2020 Ford Escape ST
The Ford Escape ST is a rumored, high-performance version of the fourth-generation crossover, unveiled in 2019 for the 2020 model year. Ford has yet to confirm plans to launch an ST variant of the Escape, but the company’s announced shift toward SUVs in the United States suggests that a more powerful crossover is in the making. Should it happen, it won’t arrive until 2020.
The trouble with the Escape ST is that Ford has never developed one before, despite the fact that the Escape nameplate has been around since 2000. Sure, Ford did offer an ST-Line model of the Euro-spec Kuga, but the package was only about the looks and no extra power. Will Ford change its mind for the fourth-generation SUV? That’s very likely because high-performance SUVs are growing popular and more and more carmakers are jumping on the bandwagon. Let’s find out how it may look and what it might hide under the hood.
When you say Ford Mustang, it can conjure up a very wide and different array of iconic models in peoples head. Most will probably associate the name with a V-8 coupe of some sort or maybe an old-school muscle car, but nowadays you can buy the Mustang as a drop-top four-cylinder. And, we bet you aren’t yet convinced whether one is worth the money or not.
Well, it depends a lot on what you plan to do with your new Mustang. If you want to have a fast daily that’s properly quick, you get the V8-powered GT. Meanwhile, if you want to take your car to regular track days, you spring for the GT350R, widely acknowledged as being the best car ever to bear a Mustang badge. So, where does that leave the Mustang convertible with a four-pot? It’s for people who don’t want to go around corners at crazy speeds faster than the next car just have to out-accelerate most cars on the road.
It has softer suspension than the hardtop, and because it has no roof, it doesn’t have the coupe’s structural rigidity. This translates into a far more relaxed driving experience where you are not edged to drive faster, brake later, and whip the car’s tail out at every opportunity. It can still do all these things very well, but when you subject it to them, the feedback it provides you suggests it is not enjoying the treatment.
As a swift cruiser that looks great and, maybe more importantly, you look cool in, there are few better cars out there for the money. Its turbocharged engine is pokey enough to make any overtaking maneuver a breeze, and because it is downsized, it returns much better efficiency numbers compared to the V-8. The automatic gearbox on our tester could have been snappier, and even though this convertible is a really relaxed flavor of Mustang, getting it with the six-speed stick makes a lot of sense.
1957 Ford Thunderbird E-Code
The Thunderbird lived its last days as a two-seater sports car in 1957 which is when Ford introduced the 312 5.1-liter V-8 engine. That’s how the E-Code Thunderbird was born, the beefiest of them all and the closest alternative to the Corvette that Ford ever offered.
Ford debuted the Thunderbird at the Detroit Auto Show in February of 1954 and quickly dubbed it "personal car" so as to suggest it wasn’t a direct answer to GM’s Corvette. What it was, in all fairness, was a luxury sports car tailor-made for the kind of people that were looking for a more refined 2-seater model than the Corvette.
The 1957 Thunderbird was the last which retained the original two-passenger layout before Ford decided that their clientele would much rather go for a 4-seater sports car with added amenities and weight. So, for 1957, Ford made the most powerful T-Bird ever by introducing the 5.1-liter V-8 engine, in a number of guises. The twin quad-barrel carburetor ones were distinguishable by the letter E in the car’s VIN code - the source of the ’E-Bird’ nickname.
Keep reading to learn more about the 1957 Ford Thunderbird E-Code
2018 Superformance Future GT Forty
Here’s the latest Superformance classic-looking Ford GT40. The American masters of continuation GT40s unveiled at the SEMA Show the Future GT Forty prototype which draws its inspiration from both the original 1960s GT40 Mk. and the modern, Le Mans-winning, V-6 Ecoboost-poweredFord GT GTLM race cars.
The South-African Superformance company has been building painstakingly accurate GT40 recreations for over a decade and a half. Their cars are officially licensed to use the GT40 name and even eligible for the GT40 register, which means the Blue Oval fully approves of these beasts.
This latest model, presented after an 18-months-long buildup in the MagnaFlow booth at the SEMA Show, features the same livery as the 2017 GTE-Pro Le Mans-winning Ford GT built by Multimatic and a host of aerodynamic and mechanical upgrades that increase the GT40s prowess around any race track.
Keep reading to learn more about the Superformance Future GT Forty
2019 Ford GT Carbon Series
The second-generation Ford GT was launched for the 2017 model year as a revival of the limited-edition supercar that the Blue Oval first produced between 2004 and 2006. The modern GT is also a tribute to the original GT40 from the 1960s and marked Ford’s return to endurance racing. Following a handful of special-edition model, Ford created the Carbon Series, a lightweight version of the standard GT.
