?”
It’s a fair question, and one that I’m not sure I can answer. For many of you, a Mustang is a two-door, rear-drive car powered by a V8. If that’s the case, then this is NOT a Mustang. But if you are looking for a car that’s probably more fun than it needs to be, with decent storage and practicality, then the Mustang Mach-E might be something you want to look at. If you extend the Mustang definition to mean “a fun car,” then the Mach-E delivers.
Ford has introduced the all-new 2021 F-150 Tremor, the latest addition to its roster of off-road trucks. Tremor’s improved suspension and driveline, increased suspension travel, and approach, breakover and departure angles, are expected to keep Ford in the hunt for off-road buyers.
The automotive world’s most anticipated product is now delayed again. No, not the All-New Ford EcoSport. In a communication to dealerships, Ford confirmed that the 2021 Ford Bronco would be delayed until Summer 2021. The rollout change was forced by COVID-19 challenges that some of Ford’s suppliers are facing. In a communication sent to dealers that a tipster provided to TTAC, Ford also provided an update on some Bronco options.
My first car was a hand-me-down 1984 Ford Bronco II that my parents bought new. I took possession of it as a hot-to-trot teenager in 1997, happy to finally be a licensed driver and glad I was lucky enough that my parents could gift me a car, even if it was over a decade old and even if my end of the bargain was to get a job bagging groceries to pay for insurance and maintenance.
Many teens, even in the relatively well-off suburb I grew up in, don’t get a car when they reach driving age. I had friends from families who were wealthier than mine who ended up hitching rides, as they didn’t have their own wheels. So I knew I was lucky to have a vehicle to call my own.
Ford Super Duty sales increased by 7.5 percent in November, while the F-series sold 713,325 trucks, 195,000 more than Chevrolet and GMC combined to capture the title of America’s best-selling pickup for the 44th straight year.
Meanwhile, the Ford Transit, America’s best-selling van, sold 9,917 units, 13.9 percent over last year, and a 70-percent increase in commercial sales for the month. Outselling its nearest competitor by 41 percent, Ford now holds a 31-percent share of the full-size van market.
We all know about the Ford Mustang Bullitt’s heritage and its connection to the movie Bullitt. We all know the main chase scene with McQueen in a Mustang and the bad guys in a Dodge Charger cemented its status as one of the great car chases in Hollywood history. The actual car used in the movie, a GT390, was owned by a family for decades, and the owner even turned down an offer from Steve McQueen himself, documented by a letter in their possession. This tale just adds to the legend.
Ford Motor Company’s 2021 Model Year is full of new trucks, crossovers, and SUVs. The one hundred and seventeen-year-old company has a renewed focus on these profitable categories while no longer offering a sedan in North America. The Bronco, Bronco Sport, and Mustang Mach-E expand Ford’s vehicle portfolio while adding new segments for the brand. These are all very important products for the future of Ford Motor Company. However, none of those vehicles provide the company with the same level of revenue as the other new vehicle in the 2021 lineup; the 2021 Ford F-150.
It’s safe to say that the F-150 is Ford’s most important product. It has been the best-selling vehicle in America since 1977 and is in a segment where average transaction prices are near $50,000. In 2014, in order to create a more capable and more fuel-efficient truck, Ford moved the thirteenth-generation F-150 to an all-aluminum exterior. But between that release and today, the full-sized truck segment has become even more competitive. General Motors released an all-new Silverado 1500 and Sierra 1500 and FCA introduced a brand new RAM 1500.
When I visit a car graveyard, I’m always on the lookout for three things: puzzling examples of badge engineering, crazy high odometer readings, and manual transmissions in unexpected cars. One of the rarest of all is a non-SHO Ford Taurus with three pedals, sold under the MT-5 designation for the 1986 through 1988 model years. After a decade of searching, I found my first discarded Taurus MT-5 in Phoenix, three years back. Now a junkyard near Pikes Peak has provided the second example of this extraordinarily rare Junkyard Find.
