Ford Super Duty (2011)



Ford Super Duty customers expect and demand capability from the best-selling heavy-duty truck in America. For most Super Duty owners, it’s the core asset of their business. Day after day, year after year, it’s expected to deliver results in the most demanding situations. No nonsense. And never any excuses.

“Our Super Duty customers do some of America’s toughest jobs,” said Mark Fields, Ford president of The Americas. “Every day they’re out there working with little fanfare and all they ask is the right tool for the job. The new 2011 Ford Super Duty offers them a truck with best-in-class towing and payload, all-new powertrains and even more capability than ever to help them do their jobs.”

Ford’s F-Series has been the best-selling line of trucks in the U.S. for 32 straight years. The new Super Duty further underscores Ford’s Built Ford Tough legacy.

“The 2011 Ford Super Duty offers the widest array of solutions for the widest array of heavy-duty work truck customers,” said Chris Brewer, chief engineer. “The Super Duty lineup offers a variety of body styles and powertrains, from diesel and gasoline engines, each with a new six-speed transmission, to pickup trucks and chassis cabs, each with the towing and payload capabilities that define Super Duty.”

New diesel and gasoline engines deliver improved torque, horsepower, fuel economy

For 2011, Super Duty features both an all-new diesel and gasoline engine that are mated to a new transmission. The new diesel, the 6.7-liter Power Stroke V-8 turbocharged diesel engine, was designed, engineered and built by a Ford team dedicated solely to delivering this class-leading diesel engine to the next-generation Super Duty to enable continued best-in-class towing and payload.

Benefits of the new 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel engine:

  • First use of a compacted graphite iron (CGI) engine block in a Super Duty-class vehicle in North America; CGI is stronger than cast iron, and Ford successfully has used the material in engine blocks in products around the world. The block structure was optimized for reduced weight and maximum strength to meet the demands of higher torque and more horsepower and enable class-leading fuel economy.
  • Unique inboard exhaust and outboard intake architecture, an automotive-industry first for a modern production diesel, reduces overall exhaust system volume, which leads to better throttle response; a reduced exhaust system surface area minimizes heat transfer to the engine compartment and improves NVH (noise, vibration and harshness).
  • The turbocharger features an industry-first dual-sided compressor wheel that works in a single housing. The unit is uniquely center-mounted on a pedestal low in the back of the valley for improved NVH. The design allows the single unit to deliver the advantages of a twin-turbocharger system in a smaller, more efficient package, combining the benefits of a small turbocharger (faster response) and a large turbocharger (ability to compress and force more air into the engine for more power) in one unit.
  • The high-pressure fuel system injects fuel at more than 29,000 psi. The system delivers up to five injection events per cylinder per cycle using eight-hole piezo injectors to spray fuel into the piston bowl. The direct-injection system is calibrated and phased for optimum power, fuel efficiency and NVH.
  • Aluminum cylinder heads for reduced weight; the mid-deck construction with dual water jackets provides increased strength and optimal cooling; six-head bolts, instead of four as found on other engines, help improve sealing and maintain cylinder integrity even with the higher firing pressures.
  • Compatible up to B20 fuel, allowing greener fueling options of up to 20 percent biodiesel and 80 percent petroleum diesel.

“Developing the new 6.7-liter Power Stroke V-8 turbocharged diesel engine was an awesome endeavor,” said Adam Gryglak, lead 6.7-liter diesel engineering manager. “After all the engineering and testing, we’re confident this engine will ensure the new Super Duty continues its leadership in capability, reliability and productivity.”

The engine and aftertreatment system for the 6.7-liter Power Stroke V-8 turbocharged diesel powertrain ably meets the new, more stringent 2010 federal emissions requirements for nitrogen oxides (NOx), which have to be lowered by approximately 80 percent.

New gasoline engine delivers more torque, horsepower than outgoing model

Ford tapped into a bit of its proud racing heritage to create the new 6.2-liter V-8 gasoline engine, which uses big-bore architecture to produce horsepower and class-leading fuel economy. The V-8’s large bore (102 mm) allows for larger intake and exhaust valves for improved engine breathing, and the short stroke (95 mm) allows higher engine speed for increased horsepower.

Benefits of the new 6.2-liter V-8 gasoline engine include:

  • SOHC valvetrain with roller-rocker shafts: The single overhead camshaft (SOHC) per cylinder head design results in a stiff valvetrain that allows optimized camshaft lift profiles and results in great low-speed torque. The roller-rocker shafts allow valve angles to be splayed, resulting in optimized intake and exhaust port layout for better breathing.
  • Dual-equal variable cam timing: Intake and exhaust valve opening and closing events are phased at the same time to optimize fuel economy and performance throughout the engine speed range and throttle positions.
  • Two spark plugs per cylinder: Due to the large bore size, two spark plugs per cylinder are used to more efficiently burn the fuel-air mixture in the combustion chamber, enabling better fuel economy and increased engine torque. The twin plugs also help the engine maintain a smooth, stable idle.
  • Dual knock sensors: A knock sensor on each bank of cylinders of the V-8 engine allows the spark timing of each of the cylinders to be individually optimized real time, throughout the engine speed range. The engine learns the optimum timing via an adaptive algorithm.
  • Better engine crankcase “breathing” and efficiency: Significant development work and computer-aided engineering optimized the cylinder block for more efficient airflow in the crankcase as the pistons move up and down in the bores, resulting in improved torque at higher engine speeds. Piston-cooling jets squirt oil on the underside of the pistons to keep the piston crowns cool under extreme operating conditions. The cooling jets also allow for a higher compression ratio for better engine efficiency and faster engine oil warm-up on cold starts, also improving fuel economy.

