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Exterior Color: White
Interior Color: Gray
Model: Transit Connect
Trim: AdvanceTrac RSC
Drive Type: No Transmission
Aurora, Illinois, United States
The mind behind the look of much of the modern Ford global range is retiring. Martin Smith, Head of Ford Design in Europe, will give up his position on July 1 and will leave the company altogether at the end of the year. He will be replaced by current Strategic Concepts Group leader Joel Piaskowski (pictured above).
Smith has led Ford of Europe design for the past 10 years, and he was partially responsible for the brand's Kinetic Design language with a large grille and swept-back headlights found on the Focus, Fiesta and C-Max, as well as several other vehicles abroad. After stepping down on July 1 until his retirement at the end of 2014, Smith will work on a project to decide the future direction of the company's look with Moray Callum, its vice president of design.
Piaskowski already has some impressive credentials in terms of automotive design as well. He joined Ford in 2010 as director of exterior design and led the teams responsible for the 2015 Ford Mustang and next-generation F-150. He was also previously design director at Ford Asia Pacific. Before working at the Blue Oval, Piaskowski held positions at Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai and General Motors. Scroll down to read the complete announcement of this changing of the guard.
Fifty years ago this week, Ford debuted the first-ever Mustang at the New York World's Fair. And to celebrate, the Blue Oval is offering up this special, 50th Anniversary Edition 2015 Mustang, which makes its debut at the New York Auto Show. It'll be a seriously limited affair, with only 1,964 examples of the special edition Mustang slated to be produced (the number chosen to coincide with the 'Stang's first year in production). But for those who raise their hands for the 50th Anniversary package, there's a pretty sweet package in store.
The 50th Anniversary Edition is based on the 2015 Mustang GT with the Performance Pack, and is only available in two colors: Kona Blue, or Wimbledon White (pictured). The car also comes fully loaded - the only option for buyers to choose is the transmission. Should you opt for the six-speed automatic, you'll get a limited-slip rear differential with a 3.55:1 final-drive ratio (the 50th Anniversary car is also the only way to get a slushbox-equipped 'Stang with the Performance Pack). Selecting the six-speed manual 'box will net you a Torsen differential with a 3.73:1 ratio. All 50th Anniversary cars will be powered by Ford's 5.0-liter, naturally aspirated V8, estimated to produce more than 420 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque in the 2015 Mustang.
Inside, there's a cashmere-stitched, leather-wrapped steering wheel, with a similar detail found on the instrument panel, shift boot, door inserts, seats, and center armrest. Two-tone leather/black upholstery is also part of the 50th Anniversary package, and of course, there's a special logo on the seats.
In recent months, rumors had been flying about Ford CEO Alan Mulally potentially leaving the company to take a position at Microsoft. Last we heard, Mulally was planning to stick around at Ford through at least 2014, and in an interview today, that bit was confirmed by the CEO himself.
According to the Associated Press, in a report from The Detroit News, Mulally said he will not be leaving Ford for Microsoft, and reiterated that he will remain at the Blue Oval through 2014, if not longer. Mulally has "no plans other than to serve Ford," according to the report.
Mulally did not say whether or not he had been in talks with Microsoft at any point. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has said he plans to leave the software company sometime this year.