Monday, December 28, 2009


Ford Motor Company [NYSE: F] confirmed today that all substantive commercial terms relating to the potential sale of Volvo Car Corporation have been settled between Ford and Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Company Limited.

While some work still remains to be completed before signing – including final documentation, financing and government approvals – Ford and Geely anticipate that a definitive sale agreement will be signed in the first quarter of 2010, with closing of the sale likely to occur in the second quarter 2010, subject to appropriate regulatory approvals.

The prospective sale would ensure Volvo has the resources, including the capital investment, necessary to further strengthen the business and build its global franchise, while enabling Ford to continue to focus on and implement its core ONE Ford strategy.

While Ford would continue to cooperate with Volvo Cars in several areas after a possible sale, the company does not intend to retain a shareholding in the business post-sale.

More details will be made available once the expected definitive sale agreement is signed in the first quarter of 2010.


Forty years after its namesake became a road racing legend, the BOSS is back on track for 2010 with a new 5.0-liter V-8 engine.

In honor of the 40th anniversary of Parnelli Jones’ 1970 Trans-Am championship in a Mustang BOSS 302 prepared by Bud Moore Engineering, Ford Racing is introducing the BOSS 302R, a factory-built race car ready for track days and road racing in a number of Grand-Am, SCCA and NASA classes.

“To keep pace with consumer demand, the Ford team has built modern versions of the most iconic performance Mustangs over the years,” said Jamie Allison, director, Ford North America Motorsports. “From Shelbys to Bullitt, Mach and Cobra Jet, it is now time for BOSS to join the list of America’s most coveted Mustangs. The original BOSS 302 was a championship-winning legend and the new Mustang BOSS 302R will carry on the tradition. The Mustang was born to race from the start, and this new Mustang is bred to win.”

The Mustang BOSS 302R is a serialized off-road-only vehicle ready to race. Each base model will come with a 5.0-liter four-valve engine and a six-speed manual transmission with a roll cage, race seats, safety harness, data acquisition and race dampers/springs, and a Brembo brake and tire package, starting at an MSRP of $79,000.

And, with a special Grand-Am Homologation Package (M-FR500-BOSS R1), it will also be ready to compete in the Grand-Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge series (formerly known as Koni Challenge), starting with the season-opening race in Daytona on Jan. 29, 2010. As of today, five BOSS 302R race cars will be delivered to customers ready to race in Daytona. MSRP of the BOSS 302R1 is $129,000.

The Grand-Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge-ready Mustang BOSS 302R will feature a sealed high-output race engine with an upgraded cooling system, a close-ratio six-speed transmission with integral shifter, a seam-welded body, race suspension/Koni dampers and ABS brake tuning, race performance exhaust and a high-speed balance one-piece driveshaft.

The BOSS 302R follows in the very successful footsteps of its most recent road racing predecessor—the Mustang FR500C from Ford Racing. In 2005, when the Mustang FR500C debuted at Daytona, the first car was delivered on Wednesday of that week and won the Koni Challenge race on Friday.

In five years of competition since then, the Mustang FR500C has won three Triple Crown championships of driver, team and manufacturer’s titles in Koni competition including back-to-back (2008 and 2009). The FR500C has also seen success in Federation Internationale de L’Automobile GT4 competition winning the 2007 and 2008 driver’s championships.

“We expect the BOSS 302R to continue the successful tradition of winning with factory-built production-based race cars from Ford Racing,” said Allison. “The FR500C and FR500S road racing Mustangs, and the Mustang FR500CJ [Cobra Jet] for drag racing have proven to be great cars for our customers, helping teams win races and championships. We believe that the BOSS 302R will provide that same sort of competitive product for our customers with the tradition you can only get from Ford Racing.”

Each Ford Racing factory-built production-based turnkey race car has won its competition debut.

“Racing has long served as a technical proving grounds for production engines,” said Allison. “What’s good enough for the streets is now good enough for the race track. The 5.0-liter block and architecture in the Mustang BOSS 302R is the same as the 2011 Mustang GT.”

“We have a great team on the BOSS 302R project,” said Andy Slankard, Ford Racing engineering supervisor and the lead engineer on the BOSS 302R project. “Between our partners at AutoAlliance International, where the Mustang is built, Team Mustang, Multimatic and the entire Ford Racing team, we have once again proven to be a leader in turnkey production-based race cars.”

Available through Ford dealers, a total of 50 BOSS 302R Mustangs will be built by Ford Racing. Delivery is anticipated in the third quarter of 2010.

The 2011 Acadia Denali

GMC unveiled the 2011 Acadia Denali in Detroit. The first Denali was launched in 1999 on the Yukon brand and helped define the luxury SUV segment. With nearly half of all Yukon sales being Denali models, expanding the Denali line to include the Acadia was a logical extension. Acadia Denali will provide GMC customers with all the amenities the Denali is known for in a fuel-efficient crossover.

“The GMC Denali models have come to stand for luxury and exclusivity, and that’s just what customers will get in the new Acadia Denali,” said Lisa Hutchinson, GMC product marketing director. “The decision to develop an Acadia Denali was made quickly within the new GM in response to customer and dealer demand for a Denali version ever since the launch and success of the Acadia.”

The Acadia launched in 2007 as the first crossover from GMC, with segment-leading fuel economy and innovative features. An exclusive SmartSlide System allows easy access to an adult-sized third row with available seven- or eight- passenger seating configurations. Fold-flat second- and third-row seats allow flexible passenger and cargo configurations of the best-in-class interior space. Acadia’s refined styling, impressive fuel efficiency, and confidence-inspiring safety features made it an immediate success and ideal platform to build upon for a Denali model.

The 2011 Acadia Denali goes on sale in the third quarter of 2010. It is available in both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive models, as well as seven- and eight-passenger configurations. The standard 3.6L direct injected V-6 contributes to an EPA highway rating of 24 mpg with FWD models.

The Acadia Denali will stand out with its signature Denali design cues highlighted by the mono-color exterior and chrome honeycomb grille, a feature on all GMC Denali models. It also wears a number of specific exterior design cues, including:

  • Unique lower front and rear fascias
  • High-intensity discharge headlamps
  • Body-color lower cladding and rocker moldings
  • Body-color rear fascia and fender flares
  • Unique body-side moldings with chrome accents and Denali badges
  • Dual chrome exhaust tips

Further distinction comes with 20-inch, two-tone chrome-clad wheels. The six-spoke wheels feature black chrome spoke inserts set against bright chrome.

The Acadia Denali is offered in five exterior colors: Quicksilver Metallic, Summit White, Carbon Black, Red Jewel Tintcoat and White Diamond Tricoat.

Luxury amenities

Acadia Denali delivers all the luxury and refinement that are hallmarks of the Denali line. It includes a number of exclusive design, comfort and convenience features including:

  • Premium acoustics - laminated glass, triple door seals, and liquid applied sound deadeners
  • Perforated leather seats with matching leather door panel trim
  • Heated and cooled driver and passenger seats
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel with mahogany wood inserts
  • Complementary wood grain finish on the instrument panel and center stack
  • Enhanced accent lighting in the footwells
  • Chrome, lighted sill plates with the Denali logo
  • Dual SkyScape sunroof system, with sliding front sunroof and fixed rear section
  • Head-up display (HUD)

Additional content includes:

  • Tri-zone automatic climate control
  • Navigation system including XM NavTraffic (available)
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • OnStar
  • Rear-seat DVD entertainment system, with roof-mounted flip-down screen (available)
  • Premium audio system with USB port and Bose 10-speaker sound system
  • XM Satellite Radio
  • Rearview camera system
  • Eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with memory
  • Remote vehicle start

GMC capability

Acadia Denali is powered by a 3.6L direct injection V-6 engine with VVT that optimizes performance and fuel economy, while also reducing emissions – including a 25-percent reduction in cold-start emissions. Engine performance is enhanced by the advanced six-speed automatic transmission. The maximum towing capacity is a class-leading 5,200 pounds (2,364 kg).

A long, 118.9-inch (3,021 mm) wheelbase and wide 67.28-inch (1,709 mm) front/rear tracks give it a lower center of gravity and enable smooth, stable ride and handling for driving comfort. Independent front and rear suspensions enhance smoothness and deliver a more responsive driving experience. The front suspension features a MacPherson strut design, with a direct-acting stabilizer bar and aluminum knuckles, while the rear suspension uses a compact, state-of-the-art linked “H” design. Isolated mounting points help reduce noise and vibration.

