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Ford Trademarks 'EcoBeast' Moniker

Ford Trademarks ’EcoBeast’ Moniker

The days when FoMoCo used to stuff its high-performance vehicles with high-displacement V-8 engines are long gone, but that’s not to say the Blue Oval’s current offerings are of the slow variety. Although the 2015 Mustang still comes with a V-8 in its range-topping trim, several other nameplates — including the Focus and Fiesta ST, and the Taurus SHO — are motivated by EcoBoost technology. Be it with four or six cylinders, the EcoBoost engine has become the centerpiece of Ford performance and that’s not likely to change any time soon. In fact, it seems the EcoBoost is set to expand to other nameplates as well, judging by a trademark filing with the United States Patent and Trademark office.

According to the folks over at Motrolix, Ford has registered the term "EcoBeast" under the Goods and Services category of "Automobiles and automobile engines." This can only mean one thing; Ford is readying a new version of its turbocharged EcoBoost engine and judging by the name there’s something big coming our way; in terms of horsepower, that is!

So what are Ford intentions with this "EcoBeast" engine? The trademark filing provides no clue, but it’s very likely that this is a pickup truck application. You see, owners of F-150 pickups with the 3.5-liter, EcoBoost V-6 have been known to nickname their trucks "EcoBeast," and that’s solid indication that FoMoCo wants to emphasize on that moniker and use it for production purposes. And with the current 3.5-liter V-6 churning 365 horsepower, we have a feeling the "EcoBeast" will find its way into the next-generation SVT Raptor with more than 450 ponies at its disposal.

Click past the jump to read more about Ford’s new ’EcoBeast’ moniker.

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2014 TopSpeed Truck of the Year

2014 TopSpeed Truck of the Year

Trucks are about as American as baseball and apple pie, and likely more prevalent even during the World Series or a family reunion. This year was a big one for the truck market. We’ve seen both Ford and Chevrolet release new products while Ram Trucks still burns bright from its homerun with the latest Ram 1500 and its EcoDiesel engine.

As the year winds down, the TopSpeed staff has tallied votes on which truck made the biggest impact on the automotive industry, made the best strides in advancing technology, and which will likely be well-received by potential truck buyers.

Our field of contenders includes three all-new trucks – the 2015 Ford F-150, the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado, and the 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban twins — along with the refreshed 2015 Chevrolet Silverado HD and the carryover 2015 Ram 1500. The latter was only eligible for voting due to its new Ecodiesel engine.

In many ways both the F-150 and Colorado represent a new approach to trucks. The Ford sports an all-aluminum body that will drastically change the way the industry manufactures, repairs, and recycles aluminum vehicles and the Colorado is reviving the midsize truck market that’s lied dormant for nearly a decade. The Tahoe and Suburban take a more traditional approach and stick with what they’re good at while adopting the new design forged by the 2014 Chevy Silverado.

Which one takes the win? Keep reading for the full results including the order of finalists.

Click past the jump to read more about TopSpeed’s 2014 Truck of the Year.

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Ford is "Working Very Hard On" a Hybrid F-150

Ford is "Working Very Hard On" a Hybrid F-150

Falling fuel prices tend to give us all a false sense of security when it comes time to buy a car — lower fuel prices typically lead to falling hybrid and EV sales — and the recent downward trend in fuel prices is no exception to this rule. Soon enough, the Ford F-150 may find itself included in this group of hybrids that are constantly watching their sales decline as fuel prices drop, as Ford is working on a hybrid version of its best-selling pickup truck.

Ford’s global product development chief, Raj Nair, recognized the effect fuel prices have on hybrid and EV vehicles during a recent interview with Detroit Free Press and in the same breath, he also stated that Ford does not expect the reduced price of gasoline to lower the demand of the more fuel-efficient EcoBoost F-150. But despite Ford recognizing the gas price-to-green car sales relationship, the automaker is still "working very hard on" on a hybrid F-150.

