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Motor Trend pits Camaro 1LE vs Mustang with Performance Pack, surprises ensue

Thu, 16 Oct 2014 14:57:00 EST

With the 2015 Ford Mustang firmly on the scene, the inevitable comparisons with its arch rival, the 2015 Chevrolet Camaro are just starting to trickle out. Over the next several months, you're likely to be inundated by every outlet's muscle car comparison, whether it be the turbocharged Ford against the V6 Chevy, a V8-powered convertible comparo or what we have here, a competition between each vehicle's performance upgrade.
Motor Trend has pitted the Camaro SS 1LE against a Mustang with the GT Performance Pack for a comprehensive series of comparisons on the test stage, street and finally, at Willow Springs with ace Randy Pobst behind the wheel. As per usual, we aren't about to spoil this one for you.
So, hit the play button, have a look and then let us know what you think in Comments.

2015 Ford Focus

Tue, 14 Oct 2014 11:57:00 EST

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.

Ford adds 850 jobs to build 2015 F-150

Tue, 14 Oct 2014 11:01:00 EST

Pickup trucks tend not to advance at quite the same pace as the rest of the industry. That's what makes the new Ford F-150 so remarkable, jettisoning its old steel construction in favor of aluminum. It's a game changer that Ford is betting big on, and in anticipation of surging demand, the Blue Oval automaker is adding 850 new jobs to put the thing together.
Those 850 new employees will be centered at Ford's Rouge complex in Michigan - with 300 at Dearborn Stamping, 50 more at Dearborn Diversified and 500 at the Dearborn Truck facility, the latter of which has already kicked off what Ford describes as "the largest manufacturing transformation in decades." Old manufacturing equipment is being replaced with the latest technologies, and even the Ford Rouge Factory Tour is undergoing a complete overhaul.
The new jobs come as part of the commitments Ford made to the UAW in 2011 to create 12,000 hourly jobs in the United States by 2015 - a number which Ford has already exceeded at 14,000. Over 4,000 of those are centered in southeastern Michigan.

2015 Ford F-150 named Truck of Texas, Lincoln and Jeep also awarded at Truck Rodeo

Tue, 14 Oct 2014 09:28:00 EST

The Ford Motor Company has a lot of reasons to celebrate after winning eight categories in this year's Texas Auto Writers Association's annual Truck Rodeo. Most important among them, the Blue Oval's latest 2015 Ford F-150 earned the prestigious Truck of Texas award, ending the Ram 1500's two-year winning streak. The 2015 Lincoln MKC also grabbed the honor as the CUV of Texas, and Ford was named Truck Line of Texas.
FoMoCo even took trophies for best technology with its extensive use of aluminum on its latest F-Series and best commercial vehicle for the new Transit 250. It wasn't a total sweep, though, because the Jeep Grand Cherokee grabbed the title of the SUV of Texas for the fifth straight time.
This year's event put 60 auto writers in 75 pickups, SUVs and crossovers and challenged them to find the best in a plethora of categories. All of the winners are listed below, and scroll down to read the full announcements from the Texas Auto Writers Association and Ford.

2015 Ford Mustang EcoBoost flogged and analyzed by Ignition

Mon, 13 Oct 2014 19:59:00 EST

Aside from the way it looks and perhaps its independent rear suspension, the biggest bit of news on the 2015 Mustang may be the inclusion of its 2.3-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine. That blown mill marks the first time since the Mustang SVO of the '80s that a turbo has been fitted under the engine of Ford's pony car.
The Mustang EcoBoost is the subject of the latest episode of Ignition from Motor Trend, giving us a great look at the technical, nitty-gritty side of the turbocharged coupe. Covering it from bow to stern, host Carlos Lago walks us through the boosted Ford before taking to the track for some driving impressions, with particular praise given to the low-end grunt of the 2.3-liter mill.
Check out the full video and then let us know which 2015 Mustang has your interest piqued the most - the EcoBoost four, the 5.0L V8 or the entry-level V6.

Ken Block hoons his Ford F-150 RaptorTrax on the slopes

Wed, 08 Oct 2014 12:45:00 EST

Ken Block drives Fords. Hoons the heck out of 'em, actually. Mostly Fiestas, but also the occasional Focus or Mustang. But earlier this year, the Gymkhana guru revealed his baddest Ford yet: an F-150 SVT Raptor on tracks. And true to form, here he is putting it to the test in the latest video from Monster Energy and Hoonigan Racing.
Filmed at Baldface Lodge in Nelson, BC, the video pairs Block up with snowboarders Zak Hale and Ethan Deiss for some deep-powder action. You'll want to watch the video for yourself, but the bottom line is that the RaptorTrax beats the heck out of waiting on line for the ski lift. It's enough to make us start to look forward to winter... almost.

