Exterior Color: Orange
Number of Cylinders: 8
Drive Type: RWD
Options: Leather Seats, CD Player
Lowell, Indiana, United States
Ford is taking a bit of the spotlight away from General Motors, announcing a major group of recall campaigns, covering a total of 1.4 million vehicles built between 2006 and 2013.
Let's start with the big one, which covers the Ford Escape, Mercury Mariner and, according to The Detroit News, Ford-built Mazda Tribute CUVs. 915,216 vehicles are covered, all of which were built in model years 2008 to 2011. 736,000 vehicles are in the US, while Canada then Mexico make up the vast majority of the remainder. The problem is due to an issue with the torque sensor in the steering column, which could lead to sudden power steering failure. Manual steering would still be available, though.
"Dealers will perform one of three service fixes, depending upon what diagnostic codes are shown when the vehicle is taken to the dealer," Ford spokeswoman Kelli Felker wrote to Autoblog in an email. "They will either update software for the power steering control module and the instrument cluster module; replace the torque sensor; or replace the steering column, which includes upgraded power steering control module software."
Word coming in from across the pond has it that Ford is working on developing the business case to create a new Fiesta RS. The development is encouraged by the extremely positive reception the existing Fiesta ST has garnered to date, and the emergence of the above-pictured Fiesta RS WRC rally car, but it'll take more than goodwill to make a more extreme version a reality.
According to Auto Express, a new roadgoing Fiesta RS would almost certainly be based closely on the ST version, albeit with some vital differences. Its 1.6-liter turbo four would be increased from 180 horsepower to somewhere around 230 hp, and that powertrain would be accompanied by lightweight alloys inside blistered wheel arches, a stripped-out interior and possibly lightweight bodywork.
The vehicle's approval would reportedly require a strong business case in Europe, and not just in the UK where Ford hot hatches traditionally enjoy a strong following. It's unclear whether the Fiesta RS would potentially make the transatlantic voyage to American showrooms, but between it and the larger Focus RS, hopefully the Blue Oval wouldn't leave its home market out of the action altogether.
Ford is among the kings of concealment when it comes to test cars. On one recent Mustang SVT mule, the automaker went to the extreme of putting baffles over the exhausts to hide how many there were. Sounds like a lot of work, right? In a new video, the Blue Oval has decided to take fans behind the scenes to show them what it takes to camouflage a prototype. In this case the subject was the recently unveiled 2014 Falcon XR8 for Australia.
Ford's prototype build coordinator Down Under has the very appropriate name of Neil Trickey, and it's his job to obfuscate the important bits of test cars to keep them out of spy shooters' camera lenses. Trickey calls his job a "dark art," and he shows off some of the tricks of his trade in the video. It turns out that the fabric we often see on mules is a type of lycra, but his team isn't above getting out a can of spray paint to conceal parts, too.
Scroll down to watch a video about a man who you probably wish could be a little worse at his job.