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Ford to Bring the New 1.5-liter Three-Banger to the U.S. Market; Will it Wind Up In the Next-Gen Ford Focus?

Ford to Bring the New 1.5-liter Three-Banger to the U.S. Market; Will it Wind Up In the Next-Gen Ford Focus?

It’s the first Ford engine capable of running on two cylinders since 1906!

Unveiled earlier this month, the new-generation Ford Focus introduced a brand-new platform from the company, as well as a number of new or updated engines. Set to arrive in the United States sometime next year, the Focus could also bring Ford’s brand-new, 1.5-liter, three-cylinder EcoBoost unit to North America.

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Ford Ranger Raptor Could be US-Bound but Will Drop the Diesel Drivetrain

Ford Ranger Raptor Could be US-Bound but Will Drop the Diesel Drivetrain

It’s not a slam dunk that we’ll see it here, but cross your fingers that we do

The Ford Ranger is coming to the U.S. That’s good news for a lot of people who have been clamoring for a smaller pickup to complement the much larger F-150. But there’s the potential for better news on the horizon with the potential of a Ranger Raptor hitting the scene. The souped-up pickup made its debut in Bangkok last week, and there’s growing momentum that we might see it in American soil at some point in the future. Maybe.

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Is The Ford Fusion Getting Axed In The US?

Is The Ford Fusion Getting Axed In The US?

Recent comments made by Ford’s new CEO could see the sedan exit America completely

The Ford Fusion has been around for 11 years, having first been introduced in 2006. It’s done well to represent Ford’s foray in the mid-size sedan segment, but with sales of midsize sedans down across the board in 2017, Ford may be thinking of cutting the Fusion completely from its lineup. There’s been no word on the status of the Fusion moving forward, but recent reports have cast serious doubts on the future of the model in the U.S.

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Confirmed: Ford to Add the Focus RS to its American Lineup

Confirmed: Ford to Add the Focus RS to its American Lineup

Ford has announced it will finally bring the Focus RS to the U.S. The news is among a slew of information coming the automaker’s December 11th press conference. Though nothing was specifically said about the Focus RS, we do know the car will start fresh with a new generation that includes a new powertrain. Earlier reports suggest the 2016 Focus RS will pack a more powerful version of the Mustang’s 2.3-liter, EcoBoost four-cylinder that will crank out an impressive 330 horsepower. That’s a solid 20-horsepower improvement over the ‘Stang. Count on torque coming in well above the Mustang’s 320-pound-feet mark too. These numbers are also well above the previous-generation and Euro-only Focus RS’ 300 horse and 325 pound-feet. This certainly will be one hot hatch.

Other performance parts will include a RevoKnuckle front suspension and performance brakes. Expect a quick-shifting, six-speed manual transmission and three pedals. Rumors of an all-wheel-drive system are floating around, though nothing is confirmed. This would be the first application of AWD on the Focus RS.

The news is part of a bigger picture dealing with Ford’s performance vehicles. The automaker announced its new skunkworks program, Ford Performance, that will integrate SVT, Team RS, and Ford Racing into one globally recognized organization. “Our new global Ford Performance team ties together racing, performance vehicles and parts,” says Raj Nair, Ford’s vice president of Global Product Development. “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.”

Click past the jump to read more about the Ford Focus RS.

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Ford Begins Production of 2015 Mustang

Ford Begins Production of 2015 Mustang

The iconic Ford Mustang has officially entered a new era, as production of the brand-new, sixth-generation model has commenced at the company’s Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Michigan. Shown to the world in early December 2013, the sixth-generation Mustang is the first ever pony car to be sold globally in more than 120 countries around the world. Additionally, the 2015 iteration is also the first Mustang to feature an independent rear suspension. You can see why this is a big day for the Blue Oval and the automotive industry alike.

Another premiere that comes with the sixth-gen pony is the creation of the first ever, factory-built Mustang with right-hand-drive. These vehicles will be sold in more than 25 markets, including the United Kingdom, Australia, and South Africa. "Mustang is and will continue to be an automotive icon," said Joe Hinrichs, Ford president of The Americas.

