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Chandler, Arizona, United States
With the Car and Driver Ten Best decided, the North American Car and Truck of the Year finalists announced and Cadillac, Ram and Subaru chalking up wins with Motor Trend, it's fair to say that the automotive awards season is in full swing. The next set of trophies to be handed out will be from Ward's Automotive, which has announced the winners of its 2014 10 Best Engines.
The latest contest was marked by the widespread emergence of diesel power and the continued success of turbocharged engines. There was even an electric motor on this year's list. In fact, only three of the ten winners were naturally aspirated and only two winners returned from last year.
"We weren't looking to throw the bums out, as they might say about an election. We were just really impressed with the flood of new powertrains," said Ward's Automotive Editor-in-Chief Drew Winter. Those new powertrains include the 83-kilowatt electric motor from the Fiat 500e, the 1.0-liter, EcoBoost three-cylinder from the Ford Fiesta and the 2.0-liter turbodiesel from the Chevrolet Cruze.
Let's get this unfortunate though important tidbit out of the way right off the bat: The Ford S-Max isn't sold in the United States, and it's not coming here, at least not anytime soon. And so it's with our European friends in mind that we share this information about the next-gen S-Max (previewed about a year ago in concept form) that is set to debut all across Europe next year and will be shown off at the upcoming Paris Motor Show. Now, moving on...
As with the first-gen S-Max, the new model will boast seating for seven passengers, along with a decent amount of storage space, all packed into a relatively reasonably sized package. Powering the front wheels (or optionally all four) will be the buyer's choice of EcoBoost gasoline-turbocharged or turbo-diesel four-cylinder engines along with automatic and manual transmission options. Included in the mix is a new 1.5-liter EcoBoost with 160 horsepower, though the 240-horse 2.0 is likely to be seen as the headliner.
There are all kinds of new technologies on offer, ranging from Adaptive Steering to Dynamic LED Headlamps with Glare-Free Highbeams, and it's all housed inside new, more sleekly designed bodywork riding atop a chassis with new suspension architecture designed to make the S-Max a people-hauler that's still fun to drive. For all the details, we suggest you scroll down below to read through Ford's official press release.
When the 2015 Ford Mustang hits dealers, it will be with a new batch of features that will power up Sync's 911 Assist feature, and provide an even greater degree of information to first responders in the event of an accident.
911 Assist will already make a phone call, via a Bluetooth-connected phone, should you bin your car. The automatic message to first responders is a pre-recorded blurb from Ford. With the new enhancements, though, emergency personnel can learn about the maximum change in velocity and whether the crash involved a front, rear, side or a rollover impact. 911 Assist will also send information about how many seat belts were in use and if airbags deployed, allowing more accurate dispatch of resources.
"Sync will only broadcast relevant information to save time, and it constructs a very efficient message for the operator," said David Hatton, the global project leader with Ford Connected Services. "After the introductory message, the voice line opens automatically and occupants can speak directly with the operator via Sync's hands-free functionality."