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Auto blogTue, 23 Jul 2013 15:30:00 EST
Not all so-called Memorandum of Understanding pacts end in actual collaborations. For instance, after a two-year "feasibility study," Toyota and Ford have just announced that they will not be developing hybrid systems for use in light trucks and SUVs as previously planned, and the two automakers will instead continue to develop their own hybrid technology independently.
The would-be collaboration was first announced in August of 2011, and would have seen a rear-wheel-drive hybrid platform that would "improve the efficiency of trucks and SUVs while still allowing them to be driven in the way customers expect," according to our initial post on the topic.
Keep in mind that this announcement isn't to say we shouldn't expect hybrid pickups and SUVs from the two automakers, but that they probably aren't coming very soon - Ford says it will have a system "before the end of this decade" and we haven't heard much from Toyota on the hybrid truck front since the 2008 A-BAT Concept (pictured above) - and that they will not share any components between them (and they never have, for what it's worth).
The sixth edition of the Kelley Blue Book Brand Image Awards have crowned a wide range of winners - in a couple of cases the recipient of the laurels might say more about KBB users than they do about the actual winner. Compiled from the responses of more than 12,000 shoppers on KBB.com over the past year, there are 13 categories broken into non-luxury, luxury and truck segments "representing the combined wisdom of the American car-buying public."
The award categories have been revamped this year, with some dropping off, some new ones appearing and at least one other given a new term. What isn't surprising is that Honda won Most Trusted Brand for the second year running, Best Value Brand for the third year in a row and took Best Overall Brand, which wasn't on last year's list of awards.
On our own shores, in the non-luxury categories Chrysler got Most Refined Brand and Buick took Best Value Luxury Brand. Neither one of those marques won anything in last year's Brand Image Awards, while Cadillac, which won Best Interior Design Brand and Best Comfort Brand last year - those awards disappeared this year - went home without a single accolade.
Ford has quite the racing pedigree, but usually, its racers are relegated to the track. Not the new Formula Ford EcoBoost, though. It's a turbocharged, open-wheeled racer complete with a 200-horsepower, 1.0-liter, three-cylinder engine... and it's legal on the roads of the UK.
That's stressed in this video from Autocar, with the mag going so far as to show the car's tax disc and license plates. Being a road-legal offering, it's tempting to see just how well an open-wheeler that delivers racecar-like performance while also netting over 100 miles per gallon (assume this is on the British cycle, for obvious reasons) stacks up against modern performance cars.
Autocar lined up the Formula Ford against an Audi R8 V10, a BMW M6 Gran Coupe and a Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG in a number of situations to see which would come out on top. Take a look below for the full video.