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Auto blogFri, 27 Dec 2013 18:00:00 EST
In early December, Ford filed an application with the US Patent and Trademark Office for the name "Model E." Historically, Ford never produced a Model E, and while automakers are known to file for trademarks they never use, some have wondered if the application might be used for a concept car.
Based on other recent events, though, it could be a legal move. In 2000 Ford sued an online start-up called Model E over the similarity of that name to Ford's industry-shaping Model T, but the judge dismissed the case citing lack of proper grounds. In August 2013, Tesla applied for trademark registration for Model E, and at the time, Ford said it would review the application. Tesla actually made two applications for Model E, one for automobiles and structural parts therefore, the other for "providing maintenance and repair services for automobiles," and there are plenty of theories about what the name could be applied to.
The Published for Opposition date for Tesla's applications is December 31, 2013, after which anyone who thinks they'd be harmed by Tesla being granted the trademark gets 30 days to register their issues. This is just speculation, but Ford's application - which was filed for automobiles only - might be about protecting what it sees as unwelcome encroachment on the name Model T, protection it wasn't able to enforce before when the stakes were only online and much smaller.
While its days may be numbered, Ford isn't just going to let its Falcon sedan limp out for the Australian market. No, the Blue Oval is releasing a refreshed Falcon for its final years, and it's lead by this, the new XR8. That's right, this dead-car-driving is going to go out on a high note.
Ford's global design DNA dominates the looks of the new Falcon, with a grille reminiscent of the US market Fusion and the European-market Mondeo. The headlights aren't a straight port, and boast their own unique LED running light pattern (at least on the XR8), but the overall look is strikingly similar. Out back, LED taillights highlight the rear of the Faclon. Despite the substantial new fascia, this is still a mid-cycle refresh. That means most of the rest of the Falcon's body panels are carryovers from the current model.
The XR8 model, shown above, arrives with a supercharged V8, allegedly displacing 5.0 liters. Unfortunately, details on the Falcon's mechanicals are in remarkably short supply. Ford has committed to a range of turbocharged four, as well as turbocharged and naturally aspirated six-cylinders, in addition to the V8, although specifics on those mills aren't available.
Feast your eyes on a masterpiece. This is Steve Strope's Ford Mustang in the classic fastback bodystyle, and as you'll notice, it sports the signature colors of Martini Racing, a livery that's as legendary as any Gulf Racing-styled car. But the red, white and blues of the Martini stripe down this Mustang's middle tell only a very small part of the story, in the latest video from Petrolicious.
What would you guess is under the hood? A 289-cubic-inch V8? Maybe a 302, or some absurd Ford crate engine? Maybe Strope went all Tokyo Drift - he's actually responsible for the "Hammer" Plymouth Satellite driven by Vin Diesel at the end of the movie - and found an RB26DETT to drop into the pony car? You'd be wrong on all counts.
This mad, mad man somehow finagled a Ford-Lotus engine from a 1966 Indianapolis 500 car into the Mustang's engine bay. Yes, a Mustang with an engine designed for a 160-mile-per-hour, open-wheel racecar. That's like someone in 40 years dropping McLaren's 2.4-liter V8 from the MP4-28 into a Scion FR-S. It'd just make a monster.