Ford Announces New Performance Division; Plans 12 New Models by 2020
Ford Motor Company has just announced the creation of a new skunkworks organization called simply Ford Performance. The new division will be lead by 2015 Mustang chief engineer Dave Pericak and incorporates SVT, Team RS, and Ford Racing into a single, globally recognized organization. The news come via a press conference held December 11th, wherein which Ford announced generalized product and business plans through 2020.
Included in the announcements is Ford’s plan to introduce 12 new performance vehicles globally within the five-year timeframe. This includes the just-announced Focus RS hot hatch destined for U.S. shores and the recently announced 2016 Mustang GT350. The performance vehicles already in Ford’s portfolio include the Fiesta ST and Focus ST and the F-150 Raptor. Expect refreshed versions of these vehicles to be among the 12 expected models.
Speaking at the conference, Ford’s vice president of global product development, Raj Nair, said, “Ford remains committed to innovation through performance. Our new global Ford Performance team ties together racing, performance vehicles and parts. It will allow us to more quickly introduce products and accessories that meet the needs of customers around the world on-road and on the track.”
In a statement released after the conference, Ford says it considers racing an important proving ground for cultivating passionate engineers that can overcome challenges that require successful solutions in very compressed time frames. The new Ford Performance umbrella will act as an “innovation laboratory and test bed to create unique performance vehicles, parts, accessories and experiences for customers.”
Click past the jump to read more about Ford’s new Performance division.
Why it matters
Ford is unifying itself in order to better compete in the world performance market. That especially includes GM Performance and Mopar. With 12 new (or updated) models on the horizon, Ford has its work cut out. We already expect a new version of the F-150 Raptor and a Camaro Z/28-fighter in the rumored Mustang GT350R. The addition of the Focus RS hot hatch will expand Ford’s reach into the less-expensive, front-drive performance category and rival vehicles from Volkswagen, Audi, and other Euro brands.
The creation of Ford Performance is very, very good news. We look forward to the next five years and the level of awesomeness the performance wars will reach.
Ford’s latest performance beast is the Mustang Shelby GT350. It rocks a flat-plane crank, naturally aspirated, 5.2-liter V-8 making “more than 500 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque” with a six-speed manual sending power to the rear wheels. Ford estimates the car will reach 60 mph in less than four seconds.
Of course, going in a straight line won’t be the car’s only ability. Ford’s first-ever magnetic shock system will provide the cornering ability to brag about while a Torsen limited-slip rear differential keeps the car in line.
Pricing for the GT350 is rumored to start at $52,995; that’s well below its competition.