Exterior Color: Blue
Interior Color: Blue
Number of Cylinders: 8
Trim: 2-DOOR HARDTOP
Warranty: Vehicle does NOT have an existing warranty
Drive Type: FWD
Corona, California, United States
Avert your eyes now if you're jealous that the global version of the Ford Ranger is not offered in the US. Ford's midsize pickup is being tuned up to take on the 2014 Dakar Rally, and the result is a truck that is probably even cooler than any F-150 SVT Raptor we've ever seen in the States. Ford is actually building two versions of the truck for Dakar, which will run from January 5 through January 18, covering more than 5,000 miles from Argentina to Chile.
Starting with a fully composite body and a 5.0-liter V8 plucked from a Mustang, nearly every aspect of the trucks have been purpose built to take on the grueling race. This includes things like the six-speed sequential gearbox, liquid-cooled rear brakes and the 132-gallon fuel tank. As proof that Dakar is more about endurance than speed, the engines used in these race trucks will be limited to around 350 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque, and will max out at a top speed of just 105 miles per hour. Scroll down for Ford's official press release offering more information about the trucks and teams being prepped for Dakar.
Bill Ford went on the offensive to combat the rumors that CEO Alan Mulally would leave Dearborn for Steve Ballmer's vacated position leading Microsoft, adding that even if the 68-year-old, former Boeing exec were to depart, the Ford executive team is in a good place.
"I'm happy [Mulally] is going to stick around. But we also feel really good about where we are in terms of succession," Ford told Bloomberg TV, according to Automotive News. Rumors first cropped up about Mulally leaving Ford when AllThingsD speculated that he was in the running, early last month. In that same report, which you can read here, Ford's board of directors reportedly okayed the CEO stepping down ahead of his planned retirement in 2014.
That opened the floodgates, culminating in a report from a few days ago that the rumors over Ballmer's successor just might be true. The story is especially troubling, as Ford hasn't had Mulally under contract, according to AN. "He's here as long as he and I would like it to happen," Ford said, "We're also cognizant of training the next generation and getting them ready to go as well."
"Ford opened 88 dealerships in China last year." "Ford opened 88 dealerships in China during the first half of 2014." "Ford opened 88 dealerships in China last month." None of those statements - even the last one - would seem unbelievable. Saying "Ford opened up 88 dealerships in China last Thursday," though, is a bit more dramatic.
Yes, on June 19 alone, Ford opened the doors on nearly 100 showrooms in the People's Republic, boosting the Blue Oval's total presence in the country to 750 dealerships. Of course, while an overabundance of dealers in the US proved troublesome for American manufacturers back in 2008 and 2009, there's no such concern in China. Considering the country's huge population and the breakneck pace of the local auto industry, you could be forgiven for being surprised Ford only has 750 outlets at this stage.
What's notable about this most recent push, besides the sheer volume of new stores, is their location. Over three-quarters of the new dealerships are in so-called Tier 4 cities, which are smaller towns that still contain millions of people. This fits with Ford's strategy in China of avoiding the bigger battlegrounds that are already dominated by competitors and focusing on setting up shop in newer markets that may have been overlooked, according to Automotive News.