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Ford Betting on New Safety, Connectivity Tech to Boost Escape’s Appeal

Ford betting SUV update will deliver new sales records.

by on Nov.17, 2015

The 2016 Ford Escape gets a new grille and revised tail, though the focus is on technology.

It may be the maker’s smallest SUV, but it’s also the biggest seller, so Ford has a lot riding on the updated 2016 Escape it is launching at this year’s Los Angeles Auto Show.

The mid-cycle “refresh” brings with it some modest visual updates but some major improvements in the compact crossover’s bag of digital tricks, with an assortment of new connectivity and safety features that include the latest version of Ford Sync, as well as forward collision warning and lane-keep assist.

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“Stuffing in a lot of technology the customer doesn’t want isn’t the answer,” said Chris Mazur, the Escape’s global program manager. The challenge, he adds, was to “deploy the technology that has the most resonance with our customers.


Ford Edge “Concept” Makes LA Auto Show Appearance

Ford puts more edge in the Edge.

by on Nov.20, 2013

A production version of the Ford Edge is expected to return for the 2015 model-year.

Though it’s officially being described as a “concept vehicle,” the Ford Edge prototype making its debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show this week will make its return, in short order, in production form — and not just here in the U.S., but in markets around the world.

The next-generation Edge is the latest of the Detroit automaker’s models to go global as part of CEO Alan Mulally’s One Ford strategy. The move to reach beyond North American shores makes perfect sense, said Jim Farley, Ford executive vice president of marketing, considering the way crossover vehicles have gone mainstream around the world.

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“Utilities now account for one of every five vehicles sold around the world,” he said. Ford’s intermediate objective is to build a family of small, compact, mid-sized and full-size utility vehicles that will appeal to a broad range of global buyers. “Utilities are no longer a regional vehicle,” he said.


Ford to Get Edge-y with New Crossover Concept

Detroit maker hopes its once-popular crossover can regain its edge.

by on Nov.18, 2013

Ford has made only modest updates to the Edge since its launch in late 2006.

Ford’s once-popular midsized crossover vehicle has been lagging behind the recovery of the overall U.S. market over the last year, so the Detroit maker is hoping a concept version making its debut at the L.A. Auto Show later this week will help it regain its edge.

Make that Edge, as in Ford Edge, the CUV that slots in-between Ford’s more popular Escape and Explorer models.

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It wasn’t always that way.  After its launch during the 2007 model-year, the Ford Edge became one of the midsize crossover segment’s most popular offerings, but it has been losing momentum since the 2012 redesign of the Explorer, with the debut of the all-new 2013 Ford Escape delivering another body blow.


Ford Fiesta to Get 1.0-liter EcoBoost for 2014

Maker forecasts it will be the highest-mileage non-hybrid model in the U.S. market.

by on Nov.19, 2012

The block for the new 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine is small enough to fit in a carry-on bag -- and is shown here going through airport security.

Ford will begin offering a new 1.0-liter, 3-cylinder version of its turbocharged EcoBoost powertrain family on the updated Fiesta subcompact next year, and though it has not worked up final numbers for the fuel-efficient option, a senior company official promised it will yield in excess of 40 miles per gallon.

“We’re forecasting it will deliver higher mileage than any non-hybrid car from any of our competitors,” said Bob Fascetti, director of global engine operations for Ford, during a Monday news conference.

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Ford has launched an aggressive push to position itself as the greenest of automakers, a significant challenge considering the market perception of arch-rival Toyota – which happens to market the world’s most popular hybrid vehicle, the Prius.  But Ford has been rolling out an array of conventional hybrids and battery-electric vehicles, with two plug-in hybrids, the Fusion Energi and C-Max Energi, due to debut at the LA Auto Show later this month.


First Look: 2013 Ford Escape

From boxy to beautiful?

by on Nov.16, 2011

The 2012 Ford Escape migrates to a more rounded, crossover design.

Beauty is clearly in the eyes of the beholder, and seldom is that more true than in the automotive market, where fiery debates can break out over even the smallest design details.

So expect some fierce disputes when the subject turns to the new 2013 Ford Escape, which is making its debut at the L.A. Auto Show this week.  Following in the tread marks of the bigger Ford Explorer, the new Escape is migrating from its traditionally boxy, truck-like shape to a more lithe, car-like silhouette that Ford hopes will move it to the center of the fast-growing compact crossover segment.

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That transformation could prove particularly well-timed as Ford has grabbed the top spot in the small ute niche – taking advantage of the production cuts suffered by long-term segment leader the Honda CR-V due to the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan last March.  Honda is rushing to get its plants back up to speed as it rolls out a replacement for its own “cute-ute,” which had led the market since its 1996 launch.


New Shelby Mustang Will Be 1st 200 MPH Pony Car

Updated Mustang debuting at LA Auto Show.

by on Nov.15, 2011

The 2013 Ford Shelby GT500 will break the 200 mph barrier normally reserved for high-performance exotics.

Ford will break the 200 mph barrier with the 2013 Ford Shelby GT500, the first time a Detroit muscle car has ever reached that limit – a speed normally reserved for the most exotic and expensive sports cars.

The GT500 will be one of several versions of the updated 2013 Ford Mustang making their debut this week at the L.A. Auto Show.  The debut is critical for the number two U.S. maker which has seen its long-dominant pony car slip behind its arch-rival, since the return of the Chevrolet Camaro in 2010.

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The changes cover a range of features, from sports seats to performance packages, as well as modest tweaks to the basic Mustang styling.   But the star of the automaker’s L.A. Show will undoubtedly be the Shelby GT500, the package now putting out an awe-inspiring 650-horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque.