The team are on the top of a 100 metre high sand mountain in Italy. World expert kayaker Anna is here to see if she can kayak down a 33 degree incline sandy slope. This is kayaking at its most extreme. Find out how the Ford S-MAX can reinvent extreme sports here at http://ford.co.uk/cars/s-max
The 2011 F-150 is coming with your choice of four new engines. But we've singles out one engine to tests its limits mercilessly. If it has any limits. The all-new EcoBoost™. In the lab and in the field, we're going to prove just how tough this remarkable engine is.
Transit Connect Electric debuts as Ford's first battery electric vehicle in Europe
Spearheads five-model Ford electric vehicle launch plan by 2013
Transit Connect Electric goes on sale in Europe in 2011
Ford's electric vehicles partner - Azure Dynamics - to integrate proprietary Force Drive™ battery electric drive train in the Transit Connect Electric
Johnson Controls-Saft selected as battery supplier for Transit Connect Electric
All-new Ford Focus Electric follows in 2012, with Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) and Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) derivatives of the all-new Ford C-MAX to be launched in Europe in 2013, plus another Hybrid Electric Vehicle to be confirmed
Ford has today initiated its electric vehicles plan for Europe, with the debut of its Transit Connect Electric at the 2010 IAA Commercial Vehicle Show in Hanover, Germany.
Ford plans to introduce, for European customers, five full electric or hybrid vehicles across its light commercial vehicle, C and CD and ranges, by 2013.
The Transit Connect Electric is the first of these five vehicles to be introduced in Europe. A zero-emission, pure electric-powered version of the award-winning Transit Connect light commercial vehicle, it will go on sale in North America later this year and is due to become available in Europe during 2011.
The Electric derivative is based on a long wheelbase version of the successful Transit Connect, which was launched in 2003 in Europe and was introduced to the US in 2010.
Transit Connect Electric builds on Ford's relationship with its electric vehicles partner, Azure Dynamics, as well as their shared experience with battery supplier, Johnson Controls-Saft.
“We recognize an increasing interest in electrified vehicles and have an aggressive strategy to bring these vehicles to the marketplace,” said Nancy Gioia, Ford director of Global Electrification. “Our work with Azure to create a pure electric battery Transit Connect vehicle will allow us to offer our commercial customers an additional option for environmentally advanced transportation.”
The Transit Connect Electric is built on Ford’s global commercial vehicle platform as part of the company’s ONE Ford global product vision. It is the first of five electrified vehicles from Ford that will become available in Europe by 2013:
Transit Connect battery electric van in 2011
Ford Focus battery electric passenger car in 2012
Ford C-MAX-based Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) and Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) in 2013,
One further HEV vehicle to be confirmed for 2013.
Collaboration builds on existing business relationship
Ford's relationship with Azure Dynamics is already well established in North America and is now being extending to Europe.
In North America, Azure develops hybrid electric and electric drive technology, as the Balance™ Hybrid Electric, for shuttle buses and commercial trucks built on a Ford E-450 'cutaway and strip' chassis for the medium duty commercial vehicle segment.
Michigan-based Azure began work on its collaborative agreement to deliver the pure battery-electric powertrain for the Transit Connect in the U.S and Canada in October 2009. The extension of this collaboration into Europe is a logical next step.
“We're excited about the extension of the Transit Connect Electric program to Europe and understand that putting electric vehicles on the world’s roads in significant quantities will be a long term proposition,” said Scott T. Harrison, Azure Dynamics CEO. “However, with the Transit Connect Electric, Ford and Azure are doing their part in helping to lead that transition."
"The European Union and individual governments are keen to encourage adoption of electric transportation technology because they understand the potential benefits to energy infrastructure and to society at large," Harrison added. "We believe that European commercial vehicle customers will be eager to adopt the Transit Connect Electric into their fleets, to reduce vehicle emissions and demonstrate their commitment to becoming part of the solution.”
Azure Dynamics will integrate its proprietary Force Drive™ battery electric drive train into the Transit Connect Electric, which will have a targeted range of 130 km or 80 miles minimum on a full charge and zero tailpipe emissions. Force Drive™ components have previously been deployed in more than 40 vehicle integrations and have more than 25 million miles of on-the-road experience. Transit Connect Electric will offer fleet owners the opportunity to eliminate the use of petrol and help to lower operating costs. The vehicle will be badged with both the Ford Blue Oval and Azure’s Force Drive logo.
Azure Dynamics has selected Johnson Controls-Saft to supply lithium-ion battery cells and battery packs for the Transit Connect Electric. Azure Dynamics and Ford both currently utilize Johnson Controls-Saft battery technology for other products. Transit Connect Electric will utilise the same proven cell technology currently deployed in the Ford Escape plug-in hybrid fleet that is already on the roads of North America.
Transit Connect commercial platform ideal choice for battery electric power
The Ford Transit Connect has achieved significant success since its launch in 2003, and was introduced to the North American market in 2010. With a unique combination of car-like driving dynamics, cargo capacity, accessibility and low purchase and operation costs, it is an ideal choice for electrification. Commercial vehicle operators often travel predictable, short-range routes with frequent stop and go driving in urban and suburban environments.
For customers seeking sustainable mobility solutions, the Transit Connect Battery Electric Vehicle with Azure Force Drive™ will provide a zero emissions option.
The Transit Connect was designed, engineered and manufactured on a dedicated global commercial vehicle platform to beat tough commercial vehicle durability standards. A final manufacturing location for the Transit Connect Electric is yet to be determined.
Prototype Trials in Europe
Ford's Product Development team is participating in two specific European trial initiatives to demonstrate the technology in real world driving conditions, and generate feedback to help develop further the Focus Electric and the Transit Connect Electric for market acceptance in Europe.
In the UK, Ford is working with Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE), the London Borough of Hillingdon, and the University of Strathclyde on the UK's Ultra Low Carbon Vehicle Fleet Demonstration with a fleet of 21 prototype electric vehicles to collect data on their performance with a mixture of fleet and private users.
In Germany, Ford is working with RheinEnergie AG, the city of Cologne and the University of Duisburg-Essen on the ColognE-mobil program, using a fleet of 25 electric vehicles to conduct road testing. This program is part of a much larger research effort in several cities in Germany involving multiple automakers, utility companies, universities and technology partners.
"These initiatives are a revolution for both the utility and automotive industries," Stephen Odell, chairman and CEO, Ford of Europe said. "Collaborating across sectors is essential to ensure customer focused products that provide the right value along with the readiness of the infrastructure. We need to work and learn together and Ford is very pleased to be a part of these important trials."
Portfolio of Technologies
Ford Motor Company is committed to offering customers affordable environmental technologies in the vehicles they want and value.
"Ford is focused on solutions that reach not just hundreds or thousands of cars, but millions of vehicles – because that is how Ford can truly make a difference," Derrick Kuzak Ford's group vice president of Global Product Development said.
A key element of this approach is Ford's ECOnetic Technologies program, launched earlier in 2010. It is a customer-driven initiative bringing together a range of vehicle features and technologies specifically targeting better fuel economy, reduced emissions and overall lower cost of ownership, without compromising safety, driveability or performance.
This includes the new Ford EcoBoost global engine family featuring turbocharging and direct injection technology, Ford's ECOnetic range of low- CO2 technologies in Europe, and multi-speed transmissions such as Ford PowerShift.
