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The Ford Focus ST produces 252 hp, which is a pretty big number for a car its size. It makes for a fast, agile car that’s fun to drive. Ford has decided, however, that 252 simply isn’t big enough. This brings us to the upcoming Ford Focus RS.

The RS is, as of now, still a couple years away, at least in the US. Europe may see it a bit earlier. The exciting bits are the specs that have leaked so far. The RS will be powered by the same 2.3L EcoBoost that is in the 2015 Mustang, but rumor has it that this iteration of the engine will kick out 330hp. That’s a lot of power for a car that weighs just over 3000 lbs. Handling will be taken care of by a limited-slip differential on the front axis, and fuel economy is rumored to be up 20% over the last version of the RS.

Whatever the final specs turn out to be, this will be one hot hatchback. And we just can’t wait for it to get here!

09-2015-ford-mustang-1

Yesterday Ford revealed the final specs on the latest version of their iconic pony car. The biggest change came from the naturally aspirated GT model which will pump out as much as 435 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque from it’s 5.0-liter V8. These numbers easily surpass the previously estimated “more than” 420 hp and 390 lb-ft of torque.

In its first turbo Mustang since the 1986 SVO, Ford announced that the 2.3-liter turbocharged EcoBoost four-cylinder makes 310 horsepower and 320 pound-feet of torque.

The 3.7-liter V6 Mustang, which has by default become the entry-level model, has actually taken a slight decrease in power from the 2014′s 305 hp. The new V6 will now make 300 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque.

Those of you who feared the new technologies would significantly increase the weight of the new Mustang’s were overstated. According to a Ford slide shown at the Dearborn presentation, the lightest model in the 2015 lineup will be the EcoBoost four-cylinder with an automatic transmission, weighing in with a base curb weight of 3,524 pounds. This is only a 28 pound increase over last year’s V6 model with a manual.

The rest of the lineup is similarly trim. The base curb weight of the 2015 V6 fastback with a six-speed manual transmission is 3,526 pounds, a 30-pound increase from the 2014 model. A V6 with an automatic is 3,530 pounds (up just 12 pounds), followed by the EcoBoost with a manual (3,532 pounds).

The GT packed on 87 pounds, and now weighs 3,705, and the GT with an automatic gained 54 pounds to now weigh 3,729 pounds.

Raj Nair, Ford product chief, said the focus was on the power-to-weight ratio (11.36 pounds per hp for the EcoBoost and 8.52 pounds per hp for the GT). In his exact words he said this is, “the greatest most advanced performing Mustang we’ve ever done.”

If you’re excited about how these numbers compare to Ford’s previous estimations, just sit back and wait for Ford’s Special Vehicles Team to rock your socks off. They’re hard at work and are promising to give us something that’s even more menacing!

  • 2015 Ford Expedition is the most powerful, fuel-efficient Expedition ever, with a 3.5-liter EcoBoost® V6 engine and SelectShift® six-speed transmission under the hood
  • Advanced technology in new Expedition includes standard electric power-assisted steering, SYNC® with available MyFord Touch®, available Blind Spot Information System® with cross-traffic alert, and continuously controlled damping to give drivers control of ride performance
  • Already a leader in cargo space and towing capability, new Expedition is now more luxurious, with new Platinum model added for 2015

The new 2015 Ford Expedition is a full-size utility vehicle for consumers who want capability, class-leading maximum cargo space in the extended-length version and the latest advanced technologies.

The 2015 Expedition goes on sale later this year with a refreshed new look, a 3.5-liter EcoBoost® V6 engine that also powers the industry-leading Ford F-150, and a quieter cabin with more technology than previous-generation vehicles. It will be the latest Ford nameplate to offer a high-end Platinum series.

“Customers still have a need for a traditional full-size utility vehicle and the new 2015 Expedition delivers what those customers are looking for,” said Keith Wilson, Expedition marketing manager. “These are Ford’s more affluent customers who won’t compromise – they want space, performance, comfort and capability all in one impressive package.”

Expedition, which debuted in 1996, is Ford’s largest utility vehicle, with seating for eight. The standard 2015 Expedition, one of two versions available, has three rows of seats and up to 108.3 cubic feet of cargo space. It sits on a 119-inch wheelbase, making it a little more than 6 inches longer than Ford Explorer. A longer-wheelbase version – 131 inches – has three rows of seats and best-in-class maximum cargo space of 130.8 cubic feet.

2015 Ford Expedition

Expedition will continue to feature an independent rear suspension to deliver a more confident ride and great handling characteristics. The suspension also allows a more convenient fold-flat third-row bench seat and low load-floor height.

