Model: Other Pickups
In a change of pace from the high-end vehicles that often appear in Jay Leno's Garage, Ford sends its hottest hatchback (in the US, at least), the 252-horsepower Focus ST, to be featured on Leno's show. Accompanying the five-door hatch is its chief engineer, Jamal Hameedi.
Riding on stylish 18-inch wheels with summer tires and with a spoiler that doubles as a lunch tray, Hameedi and Leno walk us through the finer points of what makes the ST special, which also includes bigger brakes, torque vectoring, a manual transmission and, of course, 252 hp and 270 pound-feet of torque from the 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine, which is made possible by 21 psi of turbocharged boost.
Watch the video below to see what Leno thinks of the global Focus ST.
Ford is rumored to be considering concurrent production for old and new F-150 models in a bid to minimize supply chain disruptions and inventory. Automotive News is reporting that the Blue Oval will build both the current F-150 and its replacement, which we showed you testing just last month, side by side for about half a year before switching over entirely to next-generation production.
As IHS Automotive analyst Mike Jackson told AN, "In order to ramp up, you have to retool...and that means you have to take capacity offline." Building both models alongside could allow Ford to cope with the still strong demand for the current F-150, while populating dealer supplies and working out supply chain kinks for the new model before making a full-time switch.
A loss of capacity when demand is so strong, even for a short period, could spell bad news for Ford, which nets an estimated 90 percent of its global profit on pickups and large SUVs. As AN states, Ford produces the F-150 in both Kansas City, Missouri and Dearborn, Michigan, which allows it to maintain some degree of flexibility in production. The new F-150 is expected to arrive at the 2014 North American International Auto Show as a 2015 model, with a design inspired by the Atlas Concept first shown at the Detroit Auto Show last January.
For the second year in a row, Ford has taken top honors in International Engine of the Year voting. As was the case last year, it is Ford's 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine that earns the automaker the accolade, achieving the highest-ever accumulated score in the 15 years that the award has been handed out.
A panel of 87 automotive journalists from 35 countries are responsible for choosing the world's best engines, and this is only the third time an automaker has managed back-to-back victories. Voters were impressed by the "Baby EcoBoost" engine's power output - 123 horsepower between 1,400 and 4,500 rpm, 148 pound-feet of torque from 1,400 to 4,000 rpm - and its compact size; Ford has demonstrated that the package is small enough to fit in the overhead bin of a passenger airplane.
Currently, the 1.0-liter EcoBoost is offered in the European Fiesta, B-MAX, Focus, C-MAX and Grand C-MAX, and Ford plans to put the engine in the Transit Connect, Transit Courier, Tourneo Connect, Tourneo Courier, Mondeo and EcoSport in short order. In North America, the Fiesta will be the first vehicle to offer the 1.0L EcoBoost later this year.