Exterior Color: Black
Interior Color: Red
Model: Other Pickups
Number of Cylinders: 8
Warranty: Vehicle does NOT have an existing warranty
Drive Type: 2 wheel drive
Lake Park, Minnesota, United States
These days, when you buy a new car, it's not unreasonable to expect a certain period of free maintenance to come along as well. Sometimes this is through the life of the warranty, in other cases a little less. But Ford Motor Company is going beyond those deals for at least one part of its cars. As of now, if you buy a set of Motorcraft brake pads for a Ford, Lincoln or Mercury model, you get free replacements for as long as you own the vehicle. The offer is good at Ford or Lincoln dealers and Quick Lane Tire & Auto Centers.
"We will replace the pads for as long as you own the vehicle," said Elizabeth Weigandt to Autoblog. She did clarify that the Motorcraft pads are generally for models from the '90s or newer. Also, to take advantage of this program, a person must return to the same dealer each time to get the free parts.
Of course, Ford isn't just handing out brake pads to anyone who walks by; there are certain stipulations. First, the components have to be worn down to less than three millimeters to be eligible, and the buyer still has to pay for the labor to install them. If the model is used as a fleet vehicle for commercial purposes like as a taxi or limousine, this offer also doesn't apply; the same thing for racecars. On the plus side, if you recently bought a set of pads from one of the participating locations, you're still in luck. The deal covers parts purchased as of July 1.
Ford must be desperate to get itself ready for the beach this summer because it is really trying to get into shape. Shortly after unveiling the Lightweight Concept that cut the weight of a Fusion down to that of a Fiesta, it's now the rest of the line's turn for improvement. The company is wrapping up a 10-year research project aimed at developing next-gen automotive batteries to improve efficiency.
Ford claims that 70 percent of its lineup will have stop/start tech by 2017. The key to this massive proliferation is its new dual-battery system that combines a lithium-ion battery with a lead-acid one and regenerative braking. The setup works by harvesting braking energy and converting it to electricity. When the vehicle stops, the engine shuts off, but the Li-ion battery has enough juice to keep the accessories running. The engine starts up again as drivers take their foot off the brake. The layout would mean less wasted gas while idling. It's already available on Ford hybrids and is somewhat similar to the i-Eloop capacitor-based system from Mazda.
The bigger challenge is tuning the regenerative braking right. While hybrid drivers may be a little more adventurous, when it comes to getting a hang of regen braking, conventional buyers might not be so open-minded. The systems have a tendency to be a little grabby at first and then taper off at very low speeds. Ford needs to make sure it's just right to avoid turning off buyers.
What would Batman drive for his weekly trips to Home Depot for the bits and pieces needed to keep his lair deep below Wayne Manor in tip-top condition? Certainly not the Batmobile - there's no way a 4x8 sheet of plywood will fit between the wheel wells, not to mention the fact that jet turbine engines have an unfortunate tendency to set trailers on fire when towing...
No, what Batman needs is a pickup truck. The boys from Ford teamed up with Galpin Auto Sports to build just such a machine, and it has just debuted at Comic Con. Designed by Jared Barris, grandson of the legendary kustomizer George Barris, the 2012 F-150 pickup you see here, dubbed Crime Fighter, is painted Tuxedo Black with Ferrari Red highlights and is affixed with fins on each side of the truck bed. It's nothing if not unique.
Well, it's at least unique for now. According to Ford, Galpin in Southern California is willing to take orders for customers looking to don a cape and hit the town for a night of crime-fighting action. Or trips to Home Depot. Check out our high-res image gallery and then scroll down for the official description from Ford. We're waiting for details such as pricing and build time from Ford, and we'll update this post if and when we hear back.