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Auto Parts for Ford

 

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Auto Parts for Ford –

The brand name Ford has made it’s marked and is reputed as a heritage brand in the world of the automobiles since the year 1903. The vehicles manufactured under the brand name have been known for their class, durability and performance. Whether one owns the Ford vehicles or not, they revere the automobile options manufactured and this is the reason it has maintained its status of being the leading creator and producer in the related industry. However, even the Ford vehicles have to face the inexorable hands of fate and go through the natural process of wear and tear which affects the automobiles due to road conditions, weather factors and various other factors. Because of these reasons one might have to replace their auto parts. However, in certain cases, even the owners of the ordinary cars get the Ford auto parts installed in their cars to enhance their performance and durability.

Whatever the case be, there are various modes of availing the Ford auto parts according to the preferences of the car owners and the requirements of the car models they have. Ford has introduced top notch models bearing the best of the auto parts and the accessories and shifted the focus of the automobile manufacturing industry towards producing the viable functions and the designs of the cars. The reason people all over the world want the Ford car parts is because Ford has never compromised on their quality and installing these parts would add longevity to the life of the cars.

Those who want to get the Ford auto parts can contact the Ford dealers who have their offices in the various parts of the world. One can also get the genuine Ford auto parts through the authentic dealers of Ford, spread in the various regions of the world.

However, if one lives in the cities that are far away or have any other reasons of being unable to visit these offices, they can also order making use of the online websites of these dealers and organization. Buying the Ford auto parts online is a hassle free process which requires the customers to place an order of the required vehicle part through the website and receive their deliveries on the specified addresses. However, when ordering the various auto parts one will have to be sure to mention the apt model serial, year of make, the dimension and other related options of the auto parts so that they can order what they are looking for. Even those car owners who are looking for the Ford auto parts for their ordinary automobile models, should make sure that they get help from someone who has thorough knowledge in the auto parts so that they can order the parts that can be installed in their car models

Easy and Perfect Ways to Upgrade Your Ford

Ford vehicles are among the best in the industry and this Ford has proven countless times through the years. Various Ford vehicles have left an indelible mark in the history of automobiles–Ford Model T, the first automobile created using the moving assembly line; Ford F150, the world’s best-selling truck for 23 years; Ford Explorer, the best-selling SUV; Ford Falcon, a top-selling sports car; Ford Mustang, the first ”pony” car; Ford GT, a highly powerful sports car among others. Other vehicles produced by Ford have in one way or another contributed to the auto industry’s growth and development.

Great technology, solid engineering, tough and durable auto parts and sincere commitment to customer satisfaction are the things that underpin the success of every Ford compact, mid-size and full-size cars, trucks, sports cars, sport utilities and other type of vehicles. However, despite the fact that this is clearly manifested by the looks and performance of a Ford vehicle, they are subject to continuous maintenance and care, too. How a Ford owner takes care of his vehicle determines how long his vehicle could last to give him high quality of performance.

With Ford’s popularity and wide range of vehicles, finding the best replacement parts is not a difficult thing to do. Thousands of auto parts stores even online offer tough and durable Ford aftermarket and OEM-quality auto parts and accessories floor mats to carpets, hubcaps, auto lights, fenders, door, tailgate, wheels, engine parts, grille, fuel tank, radiator, starter, exhaust manifold, bumper, a/c condenser and alternator. Any car part imaginable can be easily found in just a few clicks on your mouse.

There may be a lot of sources for “Ford tough” replacement and aftermarket Ford parts used and new alike, you still have to be wise in choosing the best Ford parts for your vehicle. Parts such as engine parts, starter, catalytic converter, radiator and wheels perform important tasks crucial to your car or truck’s over-all performance as well as driving satisfaction; thus, you must be particular about their quality and toughness.

Getting them from a trusted source is a good way to ensure your Ford’s performance. Ford Parts Online is one of the most trusted and experienced Ford parts supplier in the country offering you wide array of top quality Ford parts for almost all Ford models. Ford Parts Discount deals are available here so you don’t have to go anywhere else to find the most affordable parts for your replacement needs.

Replacement parts from Ford Parts Online are made by top Ford parts manufacturers and are designed to match and even exceed Ford OEM parts’ standards. They perfect ways to upgrade your Ford car or truck and extend their life and service. For more efficient combustion, high quality engine parts are provided and for a powerful start, premium class Ford starters are offered to you here in this store. Excellently designed and highly functional accessories like Ford floor mats, Ford carpets, Ford hubcaps and Ford mirrors are also found at Ford Ford Parts Online. Check out this store the next time you are going to work on a car repair, upgrading or car part replacement. Nothing beats the most trusted, experienced and complete auto parts store for Ford.

No Gas Required: Ford Pickup Hauls From NYC To MoTown

The Ford F-250 CNG (Credit: Scott Burgess, AOL Autos).

by: Scott Burgess
 
The goal was pretty straightforward.

Drive from New York City to Detroit – just more than 600 miles – in a Ford F-250 and not use a single drop of gas; well, at least not of the unnatural kind most people put in their tank.

No, this big rig, which looked like a giant Ford billboard, would be powered by compressed natural gas.

CNG is all the rage again. Carmakers are looking for alternative ways to provide transportation that is cheaper, cleaner but still deliver the same kind of power people need. According to the federal government, 87 percent of natural gas is produced in the U.S., it emits up to 40 percent less greenhouse gases, and has up to 90 percent less smog-producing pollutants.

Mother Nature drives a CNG pickup.

And other than all of the stickers on this particular truck, it looked like any other F-250. The only difference was about 30 percent of the bed was taken up with a tank that could hold 3,600 pounds of CNG.

