October 14th, 2010 by Car and SUV
If you’ve read recent reports online you’d be forgiven for thinking the Ford Falcon XR8 is dying a slow death. But in a recent interview Ford Australia’s big boss Marin Burela has confirmed that the XR8 will return to the company’s Falcon line-up in Australia, despite being absent since the introduction of tougher emissions legislation in June this year. The current model XR8 remains available here in NZ.
Across the ditch the adoption of Euro IV emissions laws forced the retirement of the XR8′s 5.4 litre Boss V8, and also FPV’s naturally-aspirated 5.4 V8. Last week FPV revealed its all-new Euro IV compliant 5.0 litre supercharged V8 (read news), but a replacement for the XR8′s hasn’t been sorted yet.
But, Mr Burela has put the fears of Falcon fans at ease.
“Performance cars are part of our heritage,” Mr Burela said. The [XR8] is very much part of our lineup, and it will be for many many years to come. We have an incredible desire to make sure that we don’t let go of things that actually work for us. We thought that it was the right thing to do to make sure that we bring out the FPV range first and get that established and moving first.”
Mr. Burela hasn’t confirmed if the 2011 XR8 would make use of FPV’s locally-developed supercharged “Miami” V8, or if the Mustang’s naturally-aspirated 5.0 litre “Coyote” V8 would be picked.
The Mustang’s engine produces 307kW and 529Nm in its strongest form and would provide an exciting replacement for the current 290kW/520Nm Boss V8.
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October 6th, 2010 by Car and SUV
Ford has managed to stay strong through the tough economic times with a large part of its success attributed to the “One Ford” policy installed by boss Allan Mulally. But not all Ford enthusiasts are fans of this policy particularly with recent speculation, after Mulally’s comments at the 2010 Detroit Auto Show, that next Ford Falcon would be transferred to a front-wheel drive platform, shared with the American Taurus.
We love our RWD machines and most Falcon fans turn red at the thought of it going front drive, but new reports that comments by Mulally at the Paris Motor Show may calm those fears. The Ford CEO has now acknowledged that rear drive vehicles are still commercially viable, and continued that the automaker would continue to make vehicles that customers want.
While Mulally didn’t exactly announce that the Mustang and Falcon would one day share a platform, he hinted that it’s a possibility. Mulally said that rear-wheel drive platforms will be global in the future, adding “we love our rear-wheel drive platforms and we love Mustang, and they’re global platforms.”
This isn’t the first time rumours about the Falcon and Mustang sharing a rear drive platform have surfaced. In January of this year it was revealed that the next Mustang would house an independent rear suspension set up. Making it even more likely that the Falcon and Mustang would share that platform.
October 4th, 2010 by Car and SUV
The 2011 WRC is shaping up to be more interesting than it has been for many years with the adoption of the new Super 2000 rules for next year’s series. The latest machine built to the new specification is Fords Fiesta RS WRC which has been unveiled at the Paris Motor Show. It’s tiny, crazy fast, and a pure gravel-t0-tarmac rally machine.
Built around a 1.6-litre EcoBoost turbocharged four-cylinder engine, the Fiesta RS WRC likely achieves an output around 300kW from its small displacement, though Ford hasn’t announced the official power specs. The move to the smaller engine is driven by the WRC’s adoption of the Super 2000 rules for 2011, which mandates a maximum displacement of just 1.6 litres.
Designed by Ford of Europe with assistance from rally partner M-Sport, the Fiesta RS WRC is based on the Fiesta S2000 rally car that won the Monte Carlo Rally.
The go-hard Fiesta is preparing for its first shakedown run on gravel in Spain next week, though it has already conducted about 3,000 kms of testing with various engine set-ups. Ford WRC factory rivers Jari-Matti Latvala and Mikko Hirvonen will be piloting the test vehicles. Read the rest of this entry »
September 17th, 2010 by Car and SUV
It was scheduled to debut later this week before the Paris Motor Show but Ford just couldn’t wait to pull the covers of its new Focus hot hatch.
