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Auto blogMon, 27 Jan 2014 10:15:00 EST
With the introduction of the aluminum-bodied 2015 Ford F-150 (and the likely use of aluminum in future Ford products), Ford is looking to help its dealerships reduce costs related to repairing this more labor-intensive material. Automotive News is reporting that Ford dealers with body shops will require an estimated $30,000 to $50,000 in equipment and training to work on aluminum, and to help alleviate the financial burden of the new F-150, Ford has announced a special 20-percent discount on this equipment.
Dealers will be able to save up to $10,000 on tools such as welders, air-filtration systems and rivet guns and to create aluminum-specific work stations. The new F-150 goes on sale in the fourth quarter, and dealers have until October 31 to take advantage of this deal, according to the report.
Okay, okay, okay, so I was just a smidge wrong. Those that read my review of the Ford Fiesta with the new 1.0-liter, EcoBoost engine will know that while I really enjoyed the torquey little three-cylinder, I was concerned that Ford's decision to force 1.0-liter owners into a manual transmission, steel wheels and one trim level might hurt sales of the new engine. I was also concerned that the promised 45-mile-per-gallon highway rating wouldn't be enough to tempt buyers into trying an engine that's so far outside of what the general public is use to. My concerns, though, seem to have been for naught.
While not doing a booming business on the triple-equipped Fiesta, Ford is seeing a take rate of four to eight percent per month in the engine's first few months on sale. Now, four to eight percent might not sound like a lot - if, like last year, the Fiesta sells around 71,000 units, there'd be barely 5,600 1.0-liter models on the road. It is also small potatoes relative to the take rate on EcoBoost-equipped vehicles across the Ford range, which US sales analyst Erich Merkle estimates to be roughly 35 to 40 percent of retail sales. Still, according to The Detroit News, the 1.0-liter is getting adopted at roughly the same rate as the sparkling Fiesta ST, which should be a solid indication of just how well this little engine is doing.
The 1.0-liter's success "really speaks volumes, not just to what we're doing with the Fiesta, but with EcoBoost in general," Merkle told Autoblog.
The Ford F-150 SVT Raptor is a very capable truck right out of the box, but "capable" has never translated into "invincible." Just ask the owner of the machine in this video. In it, the driver gets frisky with an aggressive jump with plenty of speed on his hands. The result is enough air to make Vaughn Gittin Jr. blush. As always, it's not the launch that's painful, but the re-entry. Gravity eventually asserts its dominance over the $43,630 pickup in a big way, and when it comes crashing down, it does so with a vengeance.
The impact was hard enough to set off both the alarm and multiple airbags inside the cabin. It's unclear if anyone was injured in the stunt, but we certainly wouldn't be surprised to hear that was the case. You can check out the stunt in the video below, and remember, when in doubt, back out of the throttle. Be warned, there may be some explicit/NSFW language in the clip.
UPDATE: Second video added with an even better look at the jump added below.