AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Brain, it's What's for Dinner
Ok, so the worst just happened, like something totally NOT GOOD. Perhaps a natural disaster has devastated your country; maybe a virulent disease or food-borne illness is spreading throughout the population; conceivably even the hand of God has reached down from on high and caused an outright nuclear meltdown. Whatever the reason, things are seriously jacked.
Ford is rolling four key vehicle segments – subcompact, compact, small utility vehicles, and midsize sedans – into one, naming it the super segment.
Driving a Ford Explorer Sideways has Never Been So Educational
“First thing I do when I get in my car is turn off the stability control and traction control”.
Many of us have heard someone, at some point, utter this. Or maybe we ourselves are the guilty party. When asked why it was turned it off, the typical response is along the lines of “’cause I’m a real driver,” or, “it gets in the way of driving”.
10. Ford Escape - 261,008 Units Sold
2012 was the best-selling year for automakers since 2007, marking the third year in a row that sales have increased. So now is a great time to look back at the best-selling vehicles from last year.
Coming in 10th place with 261,008 units sold is the Ford Escape which was updated for the 2013 model year. Earlier last year, AutoGuide.com had the opportunity to review the 2013 Ford Escape and we came away surprised by its sleek new look, engine selection, and its great handling. It wasn’t without its cons, but overall the crossover delivered a vastly improved driving experience.
SEE ALSO: 2013 Ford Escape Review – Video
10. 2013 Ford Escape Review
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As 2012 comes to an end, AutoGuide has decided to take a look back at the most watched videos from our collection.
SEE ALSO: 2013 Ford Escape Review – Video
Kicking off the top 10 list is the 2013 Ford Escape video review, where Editor-in-Chief Colum Wood puts the new crossover to the test, admiring its sleek new looks and its handling.
As 2012 comes to an end, it’s always interesting to see what vehicles were most popular on everyone’s research list for the year.
Earlier this month, the Center for Automotive Safety (CAS) filed a petition with NHTSA regarding the Ford Escape’s unintended acceleration issue and now the safety group is calling for the American automaker to be fined.
If you saw the answer to this question in person, volume measurement probably wouldn’t make the short list of answers: What could 56,778 pingpong balls possibly be doing in a single Ford Escape?
As part of the American automaker’s ‘One Ford’ plan of ensuring North American models are nearly identical to its European counterparts, the changes to the 2013 Ford Escape are being welcomed with open arms.
Ford announced that it has almost 8,000 orders for its new Escape that will be hitting showrooms late next month with a starting price of $23,295, about $200 cheaper than its predecessor. But the base model isn’t even what the consumers are interested in. Half the orders for the new Ford Escape are for the higher trim levels: the new Titanium and the SEL which starts at $28,695. That falls in line with our recent report that average new car sales reached an all-time high of $30,748.
Powered by either a 1.6- or 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine, the Escape combines performance (thanks to a turbocharger) with fuel efficiency. The previous 2.5L four-cylinder is also being carried over, but it’s expected that most buyers will opt for the new EcoBoost offerings.
GALLERY: 2013 Ford Escape
[Source: Detroit Free Press]
Ford has just announced the 2013 Escape will get an official tow rating of 3,500 lbs., which makes it best-in-class out of all small turbocharged SUVs – an rather obscure statistic.
The Escape used to be powered by a 3.0L V6, and carried a 3,500 lbs. tow rating, same as the new Escape. Now with Ford’s 2.0L Ecoboost, the engine is downsized to provide better fuel economy and still give Escape owners 3,500lbs. of towing capability. The 2.0L Ecoboost makes 237 hp and 250 lb-ft of torque, and is mated to a six speed automatic transmission.
“Smaller-displacement engines have a fundamental efficiency advantage,” said Roger Maynard, Powertrain supervisor for the 2013 Ford Escape.
The Volkswagen Tiguan, Kia Sportage and Acura RDX are the closest competitors to the Escape (all being either turbocharged or offering turbo versions), but all fall short by at least 1,300 lbs. worth of towing capability.
Ford has ditched the Escape’s more traditional SUV styling, overhauling the compact crossover for the 2013 model year. The North American market will now finally be treated to styling more in line with Europe’s Kuga crossover, proving that Ford is focusing on its One Ford plan of ensuring products offered in North America are nearly identical to their European counterparts.
The 2013 Ford Escape clearly takes a page out of the successful Focus design book and while some may or may not love it, we’re greeting the departure from typical SUV styling with open arms. Ford also announced what will be powering the 2013 Escape, offering a 2.5L four-cylinder with 168-hp and 167 lb-ft of torque as standard. An all-new 1.6L EcoBoost four-cylinder can also be had with 173-hp and 177 lb-ft of torque while the top-of-the-line model will be powered by a 2.0L EcoBoost with 237-hp and 250 lb-ft of torque.
