Monday, July 20, 2015

Ford Mondeo vs VW Passat 2015

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Ford Bronco

The Ford Bronco is a utility vehicle that was produced from 1966 to 1996, with five distinct generations. All these vehicles are currently classified as sport utility vehicles (SUV). Broncos can be divided into two categories: early Broncos (1966–77) and full-size Broncos (1978–96).

The Bronco was introduced in 1966 as a competitor to the small four-wheel-drive compact SUVs that included the Jeep CJ-5 and International Harvester Scout, and it was built on its own platform.[2] A major redesign in 1978 moved the Bronco to a larger size, using a shortened Ford F-Series truck chassis to compete with both the similarly adapted Chevy K5 Blazer, as well as the Dodge Ramcharger.

The full-size Broncos and the successor Expedition were produced at Ford's Michigan Truck Plant in Wayne, Michigan.

The Bronco permanently entered American popular culture on June 17, 1994, when a white 1992 model owned and driven by Al Cowlings with O. J. Simpson, who was wanted for the murders of his ex-wife and her friend, attempted to elude the Los Angeles Police Department in a low-speed chase, which was nationally televised and viewed by millions nationwide.

1980–1986 Third generation

Production 1980–1986
Body and chassis
Body style Full-size SUV
Engine 300 cu in (4.9 L) Straight-6
 302 cu in (4.95 L) 302 V8
 351 cu in (5.75 L) 351M V8
 351 cu in (5.75 L) Windsor V8
Transmission 4-speed Borg-Warner T-18 manual
 4-speed New Process NP435 manual
 4-speed Tremec RTS OverDrive
 3-speed C6 automatic
 4-speed AOD
Wheelbase 104 in (2,642 mm)
Length 180.4 in (4,582 mm)
Width 79.3 in (2,014 mm)
Height 75.5 in (1,918 mm)

The Bronco received a major redesign in 1979 for the 1980 model year, coinciding with the F-Series. The new Bronco was shorter, and had cosmetic changes along with powertrain, suspension and other odds and ends. Most notably, the live front axle was replaced by a Dana 44 Twin Traction Beam (TTB) setup in the front end for an independent front suspension. The TTB is a hybrid of a true independent front suspension and a solid front axle, with a "solid" axle that pivots around the differential and uses coil springs instead of leaf springs. The TTB system offered a higher degree of control and comfort both on and off road, but sacrificed wheel travel, and is notorious for being difficult to keep aligned when larger than stock tires are used.

With a smaller Bronco and fuel economy in mind, Ford offered a 300 cu in (4.9 L) straight six as the base engine. Though this engine came with more torque than the 302 cu in (4.95 L) V8 and comparable to the 351 cu in (5.75 L) V8 (until the High Output model), it was limited by a 1-bbl carburetor and restrictive single-out exhaust manifolds. Electronic emissions equipment added in 1983 (1984 model year) further reduced the power of the inline six. Ford used up their remaining stock of 351M engines before turning over to the 351W in mid-model year 1982. A "High Output" version of the 351W became an option in 1983 on 1984 models and continued well into the 1987 model year until the introduction of fuel injection. Output was 210 hp (157 kW) at 4000 rpm vs the standard 2-bbl 351W which made 156 hp (116 kW) at 4000 rpm.[13] The 302 was the first engine to receive electronic fuel-injection, starting in the 1985 model year, as well as a four-speed automatic overdrive transmission. The Eddie Bauer trim package started in 1984 as well. From 1979 to 1984, some Broncos had sliding topper windows.

Cosmetically, Ford returned to their use of the "blue oval" logo on the front of a slightly redesigned grille, and removed the "F O R D" letters from the hood in 1982. Power Low Mount Swing Lock mirrors were first offered in 1980 on 1981 models. Classic square mirrors and the optional power low mount swing lock mirrors were discontinued for 1986.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

2015 Ford Edge Review First Drive

Ford’s first foray into the mid-size crossover market took place in 2006 when they introduced the Edge.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Ford Fusion specs

Exterior MeasurementsWIDTH
6 ft. 0.9 in. (72.9 in.) HEIGHT
4 ft. 10.2 in. (58.2 in.)
15 ft. 11.8 in. (191.8 in.) WHEEL BASE
9 ft. 4.2 in. (112.2 in.)

Interior MeasurementsFRONT HEAD ROOM
 39.2 in. FRONT HIP ROOM
 55.0 in.
 57.8 in.
 54.4 in. REAR HEAD ROOM
 37.8 in.
 56.9 in.

 Regular unleaded
 363.0/561.0 mi.
 22/34 mpg

Weights and CapacitiesEPA INTERIOR VOLUME
 118.8 cu.ft. CURB WEIGHT
 3431 lbs.
 16.0 cu.ft.

 Front wheel drive TRANSMISSION
 6-speed shiftable automatic

Engine & PerformanceBASE ENGINE SIZE
 Double overhead cam (DOHC)
 Inline 4 VALVES
 Variable TORQUE
 175 ft-lbs. @ 4500 rpm
 175 hp @ 6000 rpm

SuspensionFour-wheel independent suspension Front and rear stabilizer bar

 3 yr./ 36000 mi. DRIVETRAIN
 5 yr./ 60000 mi.
 5 yr./ 60000 mi.

Interior Features
Front Seats6 -way power passenger seat 8 -way power driver seat
Driver seat with power adjustable lumbar support Height adjustable driver seat
Height adjustable passenger seat Cloth
Bucket front seats

Rear SeatsSplit-folding rear seatback Folding center armrest
Rear ventilation ducts

Power FeaturesDigital keypad power door locks 4 one-touch power windows

InstrumentationClock Tachometer
Trip computer External temperature display

ConvenienceCruise control Front and rear cupholders
Front and rear door pockets Overhead console with storage
Front seatback storage Electric power steering
Tilt and telescopic steering wheel Audio and cruise controls on steering wheel
Rear view camera
Destination guidance (also Turn-by-Turn Navigation)* Destination Download*

ComfortInterior air filtration Air conditioning
Turn signal in mirrors Dual illuminating vanity mirrors

Memorized settings1 driver

In Car EntertainmentMast antenna 6 total speakers
AM/FM stereo Satellite radio satellite radio
Speed sensitive volume control Auxiliary audio input and USB with external media control
6 Months of provided satellite radio service Radio data system
USB connection

TelematicsBluetooth wireless data link for hands-free phone

 * SYNC is offered through a subscription based service or requires a compatible mobile device.
Exterior Features
Roof and GlassIntermittent wipers Rear defogger

Tires and WheelsAlloy wheels 17 in. wheels
235/50R17 tires Null tires
Inside mounted spare tire Temporary spare tire

Safety Features4-wheel ABS Front and rear head airbags
Dual front side-mounted airbags Child seat anchors
Remote anti-theft alarm system Emergency braking assist
Ventilated front disc / solid rear disc brakes Rear door child safety locks
Daytime running lights Engine immobilizer
Auto delay off headlamps Dusk sensing headlamps
2 front headrests 3 rear headrests
Passenger airbag occupant sensing deactivation Rear center 3-point belt
Turn signal mirrors Stability control
Traction control Rear height adjustable headrests
Post-collision safety system Tire pressure monitoring
Airbag Deployment Notification*
Reverse Sensing System Adaptive Cruise Control w/Collision Mitigation and Brake Support
Active Park Assist w/Forward Sensing System Rear Inflatable Seat Belts

Ford Fusion

The Ford Fusion continues to be a favorite of ours among the many mid-size sedans, with a stylish design and enjoyable driving dynamics. It’s a better driver’s car than the current Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, and Chevrolet Malibu. It has more drivetrain options than its competitors, too, including a plug-in hybrid, a trio of four-cylinders—two of them turbocharged—and a conventional hybrid option.

Other competitors in the wide-ranging mid-size sedan category include the Mazda 6, Nissan Altima, Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima, and Subaru Legacy. The Mazda is easily the most rewarding to drive in this bunch, but it doesn't offer quite the variety in powertrains and options as the Ford.

(The Fusion Hybrid, and its plug-in hybrid Energi variant, are covered separately.)

The Fusion is related to the Lincoln MKZ, which was also revamped for the 2013 model year with a more distinctive design. In the past, the Fusion architecture also spawned the Mercury Milan, which was discontinued along with its namesake division in 2011. Early Mazda 6 models were also related, but that car is now built on an unrelated architecture and is assembled by Mazda in Japan.

For prices, specifications, and safety information, read our 2015 Ford Fusion review--and our 2015 Ford Fusion Hybrid page. You can also compare the Ford Fusion to its competitors.

In 2006, the first Fusion set a new look for Ford with a very prominent three-bar chrome grille and upright headlights leading to a more conventional look otherwise. Though the look was bold for the time, it aged well and still looked fresh several years later at the end of that model's run. That early Fusion also earned excellent reliability ratings (including the all-important approval of Consumer Reports); it has also gained kudos for quality from many other sources, and has held its resale value far better than the previous Taurus did.

