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Auto blogTue, 22 Oct 2013 14:15:00 EST
Ford, as we mentioned on Saturday, is pulling out all the stops for November's SEMA show, bringing 57 vehicles to the Las Vegas event. Ford will be staggering the release of its SEMA flotilla, though, so expect to hear a lot about the new additions to the fleet in the weeks to come. We already showed you the Fiesta, Fiesta ST and Mustang models that made up the first batch of SEMA cars. Next up, we have a quartet of modded Focus STs joining Ford's SEMA roster.
Our first Focus ST (pictured above) sports the legendary livery of Gulf Racing. The orange-on-blue scheme, which Ford helped make famous at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, has been updated for 2013, with a more vibrant blue. This ST was built by Universal Technical Institute, while the exterior was done by Neil Tjin of Tjin Edition. Side exhausts, a Vortech supercharger and a Motiv Concepts high-flow cat allow the ST to breathe a bit easier, while Forgestar wheels contrast well with the iconic paint scheme.
Focus ST number two has been done-up by PM Lifestyle and is inspired by "Southern California car culture." Sporting a sleek, pale blue paint job, there's also no shortage of carbon fiber on the car's exterior. The 2.0-liter, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine has been massaged by the likes of Banks Power, COBB Tuning and Ford Racing, while the suspension is wearing a shiny, new set of coilovers and sway bars. The meaty brakes, tucked behind 19-inch, Rotiform wheels, come from Wilwood, while the cabin has been fitted with a pair of Sparco Chrono seats and five-point, Schroth harnesses.
With Ford and General Motors both announcing an end to production in Australia, the country's auto industry is in a bad way. With the exit of two big players, there's increased concern that a third Australian manufacturer, Toyota, will be forced out, as well.
"We are saddened to learn of GM Holden's decision. This will place unprecedented pressure on the local supplier network and our ability to build cars in Australia," Toyota Australia said in a statement. The GM closure of Holden production will be the direct end to 2,900 jobs, but will also force a dramatic reduction in the size of the country's supplier network, as there will simply be fewer cars to build.
In the same statement, Toyota Australia said it would work with suppliers and local government to figure out whether continuing production Down Under was even feasible. According to Automotive News, a representative for the Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union told reporters it was "highly likely" that Toyota would also close up shop within the next few years.
It was only a matter of time before law enforcement agencies would realize the potential of driver-assist technology for use in their Ford Police Interceptors, and, now that they have, those back-up cameras and radar systems won't be used just for parking, but for security, as well.
The surveillance mode system works when the camera or radar detects movement from behind the vehicle, and if it does when it's activated, an alarm will alert the officer inside the car, the driver's side window will roll up and the doors will lock, protecting the officer from an unwanted intrusion. The officer, of course, has the option to turn surveillance mode off, mainly in urban areas where pedestrians would constantly set the alarm off, and it can only be activated when the police car is in park.
Randy Freiburger, Ford's police and ambulance fleet supervisor, came up with the patent-pending idea when researching the needs of police officers and riding along with them, during which time he realized officers would be safer with an extra set of eyes watching the area behind their cars, especially at night or when they're completing paperwork, using the in-car computer or handling a radar gun. "Unfortunately, there are people with bad intentions who sneak up on police officers," he says.