All three engines are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, while Ford boasted that the 2.0L is capable of towing up to 3,500-lbs. Official EPA numbers or estimates haven’t been released yet, but Ford claims that the new Escape is up to five gallons more efficient than the previous model, dependent on the engine of course. An AWD option is also available for those who just don’t dig a FWD SUV.
New technology on the inside include the newly revamped MyFord Touch system along with active park assist and hands-free liftgate system.
GALLERY: 2013 Ford Escape
A group of green car enthusiasts are looking to set a Guinness World Record in Madison, Wisconsin on Sunday, July 24 for the longest hybrid vehicle parade. The event know as Hybrids On Parade, will allow hybrid owners from throughout the Midwest to converge in Madison with 500 hybrids stretching over six miles to break the record. A previous record was set in Belgium in 2010 with a 140 hybrid car parade.
“It’s well known Madison has a green streak,” says Smart Motors HOP organizer, Paul Cooley. “So it only makes sense that we also hold a world record associated with the technology.”
Only the first 500 entrants will be accepted to the parade which will be made up entirely of everything from the Prius and Camry Hybrid (Smart Motors is a Toyota dealer) to the Volt, Fusion Hybrid and Civic Hybrid and more.
“The features of hybrid vehicles really lend it to a parade situation,” says Allen Foster, vice president and general manager at Smart Motors. Even with 500 vehicles traveling over 6.2 miles the end result is that they stay in electric mode for all of, or nearly all of the parade.”
Those looking to register or find our more info can visit Hybrids on Parade here.
Ford is planning to blitz the auto-market for the first quarter of 2012. According to a source inside Ford, no less than eight all-new or refreshed models will start production for Q1.
Ford’s largest project is the all-new midsize Fusion/Mondeo, which is currently scheduled to start production in January. Ford hopes for a 50-percent sales improvement for the Fusion in North America, which may help it exceed the 30,000 units per-month sales mark. With a new Fusion comes a new Fusion Hybrid and Ford is targeting an impressive 47 to 48-mpg rating in the city.
Also coming is a new Escape, which is being replaced by the Ford Vertrek Concept, with production out of the Louisville, Kentucky plant. The C-Max Hybrid will also begin production later this year.
The 2013 Taurus, which debuted back at the New York Auto Show in April with a face lift and new base 4-cylinder engine, will also launch during the first quarter of 2012. The Ford Flex, Lincoln MKS and MKT will also gain face-lifts during the Q1 for a more modern look.
Ford will re-ignite the hot hatch segment in Q1 with a new Focus ST that will feature a 247-hp 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine.
Both the Ford Taurus Police Interceptor and and Explorer “PI” will replace the Crown Victoria and the Lincoln MKT Town Car will replace the Lincoln Town Car.
Europe will gain the all-new B-Max and South America will gain the EcoSport. The B-Max will come equipped with the highly anticipated turbocharged 1.0-liter 3-cylinder EcoBoost engine.
By the end of 2012, the oldest vehicles in the Ford lineup will be the Ford Edge and the Lincoln MKX, which recently underwent major overhauls themselves
[Source: Ford Inside News]
First increase since 2007 a sign that Ford is on the right track
With the current state of affairs in the auto industry, smaller than expected losses have been cause to celebrate, so imagine the party the folks over at Ford must be having right now as the company announced today that it actually posted a sales gain.
Last month Ford’s 10 percent loss was seen as a sign that Ford is on the right track and that the economy might just be recovering. This month the American automaker posted a two percent increase compared to the same month a year earlier. But that number doesn’t even tell the whole story as retail sales were actually up nine percent. Less impressive fleet sales (notorious for low profit margins) curbed that number down to two percent.
As a sign that Ford is not only fighting off this recession, but that the automaker is actually producing products that consumers want to buy, this sales gain is the first since November 2007.
Ford’s sales and marketing VP Ken Czubay credited the company’s fuel-efficient vehicles, combined with the government’s Cash-for-Clunkers program for the positive results. “We had another strong month in progress before the ‘Cash for Clunkers’ program started,” he said. “Our products, our dealers and our advance preparation enabled us to leverage the program and drive traffic and sales to another level. In addition, we achieved a sales increase even though we decreased incentive spending in an increasingly competitive environment.”
Particularly successful models for Ford included the Fusion, Escape, Ranger and Flex. Fusion sales were up 66 percent; Escape sales were up 94 percent; while Ranger and Flex sales were both up 65 percent over a year ago. In addition Ford saw a drastic increase in the number of customers opting for hybrids, with Ford’s hybrid lineup (including the Fusion, Milan, Escape and Mariner) posting an increase of 323 percent.
Official release after the jump:
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]