Another reason the first Fusion resonated so much better with shoppers than previous models like the Taurus is that, quite simply, it was fun to drive. Likely, that's because it was built on some of the same underpinnings as the previous-generation (pre-2009) Mazda 6, another vehicle lauded for its sport-sedan handling. Not counting pricier European luxury makes, the first-generation Fusion was quite possibly the best-handling mid-size four-door sedan available in the U.S. during its run on the market.

The base 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine offered from 2006 through 2009 was only adequate with the automatic transmission but felt considerably peppier with the standard manual gearbox—a combination that proved hard to find in some areas. The V-6 didn't stand out for its performance numbers—it only made 240 horsepower—but it felt strong in the Fusion and the six-speed automatic transmission worked especially well with it.

For 2010, the 2.3-liter engine was replaced with a 2.5-liter that wasn't much more powerful but was considerably less noisy when pressed to perform. And the Fusion finally got Ford's larger, 3.5-liter V-6, making up to 263 horsepower. From 2007 on, all-wheel drive was been offered on the Fusion, but it was only available with the V-6 at first, and had slightly lower power ratings than front-wheel-drive models. All Fusions received a heavy face lift for the 2010 model year, as well.

The first-generation Fusion had a comfortable ride and a roomy interior, but for its first several years, up through 2009, it could feel a little drab inside. A redesigned instrument panel and new seats, along with some improved materials, brightened up the feel of the Fusion for 2010. Ford also stepped up the safety features for 2010; options included a Blind Spot Information System with Cross Traffic Alert.

The only common complaint with the 2006–2009 Fusions was that they didn't return the fuel economy of most mid-size rivals—most of which were slightly larger and had slightly larger engines. Despite the improvements for 2010, fuel-economy figures didn't become much better.

Ford remedied that for 2010, with the introduction of the Ford Fusion Hybrid, a model that paired a version of the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with an electric motor system. The Fusion Hybrid was able to run on electric power at up to 47 mph and achieved an outstanding EPA city rating of 41 mpg. Changes were minimal from then on, until the Fusion was replaced for 2013.

The new Ford Fusion

The Fusion was entirely redesigned for 2013, in stunning fashion. The Fusion was named The Car Connection's Best Car To Buy 2013, for its sleek, elegant good looks; refined performance; and fuel-efficient EcoBoost turbo powertrains. The Fusion has a premium-car feel and an impressive feature set.

The latest Fusion wears an entirely new design language that owes much to the themes seen on the Ford Focus. It's a sophisticated look, with some cues that echo details on everything from newer Hyundais to the latest Aston Martins and Audis. The cockpit design is formatted around MyFord Touch, the touchscreen-driven controller of phone, navigation, climate and audio systems--though it's an option, not standard.

Engines on the 2013 Fusion included a base 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 175 horsepower; a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder with direct injection, 178 horsepower, and an estimated highway gas mileage rating of 37 mpg; and a 2.0-liter turbo four shared with vehicles from the Taurus sedan and Edge crossover to the hot Focus ST hatchback. Worth 240 hp, the biggest engine came only with a six-speed, paddle-shifted automatic, while the 1.6-liter was offered with a six-speed automatic or a six-speed manual, and the base engine, only the automatic. All but the 1.6-liter have carried into the current Fusion's third year on the market.

While most Fusions make do with front-wheel drive, the top Titanium offers the option of all-wheel drive when paired with the 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine. The 2.0 almost needs the extra traction to put its potent power down. All Fusions use an independent suspension design that provides confident, and even sporty, handling. It's fun to hustle and also handles long cruises with comfort. The Fusion also has good interior packaging for a family sedan, with a good balance of front- and rear-seat room.

When this generation was introduced, it offered a strong list of standard and available features. Those include Bluetooth with audio streaming standard, available leather upholstery, a backup camera, and even park assist, which uses sensors and the electric power steering to put the car in tight spots with the driver only operating the brake and throttle.

In the 2014 Fusion, Ford introduced a new 1.5-liter four-cylinder EcoBoost engine that returned almost the same performance as the 1.6-liter turbo four but with better fuel economy. It comes paired only to the six-speed automatic and also features an engine stop/start system to conserve fuel. The 2014 Fusion also made the inflatable rear seatbelt system that was originally offered in the Explorer available on the Fusion, and Ford added cooled front seats and a heated steering wheel to the sedan's options list as well.

For the 2015 model year, Ford quietly dropped the manual transmission and its requisite 1.6-liter turbo four from the Fusion lineup. The Fusion's other great features remain: enduring styling, very good handling, and excellent crash-test scores from both the IIHS and the NHTSA.

An update to the second-generation Fusion is expected soon. Changes will likely include updated styling inside and out, added active-safety features, and the new Sync 3 infotainment system. Powertrain updates are also possible, although Ford tends to phase those in year by year instead of waiting for a refresh or full redesign.
Used Ford Fusion Models
 With the Fusion, Ford effectively replaced the Taurus mid-size sedan with a more compact, better-handling car. The 2013 model is gorgeously curved, but 2012 and older versions have a handsome look, very good interior space and a good reliability record. The four-cylinders are adequate, basic transportation; we're big fans of the hybrid models from the first-generation Fusion lineup, since in our hands they regularly hit their 36-mpg EPA highway gas mileage ratings.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

CNET On Cars - New Ford GT: The Unbearable Lightness of Moving

The 2017 Ford GT is so underweight it's over the top. Plus, crash-proof cars are coming to an intersection near you, and when is a used car too used?

Monday, June 1, 2015

2015 Ford Fusion 1.5L EcoBoost 0-60 MPH Review

The 2015 Ford Fusion with the tiny 1.5L EcoBoost engine is a very rare car. It's a mid-sized family sedan with a very small displacement engine. So can this 2015 Ford Fusion be both fuel efficient and fast. Join Nathan behind the driver's seat as he finds out in this TFLcar Test Track video.

Ford Focus 2015 review

The Ford Focus is one of the UK's most popular cars, but does the latest model have what it takes to beat the VW Golf? Rebecca Jackson decides.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Livonia Transmission

Livonia Transmission is a Ford Motor Company transmission factory in Livonia, Michigan. It is located at 36200 Plymouth Road. The plant sits on 182 acres and totals 3.3 million square feet of enclosed floorspace, making it the largest transmission plant in North America.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Lima Engine

Lima Engine is a Ford Motor Company automobile engine plant located in Lima, Ohio. The factory was opened in 1957 as the site of production of Ford's MEL V8 for the Edsel car. It subsequently produced six-cylinder engines (the 170/200/250 family), the 385-series 370/429/460 big block V8 engines, the 2.3/2.5 L HSC/HSO (Pushrod) four-cylinder engines for the Ford Tempo, Mercury Topaz, and Ford Taurus and the 2.0/2.3/2.5 L OHC four-cylinder used in Ford Mustang, Ford Aerostar, Ford Ranger and Mazda B2300/B2500 compact trucks.

Today, Lima currently produces two engines: the 3.5 liter Duratec 35 and the 3.7 liter Duratec 37.

2.7 L 2.7 Ecoboost
3.0 L Vulcan V6
3.0 L Duratec 30 V6 crankshafts
3.5 L Duratec 35 V6
3.7 L Duratec 37 V6

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Kentucky Truck Assembly

Kentucky Truck Plant is an automobile manufacturing plant owned by Ford Motor Company in Louisville, Kentucky. The 4,626,490-square-foot (429,815 m2) plant on 500 acres (2.0 km2) opened in 1969 and currently employs 5,154 people total. It is located at 3001 Chamberlain Lane in the Northeast corner of the city. Ford also operates another plant in Louisville, the Louisville Assembly Plant.

1 Production
2 Products made
2.1 Past
3 See also


The plant houses approximately 24 miles (39 km) of conveyor belts. Vehicle output average is 85 vehicles per hour.

The F-250 to F-550 Ford Super Duty line of trucks is currently built here. At one time, medium and heavy trucks (semis) and over the road haulers were built here, including the Ford L-Series trucks, which were named for Louisville.

The Kentucky Truck Assembly Plant also manufactures the Ford Expedition (both regular and EL/Max larger models) and Lincoln Navigator (both regular and L versions) alongside the F250, 350, 450 and 550. This additional production began in January 2009.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Ford Kansas City Assembly Plant

The Ford Motor Company's Kansas City Assembly plant in Claycomo, Missouri is a large automotive manufacturing plant, which has been called the largest car manufacturing plant in the United States in terms of units produced.[1] Fortune Magazine noted that in 2004 it was producing 490,000 units a year generating a buzz that it produces "a truck a minute."

