Video: Evo grabs Ford’s Fiesta R5 rally car by the scruff

Filed under: Motorsports, Videos, Hatchback, Ford, UK, Racing

Ford Fiesta R5 rally car

Evo and host Henry Catchpole were thinking of excuses reasons to borrow the bonkers Ford Fiesta R5 rally car for a day or two, when it struck them: the car is street legal. With access to the R5, some of the world’s most beautiful driving roads in the English Lake Country nearby, and a handy video crewing hanging around, the plan seemed to write itself.

Based on the resulting video, it was a good plan. Without spoiling the video for you – something we can’t really do in text as the best part is listening to the rally car run – Catchpole finds the Fiesta to be sublimely quick and massively satisfying. Even taking the car for a spin on a pseudo rally stage, after leaving the English countryside, does nothing but add to his assessment of the beastly little Ford. Scroll on below to see for yourself, and enjoy the ride.

Continue reading Evo grabs Ford’s Fiesta R5 rally car by the scruff

Evo grabs Ford’s Fiesta R5 rally car by the scruff originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 04 Sep 2013 19:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Evo grabs Ford’s Fiesta R5 rally car by the scruff

Filed under: Motorsports, Videos, Hatchback, Ford, UK, Racing

Ford Fiesta R5 rally car

Evo and host Henry Catchpole were thinking of excuses reasons to borrow the bonkers Ford Fiesta R5 rally car for a day or two, when it struck them: the car is street legal. With access to the R5, some of the world’s most beautiful driving roads in the English Lake Country nearby, and a handy video crewing hanging around, the plan seemed to write itself.

Based on the resulting video, it was a good plan. Without spoiling the video for you – something we can’t really do in text as the best part is listening to the rally car run – Catchpole finds the Fiesta to be sublimely quick and massively satisfying. Even taking the car for a spin on a pseudo rally stage, after leaving the English countryside, does nothing but add to his assessment of the beastly little Ford. Scroll on below to see for yourself, and enjoy the ride.

Continue reading Evo grabs Ford’s Fiesta R5 rally car by the scruff

Evo grabs Ford’s Fiesta R5 rally car by the scruff originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 04 Sep 2013 19:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Ford to reveal Vignale sub-brand with special Mondeo in Frankfurt

Filed under: Sedan, Europe, Ford, UK, Design/Style, Luxury

Ford Mondeo will be the first Ford to receive upscale Vignale treatment.

Ford says that 10-15 percent of its customers in Europe want their cars to be set apart from regular Fords – even those wearing the top Titanium X trim – and the Blue Oval will answer them with the Vignale sub-brand. The new brand proposes a more upscale look and a much-improved dealership experience, Autocar reports. The Vignale Mondeo will debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show to kick off the new endeavor.

The first Ford to receive the Vignale treatment will be the 2015 Mondeo, a Euro-only model, followed by the new S-Max and Edge. The Vignale Mondeo is set apart visually from other Mondeos by a chrome grille and chrome door handles and mirror caps. Mondeo badging will be deleted – only Vignale badging will make an appearance.

The interior will get a more upscale flavor, as well, with quilted leather seats and door trim and leather covering the instrument panel, center console and steering wheel. A Vignale-badged storage drawer will be installed in the trunk, and in-car Wi-Fi is available.

Roelant de Waard, Ford of Europe’s sales boss, says the Vignale sub-brand is aimed at customers who don’t have a lot of free time, are “independent thinkers” and want to feel special, Autocar reports, so visual treatments aren’t the only features Vignale cars will get. Owners also will have a Ford dealer contact assigned to them and receive exclusive services, such as free car washes at the dealership for the life of the car.

There’s no word if Vignale Fords will come to the US, but our guess is that they won’t – at least not right away.

Ford to reveal Vignale sub-brand with special Mondeo in Frankfurt originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 03 Sep 2013 15:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Ford to reveal Vignale sub-brand with special Mondeo in Frankfurt

Filed under: Sedan, Europe, Ford, UK, Design/Style, Luxury

Ford Mondeo will be the first Ford to receive upscale Vignale treatment.

Ford says that 10-15 percent of its customers in Europe want their cars to be set apart from regular Fords – even those wearing the top Titanium X trim – and the Blue Oval will answer them with the Vignale sub-brand. The new brand proposes a more upscale look and a much-improved dealership experience, Autocar reports. The Vignale Mondeo will debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show to kick off the new endeavor.

The first Ford to receive the Vignale treatment will be the 2015 Mondeo, a Euro-only model, followed by the new S-Max and Edge. The Vignale Mondeo is set apart visually from other Mondeos by a chrome grille and chrome door handles and mirror caps. Mondeo badging will be deleted – only Vignale badging will make an appearance.

The interior will get a more upscale flavor, as well, with quilted leather seats and door trim and leather covering the instrument panel, center console and steering wheel. A Vignale-badged storage drawer will be installed in the trunk, and in-car Wi-Fi is available.

