Model: Model T
Options: 4-Wheel Drive, Leather Seats, Convertible
Drive Type: FWD
Monsey, New York, United States
The ongoing heavy-duty truck battle between Ford and Ram is showing no signs of slowing down. The Blue Oval is trying to remove at least one point of contention between the two brands by testing its 2015 F-450 Super Duty using the Society of Automotive Engineers J2807 towing standard, which Ram also uses. In the new evaluation, the F-450 is rated at a max towing capacity of 31,200 pounds. That's an identical amount as under Ford's own, previous test.
"We leave no doubt with customers that the F-450 pickup truck has best-in-class towing of 31,200 pounds - whether tested using our own internal towing standards or SAE J2807," said Raj Nair, Ford group vice president for Global Product Development, in the company's release.
At the same time, Ford is also changing how it calculates the F-450's payload. Instead of using its minimum curb weight as before, the brand is now using the truck's base curb weight. The revision lowers the pickup's rating to 5,300 pounds, compared to 5,450 pounds previously. The company said in its announcement that the reason for this is "aligning its payload rating practices with other manufacturers to make it easier for customers to compare vehicles." General Motors made a similar switch for its pickups in August.
As the old saying goes, "There's no replacement for displacement." But these days, many automakers are launching powerful, downsized engines that offer similar or better power output than their predecessors, all while offering improvements in fuel economy and emissions. These days, we're seeing automakers replacing eight-cylinder engines with turbocharged sixes, and the naturally aspirated six-cylinder motors are being phased out in favor of potent turbo fours. But Ford has gone even smaller, offering a three-cylinder, turbocharged engine with one single liter of displacement.
Sure, three-cylinder engines aren't anything new - they've been offered around the globe for ages. But Ford's EcoBoost 1.0L powerplant is perhaps the best application the Autoblog team has tested. Gone are the triple-cylinder complaints of yore - this engine doesn't sound anemic or buzzy, and there's healthy power output on tap. In fact, compared to the 1.6-liter inline-four that Ford also offers in the Fiesta, the 1.0-liter is more powerful, while boasting an impressive 45 miles per gallon on the highway.
This engine has already received numerous accolades, including winning the International Engine of the Year award in 2012, 2013 and 2014. The 1.0L EcoBoost will be available in the refreshed 2015 Ford Focus here in the US.
Mark Fields' travels on the friendly skies will soon be a relatively personal affair, as the new CEO at Ford will be required to resume air travel via the company's private planes. Fields caught plenty of flak in 2007 for flying on the company's dime to visit his family in Florida. He's since flown commercial.
According to Ford spokesperson Susan Krusel, who spoke to Bloomberg, Fields (pictured above right, with Bill Ford, Jr. at center and Alan Mulally at left) will switch to private travel "for safety and to maximize his availability for company business." In addition to his new travel arrangements, the 53-year-old exec's salary and bonuses have been revealed.
Regulatory filings by Ford revealed that Fields, whose first day in the big chair was July 1, will receive a base salary this year of $1.25 million and he'll be eligible for $3.5 million in bonuses, both of which are lower than Alan Mulally's $2 million salary and $5.88 million in bonuses received last year. That's also lower than General Motors CEO Mary Barra's alleged $1.6-million salary and considerably less than Sergio Marchionne's $3.19-million fixed salary from Fiat. Despite falling short of other CEOs, Fields' new pay still represents a 33-percent increase over his pay as Chief Operating Officer.