2009 Lincoln Mkx Base Sport Utility 4-door 3.5l on 2040-cars
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Auto blogTue, 05 Nov 2013 13:32:00 EST
Ford's highly influential head of design, J Mays, has announced that he'll be retiring from his position after 33 years in the industry, 16 of which were at the Dearborn, MI-based company. Upon departure, he'll be succeeded as group vice president of design by Moray Callum. If that last name sounds familiar, yes, he's the brother of Jaguar's Ian Callum.
It's difficult to explain just how big of a role Mays had on not just Ford's design over the years, but on the entire industry. Before heading to Dearborn, Mays worked for Audi, BMW and then Volkswagen, where he was involved in concept cars that paved the way for design icons like the first-generation Audi TT and the Volkswagen New Beetle. As for his Ford resume, it's extensive.
Mays joined the company in 1997 as design director for Ford, Lincoln, Mercury and Mazda, as well as the Premier Automotive Group (Volvo, Land Rover, Jaguar and Aston Martin). He was heavily involved in the Ford Fusion, Focus, Fiesta, Taurus, F-150 and Mustang, while also contributing to concept cars like the Atlas, Evos, 427, Forty-Nine, Shelby GR-1, Lincoln MKZ and the MKC.
It's taken four years of study, but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has finally closed the books on its investigation into rollaway accusations surrounding 1.56-million Ford SUV models.
The probe, which centered on the 2002-2005 Ford Explorer, 2002-2005 Mercury Mountaineer and 2003-2005 Lincoln Aviator, ends without the federal agency calling for a recall. According to The Detroit News, the investigation was closed due to a "low number of complaints" - NHTSA documented 180 such complaints that resulted in 14 crashes and six minor injuries, but the number of incidents have been slowing. The suspected defect rate for the trucks' automatic transmissions was found to be 4.4 per 100,000 units, and the brake-shift interlock mechanism failure rate was judged to be even lower at 3.4 per 100k.
If there's one brand that could really use some fresh, all-new product, it's Lincoln. The MKC crossover is on the way and looks promising, but the just-revealed 2015 model year update of its fullsize Navigator would appear to stop somewhere short of being "all-new." This, despite replacing a product that's been on the market since 2007. Oh sure, there's a brash new face, complete with the company's love or hate split-wing grille, and the revised rear-end treatment does look better to our eyes (if overly familiar). But in the era of the bold new all-aluminum Ford F-150, the Navigator is still based on the outgoing model's all-steel bones, so it's more of an extensive mid-cycle refresh than a completely new piece.
Unlike the F-150, there's no aluminum suit on this black-tie bruiser
That's a shame, really, because the class the Navigator is playing in features a host of really modern, stylish, luxurious crossovers and sport utilities like the Cadillac Escalade, Land Rover Range Rover, Mercedes-Benz GL-Class and more. Unlike the F-150, there's no aluminum suit on this black-tie bruiser, but that's not to say it isn't bringing some new tech to the table in 2015. Under the hood, for example, is Ford's well-received 3.5-liter, twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6, putting out "at least" 370 horsepower and 430 pound-feet of torque. That's a solid engine, and should be a whole lot more spunky and efficient than the archaic 5.4-liter Triton V8 currently being employed in the outgoing model.