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
Bill Ford went on the offensive to combat the rumors that CEO Alan Mulally would leave Dearborn for Steve Ballmer's vacated position leading Microsoft, adding that even if the 68-year-old, former Boeing exec were to depart, the Ford executive team is in a good place.
"I'm happy [Mulally] is going to stick around. But we also feel really good about where we are in terms of succession," Ford told Bloomberg TV, according to Automotive News. Rumors first cropped up about Mulally leaving Ford when AllThingsD speculated that he was in the running, early last month. In that same report, which you can read here, Ford's board of directors reportedly okayed the CEO stepping down ahead of his planned retirement in 2014.
That opened the floodgates, culminating in a report from a few days ago that the rumors over Ballmer's successor just might be true. The story is especially troubling, as Ford hasn't had Mulally under contract, according to AN. "He's here as long as he and I would like it to happen," Ford said, "We're also cognizant of training the next generation and getting them ready to go as well."
Ford's current hot hatch siblings the Fiesta ST and Focus ST are already two pretty great entries into the segment, but there's always a desire for a little more. Thankfully, it looks like the Blue Oval is ready to satiate that need because it's continuing to test the even more powerful Focus RS around Europe. According to our spy shooters, these shots come from near the Nürburgring.
As with previous photos, Ford engineers continue to heavily camouflage the front end of the RS prototypes, but there's a big difference here. Unlike earlier ones, this example appears to have a closer-to-production-ready front bumper rather than just a horizontal strip for the license plate. That may point to development getting somewhat closer to wrapping up. Although, this one lacks the larger rear wing from prior testers, and the exhaust also appears to be a work in progress with the rear diffuser covered in mesh in these latest shots.
The RS is rumored to be using the 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder from the 2015 Mustang, but power is reportedly turned up from 310 horsepower in the 'Stang to somewhere between 325 hp and 350 hp for the Focus. Routing all that just through the front wheels could be a recipe for serious torque steer, and all-wheel drive is potentially being used for better traction.
Recalls! 2014 will be forever remembered as the year that automakers went recall crazy, with millions and millions of vehicles adding up to crush previous recall records well before the end of the year. Adding to that tally is Ford, which announced a call-back for 163,000 vehicles.
Leading that charge are the 2.0-liter, EcoBoost four-cylinder engines of the Ford Focus ST and Ford Escape. 160,000 of the 2013 and 2014 models have bad wiring harnesses that can disrupt the signals traveling to the powertrain control module. That, in turn, could lead to a check engine light, reduced power and stalling. Notably, Ford hasn't recalled any other vehicles that feature the 2.0 EcoBoost, such as the Fusion, Taurus or Explorer.
While the Focus ST and Escape constitute the vast majority of recalled vehicles, they aren't the only problem children in the Ford family. 1,300 Transit passenger vans from model year 2015 were recalled due to brake fluid leaks, while another 600 Transit cargo variants were recalled after Ford discovered the windowless sliding doors could come open in the event of a side-impact crash. Dealers will replace the sealing washers on the passenger variants and add a reinforcement plate on the cargo models, The Detroit News reports.