The suspension is tuned specifically for the Acadia Denali’s 20-inch wheels and the available AWD system enhances dry-road handling and provides increased traction on wet, snow and ice-covered roads. Four-wheel disc brakes with ABS are standard, as are the following features:

  • StabiliTrak electronic stability control system with rollover mitigation technology
  • Traction control system
  • Tire pressure monitoring system

Acadia Denali is covered by GM’s five-year/100,000-mile Powertrain Warranty and three-year/36,000-mile Bumper-to-Bumper warranty – the best coverage in America.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

2010 Chevrolet Equinox named Urban Truck of the Year

2008 Chevrolet Equinox Sport photographed in M...Image via Wikipedia

The 2010 Chevrolet Equinox was named the Urban Truck of the Year by On Wheels Media. The Equinox was selected as the best new truck for urban and suburban drivers by On Wheels Media and an independent panel of 15 automotive journalists.

Randi Payton, On Wheels Media's president and publisher said, "The Urban Vehicle of the Year resonates with the majority of new car buyers who live in urban and suburban areas, who drive on crowded road conditions. The vehicles chosen are cost and fuel efficient, and have the performance and safety characteristics that are relevant to the consumers in Metropolitan areas."

Chevrolet will accept the award for Best Urban Truck of the Year at the 14th Annual Urban Wheel Awards, January 12, 2010, during the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS).

“We are very proud to be recognized as the Urban Truck of the Year,” says Jim Campbell, Chevrolet General Manager. “Urban Truck of the Year panelists select their favorite vehicle based on factors such as safety, fuel efficiency, performance and affordability. Those are the same factors that our customers rate as key reasons they purchased an Equinox. In fact, the Equinox has been such as hit with customers that we added a third shift at CAMI assembly – and are still struggling to meet demand.”

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

New Cadillac Concept, CTS-V Coupe To Ring In The New Year

Cadillac will premiere a new concept car at the 2010 North American International Auto Show in Detroit on January 12, the latest in its series of dynamic designs. This latest concept advances the brand’s Art & Science philosophy that has included a series of acclaimed concept cars in recent years, such as the Cadillac Sixteen, CTS Coupe Concept and Converj. The 2011 CTS-V Coupe will make its world premiere in Detroit as well, and will enter into production in the summer of 2010.
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


2010 Ford Mustang photographed in Fort Washing...Image via Wikipedia

The 2011 Ford Mustang puts 305 high-performance horses in the hands of V-6 coupe buyers with a new all-aluminum dual-overhead cam (DOHC) engine that delivers a projected 30 mpg on the highway with a six-speed automatic transmission and fun for drivers on nearly every road.

For 2011, Mustang’s new 3.7-liter Duratec 24-valve V-6 uses advanced engineering to deliver its power and economy: Twin Independent Variable Camshaft Timing (Ti-VCT) adjusts the valvetrain in microseconds. Aluminum construction means light weight. It’s an engine designed to crank out torque down low, rev to 7,000 rpm and deliver the mechanical music sports coupe lovers crave everywhere in between.

“Mustang is completely transformed with this new engine,” said Derrick Kuzak, group vice president, Global Product Development. “Everything people love about the car is still there and now under the hood is a V-6 engine that uses premium technology to deliver the power, the feel, the fuel efficiency, even the sound of the best sports coupes in the world.”

New 3.7-liter V-6 engine
With Ti-VCT operating its four valves per cylinder, the new Mustang V-6 powerplant sends significantly more horsepower and torque (305 hp and 280 ft.-lb.) to the rear wheels than its predecessor – despite its smaller displacement. The behind-the-wheel feel is unlike any Mustang ever produced.

“This new V-6 engine really speaks to what Mustang is all about,” said Barb Samardzich, Ford vice president of global powertrain engineering. “It produces power everywhere in the rev range and loves to be pushed hard. The Duratec 3.7-liter builds on our promise to use advanced technology to deliver both power and fuel economy.”

The high output is due largely to Ti-VCT which allows variable control of valve operation across the rev range. The variable cams operate on a Direct Acting Mechanical Bucket (DAMB) valvetrain using polished buckets and roller finger followers to reduce friction. The end result is as much as a 3 percent improvement in fuel economy and a 10 percent improvement in power output versus traditional engines without these advanced features.

Ti-VCT is complemented by special-tuned composite upper and lower intake manifolds for efficient air delivery and lighter weight. Ignition power is delivered by a high-energy coil-on-plug design, while piston-cooling jets and a lightweight die-cast aluminum cylinder block improve the durability and efficiency of the 3.7-liter V-6 design.

Performance was the mantra for every aspect of engine design. A cold air induction system and dual exhaust give the 3.7 its free-breathing style with a 7,000 rpm redline and near-instantaneous response to throttle inputs.

A die-cast aluminum deep-sump oil pan provides 10,000-mile oil change intervals, saving drivers money on maintenance and resulting in less waste in oil disposal.

Engineers also worked to ensure aggressive, high-performance sounds come from the new engine, from intake to exhaust. Not only does the retuned air intake system minimize losses, it also provides the driver with a satisfying intake rush on hard acceleration. The all-new dual exhaust system is mellow at idle but opens up with a howl at full-tilt, letting Mustang drivers know they’re behind the wheel of a world-class sports coupe.

“This car marks a new type of Mustang,” said David Pericak, Mustang chief nameplate engineer. “We’re using a high-performance quad-cam V-6 with all the bells and whistles in a car that’s become legendary for its handling and roadholding; it’s really going to get a lot of new sports coupe fans excited about Mustang, some for the first time ever.”

Powertrain improvements
Drivers can get the most out of the new V-6 engine’s output using either an all-new six-speed manual gearbox or a six-speed automatic transmission. Both come with the flexibility and fuel economy benefits of six forward ratios regardless of whether buyers want to shift for themselves or not.

Drivers who prefer a manual gearbox will enjoy the short throws and direct feel of the shifter along with the relaxed cruising permitted by the extra top gear ratio. Customers choosing the automatic will be pleasantly surprised to find the advanced six-speed 6R60 transmission does not sacrifice fuel economy – or performance – for convenience, delivering an expected 30 mpg highway with crisp, quick shifts that maximize torque and horsepower.

The automatic transmission also features a grade-assist or “hill mode” to improve drivability on hilly terrain. This technical innovation uses vehicle input – acceleration, pedal position, vehicle speed and brake status – to automatically determine the correct gear ratio while on an incline or decline. Hill mode eliminates sixth gear, extends lower gear operation on uphill climbs, and provides additional grade or engine braking for coast downs.

The standard 2.73 rear axle provides an ideal blend of cruising fuel economy and acceleration, aided by the wide ratio spread permitted through the use of six forward speeds in the gearboxes. Performance enthusiasts can select an available 3.31 rear axle ratio for better off-the-line launch characteristics.

Fuel economy improvements
Extra horsepower and refined engine operation will be the most noticeable features to new 2011 Mustang 3.7-liter V-6 buyers while projected class-leading fuel economy, also a standard feature, offers an additional bonus. The numbers speak for themselves:

  • 19 mpg city/30 highway with six-speed automatic transmission, up from 16 mpg city/24 highway on the 2010 model with automatic – a 25 percent improvement over 2010
  • 18 mpg city/29 highway with six-speed manual transmission, up from 18 mpg city/26 highway on the 2010 model with manual

Refinements throughout Mustang’s body, powertrain and chassis design contribute to the improved fuel economy numbers. Examples include:

  • The new Electric Power Assist Steering (EPAS) system which eliminates the drag of an engine-operated hydraulic power steering pump
  • Six-speed transmissions that allow lower cruising revs without sacrificing off-the-line performance
  • Aerodynamic improvements such as a new front fascia, tire spats on the rear wheels, modified underbody shields, a taller air dam and an added rear decklid seal

Handling and driving dynamics
With so much additional horsepower standard, the 2011 Mustang received enhancements to its chassis to maintain the outstanding balance and driving behavior Mustang owners expect. Damper tuning and spring rates were revised to provide a smooth highway ride while a new rear lower control arm and stiffened stabilizer bar bushings improve stiffness and handling for better cornering response.

While Mustang’s aerodynamic improvements were designed mainly to improve fuel economy, engineers also adjusted the vehicle’s front/rear lift balance. The result is a car that tracks more securely and feels more “planted” to the road surface at higher speeds, helping to keep the tires in better contact with the pavement.

The addition of EPAS marks a new era in driving dynamics for Mustang owners. Steering effort at parking lot speeds is reduced, while high-speed and highway feel is improved for more precise steering and handling. Because the belt-driven power steering pump is eliminated, EPAS provides a quieter vehicle with fewer components drawing engine power.