CNG already here

The beauty of any CNG vehicle is it operates nearly exactly the same way as their gasoline-powered counterparts. CNG’s are going to play a role in keeping internal combustion engines driving this nation 50 years from now. Sorry all of you electric fans – there’s not going to be 1 million EVs on U.S. roads by 2015 or even 2020. Your time is coming, but probably not for a while.

But CNG hasn’t only arrived, it’s been here. The price is attractive–the equivalent of about $1.70 to $2.20 if you were powering with gasoline.

Converts

Already, there are more than 100 different kinds of CNG vehicles available today in America. Only one, however, the Honda Civic, is available to the public from a dealership. The others are either buses, fleet vehicles or aftermarket conversions.

That, of course, should change judging how well this Ford F-250 performed for me. Its smooth ride, excellent power and seamless change from CNG to gasoline make it an ideal candidate for someone who needs pickup capabilities, cheaper fuel and wants to create a smaller carbon footprint.

Ford only charges $315 to make its 6.2-liter V-8 engine capable of running on CNG. (This does not include the actual CNG tank or fuel lines, a package costing thousands more, but does provide a bi-fuel manifold and hardened intake valves and valve seats.)

Problems persist

Operating with CNG is an attractive option for many kinds of drivers and vehicles. Take a utility company, with a fleet of vehicles that drive around a city all day and return to a home base at night. But CNG on the highway, going from one city to another 500 miles away, remains much like the cast of Saturday Night Live: Not ready for prime time.

When I drove the CNG Honda Civic in the past, I learned quickly about range anxiety. It’s a true physical phenomenon where you watch the fuel gauge drop and your stomach churns as you try to remember that there is just one Detroit station with a CNG pump. The only backup the Civic comes with is your cell phone to call a tow truck.

Fortunately, this Ford F-250 runs on both CNG and regular gas. It switches so seamlessly from one to the other, I could never pinpoint which fuel I was running at any given time.

In order to use only CNG, I figured I could stop every couple hundred miles, fill up and be on my way. I downloaded two apps – CNG Fuel Finder and Alternative Fuel Locations – for my iPhone and thought this might help keep my stomach settled. Had my truck been in a pure CNG vehicle, however, those phone apps would have given me an ulcer.

I plotted my route to Detroit from New York City, and then failed miserably to enjoy this ride the way I had hoped. It wasn’t me. It wasn’t the truck. It wasn’t even the inaccurate or unworkable apps. It was Interstate 80.

Finding natural gas

The list of CNG stations Ford provided to me required that my first stop be in Philadelphia. And while I adore the city of Brotherly Love, it’s also 94 miles out of my way! The next stop along the way was in Williamsport, Pennsylvania–the home of the Little League Baseball Hall of Fame–at the Pennsylvania College of Technology. But the general public can’t use that pump.

Then, just as I was running out of CNG in my tank, according to the blinking blue lights on my dash, I made my way to a Uni-Mart near the highway that the CNG Finder said was a CNG station. When I got there, there was no gas station at all. Just a field greeted me and my fuel gauge started to say I was now running on petrol.

The rush of anxiety left me as I knew I had to go another 100 miles to State College and fill up there. And I had gasoline as a backup.

The open road

The F-250, it remains a great truck no matter what fuel powers it.

It’s big, but drives small. Even through New York City’s streets, it maneuvered well, weaving through traffic. At a few points, I think the truck’s size gave me an edge, allowing me to nose into a lane, intimidating a New York City driver in a much smaller rig.

The high riding position was also advantageous, providing me a chance to see past the car in front of me. Making my way out of the city, I quickly found myself on Interstate 80. My CNG tank was about three-quarters full. As I drove through the LincolnTunnel, I wondered if my truck was even allowed in there. I didn’t stop to ask.

Along the open highway, even with the bed empty, the F-250 offers an excellent ride. Some pickups need a couple of pounds in the bed to smooth out the taut suspension, but not so with the F-250.

Additionally, the CNG Lariat model Ford supplied me with all of the creature comforts of most luxury cars. The only thing I’d suggest is providing a navigation system that locates real CNG fueling stations.

False advertising

As I burned through six gallons of gas to find my way to the CNG pump in State College, I couldn’t help but enjoy the big hills of Pennsylvania. Even as I looked down at the fuel gauge between the speedometer and tachometer, I was pleased to see how little fuel the truck was using. According to the readout, I still had 1,000 miles of range.

This, of course, was not true. And during the trip, it always felt a little dishonest; kind of like vehicles that offer a silly “instantaneous” mileage that are equally dishonest, jumping from 15 mpg to 25 mpg seconds apart. The Ford system does not account for the CNG miles. It simply assumes you have driven 150 miles on a single drop of gasoline, thus it says your hitting 99 mpg and have an unlimited range.

Obviously, Ford needs to rethink this. Disavowing responsibility is irresponsible.
What the truck needs is a screen that monitors your CNG use and tells you the range you have left with the fuel. Then when the regular gas starts pumping, the real fuel economy numbers kick in.

At the pump

No one likes something different, and filling up with CNG is different. The nozzle has to lock onto the tank, which is a small nozzle right next to the gas tank cap. Then, when you pull down the handle, there’s a big whooshing sound that surprised me.

Other than that, it was absolutely normal. And that’s one reason America could convert to CNG so quickly.

Fill-up time is only a few minutes and process. Walk in, tell the cashier you want to fill up on pump-15 and then whoosh.

More disappointment

From there, I plotted my next course, costing me about an hour of time because of the additional distance. But the filling station I located on the CNG Fuel Finder would allow me to make the trip the rest of the way home on natural gas.

So, I eventually made my way to Interstate 76, proud of myself for driving more than 400 miles on a scant 7 gallons of gasoline. According to Ford’s own on-board computer, I was averaging more than 100 miles per gallon.

But once again, I was let down with the app. When the blue dot on my phone met up with the red pin of the station, there was nothing; Just a ditch on a road through one of those small Ohio towns that are swallowed up by cornfields.

