Drive Type: Fwd
Model: Other Pickups
Trim: 2 door
Massapequa, New York, United States
It's hardly a secret that the auto industry is undergoing an enormous, tectonic shift in the way it thinks, builds cars and does business. Between alternative forms of energy, a renewed focus on low curb weights and aerodynamic bodies, the advent of driverless and autonomous cars and the need to reduce the our impact on the environment, it's very likely that the car that's built 10 years down the line will be scarcely recognizable when parked next to the car from 10 years ago.
Few people are as able to explain the industry's many upcoming changes and challenges as clearly as William Clay Ford, Jr., better known as Bill Ford. The 57-year-old currently sits as the executive chairman of the company his great-grandfather, Henry Ford, founded over 110 years ago.
In an op-ed piece in The Wall Street Journal (subscription required), Ford explains that the role of automakers is, necessarily, going to change to suit the needs of the future world. That means changing the view of not just the automobile, but the automaker. As Ford explains it, automakers will "move from being just car and truck manufacturers to become personal-mobility companies."
Secretary Trim, Evolved
There was a time not so long ago when opting for a base Ford Mustang meant getting little more than some sheetmetal, an anemic four-cylinder engine and what may very well have been the world's most disappointing automatic transmission. During the Fox Body years, Ford seemed hell-bent on living up to Carroll Shelby's derogatory description of the coupe as little more than a runabout for demure office assistants, and the result was a base model with fewer sporting intentions than a Dilbert day calendar.
Some 20 years later, hopping behind the wheel of an entry-level pony is an entirely different experience. With all of the menacing aesthetics of the brawnier GT, a well-equipped interior and a drivetrain that toes the line between efficiency and power better than few before it, the 2013 Ford Mustang V6 is an attractive option for buyers in the big coupe market. But is it attractive enough to forgo the beastly GT?
Sitting down at the pre-drive briefing with Ford engineers ahead of sampling the refreshed 2015 Focus, water bottles clinked as we wet our whistles before Q&A. While pouring a glass, we noticed something stamped on the bottle label: "1L." One liter. We were palming the exact displacement of the EcoBoost engine our group was about to drive. This was undoubtedly coincidence (such bottles litter every conference and dinner table in Europe) but it served to drive home just how small the total swept volume of Ford's wunderkind powerplant really is. It's tiny.
Of course, this isn't our first run-in with the little triple - we've sampled its turbocharged charms before in Ford's smaller Fiesta. At that time, we found it had plenty of poke for the subcompact, but the larger C-segment Focus carries around another 450 pounds or so and pushes a wider profile through the air. Would the three-cylinder have the stuffing to make the most of the Focus' athletic chassis, or would it be a letdown? Would it be the same as it was when we tested it in a Euro-spec Focus a couple of years ago? There was nothing left for it but to head out on the bucolic roads surrounding Versailles the day after the Paris Motor Show and find out for ourselves.