In a surprising move, Ford and the Volkswagen Group announced today that they are seeking a strategic alliance to increase competitiveness in the segment of commercial vehicles. Representatives of both companies addressed the public explaining that the potential alliance will enable them “to better serve the evolving needs of customers globally.”
Ford Launches The First Ever Pursuit-Rated Hybrid SUV
We all have drooled over Lamborghinis, Bugattis, and other exotic cars in uniform. The loud grunts from powerful combustion engines when throttled, and the silencers roaring their lungs out in a high-speed drama; but have you thought of a Hybrid police car doing those extreme pursuits? Well, Ford recently revealed the all-new Police Interceptor Utility, which is the first pursuit-rated Hybrid SUV ever. It aims to offer improved performance and lower fuel costs thanks to its hybrid setup.
The Ford Mach 1 SUV Will Probably be a Jacked up, FWD, Focus Hatchback With a Mustang Front Clip
2020 Ford Mach1
The Mach 1 name has always been associated with performance, but up until now, it was associated with a higher-performance version of the Mustang Coupe. The name first came to be back in 1969 when the Mach 1 Mustang was born. It was used again in the early 2000s as a send-off for the fourth-gen Mustang. All of this happened before the SUV and crossover craze, however, and now – thanks to the overwhelming demand for SUVs and crossovers – Ford is resurrecting the Mach1 name yet again, but this time it will be a high-riding standalone performance model. It will at least be based on the Mustang, though, but will be all-electric. We’ve seen a short teaser of the Mach 1 performance crossover, but details are excessively scant for now. So, we took a little bit of creative freedom, threw it in a blender, and are now showcasing a rendering that depicts what we think the Mach1 crossover will look like. Keep reading to learn more about it.
Will the Return of the "Mach" Name on an SUV be a Wining Move for Ford?
One thing is clear - Ford has been clumsy with its ’Focus’ on electric cars (pun intended). While every other car manufacturer seems to have a plan of action in place for the future, Ford has just been launching facelifts or next generations of their existing products (read: Explorer and Everest). However, at the Detroit Motor Show earlier this year, the Blue Oval teased us with an electric SUV tentatively named Mach 1. This probably restored some faith in the fans and stakeholders. So, what is it all about? Read on.
Ford to Develop a Crossover and a Small EV with Mahindra, the Latter of Which Could Adorn the Pinninfarina Name!
A new SUV is coming out of the Ford-Mahindra partnership after the two sides agreed to co-develop the model alongside an electric vehicle. The agreement is part of a bigger partnership between the two brands that has existed since both formalized the alliance back in September 2017. Specific details about the planned crossover are still unclear but don’t expect the model to have anything to do with Ford’s own future plans in the segment. Instead, look for this co-developed SUV to help Ford re-establish its footprint in the Indian market.
Ford Teases Mach 1 Electric… SUV?
Ford is on a quest to have 40 electrified vehicles by 2022 to meet the demand for fuel efficiency and receded local emissions. One of these vehicles will be a crossover with a fully electric drivetrain. Sounds great, right? Well, not so fast. This crossover will be “Mustang inspired” and be named the Mach 1.
As you should know, the Mach 1 name dates back to 1969 as a performance package on the Mustang. The Mach 1 package added an upgraded suspension, several appearance upgrades, and several V-8 engine options. The package continued through 1978 until Ford resurrected the name in 2003 and 2004 as a send-off for the fourth-generation Mustang. But regardless of year or body style, the Mach 1 name was synonymous with performance.
As for the “Mustang Inspired” thing, Ford hasn’t divulged what this inspiration will look like. The crossover could have a similar face or taillight cues as the Mustang, or maybe even a similar dashboard design.
One thing is for sure; the Mach 1 will be built on a separate platform from the Mustang due to its electric drivetrain and battery pack. That confirmation comes from Ford Executive Vice President Raj Nair in a conversation with Jalopnik.
But regardless of how Mustang-inspired this crossover is, it will still be a high-riding wagon with five doors. Why Ford thinks it’s a smart idea to brand an all-new electric crossover with such an iconic name rich with muscle car heritage is beyond me. It would be like Chevrolet making a Camaro-inspired electric crossover and calling it the Z/28 or Dodge building one inspired by the Viper and naming it the SRT-10.
Names mean things; they carry weight and history. More importantly, vehicle names are engrained into customers’ psyche and elicit connotations of worth, performance, capability, and cultural significance. I’m all for Ford building an electric crossover. It would probably sell extremely well. But, Ford should reconsider slapping such an iconic nameplate onto an unrelated vehicle that doesn’t even hail from the same vehicle category.
