Body Type:Pickup Truck
Exterior Color: Blue
Interior Color: Blue
Number of Cylinders: 8
Drive Type: RWD
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Auto blogWed, 02 Jan 2013 19:15:00 EST
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has revealed its annual list of Top Safety Picks, an award that highlights automobiles it says offer "superior crash protection." A new and still more significant award, the Top Safety Pick+ honor, is given to those vehicles that earn good ratings for occupant protection in four out of five areas of measure. And while some 117 vehicles were given the TSP seal of approval for 2013, just 13 passed muster for TSP+.
To be fair, IIHS only evaluated 29 vehicles with its new testing procedures for TSP+ (we'd expect that the number of qualified cars will rise substantially for 2014). Luxury and Near Luxury midsize cars were the first groups evaluated, followed by midsizers in the Moderately Priced Cars category - unsurprisingly, it's only midsize cars that you'll find among the class this year.
Only two luxury sedans made the list of 13 for 2013: the Acura TL and Volvo S60. The other 11 cars on the list included entries from domestic, Japanese and German car makers: Dodge Avenger, Chrysler 200, Ford Fusion, Honda Accord (sedan and coupe), Kia Optima (but not its close kin, the Hyundai Sonata, strangely), Nissan Altima, Subaru Legacy and Outback, Suzuki Kizashi and the Volkswagen Passat all made the grade.
Ford and Daimler have scored a major victory in a long-running lawsuit filed in US federal court by unnamed South African nationals. The suit alleges that both manufacturers and their subsidiaries sold their vehicles to the South African military, despite knowing that they'd be involved in violently putting down anti-apartheid protesters.
According to Reuters, South African plaintiffs filed the case under the 223-year-old Alien Torts Statute, a law which allows foreign nationals to file charges in US courts for perceived breaches of what was originally international law, but now more closely relates to violations of human rights.
And while the case - which also involves computer manufacturer IBM - has been tied up in federal courts for years, a recent case from the Supreme Court struck down a similar suit against Royal Dutch Petroleum (Shell), arguing that the ATS doesn't apply to corporations or to conduct if it occurred outside the US. In short, the law applies to individuals, but not corporations like Ford or Daimler. A US appeals court ruled that the conditions apply in this case, potentially drawing this long-running saga to a close, as the defendants will now be allowed to request that the case be dismissed in district court.
It's not the first time Ford has participated in the Daytona Prototype class as an engine supplier, but in revealing this new EcoBoost V6-powered Riley Technologies prototype for the new United SportsCar Championship, Ford is making a statement: "We want to show Ford EcoBoost's capabilities as an engine that provides both performance and fuel economy, on and off the track," says Jamie Allison, director of Ford Racing.
In addition to supplying the 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6, Ford had its production designer Garen Nicoghosian give the racecar brand-inspired design cues with support from Ford Racing chief aerodynamicist Bernie Marcus.
The car is scheduled to compete at next year's Rolex 24 at Daytona on January 25-26, but before that, Michael Shank Racing is working with Ford at another goal. Driving his Ford Thunderbird, NASCAR champion Bill Elliott set the track's top speed record at 210.364 miles per hour during a qualifying run for the Daytona 500 - way back in 1987 -- and Ford thinks it's about time for that record to fall. What better time the introduction of this new Ford-powered Daytona Prototype? Michael Shank Racing plans to use the twin-turbo V6-powered racer to beat Elliott's record, and it expects to begin prepping for the top-speed run on October 9. Scroll down for the full press release below on Ford's latest race effort.