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Chevy Readying to Offer Cruze Hatchback in US

Next generation model following lead of others.

by on Jun.22, 2015

While not confirmed, Chevrolet appears to be ready to introduce Cruze hatchback to U.S. shores.

Chevrolet is looking to right a wrong in its product line-up by adding a hatchback to the next generation Cruze portfolio of compacts.

The Cruze may have been slated to have a hatchback in its stable of coupes and sedans, but GM product chief Mark Reuss has called the omission of a Cruze hatchback for the U.S. “a pre-bankruptcy planning mistake.” While the automaker hasn’t acknowledged the addition publicly, Automotive News reported the vehicle was shown to dealers last week.

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The automaker hasn’t offered a compact car as a hatchback since 1987 when you could get the Chevy Cavalier – the first generation of the Cavalier – in that version. (more…)

Ford Let’s World Focus on New ST Pocket Rocket in UK

Focus ST debuts at Goodwood Festival of Speed.

by on Jun.27, 2014

The new 2015 Ford Focus ST gets a lower, wider stance to improve handling and give it a more aggressive look.

Ford introduced the 2015 iteration of its Focus ST pocket rocket at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in the United Kingdom.

The Festival of Speed, or FoS as it’s known in England, is an annual hill climb featuring historic motor racing vehicles that is held in the grounds of Goodwood House, West Sussex, England.

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The Dearborn, Michigan-based maker has put out some form of the high performance Focus ST since 2002 selling more than 140,000 of the speedsters worldwide. (more…)

Ford Focus ST Debuting at Goodwood Festival of Speed

Gamers will get to challenge the pros during the grueling hill climb.

by on Jun.24, 2014

Fantasy will merge with reality later this week when Ford unveils its next-generation Focus ST model.

Ford will show more of its new 2015 Focus ST during this weekend's Goodwood Festival of Speed.

The performance version of the compact line will show its stuff during a run up the doglegged hill climb at Britain’s annual Goodwood Festival of Speed on Friday. But the new Ford Focus ST also will make a virtual entrance as part of the popular Gran Turismo 6 videogame.

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And in a unique twist, a “virtual versus real” race will allow gamers to go head-to-head with the real drivers as they take the Goodwood challenge.

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Ford Focus-ing on Racing at Chicago Auto Show

New Focus TrackSTer and Fiesta ST race cars to debut.

by on Feb.06, 2013

Ford is expanding its emphasis on racing its new ST models, including the Fiesta ST GRC shown here.

Ford will be Focus-ing on its racing program during the upcoming Chicago Auto Show. Quite literally, as it pulls the wraps off its Focus TrackSTer project car.

It’s one of three special track-ready versions of the popular compact “hot hatch” the maker is developing in partnership with gymkhana star Ken Block and the tuner firm fifteen52. The TrackSTer harkens back to some of Ford’s classic racing efforts while also showing off the capabilities of the Focus ST performance model.

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The Ford news conference will also reveal the maker’s new Fiesta ST GRC race car which the maker hopes will give it a leg up in the Global RallyCross Championship series. It’s all part of an effort to position Ford’s small cars as serious performance competitors to better-known European and Japanese models.

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The 10 Most Collectible Cars for 2013

Hagerty Hot List picks most likely classics in 20 years.

by on Feb.04, 2013

The reborn SRT Viper, (shown with the old Dodge version), is the most expensive model on the 2013 Hagerty Hot List.

It’s been a good year for classic car collectors – and even better for those who have put their cars up for auction.  All sorts of records fell during the annual gathering of collectors in Scottsdale, Arizona last month and observers expect to see even more tumble in the months to come.

There are some vehicles, like early-model Ferraris and rare ‘60s muscle cars, that always seem to command a high price when the gavel comes down. But there are plenty of other collectible models that also do well for owners.

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So, if you’re looking to buy a new car not just to drive it today but perhaps to have a collectible 20 years from now, how do you know what to pick? That’s where the Hagerty Hot List comes in. It’s the work of Hagerty Insurance, one of the industry leaders in providing coverage for classic cars. And the list is designed to provide a tip sheet on reasonably affordable vehicles from the 2013 model-year that are likely to be in high demand 20 years from now.

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Ford Adding OverBoost to New Focus ST

A 15-second shot of adrenaline.

by on Jun.11, 2012

The new Focus ST will get a 15-second shot ofOverBoost adrenaline.

Ford plans to amp up the performance of its compact Focus with the upcoming launch of the Focus ST, the sporty model making a solid 252 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque.

