Columbus, New Jersey, United States
If you're going to build your own hot rod, you'll want to start with a '32 Ford 5-Window Coupe. Favored by American servicemen returning from World War II, the '32 Ford remains the very icon of the hot rod to this day. The trouble is there were only so many of them made in the first place, and finding one today can be a challenge. That's where reproduction models come in.
The aftermarket is replete with companies that will sell you a fiberglass body in the form of a '32 Ford coupe, but quality can be hit or miss. So to help meet demand among hot rod builders and enthusiasts, Ford has teamed up with United Pacific Industries to offer officially licensed body shells.
Announced at the SEMA show in November, the '32 Ford 5-Window Coupe body is made from stamped steel according to original specifications from original machinery where possible or reproduced machinery built to the same original specifications where necessary. The bodies are ready to accept vintage powertrains or crate motors from the Ford Racing catalog, and join the 9,000 other parts offered in the Ford Component Sales catalog - including similar reproduction bodies available for the 1965-70 Mustang and 1940 Ford Coupe. From there, the proverbial sky's the limit.
Just when you thought you'd figured the fullsize truck market out, Ford goes and throws us a massive curve ball with the 2015 F-150. The big headline news aren't tow or payload ratings, though we're sure those figures will be fully competitive if not class leading, they haven't yet been announced. Instead, the big headline news Ford is highlighting are the truck's new aluminum-intensive structure and 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 engine.
And with good reason - all that aluminum means that Ford was able to cut a massive 700 pounds from the truck's curb weight. That is going to cause all sorts of great things to happen to the 2015 F-150's driving dynamics, performance and fuel efficiency, not to mention its ability to haul heavy loads. For those customers worried about the strength of aluminum versus the more conventional steel, Ford is quick to point out that many military vehicles, such as the HMMWV and Bradley Fighting Vehicle, use a very similar sort of aluminum alloy in their construction.
It's also worth mentioning that the backbone, a fully boxed ladder frame, is hewn from high-strength steel. Ford says "2015 Ford F-150 is the strongest and most durable F-150 ever," for what it's worth, claiming that "torture tested" in labs and in the real world for more than 10 million miles. What's more, the truck, in disguised form, completed all 883 miles of the Baja 1000.
It would seem Volvo is finally getting around to throwing all of Ford's things out of the apartment. Automotive News reports the Swedish automaker is preparing to unleash a range of new engines as well as a fresh platform designed entirely in house. The powerplants include an all-new four-cylinder engine set to bow before the end of this year before arriving in the US by 2014. Shortly thereafter, the world should get its first glimpse at the next-generation XC60, which will the company's first model to make use of the Volvo scalable platform architecture (SPA). US buyers can expect to see that machine on their roads by early 2015.
The next V70 and S80 will also use the SPA, though those models will carry V90 and S90 designations when they hit dealer floors. But that doesn't mean Volvo has completely weened itself off of Ford technology. The V40 will continue to ride on Ford bones until the model's next chassis can be co-developed between Volvo and Geely.