Engine:I4 2.5L DOHC
For Sale By:Dealer
Sub Model: SEL FWD
Exterior Color: Silver
Interior Color: Gray
Bucyrus, Kansas, United States
As the smallest team in the sport, it wasn't really a surprise when Dodge decided to pull out of NASCAR, but Autoweek is reporting that Ford is looking to pull the plug on its professional-level NHRA sponsorships following the 2014 season. With attendance and television ratings down, the article reports that Ford is just backing out of the top series but will remain active in the Sportsman classes of racing, which are geared more toward the grassroots and semi-professional racers.
This means that one of drag racing's biggest names, John Force, will be left looking for new sponsorship after next season. Force, 64, has been with Ford for 17 years, winning 15 championships in that time and winning almost half of all Funny Car events in his Mustang since he started working with Ford in 1997, but after 2014, there could be some big shakeups at John Force Racing.
According to the report, Force would consider is moving over to the Top Fuel dragster series, although he could also move to another manufacturer to remain in the Funny Car series. With Ford on the way out, this leaves just Toyota and Dodge as the remaining active automakers in the highest levels of drag racing.
Ford is toiling away, installing heavy-duty engine components into select 3.7-liter V6s to allow them to run on compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquid petroleum gas (LPG) in addition to gasoline. That's nothing new, but now, Ford has announced that it will offer the 2014 F-150 with this engine configuration, bringing the Blue Oval's total number of CNG/LPG-friendly vehicles up to eight. The F-150 will be the only half-ton pickup on the market that can run on these gases.
Ford will charge $315 per vehicle to equip the optional engine, but the trucks won't be ready to run on the alternative fuels straight from the factory and must be upfitted with additional equipment. A Ford Qualified Vehicle Modifier will install a separate fuel system for the compressed gases at a cost of $7,500 to $9,500, depending on fuel tank size. With the right-size tank, the F-150 equipped with the CNG/LPG-prepped engine can go 750 miles on one tank of gas, according to Ford, averaging 23 miles per gallon.
The practice of offering flex-fuel vehicles is gaining momentum as businesses take advantage of cheap gas. CNG can be bought for $2.11/gallon on average (per gasoline equivalent), and sometimes for as little as $1.00 in some parts of the US, Ford states. "With the money saved using CNG, customers could start to see payback on their investment in as little as 24 to 36 months," says Jon Coleman, Ford's fleet sustainability and technology manager. The automaker expects to sell a total of 15,000 CNG/LPG-prepped vehicles in the 2014 model year.
After wrapping up the first day of the 2012 SEMA Show, organizers handed out awards for some of the trendiest vehicles on display. Since the whole point of SEMA is to show off new products available in the aftermarket world for use in cars, trucks and SUVs, each year, the show distinguishes the most popular vehicle in various segments. Not surprisingly, this year's Hottest Car and Hottest Sport Compact are the Ford Mustang and Scion FR-S, respectively, while the Ford F-Series brought home the Hottest Truck and the Jeep Wrangler was named the Hottest 4x4-SUV.
More than 2,000 companies are at this year's show, and the display booths represents a "vote" for each car to determing the trendiest vehicles in each of the four categories. It isn't clear if these awards also take cars brought by OEMs into account, but the Mustang and FR-S were definitely well represented by both OEM and aftermarket show versions.
As usual, the OEMs showed up in force at the this year's SEMA Show exhibiting a variety of cars ranging from production-intent cars like the beastly Ford Mustang Cobra Jet to much flashier rides like Scion's Carbon Stealth FR-S.