Ford’s $11.5 billion investment (through 2022) into electrification has birthed its first in a series of planned work vehicles. The E-Transit takes everything that was good about the gasoline-powered Transit van and makes a few sacrifices in the name of progress while also offering a handful of useful features made possible by its 67 kWh battery.
One of the biggest items being surrendered is range. Ford estimates the E-Transit to have an operating area of roughly 126 miles between charges, which isn’t great. However, the company claimed this would be sufficient for the kind of applications it envisioned customers would be using it for and noted that reduced range helped the vehicle come in just under $45,000. Longer-range versions are planned, as well as an all-wheel-drive variant, and Ford has added a few features to the E-Transit not available on the gasoline-driven unit.
Today’s Rare Ride hails from the last bit of the Fox-body Mustang era. And while there were only supposed to be a handful of these 7UPs ever made, the special edition ended up with a production figure in the low five digits.
Only one car is lemon, lime, Mustang, and forgotten. Let’s go.
The Ford Thunderbird is popular here at Rare Rides, apparently. Thus far, we’ve covered one from 1982 which was hacked into a convertible, and one from 1988 which was turbocharged and very good. Today’s Bird hails from 1979, which was the very last year the model was large(ish) and in charge.
Rare Rides has featured Ford’s compact Escort offering previously, in a first-generation EXP from 1986. Today’s Escort hails from the model’s second generation and wears a Mercury badge instead. It also has three important letters on the back: LTS.
Let’s check out a sporty economy sedan from the good people at Mercury.
Eager to prove itself as a forward thinking mobility brand, Ford has advised us to prepare for the debut of the battery powered E-Transit van on November 12th. Following some heavy teasing from CEO Jim Farley during the company’s third-quarter earnings call a day earlier, Blue Oval issued an official announcement on Thursday to be ready for the commercial vehicle poised to change the way it does vans.
We’ve heard this before. There was supposed to be a battery electric Transit Connect, developed in partnership with Azure Dynamics, coming to market for the 2011 model year. While a prototype existed and was driven around by numerous outlets who praised it for being incredibly normal, the car ended up being prohibitively expensive to manufacture and kind of underwhelming to live with. Range was an abysmal 56 miles (according to the EPA) and the van was only just barely capable of maintaining highway speeds. In the end, Ford handed the project over to Azure — which nixed the passenger model and sold a few thousand commercial versions to various U.S. bureaucracies, coastal power companies, AT&T and the Canada Post for a little under $60,000 a pop.
Despite rumors that the current-generation Ford Edge will be the company’s last, Blue Oval has decided to give the crossover a 12-inch touchscreen as standard equipment for 2021. You probably didn’t ask for it, you definitely don’t need it, and it will likely increase the chances of a horrific accident when someone has to take their eyes off the road to use it. But it’s coming and will be the largest-in-class center stack screen going into production, trumping the optional 10.1-inch unit that’s available on the larger Ford Explorer.
Fortunately, it doesn’t seem to take up much more real estate, as the automaker has chosen to install it portrait style. But it does appear to be supplanting psychical climate controls while leaving knobs for the volume and radio turning/track selection. Other updates to the 2021 Edge include fresh wheel designs, additional interior trim choices, and a couple of new exterior colors — both of which happen to be shades of gray.
You’ve seen those two-door 2021 Ford Broncos with doors that have a cutout in the middle. They’re called donut doors, because, well, they look like a donut, kind of. They look cool. Unfortunately, they won’t make production for safety reasons, according to a report.
One of the perks of this job, and any auto blogging job, really, is that you get paid to surf the Internet for car news. I came across something yesterday that suggested the upcoming Ford Bronco won’t be available for pricing on the company’s X-plan, which is the pricing plan for friends and family of the company.
I emailed Ford to fact-check this, and yep, it’s true.
