Drive Type: Automatic
Model: Crown Victoria
Scranton, Pennsylvania, United States
Most domestic automaker assembly plants traditionally take a couple of weeks off during the summer. The shutdowns give each plant time for much needed repairs and maintenance, and in some cases, help better align production with demand. Not this year, though, as demand for many models is outstripping what Ford, Chrysler and General Motors plants can produce.
Ford has announced that it will shorten its annual summer shutdown for most North American plants from two weeks to one. The shorter shutdown will increase the carmaker's annual North American production by 40,000 units on top of the 200,000 extra units that it was already planning to produce this year versus last. Automotive News reports that Ford produced 2.8 million vehicles on this continent in 2012, and that output this year has already increased 13 percent through April.
Chrysler, meanwhile, is also operating at full tilt and plans to run some plants through the summer with no shutdown at all. Those not getting a break include Jefferson North where the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango are assembled, Toledo North that will assemble the new Cherokee, and Conner Avenue, home of SRT Viper production. Other assembly plants will be down for a single week, while all of Chrysler's engine and transmission plants except one in Indiana will continue operating with no shutdown this summer.
The next-generation Ford Mustang SVT is one of the most anticipated performance cars of the moment. We've already seen it testing multiple times, but it has always been covered is some very heavy camouflage. However, Ford has just given us our best view yet of the new muscle car. According to our spy photographer, the Mustang was at the Nürburgring for high-speed testing, which meant that the Blue Oval had to remove most of the heavy obfuscation that the SVT has worn previously.
The stylish, more revealing camo makes picking out some of the more interesting details about the SVT rather easy. Starting from the front, there is the big hood scoop to feed cold air to its still mysterious engine. You can also immediately make out the model's new grille and lower front air dam. It has a vertical piece running from the bottom of the hood all the way to the ground. The aggressive styling almost gives the 'Stang the look of two fangs ready to bite down. The hood seam is even taped off here, which shows us its outline.
Around the side, it appears that the front and rear fenders are wider than stock, and the sills are certainly much larger. You can also just make out the SVT's bigger brakes behind its black wheels with a polished lip. Finally, at the rear, things appear mostly stock other than the diffuser that the exhaust outlets nestle into.
The Slippery Slope
I've had a healthy appreciation for cars that stop since one truly unfortunate incident with a runaway 1971 Lincoln Continental.
It's funny how quickly a party can turn from, "We're all having blast" to "What happened to the front of the house, and how many stitches do you think this is going to take?" Standing in a Mustang salvage shop in Kodak, Tennessee, I couldn't help but feel I had strayed into the latter territory with Ugly Horse. There was a supercharged 5.4-liter V8 plucked from a rear-ended Cobra sitting off to my left. The shelves were lined with second-hand Roush and SVT components galore, but I couldn't stop staring at a set of rotors with the approximate diameter of my chest.