Drive Type: 4x4
Number of Cylinders: 8
Trim: Rock Crawler
Asheville, North Carolina, United States
What you see in the above image is a rendering of the Hackmobile Transit Connect Wagon. What is that? It's a "mobile fabrication and hacking unit" that includes tools for metal- and woodworking, 3D and electronics fabrication, a three-axis CNC machine called "The Fabber," a video projector and screen, an air compressor, an 84x48-inch work surface that folds out like a Murphy bed and oh so much more. When not in use, all of the implements fold neatly into the back of Ford's award-winning van.
But perhaps the more important question is why is that? Because Make Magazine held an Ultimate Maker Vehicle Challenge in conjunction with Ford in which ten teams created were charged with creating "the ultimate Ford Transit Connect Wagon for the do-it-yourself enthusiast." Team Twin Cities Maker won the competition with the Hackmobile, and in addition to winning $10,000, Ford has declared it's actually going to build the thing - which is great, because if they can actually engineer a road-legal Hackmobile Transit Connect Wagon as envisioned, the inevitable A-Team movie reboot might need to think about including it.
Check out the video below for a cheeky walk-through of the Hackmobile, and get all the particulars in the press release below that.
Australia's Herald Sun newspaper has reported that the next-generation Ford Mustang is heading Down Under in 2016, just as Ford is hanging the "Closed for Good" sign on its Australian manufacturing operations and sending the Falcon to its grave. Ford hasn't offered any official word on the matter, but the paper says that Ford's global VP of sales and marketing, Jim Farley, is flying to Australia to make the announcement himself.
While Ford converted Mustangs in the early 2000s from left-hand to right-hand drive for the Australian market and then sold them at high prices, it's been almost five decades since Ford imported a dedicated right-hand-drive Mustang to Oz. The arrival of the global model specifically made for places like Australia and the UK means Ford will also be able to offer them at better prices than the converted models; the Herald Sun says the price is expected to be "close to $50,000."
And that's for one of the "V8 performance models," which are the only ones Australia will get; Ford apparently won't send the turbocharged four cylinder or the V6. The Aussies could find out in a month from now whether this rumor is true. We will all find out what this Mustang fuss is about when the car debuts at next year's New York Auto Show.
The timetable for next-generation Ford F-150 may be in trouble if a report from The Truth About Cars is true. The next F-150 is slated to make extensive use of weight-saving aluminum in its body, but the aluminum alloy provided by suppliers hasn't met Ford's requirements in the earliest phases of pre-production, according to the report.
The F-150 represents a huge portion of Ford's profits and is the best-selling truck in the US, even in the face of increased pressure from cross-town rivals General Motors and Ram. While the current truck is treading water against its competition, we'd be lying if we said the F-150 weren't growing quite long in the tooth.
If production of the next-generation of the Ford cash cow, said to be based on the Atlas Concept from the 2013 Detroit Auto Show (pictured above), is delayed, it could be bad for Ford. Production at Ford's Dearborn Truck Plant is already set to be delayed six to ten weeks, missing an internal on-sale deadline of Memorial Day.