Exterior Color: Orange
Number of Cylinders: 8
Drive Type: RWD
Options: Leather Seats, CD Player
Lowell, Indiana, United States
Tue, 20 Apr 2010 16:01:00 EST
Ford promises more than 500 horsepower and a torque peak above 400 lb-ft.
The wait is finally over. After months of spy shots, rumor and innuendo, Ford has officially pulled the wraps off its new Shelby GT350. Judging by the spec sheet and the promises being made - especially that the Shelby GT350 will be "an all-day track car that's also street legal" - the wait appears to have been worth it.
In the automotive realm, marketing can sometimes prove just as important as the actual product. Take, for instance, Ford's well regarded EcoBoost technology, which couples turbocharging with direct injection to produce more horsepower and reduce fuel consumption. Would it surprise you to hear that General Motors has had similar technology on the market for over three years?
It's true. GM's first turbocharged, direct injected powerplants hit the market for the 2007 model. The 2.0-liter Ecotec mills put down an impressive 260 horsepower and a matching 260 pound-feet of torque, and they were lauded by the press in the engine bays of the Pontiac Solstice, Saturn Sky, Chevrolet Cobalt SS and Chevrolet HHR SS. But few people outside a core group of enthusiasts actually remember this fact.
Says Uwe Grebe, executive director of GM's global advanced engineering, "We didn't have a badge and say, 'This is the most important thing we will put on all our brochures.'" Ford, however, did just that, and it's EcoBoost engines are right at the tips of all our tongues when we discuss today's most advanced powerplants. So, how does The General fix its mistake?
Not long ago, the History Channel showed a seemingly unending stream of World War II documentaries, but it made a switch a few years ago to include an increasing mix of 'reality' programming. American Pickers was one of the early attempts at this new formula, with cameras following hosts Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz around the country in a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter as they tracked down collectibles and "rusty gold" for their Iowa shop, Antique Archeology. The show has since gone on to become one of the channel's most popular programs.
Starting in the new episode airing tonight, the affable hosts will swap their Benz for a 2015 Ford Transit, a nicely timed bit of marketing to coincide with the launch of the model's assembly at the Blue Oval's Kansas City Assembly Plant, which also kicks off this week. Ford is touting 2,000 new jobs created as part of its $1.1-billion investment in the plant.
No strangers to product placement, the guys from American Pickers say their switch away from the Sprinter is because they wanted to balance cargo capacity and fuel economy to make the most of their cross-country jaunts. They opted for the largest Transit available with a long wheelbase, extended body and high roof, giving them 487 cubic feet of cargo room. Hauling power comes from a 3.2-liter, five-cylinder diesel engine with 190 horsepower and 346 pound-feet of torque and a six-speed automatic transmission with rear-wheel drive. Fittingly, the van wears the same Antique Archaeology logo over white paint as their old Sprinter.