Engine:3.0L 182Cu. In. V6 GAS OHV Naturally Aspirated
Trim: SE Wagon 4-Door
Number of Cylinders: 6
Drive Type: FWD
Adak, Alaska, United States
Ford is giving its F-Series Super Duty trucks some upgrades for 2015, and we're happy to say that one of them is an improved Power Stroke diesel V8. Also, Ford is strengthening the top-of-the-line F-450 to handle more abuse. And if wild west-style luxury is your thing, the automaker has performed minor cosmetic updates to its King Ranch Edition trucks, as well.
The turbocharged 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8 is currently rated at 400 horsepower and 800 pound-feet of torque, and Ford only tells us the new and improved Power Stroke can "produce power beyond today's" engine. What, then, did Ford actually improve upon? First, the Blue Oval swapped in a new, larger turbocharger. The new Garrett GT37 turbine unit is 72.5 millimeters in diameter, eclipsing the old GT32's 64-mm diameter piece. Ford states output increases with the new turbo setup, but since the new turbocharger operates at a lower peak pressure than the old one, the automaker was able to eliminate the wastegate system and reduce the engine's complexity. Ford even redesigned the turbo's oil and cooling lines to make the powerplant simpler. A byproduct of the larger turbo is better engine exhaust braking, which is controlled manually by a button on the dashboard.
Ford claims the upgraded diesel engine is more powerful, more robust, more efficient and more refined than before.
The sixth edition of the Kelley Blue Book Brand Image Awards have crowned a wide range of winners - in a couple of cases the recipient of the laurels might say more about KBB users than they do about the actual winner. Compiled from the responses of more than 12,000 shoppers on KBB.com over the past year, there are 13 categories broken into non-luxury, luxury and truck segments "representing the combined wisdom of the American car-buying public."
The award categories have been revamped this year, with some dropping off, some new ones appearing and at least one other given a new term. What isn't surprising is that Honda won Most Trusted Brand for the second year running, Best Value Brand for the third year in a row and took Best Overall Brand, which wasn't on last year's list of awards.
On our own shores, in the non-luxury categories Chrysler got Most Refined Brand and Buick took Best Value Luxury Brand. Neither one of those marques won anything in last year's Brand Image Awards, while Cadillac, which won Best Interior Design Brand and Best Comfort Brand last year - those awards disappeared this year - went home without a single accolade.
The Russian auto market, in decline for the past year and further hit by the declining value of the ruble and recent sanctions over its annexation of Crimea, has forced Ford to cut jobs and shifts at two of its joint venture plants there. Around 700 of the 2,700 total workers who build the Russian-market Focus and Mondeo will be cut at the plant in Vsevolozhsk, near St. Petersburg as it drops to a single production shift. A second plant about 700 miles away in Yelabuga, in the Tartarstan region, will lose 250 workers. That plant builds seven vehicles, including the Explorer, Kuga and Edge.
The Moscow Times says Ford has been especially hit by the market decline, the overall market losing 5.5 percent in 2013 compared to the year before, but Ford sales dropping 18 percent in 2013 year-on-year. This year isn't going any better, with The Blue Oval posting a 21-percent decline through the first two months of 2014. That's why, though the Yelabuga plant builds the CUVs that customers are moving into, even it is facing cuts.
The job cuts in Vsevolozhsk come on top four-week plant shutdown planned so that the paint and body shops can go to one shift. In a statement, the company said, "Ford Sollers remains absolutely committed to the Russian market and is confident it has the right product plan, people and assets to deliver long-term profitable growth."