Ford’s Raptor is one tough truck, and it has new competition, thanks to the Ram TRX. Not only that, but the F-150 on which it’s based is new for 2021. So it figures, then, that a new Raptor is on the way.
And this one might be available only in a SuperCrew configuration. Maybe not for the entirety of the model run, but perhaps at least at first.
In August of 2009, I wrote in the Ode To The Suburban that I couldn’t imagine hauling seven people around without at least a cylinder per person. Thanks to Ford’s Ecoboost 3.5-liter turbocharged V6, the Expedition Max King Ranch does just fine with only six cylinders. This engine pairs well with the joint venture Ford/GM 10-speed automatic transmission.
Ford built the massive Excursion in its lineup to counter the market-leader Suburban until 2006. The Expedition Max was introduced for 2007, adding approximately one foot in length to the cargo space, which translates to about 15 more cubic feet of space thanks to a 9.1-inch wheelbase increase. This fourth and latest-generation Expedition was introduced in 2018.
Rare Rides has featured a couple of F-150 things previously, in the super luxurious Lincoln Blackwood, and the performance-oriented first generation SVT Lightning. Today’s truck combines both luxury and performance into a single F-150.
Let’s check out this very clean triple-tone Harley-Davidson F-150 from 2003.
Last night I was watching my beloved Chicago Bears stumble and bumble their way to a win over the Tampa Bay Tom Bradys when I saw an ad for Ford in which the company claimed they “electrified the Mustang.” My inner fact-checker was not pleased.
Yes, of course, Ford does have an all-electric crossover-ish (more like raised five-door, but Ford insists on calling it an SUV or crossover) called the Mustang Mach-E. It’s part of the Mustang “family”. So, in the strictest sense, Ford does sell an all-electric Mustang.
The urination for distance competition (that’s a metaphor, and not literal, thank heaven) continues among the automakers who produce full-size pickups.
This time it’s the Blue Oval, firing a shot across the bow (or over the balcony, as it were), with the towing numbers for the 2021 Ford F-150 released today.
We wrote last week about rumors that Ford was testing a Bronco with the Sasquatch Package and a manual transmission. That was remarkable because Ford initially said the off-road-performance package would only be available on automatic transmission vehicles.
Which, of course, caused enthusiasts to howl. Especially on Twitter.
We’re as tired of teasers as you likely are, but Ford nevertheless slipped one into its other news from earlier this week.
Matt noted that Ford claimed the truck would be cheaper to own than the gas model, and that it would be produced in Michigan as part of a major investment, but what else do we know about it?
I didn’t plan for it to happen. It just did.
I had requested a Shelby GT500 loan because I’d driven the car on the launch but wanted to see what it’s like to live with the king of current Mustangs in the real world. Because the car is likely in high demand among Chicago-area automotive journalists, the loan would be short. So I’d have a gap in my schedule.
I don’t need test cars to get around. I am not dependent on them – I don’t feel beholden to the fleets or the automakers. I have other ways to get around, whether it be walking, biking, using a cab/Uber, or whatever. But I try to schedule cars each week, either so I can review them for TTAC (even if it takes a while to actually get around to the write-up, sorry gang) or at least use them as background for knowledge and comparison.
Ford Bronco enthusiasts were happy that you’ll be able to get a manual transmission. But they weren’t so happy when the company announced that the Sasquatch off-road package would only be available with an automatic transmission.
The Twitter push back was intense, and Ford PR did say that the company would consider offering the Sasquatch on manual-transmission models (the stick is only available with the 2.3-liter, four-cylinder engine) if there was enough consumer interest.
Apparently, there is.
Ford had a short Web meeting for the media earlier this week, and a big chunk of the time was spent on the newest version of the F-150 pickup truck, including confirmation that the company will be building an all-electric F-150 at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center, as Matt wrote Thursday.
The other big announcement from the Blue Oval focused on how the F-150’s existence helps America. Drawing on a study from Boston Consulting Group, Ford says the F-150 is among the most valuable consumer goods sold in America.
