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Why The US Won’t Get A 2019 Ford Focus ST

ford focus st

The Ford Focus ST hot hatch is scheduled for a reveal very soon and Ford engineers have been testing the car round the clock. Motor Authority managed to get some snaps of the new car and we can only say that it will be a refreshing improvement from the current model, which is already one of the best cars in the segment.

Back in April, Ford unveiled a new generation of its ever-popular Focus. The US should’ve gotten at least one variant of the compact car, a soft-roader called the Focus Active that will be manufactured in China. But thanks to new tariffs imposed on Chinese-made vehicles, Ford dropped the plans and we’re left wondering if we’ll ever see the new Focus variants.

Ford decided to forego the plan for another reason: the shift toward SUVs, pickup trucks, and commercial vans in North America is permanent. The Mustang will be the only “sedan” that will be on sale in the US beyond 2020.

Ford will use its next-generation front-wheel-drive platform for the new Focus. The torsional rigidity of the new cars will be up by 20 percent compared to the outgoing model, which means that the new ST variant will provide a better ride and handling for its drivers.

In the cabin, the all-new Focus will get a colored touchscreen at the top of the dash and Ford’s Co-Pilot360 suite of electronic driver aids. There will be some extra special features for the ST such as the Recaro front seats, ST badging, and additional performance options for the driving modes selector.

The rumor is that the Focus ST will come with a 2.3-liter turbocharged inline-4, the same one that is found in the outgoing Focus RS. That engine can be tuned to produce 370 horsepower. In the new ST, that will be downgraded to 252 horses since the engine will be paired with a front-wheel-drive system. The transmission is expected to be a six-speed manual.

Ford GT Production Limit Increased to 1,350 Units

ford gt

The initial plan for the Ford GT is that it will only be available in 1,000 samples. That’s to keep the exclusivity of the supercar in check. However, Ford Motor Company recently announced that they are expanding the production line of the GT to 1,350 cars. The giant American automaker also said that they will be rolling out the product from their plants until 2022.

With that, the company is taking more applications from the interested buyers of the GT starting November 8, 2018. Interested parties can submit their applications to FordGT.com. The books will only be open for a month though.

Based on reports, there was a total of 6,500 applications for the Ford GT. The company initially approved 500 buyers, but the numbers went up to 750 later.

To date, 90 buyers have been dropped from the list because Ford declined the deliveries in certain foreign markets. The expansion of the build slots only means that Ford can only approve 690 buyers from the new applications.

The company announced too that those who previously applied for the purchase of the Ford GT will get a chance to confirm or modify their applications.

Ford stated that they will contact the approved buyers in the first quarter of 2019. After that, the deliveries of the units will be made between 2020 and 2022. The owners will get to work with the Ford GT Concierge Service for the design of their supercars, and they can also put some of the vehicle’s optional features if they wish to do so.

“By extending the Ford GT production run for a limited period, we’re able to maintain the exclusivity of the ultra-desirable supercar while offering the ownership experience to a greater number of customers,” said Herman Salenbauch, director of Ford performance.

Motor Authority reached Lauren Fix, a 2017 Ford GT owner, for a comment, and she disagreed with Salenbauch’s statement.

“I’m not happy because it dilutes the value of the cars,” Fix pointed out. “There’s no changes to it. If they were increasing the horsepower or making a change to what it looks like, that would be different,” she added.

Talks on Ford and Volkswagen Merger Already Happening

ford and volkswagen

There have been rumors that Ford and Volkswagen have already begun talks about a potential merger. If the two forms a single company, it could become the largest in the automotive industry.

Last June, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by both Ford and Volkswagen. The event signaled the start of a strategic partnership between the two giant automakers.

According to Motor1, the agreement between Ford and Volkswagen includes co-developing commercial vehicles and coming up with ways to address the ever-changing demands of customers. However, some analysts suspect that the MoU has laid the foundations of a merger or equity swap between the two manufacturers.

The Detroit Bureau projected that a merger of the two could lead to fruitful results on both sides, especially in filling the weaknesses of each company. The analysis of the agency is that Volkswagen could benefit from the strong position of Ford in the American market, and it could get leverage in the sport utility vehicle and pickup segments of the US market. Meanwhile, Ford could address its weak points in the markets of Europe, Latin America, and China through the strong influence of Volkswagen in the mentioned regions.

