Drive Type: Automatic
Model: Crown Victoria
Scranton, Pennsylvania, United States
The 2014 Ford Fiesta is in showrooms now with refreshed styling and new performance ST model, but it's what isn't yet available that should help the Fiesta stand out from the growing crowd of subcompacts. Aside from the new 1.0-liter EcoBoost model coming later this year, Ford recently told us that a new Fiesta SFE trim level is on the way that should put the updated Fiesta at the top of its class for fuel economy.
The new Fiesta SFE will hit an estimated 41 miles per gallon on the highway when equipped with the six-speed automatic transmission. The current listing on fueleconomy.gov shows the 2014 Fiesta getting up to 29 mpg city and 39 highway, but the SFE will get minor aero tuning and a recalibrated engine controller to help bump the highway figure past rivals like the Chevrolet Sonic and Nissan Versa - both of which top out at 40-mpg highway. There's still no word as to when the small 1.0-liter EcoBoost will show in the US, but Ford has indicated that engine's fuel economy isn't expected to be released until October.
There is a new vehicle that you should keep an eye out for when you're going a little too fast down the Interstate. Ford's Explorer-based Police Interceptor Utility was the bestselling new law enforcement model in the country last year, and signs show that won't be changing anytime soon.
Ford sold 14,086 Interceptor Utilities in 2013, up 140% from the year before, and 10,897 Interceptor Sedans, up 31%, according to USA Today. Overall, the brand's police sales were up 48 percent, and they were enough to boost the company's law enforcement vehicle market share by 9 points to nearly 50 percent.
The success comes just a few years after it made the decision to finally retire the long-serving Crown Victoria-based cruiser for two more modern vehicles. "We had to reinvent the category," said Chris Terry of Ford Communications to Autoblog. The automaker had to convince police departments that a unibody chassis without a V8 could perform better than a model that had been a law enforcement staple for years.
Ford CEO Alan Mulally may be about to announce his long-rumored retirement from the Blue Oval, according to a pair of insiders who spoke to Bloomberg. An official statement on the succession could arrive as soon as May 1. Chief Operating Officer Mark Fields is rumored to step up as the new CEO. The company is said to be readying the announcement soon to ensure an orderly transition of power, according to the insiders.
Mulally's retirement from Ford has been a hot topic for a while. He was seriously rumored last year to be leaving the automaker to take over as the CEO of Microsoft. The board even said at one point that it was okay with them if he stepped down early. However, the CEO maintained he would stay with the business through at least the end of 2014. Fields has been rumored as a frontrunner to take over the top spot at the company since he was promoted to COO.
For the moment, Ford isn't officially confirming any of these plans. "We don't comment on speculation. We do have succession plans in place for our key leadership. We take succession planning very seriously," said Susan Krusel, Ford Global News Manager, to Autoblog.