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New Tires Could Make Ford Mustang GT as Quick as the BMW M4

New Tires Could Make Ford Mustang GT as Quick as the BMW M4

Sub-four-second 0 to 60 mph sprints!

The summer may be long gone, and you may have already put winter tires on your car, but Ford just decided to launch a new set of summer tires for the Mustang GT. Not exactly the best timing out there, but hey, we’re talking about a set of high-performance Michelin rubber, so I’m not going to complain. Specifically, the V-8-powered Mustang GT is now available with Michelin Sport 4S tires, which will make their mass-market North American debut on the pony car. While these tires aren’t exactly new in Europe, where they’re offered on some performance cars, they have yet to make it to the United States on regular production cars. What’s more, the Mustang GT isn’t getting the usual Pilot Sport 4S, but a custom version made specifically for this model.

Ford says that its engineers took learnings from the Ford GT supercar and the Shelby GT350 Mustang to develop this special tire. Designed with optimal wet and dry grip, increased braking distance, and lateral handling performance in mind, the custom-tuned Pilot Sport 4S features an ultra-reactive tread pattern that adapts continuously to the road, and a hybrid belt of aramid and nylon that ensures optimum transmission of steering input to the road. The hybrid elastomer that forms its outer rib delivers more dry grip to help relieve stress under hard cornering, while the middle and inner rib improve braking.

Sized 275/40-19 for the rear and 255/40-19 for the front, the new tires will also enable the Mustang GT to achieve a sub-four-second sprint from 0 to 60 mph. No figures are available as of this writing, but Ford says that this will be possible only with the optional 10-speed automatic transmission and Drag Mode function. This means that the Mustang GT could be as quick as the BMW M4. It doesn’t get more exciting than this!

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2018 Ford Mustang EcoBoost to Come Standard with Line-Lock

2018 Ford Mustang EcoBoost to Come Standard with Line-Lock

You don’t need a V-8 to smoke out the neighbors anymore

The V-8-powered Ford Mustang GT has come standard with electronic line lock as a part of the track pack since its redesign in 2015, but for 2018, Ford has announced that it will now include that feature on the EcoBoost models as well – effectively giving those who want some EcoBoost love a much easy way of roasting some rubber. For those of you that don’t know, a line lock system, applies pressure to the front brakes only, making it possible for those with a six-speed manual to roast the tires without some impressively difficult footwork, while those with the automatic transmission don’t have to risk burning their transmission fluid or burning up the rear brakes from doing a traditional brake torque. Think of it as an emergency brake for the front wheels.

When Ford introduced the sixth-generation Mustang for the 2015 model year, it was met with enthusiasm from pony car fanboys everywhere. As part of the generational shift, the Mustang grew in width by 1.5 inches, sat 1.4 inches lower, and came with an all-new independent rear suspension system. More important was the new 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder that served as a middle point between the entry-level 3.7-liter V-6 and the 5.0-liter Coyote V-8. After just three years on the market, the sixth-gen Mustang was up for a facelift and Ford decided to drop the V-6, leaving just the EcoBoost and the V-8. It’s not surprising considering the EcoBoost delivers 10 more ponies than the V-6 while offering better efficiency. There was no need for a V-6 and consumers knew it. Now limited to two engine options in the standard Mustang, Ford is ensuring both are equally capable at the dragstrip.

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Ford Offers Power Upgrades For EcoBoost And V-8 Mustangs

Ford Offers Power Upgrades For EcoBoost And V-8 Mustangs

Can’t wait until the updated ’Stang arrives in 2018? Check out Ford Performance Parts’ new packages

The sixth-generation Ford Mustang will soon receive a facelift for the 2018 model, which may also bring a bit more power to the rear wheels, but until that happens, you can add more oomph to the existing pony car via Ford Performance Parts. Specifically, FoMoCo’s aftermarket division is now offering power upgrades for both the 2.3-liter EcoBoost and 5.0-liter V-8 engines and the good news is that they are legal in all 50 states and won’t void your car’s warranty.

So what do these upgrades have to offer?

