For Sale By:Dealer
Number of Cylinders: 8
Sub Model: xp8
Exterior Color: Black
Interior Color: Gray
Redwood City, California, United States
Ford may have tied together much of its global lineup under the One Ford campaign, but one market where it still offers unique products is Australia. That will soon draw to a close as well, but before it does, the Blue Oval's Aussie operations are rolling out refreshed versions of its two unique products. For the moment, Ford isn't revealing much in the way of powertrain details, but it has shown off a couple of snaps of the revised products on its in-market Twitter feed.
First up is the new Territory. The SUV is neither based on a front-drive crossover platform nor on a truck frame, but shares its rear-drive underpinnings with the Falcon, taking it a step beyond the Falcon wagon alongside which it sits in Ford's Aussie range. Like the outgoing third-generation SZ Territory, the facelifted version is dominated by a narrow grille and larger front air dam, but further punctuates its big-chinned look with more rugged lower cladding and other metallic inserts that bring its look up to date.
And there's the Falcon, which Ford revealed in XR8 trim just last week and is now presenting in G6E spec. If the XR8 is the performance model, the G6E is the luxury version, swapping in more refined trim like a chrome-slat grille (instead of a black honeycomb), chrome foglamp surrounds, less-aggressive multi-spoke wheels (instead of five-spokes) and a flatter hood (instead of a power bulge). Otherwise, it looks essentially the same as the one we saw last week, its facelift bringing it more in line with the smaller, front-drive Mondeo (which we know here as the Fusion) and other members of the Ford family.
Ford is making a big bet on aluminum with its new 2015 F-150, and it's possible that the decision will hurt the company financially, at least in the short term. After earning a record $8.6 billion in 2013, the Blue Oval does not expect to set another record in 2014. According to Automotive News, that's "largely attributable to F Series," says Bob Shanks, Ford's Chief Financial Officer.
To retool for the new F-150, Ford will idle its Dearborn Truck Plant in Michigan for 11 weeks and the Ford Kansas City Assembly Plant in Missouri for 2 weeks. "3 of the 13 overall weeks occur during what normally is our summer shutdown timeframe," said Mike Levine, Ford Trucks Communication Manager, in an email to Autoblog. The extra 10 weeks will be preparing for the more aluminum-intensive construction for the trucks and will mean over 2 months of no F-150s being made. For comparison's sake, Chrysler boss Sergio Marchionne just confirmed that the 200 plant in Sterling Heights, MI will be down for 30 days to retool for the new model, but obviously there are many more F-150 production variables than for the midsize sedan.
Levine notes that Ford is already running three shifts at both plants, and says the automaker has plans to ensure that there is adequate supply of the full-size pickups during the retooling process. The company does not want to suffer a shortage of the vehicle that accounted for 31-percent of its 2013 US sales and an even bigger percentage of its profits.
PickupTrucks.com has gone and thrown the latest batch of half-ton pickups into a cage match to see who would come out on top. The site put the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500, GMC Sierra 1500, 2013 Ford F-150, Ram 1500, Toyota Tundra and Nissan Titan through a battery of tests. Those included 0-60 miles per hour acceleration, 60-0 mph deceleration, fuel economy, a hill climb, and payload and towing. They even threw the rigs on an autocross course to evaluate overall handling. Each truck was given points based on how it scored in each evaluation.
Who came out on top? Somewhat surprisingly, the 2013 Ford F-150 walked away with the gold, though fewer than 50 points separated first and fourth place. Head over to PickupTrucks.com to read the full evaluation and the final results. You may be shocked to see exactly where some of the segment's newest additions placed. You can also watch a video on the test below.