Drive Type: Automatic
Model: Model A
Southwest Iowa, United States
Ken Block seems like one hell of a nice guy. I ran into him at CES this past January, and he dropped the video games he was playing to chat with me for a while. His crew also recently gave our Steve Ewing a tour of the offices you're about to see on this video. Good guy to know.
As it turns out, they're some fairly cool new digs. Dubbed 'Hoonigan Racing Division HQ,' the office is open to Ford Focus ST and Fiesta ST owners who attend the driving program offered out at Miller Motorsports Park. The very same program that Ewing reported on just recently.
Or, if you've no plans to buy an ST or travel to Utah any time soon, you can let Block show you around himself in this MTV Cribs-style video. With interior decorating that relies heavily on shipping containers and luxurious amenities like a ping pong table, 10 refrigerators and a bear(?), there's no lack of eye-candy in the driverly HQ. (Judging by Block's outfit, you'll probably not go thirsty if you're a Monster drinker, either.) Take the tour along with the Gymkhana master, below.
Back in July, a mid-year study from YouGov found Ford to have higher brand perception than any other company in the US. While Ford failed to top the year-end study, it still has plenty to brag about. The final BrandIndex report shows that online retail giant Amazon edged out Ford for the top ranking, while Subway, the History Channel and Lowe's rounded out the top five spots.
For Ford, it's still an improvement from sixth place in the 2012 study, and, more importantly, it dominated other automakers in terms of brand perception with a clear advantage over Toyota, Honda, Chevy and Volkswagen. To determine how well - or not so well - a brand is perceived, YouGov uses a Buzz score that asks respondents whether they've "heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word of mouth" and whether it was positive or negative. While it isn't clear how many respondents were included, YouGov does point out that Ford had a strong presence in social media, advertising and newsworthy toward the end of the year.
For more details about the study and the top companies, check out the press release posted below.
Police officers certainly have a difficult job in keeping the streets safe, but as public employees in positions of authority, there is still a very real need for oversight. To that end, Ford is partnering with a tech company to offer a new system called Ford Telematics for Law Enforcement on its line of Police Interceptor patrol vehicles that could make cops safer, while giving cities a better idea of what its officers are doing.
The system streams live data about cruisers back to the home base to people like the police chief or shift supervisor. That info includes expected things like speed, location and cornering acceleration, but it gets incredibly granular as well, with records of things like if emergency lights are on, or even if an officer is wearing a seatbelt.
Ford Telematics for Law Enforcement "ought to protect officers as much as it protects the public," said Ford spokesperson Chris Terry to Autoblog. Constantly monitoring patrol cars offers cities a lot of advantages, too. First, it reduces potential liability because a department can prove where each vehicle is at all times. Also, officers know they are being watched and may potentially drive more safely.