For Sale By:Dealer
Disability Equipped: No
Sub Model: Titanium
Drive Train: Front Wheel Drive
American Fork, Utah, United States
Earlier this week, Ford invited us to Charlotte, NC, to ride in an all-new 2015 Mustang fitted with its turbocharged 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder. It's the first forced-induction, four-cylinder ponycar for the Blue Oval since the sun set on the 1986 Mustang SVO. We jumped at the opportunity, as only a handful of people have ever been in the passenger seat of this new car, and most automotive media won't get as close as we did until this fall.
As we revealed in our Deep Dive, Ford will slot this new turbocharged four as premium powerplant between its naturally aspirated 3.7-liter V6 and the naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V8. At last mention, the automaker said the direct-injected, all-aluminum engine will develop 305 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque, returning the best fuel economy of the three powerplants in the process. History buffs will note that those figures are appreciably stouter than the 200 horses and 240 lb-ft that the '86 SVO realized out of the same displacement, and the latter's figures were hugely impressive at the time. On paper, the new EcoBoost four looks to be a good fit for most owners who want to balance performance with efficiency - we were eager to see how it felt from the passenger seat.
More than two dozen jurors started with a pool of 23 concept cars introduced at the most recent Los Angeles, Detroit, Chicago, Toronto and New York auto shows, then pared it down to three winners in three categories for the twelfth annual North American Concept Vehicle of the Year Awards. The trophy-bearers are said to be those "vehicles most likely to shape the future of the automobile industry," and lead their classes in the Concept Car, Concept Truck and Production Preview divisions.
Hyundai had two cars as finalists for the Concept Car category, the competition boiled down to the Hyundai HCD-14 Genesis concept, Veloster C3 Roll Top, Honda EV-STER and the Toyota Corolla Furia. It won with the HCD-14 Genesis that was introduced at the Detroit Auto Show, a sharp sedan that sharply divided opinion between those who thought it was too much, those who thought it was too much Audi A7, and those who thought it was perfect. The award panel's judges, however, thought so much of it that it's got two awards in one sitting, not only taking concept car honors, but because it earned the highest overall score in the competition it also takes the crown for Most Significant Concept Vehicle of 2013.
The final selection in the Concept Truck category was down to the Ford Atlas, Kia Cross GT, Nissan Resonance and Volkswagen Cross Blue. The Ford Atlas took the silverware, after also winning the Eyes on Design award - shared with the Nissan Resonance - at the Detroit Auto Show where it was introduced.
To learn more about the all-new 2015 F-150 and get an early read on its potential hero-or-zero status, we flew to the heart of full-size pickup truck country, San Antonio, TX, to spend a day driving, towing and playing in the mud with an assortment of Ford's innovative new trucks.
First, a caveat - while we feel we have a reasonably good handle on the new F-150 after attending this first-drive event, we are far from ready to pass definitive judgment on the success of this radically new rig. Our time in the various models was lamentably limited and we felt rushed. With so much at stake and with so much to talk about and experience, we had zero alone time with the vehicle - there were Ford folks shadowing us at every moment.
And we still don't know everything there is to know about the trucks, as Ford is withholding some of its most crucial numbers, including curb weight data and anticipated EPA fuel economy figures. We don't even have a firm on-sale date. All of this information is typically disclosed - or at least officially estimated - at the time of a new vehicle's first drive. This limits the scope of the judgments we feel comfortable making based on our first encounter.