First up, the EcoBoost performance calibration kit boosts peak horsepower and torque by 25 horses and 70 pound-feet, respectively. When applied to the drivetrain, it gives the Mustang EcoBoost a total output of 335 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque. That’s only 10 pound-feet less than the stock, V-8-powered Mustang GT! The EcoBoost also benefits from substantial gains throughout the powerband, including a 100-horsepower increase at 6,000 rpm. This kit, which includes a cold air intake and a Pro Cal 3 calibration interface, costs only $699.

Moving over to the Mustang GT, it receives a trio of power packages for its V-8 engine, marking the first time Ford has offered more than one performance calibration for a single mill. The first pack features a unique performance calibration and high-flow air filter, which delivers peak gains of 13 horsepower and 16 pound-feet of torque for a new output of 448 horses and 416 pound-feet. The second kit includes a cold air intake, 87-millimeter throttle body, and an intake adapter from the Shelby GT350 Mustang. This one adds 21 horsepower and 24 pound-feet of torque, resulting in a final output of 456 horses and 424 pound-feet.

Finally, the third power pack includes all of the above, but also moves the redline up to 7,500 rpm. When this kit is installed, the V-8’s power jumps to 472 horsepower, but torque sees a mild increase of only five pound-feet over the standard model. However, the extended powerband should deliver loads of fun behind the wheel, especially during track days.

All three power packages for the V-8 also bring a unique no-lift-shift feature to manual transmission-equipped vehicles. This feature enables drivers to maximize acceleration by allowing shifts without lifting off the throttle. As far as pricing goes, the first power pack costs $599, the second one fetches $949, while the third bundle comes in at $2,395.

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Superlift Now Offering Lift Kits for the 2015 - 2016 Ford F-150

Superlift Now Offering Lift Kits for the 2015 - 2016 Ford F-150

Lift kit gives new height to your current-gen F-150

Big trucks will tall lift kits and huge wheel and tire combinations are extremely popular these days. Not only does a lift kit give a truck a unique look, it brings more off-road capability thanks to improved approach, break-over, and departure angles; improved water fording depth; and greater protection from trail debris. Now Superlift has introduced its new suspension lift for the current-generation Ford F-150.

The lift kit comes in two height options: a 4.5-inch lift and a 6.0-inch lift. Both are said to accommodate wheels 18 inches and larger and tires 36 inches and larger. Superlift gives its customers the choice between two rear shock absorbers, the Superlift Superride or the Superlift Superride SS from Bilstein. The both lift kits heights are said to maintain the factory ride quality and not make front-wheel alignments difficult. Driveshaft alignment is also taken care of with an optional bearing carrier drop kit for F-150s with a two-piece rear driveshaft.

Superlift designed the kits using 3D CAD software with Ford-supplied software models to ensure proper fitments of the parts. The lifts are also American made and come backed by a lifetime warranty, a 60-day satisfaction guarantee, and Superlift’s Factory Warranty Assurance Policy. The lift kits come packaged with all the parts needed to complete the project and can generally be finished in seven to nine hours.

The lift kit is designed to fit all 2015 and 2015 Ford F-150s with 4WD. Prices for the lift kit start at $999.95. Impressively, Superlift’s website lists both the 4.5- and 6.0-inch lift kit at that price. Order either kit with the optional Bilstein rear shocks and the price bumps to $1,114.75. Of course, Superlift also offers other lift kits and accessories for most modern F-150 model years as well.

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Ford Launches FordPass App

Ford Launches FordPass App

You can now reserve and pay for parking ahead of time... if you own a Ford

Earlier this month I brought you a story about Lexus drivers getting their own parking spots at Edmonton’s International Airport. The idea was conceived by a local dealer who wanted to extend its customer service base, and as such, rented out a number of spaces that are dedicated to use by people who drive Lexus vehicles. Some people are upset over the whole matter, but it looks like the idea is catching on. Well, kind of catching on, anyway. This time, it’s Ford with a new app. It’s called FordPass.

