For Sale By:Private Seller
Exterior Color: Black
Interior Color: Gray
Power Options: Cruise Control, Power Locks, Power Windows
Drive Type: None
Pearl River, Louisiana, United States
The sixth-generation NASCAR Sprint Cup racecar, which will make its competition debut at the 2013 Daytona 500 this weekend, marks the closest thing to a "stock car" that the sport has seen in more than 20 years. No longer using just stickers to distinguish the different brands, the image above shows the lengths NASCAR and automakers went in order to create a racecar design that more closely resembles the individual cars they represent.
Ford, one of the more open and vocal OEMs regarding the Gen6 car's development, is giving us a closer look at its racing version of the Fusion with a pretty revealing side-by-side comparison with last years' racer (click above for an expanded view). Aside from the more realistic front end and production-like body lines, the overall shape, dimensions and proportions have also been designed to give the racecar a more stock appearance. Most of the new racer was designed by the Ford Design Center, which the automaker says was the first time it has been so involved in the design process since the 1960s. Of course, one area the Sprint Cup Fusion really differs from the production Fusion is its Ford Racing 5.8-liter V8 producing around 850 hp. Can you say Fusion SVT?
Scroll down for a quick video from Ford Racing showing a production Fusion morph into a Cup car.
Ford is making a big bet on aluminum with its new 2015 F-150, and it's possible that the decision will hurt the company financially, at least in the short term. After earning a record $8.6 billion in 2013, the Blue Oval does not expect to set another record in 2014. According to Automotive News, that's "largely attributable to F Series," says Bob Shanks, Ford's Chief Financial Officer.
To retool for the new F-150, Ford will idle its Dearborn Truck Plant in Michigan for 11 weeks and the Ford Kansas City Assembly Plant in Missouri for 2 weeks. "3 of the 13 overall weeks occur during what normally is our summer shutdown timeframe," said Mike Levine, Ford Trucks Communication Manager, in an email to Autoblog. The extra 10 weeks will be preparing for the more aluminum-intensive construction for the trucks and will mean over 2 months of no F-150s being made. For comparison's sake, Chrysler boss Sergio Marchionne just confirmed that the 200 plant in Sterling Heights, MI will be down for 30 days to retool for the new model, but obviously there are many more F-150 production variables than for the midsize sedan.
Levine notes that Ford is already running three shifts at both plants, and says the automaker has plans to ensure that there is adequate supply of the full-size pickups during the retooling process. The company does not want to suffer a shortage of the vehicle that accounted for 31-percent of its 2013 US sales and an even bigger percentage of its profits.
The current Ford Explorer is sold in more than 64 countries, and this three-row vehicle continues to grow in popularity worldwide. To keep up with demand, Ford began producing the Explorer at Ford Sollers Elabuga Assembly Plant in Tatarstan, Russia, a joint venture facility. This partnership will build Russian-market Explorers only, and production of export vehicles not destined for Russian buyers will continue to be built at Ford's assembly plant in Chicago.
Before this plant went online, Ford would ship Explorers to Russia (and other regions around the world) as partially assembled knock-down units where final assembly would eventually take place. While there is no indication as to how many Explorers Ford Sollers will build for Russia, Ford did add that exports of the SUV were up 65 percent last year (from 2011) accounting for more than 24,000 units.
Scroll down for a press release about the Russian Explorer as well as a video (bad music and all) showing the SUV being produced in Tatarstan.