The plant is about 10 miles (16 km) northeast of the Kansas City, Missouri city center. Since its opening in 1951, the Ford Claycomo Plant, as many in the Kansas City area call it, has generated thousands of jobs, millions of tax dollars for the otherwise minor suburb, and is the largest tax generator in Clay County, Missouri, most of which fund North Kansas City and Liberty schools.

1 History
2 Current
3 Products Made
4 References
5 External links


The KCAP opened in 1951 for military production. Converted to auto assembly in 1956, it began production as a Ford assembly plant in 1957. Previously, the plant assembled the Country Squire Station Wagon, Falcon, Comet, Fairlane, Meteor, Maverick, Fairmont, Zephyr, Tempo, Topaz, Contour, Mystique, Ford Escape, Ford Transit Connect and the Ford F-150 series. In 2015 they started building the all aluminum Ford F-150's.

The 4,700,000-square-foot (440,000 m2) on 1,270 acres (5.1 km2) facility employs approx. 6,000 people including the new stamping plant for the Ford Transit to begin production in the winter of 2013. Plant tours were discontinued on September 12, 2001 due to the September 11, 2001 World Trade Center attacks. In 2006, the plant tours were brought back to the public since many visitors criticized the plant for not bringing back the tours.

The KCAP is responsible for building the popular F-150 (Ford F-Series). In December 2010 Ford announced it was moving the Ford Escape and Ford Escape Hybrid to the Louisville Assembly Plant, which is undergoing $600 million in renovations. The move stirred fears that it could result in the loss of half the jobs at the 3,700-person plant.[2]

Missouri had been anticipating changes at the plant. In 2010 it passed the Missouri Manufacturing Jobs Act providing tax incentives for companies that invest in plants in the state by allowing them to keep employee withholding taxes. While the bill would benefit all industrial businesses it was specifically targeting the plant and was introduced by Jerry Nolte, whose district includes the plant.[3] Ford could save $150 million over 10 years if it invests in the plant.[4] The bill had been the subject of a filibuster by United States Senate candidate Chuck Purgason who objected to the favoritism extended to Ford and read aloud sections of Allan W. Eckert's The Frontiersman into the record.[5]

A day after the announcement of the move of the Escape, Ford said a yet to be announced line would replace the Escape. In 2011, Ford said it would spend $1.1 billion on additions and upgrades, including a new stamping plant.[6] In 2012, it was announced that the plant would be the North American lead production site for the new Ford Transit, set to replace the Ford E-Series from 2014.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Ford River Rouge Complex

The Ford River Rouge Complex (commonly known as the Rouge Complex or just The Rouge) is a Ford Motor Company automobile factory complex located in Dearborn, Michigan, along the Rouge River, upstream from its confluence with the Detroit River at Zug Island. Construction began in 1917, and when it was completed in 1928 it had become the largest integrated factory in the world.

1 Structure
2 Production
3 Ford Rouge Center
4 Renovated architecture
5 Products Made
6 References
7 External links


The Rouge measures 1.5 miles (2.4 km) wide by 1 mile (1.6 km) long, including 93 buildings with nearly 16 million square feet (1.5 km²) of factory floor space. With its own docks in the dredged Rouge River, 100 miles (160 km) of interior railroad track, its own electricity plant, and integrated steel mill, the titanic Rouge was able to turn raw materials into running vehicles within this single complex, a prime example of vertical-integration production. Over 100,000 workers were employed there in the 1930s.

Some of the Rouge buildings were designed by Albert Kahn. His Rouge glass plant was regarded at the time as an exemplary and humane factory building, with its ample natural light coming through windows in the ceiling. More recently, several buildings have been converted to "green" structures with a number of environmentally friendly features.

In the summer of 1932, through Edsel Ford's support, Diego Rivera studied the facilities at the Rouge; these studies became a major part of his set of murals Detroit Industry, on continuous display at the Detroit Institute of Arts since their completion in 1933.

 Interior of the Rouge Tool & Die works, 1944

The Rouge's first products were Eagle Boats, World War I anti-submarine warfare boats produced in Building B. The original Building B, a three-story structure, is part of the legendary Dearborn Assembly Plant, which started producing Model A's in the late 1920s and continued production through 2004. After the war, production turned to Fordson tractors. Although the Rouge's coke ovens and foundry produced nearly all the parts of the Model T, assembly of that vehicle remained at Highland Park. It was not until 1927 that automobile production began there, with the introduction of the Ford Model A. Later Rouge products included the 1932 Model B, the original Mercury, the Ford Thunderbird, and four decades of Ford Mustangs. The old assembly plant was idled with the construction and launch of a new assembly facility on the Miller Road side of the complex, currently producing Ford F-150 pickup trucks.

On May 26, 1937, a group of workers attempting to organize a union at the Rouge were severely beaten, an event later called the Battle of the Overpass. Peter E. Martin's respect for labor led to Walter Reuther, a UAW leader, allowing Martin to be the only Ford manager to retrieve his papers or gain access to the plant.[3]

After the 1960s, Ford began to decentralize manufacturing, building many factories across the country. The Rouge, too, was downsized, with many units (including the famous furnaces and docks) sold off to independent companies.

By 1992, only Mustang production remained at the Dearborn Assembly Plant (DAP). In 1987 Ford planned to replace that car with the front wheel drive Ford Probe, but public outcry quickly turned to surging sales. With the fourth-generation Mustang a success, the Rouge was saved as well. Ford decided to modernize its operations. A gas explosion on February 1, 1999, killed six employees and injured two dozen more, resulting in the idiling of the power plant. Michigan Utility CMS Energy built a state-of-the-art Power Plant across Miller Road to replace the electricity and steam production, as well as the Blast-Furnace waste gas consumption of the original power plant. [4]As it ended production, Dearborn Assembly Plant (DAP) was one of six plants within the Ford Rouge Center. The plant was open from 1918 to May 10, 2004, with a red convertible 2004 Ford Mustang GT being the last vehicle built at the historic site. Demolition of the historic DAP facility was completed in 2008. All that remains is a 3000 place parking lot to hold light truck production from the new Dearborn Assembly Plant.
Ford Rouge Center[edit]

Lake freighters maneuver in the canal to unload ore at the plant, 1973

Today, the Rouge site is home to Ford's Rouge Center. This industrial park includes six Ford factories on 600 acres (2.4 km²) of land, as well as steelmaking operations run by AK Steel, a U.S. steelmaker. The new Dearborn Truck factory famously features a vegetation-covered roof and rainwater reclamation system designed by sustainability architect William McDonough. This facility is still Ford's largest factory and employs some 6,000 workers. Mustang production, however, has moved to the Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Flat Rock, Michigan.

Tours of the factory were a long tradition. Tours of the facility began in 1924 and ran until 1980. They resumed in 2004 in cooperation with The Henry Ford Museum with multimedia presentations as well as viewing of the assembly floor.

The management of Dearborn Truck has decreed that no vehicles from other manufacturers may park at the front of the main employee lot. Non Ford Family vehicles are required to park in the back 12 rows of parking spaces. Hourly workers from both Ford and Severstal facilities at the complex are represented by UAW Local 600.

Ford's SS William Clay Ford was based out of the River Rouge Plant.
Renovated architecture

In 1999 Architect William McDonough entered into an agreement with Ford Motor Company to redesign its 85-year-old, 1,212-acre (490 ha) Rouge River facility.[5] The roof of the 1.1 million square foot (100,000 m2) Dearborn truck assembly plant was covered with more than 10 acres (4.0 ha) of sedum, a low-growing groundcover. The sedum retains and cleanses rainwater and moderates the internal temperature of the building, saving energy.

The roof is part of an $18 million rainwater treatment system designed to clean 20 billion U.S. gallons (76,000,000 m3) of rainwater annually, sparing Ford from a $50 million mechanical treatment facility.[6]

Products Made
Ford F-150 (1948–Present)
Ford Mustang (1964–2004)
Mercury Cougar (1966–1973)

Cleveland Engine Plant number 2

Cleveland Engine Plant number 2 opened in 1955 to produce the Y-block 292 V8 for the Ford Thunderbird. More recently, it has been the site for Duratec 25 and 30 production. Today, it produces the VVT version of that engine used in the Ford Fusion and Lincoln Zephyr/MKZ.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Cleveland Engine

Cleveland Engine is a Ford Motor Company engine manufacturing facility in Brook Park, Ohio, United States, a suburb of Cleveland.

 Opened in 1951, Cleveland Engine Plant number 1 was the site of production for Ford's first overhead valve engine, the Lincoln V8. It was later the site of production for the Ford 335 engine, commonly called the "Cleveland". It also produced many of the "5.0" V8 engines used through the 1980s and 1990s, with the last produced in 2000. The demise of the 5.0 was to also be the end for CEP1, but Ford instead invested $350 million to refurbish it to handle production of the Duratec 30 for the Ford Freestyle, Ford Five Hundred, and Mercury Montego. Ford closed the plant in 2007.