You may wonder why the F-150 is ripe for a hybrid powertrain and not a diesel, like the 2014 Ram 1500. Well, according to Nair, the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel engine is thousands of dollars more expensive than the EcoBoost engine, and he feels the EcoBoost engine will pay off more quickly in terms of fuel savings when compared to the Ram EcoDiesel. This may be true on paper, considering the base EcoDiesel runs $34,340 while the lowest-spec F-150 with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost runs $27,715 and we’re looking at only a fuel economy difference of 3 mpg combined. However, actually meeting the mpg numbers with a turbo-six requires a perfect environment and perfect driving style, whereas most diesel owners will tell you that they easily beat the estimated mpg numbers while pulling a trailer. But I digress...

The real news here is that Ford is actually working on what should be the first production hybrid pickup truck. I have wondered in the past when this would happen and it appears as if it on the horizon. Unfortunately, there are no details on when the truck will debut or what kind of hybrid setup it will be, but I suspect we are at least three years away from seeing a prototype. In terms of powertrain, I suspect it’ll include a small-displacement EcoBoost engine combined with an electric motor that is more powerful than most hybrid vehicles today.

Click past the jump to read more of on this topic and all of my thoughts about it.

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2015 Ford F-150 Deegan 38 By Brian Deegan

2015 Ford F-150 Deegan 38 By Brian Deegan

Ford F-Series trucks have won a SEMA award in the past four years. That’s no small feat considering the level of competition it usually faces. But the popularity of the F-Series, specifically the F-150, at SEMA is completely legitimate. That’s why Ford, together with Motocross rider and Ford Racing member Brian Deegan, is bringing a heavily personalized 2015 F-150 to the 2014 SEMA Auto Show.

This particular F-150 goes by the name “Deegan 38”, which is a clear indication of Deegan’s heavy involvement in the project. The full specs surrounding the build have yet to be revealed, but according to Ford, Deegan enlisted a ton of industry heavyweights to participate in it.

Without going into detail, the F-150 Deegan 38 features contributions from Addictive Desert Designs, Mickey Thompson Performance Tires & Wheels, FOX Racing Shox, KC Hilites, and Mastercraft Safety.

Rockford Fosgate was also heavily involved, as well as Full-Race Motorsports, Leading Edge Tuning, ProEFI, and SCT Performance. Together, all these aftermarket shops had a hand in creating this monstrous F-150 Deegan 38.

Expect more details surrounding the F-150 Deegan 38 to arrive when the 2014 SEMA Auto Show opens its doors on November 4, 2014.

Click past the jump to read more about the Ford F-150 Deegan 38 By Brian Deegan.

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2015 Ford F-150 Vaughn Gittin Jr. Street Truck

2015 Ford F-150 Vaughn Gittin Jr. Street Truck

Ford Motor Co. has always been an important part of the SEMA Show. Mustangs, Focus hatches and even Transit Connect vans have hit the show’s floor the past few years with various modifications. The Mustang is likely to return to this year’s event in its redesigned, 2015 form, and so is the F-150 pickup truck, which is as revolutionary as it gets. Ford’s new aluminum rig has already announced its presence in Las Vegas, where two different show trucks will demonstrate the vehicle’s tuning potential. One of them is the Vaughn Gittin Jr. Street Truck.

As you may have already guessed, the Street Truck was envisioned by Vaughn Gittin Jr. himself, a racing driver known for drifting Ford Mustangs in the most spectacular ways. While we already knew Gittin was a big fan of Ford’s muscle car, it seems the Maryland-born drifter is also passionate about trucks, and the F-150 in particular. The full details surrounding the Street Truck will be disclosed at the SEMA Show in November, but let’s have a closer look at what we already know about it.

Click past the jump to read more about the Ford F-150 Vaughn Gittin Jr. Street Truck.

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2015 Ford F-150

2015 Ford F-150

Ford has been selling the F-Series since 1948, but the F-150 model didn’t arrive until 1975, when Ford used it as a `tweener pickup to span the gap between the F-100 and F-250. When Ford rolled out the Atlas Concept at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show, we were pretty sure that the automaker was already hard at work overhauling the existing F-150 in its likeness. And for the 2015 model year, our suspicions are confirmed, as brand-new F-150, based on the Atlas concept, hit dealers.