The report added that a source said the deal is on a good timing. That’s because Ford CEO Jim Hackett is certainly looking to make a “radical transformation” in the company.

Company insiders have also confirmed that talks between Ford and Volkswagen have commenced. For now, all we have to have to do is wait if the negotiations will yield favorable results for both automakers.

Europe Is Finally Getting The Ford Ranger Raptor

2018 ford ranger raptor (1)

Ford is making the Ranger Raptor available in Europe by 2019. The announcement was made through the Gamescon video game show as the pickup truck will also make its video game debut in Forza Horizon 4.

Just like its Asian market counterpart, the Ranger Raptor will use a twin-turbocharged 2.0-liter diesel four-cylinder engine that can produce 210 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. Pairing this engine with a 10-speed automatic transmission, the turbochargers can operate in a sequential pattern with the smaller unit operating at lower revs and the larger unit taking the higher rpm band.

The transmission is programmed in such a way that the driver can override the system anytime via the paddle shifters. The chassis, in particular, has been tuned for off-road performance and it also features Fox shocks with Positive Sensitive Damping.

For better handling, the Ford Ranger Raptor is finished with BF Goodrich all-terrain tires on 17-inch wheels. These come standard with a front skid plate made of high-strength steel. There are six modes that the Ranger Raptor can be driven such as Normal, Sport, Grass/Gravel/Snow, Mud/Sand, Rock, and Baja for high-speed off-road driving.

Inside, the Ranger Raptor will feature Ford’s Sync 3 infotainment system, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and 8.0-inch touchscreen. The seats are now Raptor-specific sports seats that come upholstered in a suede-like material and leather with blue stitching.

The things that distinguish the Ranger Raptor from a regular Ranger are its unique front grille, flared composite front fenders that can accommodate longer suspension travel and oversized tires, side step boards that also prevent rock spray, and air curtains on the front fender for better air flow.

Sadly, we won’t see the Ranger Raptor on the US soil. This model was made specifically for other markets where the F-150 isn’t sold and diesel is more popular.

3 Things That Explain The Hype Behind The Ford Baby Bronco

baby bronco

In March 2018, Ford revealed its two-year plan to release new models, a majority of which would be SUV crossovers. One of the biggest news is the hybrid version of the F-150 and the revival of the iconic Bronco. But that’s not all because we are hearing reports that there would be a smaller sibling to the Bronco II or the “Baby Bronco.”

Exterior

The rendering of the Baby Bronco showed that it will compete with the Jeep, particularly the Renegade. The first thing that will catch your eye is the boxy shape—from the front fascia down to the rear fascia (though that one isn’t clear yet). There’s a wide grille that runs between the headlamps and the big “Ford” lettering could clearly be seen.

Speaking of headlamps, the units are round and simple but features LED technology. The bumper looks very basic with a simple grille and possibly LED foglamps on each side. Thick cladding can also be seen on the fenders. Other features would be its tall ride height and the rack on the roof.

Interior

It’s difficult to say how the Baby Bronco will look in the inside since Ford plans to reveal it in 2021. That’s a lot of time for the company to introduce a new design language. That being said, the Baby Bronco should be able to give the Renegade a run for its money.

There should be ample seating for five adults. The Renegade has good legroom and headroom rating for the rear-seat passengers at 40.5 inches and 35.1 inches, respectively, so Ford should try to top that off. The company should also match the 45.3 cubic feet trunk of the Renegade.

Drivetrain

The Baby Bronco might have the same engine options as the Escape as it is slated just above the EcoSport. In the US, the Escape is being offered in three four-cylinder gasoline engines that can produce somewhere between 168 horsepower (for the base model) and 245 horsepower (for the top-of-the-line model).

What To Expect From Steeda’s Ford Mustang Bullitt

ford mustang bullitt (17)

The tuner Steeda is known for its affection for the Ford Mustang, and it has become famous when it comes to creating limited and special edition of the car for many clients. For the Mustang Bullitt, the company partnered with Galpin Auto Sports and McQueen Racing to deliver the most amazing version of the auto to date.