The new Expedition features the latest technologies, including available SYNC® with MyFord Touch®, passive entry with push-button start and Blind Spot Information System® with cross-traffic alert. The new 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine, using direct injection and twin turbochargers, provides more power, efficiency and performance than the 5.4-liter V8 in the current model. In response to customer demand, Ford will introduce a top-of-the-line Platinum series Expedition with unique, refined interior appointments.

“Ford is building on a successful tradition of Expedition capability and quality with significant improvements in design, performance, efficiency and technology to bring customers a full-size utility they want to get into when hitting the open road,” said Wilson.

Improved on the road
The 2015 Expedition was engineered to be a technologically advanced utility that is easy to drive and offers refinement for all types of drivers.

“The EcoBoost engine will bring increased torque and horsepower that will excite our customers,” said David Cantrell, Ford assistant chief program engineer for Expedition. “Thanks to improved efficiencies and an independent rear suspension, the 2015 Expedition is not only more fun to drive, it’s also easier to own.”

The 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 will be the only engine offered in Expedition in North America. To maximize performance and control, the vehicle will be equipped with a six-speed SelectShift® automatic transmission featuring a manual mode that allows the driver to use a shift-mounted rocker switch to select the desired gear.

2015 Ford Expedition

With the new powerplant, Expedition will be among the full-size SUV leaders for capability, generating 365 horsepower and 420 lb.-ft. of torque. Add best-in-class maximum cargo space for the extended-length version and available best-in-class towing of up to 9,200 pounds when properly equipped, and customers will find a truly useful utility vehicle.

With the launch of the 2015 model, Expedition also becomes the first Ford nameplate to offer a continuously controlled damping suspension that allows drivers to select from three drive modes – comfort, normal and sport.

A suite of sensors detects 46 unique body, steering and braking inputs. By monitoring Expedition body motion, the system can automatically adjust damping in milliseconds. Continuously controlled damping technology analyzes the weight of the vehicle, steering feedback and road undulations and reacts accordingly to help control wheel and body motions so passengers experience an orderly, comfortable ride. A vehicle with poor damping feels as if it’s bouncing on the suspension springs.

The new Expedition also features Ford’s innovative electric power-assisted steering, which gives drivers improved maneuverability at low speeds and better feel at high speeds, and helps save fuel by operating more efficiently than traditional pump-driven systems. The technology, which has been tuned specifically for the new model, reduces steering effort and makes Expedition more engaging to drive.

Quiet driving experience
With the vehicle’s capability and cargo space comes a cabin customers will find to be even quieter than the current Expedition. A host of changes helps minimize noise. These include improved seals on the body that reduce air leaks by 20 percent.

New sound dampening material in the cabin pillars improves quietness. The material is also packed into the center console to further reduce unwanted road and engine noise.

2015 Ford Expedition

More sound deadening material has been added to the headliner and door trim panels, while the cabin features new carpeting that is able to better absorb sounds. New sound insulation used in the wheel wells also helps create a quieter experience.

Finally, acoustic glass – which debuted on Expedition in 2007 – is used for the windshield across all trim levels to reduce undesirable interior noise. Limited, King Ranch and Platinum trim levels include acoustic glass for driver and passenger side windows.

More technology customers want
The new Expedition debuts with popular technology upgrades consumers are now demanding, including available SYNC with MyFord Touch and driver-assist features such as radar-based Blind Spot Information System with cross-traffic alert.

The updated interior of Expedition incorporates a fresh center stack to accommodate new technologies, including an available 8-inch touch screen for SYNC with MyFord Touch that features driver information in the gauge cluster shown on two full-color 4.2-inch screens.

Other available new technologies on the 2015 Expedition include a Sony® Audio System; passive entry with push-button start; rear view camera; front and rear parking sensors; seven-color, ambient interior LED lighting; and Ford truck apps to help make trailer towing and off-road driving easier.

Fresh style and design
The new Expedition takes full-size utility vehicle design to a higher level with a diverse lineup of vehicles, each featuring a distinct look and feel to give customers more choices. A Platinum trim series popular with F-Series truck buyers will be available on Expedition for the first time.

With tailored, lush leather that’s soft and smooth to the touch, the Platinum series offers customers a choice: Brunello leather-appointed seats in a new red wine color with tuxedo-stripe accents and French-seamed stitching, or Ebony leather-appointed seats with Agate Gray accents.

2015 Ford Expedition

The 2015 Expedition lineup also includes XLT, Limited and King Ranch series. The design team incorporated specific themes to define the look for each series and reflect a different consumer lifestyle.

