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Ford Fills in the Blanks on New Focus RS

Hot hatch delivers some surprises.

by on Jun.25, 2015

Ford revealed a bit more information about the coming-later-this-year Focus RS, including the 345 horsepower under the hood.

Ford left some gaping holes in the story when it unveiled the Focus RS at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year – starting with the number of ponies it planned to pack under the hood.

Sure, something “well in excess of 315 horsepower” got our attention. But we stood up and took notice when we received word today that the precise number will be 345 horsepower – and 324 pound-feet of torque. Oh, and did we mention that the turbocharged EcoBoost engine will be capable of bumping that up to 347 lb-ft for 15 seconds at a time?

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That should make for an interesting launch at the stoplight or a great run down the straights for anyone who might have the chance to log some track time in the new Ford Focus RS. (more…)

Fields Keeps Eye on One Ford Prize: No Mergers

CEO says automaker plans to stay the course.

by on Jun.25, 2015

Ford CEO Mark Fields reiterated that the company is not looking to merge with Fiat Chrysler in San Francisco this week.

Ford Motor Co. won’t be engaging in any kind of tie up with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, Ford Chief Executive Officer Mark Fields said this week.

Responding to questions from reporters at the annual “Further With Ford” conference, Fields said Ford wasn’t interested in a merger with anyone and instead will continue to follow the course laid out in the “One Ford Plan” that Ford adopted following a financial crisis nearly 10 years ago.

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“We have no interest or plan other than accelerating the One Ford Plan; delivering product excellence and driving innovation in every part of our business,” Fields said. “We are never going to take our eye off of being a great developer of cars, trucks and utility vehicles.” (more…)

Ford Moves to Pilot Stage on Smart Mobility Program

Maker ready to implement plans after six months.

by on Jun.24, 2015

Ford CEO Mark Fields announced plans to implement some of the programs being testing in the maker's Smart Mobility plan.

Ford Motor Co. says its ready to implement some the lessons learned from a research program that delves into the changing landscape of mass mobility in era of smart phones and instant connectivity that was launched only six months ago.

Mark Fields, Ford chief executive officer, said the automakers operate pilot projects keyed to Ford Smart Mobility and move from research to the start of implementation, of new mobility products.

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“We now are moving from experimentation to implementation,” said Mark Fields, Ford president and CEO, at the annual said at the annual Further with Ford trends conference in San Francisco. (more…)

Ford Outlines Plans for Autonomous Vehicles

Automaker puts self-drivers on fast track for production.

by on Jun.24, 2015

Ford announced its intention to fast-track its autonomous vehicle program in Silicon Valley, remaining competitive with other automakers.

Ford Motor Co. is joining the growing list of manufacturers planning to put an autonomous vehicle on the road.

The maker has announced it will put product development veteran Randy Visintainer in charge of its self-driving vehicle program. Elevating the profile of its autonomous vehicle program by moving the project from the research lab to its advanced engineering staff, which is in charge of making concept vehicles road worthy, means it’s on the fast track for production

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The news follows last year’s announcement of a partnership between Ford and both the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford University aimed at solving some of the vexing technical challenges involved in autonomous driving. (more…)

First Drive: 2015 Lincoln Navigator

Legacy SUV needs a technology upgrade.

by on Jun.16, 2015

The 2015 Lincoln Navigator is fighting for attention in an increasingly crowded luxury SUV market segment.

The Lincoln Navigator has been around so long that one might think it was named by Abe Lincoln. However, the nearly abolished full-size luxury SUV soldiers on until its replacement arrives some time next year.

Navigator was slated to get the ax during former Ford CEO Alan Mulally’s push to get streamline Ford Motor’s product line-up. It was the effort that dismantled Mercury entirely and the Navigator was on the chopping block until Ford officials realized that Cadillac and other luxury marques were going to have a full-size luxury SUV available.

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However, as much as Navigator is showing its age, it’s still remarkably appealing. The current version got an exterior makeover for 2015 that is clearly an evolution, among other things adopting the split-wing grille that debuted on the latest version of the Lincoln MKZ. (more…)

Workers Lose Jobs as Small Car Sales Slide

Growth of trucks due to gas prices forces change.

by on Jun.15, 2015

Sales of the Chevrolet Sonic subcompact have fallen off sharply this year.