On February 27th 2009, Ford Motor Company announced that it would be reopening Engine Plant 1 to produce their new EcoBoost 3.5L V6. The EcoBoost V6 produces 15% lower CO2 emissions, and is capable of 20% better fuel economy. Since the shutdown of Engine Plant One in 2007, $55 million in improvements have been made to accommodate the new production line.

Cleveland EcoBoost V6 engines will be available in the 2010 Lincoln MKS, Lincoln MKT, and Ford Flex, and will be standard on the 2010 Ford Taurus SHO.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Officials: Stamping plant fortunes to improve with Ford Explorer coming to Chicago

JOHN LUKE | THE TIMES U.S. Rep. Debbie Halvorson, D-Ill., checks out doors for the Ford Taurus with UAW Local 588's Sean Coughlin, left, and Matt Kolanowski as she tours Ford's Chicago Stamping Plant in Chicago Heights.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Chicago Assembly

Chicago Assembly (frequently Torrence Avenue Assembly) is Ford Motor Company's oldest continually-operated automobile manufacturing plant. It is located at E. 130th Street and Torrence Avenue in the Hegewisch community area of Chicago, Illinois. Chicago Assembly currently builds the Ford Taurus, Lincoln MKS, and Ford Explorer, all of which share the same platform.

Production started on March 3, 1924, as an alternative production site for the Model T to the River Rouge Plant. It switched to Model A production in 1928, and built M8 Greyhound and M20 Armored Utility Car armored cars during World War II. It was the site of pickup truck production for 40 years before that operation stopped in 1964. In 1985, it was selected as the site of production for the Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable midsize sedans.

Ford spent $400,000,000 in 2004 to modernize the plant. It switched to production of the D3 platform vehicles for 2005. Nine automotive suppliers have built factories nearby at the Ford Chicago Manufacturing Campus developed by CenterPoint Properties. Ford's Chicago plant is a center for flexible just-in-time production. It employs over 4,099 workers.[1]

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Buffalo Stamping Plant

Buffalo Stamping Plant manufactures sheetmetal stampings and welded sub-assemblies for Ford Motor Company's automotive car and truck assembly plants in the USA, Canada and Mexico. The facility was opened in 1950 with 1,235,895 square feet (114,818.4 m2) of working floor space. It has had six major expansions and the facility is now at 2,452,883 square feet (227,880.3 m2) or 53.3 acres (216,000 m2) of floor space.

The plant is located on an 88-acre (360,000 m2) site at the Eastern end of Lake Erie near the city of Buffalo, New York. The facility processes over 1,700 tons of steel each day and ships an average of 100 rail cars of parts manufactured daily. During the year, over 425,000 tons of steel are received for manufacturing at the facility. The facility has 20 major press stamping lines that include several transfer presses which include some of the world's largest. One of those large transfer presses is the Schuler. This press is 162 feet (49 m) long, 49 feet (15 m) high from the basement to the top of the crown and weights in excess of 7,000,000 pounds.

Buffalo Stamping is a surrogate[clarification needed] with two Ford Motor Company's Canadian assembly plants due to the volume of parts supplied to those facilities. St. Thomas Assembly plant located near London, Ontario, assembles the Ford Crown Victoria and the Mercury Grand Marquis. The other Canadian customer is Oakville Assembly Plant which assembles the Ford Edge & Flex, and Lincoln MKX & MKT (new for 2010MY).

The combined requirements of parts manufactured equates to almost 100 separate stampings and welded sub-assemblies for these customers. The facility supplies a total of 15 customers, Ford assembly plants and Ford part distribution depots. Buffalo Stamping Plant strives for continuous improvements in safety, working conditions, diversity and environmental issues.[citation needed] The facility recently received recommendation for endorsement to the International ISO 14001 Standard for Environmental Management Systems.

Buffalo Stamping Plant is the first major stamping facility in North America to receive this endorsement. Buffalo Stamping is also certified to ISO 9001 International Standard for Quality since 1996.

Flat Rock Assembly Plant

Flat Rock Assembly Plant, formerly known as Ford's Michigan Casting Center (MCC) (1972-81), Mazda Motor Manufacturing USA (1987–92) and AutoAlliance International (1992-2012), is a Ford Motor Company assembly plant located at 1 International Drive in Flat Rock, Michigan in Metro Detroit. The plant currently consists of 2,900,000 square feet (270,000 m2) of production space and employs 1,685 hourly workers represented by the United Auto Workers Local 3000, as well as 140 salaried workers. The plant currently produces the Ford Mustang coupe and the Ford Fusion.

All-New 2015 Ford Mustang Begins Production at Flat Rock Assembly Plant; Marks Global Availability of Iconic Pony Car
2015 Mustang starts production at Ford’s Flat Rock Assembly Plant; car to be exported globally for the first time in its 50-year history
New Mustang goes on sale this fall in the United States, and in more than 120 countries next year
Mustang sets new performance and dynamics benchmarks for the brand with world-class handling, more precise steering control and enhanced ride comfort

The highly anticipated, all-new Ford Mustang rolls off the line today at Flat Rock Assembly Plant, marking production of the sixth-generation pony car. For the first time in its 50-year history, Mustang will be available globally to customers in more than 120 countries around the world.

The addition of a right-hand-drive Mustang to Ford’s global vehicle lineup will allow the iconic pony car to be exported to more than 25 right-hand-drive markets around the world, including the United Kingdom, Australia and South Africa.

“Mustang is and will continue to be an automotive icon,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford president of The Americas. “Expanding its availability globally affords our customers around the world the opportunity to have a true firsthand Mustang experience – one unlike any other.”

In April, Ford celebrated the 50th anniversary of the original Mustang. In commemoration of this, each 2015 model will be adorned with a badge on the instrument panel that includes the galloping pony logo and the words “Mustang – Since 1964.”

Mustang’s impact goes well beyond the more than 9.2 million cars sold in its 50 years of continuous production. It has made thousands of appearances in film, television, music and video games, and is the most-liked vehicle on Facebook, with close to 8 million likes.

An enhanced experience, but still a true Mustang
 The way Mustang looks, drives and sounds is key to the visceral experience that makes drivers want to get in and hit the open road. The clean-sheet design of both Mustang fastback and convertible evokes the essential character of the brand, retaining key design elements – including the long sculpted hood and short rear deck – in a contemporary execution.

With more options to choose from, there is a Mustang to fit any lifestyle. The upgraded V8 is joined by a 3.7-liter V6 and an all-new 2.3-liter EcoBoost® engine that brings state-of-the-art technology to Mustang.

Mustang GT continues with the latest edition of the throaty 5.0-liter V8 – now featuring upgraded valvetrain, new intake manifold and improved cylinder heads – that yields 435 horsepower and 400 lb.-ft. of torque.

The Mustang 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine uses direct injection, variable cam timing and a twin-scroll turbocharger to deliver the performance Mustang drivers expect with an output of 310 horsepower and 320 lb.-ft. of torque.

With Mustang, it’s all in the ride
 When life throws drivers a curve, the all-new Mustang sets new handling benchmarks for the brand, delivering world-class dynamics and ride quality.

Mustang features all-new front and rear suspension systems. At the front, a new perimeter subframe helps to stiffen the structure while reducing mass, providing a better foundation for more predictable wheel control that benefits handling, steering and ride.

At the rear is an all-new integral-link independent suspension. Geometry, springs, dampers and bushings are all specially tuned for this high-performance application. New aluminum rear knuckles help reduce unsprung mass for improved ride and handling.

Transformed Flat Rock Assembly Plant
 In 2013, nine years after moving Mustang production there, Flat Rock Assembly Plant celebrated the 1 millionth Mustang built at the facility.

“What an honor it is for the hardworking and dedicated UAW Local 3000 workers of Flat Rock Assembly Plant to build the next-generation Mustang,” said UAW Vice President Jimmy Settles. “I don’t think there is any place in the world where this vehicle is not known. To build it right here in Michigan is something to be proud of.”

In the last year, the plant has been transformed. As part of a $555 million investment, it has added a state-of-the-art, fully flexible body shop to allow multiple models to be produced on the same line, supporting Ford’s flexible manufacturing efforts. Other technologies recently incorporated at Flat Rock include three-wet paint process, dirt detection and laser brazing.

In addition to Mustang, Flat Rock Assembly Plant also produces Ford Fusion. The facility has approximately 3,000 employees working two shifts at full line speed.

