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Well renowned for refurbishing various monster machines over the past two decades, Texas-based designer and tuner John Hennessey converted Ford’s F-150 Raptor SVT crew cab pick-up into a full-fledged Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) with seating available for eight passengers watching the seamless popularity of the Ford pickup especially from SEMA show in 2012. Hennessey Performance garage had already been offering an overhauled version of F-150 Raptor with an upgraded engine pacifying the needs of buyers who wanted more from the van than 411 horsepower. HPE have, since past three years, produced over 400 Raptor beasts and are overwhelmed to offer Velociraptor trucks for sports enthusiasts.
As the F-150 SVT crew cab from Ford factory travels through a series of dealers and is reached at the Hennessey Performance garage, the trailer from the crew cab and the top of pickup bed is scythed off and new parts are welded for attachment of rear set of doors. Original shaded glass windows from the discontinued in 2005 Ford truck, Excursion are installed above the rear set of wheels after masking with new sheet-metal and painting. Following this is the process of addition of a melded three door tailgate, acquired from the Excursion as well, is mounted surgically in place of the raptor trailer tailgate without altering the taillights and rear bumper from the Raptor.
The recently added trailer bed is carpeted and padded, while the padded interior contour lines which cover the sidelines are adapted from the Excursion, too. Then the roof which is insulated with a thick insulation layer is covered with a dark character. Hennessey remarked this was to make the interiors appear, as company-like as possible. The wings of the van remain aboard while modern cues have been grafted onto the body. Chasmal interiors are exposed as the rear compartment is opened, largest in the sports utility market. It is a customer’s decision so as to what to do with the interiors – they could leave it hollow or place a second and even a third row for added seating up to eight riders. Additional mechanical upgrades like fancily wrapped aggressive tires, better Brembo brakes and armour option, alongside interior LED lighting, custom upholstery and entertainment add-ons are available.
Hennessey offers a stock 411 horsepower unit with a 6.2litre V-8 engine that fires from 0 to 97kmph in a span of 7.5 seconds while an alternative supercharged version, a 600 horsepower unit due to which Velociraptor 600 derives its identity, which despite of added 200 kg of weight reaches 97kmph mark in just 5.9 seconds. Moreover, Hennessey is developing another 800 horsepower behemoth for much more curious souls. Even after this beasty performance, on pushing the pedal right, the interior cabin remains silent, while for customers seeking roaring engine can opt for exhaust solutions. Apart from so many changes, the Velociraptor is essentially a Raptor ahead of the front door including stock dashboard and meters, and unchanged wheelbase and chassis.
The success of the beast is certainly enthralling even after rising concern for the fuel prices, but the edition vehicle is restricted to a limited audience because of its base pricing of $159,500 and thus Hennessey is determined to narrow production to only 30 units per year.
Ford Escape VS Mazda CX-5
If you find yourself being forced to flip a coin between the Ford Escape and Mazda CX-5, you are not alone. These are two hot vehicles with their own list of fantastic qualities. On one hand, you have Escape, which pretty much dominates the small crossover segment. Then, you have CX-5, an all-new vehicle that has a lot to love. So, do you choose the vehicle with proven reliability, or do you opt for a vehicle that you won’t see very many of yet on the roads of wherever you happen to live?
There are three engine choices available in Ford Focus, but two for Mazda CX-5. Mazda gives its small crossover a hearty 2.0-liter four-cylinder that is good for 155 horsepower and 150 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual is standard, but a six-speed automatic is available, and must be selected to have all-wheel drive. This is a fairly light vehicle, so despite the small engine, acceleration speeds are decent, taking 9.3 seconds to reach 60 mph. Mazda says it’s CX-5 will yield 26 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway. For more power, there is a 2.5-liter SKYACTIVE®-G available that generates 184 horsepower.
The base engine on Escape is a little more powerful than CX-5. A 2.5-liter four-cylinder offers 168 horsepower and 167 pound-feet of torque, and returns 22 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. A turbocharged 1.6-liter inline-4 is standard on SE and SEL. It delivers 178 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, and can generously tow 3,500 pounds, when properly equipped. Lastly, a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-4 is standard on Titanium and optional on SE and SEL. It produces 240 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque yet manages to yield 25 mpg combined. All-wheel drive is available on all models, except the “S” trim.
Driving and Handling
When it comes to handling, Escape has earned its reputation as a spirited and easy-to-drive vehicle. Many slip behind the wheel expecting it to be awkward and clumsy, due to size, but it is surprisingly agile. Everything from the braking to the steering to the suspension is more than capable, and you don’t feel much body roll on winding roads.
CX-5 does not have the reputation Escape has, but it only takes one test drive to find that the new vehicle handles itself quite nicely on the road. It is not the fastest or quietest choice, but the ride is smooth, comfortable and capable.
