For Sale By:Private Seller
Drive Type: M
Number of Doors: 2
Warranty: Vehicle does NOT have an existing warranty
Interior Color: Black
Washington, Oklahoma, United States
Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) announced yesterday at Ford's SEMA press conference that it will field a Ford-Riley Daytona Prototype with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 in the 2014 United SportsCar Championship (USCC). CGRFS is the second team to commit to the new Ford-Riley car, behind Michael Shank Racing (which has already used the racecar to break a 26-year-old top-speed record at Daytona International Speedway).
"Over the last 10 seasons we have been able to experience a great deal of success in Grand-Am," Chip Ganassi says, "and now with the dawn of the new United SportsCar Championship we feel that Ford power will be a key ingredient to writing the next chapter of our sports car program."
In the last Grand-Am season, CGRFS raced a BMW-Riley Daytona Prototype. The team has won seven Daytona Prototype championships, all in the past ten years. Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas return as the team's prototype co-drivers, and will attend their maiden race in the Ford-Riley at the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January.
Pots and kettles, glass houses and stones - that's a little of what we appear to have going on in the European car market. New reports say that that three European automakers have registered their opposition to a loan deal that PSA/Peugeot-Citroën is working on with the French government. Peugeot's finance arm, Banque PSA Finance, is struggling with its debts and has been downgraded by Moody's to its lowest investment-grade classification, one step above junk. This makes it more expensive for a potential buyer to finance a car through Peugeot. The last thing Peugeot needs is more difficulty selling cars in the tough European market, and the situation will only worsen if the bank's credit worthiness takes another hit.
A deal being worked on would have the French government offer €7 billion ($9B U.S.) in bonds to guarantee the bank's loans, which would give the institution some breathing room to manage its debts and lower its interest rates. Outside of that, a group of banks would provide other, non-guaranteed loans to the bank to further help its position. In exchange for state help, though, the government wants seats on Peugeot's board for worker representatives and a government liaison, along with factory and worker guarantees. The Peugeot family would maintain control of the company.
So what we have is government assistance being provided to a car company's finance arm, akin to the way General Motors' GMAC (now Ally Financial) and Chrysler Financial got help in their time of need. What we also have is Ford and Renault, and Germany's State of Lower Saxony, the second-largest shareholder in Volkswagen, voicing their concern about the proposal, because they say it could create an unfair competitive advantage for Peugeot. Everyone in Europe's down market is fighting for every sale, and if Peugeot gets help to keep its auto loan costs down, it figures to help buyers choose Peugeot or Citroën.
A few years back, Volkswagen made some waves when it announced the Golf GTD - a diesel-powered car that, aside from its ultra-efficient, ultra-torquey engine, was identical to the gas-powered GTI. That meant cosseting sport seats, larger wheels, sportier suspension, larger brakes and a body kit that made the GTD indistinguishable from the GTI, except for the three little letters on the back and in the grille.
Now, Ford is looking to replicate VW's success, with a diesel version of the Focus ST. According to Motor Trend, the diesel-powered ST will use a 2.0-liter, 182-horsepower four-cylinder. With an unspecified amount of torque on offer (we'd guess around 280 pound-feet), the diesel hot hatch should hit 62 miles per hour in about eight seconds.
The report, which originally comes from Auto Express, claims the ST Diesel was confirmed by Ford Chief Marketing Officer Mark Fields during this week's Geneva Motor Show. Not surprisingly, it doesn't appear there are any plans to bring a diesel-powered Focus of any kind to the US, let alone one that uses the suspension, steering and other items from the ST. Of course, if there's an official confirmation from Ford, we'll be sure to report on it.