In addition, Ford is developing and introducing a range of other environmentally focused features, including advanced electric power steering, weight reduction and aerodynamic improvements, plus biofuel-capable vehicles, hybrids and plug-in hybrids.
“Electrification is a key element in the effective use of Ford's global resources and talents to provide a portfolio of affordable and fuel-efficient technologies for customers,” said Odell. “In particular our fleet trials in the UK and Germany will give us vital experience and insight into how fleet and private customers for these niche models will use them on a daily basis. This will ensure that the five models we bring to market are fully developed to meet their expectations."
The 3.5-liter EcoBoost™ truck engine will deliver an unbeatable combination of best-in-class towing of 11,300 pounds, payload of 3,060 pounds, torque of 420 lb.-ft. and the fuel economy of a V6
The 3.5-liter EcoBoost truck engine delivers 365 horsepower at 5,000 rpm and best-in-class 420 lb.-ft. of torque at 2,500 rpm, with up to 90 percent of the peak torque available from 1,700 rpm to 5,000 rpm – all on regular fuel
Ford’s award-winning EcoBoost engine technology highlights the most extensive engine makeover in Ford F-Series history.
The F-150 EcoBoost engine features technology found in heavy-duty diesel truck engines, including twin turbochargers and direct fuel injection, and is uniquely designed to meet the stringent Ford truck durability tests
DALLAS, Sept. 20, 2010 – With its new 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine, the 2011 Ford F-150 will deliver best-in-class towing capability and torque with outstanding fuel economy.
“Customers have embraced the EcoBoost solution of delivering the power they desire with the fuel economy they demand in a no-compromise package,” said Derrick Kuzak, group vice president, Global Product Development. “From the start, we have pledged that this solution applies to any engine and any customer. The EcoBoost truck engine for the 2011 F-150 will deliver those attributes and has been specially tuned and tested to deliver the best-in-class towing and capability our truck customers demand.”
The key technology built into every EcoBoost engine, including turbocharging and direct fuel injection, is particularly relevant to customers of the 3.5-liter EcoBoost truck engine.
This combination of turbocharging and direct fuel injection delivers a wealth of low-end torque and maintains it across a broad rpm range, which is key in towing applications. The 3.5-liter EcoBoost truck engine delivers 420 lb.-ft. of torque and 365 horsepower to enable best-in-class towing of 11,300 pounds – more than enough to tow a fully loaded three-horse trailer or 30-foot boat, for example. Plus the EcoBoost truck engine does it all on regular fuel and with outstanding fuel economy.
“Truck customers should think of the EcoBoost truck engine as a gas-powered engine with diesel-type capability and characteristics,” said Jim Mazuchowski, V6 engines program manager. “The twin turbochargers and direct injection give it the broad, flat torque curve that makes towing with a diesel so effortless – and hard acceleration so much fun.”
Up to 90 percent of the EcoBoost truck engine’s peak torque is available from 1,700 rpm to 5,000 rpm. A typical comparable V8 competitor reaches peak torque at higher engine speeds – around 4,000 rpm – and holds it for a much smaller range.
“This is good news for customers because the combination of reaching peak torque at a lower engine speed, and maintaining that torque for a longer period, brings new levels of fuel efficiency with maximum towing capability other competitors can’t match,” said Mazuchowski.
This EcoBoost truck engine also features twin independent variable camshaft timing, or Ti-VCT, to help save fuel. Ti-VCT provides extremely precise variable – yet independent – control of timing for intake and exhaust valves. Ti-VCT also reduces emissions, especially in situations when the throttle is partially open.
Independent adjustment of intake and exhaust valve timing allows maximum fuel economy at part-throttle, while delivering optimized power in full-throttle situations. An added benefit is improved driveability and responsiveness across the torque curve.
An all-new engine
Every Ford truck engine undergoes a tortuous testing program, and the EcoBoost truck engine was no exception.
“We’re testing this EcoBoost truck engine just as we would all of our other F-150 truck engines – we have exactly the same expectations and it has to pass all our truck durability and reliability tests,” said Kris Norman, powertrain operations manager. “From our standpoint, this is an all-new engine specifically designed and engineered for the F-150. Everything is validated to the higher stress levels and higher customer usage levels found in any F-150 engine.”
Three avenues that test and validate engines are computer analysis, laboratory testing and in-vehicle validation. For the 3.5-liter EcoBoost application in the 2011 F-150, that includes:
More than 1.5 million hours of analytical time
More than 13,000 hours of dynamometer testing, including more than 5,000 hours at full boost and more than 2,500 hours at or above 5,000 rpm; the dyno testing helps ensure durability in excess of 150,000 miles
More than 100,000 hours of vehicle test time encompassing the full range of potential customer operating conditions
All the tests together replicate more than 1.6 million miles of customer usage – the harshest-use customer. A customer profile reflecting extreme-use driving style, road types and vehicle usage, including maximum towing and payload situations, was developed to underpin the testing program.
The computer modeling and system analysis especially have been key.
“Instead of constantly building and testing parts, we want to be smarter and use our computer skills and our ability to model things to do the upfront work,” Norman said. “We want to get everything right at the start, then validate with extensive testing.”
Turning up the heat
Engineers put the 3.5-liter EcoBoost truck engine on an extreme, accelerated pace. The thermal cycling test, for example, replicated conditions from the Arctic Circle to Death Valley to simulate 10 years of use in the harshest environments.
“On a thermal cycling test, for example, we want the engine to get hot as fast as possible, so the best way to do that is to go full boost at high speed,” Norman said. “To test the structure of the engine, we run it at full boost with maximum load. We run thousands of hours at full boost – conditions not attainable in a real-drive situation but important for proving this F-150 is ready to go the distance.”
Bold, powerful and confident, the all-new Ford Ranger makes its world debut at the Australian International Motor Show in Sydney. The new face of Built Ford Tough for compact pickup truck customers in 180 markets around the world, Ranger is the result of an all-new global compact truck platform developed in Australia
Ranger delivers an enhanced pickup ownership experience with more power and excellent fuel economy from a new engine family, more capability than ever with exceptional towing and payload capacity, and new levels of driving quality
SYDNEY, September 20, 2010 – Ford is preparing to take the wraps off a comprehensively redesigned, new-generation compact pickup developed in Australia for sale in 180 global markets. The worldwide premiere of the all-new Ford Ranger is certain to be the big news of this year’s Australian International Motor Show, where it will be unveiled on October 15, 2010.
The all-new Ranger is the latest in a wave of global products driven by the ONE Ford strategy. Designed and engineered at Ford’s Campbellfield product development and Geelong proving ground facilities, and based on a new global compact truck platform, Ranger has been transformed to assert true pickup truck leadership.
“Australia has played a leading role in the development of this latest global Ford product,” said Joe Hinrichs, president, Ford Asia Pacific and Africa. “Ranger is symbolic of how our great product development capability is being leveraged by the ONE Ford plan like never before.”
The taut, toned new design of the all-new Ford Ranger establishes a powerful presence on the motor show stage. It will be the first time for the public to see the next-generation Ford compact pickup without its camouflage.
