Air bag: Front Side Air Bag
Disability Equipped: Yes
Sub Model: XLT PREMIUM
Warranty: Vehicle has an existing warranty
Model: Transit Connect
Exterior Color: White
Glendale, Arizona, United States
If there's one thing you can count on, it's that the renewed rivalry between the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro will never, ever cease. For every version of Ford's pony car, there's an equally potent Chevrolet. And so with the debut of the Camaro Z/28 earlier this year, Ford has responded with a track-focused 'Stang of its own, resurrecting the Shelby GT350 name.
It looks to be a fine piece of work, this Mustang, with power coming from a naturally aspirated 5.2-liter V8 that will produce "more than 500 horsepower" and "above 400" pound-feet of torque. That grunt runs to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual transmission, and a Torsen limited-slip differential keeps everything in line.
But that's hardly the most impressive piece of the GT350 puzzle. Ford has increased the Mustang GT's chassis stiffness for duty here in the Shelby, and the coupe employs MagneRide damping which automatically adjusts based on road conditions and driver inputs. It's a first both for the Blue Oval and for the segment. And speaking of firsts, the GT350 uses a flat-plane crankshaft - something Ford has never included in a production V8 before.
Ford is recalling about 70,209 examples of the 2005-2008 Ford Escape Hybrid and the 2006-2008 Mercury Mariner Hybrid because the cooling pumps for their hybrid systems could fail.
According to the company's defect notice, it's possible for the original "Motor Electronics Coolant (MEC) Pump" to wear out and fail, which would could cause the hybrid system to overheat. If this happens, the vehicle goes into a safety mode that takes away most or all of its power. However, braking and steering still operate normally. After cooling down, the affected models restart normally. The company says that it's not aware of any accidents or injuries related to this problem.
Ford will begin repairing the vehicles in late October, and dealers will be installing improved, brushless pumps on the affected models at no charge to owners. If drivers had their pumps fail before this recall, they can contact Ford for a possible reimbursement. Scroll down to read the recall announcement from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or download the full defect notice as a PDF, here.
Avert your eyes now if you're jealous that the global version of the Ford Ranger is not offered in the US. Ford's midsize pickup is being tuned up to take on the 2014 Dakar Rally, and the result is a truck that is probably even cooler than any F-150 SVT Raptor we've ever seen in the States. Ford is actually building two versions of the truck for Dakar, which will run from January 5 through January 18, covering more than 5,000 miles from Argentina to Chile.
Starting with a fully composite body and a 5.0-liter V8 plucked from a Mustang, nearly every aspect of the trucks have been purpose built to take on the grueling race. This includes things like the six-speed sequential gearbox, liquid-cooled rear brakes and the 132-gallon fuel tank. As proof that Dakar is more about endurance than speed, the engines used in these race trucks will be limited to around 350 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque, and will max out at a top speed of just 105 miles per hour. Scroll down for Ford's official press release offering more information about the trucks and teams being prepped for Dakar.