Roelant de Waard, Ford of Europe’s sales boss, says the Vignale sub-brand is aimed at customers who don’t have a lot of free time, are “independent thinkers” and want to feel special, Autocar reports, so visual treatments aren’t the only features Vignale cars will get. Owners also will have a Ford dealer contact assigned to them and receive exclusive services, such as free car washes at the dealership for the life of the car.

There’s no word if Vignale Fords will come to the US, but our guess is that they won’t – at least not right away.

Ford to reveal Vignale sub-brand with special Mondeo in Frankfurt originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 03 Sep 2013 15:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ford recalling 370,000 Crown Vic, Grand Marquis and Town Car models

Filed under: Recalls, Safety, Ford, Lincoln, Mercury

2005 Ford Crown Victoria

The Detroit News is reporting that Ford will recall some 370,000 Crown Victoria (pictured), Mercury Grand Marquis and Lincoln Town Car vehicles from model years 2005 through 2011, for an issue regarding the lower intermediate steering shaft. 355,000 of the vehicles in question were sold in the US, with the other 15,000 sold in Canada.

The report indicates that corrosion of the lower intermediate steering shaft could cause a “loss of steering,” presumably because of a partial or complete failure of the part. The report points out the dealers will inspect and replace the offending steering component for recalled cars, and may also secure a lower steering column bearing and replace the upper intermediate steering shaft as needed. The company is unaware of any reports of the faulty part causing any accidents or injuries.

Ford helpfully lists states in which corrosion is more likely to have taken place, mostly in the Snow Belt, as you might guess. Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia are listed.

The Detroit News also quotes a Ford spokeswoman saying, “Customers located in other states who routinely operate their vehicles in one of these areas, or customers who have concerns regarding their steering, will also be able to have their vehicles inspected and repaired if necessary.”

Ford recalling 370,000 Crown Vic, Grand Marquis and Town Car models originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 30 Aug 2013 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Lincoln ‘not true luxury’ yet, says Ford design chief

Filed under: Marketing/Advertising, Lincoln, Design/Style, Luxury

2013 Lincoln MKZ front three-quarters

Lincoln is “not true luxury,” according to Ford’s design boss, J Mays. His statements come from a story in The Detroit News that saw candid language on the issues facing Ford’s troubled premium brand. Notably, there’s a need for a strong character, with Mays saying, “Every brand needs to have a DNA and a unique selling point and things in the vehicle that make you think, ‘That’s that particular brand.'”

With a range of rebadged Fords, it’s not hard to see why that DNA is missing. Mays hinted that a full recovery for Lincoln will be a ten-year process, that’s been kicked off with the MKZ sedan. While that car is still largely a Ford Fusion under its extremely pretty wrapper, it’s the first Lincoln in some time to inject its own unique take both through the exterior styling and through interior features, such as the vertical, pushbutton gear selection.

Some analysts weren’t so certain about Mays’ 10-year estimate. Jim Hall of 2953 Analytics thinks it’ll be more like 30 years before Lincoln can show a true return to form. The issue, as Hall explains it, is that, “luxury has a degree of exclusivity,” that Lincoln just doesn’t have. Michelle Krebs from Edmunds adds, “it’s definitely a wanna-be luxury brand,” comparing the troubled American brand with Infiniti and Acura, two other brands that have struggled to find their place in the luxury market.

From the language Mays is using, though, it seems that Ford is still rather committed to Lincoln. The MKZ, while plagued by production issues, has been a steady seller, although not enough to prevent an overall drop in 2013 sales for the brand. The eventual arrival of the Ford Escape-based MKC could be a boon to the brand, provided its as unique as the MKZ. Lincoln is also preparing to go on sale in China, a market that has traditionally loved brands unloved by Americans (see Buick), so while Ford’s luxury brand might be down, it’s probably nowhere close to out.

Lincoln ‘not true luxury’ yet, says Ford design chief originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 28 Aug 2013 18:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Riding along in Ford’s bonkers Fiesta ST Global RallyCross car [w/video]

Filed under: Motorsports, Performance, Videos, Hatchback, Ford, Racing

The Mountune-worked Fiesta ST GRC does 0-to-60 mph in 1.9 seconds.

On any given day, and every single weekend, there’s at least one parking in the country invaded by manufacturer and team trucks. The be-chromed beasts and their 53-foot trailers are slotted into rows, men and women decorate the lot with orange cones to mark the invisible tracery of a temporary track, cars get unloaded, crews fret over them. The ritual can be as beautiful as the sunrise to those with enthusiast hearts, but it’s just as common.

Unless you happened to be in the parking lot in Fontana, California where Ford, OlsbergsMSE and Mountune were showing off the Fiesta ST built for Global RallyCross. Ford’s latest global performance car is an experiment on our shores that aims to find out if we – Americans – are ready to support a B-segment hot hatch with a European pedigree.

The Fiesta ST GRC, though, isn’t an experiment. It is proof that you can frappe your brain and cudgel your internal organs with nothing more than a few orange cones and a 90-second ride-along with a GRC champion.