2016 Chicago Auto Show – Best And Worst In Show
The gates are open at the 2016 Chicago Auto Show, and with those pesky journalists finally out of the way, the public can now enjoy all the vehicular goodness that North America’s “largest” auto show can muster. Special editions, refreshes, and brand-new models all dropped cover this year, with crossovers and SUVs served up as the main course, and new sedans and sports cars added as a tasty side dish. Picking winners and losers here is not exactly easy, but hey, this isn’t some elementary school talent show. Time to be ruthless.
There were a few clear standouts for Best In Show right from the start, but cutthroat competition to fill the remaining slots quickly followed. Picking vehicles for Worst In Show was also pretty tricky, but that’s why they pay me the big bucks.
So, without further ado…
Continue reading for the Best and Worst In Show at CAS 2016.
Ford’s presence in Silicon Valley was established back in 2012 with nothing more than a 15-person office, and just last January, Ford expanded that into a research facility with a team of more than 100 people. In that new facility, researchers, engineers and scientists have been working on automotive advancements like Camera-based pedestrian detection, sensor fusion, and other autonomous-driving technology – supporting Fords Smart Mobility plan.
Ford’s integration of its new research facility isn’t the only thing the automaker has achieved this year. Just this week, Ford announced that it has secured a permit to begin testing fully autonomous vehicles on public roads. The permit is limited to the Ford Fusion Hybrid, and Ford will be free to begin testing the Fusion’s autonomous capabilities on public roads in 2016. Ford has yet to release information on exactly when it will begin testing, but given how seriously it is taking the advancement of autonomous vehicles, connectivity and mobility, it’s a safe bet they’ll starting popping up on Cali roads sooner than later.
Obtaining the testing permit is a huge step in Ford’s Smart Mobility plan, and it was made possible by the team it has compiled in what is now the one of the largest automotive manufacturer research facilities in the region. Mark Fields, Ford’s CEO and President, said, “Our Palo Alto team has grown significantly this year, using research and innovation to explore and develop future mobility solutions,” he continued, “We’re attracting top talent from around the world to join our team in Silicon Valley, including employees from local technology companies and universities who want to make people’s lives better by changing the way the world moves.”
Continue reading for the full story.
Ford’s long-term plans for the F-Series apparently include a hybrid drivetrain. In a December 14th interview with NPR’s Ali Shapiro, Ford’s CEO Mark Fields confirmed the automaker is working on a hybrid F-Series.
“Well, we do have plans to have a rear-wheel drive hybrid truck but the end of the decade. So yes, we’re working on electrified F-series.”
The topic came up when Fields was asked about the disparity between sales of its conventional hybrid vehicles like the Fusion and C-Max, and the more traditional F-Series, Fields added to Shapiro’s question by saying, “[Hybrids] only represent around 2.5 percent of the total industry.” He continued in saying that as the percentage of hybrid sales grows, Ford will have positioned itself to respond.
The remainder of the short interview went on to discus Ford’s overall business and environmental sustainability, and the balance of both in the light of climate change. It’s easy to see how a hybrid F-Series would tie into both areas, as the F-Series (the F-150 through the F-450) is Ford’s number one product and how creating a hybrid version would help lower the automaker’s overall CAFÉ numbers.
Environmental aspects aside, Field’s promise for a hybrid F-Series by the end of the decade is big news. The automaker has already taken steps to improve the F-Series’ fuel economy. Lightweight aluminum bodies for both the F-150 and upcoming Super Duty mean reduced fuel consumption. Turbocharged, smaller-displacement engines in the F-150 further reduce consumption. Moving to a hybrid drivetrain is a logical next step.
From Field’s comments, Ford will only produce a 2WD hybrid truck, helping it get the best possible fuel economy. Whether or not such a truck will be a commercial success is yet to be seen.
Continue reading for the full story
Ford has announced it will offer its Compressed Natural Gas and Propane prep package on the 2016 F-150. What’s more, Ford is upfitting the 5.0-liter V-8 rather than the 3.7-liter V-6 as it has in years past. That means CNG/P customers get the upgraded capability with the V-8, but at the same $315 upfit charge.
The Fusion Energi is the first in a large wave of mainstream, plug-in Fords in the mid-term future. The extra EV power doubles silent range and EPA efficiency of the already-stellar Fusion Hybrid for only about $6,000 more than a loaded Hybrid Titanium model.
Who killed the electric car? Was it you?
No, it was coal. Coal killed the electric car.
Until 2012, the idea of an electric car faced not only the technical challenges of building one but also the significant consumer hurdle of buying something without knowing the actual savings over gasoline.
Anyone who has ever gotten a $400 power bill for a hot summer month would certainly think twice about the cost and hassle of plugging in the car constantly. Consumers rightly wondered: How high could an EV charger spike that utility bill?
Large-scale U.S. energy shifts to natural gas power stations mean home electricity is at record lows and expected to stay low for years. ‘Natty G’ costs about a fifth as much as coal per megawatt and significant savings are coming to home users in the U.S. as well.
