Ford Focus RS Black Racing Edition unleashed on Europe

April 14th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

The Ford Focus RS is a brutally uncompromising hot hatch that has unfortunately proved rare and illusive here in NZ. Sure there have been a few private imports but with Ford NZ’s decision not to sell the RS into our market we’ve missed out on another fast Ford.

That’s not the case over in Europe where the RS, now in its twilight years in current form, has proved popular for fans and tuners alike.

Horsepower merchants Anderson Germany is the latest tuner to go to work on the Focus RS and has built a machine to tempt those waiting anxiously for the next-generation Focus RS to be released. This reworked model is called the Ford Focus RS Black Racing Edition.

The Düsseldorf-based tuner takes a standard unit from the current generation Focus RS series and makes it look sinister and sexy. It comes in a matte black exterior finish with contrasting red highlights.

Modifications aren’t limited to the cosmetic and Anderson offers performance tuning on the RS, taking output up to a sketchy 309 kW, far higher than the standard 224 kW output on the turbocharged 2.5 liter 5-cylinder unit. That’s a fair whack of power going exclusively to the front treads. Continue reading “Ford Focus RS Black Racing Edition unleashed on Europe” »

2011 Ford Territory Review

April 8th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Ford Australia and NZ has just launched its 2011 Territory at a press event held in Canberra. The 2011 Territory is a result of a $230 million AUS investment by Ford that saw 800,000 kms of testing to extensively update its popular mid-size SUV. Car and SUV was there to experience the mechanical, design and equipment upgrades that feature in the reworked Territory.

At first glance the 2011 Territory may look like little more than a facelift of its long-serving predecessor but under the surface major changes have made the Falcon-based SUV a much more tempting prospect. The big news is the inclusion of a diesel engine for the first time in the Territory range. For use in both all-wheel and rear-wheel-drive variants is Ford’s 2.7-litre Duratorq TDCi turbo diesel motor. It’s a competent unit that produces 140kW of power and 440Nm of peak torque from 1900rpm. It’s also quite smooth and fairly quiet being helped by extensive sound-deadening as part of the upgrades. Fuel economy isn’t bad either with the diesel mill achieving 8.2l/100km combined in rear-wheel drive form and 8.8l/100km in all-wheel drive guise. That figure drops to around 6.5l/100km while motorway cruising and with a 75-litre tank it will be a long time between filling up. Towing capacity for the diesel Territory is 2700kg braked for the all-wheel drive model and 2300kg for the rear driver.

While Car and SUV would certainly prefer the diesel option, some people still love their petrol powered SUVs, for them there is an inline six-cylinder engine shared with the current FG Falcon. This unit pumps out 195kW of power and 391Nm of torque. While it doesn’t feel as well suited to the Territory as the diesel mill it’s a strong free-revving motor and is offered as the standard powertrain. Fuel economy figures for the petrol Territory are 10.6l/100km combined. The petrol model is available in rear-wheel-drive only and has a towing capacity of 2300kg. Continue reading “2011 Ford Territory Review” »

New video of next-gen Focus ST hot hatch

March 24th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Not much new info has been released on the 2012 Ford Focus recently but that doesn’t mean it’s fallen of the Car and SUV radar. After driving the NZ-spec Focus XR5 Turbo last year (read review) we have been a big fans and we’re quick to jump on any details about the next-gen model.

To keep us all going Ford’s European arm has released a video of its upcoming Focus ST sport hatch that’s expected to reach global markets early next year. While there’s nothing different or new about this model that was first introduced at the 2010 Paris Motor Show, it’s still nice to revisit it.

For now, the ST is the hottest version of the new Focus (until Ford builds a harder-core RS version) and will be powered by a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine producing 184kW and 360 Nm of torque. The show car was equipped with a six-speed manual gearbox driving the front wheels, but it’s very possible that the production model will also be offered with a dual clutch transmission.

Check out the video below and photos in the gallery. Continue reading “New video of next-gen Focus ST hot hatch” »

New 2012 Ford Ranger Wildtrack stars in promo video

March 21st, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

With Volkswagen recently releasing its new Amarok (read news) and the Mitsubishi Triton constantly chasing higher torque figures the NZ ute market has become more competitive than ever. Ford aren’t just going to stand around and watch while it waits for its new 2012 Ranger to reach showrooms so the blue oval has released a new promo clip for its upcoming high-spec Wildtrack model.

