Ford Focus 2012 Review

August 8th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

The all-new 2012 Ford Focus has been unveiled at a media event in Melbourne last week and Car and SUV was there to put the third edition of this popular hatch through its paces.

The Mk 3 Focus will arrive in NZ with two body styles, a five-door hatchback and a sleek four-door sedan. Expect a wagon version to arrive in March next year.

There’s a lot to like with the new Focus, the practical cabin and sharp driving dynamics remain, but it now offers a higher level of features and also ultra modern styling. It’s a powerful example of the ‘One Ford’ approach that will see the Focus sold in 122 markets globally. The Focus’ C-Platform will also underpin at least ten vehicles in the future and account for two million units of production by 2012. The numbers getting thrown around are big, but Ford are justified in having confidence in the new 2012 Focus. Continue reading “Ford Focus 2012 Review” »

Ford Fiesta marks 35th Birthday with 15 million sales

August 5th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Ford’s Fiesta has had three years of success with a massive number of global sales but the last few years haven’t been the only important ones for the plucky little hatch.

The Fiesta’s history goes all the way back to 1976 when the very first Fiesta rolled off the production line. Since then it has gone on to sell 15 million units and demand is showing no signs of slowing. The Fiesta is currently Europe’s biggest selling small-car with production coming out of Cologne, Germany. It is also built in Nanjing, China, Rayong, Thailand, and Cuautitlàn, Mexico.

After thirty-five years, six generations and 15 million cars the Fiesta began from humble beginnings and is now a nameplate with true heritage and longevity. Continue reading “Ford Fiesta marks 35th Birthday with 15 million sales” »

Chevrolet’s hardcore Camaro ZL1 to come packing 425kW

July 21st, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

It looks like the horsepower wars are far from over in the States and may see Chevrolet’s new Camaro ZL1 released with a higher power output than was originally planned. The ZL1 (pictured) won’t reach American car dealerships until early next year, but fresh reports are claiming that power output for the pony car has been bumped up to more than 570 hp (425 kW).

When the ZL1 officially debuted at the Chicago Auto Show, GM said the supercharged 6.2-litre engine would have a max power output of approximately 550 hp (410 kW). That was all good until word came out that the 2013 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 was expected to use a supercharged 5.8-litre V8 with up to 620 hp (462 kW). With Ford now throwing down the challenge, Chevrolet was left with little choice but to upgrade its hardcore ZL1, just to stay in the fight. Continue reading “Chevrolet’s hardcore Camaro ZL1 to come packing 425kW” »

New Ford Ranger Wildtrack to make NZ debut at Fieldays event

June 10th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Ford NZ is going big at this year’s Fieldays show with the much-anticipated New Zealand debut of the new Ranger Wildtrak ute.

Designed and developed in Australia the Wildtrak sits on 18-inch wheels and comes with a roof rack and sports hoop to beef up its profile. There is also special badging and graphics to set it apart from lesser models. Inside, there are leather/cloth sports seats and 23 different storage spaces including a glovebox which can fit a laptop computer and a deep centre bin which can keep six cans of drink cool.

Apparently, the Wildtrak can wade through water up to 31.5-inches deep and has just over nine inches of ground clearance. It also has a towing capability of up to 3350kg.

In terms of powerplants the Wildtrak has an option of two engines. A new 2.2-litre four-cylinder diesel that delivers peak torque output of 375 Nm and power output of 110kW, or a new 3.2-litre 5-cylinder diesel that produces a powerful 470 Nm of torque and is power rated at 147kW. The Wildtrak is fitted with an 80-litre fuel tank so expect one of the longest ranges in the segment. Continue reading “New Ford Ranger Wildtrack to make NZ debut at Fieldays event” »

Ford to produce smallest ever engine – 1.0-litre three cylinder

June 3rd, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Ford wasn’t the quickest carmaker at seeing the benefits of turbocharging in developing smaller, more fuel efficient engines. But once it did, Ford is now full steam ahead with a wide range of force-fed petrol powerplants. But the American carmaker isn’t stopping there, now it’s developing its smallest production engine ever and its first three-cylinder offering.