The final leg home

The CNG wasn’t going to last much longer, and as far as I could tell, Toledo is CNG-pump free, so I’d have to finish this trip the traditional way– with gasoline.

I cruised on down those country roads of Ohio, passing barns and corn fields and the occasional cow as the shadows grew longer and the sun redder. The F-250 looked right at home along these roads as I passed an occasional pickup heading the other way.

Eventually, those very same trucks my have a 3,600 PSI tank in their beds as well, I thought. But not before the network of truck-stops along Interstate highways have a reliable CNG pump system that is open to commercial truckers, as well as the public.

CNG is the one alternative fuel that makes sense for things like pickups, which need power for all of the heavy lifting they do. And curtailing their emissions can lead to a much bigger impact on the environment. Gas-electric hybrids and all-electric powertrains don’t make sense for pickups.

All told, my trip of 654 miles burned through 16.6 gallons of gas, as well as $30 worth of CNG. The total trip costs about $100, which is still much less than a plane ticket, and there was no charge for my checked bag.

America still has a lot of infrastructure work to do if it wants CNG vehicles to make a real impact. It is in our interest to make it happen. We have so much of it, and so little demand, we are running out of places to store it. How we get natural gas out of the ground–via “fracking,” which is a process of blasting apart shale with a slurry of water and chemicals–remains controversial because of how little we know about the chemicals energy companies are using.

A smart approach to using CNG to power commercial trucks.and some percentage of personal vehicles, could one day make the U.S. independent of Middle East oil.

Until we work out a reliable infrastructure of refilling stations, natural gas vehicles will remain merely a quirky way to power a vehicle.

www.chinaturbochargersolutions.com 

2013 Ford Full Line Event

2013 Ford Police Interceptor Utility

 

A recent trip to the Ford proving grounds in Dearborn, Michigan gave me a look at next year’s Blue Oval products and technology. Ford’s energy for 2013 is clearly focused on fuel efficiency and advanced in-car interfaces and communication. Thankfully, there was still some time for the engineers to create the next generation of police pursuit vehicles.

 

Here are the Top 10 News Items from 2013 Ford Full Line Event:

 

1. Driving a Cop Car Never Gets Old: Ford’s Crown Victoria has chased more bad guys than any other sedan over the past three decades, but it officially died last year. This put Ford on the hook for a new police model, and the company responded with two new Police Interceptors, a Sedan (based off the Taurus) and a Utility (based off the Explorer). Both feature special frame, suspension, drivetrain and brake components. And both are a blast to drive with lights and siren blaring. Woot!

 

2. Technology Finally Replacing Displacement: Ford is being coy about which small car its 1.0-liter EcoBoost will show up in next year, but I was able to try it out in a Ford Focus. Given the pressure on car companies to produce higher fuel efficiency it’s hard to imagine performance won’t suffer, but this 3-cylinder engine was downright spooky in its ability to deliver power and torque. Serious technology is going on here, suggesting fuel efficiency and performance can still co-exist.

 

3. The Doctor is In…Your Car: With sensors in a car’s steering wheel and seatbelt a future Ford could measure everything from sweaty palms to breathing rate as part of a driver stress assessment. Combine this with existing radar and camera technologies that measure speed and traffic and your car will know exactly how much mental pressure you’re under at any given moment. In theory it could also know you’re having a heart attack before you do – and call an ambulance.

 

4. Avoid Traffic by Letting the Car Drive: Traffic is an increasing annoyance in most big cities (except Los Angeles, where it’s simply a way of life). But Ford is working on technology called Traffic Jam Assist that would control a car’s steering, gas and brake application in low-speed, congested driving conditions. This means instead of wasting two hours covering 12 miles you’d seamlessly flow along with everyone else while checking email, streaming Netflix or catching up on sleep.

 

5. Big Taurus Sedan, Little EcoBoost Engine: Normally a small engine in a big sedan is a recipe for vehicle lethargy, but Ford’s 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder EcoBoost engine gets the 2013 Taurus moving with authority. It’s not an SHO killer, but most drivers in most circumstances will find it more than adequate, and they’ll appreciate the 32 highway mpg (versus 29 highway mpg from the Taurus’ larger 3.5-liter V6 engine). Of course, the Buick LaCrosse with eAssist offers 36 highway mpg…

 

6. School Bus Yellow Still a Boss Color: Last year Ford brought the Boss 302 version of the Mustang back, with enhanced engine and suspension tuning (plus a killer exhaust note). For 2013 they’ve brought back what is arguably the most famous color: School Bus Yellow. It’s the same color Parnelli Jones’ Boss 302 wore when he won the 1970 Trans Am racing series. Not every car can pull off School Bus Yellow, but the Boss (with new-for-2013 reflective hockey stripes) can, and does.

 

7. F-150 Platinum Gets Upstaged: Apparently there’s a market for a more expensive, more deluxe truck than the pimping Ford F-150 Platinum (which already replaced the King Ranch as top dog in the F-150 world.). Well move over Platinum, there’s a new F-150 Limited in town, with red leather seats (heated and cooled), plus aluminum interior accents and a laser-engraved serialization plate on the console lid. Note: you can still get an F-150 XL work truck if you plan to get muddy.

 

8. I See Your Prius V, and Raise You a C-Max: There’s no denying the success of Toyota’s Prius, and there’s no doubt a key component was its dedicated hybrid status that shouted “I’m saving the planet!” to everyone on the road. Ford will enjoy the same clear messaging when the hybrid-only C-Max goes on this this fall and gets 47 mpg (3 better than a Prius V). There will also be a plug-in version, called C-Max Energi, which is supposed to out-perform the plug-in Prius and the Chevrolet Volt.

