Official: Entry-level F-150 now offers SuperCrew, Sport Package

Filed under: Budget, Truck, Work, Ford

Ford F-150 STX Sport Package SuperCrew

Ford has made a few notable tweaks to the lower end of its F-150 lineup, giving customers a more affordable version of the four-door SuperCrew body style. The popular SuperCrew could previously only be had on XLT models and above, but Ford has announced that 2014 F-150s with the base STX trim can get the more versatile body.

The STX SuperCrew brings the price of a four-door F-150 down from $34,525 to $33,145. Like the XLT SuperCrew, the STX will be available with the choice of a 5.5- or 6.5-foot bed, while a 5.0-liter V8 can replace the base 3.7-liter V6 for $4,425. Ford has not released pricing on the different bed lengths yet, but opting for the 6.5-foot bed on the XLT raises the price $1,240 and forces buyers into the 5.0-liter V8. We’d expect a similar arrangement on the STX.

The other big news for fans of affordable pickups is the addition of an STX Sport Package on the base-level truck. It adds 20-inch wheels, black exterior accents, black-and-gray cloth seats and decals on the truck’s box. The Sport Package is available on all three of the STX’s body styles, with Ford listing the price as $980 with current discounts.

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Entry-level F-150 now offers SuperCrew, Sport Package originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 29 Aug 2013 14:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Tesla sold 5,150 Model S EVs in Q2, future $35k model will have 200-mile range

Filed under: EV/Plug-in, Tesla Motors

Finally, we know the number. Tesla Motors announced today that it sold 5,150 Model S electric vehicles in North America last quarter. Divide by three and you see that the California company sold around 1,700 cars a month, which puts it right up there with the current plug-in vehicle champions, the Nissan Leaf and the Chevy Volt. That’s despite the fact that the cheapest Model S, which starts at $69,900 but often sells for a lot more with better options, costs at least twice as much as the sales leaders. Tesla said it was making “almost 500 vehicles per week” in the second quarter of this year.

Tesla says its “financial position and balance sheet have never been stronger.”

The sales contributed to an overall increase in net income (non-GAAP) of 70 percent compared to the first quarter, up to $26 million. Tesla said it achieved a gross margin of 22 percent (non-GAAP), “despite significant reduction in ZEV credits” (which was no surprise) and should hit 25 percent by the fourth quarter of 2013. That number is simply a company’s sales revenue with the cost of goods sold taken out, divided by total sales revenue. Put it all together and you get the following statement: “Our financial position and balance sheet have never been stronger.” Still, there was no talk in today’s conference call of an overall profitable quarter, as there was three months ago.

With all of the good financial news, Tesla and CEO Elon Musk said the primary focus now is on “expanding production to meet worldwide demand.” Tesla started delivering the Model S to Europe this week (the first lucky countries were Norway, Switzerland and the Netherlands) and if demand there matches North America, which Musk said is likely, then the company predicts “annualized sales for Model S could exceed 40,000 units per year by late 2014.”

In China, the Model S will have an “executive back seat” instead of the current “family back seat.”

Musk said the upcoming new-market Model S versions (right-hand-drive for Japan and the Chinese model) are taking up most of Tesla’s resources at the current moment. In China, for example, the company is trying to improve the comfort level of the rear seat, because it is common for people in The People’s Republic to be driven around. The Model S was designed to be the perfect driver’s car, Musk said, but in China it will have an “executive back seat” instead of the “family back seat” the car has now. Things like this mean that work on the Model X won’t really start to ramp up until the end of this year. Deliveries of that car should start at the end of 2014.

Looking further down the road, Musk said that the next-gen Tesla vehicle, the long-rumored $35,000 (without any subsidies) EV, should be a compelling option with a 200-mile range. That vehicle is still quite far away – he wondered aloud how his company might need more battery cells than the laptop industry does if it’s making a half-million cars a year – but at least his automotive competition now has targets to shoot for if they want to beat Tesla in the longer-range EV game.