This second-hottest model in the Focus family (behind the RS) will be known in European markets as the ST. Here in NZ it is likely to be called the ‘XR4 Turbo.’ Not the XR5 Turbo like the outgoing model because of the ST’s new four-cylinder engine, meaning a digit is dropped and it becomes the XR4 Turbo. That’s the math.
So what’s it all about?
Well it’s set to go on sale in “all global markets” from the middle of next year, it’s based on the five-door version of the brand new Focus and it’s got some major styling differences.
The styling package includes a new front bumper with a large gaping mouth for sucking in air. There are side skirts a larger roof spoiler and a rear diffuser with centrally mounted exhaust tips. The show car is finished in a all new colour that is aptly named ‘Tangerine Scream’, it also gets a beefy set of 19-inch alloy wheels.
Under the bonnet Ford has got rid of the Volvo-sourced 2.5-litre turbocharged five-cylinder engine and has replaced it with Ford’s own 2.0-litre turbo four-cylinder Ecoboost unit. With this modern engine in place the Focus ST should produce a Golf R-rivaling 184kW.
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September 3rd, 2010 by Car and SUV
The current Ford Fiesta came with its own marketing campaign on a massive global scale, it included numerous TV commercials and also giving famous folk a Fiesta to drive round in. But what the marketing masters at Ford didn’t cover was a cheesy comic rap about the small hatch. Luckily, a group who call themselves ‘Film Riot’ have come to the party with a one-off, three-minute-long ad about the Fiesta. Apparently Ford currently gives sponsorship to the Film Riot crew, so it makes sense that the funky Fiesta hatch would be the star of their ad spoof.
The video is worth a look and worth a laugh so check it out below. Read the rest of this entry »
September 1st, 2010 by Car and SUV
The very first example of Ford’s quickest selling performance car in the UK is set for a slower pace of life after joining the company’s heritage collection.
The Focus RS500 was unveiled as a limited-edition model of 500 retail units plus 12 models produced for demonstration and press purposes. Just 101 right-hand drive Focus RS500 models were made available in the UK and they sold out within days of being launched.
The first right-hand drive press unit in the UK, number PR001, has featured widely in motoring magazines and will now join the company’s Essex-based fleet of heritage vehicles. Sitting alongside such icons as the 1970 London to Mexico winning Ford Escort, the Ford RS200 and the 2005 Ford GT supercar, the Ford Focus RS500 will be put on public display at motor shows and Ford dealers.
UK Ford corporate affairs manager, Brian Bennett, said: “The heritage collection is the largest collection of roadworthy historic Ford vehicles in the UK and includes some of the industry’s most famous vehicles such as the Ford Model T and the Ford Cortina. Performance models feature strongly and the Ford Focus RS500 was an obvious choice to include as a future classic.” Read the rest of this entry »
August 30th, 2010 by Car and SUV
The old fave Ford Mondeo has just been reworked to give it a fresh face and some new engine options. Officially unveiled at the Moscow Auto Show the Mondeo is looking as sharp as ever.
Visually, the car’s lines are largely unchanged, but the details have been made sharper. Out front there’s a new front bumper with fashionable LEDs and a more prominent lip, there’s also twin chrome trim surrounding the windows and a new rear bumper.
The interior sees some upgraded materials and new equipement. Interior lighting is done by LED illumination. Driver aids include a Lane Departure Warning system, Auto High Beam, Driver Alert, Smart Regenerative Charging and Active Grille Shutter, which opens and closes the grille aperture automatically to promote either cooling or greater aerodynamic efficiency.
Under the bonnet are some new engine options, including Ford’s all-new 2.0-liter, four-cylinder EcoBoost. The Ecobbost engine pumps out a very healthy 176kW of power and will be an option alongside the current 2.0-litre engine when the car is released. There’s also a reworked 2.2-liter Duratorq TDCi diesel producing 147kW. Read the rest of this entry »
August 29th, 2010 by Car and SUV
Ford’s Mustang GT goes head to head against a BMW M3 on a closed circuit track. Results may surprise.