This thoughtful planning means customers can select from the sporty XLT; the confident, elegant Limited; the sophisticated, urban Platinum; or the rural, rugged King Ranch. Each series has unique finishes specially selected to reflect the lifestyle and desires of the customer. For example, Expedition Limited features refined yet traditional finishes, while Platinum colors and material finishes are fresh and sophisticated.

The Expedition exterior has been updated for 2015 with a front end design that features available halogen projector headlamps and LED fog lamps for a fresh, aggressive look.

Other exterior changes include an all-new wheel lineup topped by optional, factory-installed 22-inch polished aluminum wheels for Limited, King Ranch and Platinum; a revised rear hatch; and subtle, chrome-tipped exhaust.

2015 Ford Expedition

YouTube Video

Ford and Fisher-Price took the F-150 in a whole new dimension today, unveiling the Fisher-Price Power Wheels F-150.  The ride-on toy, which retails starting at $349.99 beginning in September, was inspired by the 2015 F-150.  Ford engineers shared designs nine months before the new truck debuted at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.  This is the third generation of ride on toys inspired by F-150 models and is expected to be the best-selling merchandise Ford sells.  In 2013, Ford generated $2 billion in retail sales with 400 licensing agreements, covering everything from model cars, apparel, pinball machines, pool tables, Mustang cologne and power tools.

At first glance, an automaker and a company best known for its condiments might not seem like productive partners. But Ford and Heinz have partnered up to produce a tomato fiber-based composite to use in automotive manufacturing.

With the ultimate goal of reducing their environmental impact while still getting the best quality product for manufacturing, Ford looked to Heinz for assistance. Dried tomato skins, a byproduct of Heinz’s manufacturing process, are now being turned into wiring brackets and storage bins for Ford cars. This, the companies hope, is the beginning of a push toward 100% sustainable, plant-based products for manufacturing use.

This is a continued part of Ford’s effort to reduce their environmental footprint, and develop sustainable, eco-friendly technology. Read more about this innovation on Ford’s website at https://media.ford.com/content/fordmedia/fna/us/en/news/2014/06/10/ford-and-heinz-collaborate-on-sustainable-materials-for-vehicles.html.

In the spirit of continued pursuit of racing and performance car development, Ford is opening the Ford Technical Support Center in Concord, North Carolina. Becoming fully operational later this summer, the 33,000-square-foot building will at first be a way for Ford racing teams to test and develop their cars, and eventually become the development center for new Ford performance vehicles.

The crown jewel of the building will be the full-motion platform simulator which is capable of simulating the conditions of any track the racing teams might be going up against. This will allow the teams to fine-tune their setup for individual races, and let drivers practice before race weekend arrives. Besides the simulator, the high-tech facility will feature a kinematics machine to help the engineering teams optimize the suspension for race weekend, and various other machines whose purpose is to enhance the race teams’ ability to perform well on race weekend. Eventually, this knowledge will be applied to developing performance cars for the street.

Jim Farley, Ford executive vice president, hopes that the facility will enable Ford to continue to produce top-notch performance vehicles for their customers. “We recognize our customers want vehicles that offer great fuel economy, leading technology and a great driving experience. Our new technical center is another tool that will help us continue to grow our performance vehicle business around the world.”

Technical Support Center

The Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula 1 team has been dominant this year – their drivers have finished first and second in the last four races, by quite a large margin. Why have they been so untouchable up to this point in the season? A great deal of credit has to go to their engineering team for the innovative turbo design on this year’s Mercedes power plant.

A turbocharger consists of two parts- the turbocharger itself, and a compressor. On a standard Formula 1 car – or any car with a turbo – the turbocharger and compressor are seated next to each other at the back of the engine, turning exhaust into extra horsepower by turning it into cooler, denser air that can be pumped straight back into the combustion engine. Since exhaust is by nature extremely hot, the turbo has to pump this air through a series of pipes to cool it off enough to return to the engine, creating a gap between when the turbo is applied and when its effects take place. This is known as turbo lag.

What Mercedes has done, and what makes their engine so much more powerful and efficient than others on the F1 circuit, is separate the turbo and the compressor. The turbo sits at the back of the engine, like normal, but the compressor is instead at the front, and the two are connected by a shaft that runs through the engine. What this does is allow a shorter distance of pipe for the air to flow through, causing less turbo lag and giving more power to the engine from the turbocharger.

Engine designs are locked in at this point in the season, meaning no other teams can copy the Mercedes design, so their lead might be a difficult one to surmount. Innovations like this have made their way from Formula 1 to production cars in the past, so keep an eye out for better, more efficient turbochargers coming into production in the near future.

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