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Auto blogMon, 30 Jun 2014 17:29:00 EST
Lincoln fans might want to give incoming Ford CEO Mark Fields a pat on the back for having a hand in saving the brand from the chopping block last year. He's among the people spearheading the rejuvenation of the division away from its stodgy image to appeal to younger customers.
According to two unnamed sources speaking to Bloomberg, CEO Alan Mulally was ready to kill Lincoln last year. Following the slow production ramp-up of the MKZ combined a with a costly ad campaign, Mulally was frustrated and openly suggested dropping the brand. However, Fields and Jim Farley, Ford's marketing boss, convinced the CEO that the brand was worth saving. They also created a plan to prevent similar problems for new models in the future.
It seems that one part of the strategy may involve waiting until new models are at dealers before starting a big ad campaign for them. Lincoln global director, Matt VanDyke, recently told Autoblog that the division is holding off on a full marketing push behind the new MKC crossover to prevent the supply problems that plagued the MKZ last year. Its big offensive begins in the fall when the CUVs are at all of the dealers and consumers are at home watching more TV. VanDyke also told Bloomberg that Fields, Farley and Joe Hinrichs, Ford president of the Americas, have more direct oversight over new product launches now.
Thu, 08 May 2014 20:00:00 EST
Just last week, Saleen revealed initial details of its tuning program for the new Ford Mustang. And now Roush is following suit.
Available in three stages - based on the V6 (RS), EcoBoost (RS1) and V8 (RS2) models - the 2015 Roush Mustangs all feature the venerable Ford tuner's latest R7 aero kit complete with remodeled fascia, five-blade grille, gaping air dam with integrated driving lamps and splitter. Around back there's a one-piece deck spoiler and "race-inspired lower aero-valance."
Cool comes in multiple flavors. One one hand, we have the sophisticated attraction of svelte design and the efficient use of power. Of course, on the other hand there is the allure of being the bad boy and going against the grain. That is part of the appeal of rat rods. Ideally, they are built without rules to an owner's specific tastes, and this widened and heavily modified 1947 Chevrolet pickup rod is a perfect example of that spirit.
Coming down the highway with a bent grille, rusted body and pouring smoke, it looks like the pickup from hell. It backs up the looks with some very impressive mechanicals too. Owner Troy Gubser says that the truck packs a Ford Power Stroke diesel with to 42 pounds of boost that runs out of 8-inch exhaust stacks at the back. He claims it managed 505 horsepower and 885 pound-feet of torque on the dyno. To harness all that power, this hot rod has a ZF five-speed manual gearbox with a ceramic clutch and short-throw shifter. Plus, it has cool little features like a doorbell on the tailgate that operates an air horn.
You might not expect a truck like this to actually be useful, but it has a fifth wheel coupling to haul an RV around drag races and car shows. The air suspension also probably keeps the ride fairly comfy when Gubser wants it to be. Scroll down to check out this beastly rat rod pickup and watch it engage in some diesel drag racing. Warning, there is some NSFW language.