Fitted with an extended range of carbon-fiber parts as standard, including wheels, the Carbon Series is nearly 40 pounds lighter than the regular GT. It also features extra carbon inside the cabin, as well as customized seats and a dashboard badge. Is it more powerful? No, but the fact that it’s lighter makes it a more nimble car on the race track.
2019 Ford Focus RS
First introduced in 2002, the Ford Focus RS was produced in very limited quantities during the first- and second-generation models. The third-gen car was launched in 2015 after many years of rumors with a Mustang engine under the hood and an all-wheel-drive system. Discontinued in 2018 just as Ford unveiled the fourth-generation Focus, the RS nameplate is likely to return sooner than before and with even more aggressive performance ratings. Although a production model has yet to be confirmed, Ford was already spotted testing a higher performance variant of the Focus in Europe. Whether it’s the ST or the RS remains unclear for now, but both nameplates are likely to return in dealerships soon.
But the big mystery here is not when the Focus RS will return, but what engine it will use. According to recent rumors, the next-generation Focus RS could become a hybrid. This would be a first for the nameplate and a big blow for the Volkswagen Golf R. There isn’t much info as to what it will have under the hood, but more details should become available as the Focus RS goes out testing. Stay tuned for updates and check out the speculative review below to find out what we already know about the hot hatchback.
Continue reading to learn more about the Ford Focus RS.
2018 The Focus RS Heritage Edition is Here to Bid Farewell to the Current Generation
The current-generation Ford Focus RS has enjoyed an eventful life since it was unveiled at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show. But like all good things, the Focus RS’s time in the sun is about to end. Weep not, though, dear friends, because Ford is giving the hot hatch the proper swan song with the release of the Focus RS Heritage Edition. Limited to just 50 units, the Focus RS Heritage doesn’t dabble in the subtleties. It’s got enough goodies and equipment to make even hardened hot hatch fans tremble in excitement. And, if that little tease isn’t enough to persuade you, maybe the hatch’s bright orange exterior will do the trick.
2017 Ford Focus RS “TriAthlete” by VMP Performance
The latest Ford Focus RS was unveiled for the 2016 model year and gave the hot-hatch term new meaning through its aggressive exterior, race-prepped cabin, and surprisingly powerful drivetrain. Rated at 350 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque, the Focus RS is significantly more powerful than anything else in this niche, including the much-praised Volkswagen Golf R. To put things into perspective, the Focus RS is quicker and more powerful than he awesome Porsche 718 Cayman. At the same time, it’s only marginally less powerful than the base Porsche 911, but around two tenths quicker from 0 to 60 mph. But while the Focus RS is arguably the most exciting hatchback you can buy nowadays, there are quite a few tuning companies that find a way to make it even better. VMP Performance is one of them, and its version of the Focus RS was just unveiled ahead of the 2017 SEMA Show.
Dubbed "TriAthlete," because it can "smoke the competition in true Olympic triathlete style" at the drag strip, the road course, and on twisty backroads, this souped-up Focus RS boasts upgrades in just about any department. Fitted with parts from Ford Performance, CoBB Tuning, and Anderson Composites, among others, the "TriAthlete" is a more aggressive proposition inside and out, while its drivetrain is a significant departure from the standard 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine. Some details are still under wraps, but until Ford spills the beans at the SEMA Show, let’s take a closer look at what we already know about this exotic concept car.
Continue reading to learn more about the Ford Focus RS “TriAthlete.”
2018 Ford GT ’67 Heritage Edition
It’s hard enough to get your hands on a Ford GT. The ultra exclusive model is sold out over the next four years, which just so happens to be the full life cycle of the supercar. All told, Ford only plans to build 1,000 examples of the GT, amounting to just 250 units per year. So yeah, getting a Ford GT this late in the game is next to impossible. Imagine what those odds will be then now that Ford has released a special livery for 2018 models of the Ford GT. Yup. I don’t like your chances any more than I like mine.
Ford’s new treat for future GT owners is called the ’67 Heritage Edition. If the name itself sounds familiar, that’s because Ford has already released something similar last year. Remember the ’66 Heritage Edition? It’s almost the same as the ’67 version in terms of where they’re inspired from, but in the end, they’re actually two different interpretations in part because the new version pays tribute to the 1967 Le Mans-winning Shelby-American Inc. team that featured racers AJ Foyt and Dan Gurney. Considering that Ford’s success in Le Mans with the original GT40 spanned four years, we could be in store for two more Heritage Editions in 2018 and 2019. For now, though, the spotlight is focused on the ’67 Heritage Edition and the way its treatment is inspired directly from the GT40s that took the checkered flag during the 1967 Le Mans season.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
2017 Ford Focus RS by Mountune
Mountune may not have the most famous name in the aftermarket tuning circle, but don’t let its relative anonymity distract you from what the tuner is fully capable of. We already saw what happens when it gets its hands on the Ford Focus RS. It did so last year with Ford Performance and managed to squeeze out 375 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque. Now it’s back with a bigger and better upgrade for the hot hatch as calls for a 400-horsepower Ford Focus RS have finally been answered.
