Abandoned History: Ford's Cruise-O-Matic and the C Family of Automatic Transmissions (Part VI)
We return to the final entry in our Cruise-O-Matic and C transmission series, at a time when the former’s Fifties-tastic name had faded from the memory of most. The C family was the wave of the future when it arrived as a rework of the Cruise-O-Matic in 1964. The first of the line was the C4, a medium-duty box that was followed two years later by the heavy-duty C6.
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Ford's Very Gay Ranger Raptor Heads to Goodwood to Spur Conversations About Inclusion

Ford is keeping the Goodwood Festival of Speed colorful in celebration of Pride Month. It’s bringing a truck called the Very Gay Ranger Raptor to the event.

The rainbow-colored truck, which also has gold accents, will do more than just catch eyes and a take a run up the hill — it will be used to help get attention towards what Ford is calling “Tough Talks”.

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Ford Has Officially Run Out of Maverick Pickups

Word on the street is that Ford’s new “compact” pickup has been such as smashing success that the automaker is fresh out of product — at least in hybrid guise.

While the 2.0-liter turbo offers substantially more power and towing capability, the default 2.5-liter Duratec four-cylinder gasoline engine with a hybrid electric motor still produces an agreeable 191 horsepower and 173 lb-ft of torque. Mated to Ford’s e-CVT gearbox, the Environmental Protection Agency suggest the pickup delivers 42 mpg around town and 33 mpg on the highway. Considering that the vehicle retails just below $20,000 (before you account for taxes and dealer fees), offers a conservatively sized truck bed, and seats five, it’s little wonder that Ford’s tapped out in an era where people are being forced to tighten their belts.

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Next Ford Ranger Set to Debut November 24

For anyone looking forward to a new iteration of the Ford Ranger (*raises hand*), it seems like November 24 would be a good day to mark on your calendar. In a teaser video released today on YouTube, the Blue Oval announced they’ll be showing what they’re calling a ‘global’ midsize pickup truck on that day.

It will be broadcast by the crew at Ford Europe, and the teaser was voiced by an Aussie. Sounds pretty global to us.

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Ford Ranger Makes a Splash in U.S., Comes Out As Gay In Europe

Ford has decided to revive the Ranger Splash appearance package that was a common sight in the 1990s. However, the current version has just about as much to do with the original graphics as the trucks do with each other. Rather than adding a splash of color along the side of the pickup (like on the original) Ford has elected to go with black vinyl and a little bit of orange. Though it does help the truck stand out a bit more, especially when combined with the remaining accouterments, it’s not all that reminiscent of the original look.

Meanwhile, an ocean away, Europeans are getting the “Very Gay Raptor Ranger” in the most pathetic example of corporate pandering in recent memory. But let’s start with the Splash.

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2022 Ford Maverick Arrives in Hybrid Unibody Guise, Turbo Option

Ford’s latest addition has officially arrived, with the compact pickup showing off its surprise standard hybrid powertrain. While we knew there would be a hybrid motor, we weren’t anticipating it coming as default equipment — especially since it seemed important that the manufacturer keep it priced a healthy distance from the midsized Ranger.

However, the Maverick starts at $21,490, distancing itself from its bigger brother by a few grand and maintaining a healthy amount of financial space from the unibody Honda Ridgeline. We’re likewise dubious that Hyundai will be able to price the upcoming Santa Cruz low enough to match the Ford. Though we’re going to need to dig a little deeper before any serious assessments can be made as to whether or not that’s meaningful. It could turn out to be a complete dud, nullifying any value its price tag represents.

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Buy/Drive/Burn: The Cheapest Trucks in America for 2021

We closed out last week with a Buy/Drive/Burn entry that covered the three cheapest sedans available in America this year. Nearly all of you decided you’d buy the most expensive of the three, the Hyundai Accent.

Today’s trio are the least expensive trucks on sale today with plain paint, two driven wheels, and steelies. Think you’ll select the most expensive truck of today’s trio for the Buy? Let’s find out.

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Ford Shows Its American Pride, Part II

Hot on the heels of our post about Ford touting the F-150 as one of the most valuable consumer goods built by an American company comes more patriotic news involving the Blue Oval.

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A Tremor in the Ford: Blue Oval Gives 2021 Ranger the Off-Road Goods

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.

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Ford Ranger Packages Aim for Off-Roadability, but There's Power to Be Had, Too

If you’re in the market for a midsize pickup and possess an irresistible urge to tackle the worst terrain you can find, chances are the most rugged variants of Chevy’s Colorado and Toyota’s Tacoma top your list of maybes. Ford would like a word.

The Ranger didn’t enter the segment with the brawniest hardware in tow, but the passage of time has a way of correcting mistakes (if you want to look at it that way). On Tuesday, the Blue Oval debuted a trio of packages designed to deliver more off-road capability — and even power. Raptor Lite?

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Ford Follows GM's Financing Lead, but Not Entirely

We told you earlier this week how the month of June brought changes to General Motors’ pandemic-era financing offers. No longer is the automaker tempting buyers with zero-percent, 84-month loans on nearly everything in its lineup.

Over at Ford, it seems the same strategy is underway… with one very notable exception. Whether or not you can actually benefit from it, however, remains a matter of location and persistence.

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Reborn Ford Ranger Closing in on No.2 In Segment, but Overall Midsize Truck Market Share Is Stalling

The arrival of a reincarnated Ford Ranger in 2019, along with the debut of the Jeep Gladiator, caused midsize truck market share to climb to a 13-year high in America’s pickup category. In fact, over the span of six years, midsize trucks nearly doubled their share of America’s truck market.