With this redesign, Ford will focus on drastically reducing the F-150’s total weight by making use of lightweight aluminum materials. Under the hood, the model will carry a familiar line of engines with a new, 2.7-liter EcoBoost delivering awesome power and better fuel economy.

Updated 07/22/2014: Ford released the specifications figures for the F-150’s new 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6 engine. Click past the jump for the details. A towing test video was also added.

Updated 07/29/2014: Ford released prices for the 2015 F-150, and they have suffered an increase of $395 to $3,515, depending on the trim level. (USA Today)

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Ford F-150.

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Ford F-Series is America's Best Selling Vehicle

Ford F-Series is America’s Best Selling Vehicle

Ford Motor Co. ended the year with record sales of the F-Series truck. The F-Series has been the segment leader for more than three decades now and continues to be the truck of choice for most Americans.

In 2013, the Ford F-Series registered huge growth in sales compared to the same period last year. The F-Series remained No.1 in terms of sheer sales numbers; America’s best selling vehicle by a huge margin.

For the 37th year running, the Ford F-Series has remained the country’s best-selling truck. The Detroit based car maker sold 763,402 units of the F-Series during the year 2013. The Chevrolet Silverado took second place with 480,414 units. Compared with the sales in 2012, Ford sold an additional 18,086 units in the last year.

To put this in perspective, the Toyota Camry was the best-selling Toyota product during the previous year. The Japanese car maker delivered 408,000 units of the Camry, which is half the number of F-Series trucks sold.

Click past the jump to read about one of the newest additions to the F-150 lineup, the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor

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2014 Ford F-150 by Fatal Clothing

2014 Ford F-150 by Fatal Clothing

Aftermarket companies often rely on inspiration before they set out and build a project. For Fatal Clothing — it isn’t so much a car tuner as it is an actual clotting brand — inspiration came essentially from home, specifically Southern California.

Together with Hulst Customs, which has its own project pickup at SEMA, Fatal Clothing went about the business of building a pretty impressive program for the Ford F-150. The custom paintwork Fatal Clothings did to the F-150, specifically on the rear doors, is straight out of one of its nutty t-shirt designs. The white-black two-tone finish with the matching lime trimming adds an element of depth and character to the pickup. The exterior details are rounded out by a set of 24-inch, custom-fit DUB Wheels from MHT Wheels and wrapped in Falken tires.

Moving to the interior, Fatal Clothings made good use of Katzkin leather, custom-painted panels and Fatal Clothing artwork, including the company’s logo, which were embroidered in the seats.

Under the hood of the F-150 is a 6.2-liter, V-8 engine that Fatal Clothing whipped up to insane performance levels, thanks to a twin-screw supercharger from Whipple Industries and performance exhaust system from CGS Motorsports. With these upgrades in tow, the F-150 is now capable of hitting a staggering 650 horsepower.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Ford F-150

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Ford Mustang and F-Series Awarded "Hottest Car & Truck" of 2013 SEMA

Ford Mustang and F-Series Awarded "Hottest Car & Truck" of 2013 SEMA

The SEMA show has only just begun, yet the awards are already flowing. Officials for the Specialty Equipment Market Association show walked the floor before the crowds gathered and literally counted the number of new 2013 and 2014 vehicle makes and models present. The Ford Mustang and F-Series were the two top finishers, beating out the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado, Camaro, and other popular platforms chosen by aftermarket companies to show off their products.

We’ve already seen a ton of custom F-Series trucks, which includes the F-150 through F-550s and the iconic Mustang pony car in various forms. The award confirms our suspicions that the two breadwinners for Ford are quite a popular place to start a custom-vehicle project.

“Ford was the first automaker to share detailed vehicle specs with SEMA members,” said John Felice, Ford’s VP of U.S. marketing, sales and service. “Thirty years later, we’re proud that more aftermarket accessories and parts are created for Ford vehicles than for any other automaker.”

