By on April 24, 2019

Having completed a tribute to Vaughn Gittin Jr.’s 900-horsepower drift car with its Series 1 Mustang, RTR is moving onto Ford’s F-150 — delivering something akin to an unofficial Raptor appearance package. As with the coupe, the pickup attempts to provide RTR’s unique blend of automotive style and performance without obliterating drivability. However, we expect a bruiser to arrive later on, since RTR also sells several beefed-up versions (kits, really) of the Mustang.

For now, shoppers will have to make due with Series 2.0 shocks from Fox, 20-inch RTR Tech 6 wheels, 295/55R20 Nitto Ridge Grappler tires, and a throaty exhaust system from Ford Performance. The engine has not been modified. But RTR assured us that the custom grille does improve airflow to the radiator, which we suppose you could brag about in a pinch.  (Read More…)

By on April 11, 2019

To our collective horror, Ford decided not to sell the new Fiesta ST in North America. Instead, the automaker chose to cull its passenger car lineup during a period of declining demand and profitability in order to focus on higher-margin trucks, crossovers, and SUVs. No one in this office is particularly excited about the idea, but most of us could rationalize our hurt by trying to see things from Ford’s perspective and focusing on the bottom line. However, Ford is just rubbing salt into our wound at this point.

While the 2019 Ford Fiesta ST has abandoned its turbocharged 1.6-liter four-banger for a more Euro-friendly 1.5-liter triple boasting the same 197 horsepower and more torque, the United Kingdom also receives a limited-run Performance Edition that would have made a nifty little runabout/track day hooligan. Sure, it probably wouldn’t have been a hit here. But we would at least like to have the opportunity not to buy it.  (Read More…)

By on October 30, 2018

Ford Performance hooked up with drifter Vaughn Gittin Jr. and his RTR Vehicles team to produce a rather curious offspring. Their love child, the Series 1 Mustang RTR, pays homage to the track car that inspired it while attempting to remain grounded in the world of daily driving.

The limited-edition model (package, really) can spawn from any Mustang GT or EcoBoost equipped with Performance Pack 1 and is said to be trackworthy, but it seems like it’s not sacrificing many of the sport coupe’s streetable characteristics to get there. An interesting choice, considering we’ve seen loads of amateur drift cars that don’t even have bumpers or carpeting.  (Read More…)

By on October 14, 2018

Last week, we gave you the lowdown on the new Ford Edge ST. The verdict, according to yours truly, was that it was miles ahead of the Sport trim is was replacing but had a few wrinkles that the manufacturer could stand to iron out. Since the ST occupies a place in the market that is entirely dominated by premium nameplates, these shortcomings were largely trivial. There’s less reason to gripe about its non-showy interior or high price tag when Ford is still offering you more performance and functionality for less money.

However, one aspect stood out as consistently vexing — the transmission. While the eight-speed Ford installed into the crossover was competent on the luxury-minded Titanium trim, its programming was occasionally frustrating when you asked it to blast through gears on the ST. That’s not because it was broken, it simply isn’t set up for maximum hustle.

This was an observation echoed by numerous other outlets and something Ford appears keenly aware of it. In fact, Ed Krenz, chief functional engineer for Ford Performance, said that aspect is one the automaker isn’t yet satisfied with and intends to continue tweaking until it is.  (Read More…)

By on August 17, 2018

In 1968, Ford issued a limited number of lightweight, “335-horsepower” Mustangs intended for the drag strip. While street legal, the vehicles were absolute beasts on the track thanks to the implementation of the 428 Cobra Jet engine. The powerplant utilized the racy 427 FE’s intake manifold and added ram-air induction, a functional hood scoop, and an engine bay full other performance modifications. It was serious business and produced far more horsepower than Ford claimed. Most estimates place the initial Mustang Cobra Jet’s output around 410 hp.

It’s now half a century later, and the model 50th anniversary is not an occasion you ignore. Ford chose to bring the Cobra Jet back for the occasion with iconic decals and mechanical upgrades that send it into the past and future, respectively. Unfortunately, onlookers can only enjoy the retro graphics and savage acceleration of this version at the track or in a garage. Because the Cobra Jet is way too extreme to be road legal.  (Read More…)

By on December 8, 2017

2017 Ford GT Multimatic assembly line - Image: Ford

Ford’s former head of performance car manufacturing, Dave Pericak, is now the engineering director for the automaker’s North American unibody vehicles. While in charge of Ford Performance, the division launched the Raptor, Focus RS, Shelby GT350, and GT. Prior to taking the helm in 2014, he was also the chief engineer of the 50th anniversary Mustang.

Now responsible for mainstream models from both Ford and Lincoln, Pericak’s previous duties will be split between Mark Rushbrook and Hermann Salenbauch. Rushbrook will handle the company’s racing efforts as Salenbauch runs Ford’s production vehicle development. (Read More…)

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