While it’s not quite as arrogant as the whole Lexus parking spot thing, it does offer new solutions for finding and paying for parking spots. In more than 160 cities, Ford owners can now use the app to reserve garage parking and even pay for it in advance. Apparently, parking availability is updated in real time, and certain parking spots can even be “bookmarked” so they are easy to find in the app next time.

Elena Ford, the Vice President of Global Dealer and Consumer Experience for Ford, said, “Finding and paying for parking is one of the biggest pain points for drivers. This new feature is just one of many ways we are delivering better, smarter, more efficient mobility solutions for consumers with FordPass.”

The updated FordPass app is available for download from all of the major app stores now.

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You Won't Believe What Ford Wants To Make Car Parts From

You Won’t Believe What Ford Wants To Make Car Parts From

Remember when Ford started stuffing soy into the headrests of the F-150, Taurus, and Fusion back in 2011? Well, the automaker is always striving to make its productions processes more eco-friendly. Right now all those nifty plastic pieces inside Ford vehicles – you know, the center console, door trim panels, and the like – are all derived from petroleum and natural gas, both of which are far from “green.” All that could change, however, if a new collaboration between Ford and Jose Cuervo actually pans out.

Don’t worry, you didn’t misread that. Ford is teaming up with Jose in hopes of using a leftover byproduct of the company’s distillation process to make more eco-friendly plastic components for its entire lineup of vehicles. See, Jose Cuervo uses agave plant to make that tasty tequila that you either love or hate. Once the plant is harvested, it is roasted, pressed, fermented, and distilled to make tequila. The leftover agave fibers are currently being used as compost by Jose Cuervo, but Ford has the brilliant idea to collect the leftover fibers and use them to create interior and exterior car parts.

Believe it or not, the plan is highly feasible. Jose Cuervo harvests upward or 200 to 300 tons of agave per day, which computes to, well, a hell of a lot of leftover fibers. Ford’s initial testing shows that the eco-friendly plastic made from agave looks good enough and is strong enough to be used for things like coin dishes, wiring harnesses, storage bins, and even things like cup holders, fuse boxes, and HVAC units.

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Shelby GT350R Mustang Carbon Fiber Wheels Priced At $30K

Shelby GT350R Mustang Carbon Fiber Wheels Priced At $30K

The 2016 Ford Mustang GT350R’s carbon-fiber wheels are the stuff of hypercars, and they’ll carry a price tag to match. According to newly leaked dealer invoice quote at Mustang6G, a new set of the 19-inch wheels will cost over $30,000 dollars after sales tax. Or, roughly 40 percent of the GT350R’s guesstimated price or about $7,000 more than a base-model V-6 Mustang.

To put it another way, watch out for curbs and invest in a top-of-the-line wheel lock kit.

Until now, Swedish hypercar builder Koenigsegg was the only company fitting carbon-fiber wheels to production cars. Somehow, the technology skipped several levels in the sports car hierarchy,including Ferrari, Porsche and the like, and went straight to the Ford Mustang. It’s sort of poetic, considering early Koenigseggs were powered by supercharged modular Ford 5.0-liter V-8s.

Expensive as they are, the benefits of carbon wheels are numerous. Ford says each wheel weighs just 18 pounds, or about half that of an aluminum equivalent. That’s a net savings of over 60 pounds of un-sprung weight, which translates to vastly improved grip and suspension response. Ford actually had to recalibrate the GT350R’s Delphi MagneRide dampers to cope with the faster suspension movement. Braking and acceleration are also improved, thanks to less rotational inertia.

As you (and your insurance company) would hope, Carbon Revolution, the Australian carbon-fiber experts tasked with fabricating the wheels, have coated them with a special gloss black paint that protects them from extreme brake temperatures, road salt, corrosive chemicals and curb strikes. They’re also held to the same standards as every other wheel Ford sells.

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Ford Reveals Details On Shelby GT350R's Carbon Fiber Wheels

Ford Reveals Details On Shelby GT350R’s Carbon Fiber Wheels

It wasn’t all that long ago that carbon-fiber wheels were exclusive to million-dollar Koenigseggs and concepts cars, and then the sub-$70,000 2016 Ford Shelby Mustang GT350R came along with its seven-spoke carbon-fiber wheels and democratized them for all.