New Ranger prototypes – disguised under heavy black padding, tape and decals to obscure their true identity – have been shot by automotive spy photographers all over the world, as development units clocked more than 1 million kilometres of testing in the toughest conditions, from the Outback to the deserts of the Middle East to the Alps in Europe.
Now, under the lights at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, the covers will come off to reveal a dazzlingly contemporary new look for the future of Ford Ranger pickup truck capability. It makes a powerful promise – backed by Ford’s Australian and global expertise – to owners around the world.
From impressive gains in power and fuel economy – the result of its new engine family – to outstanding pickup truck capability that includes exceptional towing and payload capacity, the next-generation Ford Ranger emerges as a clear segment leader. It not only builds on the tremendous Ranger heritage of capability, but it also gives owners a spacious, comfortable, feature-filled interior and sophisticated driving experience that they would expect only from a car.
Visitors to the 2010 Australian International Motor Show can experience the exciting lineup of Ford vehicles, along with a host of interactive activities for motoring enthusiasts and families, from October 15-24 at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Ford will put thousands of people behind the wheel of the new 2011 Ford F-150 months before the vehicle arrives in dealer showrooms
Thousands of people will have the opportunity to test drive the new 2011 Ford F-150 months before it arrives in dealer showrooms so they can see for themselves how the all-new powertrain lineup performs and how the truck stacks up against the competition
Built Ford Tough Roundup drive program will travel to seven cities – Dallas, Houston, Detroit, Atlanta, Orlando, Los Angeles and Aberdeen, Maryland – between now and November
2011 Ford F-150 features the most extensive powertrain overhaul in the 62-year history of F-Series, with four new engines including a new 3.5-liter EcoBoost™
DEARBORN, Mich., Sept. 17, 2010 – Ford will put some 20,000 people behind the wheel of the new 2011 Ford F-150 months before the vehicle arrives in dealer showrooms so they can see for themselves how its all-new powertrain lineup – including the much-anticipated 3.5-liter EcoBoost – performs and how F-150 stacks up against the competition.
The Ford EcoBoost engine will be available in 90 percent of the 2011 Ford F-150 lineup.
The Built Ford Tough Roundup, a comprehensive drive program for consumers, fleet customers, and dealership sales staff, will travel to seven cities throughout the country between now and November. Additionally, Ford will offer drives of its full car and truck lineup to fair-goers at the State Fair of Texas in Dallas next month.
“We know that once people get into the 2011 F-150 and experience the four new engines that they’re really going to be sold on them. Some of our dealers had a chance to drive it and one constant feedback was ‘Wow!’” said Mark Grueber, F-150 Marketing manager. “Customers tell us they’re really impressed with the specs of the new engines – including best-in-class horsepower, torque, trailer tow and fuel economy – but they want to get behind the wheel and compare it with the competition.”
Participants who sign up for the drive experience at www.driveF150.com will be able to test drive the new 2011 F-150 and compare the power to competitive vehicles in an acceleration drive, which is set up like a drag race. They’ll also be able to see for themselves how the EcoBoost engine performs towing a trailer.
From this site, consumers can “share” the link on Facebook and write about it on their wall. Additionally, the public registration link can be accessed directly through Facebook at: www.facebook.com/fordtrucks.
“It’s a great opportunity for people to experience how the new F-150 compares to the competition in back-to-back drives and do things they would not be able to do easily in a dealership test drive,” said Grueber.
In addition to the drive activities, there will be plenty of information on display with product experts on hand to answer questions, as well as activities the whole family can enjoy including a remote-control F-150 SVT Raptor race course and a bounce house for the kids.
The first drive event will be held in Dallas at Texas Motor Speedway on Sept. 24-25. Other cities include Houston, Atlanta, Orlando, Los Angeles and Aberdeen, Maryland. For a complete listing of dates and locations, please visit http://www.drivef150.com/.
All-new 2012 Ford Focus will offer an exclusive suite of innovative airbags that help customize protection in the most common frontal and side crashes
Focus is launching Ford’s next-generation driver-front airbag with enhanced chest protection technology designed to help reduce chest and rib injuries
Innovative side airbags help enhance chest protection for front seat occupants with shoulder vents that deliver varying levels of pressure based on the size of the occupant and how much of their shoulder blocks the vent
Focus will be Ford’s first car ever with a front passenger airbag with adaptive venting designed to help enhance head and neck protection by better matching deployment force with occupant size
The next-generation airbags will debut as standard equipment on the all-new Ford Focus on sale early in 2011 in North America. The new airbags will roll out on other Ford vehicles in the next few years
Focus is launching Ford’s next-generation driver-front airbag with enhanced chest protection technology designed to help reduce chest and rib injuries
DEARBORN, Mich., Sept. 16, 2010 – The all-new 2012 Ford Focus will launch exclusive airbag technologies that enhance protection for front seat occupants in the most common frontal and side crashes.
The suite of new innovations includes Ford’s next-generation driver-front airbag with enhanced chest protection technology. The new airbag uses a reconfigured curve-shaped tether system that pulls in the lower section to create a “pocket” to help lessen the impact of the airbag on the driver’s chest and ribs in frontal crashes.
Ford’s innovative side airbags feature unique shoulder vents that stay open and reduce pressure for smaller occupants who typically benefit from reduced forces. Taller occupants whose shoulders block the vent could benefit from the higher pressures.
Focus also will be Ford’s first car ever to feature front passenger airbags with adaptive venting technology that diverts some of the gas from the airbag inflators through vents outside of the airbags. The restraints control module – the control center of Ford’s advanced safety systems – adjusts the level of venting based on seat position.
The new passenger airbag is designed to help enhance head and neck protection by better matching deployment force with occupant size. This innovative system uses a small pyrotechnic device to force open the vent and can provide less pressure in the airbag when it’s sufficient to help protect the occupant.
“This is our most advanced airbag system ever in a Ford car, and is designed to enhance protection for front occupants in the most common types of crashes,” said Sue Cischke, Ford group vice president, Sustainability, Environment and Safety Engineering. “Each of these airbags uses innovative technologies to help customize airbag protection to the occupant.”
The new airbag technologies debut as standard equipment on the all-new 2012 Ford Focus, which goes on sale early next year in North America. They will be rolled out to other Ford vehicles in the next few years.
Data drive new airbag design
Ford’s new driver-side airbag was designed to enhance chest and rib protection based in part on Ford’s biomechanical research. In particular, Ford found this type of enhanced chest protection technology would be especially helpful in more serious crashes.
“While seat belts and airbags provide proven protection for drivers of all ages, elderly drivers remain at higher risk of injury than younger drivers due to the nature of collision forces,” said Frank Heitplatz, Ford supervisor of occupant safety integration. “Decades of biomechanical research at Ford continue to spur refinement of the safety technologies in our vehicles to further reduce the risks of severe injuries.”
Focus’s strength on safety
In addition to the new airbags, the new Focus’s vehicle structure provides enhanced crash protection as well as improved vehicle dynamics.
High-strength steels comprise 55 percent of the Focus’s body shell, and ultra-high-strength and boron steels make up more than 31 percent of its skeletal structure. These advanced materials help the structure meet crash regulations across world markets, while minimizing the vehicle’s weight to help maximize fuel economy.