 

9. No Parking Skill Required: Ford is on the verge of removing all necessary skill related to parking a car. The company already offers “active park assist” on several models, making the dreaded “parallel parking” process a hands- (and worry-) free activity. Ford is about to extend the technology into the perpendicular parking realm, so slotting your vehicle in-between two others at the mall or restaurant will be a similar no-brainer. Hmm…this would almost let me trust a valet. Almost.

 

10. All-Terrain Raptor in New Terrain Paint: Officially, the biggest news for the 2013 Ford SVT Raptor is the available beadlock wheels. These let you lower the tire pressure while off-roading without risking a broken bead seal and blowout. But trust me, the coolest new feature is the off-white shade of “Terrain” paint that makes a Raptor look ready for warm-weather warfare. Throw some camo patches on it (and you) and mount your own mini Desert Storm off-road offensive. Cool!

 

2013 Ford SVT Raptor in Terrain Paint

Ford Escape: Kick Up Your Suburban Heels

  • [CAR] Dan Neil/The Wall Street Journal

Ford Escape

If you’ve ever seen an episode of “So You Think You Can Dance?” you know that most of America can’t. Dance, that is. So the newly redesigned Ford Escape should make things interesting.

Among this crossover’s many available conveniences is a hands-free, motion-sensing system that activates the power liftgate. By way of two electromagnetic sensors, the system allows users to open and close the liftgate with a slight leg flick under the rear bumper.

Ford’s marquee crossover is all-new, with Focus-like styling, a hot turbo, and a slew of digital conveniences. But can it teach Dan Neil to dance?

Having spent two weeks with a fully glammed-up Escape—a handsome Titanium edition with all-wheel drive ($33,940)—I can report the system works pretty well. In point of fact, the Escape’s hands-free liftgate is much less of a dance critic than the other such system I’ve seen, on the new Mercedes-Benz SL550. The Ford will respond to a variety of under-bumper steps—the old soft-shoe or a gentle, geriatric version of a Rockette’s kick. The Benz, alas, responds only to a swift kick in the rear echelon. How very German.

Like rearview cameras, this technology promises to become cheap and generalized pretty quickly. And inevitably, how people activate the liftgate will be an expression of their personal style, their terpsichorean muse. Will tatted-up young men intimidate their liftgates into opening with fierce, MMA-style leg strikes? Will hedge-fund managers act like they’re scraping gum off the bottoms of their shoes?

And how many women in high heels will go inverted when their planted foot slips on some ice? The Christmas presents will go flying and then, oh, the Spanx, the humanity.

 

 

 

The rundown on the Ford Escape is as follows: Introduced in 2000 as a joint project with Mazda, the Escape has gradually morphed from a small SUV into a car-based crossover. This, the third generation of the vehicle, is built on Ford’s global C1 platform (Focus, C-Max) and was largely engineered by Ford’s Cologne, Germany-based operations, and built for the U.S. in Louisville, Ky.

In the rest of the world the Escape is known as the Kuga, which we all agree is a stupid name, but “Escape” is probably too freighted to use in the autocracies of Asia and the Middle East. By any other name, it is a huge and growing part of Ford’s business. Ford says about 60% of car shoppers in the U.S. will cross-shop a midsize sedan or a crossover.

In the home market, we’ll see four trim levels; three engines (turbocharged 1.6- and 2.0-liter four-cylinder engines, with 178 and 240 horsepower, respectively, and a naturally aspirated, 168-hp 2.5-liter four for the Hertzes of the world); a six-speed automatic; and standard front-wheel drive with an all-wheel-drive option. The base price is $22,470, but the average transaction price will probably be closer to $30,000.

Photos: A Suburban Helpmate

Dan Neil/The Wall Street JournalClick the image to view the slideshow.

 

A hybrid version of the new Escape is not yet available—the previous hybridized model was a huge sales success—but rest assured Ford will have hybrid, plug-in hybrid, battery-electric and plutonium versions in due course. Meanwhile, the 1.6-liter Ecoboost with 2WD gets a respectable 33 mpg on the highway. Our AWD tester averaged about 23 mpg in mixed driving.

Apropos of its mission as a suburban helpmate, the Escape is basically a delivery system of digital and electronic conveniences, including: parallel-parking assist; blind-spot detection with cross-traffic warning (the system will alert you to cross traffic as you back out of a parking space); and the latest and most feature-laden version of Ford’s touch-screen interface for navigation/audio/climate/phone.

“Apropos of its mission as a family-hauling helpmate, the Escape is basically a delivery system of digital and electronic conveniences.”

This system—branded Sync by Microsoft, with an actual badge on the dash so proclaiming—is a powerful ally if, that is, you can reach it. With the driver’s seat adjusted to accommodate my 6-foot-1-inch frame, I struggled to make contact with the screen buttons, which are incidentally quite small and a little fussy. This system cries out for a 3-D gesture-sensing interface of the kind Samsung just unveiled on one of its TVs.

Ford would no doubt counter that drivers can always use the voice-command menu, but I find that system to be demanding, rigid, dense and a little hostile. It’s like talking to a libertarian android.

From its Klingon-style cockpit layout to its overall metabolism—lightweight, precise and eager, if lacking a certain cast-bronze solidity—the Escape’s kinship to the Focus is evident. This thing is basically an AWD Focus with a big hat, and that’s not a bad thing. The engineers have done a beautiful job with wind and tire noise, opting for big acoustic blankets in the wheel wells, which quelled the roar coming from our test car’s 19-inch summer tires. The engine note is pleasing, too, with just a touch of turbo spool-up from under the hood and a nicely resonant thrum coming from the dual exhausts.