If you want a new Ford Bronco and you want eight cylinders, you better start searching for aftermarket upfitters.
According to our friends at Autoblog, Ford won’t be offering a V8 in the Bronco due to emissions regulations and a belief that well, it doesn’t need to, because the 2.7-liter V6 will be powerful enough for customers. Bronco’s chief engineer Eric Loefller laid out the company’s reasoning in an interview with Muscle Cars and Trucks.
Ford’s Ranger is getting some serious off-road goods for 2021.
No, we don’t mean the Ford Ranger Raptor is finally coming Stateside, although most of us here in TTAC-land would love that. Nah, today we’re talking about a Tremor off-road package for the 2021 Ford Ranger.
We all know that scene in Jurassic Park where the island’s designated hunter gets outsmarted by the raptors and becomes their dinner. That dude’s death always bothered me because he was cool, and I hate it when cool characters buy the farm in disaster movies. Also, he seemed smart enough to not be outwitted by the voracious dinos, unlike others in the flick.
Ahem, where was I? Oh yes – Ford might be hiding some Raptors of its own, so to speak. Although instead of disappearing behind bushes, these Raptors are lurking in plain sight on public roads, with only canvas and tape concealing them from those who hunt this type of prey.
It’s been a while since Buy/Drive/Burn covered a trio from the Seventies; December 2019, in fact. But today we return to that decade of automotive change with (almost) everybody’s favorite topic: personal luxury coupes.
Let’s sort out which of these PLCs was worth taking home in ’76.
The hottest vehicle segment that doesn’t yet exist — full-size electric pickups — continues to arouse interest online, though the nature of that buzz can’t be directly translated into future sales.
Lofty promises of future product may send investors and tech geeks into mouth-frothing displays of overreaction, but established automakers, regardless of what Silicon Valley disciples claim, stand a better chance of having their wares on the market before the upstarts. Ford’s upcoming F-150 EV is one of those products. Scheduled to arrive in the middle of 2022, the automaker is preparing a plant overhaul designed to slot the new variant into its next-generation truck’s assembly operation.
Ford’s build-and-price tool can now be wielded against the next-generation F-150 pickup, revealing that going hybrid will vary wildly in price, depending on where you start.
You’ll recall that, last week, a video surfaced of a camouflaged 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor prototype with an interesting exhaust note, leading to speculation that the next version of the brand’s dedicated off-road performance pickup would ditch V6 power for something more potent.
Well, today a new report cites sources claiming exactly that. It seems the next Raptor might make use of a Predator.
Last week marked the Ford Bronco’s 55th anniversary, with the model’s creator celebrating the momentous occasion by throwing an exclusive and socially distanced Bronco party in Holly, MI.
At this off-road soiree, Ford showed off its Bronco family adventure concepts, announced that 165,000 Broncos have been reserved since the July 13 reveal, and proclaimed that Austin, TX would be the first location of the Bronco Off-Roadeo (Ford’s spelling, not a typo) off-road adventure playground.
While all these pieces of information are great, they aren’t exciting enough to headline a Bronco Anniversary party. Instead, the headliners of this party were the off-road ride-alongs in the 2021 Ford Bronco Sport and the 2021 Ford Bronco 2-door.
Ford’s pony car has typically made the most out of its platforms, eking out the maximum amount of longevity and profit before moving on to wholly new underpinnings. The Fox-body era saw that tradition taken to extremes.
Come 2022, the Mustang will don a new wardrobe, and Ford expects it to stick around for quite some time.
With the Ram 1500 TRX assumed to arrive with a V8 making oodles of power, Ford’s F-150 Raptor may round out the year with egg on its face. In 2017, the Blue Oval ditched the model’s 6.2-liter V8 for a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 and added a quartet of gears — pissing some die-hard fans of the model right off. Baja boys bemoaned the decision to put a more complicated motor into a vehicle that’s designed to be abused largely off-road, while others were just mad they were missing out on that V8 sound. However, most of those who weren’t obsessed with SVT badging agreed the changes hadn’t ruined the truck and that the second-gen suspension upgrades ultimately made for a better off-road vehicle.
