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Targeting European buyers that want even more than what’s offered by today’s range-topping Fords, the Blue Oval will reveal a new sub-brand at next week’s Frankfurt Motor Show.
Traction is important; it’s the difference between moving forward and sitting still. Without any friction between your vehicle’s tires and the road surface you’d never make it to work in the morning, let alone to that Grand Funk Railroad concert on Saturday night.
Ford is experiencing tremendous success with its new Vista Roof option, a large panoramic sunroof available on their crossover vehicles. Take rates for the inexpensive roof option are climbing as consumers opt for more airiness and light bathed cabins.
Both the Ford Explorer and Flex are popular models featuring the Vista Roof. Almost half of Explorer buyers are opting for the $1,595 Vista Roof, despite Ford expecting a take rate of just 30-35 percent when first introduced. With Edge buyers, 56 percent are choosing the roof and 32 percent of Flex buyers opt for it as well. The Vista Roof’s success in SUVs and crossovers is due to their large interiors that can at once feel claustrophobic for rear passengers but also offer the extra space to best accommodate the headroom-snatching glasswork and mechanism.
Interestingly, there is some degree of regionality to the roof demand. Customers in hot, sunny markets are somewhat less inclined to purchase the option. However U.S coastal regions select the panoramic roof at a near 60 percent rate. Ford has attributed this success to customers desiring more open structures and having more light available. Ford’s success with the panoramic roof only betters its bottom line. One supplier said that the American automaker could be profiting 25 percent or better on the approximately $1,500 average cost.
[Source: Edmunds Auto Observer]
Ford recently announced that the four-cylinder Ecoboost powered Edge achieves 21 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway with the Ecoboost option, an improvement over the 3.5-liter V6 which gets 19 mpg city and 27 highway.
The turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder produces 240-hp and 270 lb-ft of torque, down 45-hp from the V6 model, but up 17 lb-ft. The Ecoboost engine will be mated to a unique six-speed automatic transmission and the vehicle also features active grille shutters that close at higher speeds to improve aerodynamics. Pricing has not been finalized, but the EcoBoost costs $995 above the 3.5-liter V6 on the Explorer, and the same numbers are expected to carryover for Edge pricing.
Turbocharged four-banger could replace standard V6 engine in Mustang, F-150
Ford has just confirmed that it will bring an EcoBoost 4-cylinder engine to marker starting next year. The new engine will be a 2.0-liter gasoline four-cylinder and use a turbocharger to deliver at least 230hp and 240 ft-lbs of torque.
Much in the way that the 365-hp EcoBoost V6 delivers V8 power with V6 duel-economy, the EcoBoost four is designed to deliver V6 power with four-cylinder fuel-economy. Ford says it should deliver a 10 to 20 percent fuel-economy improvement over a similarly powerful V6 engine.
Ford will no doubt begin to use this new EcoBoost four as a replacement for many of its V6 engines in models like the Fusion, Edge and Escape/Mariner. There is the possibility that we could see the turbo-four replace the base V6 powerplants in models like the Mustang and F-150. Some rumors, however, have indicated that the Mustang could use the 3.7-liter V6 from the Lincoln MKS.
As with the current EcoBoost V6, Ford seems dedicated to using the new engines in higher-end trim levels of cars, such as with the SHO or the EcoBoost version of the Flex. That being said, there is potential that this new EcoBoost four could see its way in to a sporty version of the Focus.
Even smaller displacement (1.0- to 1.6-liter) EcoBoost engines are expected to follow for use in the Focus and the upcoming Fiesta, as Ford has its eye on becoming a bigger player in the high-volume sub-compact segment.
By 2010 Ford says it will have improve the fuel-economy of its vehicles by 20 percent as compared to 2005, with a goal of a 35 percent improvement by 2015.
[Source: Car & Driver]