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Auto blogMon, 03 Nov 2014 16:01:00 EST
Ford looks to have something really big planned for the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show. The Blue Oval has released the first of five teaser videos on the brand's performance heritage, and aside from some great images of racers over the years, the video includes a series of teaser images, the last of which points to November 17, 2014.
That's the day before press days open in LA, and considering the propensity of global automakers to plan lavish debuts the night before a major international auto show, it's a virtual certainty that Ford will be showing off some sort of special vehicle.
That'd be news in and of itself, but based on the images shown in Ford's teaser video - which include an Alcantara steering wheel, a "Powered by Ford" valve cover, aluminum pedals, sticky tires, a big, round exhaust tip, a honeycomb grille and a serious set of wheels - it seems very likely that Ford will be showing something performance oriented.
You know how people refer to someone as having "been around the block" to mean they're very experienced? Well, when it comes to automotive spy photography, Jim Dunne actually laid down the concrete slabs of the block's sidewalk. The unforgettable Dunne more or less invented the car spy game - a fact he cemented by writing book called Car Spy - and has been delivering spy shots and reporting on the industry for some 45 years now. (He also once employed this writer as his impromptu personal chauffer on a Volkswagen trip in Germany, while he slept, but that's a story for a different time.)
In any event, Dunne must be on a mission to prove that "elder statesman" doesn't also mean "washed up" as it is his shots of the upcoming new 2014 Ford Mustang that we've been handed by our friends at KGP Photography.
Mr. Dunne has likely spent the last few years obtaining powerful telescopic lenses, as the Ford in question has clearly been photographed from some distance. Nevertheless, what you see here is visual evidence that the sixth-generation Mustang has moved beyond the mule stage, and is now testing in proper prototype form. Sources indicate that there are production-spec body panels under that baggy canvass dress; but the slightly less bulky silhouette of the new car can be just made out. While the car's bumpers have been removed to obfuscate things, we can tell by way of the camo's apertures that the car's taillights have moved upwards and towards the lip of the tail. A fender vent appears to be visible, too, just behind the front wheel.
Toyota isn't convinced the Ford Focus was the best-selling nameplate globally last year. Bloomberg reports that for the second time in seven months, both Toyota and Ford are laying claim to the title. Ford cites R.L. Polk & Co. data that says the automaker moved some 1.02 million Focus models in 2012 compared to just 872,774 Toyota Corolla units. But Toyota says the actual figure is closer to 1.16 million Corolla models.
Last year, Ford said it took the sales crown through the fist half of 2012 based on information from IHS Automotive, but Toyota pointed out those numbers left out models like the Corolla-based Matrix and Auris, as well as the Corolla Fielder and Scion xB-based Corolla Rumion. Whether or not Toyota's belief that all these cars should be counted in the Corolla bucket is accurate or not is seemingly up for debate... as is the question of why it matters so much to both parties.
This time around, Ford is holding the line that the Focus is the "best-selling nameplate," with Erich Merkle, a US sales analyst with Ford saying the company's figure is, "a pure number that is verified by a third party." Toyota, meanwhile, has requested clarification from Polk.