New TorqShift transmission harnesses and manages the power; Live Drive PTO available

The all-new 6R140 heavy-duty TorqShift six-speed automatic transmission was designed to manage the high low-end torque produced by the new diesel engine. The same basic transmission also is mated to the new gasoline engine, giving customers of either engine the ability to efficiently get the increased torque and horsepower to the ground. Engineered for greater efficiency and fuel economy, improvements include refined architecture to provide relatively low clutch speeds, which result in lower drag losses, and optimized fluid levels and drainback to reduce churning of fluid while also providing superior lubrication.

In addition to hardware-based improvements, the new transmission features enhanced Tow Haul with integrated engine exhaust braking and SelectShift Automatic capability, which includes Progressive Range Select and a manual mode, allowing customers to select the gear to suit their needs.

The new TorqShift transmission also enables the first application of Live Drive PTO (Power Take Off) in a Super Duty-class vehicle. On 2011 Ford Super Duty diesels with the PTO prep option, the PTO output gear is linked through the torque converter to the engine crankshaft. This allows the transmission to power auxiliary equipment such as snowplows, aerial lifts, tow truck lifts, cement mixers or dump trucks. The power is available any time the engine is running.

Pioneered on agricultural applications, the Live Drive feature is particularly useful when mobile PTO function is required during start-stop operations, such as salt spreading or snow plowing. “A fully functional Live Drive mobile PTO will allow Super Duty customers to take full advantage of the equipment on their trucks,” said Al Bruck, 6R140 transmission engineering manager.

Best-in-class towing and payload; new towing options

Putting all that power to work is what defines Super Duty. The 2011 Ford Super Duty features increased towing and payload capability, extending its best-in-class rating, and also offering more towing from inside the bed. New is the first-ever factory-installed and warranted fifth wheel and gooseneck substructure directly attached to the frame.

“Our system is factory-installed and with a limited warranty from Ford. The electrical connection is mounted in the side of the bed wall, providing a clean installation,” said Peter Frantzeskakis, vehicle engineering manager.

Particularly noteworthy are productivity enhancements to the F-450 pickup to benefit the heaviest-duty trailer tow customers. Unneeded weight was shed, helping to improve fuel economy and top speed. Even with these changes, the Super Duty F-450 pickup maintains its class-leading gross combined weight rating of 33,000 pounds.

Addition of Trailer Sway Control leads safety enhancements

Ford’s lauded Trailer Sway Control (TSC) system joins the Super Duty lineup, giving those customers segment-first capability. TSC is integrated with AdvanceTrac® with Roll Stability Control™, which now is standard on all single rear wheel (SRW) configurations.

The AdvanceTrac control module uses additional software to monitor the truck’s motion when a trailer is attached. Trailer Sway Control can determine from the yaw motion of the truck if the trailer is swaying and take measures – such as applying precise braking or reducing engine torque – to help reduce the trailer sway.

For further peace of mind, the available integrated trailer brake controller, factory-installed and covered by a Ford limited warranty, offers smoother and safer operation due to its ability to interface with multiple vehicle systems.

Normal braking is proportional to driver brake pressure for smooth brake stops at all speeds. If the vehicle’s Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) is engaged, the special trailer brake kicks in to minimize the potential for trailer wheel lock up. In Super Duty trucks with Trailer Brake Control towing trailers with electric brakes, the Ford system can, during a sway event, also apply brakes to the trailer to help stabilize it.

Other enhanced towing, off-road control features and safety improvements include:

  • Hill Start Assist, which applies brakes to prevent rollback
  • Hill Descent Control™, which uses the accelerator and brake to set, and then hold, the speed
  • Electronic Locking Differential, which provides maximum traction by forcing the rear wheels to turn at the same speed
  • Standard tire pressure monitoring system on all SRW (single rear wheel) models
  • Optional side air bags and air curtains
  • A new available 4.2-inch LCD screen includes information on specific features such as Trailer Brake Control and Tow Haul

Improved ride, handling and steering for a more comfortable experience

In addition to increased towing and payload capability and improved fuel mileage enabled by the new powertrains, customers of the next Super Duty also will benefit from improved ride, handling and steering. For 2011, the engineering team optimized the frame and suspension of the current Super Duty, particularly the leaf springs and spring rate, as well as adjusting the internal valving in all the shock absorbers to enable greater towing and payload capability with further ride refinement.