EPAS also enables new technologies that adjust for minor driving annoyances. Pull-Drift Compensation adjusts the steering to correct for crosswinds and minor road crowning, while Active Nibble Control helps eliminate the “shimmy” felt at high speeds when a wheel is out of balance or a brake rotor is warped. Both conditions are alleviated by EPAS independent of driver input, helping ensure Mustang delivers a smooth, comfortable driving experience in all conditions.

Mustang buyers choosing the new V-6 will also get a standard limited-slip differential that provides better handling and more sure-footed grip in poor weather conditions by directing engine torque to the rear wheel with the most traction. When the time comes to slow things down, the 2011 Mustang is also equipped with larger four-wheel ABS disc brakes, with 11.5 inch front and 11.8 inch rear rotors.

Refinements complement advanced features
To reinforce the sporty nature of the 2011 Mustang, all V-6 models will come standard with new instrument cluster graphics, including a speedometer that reads up to 160 mph and a tachometer that reads to 8,000 rpm, reflecting the free-revving style of the new engine.

Additional lightweight soundproofing measures help filter unpleasant, high-frequency noises while tuned intake and dual exhaust add the sounds Mustang buyers relish.

Occupants also benefit from new door seals and a rear wheel arch liner that reduce road noise for a quieter, more enjoyable drive, all with minimal weight gain compared to the 2010 model.

Enthusiasts who want a premium performance-oriented Mustang V-6 can opt for the new Performance Package, which will be available August 2010. Designed for driving enthusiasts, the Mustang V-6 Performance Package comprises:

  • A 3.31 rear axle ratio for quicker off-the-line acceleration
  • Firmer Mustang GT suspension
  • 19-inch wheels
  • Summer performance tires for improved grip
  • A strut tower brace for increased chassis rigidity
  • Unique electronic stability control calibration with sport mode for performance driving

For 2011, Mustang also ups the ante on technology and convenience features, including a standard driver’s message center in the instrument cluster and integrated blind-spot mirrors in the side-view mirror housings.

Ford’s MyKey™ system, designed to encourage safer teen driving and safety belt use, also is newly available on Mustang. MyKey allows owners to program the vehicle key using the driver’s message center to incorporate features such as limited top vehicle speed and audio volume, a traction control system that cannot be deactivated, a persistent Belt-Minder® safety belt reminder and various speed alert chimes.

Top safety marks expected
Mustang’s technological advances are also incorporated in the structure of the vehicle to improve safety. The 2010 Mustang coupe earned the U.S. government’s top five-star crash-test rating, a designation the 2011 model is expected to achieve.

The Mustang’s considerable body stiffness contributes to the coupe and convertible’s driving performance and has a parallel benefit in accident protection. While the coupe’s body structure is approximately 31 percent stiffer than the previous Mustang platform, the convertible’s is more than twice as stiff – creating a structure that helps protect the cabin from deformation and intrusion in an impact.

Mustang also uses high-strength steel in its body structure and ultra-high-strength steel in the door intrusion beams for additional side-impact protection.

The front structure’s crush zones are computer-designed to absorb energy in a controlled manner and help dissipate it before it can reach the passenger compartment. Ford engineers have run thousands of design iterations of the Mustang’s front rails to arrive at an octagonal shape that helps spread crash forces evenly to aid in protecting occupants.

State-of-the-art technology adds to the convenience and safety of the 2011 Mustang, from the availability of the latest version of Ford SYNC®, with applications such as Traffic, Directions and Information, 911 Assist™ and Vehicle Health Report, to standard AdvanceTrac® Electronic Stability Control, which complements the all-speed traction control and standard Anti-lock Braking System (ABS).

Additional standard safety equipment includes the Personal Safety System™ which features dual-stage driver and front passenger air bags, safety belt pretensioners and Belt-Minder.

The 2011 Mustang will be built at the Auto Alliance International Plant in Flat Rock, Mich. The new 3.7-liter V-6 will be built at Ford’s recently retooled Cleveland Engine Plant No. 1.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]


2010 Ford Fusion photographed at the 2009 Wash...Image via Wikipedia

The hits keep coming for America’s most fuel-efficient midsize sedan, the Ford Fusion. The Fusion Hybrid has been honored as one of CAR and DRIVER magazine’s “10Best” cars for 2010, just weeks after winning the prestigious MOTOR TREND Car of the Year® award.

“CAR and DRIVERis always looking for those cars that are most engaging to drive, and in our experience the Ford Fusion Hybrid is the first hybrid vehicle that really delivers a fun driving experience,” said Eddie Alterman, editor-in-chief, CAR and DRIVER, noting that the Fusion Hybrid is only the second hybrid ever to make the magazine’s “10Best” list.

“We were very impressed with how seamlessly the hybrid powertrain functioned,” Alterman said. “We were also impressed with Ford SYNC® and how seamlessly it worked.”

But Alterman says what really sealed the deal for Fusion Hybrid is the simple fact that it’s fun.
“The vehicle is entertaining,” he explained. “It’s really fun to drive, and we had fun trying to improve our mileage using the SmartGauge™ technology.”

A total of 58 vehicles were in the running for the CAR and DRIVER“10Best” list. All of the contenders were put through a week of rigorous testing and judged based on three criteria: how well they perform their intended mission, i.e. luxury, sport; how engaging and fun they are to drive; and how much value they deliver.

“Being ranked one of CAR and DRIVER’s ‘10Best’ cars for 2010 is high praise indeed,” said Derrick Kuzak, group vice president, Ford Global Product Development. “In addition to being fun to drive, the Fusion Hybrid offers unsurpassed fuel economy that our customers truly appreciate with an EPA estimated rating of 41 mpg in the city and the ability to travel more than 700 miles on a single tank of gas.”

Despite the slump in overall industry sales, 2009 has been a record-breaking year for the Ford Fusion. Sales are at an all-time high, with the Fusion Hybrid accounting for almost 20 percent of total Fusion retail sales. Perhaps even more significant, more than 60 percent of Fusion Hybrid sales have been to customers coming from import brands – mostly Toyota and Honda.

Fusion Hybrid awards and accolades
Additional awards and accolades for the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid include:

  • “Top Safety Pick” rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
  • 2009 Ward’s Interior of the Year Special Achievement Award for Best Graphic Display for SmartGauge with EcoGuide digital instrument cluster
  • Great Car for the Long-haul Salesman by Kelley Blue Book
  • Named one of America’s Top 40 New Cars by MOTOR TREND magazine
  • Rated the No. 1 Hybrid Family Sedan by CAR and DRIVER in a recent comparison test by the magazine
  • Named 2009 Editors Choice for Fuel Sipper by CAR and DRIVER
  • Named Best Hybrid for the Money in the Midsize Car segment by
  • Named one of 2009 Top 10 Green Cars by Kelley Blue Book
  • Earned The Detroit News Readers’ Choice Award for “Best Value”
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]


Lincoln MKT concept photographed at the 2008 N...Image via Wikipedia

Strengthened car and crossover sales fueled Ford, Lincoln and Mercury’s U.S. sales performance in November. Car sales were up 14 percent and crossovers were up 26 percent for the month, with total sales of 118,536, essentially equal to year-ago sales.

“Consumer demand for our new high-quality, fuel-efficient products is driving Ford’s market share gains,” said Ken Czubay, Ford vice president, U.S. Marketing Sales and Service. “Customers are rewarding Ford for its new vehicle lineup, featuring new technologies including SYNC, MyKey and Adaptive Cruise Control.”

Ford estimates its total market share in November was higher than a year ago and higher than its share in the first 10 months of 2009. Ford’s November retail share was up for the 13th time in 14 months.

“The Ford plan is working, led by the strength of our product lineup and customer demand for our new cars, utilities and trucks,” said Czubay. “Consumers increasingly are noticing that the Ford difference is our great products, our strong business and our leadership in quality, fuel efficiency, safety, smart technologies and value.”