That said, Ram dumping a model onto the market that targets the same audience, and with a V8 on board, is bad news for Ford. But it doesn’t have to be, especially if the noises we hear coming from the tailpipes of the latest test mule are what some listeners claim.
Specifically, the Ford Fusion — the last domestic Blue Oval product with four doors and a trunk to remain in production. Until July 31st, that is. That’s the date Ford ceased manufacture of the sedan at a Mexican assembly plant.
The end of production was confirmed by Ford via Ford Authority. Next up for Hermosillo Assembly is the Bronco Sport — a retro-styled, decently modified Escape launched alongside the body-on-frame Bronco last month. Quite a looker in its final generation, the Fusion fell victim to consumer anti-car sentiment and strategic product planning.
According to pre-COVID-19 data from the American Automobile Association, 53 million Americans were expected to pack themselves and their stuff into 12 million automobiles and hit the road for an average 300-mile road trip in 2020. Most point to the relatively low cost, schedule flexibility, and reduced packing constraints as reasons to use their car versus anther conveyance.
But it’s the joy of the journey, baked together with a healthy dose of nostalgia, that drives me. Cars are necessary mobility implements in most of our day-to-day lives, but come road trip time they transform into chariots of adventure. Conduits to discovery.
As a kid, a 1979 full-size Chevrolet Van was my family’s dutiful wagon of exploration. We crisscrossed the West from Glacier National Park on the U.S.-Canadian border to Yosemite National Park in the central Sierra, up and down the Pacific Coast Highway, and points between. Road trips were coveted family time and these van-born experiences played no small part in the development of my love for the American West, as well as the automobile. And like all parents, I want to share the peak experiences of my childhood with my progeny.
After being named as Ford’s next CEO, the automaker’s current chief operating officer, Jim Farley, says the company is on the proper course, with no need to reverse the tech-driven direction taken under the outgoing Jim Hackett.
Speaking to Reuters, Farley said the hunt for new revenue streams in a rapidly evolving technological landscape will continue.
A bombshell just landed from Ford, as the automaker announced the impending retirement of CEO Jim Hackett and his replacement by Chief Operating Officer Jim Farley, effective October 1st.
Ford said Tuesday that Hackett, 65, whose tenure has been the subject of much speculation and criticism as the company navigates wildly turbulent waters, “elected” to retire. He replaced the ousted Mark Fields in 2017. In his place rises Farley, who also joins the company’s board of directors.
Rare Rides featured exactly one example of the legendary Thunderbird name in previous entries: A late Eighties Turbo Coupe that was basically brand new. While the Turbo Coupe has a following amongst classic car folks, today’s early ’80s Thunderbird is not held in such high regard.
In fact, I’ll go ahead and call it the worst Thunderbird ever.
Bring on the Malaise.
Ford Motor Company made many investors happy on Thursday, reporting a less-than-feared loss in the second-quarter of 2020.
Despite the company’s chief financial officer predicting a Q2 loss of $5 billion or more three months ago, the automaker’s actual earnings before interest and taxes was only in the red $1.9 billion — a minor miracle given the stormy backdrop.
First, a disclaimer. I appreciate the Mustang and maintain that it belongs on the short list of anyone shopping sub-$50,000 performance cars. However, this is not a Mustang review. This is a Saleen S302 White Label review. Saleen has been a purveyor of modified Mustangs since 1984.
The White Label is the entry offering from their S302 White, Yellow, Black Label range.