Flat Rock Assembly Plant has been producing vehicles since 1987, when it opened as Mazda Motor Manufacturing USA and built Mazda MX-6. Ford purchased a 50 percent share in the facility in 1992, and it was renamed AutoAlliance International. Over the years, the plant has produced Mazda 626, Mazda6, Mercury Cougar and Ford Probe.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

2015 Ford F-350 Super Duty Diesel V-8

Ten-percent more power and a solid whump of additional torque from the Power Stroke diesel mean it’s Ford’s turn to leapfrog its truckmaking competitors to claim best-in-class honors for 2015. Although the blue-oval team is making more significant pickup-truck news with its aluminum-intensive F-150, in this case we’re talking heavy-duty or, in Ford parlance, Super Duty light trucks, the F-250, F-350, and F-450. 

 We climbed into a pair of the revised 2015 F-350 models for brief drives. Both were four-by-fours wearing the King Ranch badges that denote luxurious trimmings, and both were in crew-cab, short-bed spec. One was a dual-rear-wheel version wearing that edition’s standard 17-inch wheels shod with Bridgestone tires; the other truck had a single wheel on either end of the rear axle and the optional 20-inch chrome wheels and Michelin light-truck tires. Both were equipped with the Power Stroke diesel V-8 and TorqShift six-speed automatic transmission. Prominent badges reminded us that the rigs would happily burn B20 biodiesel if given the chance. 

 With only brief exposure, our impressions were that this year’s more-powerful engine seems remarkably quiet—not as clattery or ever present as the Cummins diesel-powered HD Ram we drove earlier this year—and that the dualie was, surprisingly, easier to maneuver and rode better than the single-wheel version. A Ford engineer who was riding shotgun told us the single-wheel model was equipped with an uprated towing package and that its big wheels and different rear-axle-and-spring setup affected the ride and steering feel.
On the Heavier Side of Light Duty 

 Each truck’s bed was burdened with more than 1000 pounds of weights, so it wasn’t really possible to do a seat-of-the-pants estimation of acceleration, but given the curb weights, power ratings, and previous experience, we expect these rigs to get to merging velocity with plenty of room to spare on a highway ramp. Unladen, 0-to-60-mph times should be about eight seconds. Although they’re called one-ton trucks, that’s not much of a load by modern standards. Ford says these Power Stroke F-350s, depending on equipment and trim, can be rated to tow up to 26,700 pounds (or as little as 12,500). The gross combined weight rating can range up to 35,000 pounds. Mind you, these are meant for farm and work-site use, although the distinctions between personal-use and commercial vehicles are blurring. Marketing nomenclature notwithstanding, these pickups are really classed with their half-ton stablemates as light-duty trucks rather than with true medium- or heavy-truck segments where commercial-grade haulers fit. 

 Ford isn’t helping to maintain this distinction, however, boasting that this second-generation Power Stroke diesel is essentially an engine so strong that it’s all but identical to the one used in the medium-duty F-450. (Ram made similar claims on behalf of its Cummins-built six last year.)

More Squeeze Makes More Juice 

 The Power Stroke now uses a larger turbocharger and redesigned fuel-injector nozzles to make bigger bangs in each of the 6.7-liter engine’s eight cylinders, adding up to a rating of 440 horsepower (up from 400) and 860 lb-ft of torque (versus 800 last year). That neatly tops the figures Ram used to claim the title as the hardest puncher with its Cummins diesels last year (385 and 850)—and by an even wider margin over the torque rating GM claims for the Duramax diesels in the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra HD models. 

 With a firm eye on its cross-town rivals, Ford placed a pushbutton on the dash to actuate the exhaust brake. Like those at Ram and GM, the exhaust brake generates back pressure through the turbo to create drag. Ford claims that besides the easy one-touch actuation, this year’s version works more effectively. 

 Dearborn boasts that it upgraded the interior trim on the King Ranch models for 2015. It looks a bit better but to our eye didn’t match the quality of materials in the Ram and Chevy trucks we’ve sampled recently. The leather, now wearing the King Ranch’s “snake” brand more prominently, looked good, but there was less of it, and sometimes it was used in odd places. Cheap-looking plastic bits (notably pockets on the console and inner door panel) felt flimsy. On the one hand, F-350s in King Ranch trim can run $55,000 to $70,000 or so, and chintzy trim might be off-putting. Still, customers in this segment are always asking for more capability, Ford claims, so perhaps they’ll be willing to overlook such factors in favor of boasting the biggest power numbers.


 front-engine, rear- or rear-/4-wheel-drive, 2-6-passenger, 4-door pickup


 turbocharged and intercooled pushrod 32-valve diesel V-8, iron block and aluminum heads, direct fuel injection

 406 cu in, 6651 cc
Power: 440 hp @ 2800 rpm
Torque: 860 lb-ft @ 1600 rpm

 6-speed automatic with manual shifting mode


Wheelbase: 137.0-172.4 in
Length: 227.6-263.0 in
Width: 79.9-96.0 in Height: 76.5-80.8 in
Curb weight (C/D est): 6100-8150 lb


 Zero to 60 mph: 7.6-8.0 sec
 Zero to 90 mph: 17.4-18.5 sec
 Standing ¼-mile: 17.5-19.0 sec
 Top speed: 95 mph

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Ford F-150 SVT Raptor

2017 Ford F-150 Raptor: The Beast Returns with an Aluminum Body and a Twin-Turbo V-6!
It's a bird, it's a plane . . . it's the boulder-decimating new Raptor!

In one of his last shows as the cocky, right-wing-mocking talking head on the Colbert Report, Stephen Colbert made a gleeful, deliciously prescient point about Americans’ short attention spans for cheap gas: “Fuel is cheap this week? Give me a five-year lease on a rolling cargo ship with the aerodynamics of a cinder block!” The statement may have been sarcastic, but there couldn’t be a better climate into which Ford could introduce its second-generation F-150 Raptor.

 Hulking on its off-road suspension, widened fenders, and meaty 35-inch tires, the 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor is just as outrageously polar bear–mocking and lane-deflowering as its groundbreaking forebear, only now it swills cheap hooch. Not that such a detail matters; since being introduced in 2010, the roughly $50,000 Raptor has had buyers lining up even through the late stages of economic recession and four-buck-per-gallon gas. Naturally, we love the thing. Who wouldn’t, given its huge power, ability to bomb across craggy terrain at 100 mph, and bad-ass visuals?
Built Eco Tough

 Happily, Ford stuck to the script for the new model—almost. There has been some paraphrasing in the engine bay, where, instead of the old truck’s 411-hp 6.2-liter V-8, sits a new twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V-6 engine with direct fuel injection. While it shares a displacement figure with the larger of the two EcoBoost V-6s available in the regular F-150, the Raptor’s mill features a new aluminum block and upgraded internals, revised heads, and tweaked fuel-delivery equipment. Final output figures weren’t available at the time of this writing, but we’re told to count on 450 to 500 horsepower and more torque than the current V-8’s 434 lb-ft. As for fuel-economy estimates, Ford is likely to trumpet efficiency gains on account of the turbocharged engine, but horrible, ignorable fuel economy is part of the Raptor’s charm. We’ll file preliminary EPA estimates under “we don’t care.”

 Of course, four-wheel drive will be standard, and the Raptor’s setup now includes a terrain-response function that optimizes the truck for varied surfaces such as snow, rocks, and more. Feeding the transfer case is Ford’s first application of its all-new 10-speed automatic transmission.
You Can’t Crush This Beer Can

 The new powertrain is bolted to an equally new frame that, while derived from the 2015 F-150’s steel unit, is substantially upgraded to better handle the abuse doled out by full-throttle (sweet) jumps, huge rocks, and whatever else a Raptor can subjugate to its will. Two wheelbases and cab configurations will be offered: a 133-inch-wheelbase, extended-cab SuperCab and a 145-inch, four-door SuperCrew. Following in the F-150’s footsteps, the high-performance truck also switches to aluminum bodywork, shedding a claimed 500 or so pounds in the process. A composite hood and front fenders further reduce mass.

 Ford’s stylists somehow managed to massage these fancy new materials in such a way as to imbue the Raptor’s rippling body with even more muscle. The slight upkick to the rear quarter-panels lends the tail a bad-ass stadium-truck look, and the grille once again boasts giant “Ford” lettering and federally mandated marker lights on account of the truck’s width. Colossal Ford lettering also makes it onto the Raptor’s tailgate, and there are vents on each front fender and another one on the hood, in addition to LED accent lighting everywhere.

 The most important elements of all, however, are sheltered by the Raptor’s blistered fenders. Those would be the Fox Racing shocks, coil-sprung aluminum front control arms, and the leaf-sprung solid rear axle. To improve on the old Raptor’s impressive suspension travel—11.2 inches in front and 12.1 inches in the rear—Ford upped the Fox shocks’ diameters from 2.5 inches to 3.0. The units still feature internal bypasses that take the edge off of quick, hard impacts. Skid plates in front help protect against meet-and-greets with desert rubble, and shallower front and rear bumpers improve the truck’s approach and departure angles. New 17-inch aluminum wheels are wrapped in BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A K02 tires that practically scream out for raised white lettering.
It Knows It Can Fly

 Amazingly, another carry-over feature of the 2017 F-150 Raptor is its near complete lack of competition. Dodge offers the 1500-based Ram Runner, but it is available only in kit form through the Mopar catalog. General Motors never picked up the phone when Ford came calling in 2010, and it hasn’t since. Some credit is due to the Ford SVT engineers—who now toil under the Ford Performance banner, hence the absence of “SVT” in the new Raptor’s name—that designed such a product that worked nearly as well on the street as it did in the Baja.