2013 Ford Escape Titanium With AWD

  • Base price: $32,945
  • Price as tested: $33,940
  • Powertrain: Turbocharged 2.0-liter, DOHC, 16-valve direct-injection in-line four-cylinder with variable valve timing; six-speed automatic transmission with manual shift-mode; full-time all-wheel drive
  • Horsepower/torque: 240 at 5,500 rpm (premium fuel); 231 pound-feet at 5,500 rpm
  • Length/weight: 178.1 inches/3,732 pounds
  • Wheelbase: 105.9 inches
  • EPA fuel economy: 21/28 mpg, city/highway
  • Cargo capacity: 34.3/68.1 cubic feet (behind first, second row)

Some of the Escape’s stylistic choices are suspect: The glossy gray plastic surrounding the central console doesn’t bear close scrutiny. The seat cushioning is imported direct from the Department of Corrections.

But in other respects, the Escape’s interior is brilliant. The switchgear is hefty and affirmative; the sweeps of soft-touch materials on the dash and doors are excellent. As a car-seat-wrangling parent, I appreciate the easy access to the rear-seat Isofix connectors. In other cars these metal hoops are almost impossible to reach, and that is an instant disqualification for me. Sorry, Porsche Panamera Turbo.

The Escape’s second-row 60/40 seats cleverly fold flat. Simply flip down the headrests and pull a lever. Presto, a flat cargo floor worth 68.1 cubic feet.

In the two weeks I had the car, I put on about 1,000 miles, mostly at interstate speeds, which is a style of driving that doesn’t favor 2.0-liter turbos. But the Escape utterly purred along the freeway. Acceleration and passing power in the 3,732-pound vehicle is more than adequate for what is basically a high-style mall-mobile. The electric-assist power steering is nicely reactive, direct and assured, if a little light and over-assisted for my taste. A huge part of the Escape’s goodwill comes from its sporty, small-diameter steering wheel.

Outside of the Snowbelt, buyers will rarely call upon the all-wheel-drive system, though Ford claims a lot of handling and dynamics benefits to the system. Perhaps. However, I did attend the Nascar All-Star race in Charlotte, N.C., a couple of weeks ago. Parking was maxed out, so I wheeled the Escape up onto a steep, wet grassy hill with an alarming incline. The Escape’s AWD system quietly kicked in and the thing motored effortlessly to the top.

Ain’t that a kick in the pants?

Ford Taking Orders for Hot Focus ST

Ask the average North American car guy what comes to mind about what high performance cars Ford builds, the Mustang and Taurus SHO will come to mind, and he’ll stop there. Soon, the Ford Focus ST will be joining that group. In Europe, Ford has been building (and racing) performance versions of their small, mainstream four cylinder cars for decades. Finally, North America gets a taste of what we’ve been missing all this time.

One glance at the Focus ST and you immediately know this is no ordinary grocery getter. Apart from the aggressive aero, standard 18″s, lowered ride height, beefier brakes and sport suspension, the Focus ST has the grunt to match the look. Motivation comes in the form of a 2.0L EcoBoost four, cranking out 252hp and 270 lb. ft. of torque. A six-speed manual is the only transmission available, and I am happy about that. Posers, stay home. If a car like the Focus ST appeals to you, but you could not be bothered to learn how to work three pedals and a gearshift together, you don’t deserve to get to play.

The 2013 Ford Focus ST has a starting price of $23,700USD, plus $795 destination. The ST will be available only as a five-door hatchback. If you feel like building your own Focus ST, click here for the link to Ford’s site. Even going with the priciest option package with goodies like HD Radio, Recaro seats with leather, sunroof and navigation, the ST still comes in under $30 grand. To put that into perspective, the VW Golf R four door with similar power and features will run you over $6,000 extra.

Ford is now taking orders for the Focus ST. It’s been a long, long wait to see such a car from Ford here in North America. To reward us for our patience, the first 1,000 people to place an order will be rewarded with a GoPro HD Hero2 Motorsports Edition camera pack. That shows Ford understands the buyer of the Focus ST completely-the fact that high quality photography is a passion for many here at The Garage is living proof. Stay tuned for more Focus ST news and updates.

Automotive Legend Carroll Shelby Passes at 89

By now you may have heard that the great Carroll Shelby, one time race car driver and constructor has passed away at the age of 89 on Friday, May 10, 2012. The automotive world has truly lost one of the greats who lead a full life and accomplished feats few men can imagine. On the news of Mr. Shelby’s passing, my thoughts were he may be the last man to have such a singular impact on racing history and the cars that bear his name. My next thoughts brought me back to August, 1988. I was all of 15 years old at the time, while on vacation in Cape Cod, Massachusetts had read that Enzo Ferrari had died. An ocean and generation apart, Mr. Ferrari and Mr. Shelby had some similarities, but for now let’s talk about Mr. Carroll Shelby.

My fear is the current generation of gearheads are watching too much Barrett-Jackson auto auctions on Speed TV, where over the past few years Mr. Shelby has gone on stage to auction off one of his latest Mustang-based creations to charity, and there is no doubt the hundreds of thousands of dollars Shelby has raised has helped many people. Where my discontent lies is in the portrayal of Carroll Shelby, often depicted as a simple chicken farmer from Texas, and oh, he makes chili too! How cute.

Kids, that is not the Carroll Shelby that impresses me. In the 1950′s, Shelby won races in an MG TD, set 16 US and International speed records in a specially modified Austin-Healey 100S. In 1959 he drove the winning Aston Martin DBR1 to victory at the 24 Hours of LeMans-one one of only two victories Aston Martin can claim. Shelby also competed in Formula 1 racing from 1958-59. Due to heart problems that plagued Shelby from youth, he was forced into retirement.

This is where the magic happens-as if winning LeMans is not enough. Shelby was able to seal a deal with British sports car maker AC to drop a Ford V-8 into their AC Ace, creating the AC Cobra, pictured at top. Spawning the ultra-rare and desirable Daytona Coupe, the Cobra is one of the most desirable and iconic exotic sports cars of all time, and the most copied car ever built by kit car companies, although Shelby and his lawyers spent years fighting this.