The steering gear also is new. The 4×2 F-250 and F-350 Super Duty feature modified steering system geometry to take better advantage of the twin I-beam suspension, which combines the performance of an independent suspension with the durability of a beam axle suspension. Improved response, precision and better on-center steering and control come from making the steering gear symmetric left to right.

The result is greater customer comfort, confidence and control in all situations.

“A big part of the comfort in Super Duty trucks comes through controllability,” said Dan Gompper, vehicle dynamics supervisor. “No matter if the truck is loaded or unloaded, full trailer or empty trailer, customers can be fully confident.”

Bold exterior, new flow-through console highlights interior

The new hood of the 2011 Super Duty, with its prominent inverted power dome, complements the new diesel and gasoline engines lurking beneath. “Super Duty” is stamped on the upper grille, with a larger Ford oval proudly gracing the front.

Inside, customers will benefit from a new reconfigurable flow-through console that improves the functionality of the truck. Storage space is increased about 60 percent, and at least 70 different configurations are possible. A 12-volt powerpoint is available at the rear of the console and another is located inside the main bin, which is lockable. A 110-volt power inverter is standard with all console configurations.

Improved productivity through Ford Work Solutions

For many customers, the Super Duty cab also serves as a mobile office. Industry-exclusive Ford Work Solutions is part of available technology to help customers stay connected with their business from the job site and track tools.

A new available 4.2-inch LCD Productivity Screen allows customers to take full advantage of the 2011 Ford Super Duty’s capabilities; an off-road message center has been added as well. The five-way button on the steering wheel allows customers to navigate through various menu options – several relating to fuel economy and towing convenience – never before available on a Super Duty truck.

Continuing the legacy of quality

With all-new powertrains enabling greater towing and payload capability, safety enhancements such as Trailer Sway Control added and greater functionality with available Ford Work Solutions, the new 2011 Ford Super Duty is poised to continue its legacy as America’s premier work truck.

The accolades the current Super Duty has received, based on 2009 model year GQRS (Global Quality Research System) data, include:

  • Best-in-Class TGW (Things Gone Wrong) for All Pickup Truck Segments
  • Best-in-Class Customer Satisfaction among Heavy Duty Pickups

“With all-new powertrains and increased capability, the 2011 Ford Super Duty improves on its proud heritage as the ultimate work truck,” said Brewer.


Ford Mustang AV-X10

Ford-Mustang AV-X10

Ford-Mustang AV-X10

Ford Motor Company created a truly one-of-a-kind vehicle, the Ford Mustang AV-X10 “Dearborn Doll,” to be sold at auction during the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) 2009 AirVenture Oshkosh, the world’s greatest aviation celebration. Ford is the exclusive automotive partner with EAA AirVenture Oshkosh and all of the proceeds from the sale will benefit the Young Eagles organization. EAA AirVenture Oshkosh will be held from July 27 to Aug. 2, 2009 at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

The name Ford Mustang AV-X10 is trademarked by Ford Motor Company and symbolizes an AirVenture Xperimental project vehicle based on a 2010 Ford Mustang The “10” designation represents the model year of the Ford Mustang, plus the 10-millionth engine from the Romeo Engine Plant. The one-of-a-kind, fully-customized vehicle was created by a dedicated Ford team, including Ford Mustang Chief Designer Darrell Behmer, Design Manager George Saridakis and Ford Mustang Chief Nameplate Engineer Dave Pericak, and Senior Designers Robert Gelardi and Garen Nicoghosian.. The sale of the AV-X10 will highlight an evening of festivities at the EAA Gathering of Eagles at AirVenture on July 30.

The group that will directly benefit from the auction proceeds is EAA’s Young Eagles, which has provided free introductory flights to nearly 1.3 million young people since 1992 while also teaching the value of hard work, personal responsibility and enhanced math and science skills.

“Ford Motor Company has been a committed partner of EAA throughout the years and especially during AirVenture, where Ford’s support has brought value to those who make ‘Oshkosh’ the pinnacle of their aviation year,” said Tom Poberezny, EAA chairman and president. “The generous creation of such specialty vehicles allows EAA to provide support to its valuable programs and dedicated members inspiring young people and building the future of flight.”

In 2008, a specially built one-of-a-kind Ford Mustang named AV8R raised a record $500,000 for Young Eagles. “Although it will be hard to top the AV8R, the Ford team is committed to delivering another extraordinary vehicle of interest for all enthusiasts and collectors for EAA’s Gathering of Eagles,” said Edsel B Ford II, a member of Ford’s Board of Directors.

The Ford Mustang AV-X10 “Dearborn Doll” is Build #1 of 1 and will be a collector’s dream vehicle. The AV-X10 is based on a 2010 Ford Mustang GT with the glass roof option. From there the car takes on its one-of-a-kind personality. Ford Racing performance modifications (Supercharger, Handling Pack, tuned exhaust, and exhaust tips) help generate 550-horsepower from the aluminum block 4.6L 24-valve engine. The special racing Handling Pack optimizes the performance experience and lowers the ride height by 1-inch.