“High-strength steels were key to delivering the lighter weight and higher strength we needed for structural efficiency,” said Shawn Morgans, Ford technical leader in body engineering. “We believe the materials used on the new Focus are setting a new benchmark in the small car segment.”
Ford was the first automaker to begin airbag research five decades ago. It fielded an airbag test fleet in 1971, offered a driver-side airbag in 1985 and standardized driver and front passenger airbags in most vehicles by 1993. In recent years, Ford has introduced a variety of crash protection systems – ranging from canopy airbags to knee bolsters – designed to improve occupant protection. Ford has the most Top Safety Picks from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety of any automaker.
Ford E-Series has been America’s best-selling full-size van for 31 consecutive years
The E-Series 2011 product lineup includes a commemorative 50th anniversary edition with a full suite of Ford-exclusive, state-of-the-art technologies like Ford Work Solutions™ and SYNC®
Econoline was introduced for the 1961 model year as a commercial vehicle in three bodystyles. The Club Wagon line soon followed, designed for customers looking for a personal-use vehicle and light towing
The E-Series line has thrived over the years as Ford offered product variations to meet specific customer needs
DEARBORN, Mich., Sept. 13, 2010 – Ford E-Series, America’s best-selling full-size van for 31 straight years, marks 50 years of meeting customer needs with production of the 2011 model, enhanced with state-of-the-art technologies at Ford’s Ohio Assembly Plant in Avon Lake.
E-Series, synonymous with capability and reliability since its debut in 1961, will offer a commemorative 50th anniversary edition, available as an XLT model, the van’s premium package. The anniversary edition features unique blue metallic exterior paint, specially embroidered “Econoline” front seatbacks and unique “Econoline 50 Years” badging on the left-rear cargo door.
It’s all designed to appeal to the enthusiast who recognizes the long-term durability of a van that has maintained a steady presence throughout 50 years of societal change.
“Ford has maintained its level of success for E-Series by continually monitoring its customers’ needs and maintaining a high level of quality,” said Craig Ruggirello, assistant marketing manager for E-Series. “If there’s a secret to its success, that might just be it.”
Back in the beginning
E-Series debuted as the Econoline in 1961, designed for commercial customers. Three bodystyles were available – Pickup, Delivery Van and Station Bus. The pickup delivered up to 30 mpg and carried a three-quarter-ton payload in a big 7-foot box. The van offered 204 cubic feet of cargo space – up to 57 cubic feet more than competitors – and had double doors at the side and rear for easy loading. The Station Bus, with twice the interior room of the biggest station wagon of the day, was designed to accommodate up to eight passengers when fitted with two optional bench seats as well as the standard driver and passenger buckets.
A year later Club Wagon arrived, a family-friendly version of the Econoline designed for family transportation along with light towing.
As popular as those series became, they soon weren’t enough. What started as a light commercial vehicle had been discovered by campers and other outdoor vacationers. By 1965 the Econoline van – already America’s biggest-selling van – had a new teammate: Econoline SuperVan. SuperVan was a full 16 inches longer than any other van, offering room to spare for loads eight-and-a-half-feet long behind the engine compartment.
By 1969, the second-generation Econoline vans had hit the market, modernized with V8 engines and air conditioning and joined by the Club Wagon series, which offered a revolutionary new twin I-beam front suspension for a smooth, quiet ride. In 1971, power steering became an Econoline option, and then the model line expanded again to include the Parcel Delivery Van and a cutaway model for the rapidly growing RV market.
In 1975, when van popularity hit new heights, Ford introduced the third generation of Econoline. The new van featured body-on-frame construction, higher gross vehicle weight ratings, an improved interior package and a wider selection of engines. This design was offered in the same basic configuration for the next 17 years.
Extending its reach
Over the years, Ford kept tabs on the wants and needs of its customers. In 1976, for instance, the Econoline made a youthful statement with the Cruising Van, a factory-customized model with mod paint schemes, porthole panel windows and a carpeted interior.
Econoline continued to extend its reach, and its popularity grew. Third-party van conversion companies helped make Econoline a favorite among buyers looking for customized features. Other bodymakers, including ambulance companies and shuttle van manufacturers, adopted Econoline. Partly because of the van’s popularity with commercial bodymakers, Ford introduced a chassis cab model in 1978.
Over the next few years, the improvements continued. In 1981, higher payloads appeared on most models, and halogen headlamps became standard. In 1987, an eight-passenger Club Wagon was introduced. Then in 1992, the entire line got a redesign.
A fourth generation – and more
The fourth generation of Econoline vans and Club Wagons were completely modernized after 17 years – redesigned aerodynamically and stylistically to meet the needs of the ’90s. Airbags were added, the sheet metal was new. There was new front end styling and dramatic improvements in quietness. Popularity of the full-size vans continued to soar. In fact, MOTOR TREND magazine named the 1992 Ford Econoline Chateau Club Wagon its Truck of the Year. In 1997, the line was refreshed with overhead-cam engines, including the only V10 in the segment.
Taking on the new millennium
For 2001, Ford introduced the E-Traveler model, keeping up with the increasingly crowded market of SUVs and passenger vans, and debuting the shorter, snappier “E” version of the name. “E-Series” replaced “Econoline” in company literature, and Ford kept close tabs on an ever-changing market to make certain its long-standing product would thrive.
Then for 2008, Ford streamlined the E-Series, reintroducing the series as a strictly commercial vehicle and revamping the offerings to meet its emerging fleet customer needs. Cargo space was increased. Chassis and suspension improvements led to a more solid ride and also resulted in best-in-class capability. The front end design was inspired by Ford Super Duty to emphasize that this was a Built Ford Tough van.
For 2011, the E-Series’ winning streak continues – it proudly carries the title of America’s best-selling full-size van for 31 consecutive years. Available technologies like Ford Work Solutions, SYNC voice-activated communications and entertainment system, and a Navigation System with HD Radio™ bring E-Series squarely into the future, setting the stage for both productivity and customer satisfaction.
Ford and CenterPoint Energy will work together to develop consumer outreach and education programs on electric vehicles as well as share information on charging needs and requirements to ensure the electrical infrastructure can support the necessary demand.
The Ford and CenterPoint Energy collaboration also includes developing strategies to minimize the emissions and distribution impacts of charging electric vehicles by using statewide system renewable energy resources and more efficient use of household electricity. This will be achieved by leveraging and showcasing CenterPoint Energy's smart meter and intelligent grid deployment coupled with Ford's smart charging solutions.
Over the next two years, Ford will introduce the Transit Connect Electric small commercial van, the Ford Focus Electric passenger car, two third generation lithium-ion battery hybrids (2012) and a plug-in hybrid (2012).
Ford is working with utilities across the country to educate consumers about what to expect from electrified automobiles and what is needed from the public and private sector to support this new technology. Houston is the third stop on the “Charging Into the Future Tour – Ford Electric Vehicle Tour.”
HOUSTON: Sept. 14, 2010 – Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) and CenterPoint Energy, Inc.’s (NYSE: CNP), electric transmission and distribution subsidiary today announced a collaboration to help prepare the Houston area for the operation of electric vehicles. Ford and CenterPoint Energy will work together to develop consumer outreach and education programs on electric vehicles as well as share information on charging needs and requirements to ensure the electrical infrastructure can support the necessary demand.
