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Gearing Up: Driving Ford’s New 10-Speed Automatic

Better mileage and a smoother ride.

by on Apr.25, 2017

The 2018 Lincoln Navigator will share the 10-speed automatic that debuted in the '17 Ford F-150.

When the complete makeover of the Lincoln Navigator comes to market later this year it will feature, among other things, Ford’s new 10-speed automatic transmission.

Automakers are on a binge, adding more gears in an effort to drive up fuel economy. But the approach hasn’t been without its drawbacks, consumers frequently complaining about issues like drivability. That’s the sort of headache buyers of a vehicle like the Navigator won’t readily tolerate.

Product News!

To get a sense of how the new transmission performs, TheDetroitBureau.com has been clocking time in the Ford F-150, the first of the maker’s vehicles to get the first mass-market 10-speed gearbox.

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GM Hustling to Get First All-Electric Car on Road in China

Government accelerating EV mandates causing automakers to hurry.

by on Apr.21, 2017

Matt Tsien, who heads up GM China, said the company will have an all-electric vehicle on Chinese roads within two years.

General Motors will have a pure electric vehicle on the road in China within two years and eight more will follow by 2020. The automaker is jump starting its efforts to keep pace with the Chinese government’s accelerating demand for EVs.

Matt Tsien, head of GM China, unveiled the plan during a press conference at the Shanghai auto show. He said GM expects annual sales of 150,000 electric and hybrid cars in China by 2020 and possibly in excess of 500,000 by 2025.

The Last Word!

“In the next several years, out to 2020, we expect to launch at least 10 new energy vehicles into the marketplace,” said Tsien, using the government’s term for electric and hybrid vehicles. “We have a pipeline that is going to materialize, that’s going to put us in a very good position from a fuel economy requirement perspective.” (more…)

Ford Continues Tinkering With Bamboo in Vehicles

Super strong, light weight and quickly renewable among advantages.

by on Apr.21, 2017

Janet Yin, a materials engineering supervisor at Ford’s Nanjing Research & Engineering Center, shows the strength of bamboo.

Facing constant pressure to make vehicles of any kind lighter and more efficient, carmakers are constantly experimenting with a variety of natural materials that help reduce a vehicle’s overall weight or even just to dress up its interior.

Thus, Ford Motor Co. engineers in China have been experimenting with using bamboo, a fast-growing natural material that’s been used for everything from furniture, flooring, storage containers and housing as well ships, carts and weapons, in the construction of new vehicles. Bamboo is also plentiful in the heart of the world’s largest new vehicle market – China.

News You Can Trust!

“Bamboo is amazing,” said Janet Yin, a materials engineering supervisor at Ford’s Nanjing Research & Engineering Center. “It’s strong, flexible, totally renewable, and plentiful in China and many other parts of Asia.” (more…)

Ford Gives Mustang GT350, GT350R An Extended Run

Two models live on through 2018 and get three new colors.

by on Apr.17, 2017

Ford announced it's going to produce the GT350 and GT350R into 2018 and adding three more colors.

It’s National Mustang Day, and pony car fans have a good reason to celebrate.

Ford has announced it will continue building two of the most powerful versions of the Mustang ever produced, the Shelby GT350 and the GT350R. Initially set to go out of production at the end of 2017, they will now live on through the 2018 model-year.

Product News!

The big change for the new model-year? Three new colors: Orange Fury, Kona Blue and the appropriately named Lead Foot Gray. (more…)

Lincoln Launches Chauffeur Service

“Quiet luxury” brand rolling series of pilot programs.

by on Apr.17, 2017

With the 2018 Lincoln Navigator, the big ute gets its first full makeover in a decade.

Hoping to create a distinctive identity for itself, Ford’s Lincoln Motor Co. is launching a series of pilot programs designed to emphasize the brand’s “quiet luxury” motto.

That includes both a new home sales and delivery process, as well as a chauffeur service that lets a Lincoln owner order up a driver via the marque’s smartphone app. Debuting in Miami, the new service provides a driver who can run errands or chauffeur owners who might otherwise have to call up a taxi or Uber ride.

Leave the Driving to Us!

The service “allows people to be picked up in their own Lincoln vehicle, rather than one they’re not familiar with,” said Andrew Frick, the brand’s director of sales and service. Owners also can request a specific driver if that person is available, he noted.

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Hyundai Goes Google

Korean maker adds Google Assistant link to its cars.

by on Apr.13, 2017

Hyundai's Manish Mehrotra with an Ioniq and the Google Assistant device.