According to SEMA, the specialty parts market has grown into a $31 billion industry and employs more than 1 million U.S. workers.

Click past the jump for examples of Ford’s dominance at the 2013 SEMA show

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2014 Ford F-250 Striker by Hulst Customs

2014 Ford F-250 Striker by Hulst Customs

On the surface, this Ford F-250 that Hulst Customs worked on looks like it didn’t receive too much of an aftermarket upgrade that’s deserving of a spot at the 2013 SEMA Auto Show.

But don’t sleep on what Hulst did to this Ford pickup. There’s a lot to like about what the tuner did, specifically the dressed-up interior that belies the rugged and mean package of the exterior. The most prominent upgrade to the Striker — yes, it’s called the Striker! — is the addition of a two-tone Katzkin leather that’s complemented by custom-painted panels and chrome accents.

Moving to the performance enhancements, Hulst Customs made use of Banks Power performance upgrades that includes a water-methanol injection system and a Monster exhaust systems that essentially took the F-250’s 6.7-liter, V-8 diesel and turned into a grunting powerhouse that you can proudly show off to anybody who comes across the pickup.

A new set of 22-inch wheels from American Rebel MFG round out the package, putting a worth exclamation mark on a program that has far more substance than you would’ve expected.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Ford F-Series Super Duty

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2014 Ford F-350 EcoTrek

2014 Ford F-350 EcoTrek

When you have a pickup the size of the Ford F-350, the last thing you’d describe it is "eco-friendly". But somehow, EcoTrek was able to not only turn this monstrous Super Duty into a purring fuel efficient monster, but it does so while racking up the miles it takes before exhausting the tank.

If you think that your pickup is already awesome by doing a few hundred miles to a tank, EcoTrek estimates that the work they put on the F-350 allows it to rack up 1,800 miles per tank. The aftermarket company accomplished that by having fitting the 6.7-liter V-8 engine with a TransferFlow 50-gallon tank under the bed of the truck on top of a removable 75-gallon tank in the bed. With the work it put into the pickup, this F-350 is now capable of running on a variety of fuel options, including diesel, biodiesel, algae-based biodiesel or any combination of these fuels.

Moving past the extensive work done to make this F-350 into a long-distance warrior, EcoTrek also gave the pickup a 9-inch lift courtesy of a Bulletproof suspension with custom shocks and springs and a set of 20-inch BMF wheels wrapped in BFGoodrich tires.

Inside, the modifications continue with lockable storage cabinets, sleeping bags, backpacks, and a custom sliding shelf for the aforementioned locking storage.

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2014 Ford F-350 High Roller by Cars by Kris

2014 Ford F-350 High Roller by Cars by Kris

Somewhere in the mind of some aftermarket tuner, the thought of combing rugged functionality with luxury amenities sounds like a pretty good idea. But Cars by Kris isn’t just content with thinking about ideas like this; it actually put went all out and built one.

At the 2013 SEMA Auto Show, Cars by Kris presents the Ford Super Duty High Roller. The name already implies something that’s used to describe people living with affluent lifestyles and for the most part, the interior of this Super Duty speaks that kind of language.

You don’t normally see pickups carrying custom upholstery with hexagon stitching on the seats and custom gauges, but this Super Duty has this material in spades. Painted interior accents also adorn the cabin and the custom floor mats, while not really jazzing up the cabin, still give it the kind of personalized touch you normally associated with exotics. And to ensure that the cabin is as cool and pin-drop quiet, Cars by Kris installed a QuietRIDE Solutions system to reduce the amount of noise inside.

Moving outside, the aftermarket company gives the Super Duty all sorts of performance and handling modifications, beginning with a Banks Power performance products, a Straight-Shot Water-Methanol Injection System, iQ Man-Machine Interface and a MagnaFlow exhaust system, giving more life and power to its 6.7-liter PowerStroke diesel engine.

Rounding out the mods for the High Roller is a Carli Suspension setup and a set of 22-inch, American Force, eight-lug wheels wrapped in Open Country tires from Toyo.

Click past the jump to read about the 2014 Ford F-Series Super Duty

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