 Having sampled several iterations of the new F-150, we can report that the weight loss afforded by the switch to aluminum construction is palpable from behind the wheel. Yet for all that, this Raptor version is the one we’ve been waiting for. With the base price expected to stay around the $50,000 mark, it will continue to be within reach of anyone with desert-runner fantasies. So, yeah, Mr. Colbert? You can sign us up for one of these babies.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Ford F-150

The Ford F-150 has been one of the best-selling vehicles in the U.S. for more than thirty years. It’s a full-size pickup truck that can double as a workhorse or an adventure-seeking family’s daily driver. Over time, it has become a staple of American truck culture.

The all-new F-150, which was introduced for 2015, turns to aluminum to bring weight down and carry the truck world into the 21st century.

See our 2015 Ford F-150 preview for pricing with options, specifications, and gas mileage ratings

The Ford F-150 range is staggering in its breadth and depth. It runs from "rubber-mat special" base-line trucks ordered for fleet duty all the way up to King Ranch and Raptor editions that ladle on luxury features unimaginable to pickup buyers a decade or two ago. The truck can be ordered in variations that suit utility workers, contractors, ranchers, fifth-wheel trailer owners, and off-road racers alike.

The fabled F-150 competes most directly with the General Motors pickup truck twins, the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500. Added together, those two trucks have outsold the F-150 in some years, but the Ford nameplate hangs securely onto its "best-selling vehicle line" title. Then there's the (formerly Dodge) Ram 1500, the third in the home-grown list. While the two largest Japanese makers have now dedicated a decade or more and opened plants in the U.S. to build their competing trucks, the Toyota Tundra and Nissan Titan remain far behind the trio of U.S. trucks. That said, a new Titan is looking to challenge the Ford and others come 2016.

The F-Series trucks share some running gear with Ford's Expedition and Lincoln Navigator full-size sport-utility vehicles. Over the years, the F-150 has also spawned the short-lived Lincoln Blackwood and Lincoln Mark LT versions--both resounding market flops in the U.S., although the latter is still sold in Mexico.

Ford F-150 history

Although Ford had previously built passenger-car-based trucks, the company sold its first true full-size pickups in 1948. Throughout much of the next decades its F-Series pickup trucks came with six- or eight-cylinder engines; three-, four- and five-speed manual transmissions; and a single two-door body style. By 1960, the "F-100" had been christened at the entry level, with F-250 and F-350 versions available with an early kind of four-wheel drive. As most trucks of the era were designed as "flareside" models, Ford added a plain-sided Styleside version that would dominate sales from then on.

For the fourth-generation F-100, Ford added a "Ranger" trim level and briefly built some trucks with unibody construction, returning to body-on-frame designs in the mid-1960s. Four-door models were offered, as were versions that adopted camper tops easily. A fifth generation arrived in 1967, with plainer sheetmetal but the essential truck features intact--V-8 or in-line six engine, two- and four-door body styles, and payload capacity into heavy-duty territory. The sixth-generation truck is known primarily for adding the 302 V-8 to the lineup, spawning a new two-door Bronco SUV, and bringing the F-150 badge to the lineup; the latter was a higher-payload version of the existing F-100.

The F-150 grew more upright and more capable in the next three generations of trucks sold from 1980 to 1996. Diesel engines and new automatic transmissions joined the lineup, and the Ranger name was split into its own compact-pickup truck lineup. An "Explorer" trim level joined the F-150 lineup and would be spun off into its own SUV range in the same decade. In the eighth-generation truck that arrived in 1987, fuel injection became the norm, and flareside bodies went away for a time; rear anti-lock brakes were standard, for the first time on a full-size pickup truck. The ninth-generation truck went on sale in 1992 and brought with it a driver-side airbag and slightly smoother styling.

The tenth-generation F-150, sold from 1997 to 2004, marked a sea change in pickup trucks. Ever more the choice of commuters and daily drivers, the F-150 grew far more shapely and rounded in this generation--mimicking the lines of some of Ford's passenger cars. The old, squared-off truck was continued for a while, until Ford could tell if pickup-truck drivers would approve of the new looks. They did: The F-Series retained its best-selling title and grew even more popular. New engines came with the new body style, including versions of the Ford "modular" 4.6-liter and 5.4-liter V-8 that would prove very durable. The usual two- and four-door and extended-cab versions were available, as were four-wheel drive and a four-speed automatic, along with heavy-duty F-250 versions. Special editions introduced in this generation included the SVT Lightning, the Harley-Davidson F-150, and the King Ranch edition. Safety ratings were poor, though, and while this F-150 had good reliability, its cruise-control system was involved in a major recall for the potential of causing a fire. This F-150 spawned a short-lived Lincoln Blackwood version, along with the longer-living Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator SUVs.

The eleventh-generation F-150 arrived in 2004 and began to revert the truck's shape to its more angular past. A more upright grille, and more squared-off window openings were the hallmarks of the design. While it didn't change much mechanically, it did introduce standard curtain airbags and stability control to the full-size pickup range at Ford. The company put special attention into reducing the truck's cost and complexity, making it easier to build--and even more reliable. By some measures, it was considered the most reliable pickup truck ever built. Ford attempted another Lincoln pickup from this generation--the Lincoln Mark LT, which like the Blackwood before it, was a sales flop.

The last of a long line

The twelfth generation of the Ford F-150 arrived in 2009, with its sheetmetal even more crisply folded than earlier models--bearing many cues of a Ford F-350 Tonka concept truck from  the late 2000s. The twelfth-generation F-150 wore a very large, very bright, very tall grille to emphasize its "truck"-ness. It's somewhat redundant, since the F-150 was one of the most capable towing and hauling light-duty trucks available in America.

In 2011, the F-150 received its most comprehensive powertrain update. To go with its cutting-edge technology--including Bluetooth, SYNC voice control, even ventilated front seats--the F-150 gained four new engines, all teamed with a six-speed automatic transmission. A 302-horsepower V-6 rejoined the lineup for the first time in more than a decade, and delivers the F-150's best gas mileage, at 17/23 mpg; turbocharging a version of the engine created the EcoBoost, with 365 horsepower and a towing capacity of 11,300 pounds. A 5.0-liter V-8 with 360 hp brought Mustang-style engine noises to the full-size truck, along with 15/21-mpg fuel economy. Finally, there was a 6.2-liter V-8, with 411 hp and 13/18 mpg fuel economy, offered in the most upscale F-150s as well as the off-road Raptor.

For the 2012 model year, Ford added a new automatic all-wheel-drive mode to some 4x4 F-150s, and swapped out limited-slip differentials for an electronically simulated limited-slip function. Then on the 2013 Ford F-150, the automaker added MyFord Touch's suite of voice, steering-wheel, and LCD touchscreen controls to the pickup, with other minor changes to the front end, including high-intensity discharge headlamps to some models. The King Ranch model returned as well, with a new black interior choice and standard MyFord Touch, for a base price of more than $44,000.

In this generation, the F-150 came in a host of cab, bed, powertrain, and suspension variations. Three cab configurations with multiple wheelbases and box lengths each were offered, providing choices to satisfy just about any trucker's need with the F-150. Properly outfitted, this F-150 could tow 11,300 pounds--while earning top crash-test scores (including IIHS Top Safety Pick status and a 'good' rating in the roof-strength test). Unlike GM's pickups, there was no Hybrid edition, and the F-150 fell behind the Ram's excellent ride quality. However, this F-150 had a well-built cabin, excellent shift quality and comfortable seats--as well as the off-road-ready Raptor model and some of the most up-to-date luxury features found on any truck.

Today's F-150

With the introduction of the 2015 Ford F-150, the automaker set its sights on the most radical reinvention of the pickup truck yet. With a body composed mostly of aluminum, and a downsized range of turbocharged engines on tap, the latest Ford F-150 will be a lot lighter on the road and more efficient at the gas pump. The most efficient of the new F-150s scores 19 mpg in the city and 26 on the highway cycle.

At the top of that list of changes is an aluminum body. Ford says the high-strength aluminum alloy in the F-150’s body is at least as tough as steel but much lighter. The extensive use of aluminum saves about 700 pounds versus the previous all-steel F-150—a substantial reduction in mass that should markedly improve gas mileage. Under the aluminum body work, however, there’s still plenty of steel—in fact, more high-strength steel than ever is used in the structural underbody and frame elements to improve both capability and crash protection, while also saving about 70 pounds of weight versus the old setup.