There is something to be said about buying a vehicle with a trusted reputation, especially if safety is on your mind. However, CX-5 has already been put through roof, front and side-impact crash tests, and received top safety scores from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
CX-5 has high tensile steel reinforcements and side-impact door beams to help keep passengers safe. If there is an accident, the fuel cuts off, and blind-spot monitoring is also available. Escape gives you a long list of safety features that faithful Ford buyers have grown to appreciate and even expect, such as post-collision safety system, tire-pressure monitoring, turn signal mirrors and engine immobilizer.
You can’t go wrong with the exterior of either of these vehicles. Although CX-5 is a brand new vehicle, Escape is fully redesigned for the model year, so either way, you will be cruising around in something fresh and exciting.
Escape boasts a little international lineage that you can see in the harmonic balance created by an athletic stance and graceful lines. From its sculpted wheel arches to its trapezoidal-shaped lower grille to the bright dual exhaust tips, this is a vehicle that will turn heads from every angle.
CX-5 boasts Mazda’s “Soul of Motion” design philosophy with fluent and flowing lines that make the vehicle appear as though it is always in motion. It also offers some fantastic wheel choices in 17, 18 and 19-inch sizes.
The cabin in both of the vehicles will impress you. They are both thoughtfully designed and modern, and offer a surprising amount of room. Ford’s redesign for Escape leaves it with an upscale feel. Gauges are easy-to-read and controls are in reach. The materials used offer an improved quality; this is just a nice cabin to be in. Plus, the front seats are generously padded and given plenty of bolstering for support.
A highlight for CX-5 would have to be the black gauges that have white lettering. They are incredibly easy to read and almost soothing on the eyes. There are plenty of soft-touch surfaces, and an abundance of legroom can be appreciated in both rows.
These vehicles are neck-and-neck in terms of cargo space. Behind the front seats, Mazda CX-5 offers 65 cubic feet while Escape is at 68.1 cubes.
Technology and Entertainment
There is absolutely no shortage of technology in either of these vehicles. In fact, you may forget you are in such a modestly priced vehicle when you see all the bells and whistles. A huge highlight for Escape is the foot-activated tailgate. SYNC® lets you use voice commands to control just about everything from Bluetooth to audio. Speaking of audio, the available Sony® system is well worth upgrading to as it gives you 10 premium speakers, a dual-channel subwoofer, HD Radio, iTunes® Tagging and 355 watts of power.
CX-5 has a nine-speaker Bose® system available that offers Pandora®, HD Radio, and SiriusXM Satellite Radio. Plus, it has a fantastic optional navigation system by TomTom® that includes a 5.8-inch display with voice recognition.
Image thanks to www.goauto.com.au
For weeks we’ve been looking forward to the unveiling of the new Ford EcoSport, a small SUV with a unique personality. Now that the 2012 Paris Motor Show is up-and-running, more specs around the vehicle have been revealed, and we’re certainly impressed with what we see!
The new small crossover will go on sale in European markets in the next 18 months (Spring 2014), andit will be the first global Ford model to be designed entirely in South America, and it will be released later this month in Brazil. The Ecosport is designed on the brand’s current B-segment platform. Nick Collins, Global B Car Vehicle Line Director for Ford, explains, “Its stylish design should prove a tempting addition for European customers to Ford’s B segment range, which already includes the innovative B-MAX compact multi-activity vehicle and the new Fiesta.”1
The new small SUV is also based on an SUV design concept first launched in 2003, and has sold more than 700,000 units in some markets, but this is the first time it will be sold internationally.
New Ford EcoSport Specs:
– Design Features: Cladding on the bumpers and side sills, a large front grille, very detailed headlights
– Technology Features: USB and Bluetooth capability, Ford SYNC connectivity system with voice activation technology (which allows drivers to answer calls hands-free and directly connect with Emergency Assistance in the event of an accident), Hill Launch Assist, and Electronic Stability Program, anti-lock brake system
– Fuel Economy: includes a best-in-class diesel engine
– Personality: Merges the affordability of a small car with the comfort and roominess of an SUV, features a very stylish design and top-notch quality
– Power: 1.0-litre EcoBoost three-cylinder gasoline engine that works with a two-wheel drivetrain that produces 100bhp is likely, though a 1.6-liter, 125 bhp producing gasoline engine is also possible, 4WD variant will be produced in Brazil, with no decision about its export to Europe currently
The new Ford EcoBoost joins the Ford Kuga and the upcoming global-version Ford Edge to expand the company’s global offerings. The new EcoBoost engine is also present in the Ford Grand C-MAX, the C-MAX, the B-MAX, and the all-new Ford Mondeo. It’s also important to note, however, that Ford will likely have further perfected its small diesel range in favor of a 1.5-liter capacity TDCi instead of the 1.4 and 1.6-litre units.
Formal pricing in the new SUV’s various markets and more specs for the vehicle should be available soon, so be sure to stay tuned here with the auto review experts at reviewitonline.net for more information as soon as it becomes available. In the meantime, why not check out our excellent new SUV reviews? They’re sure to aid you on your journey to discovering the best auto fit for your lifestyle!