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Auto blogWed, 24 Sep 2014 15:58:00 EST
The 2015 Ford Mustang EcoBoost represents a huge change for the Blue Oval as the first pony car in decades to be available with a four-cylinder engine. But a recent tweet (below) from Road & Track raised our curiosity about the new vehicle. Editor Jason Cammisa pulled a fuse while driving the latest 'Stang with the 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine, and he found that both the stereo and engine went quiet in the cabin. That indicated the coupe might have some form of artificial engine sound being piped in - a feature not previously heavily reported for the model. Autoblog spoke with Ford engineer Shawn Carney who confirmed that only the turbocharged four-cylinder Mustang comes with this system, called Active Noise Control.
@jasoncammisa pulls fuse 27 on 4cyl #2015mustang EcoBoost. Both stereo & engine go quiet. #FakeEngineNoise #busted! pic.twitter.com/WNzQefCbtQ
- Road & Track (@RoadandTrack) September 17, 2014
Photos of the 2015 Ford Focus leaked earlier today, but now we're able to tell you more details of the global five-door hatchback. Bucking automaker's troubling trend of ditching manual transmissions in favor of automatics, Ford says the new 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine will come only in a six-speed manual in the US, because, well, American drivers aren't as sophisticated as our European brothers and sisters.
Ford didn't come out and say it that way, but it has found American drivers are more prone to complain about automatics in smaller-engine cars, Raj Nair, Ford's group vice president of global product development, said at a press conference last week. The recent JD Power Vehicle Dependability Study backs up Ford's claims, pointing out that drivers are complaining about rough transmission shifts, engine hesitation and lack of power, particularly in small cars. In Europe and other parts of the world, drivers seem to understand the quirks of these pint-sized engines, Nair said, so they'll have the option to buy an automatic. Ford is working on tuning its dual-clutch transmissions to make them more amenable to American driver's tastes.
Ford will show off the refreshed 2015 Focus at the Geneva Motor Show in early March. The car is due for an update, having been on sale in its current form since 2012. The automaker said it is jamming the car full of new technology - like a USB port that promises to charge your phone in half the time as a regular USB port. Features like Sync and a rear back-up camera will come standard. For a more in-depth look at the car, take a look at the full press release.
Nine Japanese suppliers have pleaded guilty in US court over charges of price fixing in the automotive parts industry, resulting in the Department of Justice doling out a total of $740 million of fines, according to a report from Bloomberg. The scandal, which has resulted in General Motors, Ford, Toyota and Chrysler spending up to $5 billion on inflated parts and driving up prices on 25 million vehicles has sent the DoJ hustling into investigations. "The conduct this investigation uncovered involved more than a dozen separate conspiracies aimed at the U.S. economy," Attorney General Eric Holder (pictured above) said during yesterday's press conference.
As the investigation stands, the DoJ has issued $1.6 billion in fines against 20 companies and 21 individual executives, with 17 of the execs headed to prison. Deputy Assistant Attorney General Scott Hammond said, "The breadth of the conspiracies brought to light today are as egregious as they are pervasive. They involve more than a dozen separate conspiracies operating independently but all sharing in common that they targeted US automotive manufacturers."
Big-name suppliers indicted in the investigation include Mitsubishi Electric, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Hitachi Automotive and Mitsuba Corporation. A list of fines and other corporations named in the investigation is available at Bloomberg.