Big Piney, Wyoming, United States
Happy Mustang Day. Are you tired of hearing about the 2015 Ford Mustang yet? No? Good, here's a bunch of mechanical data on Ford's sixth-gen muscle car, along with cutaways of the GT's 5.0-liter V8 and the new 2.3-liter, EcoBoost four-cylinder shown above. We also have a smattering of info on the Stang's updated transmissions and an exploded-parts-diagram view of its all-new independent rear suspension.
Ford is set to make waves offering the Mustang with a turbo for the firs time since the small-volume SVO of the 1980s. Displacing 2.3 liters, the engine's twin-scroll turbo should help the four-cylinder turn out a projected 305 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque, while also returning the best fuel economy in the Mustang's engine lineup. As we said in our Deep Dive, the EcoBoost will be slotted in as a premium engine, above the 3.7-liter V6 but below the 5.0-liter V8.
Speaking of that high-revving eight-cylinder, it's receiving a new cylinder head with high-flow ports. The intake and exhaust valves are larger and the cams have been replaced, among other tweaks. It should rev even higher thanks to a rebalanced crankshaft and forged connecting rods. Ford is still claiming a projected 420 hp and 390 lb-ft, although as many of the changes for the 2015's V8 come from the 2013 Boss 302, we're going to assume there's some sandbagging at work.
Ford is set to give the burgeoning Chinese market its very own C-segment model, while also reviving one of the brand's more notable nameplates. The new Escort, which will make its world debut at the 2014 Beijing Motor Show will be built in the People's Republic at the Changan Ford joint venture facility.
The Escort's exterior is best thought of as a mix of the finer points from the US market Focus and Fusion, with the Aston Martin-ish grille and narrow, wraparound taillights presenting a clean look at either end of the car. It's all fairly true to the concept car from last year's Shanghai Motor Show. That said, this exterior job is almost too clean. There doesn't seem to be a lot of character or substance beyond the typical Ford looks.
There's a similar issue in the cabin - it all looks pretty nice, but the design is rather plain, particularly when viewed alongside the display-filled cabin of a US-spec car. Still, there looks to be a fair amount of space in both the front and back seats, and the trunk isn't exactly tiny, either.
Within the next year, Ford will offer a brand-new adaptive steering system (unimaginatively dubbed "Ford Adaptive Steering"), and this week, the automaker invited us out to its proving grounds in Dearborn, MI to get a taste for how its new setup works. In function, Ford's system doesn't greatly differ from the majority of other adaptive steering units already on the market from companies like Audi or BMW, but consider this: Ford will be the first non-luxury automaker to offer this technology, and uniquely, the whole system fits inside the car's steering wheel.
Ford's engineers have worked hard to create a system that can be tacked on to the company's full lineup of cars, trucks and utility vehicles, and says that the adaptive steering will be uniquely tuned for each specific vehicle. The automaker will not confirm exactly which vehicle will launch with this technology, but for the purpose of our preview, we tested the technology in a 2014 Fusion - a vehicle with already-good behind-the-wheel feel, one that the company says best demonstrates its current steering efforts.