“Ford has a an aggressive plan to bring five new electrified vehicles to market over the next two years including the Transit Connect Electric later this year and the Focus battery electric in late 2011,” said Chris Pick, Global Electrification Business Planning Manager, Ford Motor Company. “There is an incredible excitement for electric vehicles in the Houston area. To support the roll out and acceptance of these vehicles in Houston and across the country, it is crucial to work with local utilities to make sure the necessary electric infrastructure is ready.”
“Together we will develop strategies to ensure the emissions and distribution impacts of charging electric vehicles will be minimized by encouraging both more efficient use of household electricity and plugging in vehicles at times when renewable energy resources are more likely to be the power source,” said Charles Flynn, director of Energy Efficiency Programs for CenterPoint Energy. “Long term, we hope to leverage and showcase CenterPoint Energy's smart meter and intelligent grid deployment coupled with Ford's smart charging solutions.”
Ford and CenterPoint Energy also plan to work with state and local officials around permitting and regulations to support electric vehicle infrastructure. An easy charging station permitting process is considered one of the keys to electric vehicle acceptance in the Houston area, Texas and across the country.
The collaboration between Ford and CenterPoint Energy was announced during Ford’s “Charging Into the Future Tour.” The 14-city tour, which kicked off at Portland State University in Portland, Ore. last month, promotes Ford’s electric vehicle strategy and educates consumers about what to expect from electrified automobiles and what is needed from the public and private sector to support this new technology.
Over the next two years, Ford will introduce the Transit Connect Electric small commercial van, the Ford Focus Electric passenger car, two third generation lithium-ion battery hybrids (2012) and a plug-in hybrid (2012). These vehicles will achieve breakthrough efficiency; some, like the pure battery electric Ford Transit Connect Electric and Ford Focus Electric, will use no gasoline at all.
Electrification is an important piece of Ford’s overall product sustainability strategy that includes a range of fuel efficient and alternative fuel technologies including EcoBoost engines, six speed transmissions, power assisted steering, aerodynamic improvements and light weighting materials. Ford’s electrification strategy also leverages the most fuel-efficient powertrains, the most technically competent hybrids and our global vehicle platforms in order to develop affordable choices for consumers.
Bill Goldberg is especially proud to be associated with Ford and the Ford: Operation Drive one program. Bill has a long history with the military and supporting military causes. He's been involved with the Wounded Warriors in and around Southern California and has traveled extensively in the U.S. and overseas visiting the troops.
Ford launched Operation Drive One to honor the men and women of the military, donating $20 per test drive for the National Military Family Association through Drive one 4 UR Troops. The 10-stop tour was designed to provide U.S. military bases with fun, family entertainment including driving challenges, interactive vehicle displays and classic car shows.
Utility and customers will showcase new Ford Transit Connect Electric Vans
OAK PARK, MI, September 8, 2010 – Xcel Energy and a coalition of its customers have been selected to be among the first in the country to receive the all-electric Ford Transit Connect Electric commercial van. Azure Dynamics Corp., a hybrid electric and electric power train innovator for the commercial truck market, has named Xcel Energy to its “Lead Customer” program to receive a total of 13 vans. An initial van will be delivered in late 2010 with the remaining 12 vans scheduled for delivery in 2011. Ford Transit Connect Electric is a collaborative effort between Ford Motor Company and Azure and reflects the increasing interest in electrified vehicles for the commercial sector.
Xcel Energy, a major U.S. electricity and natural gas company, will add two of the 13 vans into its corporate fleet. The company will also provide $20,000 grants from its Chairman’s Fund to support the purchase of 11 additional Ford Transit Connect Electric vans for its project partners. These partners will agree to invest the remaining cost to take delivery of each van.
“We are excited to be part of this innovative initiative that will help encourage the market for electric vehicles and supports our company’s environmental leadership strategy,” said Dick Kelly, Xcel Energy chairman and CEO. “The Ford Transit Connect Electric is a significant technological achievement in electric transportation, and we want our company and key partners to be among the first to experience this new technology and to help promote it within the communities we serve.”
The Chairman’s Fund is provided through Xcel Energy shareholders, and supports innovative community projects that advance, demonstrate or promote clean energy technologies. Xcel Energy will help fund the vehicles for a number of municipalities, government agencies and businesses that wish to purchase the vehicles and demonstrate the technology. The city of Saint Paul, Minn., is expected to receive the first pre-production Ford Transit Connect Electric in late 2010. The company is finalizing agreements with others eligible to participate, including the city of Minneapolis and Hennepin County in Minnesota and the city of Denver in Colorado. All vehicles will be delivered by year-end 2011. Xcel Energy is also providing technical support and some electric distribution infrastructure to support the effort.
“Azure’s experience with electric vehicles spans more than 20 years and millions of miles driven,” said Scott Harrison, Azure Dynamics CEO. “Still, we understand that the overall electric vehicle market is in its infancy, and we believe strong partnerships with energy producers like Xcel Energy can lead to important developments for both sides. For this reason, we’re thrilled to welcome Xcel Energy to the Ford Transit Connect Electric lead customer program and are appreciative of its support in getting our product into the hands of several of its noteworthy customers.”
To create the Ford Transit Connect Electric, Azure Dynamics integrates its ForceDriveTM electric drive train into the body of a Ford Transit Connect, the dedicated global commercial van platform that received the 2010 North American Truck of the Year award.
“The Ford Transit Connect Electric is the first of five electrified vehicles we will launch over the next three years,” said Nancy Gioia, director of global electrification. “Through our partnership with Azure Dynamics, the Ford Transit Connect Electric will allow businesses like Xcel Energy to operate more environmentally-friendly while reducing its need for gasoline.”
Commercial van users often have predictable, short-range routes with frequent stop-and-go driving and high idle time; these are all performance characteristics that allow for maximum benefit of the Ford Transit Connect Electric and its ForceDriveTM powertrain.
The Ford Transit Connect Electric utilizes an advanced lithium-ion battery from Johnson Controls-Saft to achieve a range of up to 80 miles on a single charge and is rechargeable using either a 240-volt or standard 120-volt outlet. Commercial vans generally return to a central location at the end of each driving cycle making for easy overnight recharging. Use of the vehicles will also reduce fuel and maintenance costs, as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The 2011 Ford Edge comes to market with unique print, television and digital advertising.
2011 Ford Edge comes to market with unique print, television and digital advertising showcasing the vehicle’s MyFord Touch™ driver connect technology, its sharp exterior design and unsurpassed fuel economy
An interactive website accessible through www.fordvehicles.com/edge offers consumers an opportunity to explore MyFord Touch in an informative, engaging way
Ford will use two consecutive print ads, without a photo of the vehicle on the first page – an unusual move for an automaker
Ford Edge has been the leader in the midsize crossover segment since its launch in late 2006, with year-to-date sales exceeding 400,000; the 2011 model sports a bolder exterior design, improved materials and craftsmanship in the interior, new powertrains and a suite of 12 class-exclusive technologies
DEARBORN, Mich., Sept. 9, 2010 – One of the new print ads just launched for the 2011 Ford Edge features a full-page photo of ruby red lips and a caption that reads, “The Edge understands 10,000 word commands.” It’s not until you get to the second page that you actually see a beauty shot of Ford’s newly redesigned crossover with a caption that begins, “What other car can say that?”
