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Auto blogWed, 28 Nov 2012 21:21:00 EST
There is no doubt that Ford has had its hands full fielding complaints with its MyFord Touch and MyLincoln Touch systems these days, but looking to keep its customers happy, Ford is once again upgrading its infotainment systems and extending the warranties. Despite having just sent out updates for its systems back in March, Automotive News says that customers are still complaining about the speed and ease of use.
Vehicles with MyFord Touch will now get a five-year, unlimited-mile warranty, while the MyLincoln Touch will have a six-year, unlimited-mile warranty. Previously, the systems were covered under basic warranties (three-year, 36,000-mile for Ford and four-year, 60,000-miles for Lincoln).
What is being referred to as "version 3.5" for the MyFord Touch and MyLincoln Touch systems will be mailed out (or downloaded) next month for owners of cars without navigation and in January for cars with nav. Owners of hybrids, plug-ins and electric vehicles will get the update sometime in the first quarter of next year.
Originally developed with the sole purpose of being a Ferrari rival to compete at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Ford GT40 became a prominent racing machine in the 1960s in both Europe and the US. Not wanting to leave such an important car out of the fun, the 2013 Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance also took time out from its other celebrations to recognize the 50-year anniversary of the GT40.
Over its short lifespan, the GT40 was offered in a handful of configurations, but the classic short-tailed (Mk I and Mk II) bodystyles were well represented... especially in Gulf livery. James Glickenhaus (of Ferrari P4/5 fame) had his bright yellow Mk IV in the field, and there were several others in this bodystyle, including one that has seen plenty of time on the track judging by its chipped-up nose.
As a fitting statement for the car's lengthy racing history, GT40 Chassis Number 1075 won this year's Concours de Sport award. This car took home the checkered flag at Le Mans in 1968 and 1969, and racked up a total of six wins in just 11 races.
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.