With more and more of our lives being defined by our many digital devices, the challenge has become finding ways to link them all together. Hyundai is stepping into the fray by allowing cars equipped with its BlueLink telematics system to pair up with a wide range of other high-tech devices.

During a New York International Auto Show news conference on Thursday, the Korean carmaker announced that will now include Google Assistant, the tin can-sized device that already can be used to do anything from check weather to control a home’s lights and thermostats.

Stay Connected!

By providing a single access point to “converge” all the various digital technologies in our lives, “we’ll make life easier and more seamless,” said Manish Mehrotra, the director of digital planning at Hyundai Motor America.

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Lincoln Wants Back In With Remake of Big Navigator

A long-awaited remake puts Lincoln's big SUV back in the game.

by on Apr.12, 2017

With the 2018 Lincoln Navigator, the big ute gets its first full makeover in a decade.

The company that invented the full-size luxury SUV has been little more than an also-ran in recent years, Ford Motor Co. long neglecting its big Lincoln Navigator – until now, anyway.

This week’s New York International Auto Show will see the debut of a flood of new sport- and crossover-utility vehicles, but perhaps none has been awaited with more interest than the 2018 Navigator which is finally getting the complete makeover it has long and desperately needed.

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SUVs Could Soon Make Up Half U.S. New Vehicle Market

Prices also on rise as "customers choose more well-equipped vehicles."

by on Apr.11, 2017

Ford is pushing more luxury and tech features into the Explorer Platinum Edition for 2018.

Utility vehicles now account for 40% of the American market – and a disproportionate share of its profits – but demand is likely to keep growing and could soon reach 50% before leveling off, said a senior Ford Motor Co. executive ahead of this week’s New York International Auto Show, where a number of new SUVs and CUVs will make their debut.

Utes have become the hottest segment in the industry, in part because carmakers continue to find ways to surprise and delight customers with all manner of new designs and features, said Mark LaNeve, Ford’s head of sales, service and marketing. And where classic SUVs once required owners to “sacrifice” things like fuel economy and on-road comfort, today’s utes are nearly as efficient and comfortable as conventional sedans and coupes.

Inside News!

As a result, “We don’t see (the SUV sales boom) stopping,” said LaNeve, as Ford revealed two new versions of its popular Explorer SUV and announced plans to update the long-neglected Expedition model for the 2018 model-year.

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CAFE Rollback Wouldn’t Bring Much Change to Product Plans, Says Ford President

The big impact is likely to be on Ford’s sales mix.

by on Apr.11, 2017

Ford President Joe Hinrichs reveals the new Police Responder Hybrid at a New York preview.

President Donald Trump’s executive order reopening the “mid-term review” of federal fuel economy mandates will likely have a much smaller impact than critics have feared, according to a top Ford Motor Co. executive and other industry leaders.

Even if that review did lead to a rollback of the 54.5 mpg Corporate Average Fuel Economy, or CAFE, standards set to phase in between now and 2025, said Ford’s President of the America Joe Hinrichs, the maker’s long-term product plans are largely already in motion. If there’s any change, it will be in Ford’s sales mix.

The Inside Story!

“With the typical industry product cycle, which is five to six years, what’s we’re going to launch is already in the pipeline,” said Hinrichs, during the unveiling of a new hybrid police cruiser ahead of the annual New York International Auto Show.

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A Quarter of Miles Driven by 2030 Could Be in Driverless Battery-Cars

Self-driving tech coming to market sooner than expected.

by on Apr.10, 2017

A fully driverless version of this Waymo Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid could soon be a common sight.

Both Daimler and Ford plan to have their first fully driverless cars in production by 2025, far sooner than many might have expected just a few years ago. Meanwhile, after a slow start, a new generation of longer range, more affordable battery-cars are just starting to come to market.

By pairing those two technologies, automakers and ride-sharing companies could radically transform the way Americans travel, predicts a new study by the Boston Consulting Group. It predicts that fully a quarter of the miles Americans clock on the road will, by 2025, be driven inside fully driverless battery vehicles operated by ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft.

“When you take shared vehicles, electrified powertrains suddenly make sense, and it becomes even more practical at this level of autonomy,” said Justin Rose, one of the Chicago-based co-authors of the new BCG study.

Tech News!

The consulting firm isn’t the first to predict a bright future for autonomous vehicles operated by ride-sharing services. Travis Kalanick, the CEO of Uber, has long argued that driverless vehicles will lower the cost of his service to the point it will be cheaper than owning a car. Lyft co-CEO John Zimmerman last year forecast privately owned vehicles will all but vanish from major urban centers within a decade.

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