Designed by the engineering team at Ford UK’s Dunton Technical Centre, the 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine will apparently deliver similar performance to a larger four-cylinder unit but with much higher fuel economy. The new engine will use all the EcoBoost technologies found in other motors, such as turbocharging, direct injection and twin independent variable camshaft timing (Ti-VCT).

No specific output figures have been released yet, but according to Derrick Kuzak, Ford group vice president of Global Product Development, said the new three-cylinder unit “will deliver horsepower and torque outputs equivalent to or better than most normally aspirated 1.6-liter gasoline engines”.

Once completed the super small engine will find applications in a variety of Ford’s products and will be sold in many markets. The new Ford Ka and Fiesta will be among the first models to use the new engine. Continue reading “Ford to produce smallest ever engine – 1.0-litre three cylinder” »

Ford NZ reveals All Blacks-inspired AB35 Fiesta

May 30th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

The teaser ads have been on NZ TV’s for a few weeks now and Ford New Zealand has just revealed it’s All Blacks inspired limited edition AB35 Fiesta.

Binding in with Ford NZ, twenty All Blacks players helped personlise and tune the special Fiesta and the AB35 is now on sale at Ford dealers, with a price of $35,990. Like the name would suggest, Ford NZ has built 35 of the AB35 Fiestas with 34 going on sale today and one being auctioned for charity on Trade Me between 29th May and 8th June. Proceeds from the auction will go to three charities; Ford New Zealand’s official charity Variety – The Children’s Charity and the New Zealand Rugby Union’s official charity partners Plunket and KidsCan.

Chris Masterson from Ford NZ says the AB35 Fiesta project was created to celebrate the company’s 17-year sponsorship of the All Blacks.

“The AB35 project was all about showing our commitment to the All Blacks this year. We had a huge amount of fun designing this car and it is great to be able to finally reveal it to the public. The AB35 Fiesta represents the spirit of our brand. It’s a dynamic, premium car that’s small on price but big on features. People who get behind the wheel of this car will find it a fantastic driving experience, and show their support for the All Blacks,” said Chris Masterson. Continue reading “Ford NZ reveals All Blacks-inspired AB35 Fiesta” »

Ford NZ confirms 2011 Territory pricing and range

May 13th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Ford New Zealand has confirmed pricing and model range for its new 2011 Territory. Prices start from $49,990 for the rear-driving petrol TX model and finish at $69,990 for the top-spec Titanium all-wheel-drive diesel model.

A broad seven model range will cater to different requirements and budgets. The big choice for Kiwi buyers is if they want diesel or petrol powering their Territory. The Diesel variants come at a premium and if all-wheel-drive is desired it has to be a diesel model with both petrol offerings being RWD only.

The all-singing Titanium model replaces the Ghia range-topper from the previous line-up and comes packing fruit like 18-inch alloys, full leather trim, LED lights, unique front bumper, satellite navigation and a rear DVD player for the kids. Continue reading “Ford NZ confirms 2011 Territory pricing and range” »

Ford Transit SuperSport Van – move house at pace

April 15th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Ford’s performance divisions in the States are currently obsessed with the latest model Mustang, and also those rally duty Fiestas, but over in the UK things are a little different. British Ford is continuing a long tradition of hot panel vans with its latest specimen the Transit SuperSport.

Giving delivery boys, construction workers and gypsies something to really aspire to has worked well for Ford before. The last SportVan came with tidy 18-inch alloys and white stripes over bright red paint, it looked mean but only came packing a 104kW turbo diesel engine, this new beast pushes it a bit further.

This new one-off Transit SuperSportVan packs a 150kW, 3.2-litre turbodiesel five-cylinder with a six-speed manual transmission shifting the short-wheelbase chassis. There’s an upgraded aero body kit and classic blue stripes over white body finish off this sexy package. Continue reading “Ford Transit SuperSport Van – move house at pace” »