AV-X10’s stunning design theme includes exclusive Satin Silver exterior paint with yellow nose cone and rear wing, 19″ Shelby GT500 wheels in liquid silver with yellow propeller tips, and white gloss accents emphasizes the connection with the famous P-51 Mustang aircraft from WWII fame and other aircraft from this era. The “Dearborn Doll” nickname is displayed on the front quarter panels using pin-up graphics to enhance the authentic connection to the WWII era fighter planes. The all-glass roof includes a unique Air Force Star and Bar graphic treatment. The aviation inspired interior includes Bader “worn” leather, military khaki shaded, diamond tucked unique seat and door inserts. Ford Racing Pyrometer, Boost, and Fuel Pressure gauges, plus unique “Ground Speed” and AV-X10 cluster graphics complete the package.

Enhancing the value and allure of the vehicle, the Ford Mustang AV-X10 “Dearborn Doll” will also feature autographs from aviation legends and celebrities attending EAA AirVenture, which could include Harrison Ford, Edsel B. Ford II, Jack Roush, Carroll Shelby, and others. The vehicle will be on display at the Ford Hangar at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh beginning July 27.

Additionally, Ford and EAA will give AirVenture attendees the chance to win a 2010 Ford Mustang GT convertible and other cash prizes in a raffle, with proceeds benefiting the EAA Young Eagles program.

During EAA AirVenture, Ford will also be providing opportunities to ride in vehicles which span the past century and point to the future direction of Ford vehicles. AirVenture attendees can ride in one of several Model T’s on site with members of the Model T Ford Club of America as well as participate in the 2011 Ford Fiesta Movement demo drive. Visitors to the Ford Hangar, in the heart of the EAA AirVenture campus, will be invited to experience the new 2010 Ford F-150 Raptor through an exciting simulator experience and test out Ford’s latest features and technologies. Numerous interactive exhibits will also be available to demonstrate the latest Ford “Smart,” “Quality,” “Green,” and “Safe” innovations. More than 50 vehicles will be on display combined with numerous activities to engage and educate visitors of all ages.

New Ford Ranger



The new Ford Ranger makes its European debut at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show, combining sleek and modern exterior design with genuine toughness and durability. Ford Ranger plays as hard as it works, both on and off-road.

“The Ford Ranger nameplate is already established in more than 100 markets around the world,” said Henrik Nenzen, Ford of Europe’s Director of Commercial Vehicle Marketing and Sales. “The new model delivers even more style, comfort and features, making it an ideal choice for a family activity weekend, or a working week.”

Contemporary and sporty new exterior and interior design details make new Ford Ranger a credible lifestyle choice, while its versatility and ‘tough truck’ underpinnings make it a robust and reliable work partner.

Built in Thailand, the new model will arrive in European Ford showrooms from April and is available in a comprehensive choice of model series, from the entry-level XL to the range-topping Wildtrak.

Bold New Ford Ranger Face and Profile

In design terms, the new front styling gives Ford Ranger a sleeker, more modern look, but also shows it means business.

A large horizontal three-bar grille dominates, and is proudly embossed with RANGER lettering. Two black vertical nostrils either side of the grille plus the extended opening below the bumperline and large headlamps that wrap around each front corner create an instantly recognisable design statement. The lower bumper fascia also includes integrated foglamps.

// // New Ford Ranger’s tough contemporary style is supported by solid, modern engineering. The sweeping, tapered front is more aerodynamic and sweeps rearward at its edges to incorporate Ford Ranger’s bold front wheel arches. This key design detail communicates Ford Ranger’s solid, confident stance and grippy handling character, whether in 4×2 or 4×4 configuration.

Design features influenced by extensive wind tunnel testing also include the door mirrors. Increased in size for better visibility, the mirror’s shape – incorporating the LED turn indicator on Wildtrak – was specifically designed to reduce air turbulence and wind noise.

Ford Ranger is available in three body styles – Single Cab, RAP (Rear Access Panel) Cab and Double Cab. The RAP Cab is a four-door system to provide freer access to the cabin by featuring two forward-hinged doors and two rear-hinged access panels. An innovation first introduced to Ford Ranger in 2002, the RAP Cab provides unobstructed access to the spacious interior for ease of entry and cargo loading and an uncompromised side-impact safety structure that replaces the centre pillar of a traditional double cab. In addition a Chassis Cab version is available on both the single Cab and RAP Cab.

Contemporary Details

A new black vent at the trailing edge of the front wings is one of the key styling signatures. The vent features detailed recessed meshwork which surrounds a chrome Ford Ranger badge on Wildtrak models or the side-indicator repeater.

Ford Ranger’s large door mirrors incorporate feature details to reflect the series choice. The mirror is moulded in black on the XL, finished with a body colour cap for Ford Ranger XLT models and a chrome-finished cap for Ford Ranger Limited and Wildtrak. The door mirrors on Wildtrak feature a high-intensity LED integral turn indicator. Mirrors pivot for tight clearance areas and all series now benefit from electrically heated mirrors for improved visibility.

Rear bumper finishes give further opportunity to reflect model series, so treatments progress from black on the XL to chrome on the higher series with Park Distance Control additionally featuring on the Limited and Wildtrak models.