U.S. new car sales are on a torrid pace, but that’s small comfort to the 100 workers at General Motors’ Orion Township assembly plant who will be idled for at least six months.

Demand for the small Chevrolet Sonic and Buick Verano models they build at the suburban Detroit facility has fallen by double digits since the beginning of the year, with analysts seeing little likelihood of a turnaround anytime soon. But GM isn’t alone. Ford Motor is in the process of cutting about 700 jobs at the plant near Detroit that produces models such as the compact Focus sedan and C-Max people-mover.

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Further cuts could follow across the industry, analysts caution, as American buyers drift away from the small, fuel-efficient models they craved when gas was nearing record levels earlier in the decade in favor of bigger SUVs, pickups and other less-efficient models.

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Ford Lets Users Print Favorite Models

New program lets 3D printers create automaker’s offerings.

by on Jun.12, 2015

Ford is making several of its vehicles available for printing on 3D printers.

Looking for an inexpensive Ford Mustang or F-150? Well, if you have a 3D printer you can download one and print one at home.

The use of 3D printers is growing quickly in the auto industry, including the production of an entire car using one. In fact, Ford CEO Mark Fields noted during today’s announcement about Ford’s plans to race the new GT at Le Mans, the company will 3D print the intake and some other parts for the GT they will race.

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However, the Ford isn’t being quite so liberal with what they’ll be making available for printing. They will let you have the specs for a model-sized version of your favorite car or truck. They are available at The Ford 3D Store or 3D.ford.com. There are more than 1,000 images. (more…)

Lincoln MKS Getting Axed in 2016

Continental expected to replace slow-selling model.

by on Jun.12, 2015

The Lincoln Continental is expected to be the replacement for MKS, which will cease production as a 2016 model.

The announcement that the 2016 model will be the last for the MKS is fueling the fire that the brand is getting a new flagship model: the Continental, which made its debut at the New York International Auto Show this spring.

While chronicled by TheDetroitBureau a few months ago, Ford executives made the demise of the MKS official yesterday during an event promoting the addition of Ford Explorer production to the automaker’s plant in Chicago.

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“Chicago Assembly Plant is vital to our global manufacturing footprint and will continue to manufacture the Ford Taurus, Ford Explorer and Police Interceptor vehicles even after we phase out production of the MKS in 2016,” Ford said in a statement. “We will continue to match production to demand.” (more…)

Ford Confirms Return to Le Mans with New GT

“We’re back.”

by on Jun.12, 2015

The Ford GT in Le Mans trim.

After a decades-long absence, Ford Motor Co. will return to endurance racing next year, launching a track version of the new GT supercar on a campaign to be capped with a race for the checkered flag at Le Mans.

The effort will begin next January, when Ford and Chip Ganassi Racing launch the new GT at the 24 Hours of Daytona. The program not-so-coincidentally is meant to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the first win by Ford’s original GT40 Mk. II at Le Mans.

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“We’re back,” proclaimed Ford Motor Co. Chairman Bill Ford, during a news conference preceding the start of the 2015 Le Mans endurance race. “We’re back with a car. We’re back with a partner.”

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Is Ford Ready to Race New GT at Le Mans?

Maker set to announce “significant performance news.”

by on Jun.12, 2015

Ford Chairman Bill Ford and CEO Mark Fields unveiling the new Ford GT supercar at the Detroit Auto Show.

Ford Motor Co. is only promising some “significant performance news” will be announced in Cologne, Germany today. But based on a variety of hints the maker has been dropping, the betting is that it will announce plans to return to Le Mans in the near future, all but certainly to race the reborn Ford GT.

Rumors of a new Le Mans program began to surface even before Ford revealed the latest take on the ultracar at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit last January. Company officials then suggested they might have additional plans for the GT.

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The announcement will come just a day before the 2015 Le Mans race gets the green flag. If Ford were to put the GT back on the track in 2016 it would be more than just a coincidence. That would mark the 50th anniversary of the maker’s stunning victory at Le Mans with its original GT40 Mk II

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