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.
Ford is showing off a host of modified models at this year’s annual Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show in Las Vegas, Nevada. The massive event kicks off in just a few short weeks and the Blue Oval’s offerings run the gamut from Mustang muscle to pint-sized to performance.
Another week, another opportunity to assist a struggling motorist; that’s what Ask AutoGuide is all about. Just like populist presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan we’re here for the people. Specifically, folks like Zach, who e-mailed us asking for help picking out a compact car.
Since its founding in 1936, Consumer Reports has become the go-to source for shoppers. From new refrigerators to bottles of wine, Blue-ray players to homeowner’s insurance, if it’s on the market it’s likely the non-profit organization has scientifically tested it. Of course the consumer watchdog is probably most famous for its vehicle reliability ratings.
Ah to be young again. AutoGuide’s nationally recognized, board-certified Oracles remember their youth vividly… it was terrible. People often say age is just a number and you’re only as old as you feel, unfortunately they were born wearing elastic-waist jeans and Science Olympiad fanny packs. Gingivitis arrived when they were in middle school.
Ford is rolling four key vehicle segments – subcompact, compact, small utility vehicles, and midsize sedans – into one, naming it the super segment.
Those anxiously awaiting for Ford‘s first electric car will be pleased to know the American automaker hopes to have its EV available nationwide by the end of this year.
The Focus Electric will launch in California, New York, and New Jersey first and later this summer we will see it expand to 14 other states including Texas, Washington, and Virginia. According to Ford, there will be four phases of rollout in total with the third phase opening up another nine states including Hawaii, New Mexico, and Ohio. The final phase will bring the new EV to the rest of America to enjoy emissions-free driving.
Only select dealerships will have the Focus Electric on hand initially, as the American automaker requires each dealer to have at least two onsite charging stations as well as highly-specialized training, and one Focus Electric in stock at all times for demonstration purposes.
Priced from $39,200, the Focus Electric packs 143-hp with a 23 kWh lithium-ion battery and is currently America’s most fuel-efficient, five-passenger vehicle with a 110 MPGe rating in the city. Ford also likes to brag that its Focus can be charged in nearly half the time of its competitor, the Nissan Leaf.
“Ford is giving customers the power of choice for leading fuel economy regardless of what type of vehicle or powertrain technology they choose,” said Eric Kuehn, chief nameplate engineer, Focus Electric.
Ford Focus Electric Launch Map
Ford recently announced the EPA fuel efficiency rating for its electric Focus model. Since it doesn’t burn any gasoline, the number isn’t in miles per gallon (MPG), but was given as miles per gallon gasoline equivalent, or MPGe. A new term to the automotive lexicon, it’s worth exploring exactly what MPGe means and how an MPGe rating is determined, especially as the number of electric cars and plug-in electric hybrids on the roads continues to increase.
Powered by a 23kWh-capacity lithium ion battery, the Focus Electric has its battery temperature managed by a liquid-cooling system and is 25 to 30 percent smaller and 50 percent lighter than a standard nickel-metal hydride battery. Ford claims that the Focus Electric can be charged in four hours while connected to a 240-volt source.
The front-wheel drive EV has an electric motor with 141-hp and can get around 110-MPGe in the city and 99-MPGe on the highway. The EPA estimates that the Focus Electric will get up to 76 miles on a single charge, giving it a slight three mile advantage over the Nissan Leaf.
But the technology in the Focus Electric is what has people buzzing. It will come equipped with an updated version of the MyFord Touch instrument cluster that is easily paired to the MyFord Mobile app that is available for iOS, Android, and BlackBerry devices. Users will be able to remotely view their vehicle’s current battery state, percentage of capacity, and estimated driving range. In addition, the app will allow owners to schedule charging for later or even tell the system to immediately charge. Best yet, there is a fail safe built into the app to inform owners if the car isn’t charging when it’s supposed to be or is unplugged for some strange reason.
Think that’s cool enough? There’s more. The app will lock and unlock the Focus Electric’s doors, start the climate control system, and awards achievements based on how green-friendly the driver drives.
Future owners of the Focus Electric that want a 240-volt charging station in their home will have to shell out an additional $1,499 and can order one through their local Best Buy store.
Ford began production on its Focus Electric back in December 2011 and will begin appearing at dealerships in the first half of 2012 in select states (California, New York, and New Jersey). The American automaker hopes to have it in 19 markets across the U.S. before the end of 2012. The $39,200 MSRP does not include the $795 destination charge.
Ford Motor Company has announced a recall of 140,310 model-year 2012 Ford Focus vehicles built through Oct. 18 in the Wayne, Michigan Assembly plant over a potential windshield wiper defect.
According to Ford, a seal plug on the passenger side windshield wiper motor electrical connector may be missing, causing water to fall into the motor and a short in the unit.
Ford’s recall entails the installation of a redesigned seal plug and dealers will re-coat grease for electrical connectors to ensure wipers are protected and functioning.
Ford told dealers to begin the recall on Tuesday and notified affected owners on Friday.
A recall issued today could potentially affect 10,000 Ford Focus models. Gabriel, a company that provides ReadyMount suspension assemblies says that its set up for 2000-2005 Ford Focus models did not include a necessary washer.
This omission can cause the suspension assembly to fall apart, resulting in an injury while being installed. Additionally, if the part is already installed, drivers may notice rattling, or rubbing noises from their front suspension. If the front assembly comes apart while in use on the vehicle, a collision can occur.
None of the Gabriel ReadyMount assemblies were used as original equipment, they were used strictly as replacement parts. The defect was first noticed in a Midas, so if you’ve had any front suspension work done on your vehicle, take a close look at this recall.
Contact Ride Control at 1-800-999-3903 for more information on the ReadyMount assembly, and NHTSA at 1-888-327-4236 for more information about vehicle safety recalls.
We may have just got the new Ford Focus (seen above), but it’s already time to start thinking about the beefed up RS version.
Rumors are swirling about Ford ditching the Volvo derived 2.5L, five-cylinder engine and going with a 2.3L four-cylinder with a turbo. The new engine will likely be more efficient, but no word on if it’ll be called an EcoBoost. All this could amount to power somewhere in the range of 320 horsepower. That may seem like a lot for a front wheel drive car, but Fords RevoKnuckle front suspension is likely to be thrown in to help deal with torque-steer.
Other rumors that are being tossed around as that the car is coming as a five-door, instead of the previous three-door version and that the engine being used in this Focus might also be making its way into a Ford Mustang.
Regardless, if any or all of these factors come true, the Focus RS could be one heck of a car.
[Source: Top Gear]