But when you need a little bit of extra power – whether off the line when the light changes or merging onto a freeway – the ST’s turbocharger packs a little surprise.  Put the pedal to the metal and you’ll get a 15-second shot of adrenaline as the 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine goes into OverBoost mode.

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Just like those videogames that let you punch the turbo-boost button, the inline-four engine pumps out 7.4% more torque right where you need it, between 3,000 and 4,500 RPMs.

A turbocharger harnesses a car’s exhaust gases to spin a fan that, in turn, pumps more fresh air into the engine.  Most turbochargers add anywhere from 5 pounds up to a maximum twice atmospheric pressure (which is about 14 psi at sea level).  But in OverBoost mode, that goes substantially higher.

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Ford To Unveil Fiesta ST Concept in LA

Part of expanding global line-up of performance vehicles.

by on Nov.03, 2011

Ford will unveil the Fiesta Concept in LA, with a production version to follow in 2012.

Ford will use the Los Angeles Auto Show to reveal the Ford Fiesta ST Concept, the show car hinting at how a future version of its global subcompact might look when it joins the Focus ST as part of the maker’s expanding small car performance portfolio.

Bold and distinctive, the five-door Fiesta ST Concept embodies the spirit of Fiesta’s high-performance history with an infusion of dynamic, futuristic looks and innovative technology, said to Jim Farley, Ford’s global marketing chief.

“The Fiesta has a rich history of high-performance models so a new ST performance model is a logical next step in our performance vehicle strategy for our global small cars,” added Derrick Kuzak, Ford group vice president, Global Product Development.

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The return of the Fiesta to Ford’s U.S. portfolio last year marked the first time the maker had offered a B-segment model in two decades.  Already one of the best-selling models in the rapidly expanding small car segment, the Fiesta has drawn in buyers who want more than the traditional econobox by offering a range of features – such as Ford’s high-tech Sync infotainment system – and more dramatic styling.

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First Look: Ford Fiesta ST

"Teasing enthusiasts around the world."

by on Sep.13, 2011

Ford is gauging interest in an ST-badged version of the subcompact Fiesta.

While Ford has been signaling for some time its plans to offer a performance-oriented version of its global compact, the Focus ST, the maker dropped a surprise during the Frankfurt Motor Show, announcing a second model to wear the new performance badge, the Fiesta ST.

Though no formal launch date has been set, the maker will use the Frankfurt preview – and subsequent auto show appearances – to “begin teasing enthusiasts around the world” and gauge their response to the sporty subcompact, said Jost Capito, Ford’s global director of performance vehicles.

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In concept trim, the Fiesta ST sports a 1.6-liter version of the makers EcoBoost engine, hear producing about 180 horsepower.  It is mated to a 6-speed stick.

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First Look: Ford Focus ST and Focus ST-R

A different take on performance.

by on Sep.12, 2011

Ford will unveil the long-awaited Focus ST at this week's Frankfurt Motor Show.

The name SVT may be missing, but if the new Focus ST and Focus ST-R are any indication, Ford Motor Co. is getting serious about performance again, rather than limiting its muscle options to the likes of the Lightning pickup truck and Mustang pony car variants.

The two new offerings, which include the track-ready Ford Focus ST-R will make their long-anticipated debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show, this week, with Ford insiders hinting there may be even more in the works for the biennial event, the season’s largest European car show.

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Significantly, the Focus ST underscores CEO Alan Mulally’s One Ford strategy, as it is the first of what the Detroit automaker can accurately bill as a “global performance car.”  Others, it appears, are likely to follow.  And there will be an emphasis on using higher-performance versions of Ford’s EcoBoost technology.

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Ford Now a Solid 2nd in Europe

Product-led revival.

by on Sep.12, 2011

Ford will introduce the new Evos Concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

The launch of a flood of new vehicles is paying off for Ford Motor Co. as its European turnaround efforts take hold. At the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show the maker will reveal an assortment of new products and concept vehicles that should reveal whether it can continue to gain momentum.

The maker is earning a steady improvement in sales and market share in Europe – strong demand in  Germany for the Focus and C-MAX helping Ford increase sales 19.3% in August to 72,200 vehicles, while  its share rose 0.8 percentage points to 8.2% for the month, Ford’s best August share performance in Europe since 1998.

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Ford is now the number-two best-selling brand in Europe behind Volkswagen for the year-to-date. Through the first eight months of the year, Ford European sales have grown 2.8% to more than 1.05 million units.

“We had a very strong August compared with a year ago and compared with the rest of the industry, which is a testament to our strengthened product lineup,” said Stephen Odell, Ford of Europe’s chairman and CEO, on the eve of Ford’s IAA Frankfurt Motor Show media preview.

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