Engine:292 or 312
For Sale By:Private Seller
Drive Type: FWD
Model: Crown Victoria
Flora Vista, New Mexico, United States
The most important bit of information you need to know after looking through our high-res gallery of images depicting a prototype 2016 Ford F-Series Super Duty pickup truck burning to the ground is that nobody was hurt. There were two engineers inside the vehicle when it caught fire, and both exited to safety.
That's the good news. The bad news is that the truck, which appears to have been testing in Death Valley, appears to be a total loss, minus, of course, whatever information Ford can glean from the conflagration - particularly tracing it back to its root cause. Besides that, we're also expecting the body of the next Super Duty to be hewn from aluminum, as is the case with its smaller brother, the brand-new F-150. Note the little aluminum droppings littering the roadway as apparent proof of that.
Our spy photographers report that it took just 21 minutes for the F-Series Super Duty to burn completely to the ground. The fire appears to have started in the driver-side front wheel well, spreading to engulf the entire front end in three minutes. We can't confirm the source of the blaze, but we're curious if the car's black vinyl cladding, meant to obscure the secrets within, contributed to the fire.
Ford is toiling away, installing heavy-duty engine components into select 3.7-liter V6s to allow them to run on compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquid petroleum gas (LPG) in addition to gasoline. That's nothing new, but now, Ford has announced that it will offer the 2014 F-150 with this engine configuration, bringing the Blue Oval's total number of CNG/LPG-friendly vehicles up to eight. The F-150 will be the only half-ton pickup on the market that can run on these gases.
Ford will charge $315 per vehicle to equip the optional engine, but the trucks won't be ready to run on the alternative fuels straight from the factory and must be upfitted with additional equipment. A Ford Qualified Vehicle Modifier will install a separate fuel system for the compressed gases at a cost of $7,500 to $9,500, depending on fuel tank size. With the right-size tank, the F-150 equipped with the CNG/LPG-prepped engine can go 750 miles on one tank of gas, according to Ford, averaging 23 miles per gallon.
The practice of offering flex-fuel vehicles is gaining momentum as businesses take advantage of cheap gas. CNG can be bought for $2.11/gallon on average (per gasoline equivalent), and sometimes for as little as $1.00 in some parts of the US, Ford states. "With the money saved using CNG, customers could start to see payback on their investment in as little as 24 to 36 months," says Jon Coleman, Ford's fleet sustainability and technology manager. The automaker expects to sell a total of 15,000 CNG/LPG-prepped vehicles in the 2014 model year.
Ford always shows up in force at the SEMA Show, but this year's tally of 57 custom-tuned cars, trucks and vans is more than we can ever recall the Blue Oval bringing. Ford will introduce 28 of its project vehicles in its "Dreamcase" ahead of next month's show. The first batch of eight you'll find here with the remaining vehicles trickling into public view over the next couple of weeks.
This first group of cars includes a Fiesta, four Fiesta ST hatchbacks and a trio of Mustang show cars styled and tuned to varying degrees all by different aftermarket companies. Tanner Foust, Nitto Tire, 3dCarbon and Ice Nine Group are some of the more familiar names affixed to these cars. Our favorite so far is the Hollywood Hot Rods Mustang convertible (shown above) with its removable aluminum top and methanol-injected, 750-horsepower 5.0-liter V8.
Scroll down for all the details on these Fiestas and Mustangs, and stay tuned for more info on Ford's SEMA line, which will include custom versions of the Focus ST, Fusion, Transit Connect, F-150 and Super Duty.