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Auto blogThu, 24 Oct 2013 15:45:00 EST
A legendary name might be accompanying the redesigned, 2015 Mustang when it finally makes its world debut - Mach 1. Stumbled upon by the team at Ford Authority, the Mach 1 title was found in a trademark filing with the US Patent and Trademark Office, and would revive a name last used on the fourth-generation, 2003 Mustang.
While the the 2003 vintage was well and good, the Mach 1 is really remembered for a three-year run from 1969 to 1971 - it's best to just forget the emissions-choked 1972 to 1978 Mach 1s - when power output ranged from a modest 250 horsepower with the two-barrel, 351-cubic-inch Windsor V8 to "375 hp" (actual output was rumored to be well north of 400 horsepower) with the righteous, 429-cubic-inch Super Cobra Jet V8.
What does the title hold for the sixth-generation Mustang? It's tough to say. The fanatics at Ford Authority seem to think Mach 1 could take the place of the Shelby GT500 at the top of the Mustang hierarchy, which sounds like a valid argument. At the same time, we could see the SVT Cobra moniker returning for the flagship model, and the Mach 1 doing battle with the Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 (unless the Boss 302 were to return). Confounding things is the historical precedent - the Mach 1 was responsible for the death of the Mustang GT in 1969, so it might make sense as a volume performance model.
Ford deserves credit for being a front-runner in offering advanced infotainment technology with its Sync and MyFord Touch systems, but continued consumer complaints over its confusing touchscreen interface and capacitive controls has made the automaker relent. The Wall Street Journal reports that physical buttons and knobs for controlling tuning and volume will be coming back to Ford vehicles equipped with the controversial infotainment system.
The 2013 F-150 with MyFord Touch gives us a glimpse of what the new layout with buttons and knobs might look like, as Ford says a similar balance of touch screen capability and buttons/knobs are what's being planned for future models. And, while capacitive controls have no fans in the halls of Autoblog, many of Ford's models with MyFord Touch do have a large physical knob for adjusting volume with integrated buttons for tuning and advancing tracks, though most of those are models with the optional upgraded Sony Audio system. Lincoln models with MyLincoln Touch, however, feature only capacitive controls for all stereo and climate functions.
Despite receiving enough complaints to throw buttons and knobs back into the mix (a move that reminds us of BMW's iDrive trajectory, among others), Ford reports that Sync and MyFord Touch have still been sold on 79 percent of its 2013 model year vehicles, a number it claims is double the rate that Honda and Toyota are getting for their infotainment systems. Ford also states that owners who do opt for the duo of technologies are more satisfied with overall vehicle quality than those who don't have it.
Among automakers with a big US presence, General Motors is the worst to work for, according to a new survey from Tier 1 automotive suppliers, conducted by Planning Perspectives, Inc.
The Detroit-based manufacturer, which has been under fire following the ignition switch recall and its accompanying scandal, finished behind six other automakers with big US manufacturing operations. Suppliers had issues with trust and communications, as well as intellectual property protection. GM was also the least likely to allow suppliers to raise their prices in the face of unexpected increases in material cost, all of which contributed to 55 percent of suppliers saying their relationship with GM was "poor to very poor."
GM's cross-town competitors didn't fare much better. Chrysler finished in fifth place, ahead of GM and behind Dearborn-based Ford, which was passed for third place this year by Nissan. Toyota took the top marks, while Honda captured second place.