Ford Ranger is offered with ten high quality exterior paint choices, five of which are new: Highland Green, Wining Blue, Lagoon Blue, Copper Red and Desert Bronze.

New Ford Ranger also debuts a clear tail lamp design – another contemporary cue – that visually unites the smooth tailgate to the sculpted box side. The clear tail lamps further emphasise the reality of car-like styling and features available in Ford’s pick-up range.

Style, Space, Craftsmanship and Comfort

Despite its tough load lugging and off-road capabilities, the new Ford Ranger’s interior offers car-like comfort and low noise levels, thanks to ergonomically crafted seats, climate control and MP3-compatible audio and a bodyshell engineered to isolate road noise from the cabin.

“Minimising NVH (Noise, Vibration and Harshness) in all of our products is a key target for us,” says Nenzen. “Ford Ranger is no exception to this and the new model is more comfortable than ever.”

All Ford Ranger models offer AM/FM radio and an MP3-compatible CD player as standard. The audio unit features a digital display that incorporates a clock function.

The lower centre console features two integral 12-volt power outlets and – on all models except the entry level XL – an additional AUX input connection for popular audio players, such as an iPod.

Ford Ranger also offers an array of clever stowage solutions, including a centre stack sunglass binnacle, a front door stowage bin capable of accommodating a half-litre bottle and a pull-out sliding tray above the glove compartment.

Extending the width of the passenger side of the dashboard, the slideout tray supports a weight of 10 kilograms and is ideal for use as a work surface for writing or map reading.

Ford Ranger’s large centre console features a two-level design. Its top bin is ideal for accommodating smaller items such as a mobile phone, while its lower bin can house larger objects, including up to 10 CD cases.

Power window and mirror controls are a standard feature in all four Ford Ranger series. The driver’s window has a one-touch down feature and the switch is backlit for better night visibility.

Single cab models feature seating for two, the RAP Cab seats four and the Double Cab seats five. The rear seats in the RAP Cab can be folded up to provide secure storage in the cab rather than using the rear load space.

“The high performance air conditioning system, comprehensive audio features and red illumination of the instrument panel coupled with its bold and updated exterior styling make Ford Ranger a very inviting place to be,” said Henrik Nenzen, “It is also the perfect crossover for business-owners and an increasing number of urban drivers seeking a stylish vehicle that reflects and supports their lifestyle choices.”

Ford Ranger Power and Capability

The new Ford Ranger continues to offer a comprehensive choice of engines, transmissions and drivetrain configurations to meet all customer needs.

Two versions of Ford’s Duratorq TDCi turbo diesel engine lead the powertrain line-up. These responsive common-rail diesel engines are available in either 2.5-litre or 3.0-litre versions.

The diesel engines are available in 4×2 and 4×4 configurations and can be paired with either a five-speed automatic or a five-speed manual transmission.

The 143PS (105kW) 2.5-litre engine is rated at 330Nm and has CO2 emission figures of 227 g/km and 244 g/km respectively in 4×2 and 4×4 configurations and regular cab bodystyle. Using the EC combined fuel consumption cycle the 4×2 regular cab bodystyle travels 100 km using 8.3 litres of fuel and the 4×4 uses 8.9 litres.

The 156PS (115kW) 3.0-litre version generates 380Nm at the flat peak of its torque curve.

“Importantly for all of our customers both TDCi engines produce their maximum torque from just 1,800 rpm,” explains Nenzen. “This makes Ford Ranger ideal for great on-road performance or for hauling and towing with its class leading 3,000kg braked trailer loads.”

The Ford Ranger 4×4 is designed for superior ground clearance and river fording capability. Its approach and departure angles are designed to provide off-road clearance.

Ranger Tough

Ford Ranger isn’t just about tough style. It’s about proven ‘truck toughness’.

Ford Ranger’s toughness starts with a purpose-built truck backbone. Its unique overlapped, cross-braced ladder frame delivers clear strength superiority and the frame is engineered for greater rigidity than H-beam or open-beam configurations.

The frame structure is the foundation of Ford Ranger’s load-carrying capacity, towing capability, durability, handling performance and driving quality.

The Load Ranger

The heart of Ford Ranger’s truck capability is its extra-deep-sidewall pickup box. This design maximises load capacity and cargo flexibility.

The Ford Ranger pick-up box features:

  • Well-placed cargo tiedowns. Easy to access, these tiedown hooks have been designed with Ford’s extensive truck engineering experience
  • Slotted inner fenders that allow the easy insertion of available shelving systems for cargo management and loading

Ford Ranger is available in three pick-up box dimensions depending on cab configuration:

  • Single Cab – 2280mm by 1456mm
  • RAP Cab – 1753mm by 1456mm
  • Double Cab – 1530mm by 1456mm

Ford Ranger also offers class-leading towing capability. Equipped with either the 2.5-litre or 3.0-litre TDCi Duratotq engine is rated at up to 3,000kg.