Top torque-to-weight ratios under $100k, $50k and $25k

Tue, 07 Oct 2014 11:58:00 EST

Horsepower may steal a lot of headlines, but the always-more-complex torque figure is often a critical one for both the workingman and the motoring playboy. The measure of rotational force represents the twist that can liquefy one's tires or haul one's horse trailer. Good stuff.
It follows then, that as with the horsepower-to-weight list that we assembled for you a few months ago, a list of cars that offer the most pound-feet with the fewest pounds to carry, is an interesting one to break down. Sure, there's a big difference in how the torque is applied from a turbocharged six-cylinder in a Swedish luxury sedan and a massive heavy-duty truck's turbo-diesel. But being the car/stat geeks that we are, we think it's kinda neat that those two vehicles rank near each other where torque and weight intersect.
As with the horsepower list, we've given you figures as pounds per every one pound-foot. Again broken down into broad price categories, we've got a mixed bag of 2014 and 2015 models here, too. Every effort has been made to select the most up-to-date prices and specs, and we've also to omitted some '14 cars that won't be re-upped after the ongoing yearly changeover.

NHTSA will investigate some Ford Fusion, Lincoln MKZ models for power steering issue

Tue, 07 Oct 2014 09:30:00 EST

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is opening an investigation into the 2010-2012 Ford Fusion, Fusion Hybrid and Lincoln MKZ, the 2012 MKZ Hybrid and 2011 Mercury Milan because the agency has hundreds of complaints of electric power steering failure in these models.
According to NHTSA's data, it has received 508 complaints of the power steering allegedly suddenly malfunctioning and resulting in increased effort to turn the wheel. In four incidents, these failures resulted in loss of control and crashes. According to the reports, in some cases a power steering warning message came on as the fault occurred, and other times the system restored itself by turning off and then restarting the vehicle. NHTSA said it has also received further field report data from Ford, but that information hasn't been publicly released yet.
For the moment, there isn't a recall for this failure on these models. NHTSA is just investigating them to "assess the scope, frequency and safety consequences of the alleged defect," and the agency says an estimated 938,000 vehicles could potentially be affected.

Ford GT to be revived, Le Mans battle upcoming

Sun, 05 Oct 2014 17:01:00 EST

Ford dominated the 24 Hours of Le Mans from 1966 to 1969, scoring four consecutive wins. Wouldn't it be great if the Blue Oval could go back to France for the 50th anniversary of that performance and show it can still compete in international endurance racing? Actually, the latest rumors indicate that could be exactly the case, and the car taking that checkered flag could be another revival of the Ford GT.
As the rumblings go, Ford wants to use a new supercar to take another crack at Le Mans, after considering some other possible alternatives. Substantiating these musings are reports that a Blue Oval rep was reportedly on hand for a recent meeting about 2016 GTE-Class rules, according to Road and Track. That would put the new GT in the same racing class as the Corvette, Ferrari 458 Italia, Porsche 911 and others.
It's not all about racing, though. If you win on Sunday, you want something to be able to sell on Monday. The revived GT is reportedly still a mid-engine supercar, but the exact engine is unclear. It's possible that it could even be shown or announced at the Detroit auto show in January, according to Motor Trend.

Hennessey unleashes 2015 HPE700 supercharged Ford Mustang

Sun, 05 Oct 2014 12:30:00 EST

Thanks to the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat there is a new magic number in the muscle car world - 707. To raise eyebrows these days in the power war, a vehicle needs to match or preferably exceed that palindromic figure. The tuners over at Hennessey took a look at it for their 2015 HPE700 Mustang and decided to go one better. Well, ten actually, because they bestowed their latest creation with 717 horsepower and 632 pound-feet of torque.
The HPE 700 Mustang takes the standard Mustang GT with its 5.0-liter V8 and turns up the power a few hundred notches with a Roots-type supercharger running at 7.25 psi. Hennessey claims that this boosted 'Stang can rocket to 60 miles per hour in about 3.6 seconds and cover the quarter-mile in 11.2 seconds at 131 mph. For those keeping score at home, those figures are very similar to Challenger Hellcat.
To cope with all of the added boost, the engine gets a high-flow throttle body, upgraded injectors, new fuel pump, stainless steel exhaust and Hennessey's calibration for the engine management. Pricing for the package is $59,500, including the base 2015 Mustang GT, but the company is limiting production to 500 units for the 2015 model year. Founder John Hennessey told Autoblog that he has already received about a dozen orders for them.