It is well known that Ford had attempted to buy Ferrari in the 1960′s, and with the deal nearly sealed, Enzo Ferrari backed out at the last minute. With the deal off, Ford vowed revenge on Ferrari, and Ford was going to beat them on their own turf. Ford called Carroll Shelby for help. The result? The Ford GT40 won LeMans four years in a row. It is the only American built race car to ever win at the historical Circuit de la Sarthe.

With Ford’s connection to Shelby cemented with its AC chassis and involvement in Ford’s domination over Ferrari with the GT40, Ford sought to build on the equity of its new pony car, the Mustang. While there are rumors that Shelby’s initial reaction was of zero interest in modifying Mustangs and refused the project, under pressure from Ford management Shelby gave in and agreed to put his name on the Shelby Mustang GT350, the purist example of a Shelby Mustang. Later iterations of Shelby ‘Stangs seemed counter to Carroll’s original vision, and by 1970 Ford and Shelby parted ways.

Carroll Shelby slipped into obscurity it seems, until the very man who demanded a Shelby Mustang-Lee Iaocca, called on him to inject some badly needed adrenaline to the ailing Chrysler Corporation. At its inception the Omni was a crude answer to VW’s Golf, but with Shelby’s hand Dodge created a GTI killer with 175hp on tap for an impressive 0-60mph time of 6.5 seconds with a top end of 130mph. Shelby had a hand in several other high performance Dodge products, and was an integral part of the creating the Dodge Viper.

Shelby’s history with Ford resumed again with his input in the modern iteration of the Ford GT, an homage to the GT40 and Shelby Mustangs once again hit the showroom floor in 2005. Fittingly, Carroll Shelby’s last car with his own input was the Shelby 1000, the most powerful Shelby to ever hit the street or track. And so we draw the circle back to Enzo Ferrari, the man Shelby beat on relentlessly at the most prestigious stage of endurance racing. When Enzo Ferrari died, the twin-turbo V-8 Ferrari F40 was the last car he oversaw was ready for market, the most powerful, fastest, and expensive Ferrari of all time. For Carroll Shelby, the Shelby 1000 holds that same distinction.

This puts Mr. Shelby in some elite company, and proves again if the will is there, Americans can beat the best the European exotics have to offer. Carroll Shelby deserves to be remembered as more than a chicken farmer, he is the singular American figure to absolutely punish the best Europe had to offer on their own soil. For that, we thank you, Carroll Shelby.

The Garage offers our sincere condolences to the Shelby family and all of his friends and co-workers.

The Garage Goes Further with Ford

After being a guest of Ford for the global reveal of the new 2013 Ford Fusion in Detroit this year, Ford called on The Garage again to attend a two-day forum, ‘Go Further with Ford’. Along with over 250 bloggers covering auto, fashion, environment, parenting, marketing and a myriad of other subjects, we all descended upon Dearborn, Michigan, where we arrived for dinner at Ford Field, home of the Detroit Lions and host to Super Bowl XL. We were treated to a speech from none other than Bill Ford, great grandson of Henry Ford. Known for being an ‘industrial environmentalist’, Mr. Ford’s concerns and thoughts on the environment and future of the car would underscore what our next two days would reveal to us.

I had the opportunity to kick a ten yard field goal on Ford Field, and failed miserably. Check the gallery below for a pic of Ford social media chief Scott Monty kick a three-pointer, wearing a suit and dress shoes, no less.

Back to business the next day, we would be taken to four different forums, covering distinct subjects. The first for me was the Age of Accessible Design, and easily my favorite. Faced with a panel of people completely immersed in design, yet in worlds not related to cars, with one exception. Ford’s chief designer, J Mays was on hand, as well as Project Runway winner Christian Siriano. In addition, an architect and furniture designer were there to offer their point of view.

The discussion was riveting, and Mr. Siriano was entertaining and informative, but offered a different view from automotive design. Mr. Siriano can change trends instantly with his fashion design. With cars, as J Mays pointed out, it is completely different. Instead of next week, Mays is working on designing cars we won’t see until five years from now. J Mays was quite candid, emphasizing that each new car design is essentially a multi-million dollar gamble. You don’t often think of it from that angle, but it is absolutely true. But the most telling piece of info I got out of the forum was this. J Mays actually spends most of this time in the UK. Mays spoke about the ‘Europeanization of America’ in terms of design. That large cars are wasteful and status driven. In other words, don’t expect another mammoth Ford Excursion super-size SUV. Instead, Mays sees an America that is concerned about fuel cost and efficiency, which have driven the European car market for decades. It is now upon us.

Another forum focused on Eco Psychology. This is the motivation of Bill Ford, and he is intensely focused on being green, even if Ford’s board of directors are intent on only profits. To that end, Ford is doing extensive research on using natural and organic materials in building their cars. At the same time, Ford is adamant in letting the customer decide, not dictate their options. Be it gas, gas-hybrid, or EV, Ford is allowing the customer to make the choice.

Ford is also keenly aware of the shift in car buyer’s mentality. As a member of Generation X, mine is the last generation where getting a license to drive was viewed as a rite of passage, as a means to see something greater than what was in the confines of my hometown. Generation Y, or Millenials, see the world far differently from me and generations prior. They are in no hurry to get a license. The internet satiates their need for exploration. They gravitate to urban centers where everything they need is within walking distance. Having graduated to an unstable economy, Gen Y is driven to access to local amenities and superior public transit rather than a car. Still, a car is needed, which explains Ford’s relationship with Zipcar, a company that offers rental cars in major American cities by the day our hour.