The scope of Mountune’s new modifications for the Focus RS covers a lot of ground as far as mechanical upgrades are concerned. There’s very little in the way of aesthetic enhancements, so customers are advised to find them elsewhere, be it from Ford or another aftermarket company. Nevertheless, the program’s lack of versatility shouldn’t be held against it, not with the promise of incredible power and performance. Take this kit from Mountune however you want to, but rest assured, this is as "no-nonsense" as any tuning program we’ve come across for the Ford Focus RS. It was developed for one purpose – power for ages – and the resulting numbers certainly speak for themselves.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
2016 Ford Focus RS – Driven
The Ford Focus RS is finally blitzing across American soil after exclusively blasting around European hedgerows and rally circuits. Launched for the 2016 model year, the Focus RS uses some high-tech mechanics, EcoBoost power, and ultra sticky rubber to out-class its competition: the Subaru WRX STI and Volkswagen Golf R. Ford thought I should try the car myself, so a Focus RS coated in Stealth Gray arrived in my driveway. The tester came packed with nearly every option, including the 19-inch aluminum wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires. Yeah, it was a fun week.
The RS, or Rally Sport, nomenclature started back in 1970 with the Ford Escort RS1600. It was among the first road-going cars to employ a four-valve cylinder head design. Decades later, Ford launched the 2002 Focus RS. This three-door hatch paid homage to Rally Sport-badged Fords before it, while igniting the hot-hatch segment. Sadly, production was kept to only 4,501 examples. Ford got wise by the decade’s end and launched the second-generation Focus RS for 2009. Still, production was kept to small quantities. That has changed with the third-generation Focus RS. Ford plans to produce the 350-horsepower beast through the 2018 model year, capstoned with a 1,500-unit Focus RS Limited Edition model And as mentioned, the Focus RS is selling in both Europe and North America.
So what’s it like to live with the 2016 Ford Focus RS? Keep reading to find out.
Continue reading for our review of the 2016 Focus RS
2018 Ford Focus RS Limited Edition
The current-generation Ford Focus has given plenty of thrills in spills in the five years that it’s been in production. But now that the existing Blue Oval hatchback is ready to call it a day in 2018, Ford is commemorating the generation switch by bidding adieu to the performance-oriented Focus RS the only way it knows how: a special edition, swan-song model that’s limited to just 1,500 units in North America.
Officially called the Ford Focus RS Limited Edition (couldn’t think of a better name there, Ford?), the exclusive hot hatch comes with plenty of significant improvements over the standard RS counterpart, none more important than a properly functioning technical Quaife limited-slip differential. Yes, Focus RS lovers, our dreams have somewhat come true, albeit in very limited quantities. That issue notwithstanding, the addition of the limited-slip diff is significant for people, myself included, who have cried out to Ford to give the Focus RS the requisite component that makes cornering at high speeds even more of a delight. As awesome as the current generation Focus RS has been, the calls for more front-end grip have never dissipated. Now Ford’s delivering on the request and it’s on us now to reciprocate the gesture in kind. So, to whoever ends up with any of the 1,500 units of the Focus RS Limited Edition, do us a favor and drive the wheels off of it. We’ve all waited long enough.
Continue after the jump to read more about the Ford Focus RS Limited Edition.
Ford introduced the first ever Focus RS in 2002, reviving the RS (Rallye Sport) badge after having popularized it before with rally homologation specials like the Escort RS 1600 or the Escort RS Cosworth. Despite looking like a road-going version of the WRC model, the car was FWD and offered a little over 200 horsepower. Almost seven years later, another generation of the Focus RS arrived with an even more pronounced rally look and a
sourced five-cylinder with 305 horsepower sent to the front wheels. While torque-steer was kept to a minimum via a standard LSD from Quaife and a MacPherson front suspension strut called RevoKnuckle, the car was still far from offering WRC-like performance for the road.
Ford wants to change all that with the recently unveiled, third-generation Focus RS, as the model will be offered with an innovative all-wheel-drive system. Set to be manufactured at the same German plant as its predecessors, this will also be the first RS model to be sold around the world, including the U.S. With a
sourced, 2.3-liter, EcoBoost engine that has been engineered to deliver in excess of 300 horsepower, the all-new Focus RS seems to really up the ante for Ford in the performance-hatch category.
Update 07/13/2013: The Ford Focus RS is finally arriving at U.S. dealerships and is priced at $36,605 including destination and delivery charges. Hit "play" to see who was the first U.S. lucky owner of the RS.
Continue reading to learn more about the new Ford Focus RS.