November Sales Highlights

  • All-new Ford Taurus sales totaled 4,669, up 54 percent versus a year ago. Dealers reported retail sales were nearly double year-ago levels.
  • Ford Fusion, recently named Motor Trend magazine’s Car of the Year, also posted a sales increase of 54 percent versus year-ago levels. In early November, Fusion set a new full-year sales record. With November results now complete, Fusion year-to-date 2009 sales total 161,819. The previous full-year record, set in 2007, was 149,552.
  • Other Ford, Lincoln and Mercury cars posting increases included Ford Focus (up 24 percent) and Mercury Milan (up 40 percent).
  • Crossover utilities also posted strong sales increases: Ford Escape was up 51 percent and set a new November sales record; Ford Edge up 27 percent; Mercury Mariner up 5 percent. In addition, sales of the all-new Lincoln MKT crossover totaled 648, its highest sales month to date.
  • Ford’s new EcoBoost engine technology and hybrid vehicles are winning customers, too. For example, the conquest rate for the Taurus SHO is 60 percent. EcoBoost provides customers up to 20 percent improvement in fuel economy and a 15 percent reduction in emissions versus larger-displacement engines. EcoBoost is standard on the Taurus SHO and available on the Ford Flex, Lincoln MKS and Lincoln MKT.
  • Sales of hybrid vehicles totaled 2,361, up 73 percent versus a year ago. Ford hybrid models include the Ford Fusion, Ford Escape, Mercury Milan and Mercury Mainer.

Ford Fiesta
The all-new Fiesta – which debuts Wednesday at the Los Angeles International Auto Show – will further grow Ford’s car lineup. This new entry in the U.S. – available in four- and five-door body styles – will set a new small car benchmark for fuel economy, safety, connectivity and powertrain technology in its segment.

North American Production
Ford plans to build 550,000 vehicles in the first quarter 2010, an increase of 201,000 units (58 percent) compared with the first quarter 2009.

Ford’s fourth quarter production plan is unchanged from the previous forecast of 570,000 vehicles.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]


Ford Fiesta MK6Image via Wikipedia

Ford leveraged the global engineering tools and processes used in the redesign of its top safety-rated flagship – the 2010 Taurus – to raise the bar on small car safety with the new Fiesta. Incorporating the Trinity front crash structure, Side Protection And Cabin Enhancement (SPACE) Architecture® and advanced air bag technologies, Fiesta brings world class safety in a small platform package, while kicking off the global roll-out of the Taurus crash safety approach.

The new Fiesta’s expressive body is rigidly crafted with high-strength steels that form an advanced crash structure. The Fiesta also features the most standard air bags in the segment and standard stability control.

“Fiesta is proof that a small car can deliver big safety,” said Steve Kozak, chief safety engineer. “The North American Fiesta combines rigidity, more air bags – smartly deployed – than the small car competition as well as standard stability control.”

Healthy bones
Beneath Fiesta’s stylish exterior is a robust structure, crafted from high-strength steels engineered to preserve quality and enhance driver and passenger safety. Working together with SPACE Architecture® side-impact protection, these elements form a protective safety cage to help protect Fiesta occupants in a crash situation.

Fiesta uses significant cold- and hot-formed high-strength steel in the body structure. These components add rigidity and save weight, increasing structural efficiency while also helping Fiesta deliver high fuel efficiency.

More than 50 percent of Fiesta’s body structure uses these high-strength or ultra-high-strength steels in the floor structure, front rails, beams and in the ultra-rigid, integrated body reinforcement ring designed to help better protect occupants in side impacts.

The Fiesta A- and B-pillars are fashioned from ultra-high-strength aluminized boron steel, adding robustness while allowing for slim width and rake to honor Fiesta’s distinctive design. Rocker panels – with welded baffles to absorb impact – also are crafted from very high-strength, dual-phase steels, known for their energy-absorption qualities. The side roof arch employs dual-phase steel construction.

Fiesta’s under-floor support beams – so-called sled runners – and lateral floor reinforcements also use high-strength, dual-phase steel.

These light but strong metals in the Fiesta’s robust body shell help enhance crash protection by adding strength, rigidity and durability.

More standard air bags, smartly deployed
The Fiesta body shell is well-equipped with safety features to help protect its occupants in the event of a collision, including the most standard air bags in the small car segment.

Fiesta offers a segment-exclusive driver’s knee air bag, developed to help reduce lower leg injuries in the event of a frontal collision and to work together with other safety features. The knee air bag joins a suite of Fiesta safety features including dual-stage first-row air bags, side-impact air bags and side curtain air bags.

A knee air bag won’t be found in Honda Fit, Nissan Versa or Toyota Yaris. Move up to Civic, Sentra and Corolla and you still won’t find a driver’s knee air bag.

“Smart” Passenger Occupant Detection System (PODS) sensors determine occupant weight and safety belt status to optimize deployment force. Smart sensors include the class-exclusive side impact sensor that uses pressure to react up to 30 percent faster than previous sensor offerings.

Also available on the Fiesta is Ford’s AdvanceTrac with ESC® (Electronic Stability Control), which uses sensors to detect and measure yaw, or side-to-side skidding conditions, by monitoring the vehicle’s speed, throttle position and steering wheel angle. When AdvanceTrac senses wheel slip, engine torque is reduced and braking is applied, where needed, to help the driver keep the car tracking on its intended path.

Additional features include rear door child safety locks, height-adjustable retractable seat belts with pretensioners and a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS).

The power of the voice
Early indicators suggest that Fiesta will attract tech-savvy young drivers. Ford encourages drivers of all ages to keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road by using Ford’s SYNC® hands-free, voice-activated communications and entertainment system which is optional on the Fiesta. Ford research shows that SYNC significantly reduces the level of distraction when drivers select a phone number or choose a song on their MP3 player compared with the same operations used in hand-held cell phones and music players.

Leveraging global safety expertise
Ford’s global safety engineers worked together to prepare the Fiesta to meet stringent U.S. crash protection requirements by leveraging Ford of Europe’s small car expertise as well as an array of virtual, actual and hydraulic sled-simulated crash tests.

“Ford has been sharing safety processes and technology around the world since the 1990s,” said Kozak. “This has laid the groundwork for us to quickly manage complex regulatory and crash-testing differences between Europe and the U.S. as we accelerate the introduction of exciting, fuel-efficient products such as the new Fiesta and next-generation Focus in the U.S.”

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Cadillac CTS Wins Car And Driver Magazine's Highest Award For The 3rd Consecutive Year

2009 Cadillac CTS - All-new technology, new de...Image by gmeurope via Flickr

Cadillac’s CTS product line, the centerpiece of the brand’s revised lineup, has been selected by Car and Driver magazine for its annual “10Best” list for the third consecutive year.

“10Best winners are those vehicles that crack the greatness code, offering that elusive combination of driving enjoyment, mission fulfillment, and value,” said Eddie Alterman, Car and Driver editor-in-chief. “That the CTS has made the list for a third consecutive year is a tribute to the Cadillac’s fundamental integrity and staying power”

Cadillac’s CTS Sport Sedan is the core of the brand, and initially was selected to Car and Driver’s 10Best in 2008. The high-performance 556-horsepower (415 kW) CTS-V model drove CTS back on to the 10Best list for 2009. And the new CTS Sport Wagon model that went on sale in September helped the CTS achieve the “3-Peat” this year.

The 2011 CTS Coupe and CTS-V Coupe join the lineup next year.

Car and Driver’s twenty-eight annual 10Best Award is the magazine’s highest honor, reserved for entirely new or substantially updated cars, and previous winners. Fifty-eight of the industry’s top new vehicles competed this year in the magazine’s extensive test. The entire 10Best award report appears in the January 2010 edition of the magazine, on newsstands now.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Friday, October 9, 2009


Ford Fiesta mk7 at Moscow International Autosh...Image via Wikipedia

Ford's rollout of its next generation of small cars will hit an important milestone when the new Fiesta is revealed in December at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The reveal of the North American-based Ford Fiesta will also mark the culmination of the first phase of the Fiesta Movement.

Set to arrive in dealer showrooms next summer, the Fiesta already can claim more than 50,000 potential customers thanks to the Fiesta Movement.

"This is the perfect time to show the North American Fiesta," said Sam De La Garza, Ford Fiesta marketing manager. "The Fiesta Movement will have wrapped up, and after hearing so much about this car leading up to the reveal, everyone will finally get to see what we are so excited about."

Fiesta Movement October missions – entertainment
Fiesta Movement agents are entering their final month of missions, and October has them having a blast with missions planned around the theme of entertainment. With 100 missions to choose from, all agents are sure to find an adventure to suit their tastes.

October missions include:

  • Visiting Turn10 Studio, Microsoft's racing studio, to get a look behind closed doors at the making of the latest Forza race game featuring the 2011 Ford Fiesta. The agent will get to design his or her own Fiesta, then climb into a three-screen simulator complete with hydraulics to put the new game to the test.
  • A behind-the-scenes glimpse into the production of a music video with Izza Kizza. The hip-hop artist is creating his music video for the song "They're Everywhere," and one lucky Fiesta agent will get to be right there, front and center, for the fun.
  • Hanging out in the recording studio with Jukebox the Ghost. The indie pop group is recording its new album; a Fiesta agent will be checking out the band's new tunes right along with them.
  • Several missions for football fanatics, from checking out a Detroit Lions game with a former player, to watching a Philadelphia Eagles warm-up, to hanging out for the team's game and meeting the broadcast group for the Eagles.

