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Vale, North Carolina, United States
Earlier this week, reports were swirling 'round the internet about the 2014 Ford Fusion getting a new 1.5-liter three-cylinder EcoBoost engine. That was... half correct. Ford today confirmed that the 2014 Fusion is, in fact, getting a new 1.5-liter EcoBoost mill, but it has four cylinders, not three.
The new 1.5-liter engine will be the fifth EcoBoost powerplant from Ford Motor Company. Initially to be built at the automaker's Craiova, Romania plant, it will also be offered in the Fusion's twin, the Mondeo, in other markets. This engine will debut at the Shanghai Motor Show next month, and the 1.5-liter is of particular importance in the Chinese market - there is significant tax relief in the People's Republic for vehicles powered by engines with a capacity of 1.5 liters or less.
At a media briefing Thursday, Ford declined to divulge exact power or fuel economy numbers, though Joe Bakaj, vice president of powertrain engineering, told Autoblog that power output should be similar to that of the current 1.6-liter inline-four, and that overall efficiency will be "better than the 1.6." Our earlier report stated that the 1.5-liter four will produce 177 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque - losses of 1 hp and 7 lb-ft versus the 1.6-liter engine. Ford states that the 1.5-liter four will feature many of the same technologies used on the company's 1.0-liter EcoBoost inline-three, including an integrated exhaust manifold that recaptures much of the engine's heat.
Kelley Blue Book announced its annual Best Resale Value Award winners, and we weren't too surprised to see the list dominated by Japanese automakers - mainly Toyota and Honda. KBB hands out the awards based on the projected residual value of mostly all 2013 model year vehicles, and Toyota skated home with a number of awards including 10 of the 22 overall categories and having five of its products in the top 10 for models with best resale value. KBB's Best Resale Value Awards were announced in the same week as the ALG Residual Value Awards, and there were many similarities between both lists, especially when it came to Toyota.
To come up with its winners, KBB measures depreciation over the first five years of ownership, and looks for the cars it expects to hold its value the best after this time; on average, the report says the 2013 model year vehicles will lose 61.8 percent of its value in five years. Of the 22 categories, 15 slots were filled by Toyota, Honda and Nissan products, while the Camaro and Porsche (Cayenne and Panamera) each took home a pair of awards. If Toyota has anything to be upset about in this list of cars, it's that categories for Hybrid/Alternative Energy Car and Electric Vehicle went to the Ford Fusion and Chevrolet Volt, respectively.
The overall top 10 models for the best resale value in 2013 are, in alphabetical order:
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's investigation into 2008 Ford F-250 and F-350 Super Duty pickups, which was originally opened last year, has now ended without a recall. NHTSA was looking into steering failures on some 336,000 trucks.
The issue rested with the steering gear - NHTSA received five complaints of failures - which was redesigned in 2005. According to the report on the matter, investigators "found evidence of broken sector shaft gear teeth and piston damage consistent with incidents of single event overload."
NHTSA investigators, however, "found no evidence of fatigue or material property defects in any of the fractures. Analysis of complaint rates by vehicle build month showed no patterns indicating potential manufacturing quality issues and no difference before and after Ford introduced design changes to the input shaft and sector shaft seals in July 2007 to address potential leak concerns," according to the report, obtained by The Detroit News.