At its debut at last month’s Geneva Motor Show (read news) it was announced that the Wildtrack will be offered in Europe with a choice of two engines. There’s a 2.2 litre four-cylinder diesel producing 110kW and 375Nm of torque, or a 3.2 litre five-cylinder diesel making 147kW and 470Nm of torque.

Details for the NZ-spec Wildtrack utes are yet to be announced but expect more info closer to the vehicle’s launch later this year. Check out the promotional video below and images in the gallery. Continue reading “New 2012 Ford Ranger Wildtrack stars in promo video” »

Next generation Mustang to be given global design flavour

March 7th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

The Ford Mustang is an American icon without doubt, but Ford believes its pony car is an icon for the entire world. To prove it Ford has announced that the next-generation Mustang will be designed and built with global input.

What that means is that styling themes will be penned from studios in Australia and Europe as well as other places around the world. Ford says that the practice is now standard operating procedure for most of the automaker’s new products, and that the global design approach was taken on board three years ago. Up until now the design of the Mustang was strictly handled in the States.

Ford’s group vice president Derrick Kuzak told reporters at the recent Geneva Auto Show, “It is a common process we now use on every vehicle, when we embark on a new product, particularly one that is all new, it involves all of the studios. Then the Ford design team pick the best of those themes,” he added.

Kuzak went on to use the new 2012 Ford Ranger ute as an example because it was created solely for markets outside North America is a potentially successful examples of Ford’s new global design approach. “The Ranger was done by the Australian studio with input from the European studio,” Kuzak said.

So when do we get to see this new globally inspired Ford Mustang? Sadly, Ford is staying tight-lipped about the Mustang’s time frame but it is speculated that the new pony car should reach the market by 2014.

Ford unveils new top-spec 2012 Ranger Wildtrak

March 2nd, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Ford has taken the new-generation of it’s weekend warrior Ranger Wildtrak to the 2011 Geneva Motor Show for its global debut.

The range-topping ute comes packed with premium features, including goodies like voice recognition, rear-view camera, satellite navigation and Bluetooth connectivity.

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.

It’s not all show and no go either, 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 “Ford unveils new top-spec 2012 Ranger Wildtrak” »

Ford NZ announces 1 April on sale date for updated Mondeo

March 1st, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Ford New Zealand has announced a 1 April on sale date for the new 2011 Mondeo.

A host of product enrichments will bolster the Mondeo, a model range already renowned for its blend of styling, comfort, ride and performance. A highly fuel efficient turbo diesel and new, safety features head the list of changes, along with new standard equipment and enhancements to exterior and interior styling.

“We’re very excited about the new Mondeo ,” said Trevor Auger, Ford New Zealand Managing Director.  “It’s been a very popular vehicle in New Zealand and with these enhancements we can only expect that popularity to grow.”

“The Ford Mondeo has been an excellent example of balancing the right mix of equipment and technology with the right price in a car that is beautifully designed and packaged. These generous additions simply build on this winning formula and make it an even more compelling choice for new-car buyers,” he said.

The 2011 Mondeo will continue to offer New Zealand customers the choice of four-cylinder petrol and turbo-diesel power. Continue reading “Ford NZ announces 1 April on sale date for updated Mondeo” »

Ford Australia unveils new 2011 Ford Territory

February 9th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

After a lengthy development programme Ford Australia has pulled the covers off its new look Ford Territory.

The Australian-designed-and-developed SUV has undergone extensive visual updates inside and out. The new Territory has been brought into line with the rest of Ford’s vehicles that wear the kinetic design language. There is a fully reworked front end, a restyled tail, new C-pillar shape and side lines.

Presenting the new design was the responsibility of the Ford Australia design team, headed by Chris Svensson, Design Director for Ford Asia Pacific and Africa.

“We worked hard to ensure the new Territory was an evolution of the original model and, through the use of Ford’s distinct design DNA, also gave a hint of the future,” Svensson said. “To achieve this we applied Ford’s unique style philosophy: kinetic design. Kinetic design comprises several specific elements, all of which are present in the new Territory. They are confident stance, dynamic lines, expressive form language, taut surfacing, bold graphics and great detailing. When you combine them they convey movement and athleticism. In other words, the vehicle looks like it is moving when standing still,” Svensson said.

At the front, the vehicle uses an all-new tri-plane front-end architecture. The new trapezoid-shaped main grille is one of the new Territory’s most noticeable updates. This larger, lower grille in a unique three-bar design connects with the slim-line treatment given to the upper grille opening, a feature which sees the famous Ford roundel now surrounded by its own winged structure. Continue reading “Ford Australia unveils new 2011 Ford Territory” »