Exterior Color: Orange
Number of Cylinders: 8
Drive Type: RWD
Options: Leather Seats, CD Player
Lowell, Indiana, United States
Whether fitted with soft or hard folding lids, today's droptops are better than ever for year-round motoring. Advancements in power top mechanisms, sealing, aerodynamics, structural rigidity, rollover safety and creature comforts like heated and cooled seats mean that modern convertibles are more versatile and better to drive than ever before. Yet the segment's sales took a dive during the recession and haven't come back, Automotive News reports.
Part of that is because automakers are looking at today's more sensible buyers and simply not developing as many new models, and that lack of fresh iron is curbing sales. AN cites R.L. Polk data which notes that only about one percent of new vehicles registered in the US last year had tops that folded. Back in 2009, it was 1.4 percent, and it was 2 percent in 2006. All-in, some 151,636 convertibles were registered in 2012. That's more units more than were registered in each of the past three years, but the market has also grown as the economy has picked up speed, and as a percentage of new vehicles purchased, convertible sales are lagging.
Thus far in 2013, the Ford Mustang is America's top-selling convertible, with 6,421 units registered through the end of April, followed by its rival, the Chevrolet Camaro, at 4,751 units. The Volkswagen Beetle isn't far behind, with 4,305, but from that point, it's a steep drop off to the fourth-place Mercedes-Benz SL-Class and its 2,380 sales.
Designer Josiah LaCalla has taken a stab at what a Ford Mustang-based Lincoln model might look like with the Continental Mark X1 concept. Make no mistake, Ford's luxury arm has made it abundantly clear that it won't be pursuing any new products outside of volume models, which means a flashy halo grand tourer like the one you see here isn't in the cards. LaColla used the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG as a basis for his creation, which explains the long nose, but we certainly don't mind the idea of a rear-wheel drive Lincoln with a cabin pushed to the aft.
While we're dreaming, there's certainly nothing stopping us from imagining what's under that lengthy hood. We like the idea of the 5.8-liter supercharged V8 from the Shelby GT500 pushing the Mark X1 down the road, but how about something a little more inventive? Something like a high-revving, buttery V12 with enough torque to push the contraption well past 200 miles per hour. Dream a little dream, people.
Just last month, Ford announced its first-ever non-pursuit-rated version of the Police Interceptor sedan for agencies looking to maximize fuel economy, but that doesn't mean that Ford is giving up on chasing down the bad guys. While the Dodge Charger can lay claim to the fastest lap time at the Grattan Raceway test facility held by the Michigan State Police, the results are now in for the Police Vehicle Evaluation acceleration tests. And Ford's Police Interceptor duo (sedan and utility) came out on top.
In the acceleration tests, Ford says that the Taurus-based PI Sedan with the newly available 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 was the quickest among prospective police cars in both 0-60 and 0-100 mile per hour times. The sedan posted a 0-60 time of 5.66 seconds with all-wheel drive and 5.71 seconds with front-wheel drive, besting V8-powered competitors like the Chevy Caprice and Dodge Charger by more than 0.3 seconds. These rivals close the gap on the AWD sedan in the 0-100 test with the Ford taking 13.5 seconds compared to the Chevy's time of 14.35 and the Dodge's time of 14.7.
As for utility vehicles, the Explorer-based PI Utility, which accounts for 60 percent of Ford's police vehicle sales, essentially went head-to-head with the V8-powered Chevy Tahoe with similar results. Equipped with the new EcoBoost engine option, this big SUV hit 60 mph in just 6.28 seconds and 100 mph in 15.51 seconds compared to times of 8.22 seconds and 21.95 seconds, respectively, for the Tahoe. Other important tests in the PVE include braking and top speed, but while no automakers have stepped up to boast about their numbers in either of these categories, Ford's images show that the V8 Caprice had the highest top speed of the cars at 155 mph while the Tahoe's 139-mph speed made it the fastest utility vehicle.