Ford Fiesta Sedan: 2011 model

Ford Fiesta 2011 modelThe UK is no stranger to the Ford Fiesta, however the small car has not had a huge showing in the U.S. that is until now. Hundreds of agents throughout the United States have taken delivery of the Ford Fiesta Sedan, in the hope of making it a popular choice for the U.S. consumer.

The most unusual news has to be the 2011 Ford Fiesta Sedan model, which you can see in these spy shots here. This model is already available in China, but the U.S. version of the car will have a few differences, in order to comply with its regulations.

Those differences will likely be revised fascias to the front and rear; the hatchback will also come in either three or five-door configurations. It is certainly nice to see that Americans are now starting to move away from huge gas guzzling cars, and thinking more about the environment.

Ford is also moving on with its electric car program, we recently reported that the automaker received $5.9 billion to help them build two new electric cars.

2010 Ford Flex shows muscle with twin-turbo EcoBoost

2010-ford-flex-ecoboost-1Last fall, Ford took a group of “influencers” and auto journalists on an urban adventure in New York City to introduce the 2009 Ford Flex. We started at the CUE Gallery in Chelsea where a commissioned artist was spray-painting a Flex roof, went on to dinner at Suba, a Spanish restaurant that floats over a swimming pool and had drinks at the trendy 60 Thompson.

It was the right venue for the 2009 Ford Flex, the seven-passenger “vehicle that dares to be different.” Crossover, CUV, SUV, wagon? You choose.

With its distinct squarish retro look, signature side grooves,wide windows and contrasting roof color (in white suede or brilliant silver), the Flex is a whole new genre of vehicle.

The story goes that J Mays, chief creative officer for Ford Motor Company, was discussing vehicles with a fashion designer who was in the market for a stylish “people mover” to jet out to the Hamptons from New York City. That was the beginning of the idea for the Flex, named the Fairlane as a concept car.

FYI, the much loved Ford Fairlane was a two-toned sedan sold between 1955 and 1971.  Following in the Fairlane’s footprint it appears that the Flex has also captured a lot of love in the last year. This “urban loft on wheels” has garnered everything from  Automobile Magazine – All Star Award; Texas Auto Writers – Overall CUV of the Year; Popular Mechanics – Automotive Excellence Awards; GQ Magazine – Best Stuff of the Year Awards; Car and Driver – SEMA Show Surprisingly Good Canvas Award to Maxim Magazine – Ultimate Road Trip Car. For 2010 the Flex has upped the stakes with a twin-turbocharged all-aluminum 3.5 liter EcoBoost V6 engine that is more fuel efficient, has lower emissions and is more powerful than its predecessor. This time they took a group of journalists to Boulder, Colorado to see how this vehicle would perform at altitude.

2010 Ford Taurus Limited AWD

2010-Ford-TaurusWhen you think of Ford’s Taurus, does your mind immediately conjure up images of a trend-setting four-door sport sedan renowned for a premium-quality interior and performance-oriented driving dynamics? Ford knows that Taurus isn’t a brand synonymous with cool, but it believes in the marketability of name recognition and feels perceptions will change once enough people see and experience its new 2010 model.

Yes, if you’re thinking of buying a full-size sedan from an import brand, do yourself a big favour and check out the new Taurus first. No, really. This is a world-class sedan that will truly have you questioning why you’re even thinking about buying something made in Japan or Germany. Domestics shouldn’t merely build cars that are as good as the imports in order to regain our respect and concurrent business, rather they should produce cars that are much better, and Ford has delivered this time around.

The new Taurus looks exciting, even standing still. Yet it’s not trying too hard to get your attention, it just looks good thanks to complex curves, nice sheetmetal folds, a beltline that actually carries through to the car’s end, even across the gas cap, ultra-tight panel gaps, nice chrome detailing, and generally a good solid, athletic stance. Inside it’s even better, where it comes pretty close to Lincoln MKS territory other than a few harder plastic bits (the outer edges of the centre console are a bit sharp) and environmentally friendly faux wood instead of the real thing. I especially like the split dash top, soft-touch of course, while Ford even went to the trouble of making unique door panel insert molds for each door so that the spray polyurethane copies appear as real as any pseudo leather fittings to date.

The list of standard features is good but nothing shocking, reflective of its $29,999 starting price. The usual power features are joined by cruise and air conditioning, a tilt steering column and a trip computer, keyless entry, plus traction and stability control, four-wheel discs with ABS, a full assortment of airbags, 17-inch alloy wheels, Ford’s Easy Fuel capless fuel-filler, and more. Truly, it’s the options that make the Taurus stand out, shockingly offering more technology than anything in its class and beyond.

How about adaptive cruise control, a collision warning system with brake support, the BLIS blind spot warning system, Cross Traffic Alert that warns of passing vehicles or pedestrians when reversing, automatic high beam headlamps that dim for oncoming traffic, proximity sensing locks with push button ignition, Multi-Contour Seats with massaging Active Motion (and they feel great), MyKey so that your teen can’t drive too fast, rain sensing wipers, a keyless entry pad on the exterior B-pillar for those days at the beach when you’d rather not lose your keys in the sand, a Sony surround sound audio system with all the goodies, SYNC total connectivity system, and a six-speed automatic (standard) with unique BMW-like steering wheel mounted paddles.