Inside, the look isn’t such a great departure from previous versions of the pickup, though there’s a new level of upscale look and feel on premium trims. Blocky shapes and sturdy structures are the visual theme to back the F-150’s chosen mission. Ford has also added a long list of standard and optional features, including massaging seats.

 Engines are another area of innovation for the 2015 F-150. Four engines are available, and while three are familiar, the new 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6 is an unusual choice; Ford sees it as the go-to for gas mileage in the new F-150. Also available is an updated 3.5-liter V-6 engine that takes place of the outgoing truck's 3.7-liter, and the familiar 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 and 5.0-liter V-8. All four engines are paired to a six-speed automatic transmission. Both 4x4 and 4x2 drive configurations are available. And for the first time, the base engine is available in a crew-cab truck, now that the weight has been brought down to meet its abilities. The 2.7-liter V-6 is the most efficient in EPA ratings, followed by the naturally aspirated 3.5-liter and then the 3.5-liter EcoBoost, followed y the 5.0-liter V-8. In its least efficient guise, with the V-8 and four-wheel drive, the F-150 still manages ratings of 15/21 mpg.

The 2015 F-150’s front suspension is a coil-on-shock independent arrangement, while the rear retains the Hotchkiss-type solid axle riding on leaf springs and outboard shock absorbers. The rear suspension got a significant rework, however, with a switch to staggered shock placement among other changes. Improved electric-assist power steering and four-wheel vented ABS disc brakes round out the key mechanical specs.

 As before, three cab styles are offered: Regular, SuperCab, and SuperCrew. Matching the cabs, three beds will be offered, with lengths of 67.1, 78.9, and 97.6 inches. At launch, these cab and bed configurations will be complemented by five trims: XL, XLT, King Ranch, Lariat, and Platinum. New equipment offerings for the 2015 F-150 include Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) with cross-traffic alert, inflatable rear seat belts, pickup-box LED lighting, Sony premium audio, and, on Platinum models, real wood trim. An off-road-oriented FX4 package will be available, bundling off-road-tuned shocks, skid plates, and an electronic locking rear axle.

Ford used the 2015 Detroit auto show to announce a new Raptor based on the aluminum F-150. The new super-truck, which will arrive for the 2016 model year, features an upgraded suspension, a new four-wheel-drive system, and a high-output Ford Performance 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 that will make more power and torque than the outgoing 6.2-liter V-8 engine. Ford says the second-generation truck weighs 500 pounds less than the previous Raptor, as well. 

Monday, March 30, 2015

Ford Flex Review

The 2015 Ford Flex ranks 8 out of 13 Affordable Large SUVs. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the Ford Flex, as well as reliability and safety data.

The 2015 Ford Flex is ranked: #8
 in Affordable Large SUVs #13
 in Affordable SUVs with 3 Rows

The 2015 Ford Flex has agile handling and spacious seating for seven, critics say, but they are let down by its small cargo area and confusing infotainment system.

The 2015 Ford Flex comes with a standard V6 engine that test drivers report provides sufficient power. However, they say the available twin-turbocharged V6 delivers quicker acceleration. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard with either engine, and reviewers note that it shifts very smoothly. According to the EPA, the Flex gets up to 18/25 mpg city/highway, which is good for the class. Auto writers think the 2015 Flex has nimble handling for an SUV, as well as a smooth, quiet ride. They add that the Flex has good steering feel, and that it’s easy to maneuver in tight spaces.

Some automotive journalists think the 2015 Ford Flex’s interior is well-designed and made of high-quality materials, while others note an abundance of ordinary plastics throughout. Test drivers say the Flex has a spacious interior, and that adults can fit comfortably in all three rows. The cargo area is small for the class, but reviewers say that there’s still a useful amount of space. The 2015 Flex comes standard with heated side mirrors, rear parking sensors and Ford’s voice-controlled SYNC system with Bluetooth and a USB port. Available features include adaptive cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control, satellite radio, navigation, the MyFord Touch infotainment system with an 8-inch touch screen, HD Radio, a rearview camera, parallel park assist, a 12-speaker Sony audio system, a panoramic sunroof, a rear-seat entertainment system and a second-row refrigerated console. Many critics report that the MyFord Touch system is complicated to use and prone to glitches. As a result, some recommend trying the system out before purchasing the Flex.
"Along with space for up to seven passengers and all of their gear, the Flex boasts an available 355-horsepower EcoBoost V6 and love-it-or-hate-it sheetmetal that sets it apart from the crowd." -- Left Lane News
"While Flex's boxy styling may not appeal to everyone, this large, comfortable people mover deserves consideration." -- Consumer Guide
"The 2015 Ford Flex offers a desirable combination of space, versatility, features and solid driving dynamics. It's a top choice among large, seven-passenger family crossovers." -- Edmunds
"It's striking and stylish as well as functional and useful - a fine combination similar to minivans and SUVs in capabilities, but clearly different from both." -- Kelley Blue Book (2014)

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Ford Expedition Review

The 2015 Ford Expedition ranks 6 out of 13 Affordable Large SUVs. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the Ford Expedition, as well as reliability and safety data.

The 2015 Ford Expedition is ranked:#6
 in Affordable Large SUVs#9
 in Affordable SUVs with 3 Rows

Reviewers praise the Ford Expedition’s powerful new engine and roomy seats, but they think it’s due for nicer cabin materials and a more straightforward infotainment system.

The 2015 Ford Expedition is powered by a new twin-turbocharged V6 engine that impresses reviewers with its strong power output and quick acceleration. The engine is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission that reviewers say offers seamless shifts in most situations. However, some say that it can be slow to downshift when cornering at lower speeds. The base Expedition earns an EPA-estimated 16/22 mpg city/highway, which is great for a large SUV. Automotive writers report that the Expedition has well-weighted, communicative steering and a comfortable ride. As with many large SUVs, reviewers say the Expedition isn’t very easy to maneuver in small spaces. An available adaptive suspension system lets you choose between comfort, normal and sport modes. Some critics think it makes a noticeable difference in ride quality, while others think there’s no significant difference between modes.

The 2015 Ford Expedition seats up to eight, and test drivers like that its seats are comfortable and roomy in all three rows. They also appreciate its available power-folding third row and sliding second row, which they say makes it easy to adjust cargo and interior space. However, overall, they think its cabin is outdated and its materials don’t match the quality offered by some rivals. The 2015 Expedition comes with a six-speaker stereo, satellite radio, a rearview camera, Ford’s voice-controlled SYNC system, Bluetooth, a USB port, rear parking sensors and power-adjustable foot pedals. Available features include remote start, front parking sensors, dual-zone automatic climate control, a 12-speaker Sony audio system, navigation, a dual-headrest DVD system, blind spot monitoring and the MyFord Touch infotainment system with an 8-inch touch-screen display. Some critics wish the infotainment system was more intuitive, and note that the touch-screen system and dashboard controls are not within easy reach from the driver’s seat.
"Ford's EcoBoost engine lineup is a key part of its fuel-efficiency strategy, and for the first time, a turbocharged EcoBoost V6 powers the Expedition. It delivers more horsepower and torque while, according to Ford, using less fuel. That's not the only improvement to the latest version of Ford's largest SUV. Updated styling, new trim choices, and advanced safety and infotainment technology make the Expedition more capable than ever." -- AutoTrader
"Although the ‘refreshed’ Expedition is facing off against completely redesigned GM rivals - which we certainly like - if you're shopping this league, it would be a mistake to overlook Ford's biggest SUV. It may be a distant finisher in the segment sales race, but it just might be a winner for you." -- Consumer Guide
"After years of living in the shadow of GM's fleet of body-on-frame SUVs the Expedition is quietly reasserting itself not only as a rival, but also as a true contender for the domestic full-size-SUV crown. If your vehicular needs include loads of interior space and towing capability in a traditional SUV package, the rebooted and EcoBoosted Expedition deserves a serious look." -- Car and Driver
"If you're in the market for a full-size SUV, the new Expedition absolutely deserves your full attention. The changes made for 2015 are purposeful and effective, breathing new life into this long-in-the-tooth SUV. With its newfound power and refinement, the Expedition is better than ever, and a serious contender for best-in-class status." -- Edmunds

Monday, March 23, 2015

Ford C-Max Hybrid Review

The 2015 Ford C-Max Hybrid ranks 5 out of 8 Wagons. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the Ford C-Max Hybrid, as well as reliability and safety data.

The 2015 Ford C-Max Hybrid is ranked: #5
 in Wagons #10
 in Hatchback s#6
 in Hybrid Cars

The 2015 Ford C-Max Hybrid has agile handling and plenty of passenger space, according to critics, but its appeal is diminished by a frustrating infotainment system and small cargo area.

