Ford Mondeo Titanium Hatch 2011 Review

September 9th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

The Mondeo needs little introduction. Since it took over Ford’s medium size sedan duties from the Telstar in the mid nineties it’s become a popular fixture on NZ roads. With strong four- and six-cylinder engines and broadly appealing styling the Mondeo has clocked up impressive sales through the years. But at times during its four generations, the Mondeo has taken criticism for being dull, vanilla and a bland sales rep’s car. When the current model Mondeo was released in 2007 it neutralized these complaints with fresh dynamic design and new technologies scored during Ford’s ownership of premium brands Volvo and Jaguar. For 2011 Ford has pushed the Mondeo a step further into the fun zone with tweaked ‘kinetic’ styling a twin-clutch transmission and more equipment than the NASA space program. So will the facelifted Mondeo spin sales reps and private owners into a frenzy? Car and SUV saddled up a top dog Mondeo Titanium hatch to find out.

When it comes to exterior styling the fourth-gen Mondeo was already a looker, so Ford has understandably played it safe with the cosmetic updates. Changes on the Titanium include new front and rear bumpers, a new bonnet and grille, revised taillights and modernizing LED daytime running lights at the front. The result? It’s the meanest looking Mondeo yet. The front aesthetic is particularly aggressive with its bulging bonnet line, wide-mouthed air dam and thin, blackened-out grille. At the rear, jeweled two-piece tail lamps and a low air diffuser extend the kinetic design. Continue reading “Ford Mondeo Titanium Hatch 2011 Review” »

Ford Evos Concept heralds future design language

August 31st, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

After plenty of speculation, Ford has shown the special concept it will debut at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show. Named the Evos Concept, Ford has released images and details on this fastback coupe.

At this stage the Evos Concept is a design study but shows the aesthetic influences that Ford will take into its next-generation of products. Expect to see Ford’s headlights go smaller and more discreet, the grille become more vertical and body shapes to be even more raked back and sleek. The concept uses four gull wing doors to get access to the four-seat cabin.

“We wanted the Ford Evos Concept to give a clear message about where Ford design is heading – shaping vehicles that are fun to drive, have a strong premium visual appeal, and above all, are stunningly beautiful,” said J Mays, group vice president, Design and chief creative officer.

Inside, the concept there are hints at Ford’s upcoming interior design with a driver-oriented instrument panel and an inverted ‘L’ climate system. It’s more of a cockpit feel than previous Ford vehicles with touch-screen displays and individually adjustable sports seats. Continue reading “Ford Evos Concept heralds future design language” »

Ken Block releases Gymkhana Four: The Hollywood Megamercial (+video)

August 17th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Ken Block is back once more and this time around he’s gone bigger, longer, louder and more ridiculous than ever before. Block’s Gymkhana 4: The Hollywood Megamercial video was released on YouTube last night and comes packing a whole range of different scenes, stunts and crowd-pleasing antics.

In this latest installment the DC Shoes front man takes his hard-tuned Ford Fiesta hoon vehicle to the Universal Studios film lot in the States. This sees him with a varied background of classic movie props and a Hollywood blockbuster theme to the new clip.

Watch sharply and you’ll see props and backgrounds from flicks like Back to the Future, Jaws, Zombieland and Slumdog Millionaire. But the madness doesn’t end there, you’ll see gorillas, Bollywood dancing, a rocket-powered Segway and those nutters from Epic Meal Time. But if you’re like us and you want to see some slick driving, there’s plenty of that in the nine minute clip. Block slides his Fiesta through various obstacles, pulls donuts, crashes through stuff and leaves black tyre marks everywhere he goes.

Check out Block and his Ford Fiesta Hybrid Function Hoon Vehicle in the new clip below. Continue reading “Ken Block releases Gymkhana Four: The Hollywood Megamercial (+video)” »

Ford Kuga Titanium coming to NZ – November arrival

August 16th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Ford New Zealand has just announced that it will be putting the Ford Kuga small SUV on sale in NZ. The European-built Ford Kuga, will be available in top-spec Titanium trim and is expected to arrive at Ford dealers from November to join the already launched Mondeo, Territory and Focus Titanium models. Pricing for the Kuga Titanium is $53,990.

“This is big news for us and we’re very excited,” said Chris Masterson, Marketing Manager, Ford New Zealand. “The Kuga has done very well in Europe since its introduction in 2008, often topping sales charts. Locally, the small SUV market has seen substantial growth in the last few years and now with a European-proven design we have a highly compelling offer for customers in this market. As an attractive, well-designed and fully-capable crossover vehicle, the Kuga Titanium will be hard to beat. Customers will be impressed, as will our competition.”

The Ford Kuga is based on Ford’s acclaimed C-car architecture which it shares with the Ford Focus. Standard specification includes a full-time AWD system and safety tech like an Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) that combines Anti Rollover Mitigation (ARM) and ABS with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD). Continue reading “Ford Kuga Titanium coming to NZ – November arrival” »

Ford adds snakeskin to F-150 Harley Davidson Edition

August 12th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

It’s no secret that those who love Harley-Davidson motorbikes usually ride Harley-Davidson motorbikes. But even the most diehard fans still occasionally, need something with a roof and a little more space. That’s where the Ford F-150 Harley Davidson Edition enters the fray.

Since first joining forces back in 1999, Ford and Harley-Davidson has produced a total of ten F-150 models, six Super Duty F-250 and F-350 models, as well as one Harley-Davidson F-450 edition truck in 2009. Combined sales for all these special models is more than 70,000 units.

For the 2012 model year Ford has just revealed it’s latest F-150 Harley Davidson Edition which like its predecessors, gets styling tweaks and extra kit.

The F-150 H-D is available in two colours, the more traditional Tuxedo Black or a new White Platinum Tri-Coat finish combined with flame graphics on the sides finished in a snakeskin texture.

Filling the high wheel arches are 22-inch machined-aluminum rims wrapped in low profile tyres and featuring painted accents and unique center caps. There’s also smokedheadlamps and tail lights, as well as the six-bar billet-style bright chrome grille and plenty of “Harley-Davidson” badging. Continue reading “Ford adds snakeskin to F-150 Harley Davidson Edition” »

British Ford celebrates 100th birthday with Fiesta ‘Centura Edition’

August 12th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Ford is usually thought of as an American carmaker but its British arm has been in operation for longer than most car companies have been in business altogether. British Ford has been building its own vehicles for exactly 100 years and for 2011 the company has been celebrating the milestone in a number of ways. The latest is a new special edition model.

While you’d usually expect a centenary edition vehicle to be a uncompromising sports car that’s highly exclusive, in this case its something different. Ford are selling a upgraded version of Britain’s largest-selling small car, the Ford Fiesta with this special variant called the “Centura.”

The Centura celebrates the 100th anniversary of Ford in Britain, and pays tribute to the first Ford vehicle to be manufactured in the UK, the Model T in 1911. Continue reading “British Ford celebrates 100th birthday with Fiesta ‘Centura Edition’” »

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” »