2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0 California Special, Color is Race Red interior Black leather,19 inch alloy wheels, side window scoops, rear window louvers, headlight splitters, Red caliper brake covers, Roush axle-back exhaust, 6 speed manual with 373 gear ratio, 26,000 miles, garage/car cover
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Auto blogFri, 26 Jul 2013 11:57:00 EST
Up until now, it's been some years since I managed to get behind the wheel of the hot Mustangs tuned by the folks at Roush Performance. My memories of those vehicles are fond, as the Roush up-fits usually make for better-driving examples of the iconic Ford pony, with better-tuned suspensions, excellent short-shift kits and, of course, huge additions of power. The wake-your-neighbors aural characteristics of these cars have been nothing short of outstanding, too.
But in the years since my last experience with the Roush formula, Ford's own development team has churned out some pretty potent 'Stangs. We currently live in a world where the Blue Oval will sell you a Mustang with 662 horsepower from the factory, and the recently departed Boss 302 remains one of the best Mustangs - and best sports coupes - the Autoblog crew has ever driven.
So with great-driving and hugely powerful Mustangs coming straight off the line at Ford's Flat Rock Assembly Plant, does the Roush package still offer that extra special something to make it stand out? I spent a week with a Stage 3 coupe to find out.
Last August, Ford made a few waves by claiming that the Ford Focus was, at that point, the top-selling car in the world. The automaker failed to account for variations of the Toyota Corolla wearing a different name (such as the Auris and Matrix), however. With official data from Polk coming in now, Ford is able to say that the Focus was, in fact, the best-selling nameplate in the world last year.
Using new-car registrations (which doesn't factor in fleet sales), the Polk data shows that a total of more than one million Focus models around the world. Strong sales in the US and China have led to a 16 percent increase in year-over-year Focus sales from 2011 that helped to create even more of a gap between it and the second-best global seller, the Corolla.
Ford also had the Fiesta and F-Series listed in the top 10 for worldwide nameplates, but what's even more impressive is the fact that the F-Series is only sold in North America. Scroll down to see the list (compiled by Ford using Polk data) of the top global sellers last year and a press release from Ford.
Ford CEO Alan Mulally has less than a week left in his role of leading the Blue Oval before he hands off duties to Mark Fields on July 1. It doesn't look like Mulally is going to be shuffling off into his retirement anytime soon, though. The 68-year-old is being rather secretive about his next move, but he tells Bloomberg in a recent interview that he plans to stay close to Ford. Also, if Fields wants to ask for any advice, Mulally is happy to help.
Mulally took over at Ford in 2006 and led the company through a seriously rough patch in the auto industry. According to Bloomberg, he became famous or his Thursday meetings where executives were forced to deal with any problems before they could leave. Since announcing his retirement from Ford in May, Mulally has been insuring a smooth transition of power by traveling the world to all of company's major locations and saying goodbye to employees and dealers.
In terms of the future at Ford, Mulally doesn't predict any big changes in management style because the rest of the executive team is staying in place. He believes that Fields is going to maintain the processes already in place to keep things going. After all, it seems to be working. The company is predicting a return to profitability in Europe next year and is opening 88 new dealers in China. If the business could get its recalls under control, things could get even better.