The 2015 Ford Mustang will reach most global dealerships in the fourth quarter of 2014. U.S. pricing starts from $23,600 for the fastback and $29,100 for the convertible.

Click past the jump to read more about the Ford Mustang

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Ford Europe Tuning Partner, mountune, is Coming to the US

Ford Europe Tuning Partner, mountune, is Coming to the US

When Ford Europe announced the Ford Focus ST mountune, we couldn’t help but envy the European car buyers. In fact, we went so far to say "Europeans get all of the automotive fun." Well, we can now eat our words, as mountune has just announced that it will expand its Ford partnership to the U.S. later this year.

What makes the transition to the U.S. very easy for mountune is the fact that it is headquartered in Southern California. This means that you don’t have to worry about crazy tariffs and shipping fees by buying components from overseas.

Mountune stated that a new U.S. website will hit the web later in 2013 and that buyers can purchase parts direct from Ford Racing, mountune’s website or any other authorized mountune dealers. We’ll keep tabs on this topic and let you know once the site goes live. We certainly hope that this expansion will bring a Focus ST mountune to U.S.-based Ford dealers.

Click past the jump to see what mountune did to the Focus ST

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Video: Ford Fiesta ST GTC Rally Car Goes Rallying In Detroit

Video: Ford Fiesta ST GTC Rally Car Goes Rallying In Detroit

Metropolitan cities are fast becoming scenes of some impressive rallying action. Whether its on races or the usual number of promotional events, big cities like New York and San Francisco have played host to these awesome events.

Well, Detroit felt a little left out of all the fun, so in an attempt to bring the Global RallyCross series inside its area code, the city decided to try out one of those promotional rally stunts right at the heart of the city.

The car of choice is the Ford Fiesta ST GTC, which has gained quite a reputation in the rally series as a dominant force, helping manufacturer Ford gain sole possession of the manufacturers’ standings.

If you’re from Detroit, you might recognize some of the sights where the Fiesta ST does its rally business. If you’re not from Detroit, don’t be too dismayed because you’re more likely to enjoy the Fiesta ST than try to see where in the city it’s going.

Either way, the video is a must watch for all rally aficionados. Heck, if you’re not one, this video just might be what converts you into one.

Click past the jump to read about the Ford Fiesta ST Rally Car

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Video: Ken Block and GoPro Blast the Trails in Missouri

Video: Ken Block and GoPro Blast the Trails in Missouri

So, Ken Block’s now a globe-trotter. Surprise, surprise.

Of course, he’s not actually doing it in real time, but this partnership between Block and GoPro has yielded some impressive results.

First, they went to the frozen woods of Russia to film a Gymkhana-like video that called for Block to smash GoPro cameras along the way. Now, Block and GoPro are back on U.S. soil, specifically in a technical forested rally course in Potosi, Missouri.

As is always the case with a guy like Ken Block, you better expect and prepare for some nutty things to happen in this video. You have to have a new level of appreciation for Block’s navigator who somehow manages to keep his wits together through all those bumps to give out instructions from that notebook of his.

And in case you missed out on Block’s Russian exploits, click past the jump to check it out.

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2012 Ford F-450 5.11 Tactical B.E.A.S.T. by Galpin Auto Sports

2012 Ford F-450 5.11 Tactical B.E.A.S.T. by Galpin Auto Sports

If you ever find yourself on the other side of the law with the SWAT hot on your tail, you best hope that this monster of a truck isn’t hot on your tail.

Built by Galpin Auto Sports, this massive F-450 is appropriately called the B.E.A.S.T., or the 5.11 Tactical B.E.A.S.T.

It’s an enormous ride and for our money, one that would make us a little nervous is it were in our rearview mirrors. The truck was built in coordination with the Los Angeles Police Department together with military gear manufacturer 5.11 and Sweden Entry Tools (S.E.T.) for the use of law enforcement, fire departments and Special Forces.

To accommodate the uniqueness of this truck, Galpin set out to completely build it from the ground up. The aftermarket company reinforced the chassis to accommodate the increased weight brought about by an easily deployable steel security door, which weighs more than 600 pounds, from the bed of the truck that demonstrates how the tools function.