The list is of extras that came with my Limited AWD tester is impressive, as is the transmission. It’s efficient and responds quickly to input, weather left in drive or flicked via its thumb and finger activated paddles. The setup will be perfect for some and frustrating to others, mind you, as the paddles won’t shift when the transmission is in Drive, and a flick of the shift lever to its rearmost position doesn’t engage a sport mode, which could enhance automatic mode by increasing revs and potentially holding each gear, but instead it merely engages the manual mode. A good transmission that could be better, but the engine leaves little to be desired.

At 263hp and 249 lb-ft of torque it’s no slouch off the line, even considering the Taurus weighs in at 1,821 kilos (4,015 lbs) in FWD and 1,915 kg (4,224 lbs) with AWD, as my tester was configured, and fuel economy is reasonable at 12.3L/100km in the city and 7.9 on the highway; it gets 11.6/7.2 respectively in FWD.

Its spirited acceleration is matched with a truly refined chassis, not only from the perspective of ride quality, but more so with respect to handling dynamics. The Taurus feels solid for sure, but in the corners it comes across as a much smaller more agile car, transitioning from side to side without much body lean and always feeling composed and rock solid mid-turn.

In between base SE FWD trim and my $40,699 Limited AWD tester, Ford offers an SEL FWD model for $32,299 and an SEL AWD for $34,799. A top-line Taurus SHO revises the go-fast nameplate and lives up to the legend, but we’ll discuss this car next week.

All said, most Taurus buyers should be happy with a mid-range trim level, with the regularly aspirated 3.5L V6 serving them well. After all, it’s an impressive car even in base trim, and still packs more style than competitors with all of their options.

Reskinned snake: Ford’s 2010 Shelby GT500

ford Shelby GT500Ford has released details and images of the 2010 Shelby GT500 that will debut at the North American International Auto Show and be in showrooms by spring.

The GT500 will now boast 540 horsepower and 510 lb.ft of torque along with a new gearbox. Aggressive new exterior design features new functional details, such as the hood extractor to remove heat from the engine and “Gurney Flap” spoiler to tune rear downforce.
Ford said in a release that the Shelby GT500 delivers the most power and refinement ever for a Ford SVT-tuned performance Mustang — and a few surprises, too.

“The 2010 Shelby GT500 demonstrates Ford’s continuing commitment to high-performance vehicles,” said Derrick Kuzak, Ford group vice president, Global Product Development. “In addition to the numerous performance and refinement improvements inside and out, the 2010 Shelby GT500 is an estimated 2 miles per gallon more fuel efficient on the highway.”
“We’re proud of the many enhancements that were developed jointly by the Ford and Shelby Automobiles team last year that we’ve now incorporated into the new 2010 Shelby GT500,” said Carroll Shelby, founder of Shelby Automobiles.

“Building on what we learned to create the Shelby GT500KR, this new car offers a great combination of power, handling and braking. It is truly a special car that is a great deal of fun to drive.”

Details from Ford’s Press Release on the GT500:
Ford’s Special Vehicle Team used the gains made on the 40th anniversary edition Shelby GT500KR “King of the Road” Mustangs as the performance starting point and built from there. The design team, with a nod to the original Shelby Cobras from the 1960s, takes those design cues even further with nuanced improvements in both the coupe and convertible, each of which boasts a more- refined interior.

“Working together on the KR, the Ford and Shelby teams developed new systems to continually improve the iconic Mustang,” stated Amy Boylan, president of Shelby Automobiles. “Those lessons learned are incorporated into the 2010 Shelby GT500. This approach will help maintain Mustang’s leadership position at the front of the pack and make the ownership experience even more enjoyable.”
“The muscle car segment is becoming even more competitive,” said Jamal Hameedi, chief nameplate engineer for SVT. “We need to uphold the Mustang badge with honor, the Shelby badge with honor and most importantly the Ford badge with honor. The 2010 GT500 is the car that will do all of that.”

More horsepower, more refinement, more functionality
The combination of added horsepower, refinement and functionality makes the 2010 Shelby GT500 a unique high-performance car. The 2010 Shelby GT500 delivers more horsepower and more torque than the outgoing model, thanks in part to advancements pioneered on the GT500KR.

The 2010 Shelby GT500 is powered by a supercharged and intercooled 5.4-liter dual overhead cam V-8 engine expected to produce 540 horsepower and 510 foot-pounds of torque. The redline is 6,250 rpm. The car’s aluminum power dome hood not only adds to the Shelby’s appearance, it helps cool the engine through a hood extractor.
The Shelby’s open-element air induction system features a conical air filter instead of a flat-panel closed system to reduce air restriction. This approach allows more air to be pumped through the engine, producing more power and increasing the engine’s efficiency.