It’s no gimmick either. At just 18 pounds each, the GT350R’s wheels weigh almost half that of an equivalent aluminum wheel, which represents a net savings of about 60 pounds of un-sprung weight. It’s such a leap forward that Ford engineers had to recalibrate the Delphi MagneRide dampers to respond to faster suspension movement. The lighter wheels also reduce rotational inertia, which has huge positive effects on braking and acceleration.

Ford is working with Australian carbon-fiber specialists Carbon Revolution on the GT350R’s wheels, which are the first of their kind to be mass-produced. As such, they have to meet the same standards of strength and durability as wheels that Ford bolts to a Focus or F-150. As stiff and light as it is, a ding or chip to a carbon-fiber part can compromise its structural integrity. Using a unique resin, Ford has designed its new wheel to be extremely tough. It’s been subjected to the same curb strike, UV, chemical exposure and extreme heat tests as every other wheel Ford sells.

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Ford F-150 Halo Sandcat Is A One-Off Edition Inspired By Halo's United Nations Space Command

Ford F-150 Halo Sandcat Is A One-Off Edition Inspired By Halo’s United Nations Space Command

Halo fans now have a new vehicle to lust after as Ford, Xbox, 343 Industries, and Galpin Auto Sports come together to build the F-150 Halo Sandcat. This beast is a one-off build that follows the same design cues as other vehicles used by Halo’s United Nations Space Command, including the mighty Warthog.

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Ford F-150 Halo Sandcat Is A One-Off Edition Inspired By Halo's United Nations Space Command

Ford F-150 Halo Sandcat Is A One-Off Edition Inspired By Halo’s United Nations Space Command

Halo fans now have a new vehicle to lust after as Ford, Xbox, 343 Industries, and Galpin Auto Sports come together to build the F-150 Halo Sandcat. This beast is a one-off build that follows the same design cues as other vehicles used by Halo’s United Nations Space Command, including the mighty Warthog.

The truck started life as a production 2015 F-150 Lariat SuperCrew fitted with the FX4 off-road package and the powerful 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6. It was Galpin Auto Sports that turned the truck into the Sandcat, swapping several of its stock components for beefier aftermarket parts and dressing its exterior with bumpers, a light bar, and an olive drab wrap.

First the truck received a new suspension system front and rear courtesy of Addictive Desert Designs. The company’s Baja XTR package widens the truck a full seven inches and allows the front suspension to travel 12 inches. Custom-built control arms and heavy duty Fox shocks manage off-road terrain with ease. ADD then caged the cargo box and bolted on tall Fox shocks to give the truck a full 18 inches of rear wheel travel. The stock rear axle is also replaced with a Full Floater from Currie Enterprises. Thick fender flairs help cover the mud-terrain tires mounted on bead-lock wheels.

Beyond the suspension, custom steel bumpers were also added. The front bumper features a recovery winch and LED lightbar while the rear bumper houses two LED light pods and utilizes the stock receiver hitch. In the bed, the truck features a custom headache rack with a second LED lightbar, along with slots for three Jerry cans for fuel.

The Sandcat is designated M552 for its UNSC service and pays homage to Ford’s P552 internal codename for the 2015 F-150. The truck will be on display at the Electronic Entertainment Expo being held from June 16 through 18. It will also make appearances leading up to the October 27 launch of Halo 5: Guardians.

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Sync 3 Will Debut in the 2016 Ford Fiesta and Escape

Sync 3 Will Debut in the 2016 Ford Fiesta and Escape

Ford’s SYNC/MyFord Touch system has been a bit of a bust, as there have been numerous complaints about it being finicky, and in some cases, not working at all. Well, that may soon come to an end, as Ford has announced that its new Sync 3 will debut in the 2016 Ford Escape and Fiesta.