On top of that, Galpin also added a bevy of new features and components on the exterior, including a matching satin black painted front and rear with Road Armor bumpers. The truck also has integrated high intensity discharge (H.I.D.) front PIAA fog lamps and a 10,000-pound front mounted Warn winch to go with custom water-jet-cut diamond-plate covers and exterior trim accents, front and rear strobe lighting, and a custom fabricated, backlit, side steps with 5.11 and “B.E.A.S.T.” branding.

Inside, the modifications continue with: new dash panels; headliner and console areas wrapped in 5.11’s Flextac and 1050D clothing materials; custom seat inserts reupholstered in 5.11 clothing material; custom painted satin color matched interior trim pieces; integrated DVD headrests in both drivers and passengers seats; custom diamond plate floor mats hand-formed to fit in the foot wells; and a custom flashlight, knife, and accessory pockets all throughout the seating area

The B.E.A.S.T. is then finished with a set of 22-inch custom powder-coated satin-black American Force Classic wheels wrapped in Nitto TerraGrappler tires.

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Video: The Evolution of the Ford Fusion NASCAR Racer

Video: The Evolution of the Ford Fusion NASCAR Racer

Over the past years, NASCAR race cars have barely resembled their production counterparts with teams opting to use branding stickers and logos as a way to put some distinguishable flavor to the cars themselves.

This year, however, Ford Racing is taking a different approach. Or should we say an approach that harkens back to the days when the phrase "stock car" actually meant something.

With the season-opening race at Daytona scheduled for this weekend, Ford Racing is giving its Fusion Sprint Cup Race Car a major overhaul and facelift, opting to go back to the method of designing the car to resemble the actual Fusion production model that it represented.

The video will show you how Ford managed to design the Fusion Sprint Cup Race Car and the comparisons of the car from its production brother. Of course, it probably helped that the design of the race car was done by the Ford Design Center, something the division hasn’t done since the 60’s.

We’ve gotta say, this return to the stock car approach is a refreshing wrinkle to the 2013 NASCAR season. About the only thing different now is that the Fusion Sprint Cup Race Car is powered by a Ford Racing-sourced 5.8-liter V-8 that develops in excess of 850 horsepower, as opposed to the production model which only has 237 ponies on tap.

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2012 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor by Galpin Auto Sports

2012 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor by Galpin Auto Sports

Galpin Auto Sports has never been bashful about the programs it builds. It doesn’t have reason to because almost everything it rolls out is worthy of attention.

Take for example this one-off Ford F-150 SVT Raptor that was custom built for Pabst Blue Ribbon. This is the kind of work that has earned Galpin the reputation of a fantastic aftermarket company and the number it did on this SVT Raptor certainly attests to that.

Dressed in a Got To Have It Green custom paint, the SVT Raptor is the picture of a monster truck with equally monstrous performance credentials. The look, for one, is all about aggression, highlighted by a new custom black grille, a remote control electric tonneau cover, and a set of 18-inch Method Race 301 Matte Black wheels wrapped in 35-inch BFG Mud Terrain tires. There’s also a suspension-leveling kit that has altered the SVT Raptor’s stance. This is quite a package, right?

Adding to all that is an interior that includes two-tone green stitched suede seats, custom-wrapped suede headliner and pillars, a custom rear seat enclosure, a contrast stitched steering wheel, and painted door panel inserts, console and center dash.

As far as audio is concerned, Galpin installed a JL Audio 10W 3 Subwoofer and HD900/5 Amplifier, Focal 165KRX2 and 130 KR Components and a Rockford Fosgate 3.Sixty.3 Signal Processor, all of which have been put together to provide an incredible sound that will blow your ears away.

Under the hood of the Hulk-like SVT Raptor lies a 6.2-liter V-8 engine that now produces 600 horsepower. This power upgrade owes its thanks to a new Roush Supercharger and a Borla performance exhaust. That’s a massive spike from the 411 horsepower of the standard model.

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Video: Ford Mustang Cobra Jet Shows Off its Power, Crashes Soon After

Video: Ford Mustang Cobra Jet Shows Off its Power, Crashes Soon After

This video, or pair of videos, just goes to show the thrills and perils of getting involved in drag racing, especially when you have a 2013 Ford Mustang Cobra Jet that’s just itching to pounce off of that starting line.

