Model: Model T
Options: 4-Wheel Drive, Leather Seats, Convertible
Drive Type: FWD
Monsey, New York, United States
I was more than a year removed from my last experience with the Mustang GT and its delicious 5.0 V8 when this new 2014 example rolled up to my driveway recently. Good weather and a planned road trip across the state meant that I would get plenty of seat time in this conservatively specified example, too. In total, I logged about 400 miles in a week of driving - not a lot for some of you super commuters out there, but quite a lot for this work-from-home journalist.
The basic formula of the 5.0 has stayed the same for 2014. The 2013 model year saw a number of updates to keep the Mustang fresh until it's replaced with an all-new generation for 2015. So, for its bon voyage tour, the fifth-generation Pony Car has seen only a few modifications: a couple of new paint colors (Oxford White and Ruby Read Metallic), trim and wheel revisions and, sadly, the deletion of the Boss 302 from the Ford lineup. However, while the limited-edition Boss is likely to reappear sometime after the gen-six Mustang makes its debut in 2015, the GT Track Package cars like the one I tested provide at least a partial solution for those looking for hot laps.
Ford can't seem to build F-150 SVT Raptors fast enough. The off-road-ready trucks have been one of the Blue Oval's most reliable sellers, with record sales in eight of the last 10 months and a 14-percent jump in 2013. That's impressive enough, considering that the least expensive Raptor starts at $44,000. Factor in the modded F-150's fuel economy (it's rated at 11 miles per gallon in the city and 16 on the highway) and a national average gas price, as of this writing, of $3.55 per gallon, and its success is as unlikely as Ford's home team, the Detroit Lions, winning the Super Bowl this year (sorry, Lions fans, we're just quoting the experts in Vegas...).
Yet for some reason, Raptors spend an average of just 15 days on dealer lots before being snapped up, which is a quarter of the 60-day industry average. According to Ford's truck group marketing manager, Doug Scott, it's capability that keeps the Raptor selling strong. "What's helping drive Raptor sales is that Raptor delivers unmatched off-road performance to our customers. Raptor is also proof of our commitment to offer a truck for every customer and continuously improving them to meet our customers' evolving needs."
To address the strong demand for Raptors, Ford will bump production from three trucks per hour to five. Not much, we agree. But building an extra 48 trucks per day, at most, seems like a prudent way of addressing demand without oversaturating what is ultimately a niche market. Check out the press release below for more.
Ford is recalling certain 2012 Taurus, 2013 Explorer and 2012 Lincoln MKS models over fuel tank concerns. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, vehicles built between July 19, 2011 and March 15, 2012 may have been built with fuel tanks that have a "marginally sealed seam" on the side. Those seams may not provide the strength necessary to protect the tank from rupture during a collision. They may also leak. The recall covers a total of 3,037 vehicles. NHTSA says that leaked fuel, in the presence of an ignition source, could easily cause a fire.
Dealers will inspect the tanks and replace them as need be free of charge. Owners can expect to be notified once the campaign begins on or around April 22, 2013. You can read the full NHTSA recall notice below for more information.