What was most telling was Ford telling us Generation Y’s feeling disconnected while on the road-unable to text or web surf. While that sounds pretty pathetic to me, I suppose that is the new reality. Which brings me to the final forum of the day, focusing on technology. Ford, in conjunction with Microsoft has come under some fire about its MyTouch infotainment package, but strides seem to have been made to improve it. Ford seems to recognize that too much tech can overwhelm or confuse a driver. It intrigued me that Ford is currently developing software that reads from the steering wheel a driver’s heart rate and sweat to decide if it is not a good time to relay a text message or other info. It is not currently available, but it is cutting edge technology.

Personally, it was a thrill to hear Bill Ford tell all of us we were invited to Dearborn because we were the elite bloggers in our respective fields. As East Coast Editor for The Garage, I sincerely hope you enjoy and are informed by the material we provide here. for you. Our busy day was capped off with a reception at Tech Shop Detroit, followed by a live concert by indie rock/folk band Blind Pilot.

Going Further With Ford Part II

Sorry for the delay folks, but I am pleased to report my second installment for the Go Further With Ford trend conference. In case you missed it, The Garage was chosen from an elite group of bloggers to attend this year’s Go Further With Ford event. Day one consisted of a series of interesting panel discussions which provided a glimpse of where Ford is headed.

For Day Two, Ford drove us to Dearborn proving grounds-the test track. Just to be there was a thrill. The cars you buy from the dealer are tested and fine-tuned right here. You get a sense of the seriousness of the facility with a control tower, much like an airport, overseeing all track activity.

As a car guy with some, but limited race track experience, my hopes of being unleashed on the proving grounds were dashed. Which I can understand. As a car guy, I was in the minority here, with bloggers representing subjects from the environment, fashion, parenting, etc. Ford would be nuts to let them loose.

But to keep things fun and interesting, we had to complete four tasks. My first challenge was to autocross the all-new 2013 Ford Escape. Our bogey time was 38 seconds, with a two second leeway. Ford’s intent was for us to push the Escape hard, which I did. I just made the cut, and have the I Love Pandora t-shirt to prove it. In my 40 seconds of driving it, the Escape was nimble and quick off it’s feet, but look for a full, proper review in the future. In fact, the new Escape will be in my driveway for Labor Day weekend.

Next up was the 2013 Ford Mustang GT. We had three choices. You could drive a Mustang with an automatic. You could drive a Mustang with a manual. You could be driven by a pro driver in a Mustang Boss 302. I’ll lay out the conversation:

Ford: “Mr. Williams, do you want to be driven on the course by a driver?”

Me: “No, thank you, I would prefer to drive myself.”

Ford: “Manual or automatic?”

Me: “Manual”

It was a brief stint, but the Mustang GT was a hell of a ride. I never got higher than third gear on the course Ford provided us. While I’ll always prefer driving myself, I have to say the drivers Ford had on hand to give rides on the Boss 302 ‘Stang put on one hell of a show. Full-on power slides and burning rubber was the order of the day for the Boss cars.

And from brute-force muscle car Ford takes me to the new Focus EV for a drive. On a short road course the Focus EV has buckets of torque, rides just as well as the conventional Focus The Garage tested, but what impressed me most was it’s greater range over the Nissan Leaf. I have been to events where EV’s were present, and there was always a desperation to keep a car plugged in. Not so with the Focus. The car simply kept plugging along.

My next challenge was to experience Ford’s latest technology. I tag-teamed another fellow. His task was to run to a Ford Escape, sync his phone and make a call. Once done, he passes a baton to me where I have to use a Ford Flex to park itself. I confess, I have had cars with this technology but was too fearful to use it. Under the eyes of Ford, I had to, and by golly, it worked. All it took was simply line up near a parking space, and the Flex uses its sensors to ‘find’ the opening. With nothing more than simple brake modulation, the Flex, by golly, parked itself. My task complete, I hand the baton back to my teammate, who samples another nifty Ford technology with the Escape. With a key on you, all it takes is a swipe of your foot to open and close the rear liftgate. Ingenious stuff for when you’re carrying a child or groceries. Yes, it was silly, but a fun way to sample the latest technology available in Ford vehicles.

Last event was an offroad romp in a 2012 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor. With a mighty 6.2L V-8 belting out 411hp, the Raptor is the ultimate truck for a muscle car fan. No, we would not be able to drive them-instead members of the Ford SVT team would take us out on Ford’s off-road course, and positively punish and beat the living snot out of the Raptor. Yes, there were some slow, and extreme angle off-roading that would match any Land Rover, but the emphasis was on the brutal power of the Raptor, as we drifted in a cloud of dust, its V-8 wailing as we pounded the truck. This was no burst of the throttle, dog and pony show. No. I had to wear a race helmet. By the time my ride was over, hanging on for dear life, my camera, cell phone, and car keys had been thrown from my pockets throughout the Raptor’s interior. In other words, way harder than I ever would have driven it. When I asked the driver after a long morning of punishing the Raptor if it was getting tiring, he simply replied ‘Hey, any other day I’d be sitting in a cubicle!’

After a catered lunch and some formalities, that pretty much closed out Go Further With Ford for 2012. Leaving Ford’s proving grounds, I looked on as cars continued to race around the track, the new Fusion more than any other car. For a moment I thought ‘This car is ready for production’, but in reality development and fine-tuning never stops. And I did  a double take when I saw a car I’d never seen before with no badges whatsoever as it made its way to the track as we pulled out. Hmmm….

With a couple hours to spare at the Detroit Airport, I contemplated the Go Further event. It was my second trip to Dearborn this year, having been in Detroit for the global reveal of the Fusion. There were fewer of us then, and a pronounced international presence. This time around, with about 250 of us who mostly seemed to be American. As a car guy, again, it was interesting to be hosted by a car company with a group of people who have nothing to do with cars. If that doesn’t make sense to you, hear me out. Ford is using social  media to promote its product, and as a fellow blogger told me, not all car buyers seek out automotive media outlets to learn about cars, and he is absolutely right.