Look a little closer at the ad, and you’ll see that the cracks in the lips are actually an assortment of the voice commands that the MyFord Touch system understands.
The print ad – which showcases MyFord Touch driver connect technology – is part of a multimedia marketing campaign for the Edge that has just shifted into high gear. It’s a unique way to market a vehicle, and one expected to draw a lot of attention to the new Ford Edge – a vehicle that is redefining what it takes to be a crossover, according to Eric Peterson, Edge communications manager.
“We have even better styling and design, and the groundbreaking MyFord Touch technology will change the way drivers interact with their cars,” said Peterson.
MyFord Touch combines a variety of technologies into one powerful, intuitive connected driver experience that replaces many of the traditional vehicle buttons, knobs and gauges. With more voice commands; clear, crisp, customizable LCD screens; and five-way buttons like those found on cell phones and MP3 players, drivers can choose which information is front and center through a button click, voice command or touch-screen tap.
Because the technology is so revolutionary, all advertising directs consumers to the Edge site on www.fordvehicles.com, where they can link to an innovative interactive experience designed to immerse them in the technology in an engaging way.
“The whole notion of MyFord Touch invites exploration,” said Peterson. “The website invites people in to learn more about the technology and craft a customized experience using their own Facebook page.”
Print ads also include information that will enable consumers to access the MyFord Touch mobile site on their smartphones.
In addition to MyFord Touch, the print, television and digital ads for the Edge spotlight the vehicle’s sharp new exterior design, unsurpassed fuel economy and fun-to-drive characteristics.
In keeping with the Edge consumer, print ads will be featured in a variety of specialty publications including Forbes, Traditional Home, Sports Illustrated, InStyle, Men’s Health, Automobile, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.
The Edge also will have a strong presence on national television in commercials airing during popular programming, including The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, ESPN’s SportsCenter, 20/20 and House. In addition, Edge will be integrated into programs such as The Fashion Show 2 on Bravo, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, The Biggest Loser, NFL on Fox Pregame Show and the Fox science fiction series Fringe.
Digital marketing efforts also target the Edge consumer, says Peterson.
“When people are shopping or looking for Edge online, we’ll be there – whether it’s embedded in text or as part of their shopping experience,” he said. “We will be contextually relevant with the way we use all the media channels.”
2011 Ford Edge: Technology, design and class-leading powertrains in revamped package
The Edge has been the leader in the midsize crossover segment since its launch in late 2006, with year-to-date sales exceeding 400,000 vehicles.
For the 2011 model year, style and technology come together in an all-new way, offering customers even more of what they love.
Dramatically freshened for 2011, the Ford Edge sports a bolder exterior design, improved materials and craftsmanship in the interior, new powertrains and a suite of 12 standard and available class-exclusive features:
Ford SYNC® with Traffic, Directions and Information
Adaptive cruise control and collision warning with brake support
AdvanceTrac® with RSC® (Roll Stability Control™)
BLIS® (Blind Spot Information System) with cross-traffic alert
SecuriCode™ keyless entry keypad
Six-speed SelectShift Automatic™ (transmission)
Integrated blind spot mirrors
MyKey® programmable vehicle key
Easy Fuel® (capless fuel filler)
22-inch aluminum wheels
iTunes® Tagging in factory-installed HD Radio™ receiver
The all-new powertrain lineup includes a new V6 engine with twin independent variable camshaft timing (Ti-VCT) to help Edge deliver best-in-class horsepower and torque versus standard V6 competitors. Fuel economy is unbeatable, with 19 mpg city and 27 mpg highway (front-wheel-drive, SEL and Limited).
The 2010 Ford Transit Connect handily hauled home the 2010 North American Truck of the Year. The award was announced at a 2010 North American International Auto Show news conference.
The Transit Connect is part of the Ford global portfolio of products, and was introduced to North America in 2009 to meet the unique needs of small business owners. The Transit Connect is a spacious, fuel-efficient alternative to larger commercial vehicles, and it’s ideal for navigating U.S. cities.
The 2010 North American Truck of the Year recognizes the most outstanding vehicle of the year based on many factors, including innovation, design, safety, handling, driver satisfaction and value. To be eligible, vehicles must be all-new or substantially changed from the previous model. The jury is comprised of 50 automotive journalists in Canada and the United States, representing newspapers, magazines, web sites, television and radio shows.
This is the 17th year of the award, and the 2010 Ford Transit Connect was selected above nine other competitors. Ford has a bit of experience winning this award. Most recently, the F-150 was the 2009 North American Truck of the Year. A Ford vehicle has taken home the honors five times; more than any other brand.
The 2010 Ford Transit Connect is a global Ford product that can be adapted to multiple commercial business applications. It has more than double the cargo-carrying space of the Chevrolet HHR Panel, and it offers users a cargo payload of up to 1,600 pounds, which means that it can carry a larger payload than the full-size Dodge Ram 1500 standard-cab short-box pickup truck.
With 135 cubic feet of Transit Connect cargo volume, no other vehicle in the American market can deliver this combination of capacity and fuel economy.
Transit Connect is powered by a 2.0-liter I-4 engine with a four-speed automatic overdrive transmission. The vehicle offers double the fuel economy of full-size vans with a rating of 22 mpg city and 25 mpg highway.
More than 600,000 Ford Transit Connects have been sold since 2003, to customers in 58 countries and on four continents.
Ford F-150 SVT Raptor again is raising the bar for high-speed off-road performance trucks by adding a SuperCrew option and more standard power and towing capability for 2011
The previously optional 6.2-liter V8 engine, which produces 411 horsepower and 434 lb.-ft. of torque, now comes standard for 2011, making Raptor the most powerful half-ton pickup on the market
Upgraded technology content, including a standard 4.2-inch LCD productivity screen and SelectShift Automatic™ transmission, keeps customers more in tune with their trucks, while a new graphic and color choice gives them more options
DEARBORN, Mich., Sept. 3, 2010 – A new standard 6.2-liter V8 engine pumping out 411 horsepower, new technologies and a newly available SuperCrew option that gives Raptor customers more choices in cab size all ensure the 2011 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor will remain the off-road performance truck champion in the new model year.
“When we launched the F-150 SVT Raptor, consumers were blown away with the capability of the vehicle,” said Jost Capito, director of global performance vehicles and motorsports business development. “By adding the SuperCrew, we have expanded the versatility of Raptor, and now even more enthusiasts will be able to experience the no-compromise off-road performance that only Raptor delivers.”
The F-150 SVT Raptor is the first-ever high-speed off-road performance truck offered by any manufacturer and highlights 33 years of Ford truck sales leadership by emphasizing F-150’s Built Ford Tough durability, innovation and engineering. Developed with the DNA of an off-road pre-runner, comprehensive modifications focused on chassis and suspension enhancements.
The F-150 SVT Raptor is 7 inches wider than a base F-150 to make room for the additional suspension components that give Raptor its unparalleled off-road abilities. The wider stance also gives the truck an aggressive appearance. Internal triple-bypass shocks by FOX Racing Shox – the first on a production truck – provide position-sensitive damping and extra suspension travel for extreme off-roading and a smooth ride on the road.
