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” »

Ford GT set for hybrid-powered comeback

February 7th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

The rumours are swirling around the upcoming Ford GT successor with speculation on the supercars powertrain taking a seemingly unlikely turn.

Apparently the next GT40 inspired supercar from Ford will use hybrid technology to help it achieve break-neck speeds. Like the Porsche 918 Spyder the layout will consist of a standard combustion motor turning the rear wheels with an electric motor powering the front wheels for better low-sped efficiency and to boost high-speed power.

It seems radical but electric-assisted drivetrains are here to stay and are beginning to find applications in all vehicles – even retro-styled supercars.

Before you Ford fans start tearing your hair out, the good news is that the primary engine is set to be a beast. Ford is expected to use a supercharged V8 motor and the total output including the fancy new hybrid system will be in the region of 600 horsepower. That output figure would exceed the last Ford GT’s 5.4-litre dry-sump, aluminum-block supercharged V8, which was rated at 550 horsepower. Continue reading “Ford GT set for hybrid-powered comeback” »

Next-gen 2011 Ford Ranger shows locomotive force (+video)

January 13th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

The new global Ford Ranger (read news) hasn’t been released but its already powered its way into the consciousness of many ute enthusiasts.

Now, to work up even more hype for Ford’s latest utility machine, the guys and gals at the Blue Oval have put on a little demo of its abilities. The company’s engineers decided to show off exactly how powerful the truck is, so they strapped it to a 160-ton locomotive and pulled the engine out of its brick-covered berth. The new top-spec Ranger will come packing Ford’s TDCi diesel 3.2-litre inline five-cylinder engine with 147kW of power and a whopping 470Nm of torque. Bolted to a six-speed automatic transmission and equipped with a low-range transfer case, the pickup truck appears to have no issues lugging the T-class diesel-electric locomotive out of storage.

Check back for more details on the upcoming Ford Ranger and view the video below. Continue reading “Next-gen 2011 Ford Ranger shows locomotive force (+video)” »