Drive Type: 4x4
Number of Cylinders: 8
Trim: Rock Crawler
Asheville, North Carolina, United States
The ongoing heavy-duty truck battle between Ford and Ram is showing no signs of slowing down. The Blue Oval is trying to remove at least one point of contention between the two brands by testing its 2015 F-450 Super Duty using the Society of Automotive Engineers J2807 towing standard, which Ram also uses. In the new evaluation, the F-450 is rated at a max towing capacity of 31,200 pounds. That's an identical amount as under Ford's own, previous test.
"We leave no doubt with customers that the F-450 pickup truck has best-in-class towing of 31,200 pounds - whether tested using our own internal towing standards or SAE J2807," said Raj Nair, Ford group vice president for Global Product Development, in the company's release.
At the same time, Ford is also changing how it calculates the F-450's payload. Instead of using its minimum curb weight as before, the brand is now using the truck's base curb weight. The revision lowers the pickup's rating to 5,300 pounds, compared to 5,450 pounds previously. The company said in its announcement that the reason for this is "aligning its payload rating practices with other manufacturers to make it easier for customers to compare vehicles." General Motors made a similar switch for its pickups in August.
Back in the day, Vignale was a carrozzeria of the highest order, alongside the likes of Pininfarina, Bertone and Zagato. But like Giugiaro-ItalDesign and Ghia, it has since been subsumed into a larger auto group. Ford ended up with it under its umbrella when it took over De Tomaso, and has since used the moniker for a number of concept cars. Now the name is back in the form of a new upscale sub-brand for the European market.
The first new model to receive the Vignale treatment is the Mondeo, which Ford unveiled here at the Frankfurt Motor Show in both sedan and wagon forms. Positioned above the Titanium trim, the Vignale model gets such special touches as chrome trim and a quilted leather interior, Vignale badges replacing any mention of the Mondeo on which it's based. It also gains an ownership experience - including free car washes for life! - to befit the upscale positioning.
Under the bright spotlights above the show floor, the Nocciola metallic brown paint might not be the most photogenic, but will likely give the Vignale edition a more premium look when it hits European dealers and roads in 2015. Whether it'll be worth however much Ford asks for it, however, remains to be seen. Scroll down below for the official press release.
What's the future look like for Tesla after it launches the Model X CUV and possibly a smaller, sub-Model S sedan? Would you believe a pickup truck? Yes, Tesla could be looking to use its EV know-how to take the fight to Ford and the F-150, based on comments made by company founder Elon Musk.
"If you're trying to replace the most gasoline miles driven, you have to look at what people are buying," Musk said during an impromptu Q&A session following a speech at Business Insider's Ignition conference. "[The F-150 is] the best selling car in America. If people are voting that's their car, then that's the car we have to deliver."
And while the idea of electric pickup may sound kind of absurd to some, Musk makes a very valid point - if Tesla's goal is to replace gas miles with electrical miles, it simply can't afford to ignore pickups.