Exterior Color: Black
Interior Color: Black
Number of Cylinders: 8
Drive Type: 2WD
Saint Petersburg, Florida, United States
Ford has already confirmed that the 2015 F-150 (pictured above) was just the beginning for its more extensive use of aluminum. CEO Alan Mulally said it himself during the 2014 Detroit Auto Show. We've even already seen the future Raptor testing with an aluminum body. But a recent discovery from an intrepid spy photographer might indicate that the lightweight metal is coming to the Blue Oval's Super Duty pickups in their upcoming generation, as well.
According to Automotive News, a spy shooter in Colorado spotted a prototype for the next-gen F-350 testing. He happened to have a magnet on hand and got close enough to check the truck out. When he held it up to the metal in the bed, it didn't stick, which signaled to him a switch from steel to aluminum.
Obviously, this claim raises some questions. Given that it was a test vehicle, one possibility is that the Blue Oval is just evaluating the feasibility of switching to aluminum for the Super Duty trucks, not necessarily committed to it yet. Ford has been testing it quite exhaustively, after all. In fact, much of the rest of the truck in question was covered in camouflage, so it's possible that the magnet failed to work along the rest of the body not because it was aluminum, but because it wasn't powerful enough to get through the disguising material. Thus, the lightweight metal's use could be far less substantial than on the new F-150. Still, it was a clever idea for the cameraman to check things out and might have given us the first hint about brand's next heavy-duty models.
While the Explorer may have shifted from a truck-based sport-ute to a car-based crossover, Ford still offers buyers on the other side of the Pacific a Ranger-based SUV in the form of the Everest. And at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Beijing today, the Blue Oval revealed the all-new version you see here.
Previewed in concept form over a year ago and made specifically for the Asia-Pacific market, the new Ford Everest is designed to be more refined on the road and more capable off of it. Like the Explorer once was, the new Everest is based on a stretched version of the overseas Ford Ranger pickup. Depending on the specific market, Ford will offer the new Everest with a range of engines including a 2.0-liter EcoBoost turbo four and two Duratorq turbodiesels - a 2.2-liter four and a 3.2-liter inline-five - mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.
Earmarked to take on the likes of the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado (known in these parts as the Lexus GX) and the Jeep Grand Cherokee, the new Everest promises rock-crawlers even better off-road capabilities. It's got nearly nine inches of ground clearance, over 30 inches of wading depth, a 29-degree approach and 25-degree departure angles and a set of features including on-the-fly adjustable four-wheel drive.
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.