Test drivers think the C-Max Hybrid’s four-cylinder engine and electric motor provide lively acceleration for a hybrid and plenty of passing power on the highway. The 2015 Ford C-Max Hybrid gets an EPA-estimated 42/37 mpg city/highway, which is great for a wagon, but a bit low for a hybrid. Reviewers write that the Ford C-Max Hybrid responsive steering, and many say that the C-Max outperforms many hybrids with a comfortable ride and nimble handling.

According to auto writers, the 2015 Ford C-Max Hybrid’s cabin has an upscale feel, with top-notch materials, solid build quality and a sharp design. They say the driver’s seat offers ample headroom and a great view of the road, while the rear seats have plenty of head- and legroom. However, the C-Max Hybrid has less cargo capacity than most other wagons. Standard features include a USB port, Bluetooth, dual-zone automatic climate control and Ford’s hands-free SYNC system. Available features include leather upholstery, heated front seats, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, a fixed glass panoramic roof, push-button start, a nine-speaker Sony audio system, navigation, satellite radio, rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, parallel park assist and Ford’s MyFord Touch infotainment system. Test drivers appreciate the C-Max Hybrid’s long list of tech features, though they complain that MyFord Touch can be difficult to use.
"The 2015 Ford C-Max Hybrid is an interesting alternative to compact crossovers, wagons and hybrids. Its high fuel economy and refined driving manners make it especially appealing." -- Edmunds
"If you're seeking good fuel economy in a green car that doesn't look boring or overly futuristic, the 2015 Ford C-Max Hybrid deserves a good look. Handsome styling, a detailed interior and great driving dynamics leave little downside to this purchase." -- Kelley Blue Book
"Ford's C-MAX tall wagon/crossover provides a well-appointed interior, useful technology features and an engaging, European-flavored driving experience that stands out from the hybrid norm." -- Left Lane News
"Where the C-Max Hybrid has its most obvious advantage, besides a somewhat lower sticker price, is that it excels as an example of discerning design. It's a very pleasant car to sit in, to drive, or just to lean on." -- Automobile Magazine (2013)

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Ford Taurus Review

The 2015 Ford Taurus ranks 9 out of 10 Affordable Large Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the Ford Taurus, as well as reliability and safety data.

While test drivers are pleased with the Ford Taurus’ powerful engines and excellent trunk space, its clumsy handling and confusing infotainment system disappoint.

Powered by its standard V6 engine, reviewers say the 2015 Ford Taurus has a good amount of power and accelerates quickly enough to appease most drivers. Still, they are even more impressed with both available engines. An available turbocharged four-cylinder engine wows reviewers with its brisk acceleration and improved fuel economy, and they say the available turbocharged V6 engine delivers excellent power and the fastest acceleration in the lineup. Models with the standard V6 engine earn 19/29 mpg city/highway, which is about average for a V6-powered large car. However, models with the turbo four earn 22/32 mpg city/highway, which is one of the best fuel economy estimates in the class. Automotive writers are also happy with the Ford Taurus’ silky six-speed automatic transmission, which comes standard with all three engines. While some critics say the 2015 Taurus offers stable handling and sharp steering, others say the Taurus' large size makes for ponderous handling.

Automotive journalists praise the Ford Taurus' cabin for its handsome styling. They say that despite being outfitted with lots of hard plastics, the Taurus' interior materials quality is first-rate. The front seats have plenty of room, they say, but some critics disagree on whether the Taurus’ rear seats are roomy or cramped. The 2015 Taurus comes standard with a rearview camera, a six-speaker audio system, an auxiliary audio jack, MyKey and Ford’s voice-activated SYNC system, which includes Bluetooth and a USB port. Available features include a 12-speaker Sony audio system, the MyFord Touch infotainment system with an 8-inch touch screen, a power moonroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, navigation, rear parking sensors, blind spot monitoring, cross traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, active park assist, remote start, push-button start and proximity key. According to most reviewers, the available MyFord Touch infotainment system, which controls audio, navigation and climate settings, is confusing and slow. With 20.1 cubic feet of room, the Taurus has more trunk space than that of nearly every rival, and reviewers report that the Taurus' deep trunk floor and wide opening makes cargo-loading a breeze.
"… the Taurus is outclassed by newer large sedan rivals. Its interior isn't as roomy as expected given the car's size, and outward visibility is poor. There's also ponderous handling indicative of a big sedan and the sometimes frustrating MyFord Touch system's touchscreen controls." -- Edmunds
"Though it isn't as big inside as its looks suggest, the Taurus does offer a broad spectrum of technology and convenience features along with an efficient four-cylinder EcoBoost engine capable of returning 32 mpg on the highway." -- Left Lane News
"Like a prehistoric animal living blissfully without influence from the rest of the world, the 2014 Ford Taurus has had evolutionary blinders on; it simply hasn't changed quickly enough to stay competitive in this class." -- (2014)
"Ford's 2014 Taurus is working the full-size sedan market against newer rivals like the Toyota Avalon and all-new Chevrolet Impala. A tough task considering how good the competition is, but the Taurus has many tricks up its sleeve, starting with its engine lineup." -- Kelley Blue Book (2014)

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Ford Fiesta Review

The 2015 Ford Fiesta ranks 12 out of 41 Affordable Small Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the Ford Fiesta, as well as reliability and safety data.

The 2015 Ford Fiesta is ranked:#12
 in Affordable Small Cars #3
 in Affordable Subcompact Cars #9
 in Hatchbacks

Though some are let down by its confusing tech features and small back seat, critics agree that the 2015 Ford Fiesta offers nimble driving dynamics and a high-quality interior.

The 2015 Ford Fiesta comes with a four-cylinder engine that reviewers say provides adequate power in most situations, though some say the engine strains during highway passing and merging. A five-speed manual transmission is standard on the base Fiesta, and a six-speed automatic is optional. Critics agree that the Fiesta’s optional turbocharged three-cylinder engine provides strong acceleration and great fuel economy, while the high-performance Fiesta ST comes with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine that offers exceptional power. The EPA reports that the base 2015 Fiesta gets 28/36 mpg city/highway, which is pretty good for the class. Meanwhile, the three-cylinder Fiesta gets an excellent 31/43 mpg city/highway. The Fiesta earns praise for its controlled highway ride and accurate steering. Additionally, some auto writers say that the Fiesta’s nimble handling makes it a standout among subcompact cars.

Critics remark that the 2015 Fiesta has an attractive, well-built cabin that features a mix of soft-touch materials and hard plastics. They write that the Fiesta’s front seats are spacious and comfortable, though some report that the Fiesta’s back seat is confining, even for a subcompact car. The Ford Fiesta is available as a sedan or a hatchback, and while reviewers note that the Fiesta sedan offers ample trunk space for the class, many say that the Fiesta hatchback has less overall cargo space than a number of competitors. Test drivers write that it can be difficult to pair a phone with the Fiesta’s base audio system, and that the stereo’s controls are confusing and difficult to reach. As a result, some recommend the available MyFord Touch infotainment system, saying that it is much easier to use. The 2015 Fiesta comes standard with power door locks and Ford’s voice-activated Sync system, which includes a USB port and Bluetooth phone connectivity. Available features include cruise control, power windows, keyless entry and ignition, a moonroof, the MyFord Touch infotainment system with a 6.5-inch touch screen, navigation, leather upholstery, heated front seats and a review camera.
"Affordable to buy, cheap to operate and entertaining to drive are three of our primary criteria for a desirable economy car, and the 2015 Ford Fiesta has no problem scoring high on each. A classier-than-expected interior and fully up-to-date infotainment equipment only underscore our feeling that the Fiesta is a subcompact car that punches well above its price class." -- Edmunds
"The 2015 Ford Fiesta offers up great fuel economy, modern build quality and higher-end interior materials, and a slew of modern features, all wrapped up in some of the most stylish subcompact clothes we've ever seen. It does this while keeping a competitive price against its peers." -- Kelley Blue Book
"Developed for Europe before launching in the U.S. with upgrades to bring it in line with local regulations and tastes, Ford's Fiesta subcompact has a more premium feel than its modest price tag would suggest. While its quirky dual-clutch automatic transmission and limited rear seat/cargo space mean it won't be perfect for everyone, the Fiesta does impress with sporty driving dynamics and a boatload of available technology and comfort features." -- Left Lane News
"Therein lies the most beautiful part about the Fiesta ST package: It hits a really sweet spot in the US market. If you don't really need the space of the somewhat larger B-segment hatches, you don't have to get it. Save your money and have just as much fun in the Fiesta, if not more." -- Autoblog (2014)
"If the Fiesta's excellent fuel economy, technical competency and many features aren't enough for you, we think the price tag will seal the deal." -- MSN (2012)