During each mission and after its completion, agents upload content to the Fiesta Movement Web site or the social media platform of their choice. Using, visitors can follow the ride by accessing the live feed feature to keep current on what the agents have to say about Fiesta and their missions.

Spreading the word
After kicking off the Fiesta Movement and embarking on their first missions in May, agents created a big impression in the social media world, including:

  • More than 4.3 million video views on YouTube
  • More than 540,000 photo views on Flickr
  • More than 3 million impressions on Twitter

Fiesta sales success
Fiesta is continuing its sales momentum as Europe's No. 2-selling car and Ford of Europe's top-selling vehicle, helping Ford's share in Europe's main 19 markets increase for the eighth consecutive month.

Nearly 340,000 Fiestas have been sold since the car was launched last autumn, with 21,800 delivered to customers in August. Fiesta was the best-selling foreign vehicle in August in both Italy and France.

In Europe, the Fiesta name has long been synonymous with outstanding drive quality, design and value. The all-new Ford Fiesta will bring its three-decade heritage to U.S. consumers in 2010.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Chrysler Group LLC Reports International Sales for September 2009

Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 425 PSImage via Wikipedia

In September 2009, Chrysler Group LLC sold 12,493 vehicles outside of North America, a 30 percent increase compared with August 2009 sales (9,951). The month-to-month increase was a result of the improved sales performance in some key markets such as the U.K. and improved supply of nameplates like the Dodge Journey, which saw a 53 percent increase in sales versus the previous month. Compared with September 2008, Chrysler Group LLC sales are down 32 percent. However, markets outside of North America showed encouraging signs based on the month-over-month increase and a smaller year-over-year decline, when August 2009 vehicle sales were down 44 percent versus the prior year.

Regional Sales
The Western and Central European region led Chrysler Group LLC sales outside of North America with 5,440 units sold, a 90 percent increase from August 2009 (2,856). The United Kingdom was the market leader for the company and the region with 2,056 sales, a 34 percent increase compared to the same period last year.

Chrysler Group sold 2,964 vehicles in Latin America, an increase of 28 percent from August 2009 (2,308). Venezuela was the market leader for the region with monthly sales of 1,010 units.

Combined sales in Africa, Middle East, Eastern Europe and Russia increased 36 percent with 2,065 vehicles sold, compared with 1,520 sales the previous month.

In the Asia Pacific region, Chrysler Group LLC sold 2,024 vehicles, down 30 percent from August 2009. China led the region with 1,042 vehicle sales.

Brand Sales
Outside of North America the Chrysler brand sold 2,437 vehicles. The Chrysler Grand Voyager led the brand with 634 sales.

The Dodge brand sold 5,004 vehicles outside of North America with Dodge Journey leading the company and the brand with 1,732 sales, an increase of 53 percent versus the prior year.

The Jeep® brand sold 5,052 vehicles outside of North America. The Jeep Grand Cherokee led the brand with 1,450 sales outside of North America.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]


FR500C in KONI Challenge Series competitionImage via Wikipedia

The car that was "born to race" is doing just that in 2009… and winning races and championships nationwide.

The 2009 race season is proving to be a banner year for the Ford Mustang. In addition to celebrating its 45th anniversary this year, the iconic pony car has won two series championships already and is positioned to possibly win championship titles in NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Funny Car Series, SCCA Speed World Challenge GT Series, and Formula Drift Professional Drifting Championship Series.

For the second consecutive year, the Ford Mustang FR500C swept the triple crown of the Grand Am KONI Challenge, winning team, driver and manufacturers' championships. Ken Wilden claimed the driver and Wilden and his teammate Dean Martin captured the team title for Rehagen Racing with a sixth place finish at the season-ending Bosch Engineering Octoberfest at Virginia International Raceway. The championship was the first for Wilden and the Rehagen Racing team.

"We took over the points lead by the second race," said Ken Wilden. "Our performance has been solid and consistent. The Mustang has been a phenomenal car. It feels good to win the championship. It's been 13 years since my last championship, and it's been a while since I've been in a car that I could say I could win one in."

Bret Seafuse and James Gue drove their JBS Motorsports Ford Mustang GT to victory at VIR and in doing so jumped Ford to the top of the manufacturers' standings, edging BMW by four points (348-344) to help Ford capture back-to-back manufacturers' titles. Ford Mustangs dominated the 2009 KONI Challenge, winning five races and finishing on the podium in eight of the eleven races.

With three races remaining in the 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing series, six of the 10 drivers eligible for the Countdown to 1 playoff run pilot Mustangs. Carrying the Blue Oval and the pony car into championship run are 14-time champion John Force, Ashley Force Hood, Robert Hight, Mike Neff, Bob Tasca III and Tim Wilkerson. The Ford Mustang drivers have hoisted the coveted Wally Trophy in six out of the last seven races. Heading into Richmond this weekend, Force Hood sits atop the points standings while Hight is a close second, Tasca remains in sixth while Force, Wilkerson and Neff occupy the seventh through ninth positions, respectively.

Hight said it best after clinching the final spot in NHRA's Countdown to 1, "I'm excited that six of the top 10 are Ford Mustangs and, you know what, one of us ought to win this championship."

SCCA Speed World Championship GT Series Mustang driver Brandon Davis is leading the point standings with only one race to left in his season. Davis needs to finish sixth or better in the last race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca this weekend to win the Speed World Challenge GT Championship. In his last outing at Road Atlanta, Davis raced in the new 2010 Mustang and hopes to capture the title in the latest model.

"We are optimistic going into the final round, but the fact is, it's not over yet," said Davis. "We're very aware of that, and we'll be celebrating afterwards hopefully, but for right now, we're still focused on the task at hand."

One Mustang driver, Andrew Caddell, has already claimed his 2009 championship when he took the checkered flag at Miller Motorsports Park two weeks ago. Caddell is now the two-time Ford Racing Mustang Challenge Series champion. Caddell successful defended his inaugural Mustang Challenge title despite fierce competition from Ted Anthony Jr.

"We won the first race of the year, and then we struggled after that. After the Barber Motorsports Park and the 45th Anniversary of the Mustang, we took the car to the dyno and found that we were 12 horsepower down. We changed the motor, and once we did that, the rest of the season went great," said Caddell. "We won in New Jersey, we finished second at Laguna and then we finished the season off with another win. It was just a great year."

One of the most recognizable cars in the Formula Drifting Professional Drifting Championship Series is the Falken Mustang driven by Vaughn Gittin Jr. Gittin sits third in series standings with one race left in the season. The last round in the series takes place October 16th-17th at Toyota Speedway in Irwindale, California.

Brent Hajek and his Hajek Motorsports stable of '08 Cobra Jet Mustangs have made a significant impact at the dragstrips in 2009, including winning the season-opening NHRA Winternationals in the car's debut. Hajek Motorsports also took an E-85 Mustang to Talladega earlier this year where Bill Elliott set a closed course speed record for an E-85 powered car. Next up on the on the horizon for Hajek Motorsports, a land speed record attempt in an E-85 powered 2010 Mustang at the famed Bonneville Salt Flats.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]


WAYNE, MI - OCTOBER 15:  Ford Motor Company wo...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Ford Motor Company is intensifying its focus on global electrification with the creation of a new position to lead the planning and strategy for Ford's future electric vehicle portfolio.

Nancy Gioia, formerly Ford's director of Sustainable Mobility Technology and Hybrid Vehicle Programs, North America, has been named director of Ford Global Electrification.

"We recognize that pursuing electrification as one of our technology paths presents unique challenges for commercialization of the vehicles," said Sue Cischke, Ford's group vice president of Sustainability, Environment and Safety Engineering. "It requires us to collaborate with new partners, define new business models, connect to a new infrastructure for the vehicles and meet new customer expectations around the globe."

In her new position, Gioia will direct strategy and planning for Ford's global electric vehicle portfolio, touching all aspects of electrified transportation, including product planning, supplier partnerships and collaboration with the energy industry and government.

"Ford is strongly positioned to accelerate its electric vehicle strategy thanks in part to the significant research we've already completed," said Barb Samardzich, Ford vice president, Powertrain Engineering. "Nancy's unique background and experience in leading the hybrid technology and electric vehicle product teams position her well to coordinate our electric efforts across product development, sustainability and government affairs as we move to the next frontier of this new form of transportation."