Exterior

The stock Ford Mustang Bullitt is cool enough in terms of looks, but the Steeda package adds another level of prestige factor. The Steeda-built Bullitt gets an all-new aerodynamic package that includes a deeper front splitter, side skirts, and rear diffuser. To make it look more exciting, Steeda adds another inch to the tuner’s signature wheels and finished all the additional pieces in Highland Green.

Interior

Moving past the exterior features, the Steeda’s Bullitt is fitted with a multitude of McQueen plaques, Alcantara steering wheel, and leather-covered surfaces all over. Steeda did not give any details about the other changes they did to the Mustang Bullitt, but we’re excited to see more.

Performance

Steeda integrates the Bullitt with a 2.9-liter Whipple supercharger, which leads to the modifications on the rear suspension and axles plus a carbon driveshaft. It also offers optional extras that include four-point roll cage and rear seat delete, Ford performance severe duty IRS half-shaft upgrade, and McQueen racing brake calipers painted in dark charcoal with McQueen accents in green.

You can opt for the stock Bullitt, but if you want the ultimate experience, you can shell out some serious cash on the Steeda-tuned Bullitt. The options for the power output are quite extensive—a 500-horsepower beast or an 800-horsepower Hellcat killer.

The Ford Mustang Bullitt sells for $46,595. The Steeda package costs an additional $20,995. The price is steep but the Steeda package can power the Bullitt by 800 horsepower, so you can compete against the meanest muscle cars on the road.

2019 Ford Ranger Pickup Starts At $25,395

2019 ford ranger

Following a configuration tool leak last week, Ford officially announced pricing for its 2019 Ford Ranger. The base price is priced a little higher at $25,395 compared to the leak, but it’s just a $300 difference so that should not cause a problem.

The official report from Ford revealed that there would be no regular-cab model available, which may disappoint some customers who are fans of simple trucks. Then again, the Chevy Colorado, the GMC Canyon, the Nissan Frontier, and the Toyota Tacoma are not available with a regular cab either. This decision should not come as a surprise for Ford fans.

The $25,395 price tag was for the entry-level XL with an extended cab and two-wheel drive. The old price is still available, but you will have to get the chassis cab version of the XL SuperCab, which no regular customer would be looking for. The higher trim levels, of course, are priced higher but you’ll get a lot more gorgeous specs and tech features.

Here are all the prices of the trim levels, including the destination charge: $25,395 (XL SuperCab 2WD), $29,555 (XL SuperCab 4WD), $27,615 (XL SuperCrew 2WD), $31,775 (XL SuperCrew 4WD), $29,035 (XLT SuperCab 2WD), $33,035 (XLT SuperCab 4WD), $31,210 (XLT SuperCrew 2WD), $35,210 (XLT SuperCrew 4WD), $33,305 (Lariat SuperCab 2WD), $37,305 (Lariat SuperCab 4WD), $35,480 (Lariat SuperCrew 2WD), and $39,480 (Lariat SuperCrew 4WD).

Among the current crop of small pickup trucks, the Ranger has the highest base price. The Nissan Frontier starts at $19,965, the Colorado at $21,590, the Canyon at $22,095, and the Tacoma at $24,740. All of these come with naturally aspirated four-cylinder engines. The Ranger’s base model comes with a turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder, which is the same one in the EcoBoost Mustang and the Focus RS.

For the V6 models, the Ranger is only beaten by the Colorado at $25,345. The Frontier starts at $26,195, the Canyon at $27,630, and the Tacoma at $31,365.

 

Everything We Know About The 2019 Ford Territory That’s Made For China

Ford today shared the first images of the new Territory, a mid-size SUV with the affordable price-tag, rich technology and looks to carve inroads into China’s richest vein of future growth – new buyers in emerging cities.

Ford is finding it difficult to infiltrate the Chinese market, and for an automaker, that’s bad news. China has become the biggest market for automakers, and without a clear presence there, the business could suffer. For this year, Ford has prepared a grand plan to capture the Chinese market. They will introduce 50 new models until 2025, starting off with an affordable crossover SUV since we can’t seem to get enough of them.

Called Ford Territory, this is no way the same as the one in Australia with the same name. While that one is based on the Ford Falcon, the Chinese-market crossover SUV is very different and will be developed with Chinese automaker JMC.

Ford Territory

No mechanical details have been revealed yet, except that it will be offered with three engine options: a conventional gas-powered engine, a Miller-cycle-style engine with a 48V mild-hybrid assist, and a plug-in hybrid.