As the proud owner of a Ford Focus ST3, my car has Sync/MyFord Touch, and I can say many of the issues reported are very much true. Sure, it broke the mold when it debuted in 2007, but the growing complaints are deafening. Some of my main complaints include the counterintuitive button placement on the touchscreen, the touchscreen sometimes doesn’t pick up your input, it’s slow to respond, and it’s downright buggy. However, the voice control is actually fairly decent, all things considered.

The new Sync 3 promises to deliver where the existing system failed, and build upon some of its better points. Some of the new features include a simpler voice-command structure, improved AppLink to automatically detect smartphones and their apps, Siri Eyes-Free integration with the iPhone, an all-new, quicker-responding captive touchscreen, response to smartphone gestures, tile-like icons with a quick-access tray on the bottom, and updates via Wi-Fi (no more flash drives for updates, yay!).

You can see a preview of the new and improved Sync 3 in the video above. I must say, it looks like a dramatic upgrade over the current system, but the current Sync system looked great at first too. Only time will tell if Ford has actually improved up on the existing system or just slathered a little lipstick on that pig.

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2016 Ford F-150 Will Get All-New Pro Trailer Backup Assist

2016 Ford F-150 Will Get All-New Pro Trailer Backup Assist

Ford has just thrown a curve ball at its competition. For 2016, the F-150 can be optioned with an assist feature that makes backing trailers an easier chore. It’s called the Pro Trailer Backup Assist and it utilizes the F-150’s new electronic steering system to remove the counterintuitive steering required when reversing with a trailer.

It works by a hand-operated knob mounted low on the center console. When the transmission enters reverse, the system becomes operational. The driver simply rotates the knob left or right – in the same direction he or she needs the trailer to go – and the electronic system takes over the steering. The Pro Trailer Backup Assist removes the need for the driver to counter steer the truck – a task that can sometimes befuddle the best of us.

Ford hasn’t announced how much the option will cost, but figure around $500. Likewise, Ford has not announced any other vehicles this system will be offered in, but it’s a sure bet Pro Trailer Backup Assist will come on the next generation Super Duty pickups due out as 2017 models.

The Super Duty will feature many of the same advancements found in the 2015 F-150, including its aluminum body and its all-new interior. Yes, Ford will no longer offer such separate interior designs between the half-ton and heavy duty trucks. This falls in line with both General Motors and Ram, as neither automaker offer separate interior designs.

Expect to find 2016 F-150s hitting showroom floors in the fall of 2015.

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Next-Gen Ford Super Duty Pushed to 2017 as 2016 Model Gets LED Warning Lights

Next-Gen Ford Super Duty Pushed to 2017 as 2016 Model Gets LED Warning Lights

Ford has just announced its newest addition to the Super Duty lineup – factory-installed LED warning lights – and in doing so, has confirmed it will be another year before the next-generation Super Duty makes production.

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Next-Gen Ford Super Duty Pushed to 2017 as 2016 Model Gets LED Warning Lights

Next-Gen Ford Super Duty Pushed to 2017 as 2016 Model Gets LED Warning Lights

Ford has just announced its newest addition to the Super Duty lineup – factory-installed LED warning lights – and in doing so, has confirmed it will be another year before the next-generation Super Duty makes production.

Though the lights are the main story here, the fact Ford has announced them for the 2016 model year nearly confirms 2017 will likely be the year the automaker rolls out the updated heavy duty truck. Rumored to have an all-aluminum body like the 2015 F-150, the new Super Duty should be lighter yet stronger. It’s interior is also rumored to take heavy influences from the F-150, ending the reign of separately styled dashboards.

But back to the lights. Ford says the factory option is designed for folks like contractors or road construction crews that need added visibility. A total of four LED light pods are mounted to the truck and professionally wired to the interior. Trucks equipped with the optional Upfitter Switch kit will utilize the number three switch for the strobe lights. Those without the Upfitter Switch will have a stand-alone switch installed.

The lights are all mounted without adhesives, and more importantly, without drilling – helping prevent corrosion. The hood-mounted lights utilize a bracket system that clips onto the trailing edge of the hood. The rear lights are mounted with the same fasteners that hold the high-mount third brake light on, but with longer screws that accommodate for the added thickness of the bracketry.