Ford has announced plans to develop three distinct types of electrified vehicles – hybrid electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and pure battery electric vehicles. They include:

  • Battery electric Transit Connect commercial van in 2010
  • Battery electric Focus passenger car in 2011
  • Next-generation hybrid vehicle in 2012
  • Plug-in hybrid in 2012

Ford's electrification strategy is consistent with its commitment to deliver affordable fuel efficient technology to millions of customers. The company is poised to take advantage of rapid advancements in electrified vehicle technology – particularly lithium-ion batteries – while leveraging the scale of global vehicle platforms to ultimately reduce the cost of new electric vehicles.

Global fleet testing under way
The globalization of Ford's electrification strategy is well under way, with test fleets on both sides of the Atlantic. At the recent Frankfurt Motor Show, Ford of Europe revealed the first of a fleet of battery electric vehicle prototypes based on the Ford Focus, and specially developed to participate in the U.K. government's "Ultra-Low Carbon Vehicles" demonstration initiative next year. The research program aims to test the technology's suitability for potential future application in Ford's European passenger car range.

A consortium of Ford, Scottish and Southern Energy and Strathclyde University will use the fleet of 15 prototype Ford Focus BEVs and a charging infrastructure in and around the London Borough of Hillingdon starting in early 2010.

The Focus BEV prototype is based on the current European Ford Focus and will use a new all-electric powertrain, developed with Ford supplier partner Magna. This technology is based on that being developed for Ford's new-generation C-sized global vehicle architecture that will be launched in North America in 2011.

"This fleet of Focus BEV prototypes is an important step toward developing a realistic solution and viable market for electric vehicles in the U.K., Europe and North America," Gioia said. "Our electrification strategy absolutely depends on strong alliances with key partners whose expertise and resources complement our extensive experience and global production capabilities."

In North America, Ford and its energy industry partners continue to collaborate on the connectivity issue between electric vehicles and the electric grid. Over the past two years, Ford and its utility partners have logged more than 75,000 miles on a test fleet of plug-in Escape Hybrids. Plug-in hybrid research focuses on four primary areas: battery technology, vehicle systems, customer usage and grid infrastructure.

In addition, Ford has developed an intelligent vehicle-to-grid communications and control system for its plug-in hybrid electric vehicles that "talks" directly with the nation's electric grid.

Commercial and retail electric products planned
Ford is set to deliver its first electrified vehicle in 2010 when it will launch a pure battery electric Transit Connect small commercial van. The vehicle will be targeted to fleets and businesses with short, defined transportation routes and the ability to return to a central charging location at day's end.

In 2011, Ford will launch the battery electric Ford Focus passenger vehicle. Built off the new global C platform, the BEV Focus will be produced at the Michigan Assembly Plant for both retail and commercial customers.

"Broad commercialization of electric transportation will require unprecedented collaboration among all stakeholders and new ways of doing business," Gioia said. "Ford is committed to help lead the way to find creative solutions to ensure that electrified vehicles can deliver benefits to our customers, the environment and our business around the globe in a sustainable way."

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]


Today, will see the official reveal of the Cruze Cup, the new racing series of the ADAC Weser-Ems, Germany’s largest motorist club and motorsports organization, at a special ceremony to take place in the Oschersleben Motorsport Arena.

The Cruze Cup will be launched in 2010 and will adopt a special race-spec version of the Chevrolet Cruze developed by Wiechers Sport on the basis of the Chevrolet Cruze WTCC.

After its successful introduction into global markets and in the World Touring Car Championship, the Chevrolet Cruze has now been chosen by the ADAC Weser-Ems to serve as the platform for its new in-house racing competition and will offer German racing enthusiasts the possibility to enjoy racing with an exciting race-spec car at a very affordable price.

All-New Chevy Caprice Police Car

An all-new Chevrolet Caprice Police Patrol Vehicle (PPV) will join the ranks of law enforcement departments across North America in 2011. It’s a modern, full-size, rear-drive sedan that will offer both V-8 and V-6 engines, as well as a host of specialized equipment and features.

Chevrolet made the announcement at the annual International Association of Chiefs of Police convention, in Denver, Colorado. The Caprice PPV will be available for ordering next year and will hit the streets in early 2011.

“The new Chevrolet Caprice police car is the right tool at the right time for law enforcement,” said Jim Campbell, general manager for GM Fleet and Commercial Operations. “We asked for a lot of feedback from our police customers, which helped us develop a vehicle that is superior to the Crown Victoria in key areas.”

Vice President, Global Chevrolet Brand Brent Dewar added, “Along with Impala and Tahoe, the Caprice PPV gives agencies a greater range of choices for police and special service vehicles that are all available from Chevrolet.”

Unlike other police cars on the market, the Caprice PPV is not based on existing “civilian” passenger-car model sold in North America. It has been developed in key areas specifically for police duty, containing modern equipment and features:

  • Powerful 6.0L V-8 with fuel-saving Active Fuel Management technology and E85 capability delivers expected best-in-class 0-60 acceleration (sub six seconds) and top speed; a V-6 engine will also be offered, beginning in the 2012 model year
  • Optional front-seat-only side curtain air bags allows a full-width rear-seat barrier for greater officer safety
  • Two trunk-mounted batteries, with one of them dedicated to powering various police equipment
  • Designed for five-passenger seating, meaning the upper-center section of the dashboard can be used for equipment mounting without the concern of air bag deployment interference
  • Compatibility with in-dash touch-screen computer technology
  • Special front seats designed for the long-term comfort of officers whose car is their effective office, including space that accommodates the bulk of a typical equipment belt

The front seats are sculpted to “pocket” the equipment belt, which greatly increases the comfort for a great range of police officer sizes. The foam density of the seatback and cushion insert surfaces are designed to conform to the shape of an equipment belt’s various items, too, allowing the officer’s back to rest properly on the seatback surface.

“The Chevrolet Caprice PPV’s seats represent a revolution in comfort and utility for officers who spend long hours in their car,” said Bob Demick, lead seat design manager. “The shape also enhances entry and egress, making it easier for officers to exit the vehicle quickly. The seatback bolsters, for example, have been purposefully contoured to help pocket the equipment on the belt, which includes the gun, Taser and handcuffs, which rest comfortably in the sculpted lower bolsters. That also increases the longevity of the trim cover surface.”

Along with comfort, the materials used in the seats were also carefully selected. High-wear materials were chosen to stand up to long hours of everyday use, while breathability, long-term durability and ease of cleaning were also important criteria.

Engineers worked on several iterations of the seat, testing a couple of versions in the field to get real-world feedback from police officers, who used prototype seats in their cruisers for a month. Their input helped determine the final design.

Class-leading space

The Caprice PPV is based on GM’s global rear-drive family of vehicles that also underpins the Chevy Camaro. It uses the longest wheelbase of the architecture – 118.5 inches (3,010 mm) – along with a four-wheel independent suspension that delivers responsive high-performance driving characteristics that are crucial in some police scenarios.

Caprice PPV’s long wheelbase also contributes to exceptional spaciousness. Compared to the primary competition, its advantages include:

  • A larger interior volume – 112 cubic feet / 3,172 liters – than the Ford Crown Victoria, including nearly 4 inches (101 mm) more rear legroom
  • The barrier between the front seat and rear seat is positioned farther rearward, allowing for full front-seat travel and greater recline for officer comfort
  • At 18 cubic feet (535 liters) free space (beyond battery located in trunk), the Caprice’s trunk volume is large enough to accommodate a full-size spare tire under a flat load surface in the trunk storage area.

The Caprice’s 6.0-liter V-8 is rated at an estimated 355 horsepower (265 kW) with an estimated 384 lb-ft of torque. It is backed by a six-speed automatic transmission that is performance-calibrated for police duty. Additional, police car-specific powertrain and vehicle system features include:

  • High-output alternator
  • Engine oil, transmission and power steering coolers
  • Standard 18-inch steel wheels with bolt-on center caps
  • Large, four-wheel disc brakes with heavy-duty brake pads
  • Heavy-duty suspension components
  • Police-calibrated stability control system
  • Driver information center in the instrument cluster with selectable speed tracking feature.

A host of complementary features are also offered, including special equipment packages such as spotlights; lockouts for the power windows and locks; and an “undercover” street-appearance package (9C3).

To enable more room for interior equipment, the standard radio can be relocated to the trunk, allowing for an in-dash, touch-screen computer to be used.