The muscle car flexes its insane muscles in the beginning, performing a scintillating wheelie as soon as the lights drops to green. After that visual spectacle of power, the driver suddenly loses control of the Mustang Cobra Jet, sending it careening into the barricades of the Cecil County Dragway in Northeast Maryland.

The ABM Nationals was the scene of the wheelie turned crash and fortunately for the driver of the Mustang Cobra Jet, the resulting chaos didn’t come with any injuries for him. We can’t say so much for the Mustang, as it took some serious damage.

Check out the video of the wheelie and crash from inside the Mustang Cobra Jet after the jump.

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Video: It's not Gymkhana, but it's Ken Block doing yet another drift session

Video: It’s not Gymkhana, but it’s Ken Block doing yet another drift session

Any time Ken Block is on a video doing some hooning magic, it’s bound to get some serious attention from a lot of folks. The master of Gymkhana has earned that distinction and his latest piece of hoonage is no exception to the attention.

Created by ’The Hoonigans,’ Block finds himself in the final round of the Formula DRIFT 2012 season at the Irwindale Speedway in California. Riding his trusty Ford Fiesta HFHV, Block took to the course and did what he always seems to do better than anybody else: smoke the hell out of those tires.

The stunts aren’t as complicated as any of his Gymkhana videos, but that’s more because of the nature of the track than anything else. Nonetheless, it still makes for an insane drift ride, something Block appeared to have no problem doing as evidenced by the smoke coming out of those tires.

Check out Ken Block and his Fiest HFHV leave a mark on the Irwindale Speedway like only he can.

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Video: Ford Mustang Cobra Jet thrills crowd with scintillating wheelie

Video: Ford Mustang Cobra Jet thrills crowd with scintillating wheelie

Performing a wheelie on a motorcycle is an impressive feat in itself. But when you notch the difficulty meter up a few notches, you get something like this.

During a qualifying session at the Gateway Drags IV at Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, Ill, driver Chris Holbrook managed to take his Ford Mustang Cobra Jet and perform what is arguably one of the craziest wheelie maneuvers we’ve seen in recent years.

The wheelie only lasted a few seconds with Holbrook being forced to abort its run after wandering off into the other lane, but that ended up becoming a side story after the car launched off the line, showed off its unbelievable torque muscles, and almost went vertical in its ridiculous display of muscle power.

Check out the compilation video of Holbrook’s impressive wheelie, courtesy of the ADRL. You rarely get to see a pop quite like this, and as far as we’re concerned, it doesn’t get any better than this.

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Ford Paying Dealers $300 Spiff for Escape Recall

In the past, Ford has had some serious issues with its cars and fire. Two that stick firmly in our minds are the Pinto, which Ford famously weighed out the cost of recall vs. the cost of paying wrongful death suits, and the spontaneous combustion of the second generation Taurus. So when we learned that the newly redesigned Escape had a potential fire issue, we expected swift and proactive action from Ford.

We certainly got that, but we never expected it to be to the extent that it has become. Reports have emerged that Ford is actually paying dealerships a $300 spiff to repair each and every recalled Escape, which is about 11,500 vehicles. Even our basic mathematical skills can sort out that we are talking about $3,450,000 worth of spiff payments, which does not include the cost to repair the issue.

We are curious to find out if the dealers are passing this spiff onto the service writers and technicians that are repairing the vehicles or hoarding this payment for themselves. We are willing to bet that it is the latter, as the technicians and service writers make commission off of the recall repairs and dealers rarely share spiffs any more.

In addition to this extra bonus, Ford is also recommending that dealerships wash and vacuum the SUV, and fill the gas tank. Talk about going over the top...

It is rather obvious that Ford wants this issue gone and it wants it gone as quickly and effectively as possible. Hats off to Ford for taking this sort of approach with this extremely dangerous recall.

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2013 Ford Mustang RTR by Vaughn Gittin Jr.

