Drive Type: C4 automatic
Model: Model A
Trim: 1931 Slant Windshield Model A Ford
Hawkins, Texas, United States
Time for everyone to feign surprise - Ford has just announced that it has the increased horsepower and torque levels of its 6.7-liter Power Stroke turbodiesel V8 engine for 2015. As you'd expect, the Blue Oval is claiming class-leading figures of 440 hp (up from 400) and 860 pound-feet (up from 800), and that's enough to enable Ford's F-450 Super Duty model to tow as much as 31,200 pounds, which, again, the automaker claims is class leading.
Now, it should be noted that the max rating quoted above is achieved with the Ford F-450. The 2015 F-350, which is perhaps a better comparison to the Ram 3500 HD pickup that claimed the towing crown in 2013 at an even 30,000 pounds, is capped at 26,500 pounds, either with a gooseneck or when towing a fifth-wheel trailer. In any case, it's going to take a load the size of Godzilla to make any of the current crop of fullsize heavy-duty pickup trucks break into a sweat. For those keeping track, Chevy rates its 2015 Silverado HD at a maximum of 23,200 pounds.
Ford's newfound pulling power comes courtesy of a larger turbocharger for its in-house Power Stroke engine, new fuel injector tips and, we'd assume, retuned computer controls. Besides the engine enhancements, the F-350 gets a wider front track for 2015 and new front springs, while the F-450 gains commercial-grade 19.5-inch wheels and tires, new rear U-joints, leaf springs, stabilizer bars and shocks. The steering and brake systems have also been upgraded.
Ford has just released a teaser for its Super Bowl ad, and unlike just about every other automaker, it seems that the Blue Oval is going to make us wait until Sunday to see the full spot. The teaser is, um, strange.
It stars James Franco, who believes he is Ron Riggle, the comedian, Fox NFL Sunday host and retired Marine lieutenant colonel. There's also a tiger. The vague spot has Franco claiming that "this is no ordinary commercial." You'll note on the bottom right, there's a Ford logo and the hashtag #nearlydouble.
According to Automotive News, it's part of a massive viral effort being pushed forward by Ford and its dealerships. Ford sent different teasers and "vignettes" to dealership employees and asked them to share them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, in the hopes of creating a viral effect.
Gymkhana king Ken Block has had a pretty simple car history in his trademark videos, starting out with Subaru Impreza rally cars before moving into Ford Focus racers for the past four installments. His next video, though, Gymkhana Seven, kind of goes back in time.
Rather than the cutting-edge rally racers of past videos, Block will pilot a heavily modified 1965 Ford Mustang, called the Hoonicorn. How heavily modified is it? Well, Block's Hooligan Racing Division, ASD Motorsports and Vaughn Gittin Jr.'s RTR, spent two years working on it, ditching the standard engine and rear-wheel-drive layout and replacing it with a 410-cubic-inch Roush Yates V8. Yes, that's a NASCAR engine, and it produces 845 horsepower.
A NASCAR-powered Mustang would be news in itself, but it's the other powertrain changes made by Block and Co. that really makes headlines. Power is channeled through a one-off Sadev transmission and all-wheel-drive system, meaning that Block has basically married a NASCAR stock car with a WRC racer. ASD also developed the customized suspension, tubular chassis and roll cage. The wide Mustang body is the work of RTR and Block's own Hoonigan Racing Division, while the 18-inch fifteen52 wheels are shod in Pirelli Trofeo R tires that use a specialized compound exclusive to Block.