Caprice on patrol: A brief history

Chevrolet’s history with law enforcement is almost as old as the brand itself. Police departments have used Chevy sedans as police cars for decades, ordering them with basic equipment and powerful V-8 engines – including some special engines that weren’t available in regular-production models, such as the 1959 Biscayne that was offered with up to 315 horsepower.

The full-size Chevrolets joined the force in 1976. All Caprice police cars – including the new, 2011 model – have carried the 9C1 order code. Here’s a quick look back at Chevys on patrol:

1959 – Chevy Biscayne police model capable of 135 mph with specially tuned, police-only version of the 348-cubic-inch V-8 engine

1965 – The new “big-block” 396 engine is offered in Biscayne and Bel Air police cars, making them among the most powerful on patrol; a 427 V-8 was added in 1966

1976 – The 9C1 order code is given for the first time to a full-size Chevy police car package. It carries the Impala name.

1977 – The full-size Chevy is downsized. The 9C1 police package is retained, as is the Impala name.

1986 – The Caprice name replaces Impala, as the car is updated for the mid- and late-1980s – including the option of a powerful, 5.7-liter small-block V-8.

1991 – A new-generation Caprice is launched, with the 9C1 police car still on the beat.

1994 – The 260-horsepower (194 Nm) LT1 V-8 engine is offered in the Caprice 9C1, making it one of the fastest full-size police cars ever offered.

1996 – Caprice police car production ends, as GM’s full-size, body-on-frame car architecture is discontinued.

2011 – The Caprice PPV returns to active duty.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Thursday, September 10, 2009

New Dodge Caliber

  • All-new 2.2-liter Common-rail Diesel (CRD) engine delivers 16 percent more power and 3 percent more torque, while reducing fuel consumption by 5 percent and CO2 emissions by 3 percent
  • All-new interior design features a cleaner, more refined design theme, highlighted by detailed chromed accents, soft-touch premium materials and additional storage spaces
  • Sport Appearance package includes new 18-inch polished aluminum wheels
  • Versatile interior featuring innovative Uconnect™ Navigation, MusicGate Power™ articulating liftgate speakers and Chill Zone™ cooled-beverage storage bin

Dodge Caliber is a five-door C-segment hatchback that combines a sporty coupe-like profile with the strength, stance and functionality of an SUV. It features an all-new refined interior and Common-rail Diesel (CRD) engine to satisfy the needs of discerning international customers.

This all-new Euro V capable engine is paired to a six-speed manual transmission and produces 120 kW (163 hp DIN) and 320 N•m (236 lb.-ft.), delivering 16 percent more power, 3 percent more torque and 25 percent more towing capability (1500 kg) compared with the previous diesel engine. Forged steel connecting rods, aluminum head and pistons, and fourth-generation direct-injection system provide durability, weight reduction and performance. Passenger refinement also improves as dual balance shafts and sound-deadening materials reduce the diesel engine’s vibration and harshness by 25 percent compared with the previous Dodge Caliber CRD.

Two World Engine offerings (2.0- and 2.4-liter) deliver power and refinement thanks to dual Variable-valve Timing (VVT) and an intake manifold design with flow control valves. Combined, these features produce more power, better fuel economy and a smoother, quieter operation than engines without them. The 2.0-liter World Engine replaces the 1.8-liter engine, delivering 4 percent more power (115 kW /156 hp DIN) and 13 percent more torque (190 N•m / 140 lb.-ft.). For even greater performance, the 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine delivers 125 kW (170 hp DIN) and 220 N•m (162 lb.-ft.) of torque.

The new Dodge Caliber debuts at the 2009 International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt, featuring an all-new refined interior with a more harmonious design aesthetic executed with premium materials and craftsmanship. An all-new designed instrument panel features a more integrated look and includes additional cubby space, center storage bin and larger climate controls. Bright satin silver accents add contrast to Dodge Caliber’s interior design, while chromed accents brighten heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) vents, shift bezel, door handles and cluster rings. New door-trim panels and center console with armrest split-lid feature padded soft-touch materials for improved passenger comfort.

In addition, the Dodge Caliber offers an array of unique interior features in its segment, including Chill Zone™ cooled-beverage storage bin, Uconnect™ Navigation with voice commands, iPod® Control, rechargeable LED flashlight and an available MusicGate Power™ Sound Group, which includes two articulating speakers packaged in the liftgate that swing down for tailgating and other activities.

“The Dodge Caliber is not your typical C-segment car. When we launched the Dodge Caliber only a few years ago, its bold style made a clear statement on the European roads, allowing owners to be active, stand out and do more,” said Mike Accavitti, President and Chief Executive Officer - Dodge Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. “Now paired with an all-new turbo-diesel engine that offers better fuel consumption and performance and an improved interior full of value and customer-friendly features, the Dodge Caliber continues to offer our European clients unique Dodge attitude combined with one of the best value proposition in the segment.”

The Dodge Caliber was the top-selling Chrysler Group LLC vehicle outside North America in 2008.


High value, bold styling in an efficient two-box design

  • Dodge Caliber delivers high value, bold styling, comfort and the storage flexibility needed for active lifestyles
  • All-new interior design offers versatility, comfort and convenience
  • New organically-shaped instrument panel, door-trim panels and center console features chromed accents on HVAC vents, shift bezel, instrument panel, door spears and cluster rings
  • Soft-touch padded door armrest and center console with split lid provide added storage space
  • New automatic climate control system
  • MusicGate Power™ Sound System includes a nine-speaker Boston Acoustics premium sound system with rear articulating speakers
  • Chill Zone storage bin provides ability to chill beverages on a long trip
  • LED illumination includes cup holder rings and removable and rechargeable LED cargo light
  • Versatile seating provides quick and convenient cargo space with fold-flat, front-passenger seat and 60/40 split, fold-flat rear seats
  • Reclining seatbacks provide additional rear seat comfort

All-new 2.2-liter Common-rail Diesel (CRD) engine offers greater refinement, more power and capability

  • New 2.2-liter CRD engine features 16 percent more power (120 kW / 163 hp DIN) and 5 percent improvement in fuel consumption (5.8 L/100 km compared to 6.1 L/100 km)
  • Improvement in CO2 emissions by 3 percent (154 g/km compared to 159 g/km)
  • Towing increased by 25 percent allows for trailer mass as great as 1500kg (braked)
  • Torque improvement by 3 percent (320 N•m / 236 lb.-ft.) compared to the previous generation Dodge Caliber diesel
  • Dual balance shafts, optimized diesel calibration and sound-deadening materials reduce diesel vibration and improve refinement by 25 percent
  • Forged steel connecting rods, aluminum head and pistons provide durability and reduction in weight
  • Euro 5 emission compliance through advanced diesel technology:
    • Cooled Exhaust-gas Recirculation (EGR) with switchable bypass
    • Fourth-generation direct injection with common-rail pressurized at 1800 bar
    • Intake module with integrated swirl control valves
    • Water pump and piston cooling are switchable for improved thermal management
    • Diesel-particulate Filter (DPF)

Innovative technology

  • Uconnect™ Navigation
  • Uconnect Multimedia
  • Uconnect Phone
  • iPod® Control
  • MusicGate Power™ with nine Boston Acoustics speakers includes subwoofer and two articulating speakers
  • Electronic Vehicle Information Center (EVIC)

C-segment size, versatility and flexibility of larger vehicles

  • Dodge Caliber appeals to buyers looking for a C-segment hatchback that stands out from the crowd and gives them the flexibility to do more in terms of seating friends and storing gear
  • Dodge Caliber is a five-door vehicle that combines a sporty coupe-like profile with the strength, stance and functionality of an SUV
  • The Dodge Caliber’s unconventional two-box design provides space-efficient packaging with great proportions, while offering high value
  • Dodge Caliber’s high H-point gives drivers a command-of-the-road seating position

Safety and security features include:

  • Seat-mounted (thorax) side air bags
  • First- and second-row side-curtain air bags
  • Anti-lock Brake System (ABS)
  • Electronic Stability Control (ESC) with Brake Assist and all-speed traction control
  • Driver and front-passenger active head restraints
  • Uconnect Phone
  • Uconnect Navigation with voice commands
  • Tire-pressure Monitoring (TPM)
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Lincoln MKT Earns - Top Safety Pick