2013 Ford Mustang RTR by Vaughn Gittin Jr.

Back in 2009, racer and drifter extraordinaire Vaughn Gittin Jr. unveiled the Mustang RTR-C, a custom Mustang that came with a carbon fiber body and 550 horsepower hiding under its hood.

Now that the 2013 Ford Mustang has been unveiled, Gittin Jr. is back with the second-generation Mustang RTR. Details behind the project have just been released, and as previously speculated, the muscle car carries a similar design theme to the original carbon fiber-clad model.

What’s new for the 2013 Mustang RTR is that it will be made available on the Mustang V6 with an option to put a supercharger system to drive up the car’s performance credentials a few levels past the standard model to either 525 horsepower or 624 horsepower. In addition, the program also includes an appearance package that includes an RTR chin spoiler; rocker splitters; an RTR rear diffuser; an aluminum RTR rear spoiler; an RTR stripe kit; RTR badging; an RTR rear deck lid applique; and 19" RTR wheels with Falken ultra high performance tires.

"I couldn’t be any more excited with the traction and reception of RTR since its introduction just two short years ago," says Vaughn. "We will continue to push the envelope and give our customers a fun, aggressive-looking car to drive and a family that they are excited to be a part of well into the future. We are just getting the RTR party started!"

The RTR program is expected to be available as a turnkey tuning package, although we certainly hope that it’s going to be far less than the $135,000 price tag of its predecessor.

UPDATE 07/18/2012: This review has been updated with details on the Ford Mustang RTR by Vaughn Gittin Jr.

Check out what comes with the RTR 1 and the RTR 2 Spec packages after the jump!

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Comparison: Chevrolet Camaro 1LE vs. Ford Mustang Boss 302

Comparison: Chevrolet Camaro 1LE vs. Ford Mustang Boss 302

Experts have thoroughly exhausted the competition between the Mustang GT500 and the Camaro ZL1. That competition is getting so old that even we are beginning to tire of it. The results are quite crystal clear in that competition; the Mustang kicks the Camaro’s ass in a straight line, but the Camaro is a better road car that takes on twisty roads with much more grace.

One competition that has yet to be put to bed in the Mustang vs. Camaro rivalry is between two fairly even-matched opponents, the Mustang Boss 302 and the fresh-off-of-the-car-show-circuit Camaro 1LE. If you are wondering what “1LE” stands for, we’ll let you know. Back in the late 1980s – in the Camaro’s dark ages – Chevy put together a 1LE option package that included a radio and A/C delete, taller gearing for better acceleration, upgraded brakes, and an upgraded suspension. It was essentially a track-ready Camaro, which is a bit of an oxymoron for that era Camaro.

This new 1LE model is pretty similar to the one of yesteryear, sans the deletion of much-needed comfort items. We’ll get into more of the specifics in a bit.

So, how well does the Camaro 1LE stack up to the mighty Mustang Boss 302? You’ll have to click past the jump to read our full comparison to find out.

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Video: Gymkhana 5 has arrived! (UPDATE)

Video: Gymkhana 5 has arrived! (UPDATE)

The wait took longer than we had hoped, but you know what they say, "to those who wait, there is prosperity."

So we waited...and finally, our patience has paid off. Ladies and gentlemen, Gymkhana 5 has arrived!

As promised, July 9 was the date of reckoning; the day where Ken Block goes back to his roots, away from the Hollywood look of the fourth installment and back to the raw, uncut, thrill ride of a lifetime.

This time around, the stage was set for the urban jungle that is San Francisco. Just as we expected - and hoped - Block absolutely takes the Bay by storm, complete with sick drifts, plenty of burnt rubber, and mind-bending jumps that completely blew us away. Then there’s a Travis Pastrana cameo in there too. We had hoped that he would do a few stunts of his own, but we certainly aren’t complaining on how the finished product ended up looking.

Gymkhana 5, you made our day and hopefully, the wait for 6 won’t take as long.

UPDATE 07/13/2012: Ford has unveiled a series of exclusive new images of Ken Block’s Gymkhana FIVE: Ultimate Urban Playground; in San Francisco. The car featured in this series is a Focus ST developed jointly by Ford’s Team RS in Europe and its Special Vehicles Team (SVT) in the United States.

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