Ford Pausing Reservations on Maverick Hybrid Until Summer

Ford’s sales success with the Maverick pickup has been undeniable. But if you’re in need of more evidence, the automaker has begun notifying dealerships to stop taking reservations on the base hybrid model because it doesn’t even think it can keep up with the existing backlog.

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Ford Dealers Waiting On Parts for Leaky 1.5-liter

As vehicle production rates begin tipping back towards normalcy, the pandemic continues to rattle supply chains. The wheels of industry may be in motion, but they’re not yet in sync — making a comeback difficult for some players.

Ford dealers report a shortage of replacement parts needed for repairs, with some components taking over to a month to arrive at service centers. Against this backdrop, the automaker issued a technical service bulletin telling dealers to check for coolant leaks in the cylinder head of the 1.5-liter EcoBoost engines found in the Escape (MY 2017-19) and Fusion (2014-19). The repair notice dropped in April, though Ford owners have complained about fluid leaks for a couple of years after a shocking number of owners noticed their engines were overheating — only to find that one of the cylinders was hoovering coolant.

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2020 Ford Mustang Ecoboost High Performance Package First Drive - Skunkworks 'Stang

During Ford’s product presentation, held just north of the famed Golden Gate bridge on a chilly Bay Area morning in September, one of the men who worked on the 2020 Ford Mustang EcoBoost High Performance Package trotted out a not unexpected comparison.

He brought up the old LX trim available on Fox-body Mustangs of yore, and compared today’s four-cylinder Mustang to that model.

It’s not the world’s worst comparison, although the LX back then was available with the same renowned 5.0-liter (yes, I know that it’s really a 4.9) V8 that was under the hood of the GT. The LX’s claim to fame was that it was lighter, cheaper, and perhaps less expensive to insure, while still offering V8 power and a five-speed stick. That’s why your author bought a used ’89 example in the late 1990s.

As someone who owned that LX Fox body for five years, I sniggered a bit, since the Mustang parked in front of us had just half the cylinder count, but of course today’s turbocharged four-banger could smoke the V8 of yore. I understood where Ford was going with this, though – the EcoBoost Mustang High Performance Package is meant to be the value performance buy, and not just a rental-fleet darling or the car for Mustang shoppers who care more about show than go.

Of course, when I relayed this spiel to the ne’er do wells in the TTAC Slack channel, contributor Chris Tonn shot back “SVO”, typed out repeatedly, a la Nicholson’s manuscript in The Shining.

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Ace of Base: 2019 Ford Fiesta ST

It’s August 2019 and your author is pouring one out for little Blue Oval hatchbacks with mouths to match their trousers. Soon to depart from our shores (North American-market production has already ceased), the Focus and Fiesta represented bite-sized bits of fun that weren’t overly expensive and looked a bit derivative. Alas. At least we still have Honda, and it must be noted that Hyundai is stepping up its game in this segment.

For now, one can configure a 2019 Fiesta ST even if it is getting difficult to find them on dealer lots. Today’s post assumes the ST trim is a base car, insofar as we will be adding $0 in options to the sticker price.

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The Fastest Cop Car is Not a Car

In September of last year, the Michigan State Police conducted their 2019 Model Year Police Vehicle Evaluations. The purpose of these tests is to provide objective performance data to the individual agencies who are making purchasing decisions for their divisions.

For the automakers, it’s an all-out race for pride in being the superior bad-guy chaser. Ford hands off the title from their own 2018 3.5-liter EcoBoost Police Interceptor AWD (Taurus) sedan to their 2019 Police Interceptor Utility 3.0L EcoBoost AWD Explorer SUV.

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Ace of Base: 2020 Ford Explorer XLT

Let’s get one thing clear: it is my opinion that the 2020 Explorer XLT is not the best 2020 Explorer. Powered by a 2.3-liter Ecoboost four-pot, the XLT falls far short of the 400 horsepower 3.0-liter Ecoboost V6 found in ST trim. As a proponent of acceleration, your author will always select the biggest engine.

Not everyone will, however. Scads of buyers, many of whom lie directly in the target market of Ford’s new Explorer, will think the 300 horse mill is more than suitable. In that frame of mind, let’s find out what $36,675 buys you at a Ford store these days.

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Seven-speed Manual for the New Bronco? Could Be

Friend of TTAC, Bozi Tatarevic, had some GREAT NEWS about the upcoming Bronco this morning. In a post published by Jalopnik, he detailed what seems to be an airtight theory that the Ford We’ve All Been Waiting For will be available with a seven-speed manual transmission.

“Say what?” you ask, doing a double take and spraying your glass of whiskey all over the keyboard (I had a similar reaction). Yes, boys and girls, it may actually come to pass that the new Bronco will be a close-enough Wrangler competitor.

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Cleverest Girl? F-150 Limited Gets Raptor Power

The F-150 Limited – which is, naturally, limited only to the number they can sell – currently sits atop the truck’s totem pole, usurping the King Ranch and Platinum as the most expensive half-ton F-Series pickup. This will last until the boffins at Ford dream up a new super-lux trim called the Rhodium Precious Bullion Edition.

Recognizing that folks who have the means to lay out nearly a hundred grand on a pickup want the most powerful engine available, the Blue Oval has decided to plug the Raptor’s powertrain between the Limited’s fenders. This means that 450 horsepower and 510 lb-ft of torque are now at the disposal of drivers who prefer sumptuous leather seats instead of desert-busting suspensions.

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Mr. Worldwide: Mustang Takes Off in China

The Ford Mustang might have been born in America, but it’s now doing burnouts around the world. Helped along with fresh sales in places like Germany and the U.K., global registrations topped 125,000 cars last year. Your humble author saw his first right-hand-drive Mustang last January.