Raptor also has unique cast-aluminum front control arms and SVT-tuned 35-inch BFGoodrich® All-Terrain TA/KO 315/70-17 tires. These components give Raptor 11.2 inches of front suspension travel and 12.1 inches of rear suspension travel on either SuperCab or the new SuperCrew.
The new available 145-inch-wheelbase SuperCrew offering with a 5.5-foot box adds to the extensive list of F-150 SVT Raptor features. While contributing additional space and flexibility for the customer, the SuperCrew delivers performance as well.
Applying lessons learned from the SuperCab F-150 SVT Raptor, engineers were able to tune the truck to handle off-road events with ease. The 12-inch-longer wheelbase on SuperCrew also delivers the benefit of a more comfortable ride, especially in rough off-road situations.
“We spent a lot of time getting the ride and suspension characteristics of the SuperCrew similar to that of the SuperCab, and we were successful in getting the same character and flavor out of the SuperCrew,” said Jamal Hameedi, SVT chief nameplate engineer. “While the SuperCab and SuperCrew both have different strengths, each is worthy of the Raptor nameplate.”
A larger 36-gallon fuel tank and increased towing capability – rated at 8,000 pounds – keep F-150 SVT Raptor SuperCrew a mainstay in the desert environment, with capabilities as a chase or tow truck.
Revved up and ready
The previously optional 6.2-liter V8 engine, which produces 411 horsepower and 434 lb.-ft. of torque, will now be the standard engine for the 2011 F-150 SVT Raptor, the most powerful half-ton pickup on the market.
The Ford powertrain team performed extensive testing to ensure the engine would live up to the Built Ford Tough promise. Hundreds of additional tests beyond the normal verification of truck engines, as well as vehicle testing on a 62-mile durability loop in the desert that simulates the Baja 1000, validated the performance of the engine for reliability and longevity in the harshest conditions.
New color and graphic options
Raptor’s exterior also receives some new touches for 2011, in the form of an additional paint color – Ingot Silver Metallic – that will be available with the standard black interior, or the optional Molten Orange Interior Accent Package.
A new optional hood graphic adds a personalized and functional touch to F-150 SVT Raptor. Inspired by older off-road racing Ford Broncos, matte black accent graphics – including the F-150 SVT Raptor logo – run along the hood, also helping to reduce glare. The Raptor logo in the graphic is done in body-color bleed-through, similar to “SVT” on the side vent. “F-150” and “SVT” are written in dark gray. The graphic is available with or without the box side graphics.
More capability, more technology
Key to helping customers take advantage of all the capability offered by the F-150 SVT Raptor is a standard 4.2-inch LCD (liquid crystal display) productivity screen that is integrated in the center of the new instrument gauges, which have a black face, red pointers and ice blue daytime lighting. Also used on the all-new 2011 Super Duty, the technology was specifically tailored for off-road use with Raptor.
The screen includes a unique welcome animation and offers menu options giving the customer important information related to off-road and towing performance. A truck application screen provides vehicle status information for important off-road parameters such as off-road mode, Hill Descent Control™, electronic locking differential settings and AdvanceTrac® with RSC® (Roll Stability Control™).
An off-road screen informs the customer about steering wheel angle and vehicle angle on a grade during off-road maneuvers. The menu is navigated through a five-way button on the steering wheel and is positioned between the tachometer and speedometer.
“The productivity screen is a great solution for our off-road customers,” said Hameedi. “With one glance, they can tell exactly what settings are enabled on their truck and what the driveline is doing.”
For the customer who wants more control of transmission gear selection, SelectShift Automatic transmission functionality also is introduced on Raptor. A toggle switch located on the console shift lever engages the mode, where the transmission doesn’t second-guess the driver, giving him or her total control over gear selection and performance feel. Upshifts, for instance, are not commanded at redline, and downshifts are allowed at the lowest gear possible as defined by the engine speed.
A Raptor Plus Package debuts for 2011, offering the rear view camera and trailer brake controller. The Raptor Luxury Package also receives additional features, with folding power exterior mirrors and Remote Start System with integrated key fob added to the list.
New standard technology features for 2011 include:
Integrated spotter mirror
Express up/down driver and passenger front windows
110 V power inverter in the center console
Head restraint for second-row middle seat
Telescoping steering wheel
2010 Raptor equals hot seller
Sales of the truck are off to an impressive start, selling four times quicker than the average
F-150, with the 2010 F-150 SVT Raptor equipped with the 6.2-liter engine selling within 11 days of arriving at dealerships. In fact, 2010 F-150 SVT Raptor sales are set to exceed the highest model year sales of the F-150 SVT Lightning.
Give Paul Brown a call at 530-682-7693 and get one on order today.
FORD MARKET SHARE GAINS CONTINUE IN AUGUST AS BUYERS
TURN TO LINEUP OF HIGH-QUALITY, FUEL-EFFICIENT PRODUCTS
Ford, Lincoln and Mercury August sales totaled 157,503 – lower than strong year-ago levels
Ford’s year-to-date sales up 18 percent versus year ago – double the growth of the overall industry
Market share continues to grow; August marked the 22nd time in the last 23 months Ford’s retail share increased as buyers continue turning to Ford’s fresh lineup of high-quality, fuel-efficient vehicles
Ford announces fourth quarter production plan
DEARBORN, Mich., Sept. 1, 2010 – Consumer demand for Ford’s fresh lineup of high-quality, fuel-efficient vehicles helped the company continue to grow its retail market share in August for the 22nd time in the last 23 months.
Ford, Lincoln and Mercury dealers delivered 157,503 new vehicles in August, down 11 percent versus a year ago, when Ford outpaced the industry during the “Cash for Clunkers” sales program.
Year-to-date, Ford sales totaled 1.28 million, up 18 percent – double the growth of the overall industry.
“Ford continues to outperform the overall industry,” said Ken Czubay, Ford vice president, U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service. “In this market, consumers are looking for vehicles that offer industry-leading quality, fuel economy, safety and technologies, and growing numbers of them are turning to Ford.”
Last August, the Ford Focus and Escape were among the industry’s best sellers during the “Cash for Clunkers” program. Even though both products had strong sales results this August, they had large declines against last year’s record sales.
Products with higher sales than a year ago include:
Ford’s popular F-Series truck, which posted one of its highest sales months in the last two years. August sales totaled 47,652, up 5 percent versus a year ago. Year-to-date, F-Series sales totaled 338,446, making it the only U.S. vehicle to eclipse the 300,000 milestone in 2010.
Sales for Ford’s E-Series van totaled 10,251, up 92 percent versus a year ago. The E-Series van has been America’s best-selling commercial van for 31 straight years; year-to-date sales totaled 74,608.
Taurus sales were 5,122 in August, up 51 percent. The all-new Taurus debuted a year ago and has posted strong year-to-year increases every month since introduction. Taurus year-to-date sales are more than double last year’s sales.
Although total sales were down slightly from last August, Mustang retail sales are up 15 percent.
Sales Outlook and North American Production
In the fourth quarter of 2010, Ford plans to produce 570,000 vehicles. In the fourth quarter of 2009, the company Ford produced 574,000.
“The Ford plan is to match capacity with the real demand, and we continue to monitor the key economic indicators as we make adjustments,” Czubay said.
In the third quarter, Ford plans to produce 570,000 vehicles, unchanged from the previously announced level.
