Drive Type: manual
Exterior Color: Blue
Interior Color: Black
Leesburg, Ohio, United States
Ford landed itself a spot among the top 10 brands in the 2012 Buzz Rankings. The annual index scores 1,100 brands in 41 categories to determine which nameplates had the most positive buzz throughout the year.
For the third year in a row, Subway took the top honors overall with a score of 40.3, and Ford was the only automaker to break into the top 25 by earning a sixth-place finish overall. The manufacturer earned a score of 32.1 points, which was enough to push it up one spot from the 2011 Buzz Rankings. Honda managed 21.2 points overall, which is still well behind 25th-place Kohl's at 26.5 points. Toyota, Volkswagen and BMW all round out the top five automakers.
The 2012 Buzz Rankings also keep track of which brands improved the most over the past year, and this year, Toyota was the manufacturer with the largest leap forward. The Japanese automaker jumped from just 14 points in 2011 to 20.5 in 2012. Chrysler, Kia, Dodge and Volkswagen all saw sizable steps forward as well. Be sure to head over to the Brand Index site for more information.
If there's one thing you can count on, it's that the renewed rivalry between the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro will never, ever cease. For every version of Ford's pony car, there's an equally potent Chevrolet. And so with the debut of the Camaro Z/28 earlier this year, Ford has responded with a track-focused 'Stang of its own, resurrecting the Shelby GT350 name.
It looks to be a fine piece of work, this Mustang, with power coming from a naturally aspirated 5.2-liter V8 that will produce "more than 500 horsepower" and "above 400" pound-feet of torque. That grunt runs to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual transmission, and a Torsen limited-slip differential keeps everything in line.
But that's hardly the most impressive piece of the GT350 puzzle. Ford has increased the Mustang GT's chassis stiffness for duty here in the Shelby, and the coupe employs MagneRide damping which automatically adjusts based on road conditions and driver inputs. It's a first both for the Blue Oval and for the segment. And speaking of firsts, the GT350 uses a flat-plane crankshaft - something Ford has never included in a production V8 before.
It was only a matter of time before law enforcement agencies would realize the potential of driver-assist technology for use in their Ford Police Interceptors, and, now that they have, those back-up cameras and radar systems won't be used just for parking, but for security, as well.
The surveillance mode system works when the camera or radar detects movement from behind the vehicle, and if it does when it's activated, an alarm will alert the officer inside the car, the driver's side window will roll up and the doors will lock, protecting the officer from an unwanted intrusion. The officer, of course, has the option to turn surveillance mode off, mainly in urban areas where pedestrians would constantly set the alarm off, and it can only be activated when the police car is in park.
Randy Freiburger, Ford's police and ambulance fleet supervisor, came up with the patent-pending idea when researching the needs of police officers and riding along with them, during which time he realized officers would be safer with an extra set of eyes watching the area behind their cars, especially at night or when they're completing paperwork, using the in-car computer or handling a radar gun. "Unfortunately, there are people with bad intentions who sneak up on police officers," he says.