Don’t worry if this will be manufactured with a Chinese automaker partner. It would still very much look like a Ford since it will still be the one responsible for the Territory’s overall design, engineering, and testing. JMC will provide advice and feedback on what sells in the Chinese market. The car will also be built in a JMC factory.

Ford Territory 1

Other reports from China, however, noted that the Territory may be similar to one of JMC’s brands, the Yusheng. The S330 model, however, features a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine that can make 163 horsepower.

From initial reports, the Territory looks handsome enough to have a shot at the Asian market. It may not be outstanding, but its exterior and interior are both aimed at functionality and at appealing to other Asian cities.

The Territory will go on sale in China early next year, but it won’t probably be available in the US because it wasn’t manufactured to meet North America’s safety and emission standards.

3 Reasons Why The 2019 Ford Mustang Hennessey Heritage Edition Is Special

It was in 1991 that John Hennessey began modifying and tuning cars to maximize their potential way and beyond what automakers were able or willing to. To celebrate the 10,000th car that Hennessey tuned, the company comes up with the Hennessey Heritage Edition of the 2019 Ford Mustang.

1. There Will Only Be 19 Units Available

This is a proper special edition car. Many tuning companies are quite too liberal in using the phrase “special edition” that we really cannot separate the cars anymore. Hennessey will only be producing 19 units of the car, so you better get your cash ready if you want to own one of these.

2. It Is Based On The 2018 Ford Mustang Heritage Edition

It is important to understand that the 2019 Ford Mustang Hennessey Heritage Edition is based on another special edition model—the 2018 Ford Mustang Heritage Edition. The most prominent addition to the 2019 model is the carbon fiber body parts, followed by a stainless steel exhaust system, a set of 20-inch wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires, and a livery package similar to what Ford used on its Heritage Edition Mustangs.

The interior gets a lot of upgrades, too, though you will first notice the individually numbered dashboard plaques that denote the model number of the 19 units that Hennessey will produce. There’s also a letter of authenticity and a personal letter of gratitude that comes from John Hennessey himself.

3. The Car has 808 Horsepower

But it’s not the changes on the exterior and the interior that highlights the Hennessey Heritage Edition. It’s what you find under the hood—a modified version of Ford’s 5.0-liter V-8 engine that can now produce 808 hp and 677 lb-ft of torque. With the new figures, this special edition car can now sprint from 0 to 62 mph in just 3.3 seconds. It also has a top speed of 200 mph.

 

John Cena and Ford Settle a Lawsuit Over Breach of Contract

john cena (7)

WWE superstar John Cena and Ford have finally settled their lawsuit. The wrestler was ordered to pay an undisclosed amount of money to the automaker.

According to Motor1, Ford filed a lawsuit against Cena for selling his Ford GT before the 24-month required ownership was over. The American car maker agreed that the money received from Cena for the lawsuit will be donated to charity.

Cena pointed out that he loves the Ford GT and apologized to the American automaker. In a statement, he encouraged everyone who owns the same car to honor the stipulations in the contract saying that they could not sell the auto for 24 months after they received it. The wrestler also said he was pleased that the two camps were able to settle the matter outside the court, and that a “worthy charity” will benefit “from one of the most iconic cars in the world.”

The Ford GT only had an initial run of about 500 units. Ford individually selected applications to own the Ford GT. One of the approved buyers was Cena. The American car company received about 6,506 applications for the initial run of the car. But part of the contract clearly stipulated that the owners have to keep their Ford GTs for 24 months as a way to limit the access to the car in the secondhand market.

The wrestler paid $460,000 for his GT, which included $5,200 worth of options such as the Liquid Blue exterior paint and leather-wrapped steering wheel.

Ford filed the lawsuit back in November and requested $500,000 for breach of contract. Cena’s lawyers asked for the suit to be thrown out because the 24-month stipulation was not on all the contracts their client signed. The lawyers argued that the clause was part of the order confirmation but it was not present in the final purchase order.

The contentions of Cena’s lawyers did not hold and the wrestler was ordered to pay up. It’s not clear whether the settlement included the whole amount requested by Ford.

The wrestler already owns a 2006 GT, so it’s not clear why he decided to sell his new sports car over the old one.

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