Lincoln MKT concept photographed at the 2008 N...Image via Wikipedia

  • The all-new 2010 Lincoln MKT three-row luxury crossover received a “Top Safety Pick” rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)
  • MKT offers a high level of crash protection – including state-of-the-art side air bags that are designed to deploy up to 30 percent earlier than traditional air bag systems – while offering a segment-first, forward collision warning system as part of Lincoln’s push into new crash-avoidance technologies
  • MKT offers an array of standard driver-awareness features – including a first-in-class Blind Spot Information System (BLIS®) with Cross Traffic Alert (CTA)
  • Ford Motor Company has more IIHS Top Safety Pick ratings than any other automaker and more U.S. government five-star ratings than any brand
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]


Ford Motor CompanyImage via Wikipedia

All new 5-speed automatic transmission introduced in India with shift-on-the-fly 4-wheel drive, touch-enabled SATNAV system with reverse parking camera

  • New contemporary look and design:
    • New distinctive embossed chrome grille and wraparound headlamps
    • Wide header bar with Endeavour embossed on it
    • New tail lamps, bumper, rear cladding and spare wheel cover
    • Illuminated Endeavour branded scuff plate
    • Bold, new 16-inch painted cast aluminum wheels
  • Interiors:
    • A segment-first touch screen (7 inches wide) satellite navigation system, with built-in DVD player, a rear camera and Bluetooth capability on the automatic variant
    • Instrument Panel with an RDS-capable 6-CD and MP3 audio system on 4x2 variant
    • Generous legroom – front row with 1088mm, second row with 978mm and third row with 722mm
  • Powertrain and Transmission
    • 2.5L & 3.0L DuraTorq TDCi common-rail turbo-diesel engines
    • New five-speed automatic transmission, with electronic shift-on-the-fly for 4x4 model
  • Safety
    • Introducing side air bags in addition to front driver and passenger airbags.

Ford India launched the new design look Endeavour 3.0L with 5-speed automatic transmission and an array of contemporary features that give the new Ford Endeavour fresh appeal to go with its image of dominant toughness. Endeavour is the most capable seven-seat SUV on the road, combining best-in-class torque, active versatility, superior off-road capability and surprising levels of comfort and refinement.

The new Ford Endeavour pioneers a suite of new design elements, led by a new-look front design with a classy multi-bar chrome grille and chrome-accented lower grille combined with sleek, wraparound headlamps to create a distinctive signature style. Under its slick new shape are the unrivalled toughness and proven capability that have made Ford Endeavour a leading choice among premium SUV buyers in India.

At the unveiling of the new Ford Endeavour, Michael Boneham, president & managing director, Ford India said, “The Endeavour has established itself as an undisputable leader in the premium SUV segment. With its contemporary new design look, the dominant toughness of Ford Endeavour has never been more appealing and we believe that it will set new benchmarks in its segment.”

The New Ford Endeavour is being launched across the country in a phased manner. The vehicle was unveiled in New Delhi by Bollywood actor and successful entrepreneur Suniel Shetty, a special celebrity guest and a proud Endeavour customer. The vehicle launched today – and bookings are open – in Northern and Western markets, and will launch in the following weeks in Southern and Eastern markets.

Priced aggressively, the new Endeavour is available in Delhi from today at Rs. 17, 99, 000 for the 3.0L 4X4 automatic transmission and Rs. 15, 99, 000 for the 2.5L 4X2 manual transmission variant (Ex-Showroom, New Delhi).

The new grille design features three, finely detailed horizontal bars that seem to float in the grille opening, the middle of which supports a proud Ford oval badge. Designers sculpted the three-bar grille – a key element of Ford design DNA – to convey the kind of sophistication found in luxury goods packaging. The top edge of the grille features a wide header bar with Endeavour embossed boldly into its surface. The new Endeavour's side mirrors also include interesting design details and functionality. Their housings – matte black lowers with chrome uppers – incorporate power folding convenience with turn indicator repeater lamps and a puddle lamp feature, which illuminates the ground around the door of the vehicle as the driver approaches the vehicle and unlocks its doors by remote control.

Poised on bold, 16-inch wheels, the new Endeavour has an unmistakably confident stance that communicates this vehicle is ready to go, whether it’s around town, on a great journey or to even greater heights. The new 16-inch alloy wheel – in a unique six-spoke design – is standard equipment, fitted with 245/70r16 tyres.

Inside, the new Endeavour surrounds its occupants with car-like comfort and luxury while providing true seven-seat SUV functionality. The vehicle has outstanding seat comfort and spaciousness. It also features ergonomically crafted seats with leather seating surfaces. Door panels are also finished in premium material close to the seats for visual appeal and design consistency. When the doors open, they reveal a distinctive chrome scuff plate with illuminated Endeavour branding.

“The new design of the new Endeavour is a more premium look that builds on the capability and robust feel that are Ford Endeavour hallmarks. We’ve added contemporary touches that give it a lot more style, but it’s the way the new design complements Endeavour’s inherent strengths that was so important for the design team to execute,” said Scott Ferrier, design manager, Asia Pacific and Africa, Ford Motor Company.

Endeavour offers two highly responsive, 16-valve TDCi versions, both of which feature outstanding torque output plus impressive levels of smoothness and refinement:

  • The 2.5-litre (offered with 4x2) Duratorq TDCi common-rail engine, rated at 105 kW (143PS), which delivers peak torque of 330 Nm at just 1800 rpm
  • The 3.0-litre (offered with 4x4) Duratorq TDCi common-rail peaks at 380 Nm of torque at 2500 rpm, and is rated at 115 kW (156PS) of power output

The 3.0L Endeavour 4x4 automatic transmission models feature an electronic shift-on-the-fly system for the convenient selection of 2WD or 4WD mode. The 4x4 system features a proven-tough Borg-Warner transfer case.

The all-new 4X4 5-speed automatic transmission is an all-terrain vehicle that can handle city, highway or hill driving with ease and agility. The automatic transmission has an overdrive option (5th gear) feature to allow driving in lower gear for greater responsiveness.

With TDCi common rail turbo-diesel power, Endeavour boasts best-in-class torque output – that’s the feeling of instant power on tap to accelerate away from a traffic light or make an overtaking maneuver. That’s the confidence, premium refinement and outstanding fuel economy of Ford’s advanced DuraTorq TDCi common-rail turbodiesel engine family.

With plenty of low-end ‘grunt’, the TDCi engine range makes Endeavour ideal for overtaking on a highway or tackling tough off-road terrain. The DuraTorq TDCi pair make Endeavour a delight to drive in any condition.

“The DuraTorq common-rail engine family is ideally suited to the robustness and premium nature of the Ford Endeavour,” said John Lonsdale, vice president, Product Development of Ford India. “These engines provide the superior performance, capability and refinement customers in this premium SUV segment expect. We’ve engineered DuraTorq TDCi to be at the very heart of the Endeavour ownership experience.”

Endeavour’s tough chassis and confident stance – with standard 16-inch wheels give it the credentials to handle rough roads, difficult terrains or deal with tough conditions, providing ease and comfort to the passengers in the vehicle.

“Endeavour owners spend a lot of time with their vehicles and find them an invigorating part of their lifestyle. They love the versatility, toughness and capability of their vehicles but they also appreciate that its design communicates success and confidence. Our objective for the new 2009 Endeavour was to build on this emotional connection to make that vehicle-owner bond even stronger,” added Nigel Wark, executive director, Marketing, Sales & Service, Ford India.

The new Ford Endeavour is the only vehicle in its segment to offer side air bags, part of an array of active and passive safety features. These 18-litre bags are designed to protect the head and thorax in the event of a side impact. The Endeavour is also equipped with dual-stage front air bags for driver and passenger. The air bags work in conjunction with three-point safety belts with pre-tensioners and load limiters, another Ford safety distinction.

Active safety features – designed to help the driver avoid an accident – include the Endeavour braking system, which features Anti-lock Braking (ABS) and Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD). The new Ford Endeavour also has Ford’s unique Passive Anti-Theft System (PATS), for improved vehicle security. A uniquely coded computer chip is included on the ignition key to ensure the vehicle will not start without the correct key.

A state-of-the-art in-car entertainment and navigation system redefines luxury with a segment first 7-inch touch screen satellite navigation system, built-in DVD player which supports all popular file formats, a rear camera and Bluetooth compatible communication system on the Automatic Variant. This unit also has a USB Input.

The new Endeavour also boasts an RDS-capable audio system with 6-CD changer and MP3 capabilities and Aux-in port on the 4x2 variant. This allows occupants to connect popular MP3 players, such as the Apple iPod, into the audio system.

The new Endeavour will be available in five exterior colours. The new Sea Grey and Moondust Silver colours will join the always popular Morello, Panther Black and Diamond White. All use the innovative 3-wet high-solids paint process technology.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]