PickupTrucks.com's Mike Levine takes a look at the all-new 2011 Ford F-150 engine lineup. Powertrains include 3.7-L V-6, 5.0-L V-8 and 3.5-L V-6 EcoBoost engines, all standard with six-speed automatic transmissions. The 6.2-liter V-8 is rolled out to new models.
Ford's Police Interceptor utility will deliver at least a 20 percent improvement
in fuel-economy over the outgoing Crown Victoria Police Interceptor.
Ford’s new Police Interceptor utility is designed to complement the sedan introduced earlier this year and give law enforcement agencies a comprehensive choice for pursuit vehicles
The purpose-built sedan and utility Police Interceptors will deliver at least 20 percent better fuel economy than the current Crown Victoria Police Interceptor
Ford’s utility and sedan Police Interceptors will debut simultaneously when production of the Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor ceases in late 2011
Chicago, Sept. 1, 2010 – Ford Motor Company today revealed its newest pursuit-rated vehicle – Ford’s first-ever specially designed Police Interceptor utility built for the rigors of police work.
The new vehicle is designed to complement Ford’s all-new Police Interceptor sedan, which was introduced earlier this year. Combined, the two vehicles provide law enforcement agencies the ultimate in versatility and choice, something no other police vehicle on the road today can match.
“We understand today’s police departments require adaptability,” said Mark Fields, Ford’s president of The Americas. “Ford is committed to remaining the nation’s largest provider of police vehicles, and we’re offering law enforcement officials a complete portfolio of options that are purpose-built, capable and delivered with the safety, technology and performance they need to excel at their jobs.”
Ford, the police vehicle market leader for 15 years, developed both Police Interceptors to allow departments to maximize versatility without sacrificing quality. Both vehicles will debut simultaneously and be offered without interruption when production of the Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor ends in late 2011.
Meeting a spectrum of needs
With the introduction of its newest Police Interceptor, Ford now provides a complete package of performance and capability designed to meet the diverse and ever-increasing needs of law enforcement agencies across the U.S.
Ford’s new Police Interceptor utility vehicle is equipped with the highly efficient 3.5-liter V6 engine. This Ti-VCT engine, delivering at least 280 horsepower and E85 compatibility, is mated to a unique six-speed automatic transmission that combines lowered initial gears for improved off-the-line acceleration and higher gearing for improved efficiency at lower engine rpm when cruising. Two drivetrain options are available, providing off-road capability teamed with a multipurpose cargo area specially calibrated for loads up to 800 pounds.
Both the sedan and utility are rated for the severe-duty cycle that police professionals undertake on a daily basis and will deliver at least 20 percent more fuel efficiency than the 4.6-liter single overhead cam (SOHC) V8 offered in the current Crown Victoria Police Interceptor.
Police input key to development
When developing the next-generation Police Interceptors, Ford worked with its Police Advisory Board of law enforcement professionals to provide input on key vehicle attributes such as safety, performance, durability, driver convenience and comfort.
“The combination of both the sedan and utility versions of the Police Interceptor allows Ford to deliver a complete, diverse and efficient solution to all of law enforcements’ pursuit needs,” said Ken Czubay, vice president of Marketing, Sales and Service. “These vehicles were developed step-by-step with our valuable Police Advisory Board, so we have had customer feedback throughout the development process and provided an efficient solution for fleet managers.”
Keeping it safe
Like the sedan, the utility version of the Police Interceptor puts a priority on safety. Continuing Ford’s safety leadership includes engineering both Police Interceptors to pass 75-mph rear-end crash testing. Currently, the Crown Victoria Police Interceptor is the only pursuit sedan to meet this test.
The Police Interceptor utility vehicle features Ford’s exclusive Safety Canopy® side-curtain airbag rollover protection system that helps protect passengers in both rollover and side-impact crashes. The multiple side-curtain airbags use Ford’s unique roll-fold technology to help position them between the occupant and the side window.
Staying in control
Unique to the utility vehicle is Ford’s state-of-the-art curve control technology, designed to help drivers maintain control of their vehicles when taking curves at high speeds. Curve control senses when a vehicle is entering a curve too quickly, and can apply four-wheel smart braking to reduce vehicle speed by up to 10 mph in approximately one second and help drivers follow their intended path.
Rigorously tested, police-tuned
Just like its sedan partner, Ford’s Police Interceptor utility vehicle has been put through its paces, undergoing a battery of torture tests to ensure its individual components can hold up to rigorous driving. Certification testing designed by the Michigan State Police and the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department proved out the durability and capability of the vehicle through a variety of punishing tracks.
To make sure the utility vehicle can take the heat – quite literally – the AWD drivetrain is equipped with a water-cooled power transfer unit that guarantees capability in all conditions. Across the board, brakes have been increased in size and performance, and the cooling package features a heavy-duty alternator and larger radiator. Standard 18-inch wheels are vented, designed to work in concert with the enhanced brake system.
Even so, the utility vehicle is light, precise and easy to handle. “Officers won’t need any special training to drive this,” said Carl Widmann, vehicle engineering manager. “The advanced technologies and similar driving dynamics of Ford’s new Police Interceptors provide officers the flexibility, convenience and ease of driving utility or sedan police vehicles.”
Functional, inside and out
Inside, the functionality continues, with the vehicle’s interior package uniquely designed for the needs of police, maximizing officer comfort and cargo capacity. The front seats are designed with a lower bolster to accommodate utility belts, and just like the sedan, Ford’s Police Interceptor utility offers a column shift, designed to leave the console area free for the ever-increasing amounts of equipment necessary for officers to do their jobs.
The second row features a vinyl, easy-to-clean bench seat that folds flat for versatility. Because police require a lot of gear, additional space in the utility provides plenty of room for K-9 officers and SWAT operations, including room for the full-size spare tire to be stored safely under the cargo area.
The new utility vehicle also features:
Ford SYNC®: The Ford-exclusive, hands-free information system provides officers the ability to operate their various communication and audio equipment by voice control.
BLIS® (Blind Spot Information System): The system uses two radar sensors located in the rear quarter panels to detect vehicles in the surrounding lanes. If a vehicle enters the driver’s blind spot zones, the system alerts the driver with a warning light in the sideview mirror.
Cross-traffic alert: This system uses the existing BLIS radar modules to sense oncoming traffic when slowly backing out of a parking spot. This industry-exclusive system functions only while the vehicle is in reverse and warns when cross traffic appears within three car-widths.
Rear view camera: When the vehicle is in rear camera mode, a color image with guidance markers on the rearview mirror will assist the driver in backing up.
Reverse Sensing System: An audible tone will alert the driver to certain objects up to 6 feet behind the vehicle.
Remappable steering wheel controls: Helping officers keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel, remappable steering wheel controls offer the police the flexibility to work specifically with police aftermarket equipment to customize voice-controlled lights and sirens at the push of a button.
Standard AdvanceTrac® with RSC® (Roll Stability Control™): This system helps maintain the intended path by measuring side-to-side yaw, or skidding, by the vehicle’s speed, throttle position and steering wheel angle. When wheel slip is sensed, AdvanceTrac reduces engine torque and applies selected brakes.
Both Ford Police Interceptors will be manufactured at Ford’s Chicago Assembly Plant.