For Sale By:Dealer
Exterior Color: White
Interior Color: Gray
Model: Transit Connect
Trim: AdvanceTrac RSC
Drive Type: No Transmission
Aurora, Illinois, United States
Our spy photographers have just popped off a few shots of something curious. This little runabout was spotted in Germany out testing with a current-generation Ford Fiesta. We're fairly confident the machine is a Ford, but exactly which Ford model is up for debate. The hatchback could be the next-generation Ka, but we've also heard that the Blue Oval supermini might not get a replacement. Our shooter says the five-door is a bit smaller than the current Fiesta, though there is a chance that this rig is just an engineering mule for drivetrain development. Then again, it could be a model built specifically for the South African market or China, or not a Ford at all.
Whatever it is and wherever it's headed, you can check out in the gallery for a closer look before heading into Comments to weigh in with your best guess.
Following positive third quarter financial results recently from General Motors, rival Ford took a tumble in Q3. The automaker posted pre-tax profits of $1.18 billion, compared to about $2.59 billion in Q3 2013, a drop of around 54 percent. Net income also suffered with $835 million made in the quarter, versus $1.272 billion last year, a decline of about 34 percent. The Blue Oval blamed the gloomy figures on three reasons in its release: "lower volume, higher warranty costs and adverse balance sheet exchange effects."
There were problems of one kind or another in practically every region. North America experienced higher warranty costs than expected, partially due to recalls. The sales volume for the quarter was 665,000 units, versus 725,000 in Q3 2013, and pre-tax results amounted to $1.41 billion versus $2.296 billion last year.
South America and Europe both posted worse pre-tax results than last year. On the bright side, European volume was up slightly to 321,000 vehicles, from 303,000 in Q3 2013. The Middle East and Africa also lost $15 million, but that was an improvement compared to the $25 million loss previously experienced in this region.
Formula One World Champions Nelson Piquet and Nigel Mansell haven't been on good terms since the 1986 season, when Piquet joined Mansell at the Williams team and Piquet spent the year privately fuming about not being granted the status of number one driver. Things only got worse from there - even though Piquet won the title the following year with Williams, still partnered with Mansell, the fuming was a lot less private.
They're back together after a 25-year silence, in the city of Porto Alegre, Brazil to drive the new Ford Fusion. Called "Fusion Grand Prix," both men get the new Ford sedan, prepped to their liking - but still street legal, we assume - for a race to decide... well, who is faster behind the wheel of a Fusion.
There will be four episodes, with the first two having already aired. The third episode comes on January 29 and the race happens February 5. You'll find two video episodes and a press release below, but note - because it's a campaign for Ford Brazil, Piquet's dialogue in the vids isn't translated, so hit the Closed Captioning button to hear his side of the smack talking.