Drive Type: Automatic
Model: Model A
Southwest Iowa, United States
When we talk about trucks we often talk about how loyal truck owners are; it's men like Floyd Pullin who provide the proof. The 102-year-old man from Confluence, Pennsylvania has only owned Ford products since the 1920s, and he's done so well by Ford Trucks that the division named him honorary president for a day, not long after he took delivery of his latest ride, a 2013 F-150 STX.
That's the 16th Ford he's owned. If he bought his first when he was 16, he'd have flipped into a new car or truck about every five years. For 86 years. Not a bad run of business for either side.
Ford Trucks made a video to wish Pullin a happy birthday, which was celebrated at his local Ford dealership and was visited by a Pennsylvania state senator. You can watch it below.
A great many buyers fled from full-size body-on-frame SUVs to car-based crossovers in large measure to save fuel. But that doesn't mean there's still not a buying audience for more traditional truck-based utility vehicles, and those consumers doubtlessly wouldn't mind saving some dollars at the pump, too. According to Motor Trend, those shoppers might be in luck.
That's because the magazine has confirmed that Ford isn't walking away from the full-size SUV segment, and it's poised to do something about its offerings' economy ratings, too. According to MT, global Lincoln director Matt VanDyke has hinted that the next Navigator may drop two cylinders and go with a V6 model - the current model gets just 14 miles per gallon in the city and 20 on the highway from its 5.4-liter V8. The obvious fitment would be Ford's 3.5-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost V6, an engine that has spread like kudzu throughout the rest of the Blue Oval's large vehicle lineup.
Downsized turbocharged engines like Ford's EcoBoost franchise have come under fire as of late for not delivering their EPA fuel economy ratings, but their benefits extend beyond consumption - the 3.5L offers superior power and a better torque curve than the naturally aspirated V8. MT also suggests that Ford's 3.7-liter V6 could form the base engine for the next Navi - it has similar horsepower but a lot less torque than the current 5.4L. That may be less of a problem with the next generation tipped to go on a diet, which could level the playing field somewhat.
It's a fairly well known fact that removing weight from a car is essentially a panacea for many of the modern automobiles problems. Does it handle like crap? Remove weight. Underpowered? Don't add power; trim the fat. Need to improve fuel economy? It's diet time.
Actually executing a major weight reduction program, though, much like with human beings, is no easy task. Unlike you or I, where motivation is the issue, the prohibitive measure in trimming a car's waistline is money. Lightweight materials are expensive, with carbon fiber and carbon-fiber reinforced plastic still primarily in the domain of higher end vehicles. Even aluminum construction, pioneered on a mass-produced level by Audi and Jaguar, is only now starting to make its way into the mainstream, thanks to the upcoming Ford F-150.
With this concept, though, Ford is attempting to show that a mass-produced, lightweight vehicle isn't too far off. This is the Lightweight Concept, and while it may look like a Fusion, it weighs as much as a Fiesta. For reference, the lightest Fusion available to the public is the 3,323-pound, 2.5-liter model with a manual transmission. A manually equipped, 1.6-liter Fiesta, meanwhile, is just 2,537 pounds.