At a glance, the S302 White Label’s over-car stripe and copious badging place it in good company with its predecessors. They also put it at risk of presenting as a stripe and sticker package. There are no fewer than 12 Saleen badges on the exterior, 10 on the interior, and one under hood (I may have missed some). A look beyond the badges reveals bespoke 20-inch wheels (20×9.5 front, 20×11 rear) wrapped in ZR-rated rubber tucked neatly into the wheel arches, a relatively subtle high air-flow grill, and a high down-force rear spoiler. In addition to the interior brand reminders are a substantial shift knob on shortened shaft, white-face gauges, Alcantara-trimmed steering wheel, and the obligatory serialized plaque under the passenger side binnacle. Underneath are RaceCraft front and rear springs and sway bar pivot bushings, as well as mildly upgraded brakes. Saleen also adds its PowerFlash calibration, which nets owners a 15 horsepower bump over stock to a new peak of 475 horsepower.
All this comes at about an $8,000 premium over whatever Mustang GT you select. So, is Saleen trading on its racing heritage and hoping some supercar over-boost will sell Mustangs, or has it built a compelling performance proposition? To address this burning question, I sacrificed one long weekend.
“Do everything better, and don’t be afraid of gimmicks” seems to be the mantra the 2021 Ford F-150‘s development team toiled under. Given the company’s track record with the model, it’s likely a strategy that will pay off.
Optional hybrid power (pricing of which came to light yesterday) and lie-flat front seats are things the F-150’s rivals can’t claim; same goes for on-board factory generators for both hybrid and gas-powered models. As more time passes following the model’s June debut, more secrets are being spilled.
For example, some of the niceties offered on the revamped model won’t arrive until later on, nor will they be an across-the-board option.
As both the United States and the country to its south grapple with the challenge of returning to normal amid a pandemic, Ford Motor Company faces another problem resulting from punting production over the Rio Grande.
Just as local laws aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus can stem the flow of essential engines, local protests can cut off the flow of everything.
Thanks to a reveal schedule compressed by the pandemic lockdown, the revamped Ford F-150 didn’t soak up a typical amount of limelight before a more exciting new vehicle came along. Luckily for Ford, that model also wore a Blue Oval badge.
By far the brand’s most important product the F-150 enters 2021 with a raft of changes, though the most significant addition is the model’s optional PowerBoost hybrid drivetrain. A first in the pickup world, the package delivers a potent punch with a side of efficiency. Ahead of the model’s arrival in showrooms, the latest F-150’s pricing secrets are starting to be revealed.
Last week’s biggest automotive product story was the unveiling of the next Ford Bronco.
Last week’s second-biggest automotive product story was that if you want the Bronco with the off-road-oriented Sasquatch package, you won’t be able to get it with a manual transmission.
Though North Americans were offered a few car-turned-truck vehicles like the Ford Ranchero and Chevrolet El Camino between the 1950s and 1980s, domestic appetites for ute-type vehicles never approached that of Australia. Down Under, interest in such vehicles persisted for over 80 years.
Let’s take a look at one of the most popular types, the Ford Falcon.
The unbridled enthusiasm and lust over Ford’s reborn Bronco, which greeted hungry eyes on the evening of July 13th, lasted not quite two days before a fly hit the ointment.
Would-be owners were enthused to see that the Bronco’s gnarly, off-road-oriented Sasquatch package, is available even on the lowly(?) base model, but a reality Ford left unmentioned spoiled some of their fun yesterday.
The Rare Rides series has featured around 10 special edition cars in past, depending on how generous you are with the term.
And while every special edition presented here thus far was designed to add some padding to a manufacturer’s bottom line, today’s special edition McDonald’s van had a much more benevolent purpose.
The Bronco family, as Ford calls the trifecta composed of the Bronco Two-Door, Four-Door, and Bronco Sport, has a singular mission: to leverage the fond memories and emotions generated by a storied nameplate to lure new buyers to the brand, boosting the automaker’s volume and profitability.
Despite the pandemic, Ford’s expectations haven’t changed. And the ideal buyers of any member of the Bronco family isn’t someone who can take advantage of Plan Pricing.