Exterior Color: Orange
Number of Cylinders: 8
Drive Type: RWD
Options: Leather Seats, CD Player
Lowell, Indiana, United States
Earlier this month, rumors started to swirl 'round the web about the next-generation Ford SVT Mustang - the halo version of the all-new 2015 'Stang seen testing in the gallery above. Originally, we heard that the Shelby GT500 moniker would be dumped in favor of "a name you're familiar with," which some sources guessed could mean a return of the Cobra nameplate.
That might not be correct. According to Road & Track, citing a report from Mustangs Daily, the new range-topping Mustang will bring back the Shelby GT350 name - currently used on an aftermarket version of Ford's Pony produced by Shelby American (take a look at our recent Quick Spin of that car). Expect the new GT350 to be quite a bit different than the current GT500 - it will be all motor, using a V8 that's derived from the naturally aspirated 5.0-liter Coyote engine (though it will no doubt have a higher displacement). The GT350 will be a lot more powerful than the next Mustang GT, which is expected to offer something like 450 horsepower, but won't be quite as absurd as the 662-horsepower GT500 we currently enjoy.
The Shelby GT350 will reportedly bow with the rest of the new Mustang range at the 2014 New York Auto Show, which coincides exactly with the original Mustang's debut at the New York World's Fair in 1964. If that seems far out, don't worry, we'll be seeing the rest of the 2015 Mustang range before then, but Road & Track reports that the 2014 Detroit Auto Show stage will be reserved for the reveal of the next Ford F-150 pickup.
This year more than most, it's pleasant when we can string together a few days without word of an automaker or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announcing a bunch of new recalls. It's seemingly been a little quiet on this front lately (barring a spider-related Suzuki issue revealed early today), but now we have word of the government safety agency opening a Preliminary Evaluation into the 2013 Ford Explorer Police Interceptor, a probe that could potentially affect an estimated 20,000 vehicles.
The issue being investigated concerns failures of the front brake hose on the vehicle that show "small splits in the hoses near the body side ferrule of the hose assembly," according to the agency, and the issue could result in longer stopping distances. The feds have reports of 13 malfunctions affecting 11 Explorer units. However, it's important to note that all of the incidents come from a single, unnamed metropolitan police fleet that operates 46 of them. According to The Detroit News, the failures generally took place between December and July.
NHTSA is investigating further to find if this is a more widespread issue than just this one fleet. Ford spokesperson Kelli Felker confirmed to us, "We are cooperating with NHTSA on this investigation, as we always do." Scroll down to read the agency's report.
Despite the ballyhoo that accompanied Ford's lowering of the C-Max fuel economy figures, the Blue Oval is still seeing strong demand for the five-seat MPV, as Automotive News reports. Speaking to marketing boss Jim Farley, AN says that the controversy surrounding the C-Max's fuel economy figures won't force Ford to change its marketing strategy.
Ford lowered the fuel economy rating of the C-Max after public outcry and legal action by customers that were unable to reach the 47 miles per gallon promised by the window sticker. The new ratings were dropped about a month ago to 45 mpg on the freeway and 40 mpg in the city. Ford offered rebates for current C-Max owners, with $550 going to those that bought their car and $325 to lessees. The issue, says Ford, stemmed from testing standards that allowed the automaker to base the C-Max's fuel economy on the Fusion Hybrid, because they use identical powertrains. The C-Max's less aerodynamic shape wasn't taken into account, though.
Whether Ford's PR team handled the crises perfectly or people just aren't that bothered by a four-mpg drop in combined ratings, demand remains strong for the C-Max among consumers. Ford moved 3,000 units in August, which was a 12-percent jump over July sales. Meanwhile, consumer demand through third-party shopping websites remains strong as well, according to Autometrics, a data analysis company that spoke with Automotive News. While the long-term effects of the adjustments remain unknown, the C-Max appears to have fared well in the near term.