Ford says the lights can be seen from 1,000 feet during the day and up to a mile away at night. Unfortunately for police and fire departments, Ford is only offering the lights in amber, with no other color options at this time.

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2015 Ford F-150 Gets Snow Plow Prep Option

2015 Ford F-150 Gets Snow Plow Prep Option

Ford has announced its new 2015 F-150 is getting a factory-optional snow plow prep package. The timing couldn’t be more perfect as most of the country is dealing with record-breaking temperatures and crazy amounts of snowfall. Now owners of the new aluminum-bodied F-150 can join the fight against accumulation with the professionals.

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2015 Ford F-150 Gets Snow Plow Prep Option

2015 Ford F-150 Gets Snow Plow Prep Option

Ford has announced its new 2015 F-150 is getting a factory-optional snow plow prep package. The timing couldn’t be more perfect as most of the country is dealing with record-breaking temperatures and crazy amounts of snowfall. Now owners of the new aluminum-bodied F-150 can join the fight against accumulation with the professionals.

Normally reserved for heavy duty-series trucks like the Super Duty, pushing a snow plow is no easy task. The heavy blade contacting thick snow puts an exorbitant amount of stress on the truck’s frame. Thanks to Ford’s upgraded high-strength steel frame that’s new for 2015, the truck can take the abuse.

The snow plow prep package is offered on all three cab configurations, but must be combined with the 5.0-liter V-8. Ford says the EcoBoost engines’ intercoolers would suffer from restricted airflow behind the plow. Surprisingly the option only costs an additional $50 and includes a dedicated slow plow button on the dashboard and extra wiring under the dash. This makes the truck ready for a third party snow plow company to install their product.

Interestingly enough, the package necessitates the deletion of heated seats. Engineers say the added electrical load of the snow plow means something else had to go. Too bad it had to be a comfort item. Regardless, the added capability is a welcomed one to the F-150’s repertoire.

Click ’Continue Reading’ for more about the 2015 Ford F-150.

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Ford ’s 1.0-Liter EcoBoost Could Hit 150 Horsepower

Back in September, Ford managed an incredible Nurburgring lap time of 7:22. No, Ford did not used an amazing supercar to perform this feat; it used the tiny Formula race car powered by the automaker’s 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine.

In an interview with the British magazine, AutoExpress, EcoBoost chief engineer, Andrew Fraser, has announced that Ford is considering a production version of this incredible high-output version of its 3-cylinder engine. Don’t go getting too excited just yet, as there is no way that this engine can reach production pumping out the 202 horsepower it did when it lapped Nurburgring.

Instead, Ford is working toward reaching the 150-horsepower mark from this tiny block. Sure, 150 ponies doesn’t sound like much, but consider the fact that this engine is small enough to move with just a pair of relatively fit people and will mount in a car that weighs next to nothing, like the Ford Fiesta. Suddenly, that 150 ponies sounds pretty appetizing again, huh?

There always has to be a "but" with these types of announcements, as, according to Fraser, the engine still needs to complete its development process and pass Ford’s rigorous testing process, which includes long-term running at temperatures ranging from -40 degrees C (-140 degrees F) to 50 degrees C (122 degrees F). With an engine as high strung as a 150-horsepower, 3-cylinder engine, that could be pretty tough.

In related news, Fraser also announced that Formula Ford received a positive feedback and that officials have asked for a limited production series of 50 units.

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Insider provides the goods for the 2015 Mustang, including the 310 HP Ecoboost engine

We’ve known that Ford was preparing a new generation Mustang for 2015. We also knew that the model will feature significant changes for both its look and its engine line-up. These were just rumors, of course, but they have now been taken to the next level by someone who was invited to evaluate a 2015 Mustang and was even paid for it. Some people have all the luck.

This gentleman was in front of a 2015 Mustang, but was not allowed to take any pictures, leaving his description of the car as our only source of information. He said that there were parts of the Mustang that he liked and parts that he did not like. The front end of the muscle car will be longer than the current model and will feature a beehive grill with a good amount chrome. The part he didn’t like about the Mustang were the new headlights: he said they "were little slants, not the traditional round Mustang lights or even close to the current HID style. Made the car look Chinese." He did like the taillights, however, stating that they were louvered and projected out.