Tesla sold 5,150 Model S EVs in Q2, future $35k model will have 200-mile range originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Wed, 07 Aug 2013 18:50:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: 2014 Ford F-150 gets CNG option

Filed under: Truck, Work, Ford

Ford is toiling away, installing heavy-duty engine components into select 3.7-liter V6s to allow them to run on compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquid petroleum gas (LPG) in addition to gasoline. That’s nothing new, but now, Ford has announced that it will offer the 2014 F-150 with this engine configuration, bringing the Blue Oval’s total number of CNG/LPG-friendly vehicles up to eight. The F-150 will be the only half-ton pickup on the market that can run on these gases.

Ford will charge $315 per vehicle to equip the optional engine, but the trucks won’t be ready to run on the alternative fuels straight from the factory and must be upfitted with additional equipment. A Ford Qualified Vehicle Modifier will install a separate fuel system for the compressed gases at a cost of $7,500 to $9,500, depending on fuel tank size. With the right-size tank, the F-150 equipped with the CNG/LPG-prepped engine can go 750 miles on one tank of gas, according to Ford, averaging 23 miles per gallon.

The practice of offering flex-fuel vehicles is gaining momentum as businesses take advantage of cheap gas. CNG can be bought for $2.11/gallon on average (per gasoline equivalent), and sometimes for as little as $1.00 in some parts of the US, Ford states. “With the money saved using CNG, customers could start to see payback on their investment in as little as 24 to 36 months,” says Jon Coleman, Ford’s fleet sustainability and technology manager. The automaker expects to sell a total of 15,000 CNG/LPG-prepped vehicles in the 2014 model year.

Check out the press release below to read the details, and to see what other vehicles Ford offers with the CNG/LPG package.

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2014 Ford F-150 gets CNG option originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 31 Jul 2013 00:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Ford to build next F-150, outgoing model concurrently?

Filed under: Spy Photos, Truck, Plants/Manufacturing, Ford, Earnings/Financials

Ford's Atlas-based F-150 testing spy photo

Ford is rumored to be considering concurrent production for old and new F-150 models in a bid to minimize supply chain disruptions and inventory. Automotive News is reporting that the Blue Oval will build both the current F-150 and its replacement, which we showed you testing just last month, side by side for about half a year before switching over entirely to next-generation production.

As IHS Automotive analyst Mike Jackson told AN, “In order to ramp up, you have to retool…and that means you have to take capacity offline.” Building both models alongside could allow Ford to cope with the still strong demand for the current F-150, while populating dealer supplies and working out supply chain kinks for the new model before making a full-time switch.

A loss of capacity when demand is so strong, even for a short period, could spell bad news for Ford, which nets an estimated 90 percent of its global profit on pickups and large SUVs. As AN states, Ford produces the F-150 in both Kansas City, Missouri and Dearborn, Michigan, which allows it to maintain some degree of flexibility in production. The new F-150 is expected to arrive at the 2014 North American International Auto Show as a 2015 model, with a design inspired by the Atlas Concept first shown at the Detroit Auto Show last January.

Ford to build next F-150, outgoing model concurrently? originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 24 Jul 2013 13:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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ETC: Holy crime-fighting Ford F-150, Batman!

Filed under: Aftermarket, Truck, Ford, Specialty, Design/Style, TV/Movies

Ford F-150 Crime Fighting Bat Truck

What would Batman drive for his weekly trips to Home Depot for the bits and pieces needed to keep his lair deep below Wayne Manor in tip-top condition? Certainly not the Batmobile – there’s no way a 4×8 sheet of plywood will fit between the wheel wells, not to mention the fact that jet turbine engines have an unfortunate tendency to set trailers on fire when towing…

No, what Batman needs is a pickup truck. The boys from Ford teamed up with Galpin Auto Sports to build just such a machine, and it has just debuted at Comic Con. Designed by Jared Barris, grandson of the legendary kustomizer George Barris, the 2012 F-150 pickup you see here, dubbed Crime Fighter, is painted Tuxedo Black with Ferrari Red highlights and is affixed with fins on each side of the truck bed. It’s nothing if not unique.

