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Strategic Vision has announced the winners of its 2013 Total Quality Index (TQI), with American automakers reinstating their position in some very competitive segments.
America’s most popular vehicle hasn’t gone unnoticed at the 2011 SEMA show, as Ford brought out a few customized concepts showing what tuners can do with the Ford F-Series pickup trucks.
First up is the 2011 Ford F-350 Super Duty by Superlift Suspensions, a show vehicle prepped in collaboration with Matchbox. Painted in an outrageous shade of orange, the truck features a 10-inch lift kit, 41 inch Interco IROK tires and all kinds of emergency lights, brush bars and other gear designed to resemble a Matchbox die-cast emergency vehicle. The truck is absolutely massive in a way that photographs simply can’t capture, but the effect is stunning.
Hulst Customs also showed off an F-350 Super Duty, though the aesthetic is very different from the Matchbox vehicle. Clad in a glossy black paint scheme with a silver hood and a custom stainless steel grille, the Hulst truck barely scrapes the ground, and is focused more on luxury than utility. Rear suicide doors with a Scissor Doors hinge kit allow access to an opulent, leather-and-wood lined interior while the gigantic alloys show that this truck is staying on the pavement at all times.
Also on display was an F-650 customized by Mobsteel, dubbed the “Hollow Point”. Said to be “a huge dose of pure gangster attitude”, the Hollow Point rides on 24″ rims and features a Caterpillar C7 engine and a 6-speed Allison transmission. PPG paint and a 2600 watt JL Audio System round out the whole package.
Gallery: Ford F-Series
Plug-in technology aren’t just the darling of shoe-shaped hybrids anymore. Ford’s F-Series heavy-duty trucks are getting the chance to ride the lightning, and it could mean sweeping changes in the commercial truck segment.
Don’t look for this on the popular F-150 yet, however. Think bigger. The commercial F-550 Super Duty will get the first plug-in technology from supplier Azure Dynamics, which is targeting a 2013 release date. The F-450 and F-350 Super Duties will be next.
“As interest in alternative energy products continues to grow, consumers are looking for more powertrain options that are both environmentally friendly and fit their driving needs,” said Rob Stevens, a Ford engineer. “The flexibility of our vehicle platforms and chassis allows Ford to develop our own alternative fuel products or work with partners, like Azure Dynamics, to deliver consumers with the power of choice when purchasing a greener, more fuel efficient vehicle.”
Previously, Azure worked with Ford to electrify the Transit Connect and Econoline. A commercial plug-in F-Series would target a market of 100,000 vehicles per year, and the conversion will be aimed at larger commercial fleets that will eventually trickle down to regional sales. Currently, the F-550 is available with a compressed natural-gas variant, as well as the usual array of diesel and gasoline engines.
Ford is recalling both the Edge crossover and the Lincoln MKX luxury crossover due to an electrical short that could lead to a fire. The vehicles were built during a 6 day window, and also includes certain Ford F-Series trucks.
Dealers will inspect a component known as the body control module, and replace it if necessary. The recall will begin on January 10, 2011 and owners can contact Ford at 1-866-436-7332.
Hit the jump to read the official press release
The “bro truck” is a distinctly local phenomenon, common in the Southwestern United States, where a stereotypical bro drives a souped-up pickup, usually with an enormous and inappropriate lift kit. Ever concious of this important demographic, Ford made sure to bring some outrageous F-Series concepts to SEMA, in the hopes of capturing the all-important flat-bill baseball cap crowd.
This year, Ford is also highlighting their 6-cylinder Ecoboost powertrain option with two concept trucks, the Godfather Customs F-150 and an F-150 put together by an imaginatively named outlet called “The Custom Shop”. While they don’t quite fit the “bro truck” model, they do look like vehicles that those with discerning taste would avoid…making them perfect for SEMA!
Gallery: Mickey Thompson F-150
Gallery: F150 Custom Shop
Gallery:F-Series Super Duty Skyjacker Suspensions
Gallery: Ford F-350 Super Duty by Cars by Kris and Airhead Kustoms
Hit the jump to check out the official press release