Drive Type: C4 automatic
Model: Model A
Trim: 1931 Slant Windshield Model A Ford
Hawkins, Texas, United States
Aluminum is the new buzzword in the automotive industry. The latest Range Rover and Range Rover Sport both take advantage of the lightweight material to shave huge amounts of body fat (only it's called "aluminium" over there). Audi and Jaguar have been using the stuff for years in their A8 and XJ, respectively, and now, aluminum is going mainstream, arriving on the 2015 Ford F-150.
While we're excited to see aluminum make an impact outside the premium market, its widespread adoption apparently won't come without some problems, notably in terms of supply. "There isn't an automotive manufacturer that makes vehicles in North America that we're not talking to," Tom Boney, of Novelis, the largest global supplier of aluminum sheetmetal, told The Detroit News.
According to Boney, Ford's use of aluminum on such a large scale has forced auto manufacturers in "every boardroom" to reconsider their plans following the F-150's unveiling, for one simple reason: there's not exactly enough aluminum to go around, at least in the short term. The auto industry presently only accounts for six percent of the aluminum sheet produced, but as the material is adopted by more and more brands, that figure is expected to swell to 25 percent within the next six years.
Ford says that 10-15 percent of its customers in Europe want their cars to be set apart from regular Fords - even those wearing the top Titanium X trim - and the Blue Oval will answer them with the Vignale sub-brand. The new brand proposes a more upscale look and a much-improved dealership experience, Autocar reports. The Vignale Mondeo will debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show to kick off the new endeavor.
The first Ford to receive the Vignale treatment will be the 2015 Mondeo, a Euro-only model, followed by the new S-Max and Edge. The Vignale Mondeo is set apart visually from other Mondeos by a chrome grille and chrome door handles and mirror caps. Mondeo badging will be deleted - only Vignale badging will make an appearance.
The interior will get a more upscale flavor, as well, with quilted leather seats and door trim and leather covering the instrument panel, center console and steering wheel. A Vignale-badged storage drawer will be installed in the trunk, and in-car Wi-Fi is available.
At the New York Auto Show this year, Ford revealed a special-edition Mustang to honor the iconic pony car's 50th anniversary. Only 1,964 highly symbolic examples will be made, all of them fixed-roof coupes. But the Blue Oval automaker has just announced that it's also building a single 50 Years edition convertible that it will raffled off for charity.
The first production example of the new Mustang Convertible to roll off the line this fall, this one-off will pack many of the features on the 50 Years coupe, including its white paintjob, chrome trim, aluminum dashboard, two-tone upholstery, contrast stitching, special 19-inch wheels and special-edition badging throughout.
This unique cabrio will also be fitted with a special performance pack including Pirelli PZero rubber, Brembo brakes and a limited-slip differential to help get the 420 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque from the 5.0-liter V8 through the six-speed manual transmission and down to the road. It'll also feature a serial plaque with the number 0001 of 0001 and chairman Bill Ford's signature.