Well, it’s at least unique for now. According to Ford, Galpin in Southern California is willing to take orders for customers looking to don a cape and hit the town for a night of crime-fighting action. Or trips to Home Depot. Check out our high-res image gallery and then scroll down for the official description from Ford. We’re waiting for details such as pricing and build time from Ford, and we’ll update this post if and when we hear back.

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Holy crime-fighting Ford F-150, Batman! originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 18 Jul 2013 18:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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What an Atlas-based Ford F-150 might look like

Filed under: Concept Cars, Truck, Ford, Design/Style, Off-Road

2015 Ford F-150 rendering

Ford Atlas Concept - dead on front end closeup Just ahead of January’s Detroit Auto Show, surprising rumors pegged Ford as revealing some sort of F-150 concept, perhaps as a hurried effort to deflate some of the buzz building around General Motors’ new Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra twins, which were also making their auto show debut. Those rumblings turned out to be true, as Ford rolled into the Motor City with its Atlas concept (inset, right), touting the truck’s bold styling as a precursor to the next-generation F-Series.

The show truck featured all kinds of clever details, including active wheel shutters and a front air dam that raised and lowered to improve aerodynamics while preserving off-road ability. It also had a genuinely snarly face. And it’s that pugnacious snout that may well be on its way to production. The good folks at TopSpeed have worked up the plausible-looking artist’s rendering above by cross-referencing the Atlas concept with what little has been revealed from recent spy shots. The look is toned-down pretty dramatically from the concept truck, but its Atlas roots are clear, with a massive three-bar grille and bracket-shaped headlamps hiding a next-generation EcoBoost engine. In the rendering, the show truck’s deeply contoured hood and roofline have been ditched and larger, more traditional side mirrors have been fitted – all likely concessions in the move to production sheetmetal.

While Ford has yet to officially announce when it will unveil the 2015 F-150, all signs point to next year’s Detroit Auto Show – one year after the Atlas shrugged off GM’s new pickups.

What an Atlas-based Ford F-150 might look like originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 27 Jun 2013 15:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: 2014 Ford F-150 Tremor adds some sport to shake things up

Filed under: Performance, Truck, Ford

2014 Ford F-150 Tremor - front three-quarter view

Like most quakes, the 2014 Ford F-150 Tremor caught us by surprise. We weren’t expecting Ford to offer up another version of its best-seller so soon before the truck’s full redesign, but that’s exactly what the company is doing.

While Ford calls the Tremor a “performance truck,” the new pickup doesn’t play on the same level as the SVT Raptor does on dirt, or even the long-gone SVT Lightning did on pavement. Think of it as a parts bin sport truck that probably does a better job looking the part than acting it. The Tremor utilizes the same twin-turbo, 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 available across the F-150 lineup, producing 365 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque, but matches it with a 4.10 rear axle – the shortest final drive ratio you can get in an F-150 – for the strongest possible acceleration.

The Tremor does do a decent job looking the part. Available only in short-wheelbase, regular cab configuration with your choice of two- or four-wheel drive, it struts around wearing the F-150’s FX Appearance Package, flat black accents, 20-inch black wheels, HID headlights and a special exterior graphics package. The Tremor is the only regular cab F-150 with a flow-through center console, which means it also gets a floor-mounted shifter and bucket seats that are covered in black leather with red piping. Some brushed metal accents and steering wheel with red stitching round out the interior upgrades.

Ford has yet to release pricing for the 2014 F-150 Tremor, but you can read the company’s official line on its latest model below.