Suddenly, Ford’s plug-in hybrid electric car not only satisfies Eco-minded hybrid buyers but also the hardcore-green BEV owners in Nissan Leaf and Tesla vehicles. There’s simply no drawback to this Fusion Energi PHEV when the equation is close to $1 of juice (very roughly) equaling $10 in gasoline.
Add in the peace of mind of a gasoline backup and less cord fumbling… and it all starts to make sense. The Chevrolet Volt the first to a market that also includes the Honda Accord Plug-in and low-tech Prius Plug-in.
Click past the jump for the full review of the 2014 Ford Fusion Energi including an exclusive video tech overview of the interior.
The Fusion Hybrid finally cracks the code to unravel Toyota’s stranglehold on the eco market by offering consumers what they actually want: a gorgeous sedan shape, a quiet cabin and very good handling. These are all places where the Prius cannot compete. The Ford also runs lithium-ion batteries for a 47 mpg rating, despite costing just $27,000.
Ford’s most promising hybrid to date is joined by a plug-in model called the Fusion Energi. The Hybrid is the volume electrified sedan and packs some great technology into one of the most attractive midsize car shapes on the market.
The Hybrid might actually be the pick of the range that also includes a 1.6-liter EcoBoost and a base 2.5-liter four-cylinder in a new-for-2014 ‘S’ trim at the bottom of the range.
The Fusion Hybrid offers nearly all of the Energi’s benefits for about $10,000 less. This makes it a really viable contender among urban dwellers without access to a garage plug.
The 47/47/47 mpg across all EPA categories takes most of the headlines but the Fusion Hybrid also drives really nicely and is more balanced that the typical sedan, thanks the trunk-mounted battery pack helping even the weight distribution of this front-drive car.
Conventional Hybrid sedans are just starting to really move up the sales charts versus the dedicated Prius hatchback. Even among Prius owners, there is some latent desire for a classic large sedan’s refinement and handling. The Fusion Hybrid aces these criteria and many more, via a sophisticated suite of interior technologies and active safety options that are from a class above.
How will the Ford fare versus this fall’s supercharged Nissan Altima Hybrid and the popular Toyota Camry Hybrid?
Click past the jump for the first-drive review of the 2014 Ford Fusion Hybrid with highlights on the new features and equipment.
The C-Max is Ford’s first Hybrid-only model and comes in two mechanical configurations: Hybrid and ‘Energi’ Plug-in Hybrid. Bringing the heat to Toyota’s popular Prius and the Chevy Volt, the C-Max fills a solid gap in the marketplace among consumers who won’t settle for the other cars’ many limitations.
C-Max sales are ramping up steadily and the C-Max is on track to be Ford’s best-selling hybrid model of all time by the end of 2013, based on current year-to-date sales and projections. Granted, Ford has some major ground to make up versus the Prius lineups, which has topped 200,000 sales annually in recent years.
The first-to-market advantage of the Prius continues today with the model family taking 58 percent of the market share for hybrid-electric cars. Despite its utter dominance of the segment so far, there’s no reason that the Prius should set the template for all PHEVs (plug-in hybrid electric vehicles) or simpler full hybrids. As shown by the Tesla Model S, there really is a better way. Driving a hybrid shouldn’t have to mean total misery on the road. Would anyone choose a Prius if it didn’t get amazing mileage? No way.
Living somewhere between the Prius and Prius V models, the C-Max offers some real advantages versus its archrivals from Toyota.
Ford’s bringing its fun-to-drive C-Max to crash the dull Prius party. With more space and more family-friendly packaging than the Focus, but all of its enthusiasm for corners, the C-Max pair will continue to gain ground in the sales battle among eco-keen drivers.
Click past the jump for the full C-Max Hybrid and C-Max Energi review, detailed specs and jumbo image gallery.
The storm created by the electric powertrains didn’t surround only the passengers cars, as commercial vehicles were also involved. One of the most popular commercial vehicles converted to run on electricity was Ford’s Transit Connect. The electric version of the model was created in collaboration with Azure Dynamics. Unfortunately, the production was stopped in March 2012, due to Azure’s financial difficulties.
The Transit Connect Electric is equipped with a 55 kilowatt electric drivetrain system which uses a 600 pound 28 kilowatt-hour lithium ion battery. The battery pack offers a pretty limited range of 56 miles.
Apart from the electric drive train, the Ford Transit Connect Electric didn’t receive any other significant modifications and continue to be as practical as it’s conventional powered cousin.
Even if for the moment the Connect Electric went out of production, we can dare to hope for future Electric versions of the van, because Ford’s engineers are currently spending a lot of time in trying to crack the nut of electric powertrains.
Hit the jump for more information on the Ford Transit Connect Electric.