The best part is the power source that will be used for the 2015 Ford Mustang. It will be powered by a 4-cylinder, 2.3 liter EcoBoost engine that delivers a total of 310 HP and a fuel economy of 34 mpg. This will be slightly better than the 305 HP of the 3.7L V6 engine, but a lot better than the 19 mpg city / 29 mpg hwy of the manual tranny Mustang and the 19 mpg city / 31 mpg hwy of the automatic tranny Mustang.

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Forecast: 75-Percent Chance of Raining Frogs, as GM and Ford Team up on a New Transmission

Forecast: 75-Percent Chance of Raining Frogs, as GM and Ford Team up on a New Transmission

In the automotive world, there are tons of developmental deals between car companies. You’ll see the likes of BMW and Hyundai teaming up, but that is no biggie, as the two don’t really compete with one another. Just like Toyota and Subaru teaming up on the Subascioyota triplets. Yeah, they are both Japanese car manufacturers, but they have distinctly separate demographics.

Well, to hell with competition and demographics when it comes to No. 1 and No. 2 of Detroit’s "Big Three" and falling behind in the automatic transmission wars. You see, most of the other major car companies boast multispeed transmission with gear numbers nearing double digits, as Chrysler, BMW, Audi and Lexus all boast 8-speed automatics and a smattering of others feature 7-speed units. GM and Ford, on the other hand, are still playing around with 6-speed units.

That is all about to change and the two arch rivals are actually helping each other out. The two rival companies with about as much bad blood as Iran and Pakistan have entered in what GM is calling a “Memorandum of understanding” to develop 9- and 10-speed transmissions for the two to share.

The details of the deal are not completely known yet, but we do know that GM will head up development of the 9-speed unit and Ford will take the lead on the 10-speed. We also know that the 9-speed transmission will be aimed at propelling the boring front-wheel-drive cars, as the 10-speed will be the unit we see in pickups, SUVs, and performance models.

This means that the chances are very high that your future Mustang GT could boast the same 10-speed transmission as a Corvette ZR1. Kinda creepy, huh?

So pack up your umbrellas in the coming days, as we anticipate seeing a high probability for thunderstorms of the froggy variety…

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Superchips Provides Horsepower Relief for For 1.0-liter Owners

We have all heard of Superchips in our lifespans at some point. Well, at least us motorheads obsessed with squeezing every ounce out of our engine that we can. Superchips sells and markets vehicle ECM/ECU/PCM remapping via an installed chip. These are typically good for a few extra ponies without any major overhauling needed.

The Ford 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine, which recently took home the International Engine of the Year Award, really pumps out a fair amount of power (127 horsepower and 149 pound-feet of torque) for a little 3-cylinder plant. It looks like Superchips has decided that wasn’t quite enough, as it has recently released a remapping chip for the 1.0-liter Ford engine that pumps its power up to 145 horsepower and 167 pound-feet of torque. It does this without affecting its 56.6 mpg rating either.

This chip runs ₤499, which translates out to $713 at the current exchange rate. $713 for an 18 horsepower and 18 pound-feet increase isn’t too bad. This is especially true when considering that it has no adverse effect on the mpg.

This hits home when we consider that Ford has already told us that the 1.0-liter engine is coming to the U.S. in 2013, which will likely be in the Fiesta. Considering the Fiesta hits 60 mph in 8.7 seconds with its current 1.6-liter engine that musters 120 horsepower and 112 pound-feet of torque, dropping some weight because of a smaller engine and adding 25 horsepower and 55 pound-feet of torque will get drivers a nice bump in acceleration. That means with this upgrade, the compact Fiesta can likely hit 60 mph in around the 7-second mark, which is damn good for a compact hatch.

Now we just have to wait and see if Superchips will offer this upgrade in the U.S.