One country where it’s doing particularly well? China.

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Piston Slap: Goodwill Repairs to Hit 'em With That Flex?
Jay writes:

Sajeev,

I’ve been enjoying your work on TTAC for several years and (unfortunately) have run into a situation where I think I need your help.

After reading Mark’s review of the Ford Flex several years ago, I test drove and fell in love with one — a 2012 Titanium Ecoboost model, to be precise. Fast forward to last month, and I am driving down I-395 when the car starts to lurch; $1,900 later, I have a new fuel injector and a picture of a leaky turbo (rrg). In hopes that Ford would have some type of pity on a 5.5-year-old car with only 53K miles on it, I took it to the dealership. $167 later, we’ve added a transmission seal issue to the running list and they’re asking more than $5,000 to square everything away.

I’m hoping you have a magic bullet for this one or, barring that, something snappy to say that will make me laugh.

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Raptors in Richmond? Ford Makes Noises About Bringing the Uber-Ranger to America

Reno, Rochester, Roswell … take your pick to complete the alliteration puzzle above. Whichever one you choose, it’s a safe bet that the Ford Raptor Ranger will be plying its roads at some point in the future. We think. Maybe.

Last week, the Blue Oval dropped a Raptorized version of its Ranger at an event in Thailand. At the time, Ford remained mum about the truck’s chances of showing up on American soil. Now, thanks to a Glass House engineer’s conversation with Australia’s Drive, we have a bit more confidence in saying the Ranger Raptor will be sold in the United States.

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Ace of Base: 2018 Ford Expedition

Fifty thousand dollars is not exactly what springs to mind when one mentions the words “base model vehicle.” In fact, it’s likely to be precisely the opposite.

Thing is, this series isn’t solely about el-cheapo wheels. Sometimes, it’s about those rare occasions when an entry level trim for a particular model is the best one of the range. This is one of those times.

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Ace of Base: 2018 Ford EcoSport S

Ford is a bit late to the micro SUV party, with trucklets like the Kia Soul and Chevrolet Trax hoovering up sales while the Blue Oval dawdles in getting its EcoSport to market. Finally, it appears for the 2018 model year.

By the way, even if there seems to be a couple of ways to pronounce the name of this little rig, Ford vigorously prefers we say “Echo-Sport” and not “Eek-Oh-Sport.” The company’s completely serious, despite beating us over the head for years with ads for the identically-prefixed “Eek-Oh-Boost” engines. Very good, then.

With the build-and-price tool for the EcoSport going live not long ago, let’s gander at the cheapest soft-roader in Ford’s showroom.

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Mournful Glances: Carryover 2018 Ford Fiesta Loses the $995 Three-cylinder EcoBoost Engine Option

At TTAC, we’re big fans of Ford’s 1.0-liter three-cylinder EcoBoost engine. In the right application — the sixth-generation Ford Fiesta — the EcoBoost triple is a happy revver, a fuel miser, a torque manufacturer, a smooth operator.

In fact, we’re such big fans of the EcoBoost three-cylinder that our editor-at-large bought and paid for a Fiesta 1.0 EB long-termer with his own money. That’s a strong recommendation. Recommendations don’t come any stronger than that.

With the existing, aged, increasingly antiquated Mexico-built Ford Fiesta continuing as a 2018 model year subcompact whilst much of the world benefits from the launch of a new generation of Fiestas, Ford is trimming the Fiesta lineup. The standard 1.6-liter four-cylinder persists; the Fiesta ST forges on.

But the Ford Fiesta’s 1.0-liter EcoBoost three-cylinder is signing off.

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Ford Decides to Make Burnouts Easier for Mustang EcoBoost Owners

In a move that will make my next rental car choice slightly more difficult, Ford has decided to equip the entirety of its Mustang lineup with electronic line locks as a standard feature. While the technology has become almost ubiquitous among V8-powered American muscle cars, it’s a welcome addition to the smaller-displacement models.

Now, more hooligans can undertake longer, safer, more glorious burnouts without abusing their rear brake pads — be it while warming the tires at the drag strip or just showing off for dumb friends in a parking lot. Hopefully, the good people at Avis don’t mind losing a little tread on the rear tires.

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  • Syke Given it's got a factory radio, did it also have the factory heater (as opposed to one of the aftermarket heaters as I had in my 1937 Buick Special)?
  • SCE to AUX I have difficulty identifying any car made before my year of birth (1963), and I never would have guessed at this one.Thanks for the history lesson. It was also a reminder that if transported back in time, I'd have difficulty even operating this vehicle. I've driven a column shift exactly once, but I've never operated a radio like that!
  • Lincoln That radio unit is quite the find. It must have been a ridiculously expensive option in the '30s.
  • Raven65 This is utter BS and people need to push back hard against it by refusing to buy the affected vehicles. I find it interesting that this only applies to Buick, Cadillac, and GMC... the "premium" GM brands. I guess they're betting that the people who buy these brands won't balk at a $1500 shakedown (and they may be right). I just read an article about the redesigned Chevy Colorado/GMC Canyon twins that are about to start production. This will definitely push people away from the GMC toward the Chevy. Why does GMC still exist anyway? I can't believe they kept that division around back when they went bankrupt, reorganized and shed Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Saturn, and Hummer - given that GMCs are literally nothing more than rebadged Chevys. Nobody uses OnStar... and FORCING people to subscribe to it is not going to make it any more relevant. It just needs to go away.
  • Arthur Dailey I checked the link to Artillery World in the hopes that I could purchase something to turn an old Nissan or Toyota truck into a pseudo 'Technical'. Unfortunately it seems that they sell fireworks. Another great posting by Murilee. Sure wish that there was a way to get that vintage Olds back on the road. The plaques and labels alone are a history lesson.