In the span of two days Ford not only showed the technology they have now, but are fully prepared for a car market that is changing, and by all accounts Ford seems ready for it. Exhausting, yes, but extremely informative and entertaining. It was an honor to be Ford’s guest, and receive a front row seat to where the company is headed. It was a pleasure sharing the experience with you.

Ford Motor Company paid my airfare, hotel room and meals for this media event, but I was not compensated monetarily.

2012 Ford Taurus – An Tempting Excogitation of Archetypal Full-Size American Sedan

The Ford Taurus was a largely successful car back in 2005 when it was launched as the Ford 500. And that’s one reason why the Ford Taurus of the current times is a tad of niche player in the market in comparison to the segment blowing model of 1980s, which once even was the most admired car in America.

But the good thing here is that despite the fact that the car no more at the top of the charts but still the all new 2012 Ford Taurus is attractive. The major highlights or the appealing side for the system includes the likes of spacious passenger cabin and spacious trunk. Also now that the car is entering an extremely modern automotive market it also has a wide range of vanguard expediency and safety features. In addition to a minor facelift, the 2012 Ford Taurus is pretty unchanged for the model year 2012. The Taurus has enough potential to go against some of the segment leaders such as Dodge Charger, Chrysler 300, Toyota Avalon, Volkswagen Passat and Hyundai Genesis.

It you don’t like the regular Taurus you could go for the more exciting all-wheel-drive 365 bhp Taurus SHO model. The SHO Taurus is a superb alternative for the other muscular sedans such as the V8 powered editions of the Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300, but at the same time delivers fuel economy. Actually, the 2012 Taurus SHO is only as efficient as the normal Taurus. But the heavy price tag of SHO puts it in the category of luxury sport sedans such as the Infiniti G37 and Cadillac CTS.

2012 Ford Taurus

Practically, it’s the regular 2012 Ford Taurus is what most of the modern buyers will be interested in and the drastic makeover that the car has got, once again makes it a car worth considering.

What’s New for 2012 Ford Taurus?

The 2012 Ford Taurus is pretty much unchanged for the model year 2012 and gets some refreshing changes.

Body Styling and Features:

This Ford Taurus comes in a single body style of a life-size 5 passenger sedan and comes in SE, Limited, SHO and SEL trim levels.

The standard equipment list for the entry-level SE trim of the 2012 Ford Taurus includes the likes of 17 in alloy wheels, integrated blind spot mirrors, automatic headlights, keyless entry having an external access keypad, air-conditioning, cruise control, a 60/40-split-folding back seat, a 6 way power driver seat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, trip computer and a 6 speaker sound system having an auxiliary audio jack and CD player. The Sync voice-activated electronics interface having iPod and Bluetooth connectivity is elective.

The SEL trim on the other hand brings 18 in wheels, heated mirrors, steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters, upgraded cloth upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, a leather-covered shift knob and steering wheel, a compass, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, satellite radio and an outside temperature display. Some other options on the SEL trim includes the likes of 19 in wheels, a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, leather covering (packaged with a 6 way power passenger seat and heated front seats), ambient inner lighting and Sync.

All the features of the SEL trim comes standard on the Taurus Limited trim and in addition brings 8 way power front seats having driver seat memory functions and power lumbar, pierced leather upholstery, a 7 speaker upgraded stereo having a 6 CD player and a wood-trimmed steering wheel.

2012 Ford Taurus interior

The Taurus SHO brings a tad more brawny V6 engine, different steering, a sport-tuned suspension, an auto-dimming driver side mirror, xenon headlights, particular styling flourishes both out and in, a rear spoiler, exclusive leather upholstery having faux-suede inserts and keyless ignition/entry (optional on Limited and SEL). The optional equipments on SHO Performance package includes fine-tuned steering, performance brake pads, stability control defeat, a different final-drive ratio, 20 in wheels and summer tires. You could also get those wheels as stand-alone options.

Optional equipments on all the trims except for the base SE takes in power-modifiable pedals, a sunroof, “multicontour” front seats having massage and active bolsters and a 12-speaker Sony premium audio system. Optional equipments on SHO and Limited includes the likes of automatic high beams, rain-sensing wipers, a blind-spot warning system, cooled and heated front seats, a power back window shade, heated rear seats, a navigation system having a touchscreen interface and adaptive cruise control, Sirius Travel Link service (real-time weather, traffic and other information), voice controls, DVD audio, digital music storage and a single-CD player.

Under The Hood:

The 2012 Ford Taurus has a 3.5 ltr V6 engine under its hood, generating maximum power of 263 bhp and 249 lbs-ft of maximum torque. The engine here is mated with a 6 speed automatic transmission, and the standard drive here is front-wheel drive. The AWD is offered as an optional drive on the SEL and Limited trim.

2012 Ford Taurus engine

The 2012 Ford Taurus SHO on the other hand has a 3.5 ltr V6 twin-turbocharged (called “EcoBoost”) engine generating maximum power of 365 bhp and 350 lb-ft of maximum torque. The engine here is mated with 6 speed automatic transmission having shift paddles, and the standard drive here is AWD (all-wheel drive).

Safety:

The standard safety equipments for the 2012 Ford Taurus includes the traction and stability control, antilock disc brakes, side-curtain airbags, included blind spot mirrors and front-seat side-impact airbags. A rear parking sensors and rearview camera are also standard on the SHO and Limited trims and are optional on SEL. The optional equipment on the SHO and Limited are the a blind-spot warning system packed with a cross-traffic warning system, which alerts you of approaching pedestrians and cars when backing up.

Verdict:

The 2012 Ford Taurus is a tempting reinvention of the archetypal full size American sedan.

2012 Ford Taurus