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Ford’s Killing it with the EcoBoost Engine

There are very few things in this world that include the word “Eco” in its name and still remain fun. Ford somehow managed to find a way to have its cake and eat it too – what a weird saying – with the EcoBoost engines. Not only are they more economical than the engines they replaced, but they, for the most part, are drastically more powerful.

For example, let’s look at the F-150. In 2011, Ford dropped the 5.4-liter V-8 and 4.6-liter V-8 from the F-150’s options list and replaced them with the twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V-6 EcoBoost engine. The 2011 EcoBoost engine pumped out 55 more horsepower than the 2010 5.4-liter and 73 to 117 horsepower more than the 4.6-liter V-8. Add in the fact that the 6-pot boosted engine also got 2 mpg city and 2 mpg highway better than the 5.4-liter, and 1 mpg and 2 mpg better than the 4.6-liter V-8, and you have a winner.

Well, this all added up to some impressive sales, even more impressive that Ford could have imagined. According to the Detroit Free Press, Ford anticipates selling about 1.6 million EcoBoost engines in 2013, according to its current pace, which is 100,000 more units that its initial target was. Ford is seemingly always adding a new EcoBoost engine, with the 2.0-liter and 1.0-liter variant coming out this year and a 2.3-liter variant looking like a sure thing for 2015, so we see this number going nowhere but up in the coming years.

Ford definitely bet the farm on the EcoBoost engine in the F-150 to start with and much like it did in 1996 when it drastically restyled the F-150, it won back the farm and took the neighbor’s farm along with it. Our hats have to go off to Ford and its ability to think outside of the box and constantly give the customer what he wants. It’s no wonder Ford was one of the few Detroit automakers to survive without a government bailout.

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Customize your own Mustang and Ford may just give it to you!

Customize your own Mustang and Ford may just give it to you!

Ford has just unveiled an updated customizer for 2013 and although this may seem like a non-news event, they threw in a giveaway to pique our interests. This new customizer allows potential buyers, or bored employees, to play with all the options available for the Mustang, but it also provides the chance to win "Your Fantasy Mustang." In fact, they will be giving away four different Mustangs: a Mustang V6, a Mustang GT, a Mustang Boss 302, and a Mustang Shelby GT500.

All you have to do is go online, create the Mustang of your dreams, save it, and start praying. At the end of the year, Ford will pick four winners from all the cars entered into the contest. The new customizer will allow you to apply a dizzying array of colors, graphics, body kits, and wheels to achieve the look you want. The winners will have their cars produced exactly as they designed them to look, so be careful what you wish for!

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Video: How to Make a Mark II Granada Cool

Video: How to Make a Mark II Granada Cool

Using the words “Ford Granada” and “Cool” in the same sentence, with exception to the 1991 Granada Cosworth, is sort of an oxymoron, as there was never anything cool about it. The Mark II Granada was a compact sedan that peaked out at a lackluster 160 horsepower and bottomed out at a sub-Geo-Metro 54 horsepower. That said, there are ways to make just about any car cool, so what in the world could a few guys from the U.K. do to make this econo-box even remotely cool?

The answer to that question is easy: rip out the stock engine, get to hacking up the body a little bit, and drop 1,700-horsepower worth of engine into it. Yup, somehow these fine monstercar builders got their hands on a Koenigsegg CCX 4.7-liter V-8 with twin turbochargers and dropped it into this circa-2,800-pound body.

In addition to dropping in nearly 2,000 ponies, the group of automotive mad scientists installed a 2003/4 Ford Mustang Cobra rear independent suspension, which appears to include the rear axle assembly. This beast comes to a halt using a set of big and nasty Porsche disc brakes.

Needless to say, this is freaking bad-ass and we cannot put it any other way without getting too graphic. The only bad thing is that they did not release any official performance specs on this supercar-powered granny car, except that its only limitation in horsepower is how much boost they push into it. Without any boost, the engine cranks out 550 to 600 horsepower, at 14.7 psi it crests 1,000 ponies and at 34.8 psi, it crests 2,000 horsepower.

Regardless of its final output, just the install itself is impressive. The builders also posted a video (above) of it running, for those non-believers out there.

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