Ford F-150 Xlt Extended Cab Pickup 2-door on 2040-cars
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Auto blogMon, 30 Dec 2013
As we prepare for the arrival of the all-new, next-generation Ford F-150, rumors about the new truck are picking up steam. Naturally, many of said rumors aren't just related to the way the truck will look (it's expected to take design cues from the Atlas concept shown above), they're tied to what's going to motivate the Blue Oval mainstay, with Ford's EcoBoost range likely to play an increasingly key role. While we're still expecting the current 3.5-liter, twin-turbocharged V6 to retain its position as a premium alternative to Ford's naturally aspirated V6 and V8, a Canadian automotive news site is proposing that the Dearborn automaker is also preparing a new, more fuel-efficient downsized EcoBoost option.
Autos.ca is reporting that a new, 2.7-liter, twin-turbocharged V6 could find its way into the lighter, aluminum-intensive truck. The new engine supposedly makes use of asymmetrical turbos to generate 320 horsepower and 370 pound-feet of torque - substantially more impressive numbers than the current 3.7-liter base engine's 302 ponies and 278 lb-ft - while offering improved fuel economy and emissions. The new 2.7 EcoBoost (internally dubbed "Nano") isn't expected to supplant the naturally aspirated V6 as the F-150's base engine, it's expected to slot in above directly it.
Naturally, we're prescribing more than a few grains of salt to go with these rumors, at least until Ford debuts the next F-150 at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show, a reveal we'll be covering in a mere two weeks.
As of the end of November, Volkswagen had sold 70,000 more cars than General Motors in China in 2013, making it appear inevitable that VW will outsell GM there. The feat would return the German brand to the top of chart in China for the first time in nine years, but even the second-place getter won't be complaining too loudly: both automakers sold more than three million vehicles in a market pegged to hit 16 million sales this year.
Volkswagen said it could have sold more cars if it had had more production capacity in China. The arrival of a new-to-China Audi A4, a China-built A3 sedan, the VW Bora and Skoda Octavia, as well as an $18.2-billion-euro investment in the country to construct new factories, means VW should see its numbers grow in 2014. GM's lineup is expanding next year, too, adding four Chevrolet nameplates and two vehicles to its Baojun brand as it tries to get to five million in sales by 2015.
Among other automakers, Ford benefited from good product and woes for Japanese automakers over a territorial dispute with China, outselling Toyota by almost 32,000 units through the end of November. The Ford Focus is China's best-selling vehicle so far this year.
Ford's current hot hatch siblings the Fiesta ST and Focus ST are already two pretty great entries into the segment, but there's always a desire for a little more. Thankfully, it looks like the Blue Oval is ready to satiate that need because it's continuing to test the even more powerful Focus RS around Europe. According to our spy shooters, these shots come from near the Nürburgring.
As with previous photos, Ford engineers continue to heavily camouflage the front end of the RS prototypes, but there's a big difference here. Unlike earlier ones, this example appears to have a closer-to-production-ready front bumper rather than just a horizontal strip for the license plate. That may point to development getting somewhat closer to wrapping up. Although, this one lacks the larger rear wing from prior testers, and the exhaust also appears to be a work in progress with the rear diffuser covered in mesh in these latest shots.
The RS is rumored to be using the 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder from the 2015 Mustang, but power is reportedly turned up from 310 horsepower in the 'Stang to somewhere between 325 hp and 350 hp for the Focus. Routing all that just through the front wheels could be a recipe for serious torque steer, and all-wheel drive is potentially being used for better traction.