Continue reading Riding along in Ford’s bonkers Fiesta ST Global RallyCross car [w/video]

Riding along in Ford’s bonkers Fiesta ST Global RallyCross car [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 28 Aug 2013 14:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Ford S-Max Concept previews new look, technology for Euro seven-seater

Filed under: Minivan/Van, Technology, Ford

Ford S-Max Concept showcases sharp styling, a thoughtful interior and innovative technologies.

Ford unveiled today the S-Max Concept, which comes with a new, sleek look and loaded with innovative technology, such as a heart-rate monitoring seat. But if your heart is set on a minivan sports activity vehicle (SAV) and you live in the States, don’t wait for this one – it’s a Europe-only product, and we don’t expect that to change when the next-gen S-Max is released.

The styling follows Ford’s global design language, looking a bit like an overgrown Focus hatchback with the company’s signature grille, wraparound headlamps, steeply raked windshield and curved roof line. Ford also implemented details to make the S-Max look longer and faster, such as a feature line on each side of the vehicle and muscular-looking fenders. The engine isn’t Ford’s most powerful, but the new 1.5-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine should be potent enough with turbocharging and other efficiency related technologies.

Ford says the new interior, which seats up to seven people, features high-quality materials and fine detailing, such as an “ultra-soft” leather wrap for the instrument panel and leather and carbon-fiber details on the seats. Ford’s Sync connectivity system with MyFord Touch makes the car a wireless hotspot, and there’s a tablet docking station for second-row occupants.

But it’s the health-related systems that have our attention. The heart-rate sensing seat records the driver’s heart rate and has the potential to respond to medical emergencies via Sync. This can range from alerting medical experts to triggering active safety systems that can take over temporarily for an incapacitated driver. The car even has a glucose monitoring system that Ford claims can detect a sleeping child having a diabetic episode in the back seat.

Take a look at the press release below for a closer look into the sharply styled, tech-forward SAV.

Continue reading Ford S-Max Concept previews new look, technology for Euro seven-seater

Ford S-Max Concept previews new look, technology for Euro seven-seater originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 28 Aug 2013 00:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Auctions: eBay Find of the Day: 1987 Ford Thunderbird Turbo Coupe is showroom fresh

Filed under: Classics, Coupe, Performance, Auctions, Ford

1987 Ford Thunderbird Turbo Coupe

There’s an ultra-rare Ford Thunderbird for sale on eBay, although it’s not quite the T-Bird you’re probably thinking. This is a 1987 Thunderbird Turbo Coupe, complete with a five-speed manual transmission and just a shade over 13,000 miles on the clock. The condition is said to be mint, and judging by the interior and exterior pictures, we’re inclined to believe the seller. The paint is glossy and the interior looks showroom new, while the underbody is stunningly clean for a 26-year-old car.

Underhood sits a 2.3-liter, intercooled and turbocharged four-cylinder (also found in the Mustang SVO) that was producing 190 horsepower when it left the factory. Inside, the five-speed manual transmission adds to the car’s rarity. The vehicle’s sole owner has been as immaculate with the paperwork as he has with the rest of the car – it’s all there, including brochures and other product material.

The eBay auction ends tomorrow at midnight (9:00 PM if you’re on America’s west coast). Bidding has reached $10,200, and there’s still plenty of time to get in on this future classic. The vehicle is located in Millstone Township, NJ.

eBay Find of the Day: 1987 Ford Thunderbird Turbo Coupe is showroom fresh originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 27 Aug 2013 18:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Ford making Fusion production moves to challenge Camry on volume

Filed under: Sedan, Plants/Manufacturing, Ford

2013 Ford Fusion

The Ford Fusion may already beat the Toyota Camry in terms of models offered, transaction price and sales increase so far this year, but if the Fusion wants to make a run at the title of best-selling car in the US, Bloomberg reminds us that volume is key. Opening a second production line at the Flat Rock, MI assembly plant will reportedly allow Ford to produce around 350,000 Fusions annually, which compares Toyota’s ability to crank out 475,000 Camrys and Honda’s capacity to build around 450,000 Accords.

For the Fusion, that’s an extra 100,000 units compared to the car’s current pace, and the article adds that the Fusion is “Ford’s best shot” to regain the passenger car sales crown – a title it (or any other US automaker, for that matter) hasn’t held since the mid-1990s. Despite hiccups with recalls and fuel economy numbers, the Ford Fusion is still red hot when it comes to sales. Fusion sales are up 13 percent so far this year (compared to a 0.6 percent decrease for Camry), and its average transaction price of $26,343 is about $2,300 more than its rival from Toyota.

The Fusion’s popularity has helped Ford improve its sales in California; the Dearborn-based automaker has a market share of 18 percent in the state, which is just a fraction of a percentage behind Honda. And this popularity should continue as Ford ups Fusion production and expands the model lineup even further for 2014 with a new 1.5-liter EcoBoost engine soon to become an option.

Ford making Fusion production moves to challenge Camry on volume originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 26 Aug 2013 18:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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