The primary cause of those market share gains, the new Ranger, ended its abbreviated first sales year on the midsize podium roughly 33,000 sales back of the Chevrolet Colorado.

In the early days of 2020, however, the Ford Ranger is running nearly dead even with the Colorado. But no longer is the Ranger driving the midsize pickup truck market forward. The segment’s share of the truck market is backsliding.

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Ford Performance Does Ranger Pickup a Solid

Ford Performance has expanded its catalog, adding tunes for the Mustang and Ranger that should make mashing the right pedal a tad more exciting. While the pony car kit is basically an extension of the staged Power Packs already on sale, just for the 2018-2020 model years, the Ranger package is rather novel — as this is the first factory tune available for the model in North America.

It also happens to offer noteworthy performance gains.

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Lost in Transmission: Ford Recalls Nearly 68,000 2020 Pickups and Expeditions

Ford has recalled nearly 68,000 vehicles manufactured at the start of 2020 and sold in North America, saying the cars suffer from a potential manufacturing defect where the clip that locks the gearshift cable to the transmission can become unseated.

While the company says it isn’t aware of any incidents related to the issue, a decoupling clip could allow a car’s transmission to be in a gear state different from the gearshift position selected by the operator. This could easily lead to dangerous roll-away accidents as drivers unwittingly put their vehicle into the wrong gear while thinking they’ve selected park.

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Rare Rides: The Shocking 2002 Ford Ranger Thunderbolt

Rare Rides previously featured the weather-inspired SVT Lightning, an effort that saw Ford add a healthy dose of power and sporty handling to its full-size pickup.

Today we’ll have a look at Lightning’s smaller sibling, which is named after the same weather event: the Ranger Thunderbolt, from 2002.

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  • Jwee More range and faster charging cannot be good news for the heavily indebted and distracted Musk.Tesla China is discounting their cars. Apart from the Model 3, no one is much buying Tesla's here in Europe. Other groups have already passed Tesla in Europe, where it was once dominant.Among manufacturers, 2021 EV sales:VW Group 25%, Stellantis at 14.5%,Tesla at 13.9%Hyundai-Kia at 11.2% Renault Group at 10.3%. Just 2 years ago, Tesla had a commanding 31.1% share of the European EV marketOuch. https://carsalesbase.com/european-sales-2021-ev/@lou_BC, carsalebase.com changed their data, so this is slightly different than last time I posted this, but same idea.
  • Varezhka Given how long the Mitsubishi USA has been in red, that's a hard one. I mean, this company has been losing money in all regions *except* SE Asia and Oceania ever since they lost the commercial division to Daimler.I think the only reason we still have the brand is A) Mitsubishi conglomerate's pride won't allow it B) US still a source of large volume for the company, even if they lose money on each one and C) it cost too much money to pull out and no one wants to take responsibility. If I was the head of Mitsubishi's North American operation and retreat was not an option, I think my best bet would be to reduce overhead by replacing all the cars with rebadged Nissans built in Tennessee and Mexico.As much as I'd like to see the return of Triton, Pajero Sport (Montero Sport to you and me), and Delica I'm sure that's more nostalgia and grass is greener thing than anything else.
  • Varezhka If there's one (small) downside to the dealer not being allowed to sell above MSRP, it's that now we get a lot of people signing up for the car with zero intention of keeping the car they bought. We end up with a lot of "lightly used" examples on sale for a huge mark-up, including those self-purchased by the dealerships themselves. I'm sure this is what we'll end up seeing with GR Corolla in Japan as well.This is also why the Land Cruiser has a 4 year waitlist in Japan (36K USD starting MSRP -> buy and immediately flip for 10, 20K more -> profit) I'm not sure if there's a good solution for this apart from setting the MSRP higher to match what the market allows, though this lottery system is probably as close as we can get.
  • Jeff S @Lou_BC--Unrelated to this article but of interest I found this on You Tube which explains why certain vehicles are not available in the US because of how the CAFE measures fuel standards. I remember you commenting on this a few years ago on another article on TTAC. The 2023 Chevrolet Montana is an adorable small truck that's never coming to the USA. It's not because of the 1.2L engine, or that Americans aren't interested in small trucks, it's that fuel economy legislation effectively prevents small trucks from happening. What about the Maverick? It's not as small as you think. CAFE, or Corporate Average Fuel Economy is the real reason trucks in America are all at least a specific dimension. Here's how it works and why it means no tiny trucks for us. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-eoMrwrGA8A&ab_channel=AlexonAutos
  • Gabe A new retro-styled Montero as their halo vehicle to compete against the Bronco, Wrangler and 4Runner. Boxy, round headlights like the 1st generation, two door and four door models, body on frame.A compact, urban truck, Mighty Max, to compete against the Maverick. Retro-styled like the early 90s Mighty Max.A new Outlander Sport as more of a wagon/crossover to compete against the Crosstrek and Kona. Needs to have more power (190+ HP) and a legit transmission, no CVT.A new Eclipse hybrid to compete against the upcoming redesigned Prius. Just match the Prius's specs and make it look great.Drop the Eclipse Cross, I am not sure why they wanted to resurrect the Pontiac Aztec. Keep the Mirage and keep it cheap, make the styling better and up the wheel size. The Outlander seems fine.I like the idea of some sort of commercial vehicle, something similar in size to the Promaster City but with AWD.