A cold-air intake feeds the coolest air possible directly into the air box, helping further increase horsepower. The intake necessitated moving the Cobra snake badge to the other side of the grille to enable maximum airflow.
The twin-disc clutch on the six-speed manual transmission has been significantly upgraded, improving drivability and NVH. The discs on the 2010 Shelby GT500 are larger — 250 mm in diameter compared with 215 mm in diameter on the outgoing model — and made of copper and fiberglass to make them more robust.
A unique component of the twin-disc system is the control of the intermediate disc. Rather than floating, it instead has six straps that control the engagement of the clutch, improving drivability.

The 2010 Shelby GT500 offers customers improved straight-line acceleration, plus fuel savings when cruising on the highway in the top gears. Gears 1-4 remain the same, but fifth gear changes from .80 to .74 while sixth gear goes from .63 to .50, meaning that the 2010 Shelby GT500 will turn lower engine RPMs in those gears and deliver improved fuel efficiency. The new final drive ratio, from 3.31 to 3.55, enables the improved acceleration in lower gears while complementing the revised fifth and sixth gear ratios.
The Shelby’s distinct sounds will be apparent as always, though with new refinements, thanks to the work of the Noise, Vibration and Harshness (NVH) team. A patented resonator placed between the air filter and engine throttle body helps keep unwanted noise in check.

“You still hear the supercharger but not so that it’s intrusive,” said Kerry Baldori, chief functional engineer for SVT. “It’s the same with the exhaust. You want people to know you’re driving something special, but you don’t want an exhaust note that overpowers the whole interior.
“We spent a lot of time getting the right sound quality out of the exhaust so you get that nice, crisp Shelby sound outside and a pleasant sound inside the cabin. It’s a nice balance; one isn’t overpowering the other.”
Driving dynamics also are improved, thanks to SVT’s signature chassis tuning as well as new 19-inch Goodyear F1 Supercar tires and forged aluminum wheels on the 2010 Shelby GT500 coupe and 18s on the convertible.

Spring and dampers have been optimized for better roll control, giving customers more confidence when braking, accelerating or turning. The new chassis tuning takes its philosophy from the KR program, with a greater emphasis placed on primary body control.
The team also stiffened the steering shaft. “All our changes were about making the car to respond as fast and as predictable as possible,” Hameedi said. “The 2010 Shelby GT500 conveys an athletic, confident feel. The shifter, clutch pedal, brake-pedal efforts and overall steering efforts are easier now. We wanted to make sure we had a nice, crisp short-throw shifter that was easy to go from gear to gear.”

The Goodyear F1 Supercar 19-inch tires have been upgraded, too. SVT members developed a “recipe” for the attributes and characteristics they wanted in the tire, which Goodyear’s team of engineers, designers and manufacturers brought to life. The result is better grip, better handling and better NVH properties, leading to a better customer experience.
The wheels themselves complement the high-performance nature of the 2010 Shelby GT500. The 19-inch wheels are forged aluminum wheels milled on both sides. The extra machining process creates “blade” spokes with very thin, yet strong, cross-sections. The spokes have a specific curve from the rim to the hub, not only for strength, but also to accentuate the offset and width of the tires.

The 2010 Shelby GT500 features AdvanceTrac, Ford’s stability control system with several options for performance. The default “on” mode accommodates every-day driving, and a Sport mode delivers for those wanting to put the Shelby GT500 through its paces on the track. The system also can be turned completely off, although the anti-lock brake system and other active safety systems remain in place. Standard safety equipment includes: dual stage front air bags, side-impact air bags and Ford’s Personal Safety System.
Numerous aerodynamic upgrades, including a redesigned splitter, were made to the front end of the 2010 Shelby GT500.

“We worked hard to get as much downforce with as little drag as possible,” Baldori said. “We worked to seal off the air that comes in the front so it can’t go underneath the car. We spent a lot time sealing components such as the radiator and intercooler to get rid of all the leak paths.
“The result of this evolution of aerodynamics is we’ve increased downforce, reduced drag and improved the overall efficiency of the 2010 Shelby GT500.”

Directing the air so it’s used most efficiently was a painstaking process that ultimately will be rewarding to customers. The design of the front fascia and the car’s “flush” hood helps focus air flow. The top grille focuses air into the radiator, with a rubber flap inside the engine compartment helping to seal the system. The lower grille helps cool the intercooler. SVT engineers also went as far to block off specific diamonds in the front of the 2010 Shelby GT500’s distinctive grille to help maintain the correct cooling and aerodynamic balance.
A meaner, reskinned snake ready to take to the streets

The 2010 Shelby GT500 is the most-robust design and most-distinctive model of the new 2010 Mustang lineup. “The design we chose was a ’flush’ hood where the fascia defines the entire front of the vehicle,” Hameedi said. “That’s very hard to execute from an engineering standpoint, but it really sets the Shelby off as very, very different from the base Mustang.”
“This epitomizes the ultimate Mustang,” added George Saridakis, Exterior Design manager of the Mustang and Shelby GT500. “It’s all about power and expressing power.” Saridakis said his team took a cue from the Shelby AC Cobra 427 with respect to the front grilles, which are gaping and appear ready to swallow the road.