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2014 Ford F-150 Tremor adds some sport to shake things up originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 27 Jun 2013 10:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: 2014 Honda Odyssey revamp only costs an extra $150*

Filed under: Car Buying, Minivan/Van, Honda

Honda has released pricing on its 2014 Odyssey. Buyers can take home the revamped minivan for $28,825 (excluding an $830 destination fee). That price marks a $150 increase over the 2013 model, but that extra Benjamin and a half buys you a whole slate of updates. Those include a new six-speed automatic transmission in all trims, revised exterior styling and a few tweaks to the instrument cluster and dash controls. Honda’s familiar 3.5-liter V6 engine provides 248 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque, and the new gearbox helps the van return 19 miles per gallon city and 28 mpg highway.

Of course, those who opt for the top-shelf $44,450* Touring Elite trim will get to play with the new HondaVac vacuum cleaner system. The handheld vac is built into the van’s rear cargo area and recharges using the onboard 12-volt electrical system. The little vacuum features a removable debris canister as well as a replaceable filter bag and can run for eight minutes between charges. Check out the full press release below for more information.

Continue reading 2014 Honda Odyssey revamp only costs an extra $150*

2014 Honda Odyssey revamp only costs an extra $150* originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 26 Jun 2013 15:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Study: Ford F-150 bumps Camry from top of Cars.com American Made Index

Filed under: Car Buying, Truck, Chrysler, Ford, GM, Honda, Toyota

2013 Ford F-150 XLT

With July 4th just around the corner, what better time could there be for Cars.com to announce that the Ford F-150 is the Most American car of 2013? This may be especially true since it was the Toyota Camry, a car produced by a company based in Japan, that had held the top spot from 2009 to 2012.

Cars.com compiles its Most American list by considering the amount of parts each vehicle uses that come from America, where it’s final assembly takes place and how many units per year are sold. “While the assembly point and domestic parts content of the F-150 didn’t change from 2012-2013, vehicle sales are responsible for bumping the F-150 to the top spot,” according to Patrick Olsen, Editor-in-Chief of Cars.com.

As far as automakers go (as opposed to individual models), Toyota retains the top spot it held in 2012, with General Motors, Chrysler, Ford and Honda (in that order) rounding out the list. The motivation behind this list each year, according to Olsen, is “to help car shoppers understand that ‘American-Made’ extends beyond just the Detroit three” and because “a study we conducted in 2012 indicated that 25 percent of shoppers surveyed preferred to buy American.”

It should be noted, however, that Cars.com isn’t the only group with an American-made study, and not everyone agrees on the methodology used. In fact, a highly detailed study earlier this year by American University’s Kogod School of Business found that the Lambda CUV triplets from GM are the most American-made nameplates, and there isn’t a single vehicle from a Japanese automaker anywhere near its top ten.

Feel free to browse the press release below to see how the full top-10 list breaks down.

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Ford F-150 bumps Camry from top of Cars.com American Made Index originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 25 Jun 2013 00:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Ford F-150 Harley-Davidson rides off into the sunset

Filed under: Truck, Marketing/Advertising, Ford, Motorcycle

2013 Ford F-150 Harley-Davidson Edition with motorcycle

In recent weeks, there’s been a lot of talk about high-margin fullsize pickup sales driving the market toward higher-content branded editions – models like the Chevrolet Silverado High Country, Ford F-150 King Ranch and even the Ram 1500 Red Wings Edition. Often mentioned in that same breath has been the F-150 Harley Davidson Edition, a co-branding partnership between the Blue Oval and America’s most famous motorcycle builder that started back in 2009. But now, it appears that the tie-up has drawn to a close, with Automotive News reporting that Ford has axed the F-150 Harley-Davidson.

No reason has been cited for shuffling this F-150 model off to hog heaven, but AN quotes Doug Scott, Ford’s manager of truck marketing as saying, “We don’t have plans for one at the moment… we’ve got 10 models including a brand-new Limited Model, which was new for 2013. We feel like we’ve got the market really well covered.” Other sources in Ford’s dealer body quoted by AN say they don’t mind that the F-Series HD is gone from their order guides, as it was a low-volume model.

Ford F-150 Harley-Davidson rides off into the sunset originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 24 Jun 2013 17:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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