And the award for the blandest, most unimaginative concept at the 2013 Shanghai Motor Show goes to… The Ford Escort concept! Designed to appeal to Chinese buyers looking for a family car which is, in Ford’s words; “stylish – but not one that is arrogant or pretentious”. What they’ve ended up with is really just a blob of car. It’s definitely not arrogant or pretentious, but neither is it stylish.
But in all fairness Ford knows that. And they probably don’t care. They know that any production model based on the Escort concept will be bought by the type of person who views the car buying process much as the average man views the washing machine buying process. As a neccessary but boring event which must be got out of the way so life can resume as normal.
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The Ford SVT Raptor is already one of the most, if not the most, capable off-the-shelf production pickup trucks in the world. But if its 411 horsepower, fancy suspension system and numerous other off-road performance items just doesn’t make the grade. Then A, you’re clearly very hard to please. And B, you need to contact Shelby American.
Shelby take the already over-the-top SVT Raptor, and add a massive supercharger to the 6.2 litre V8 engine, bolt on a performance exhaust system, and all of a sudden there’s 575 horsepower being channeled to all four wheels through the vehicle’s six-speed automatic transmission.
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Ford’s big surprise at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show was, well… Big. It was a full-size pickup concept called the Atlas which is designed provide a hint of what the company’s next generation of pickups might look like. Aside from previewing the next F150′s styling, the Atlas concept also showcases a few of Ford’s most recent fuel-saving technologies.
“The Ford Atlas Concept previews the innovations that will transform what people expect from their pickup,” said Raj Nair, Ford group vice president, Global Product Development. “With 36 years as America’s best-selling pickup, we are absolutely committed to setting the agenda in the truck market.”
The rugged exterior design of the Ford Atlas Concept is intended to reinforce the company’s “Built Ford Tough” tagline. Multiple aspects of the concept are also designed to enhance the truck’s functionality and practicality. For example, a number of tie-down points are integrated within the cargo box walls and load floor, along with 110-volt electrical outlets in the cargo box to charge power tools. An integrated roof carrying system and hidden extendable ramps provide added help when needed. While a 360-degree point-of-view camera system gives the driver a bird’s-eye view of the truck to help with maneuvering in tight spaces.
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Galpin Auto Sports, the southern California-based automobile customising company, have just announced that they’re working on a Ford GT-based supercar. The idea is to create something that carries on the spirit of the GT, since Ford has decided not to develop a successor after axing it six years ago.
The Galpin GTR-1 is based on the Ford GT. However it’s not just got a new name and some new badges. Each car is hand built to customer specifications, and that includes the choice of a carbon fiber or aluminium body. Upgrades will be made to the suspension and drivetrain, and that’s in order to cope with the “more than 1,000 horsepower” Galpin intend to coax out the GT’s V8 engine.
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At the 2012 SEMA show the Ford Mustang has been well represented, with numerous tuners showing-off what they can do to make the ‘stang faster, more agile and in some cases just visually different. The Ringbrothers from Spring Green, Wisconsin, have chosen to combine all three and created a thoroughly re-engineered and upgraded version of the Mustang GT. Called the Mustang Switchback, the car has been given numerous upgrades to both the drivetrain and chassis, as well as a carbon fiber body kit with revised aerodynamics.
The 5.0 litre V8 engine has been treated to a ProCharger supercharger and intercooler, as well as Flowmaster headers and cat-back dual exhaust. Channeling the power from the 6-speed automatic transmission to the Moser Ford 9″ rear end is an upgraded driveshaft from the Driveshaft Shop. Sadly there aren’t any performance numbers to go along with the list of new parts.
Chassis tweaks for the Mustang Switchback include a BMR suspension kit, and greater stopping power comes courtesy of a Baer Brakes kit with 6-piston calipers coupled with drilled and slotted rotors.
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According to the urban dictionary, a troller is someone who intentionally insults others or seeks arguments online and hides behind anonymity. There’s also something about fishing too. But there’s a third troller, and that is the Brazilian 4×4 company Troller. Since 2007 Troller have been under Ford ownership, and at this year’s Sao Paulo Motor Show the company chose to unveil its first new vehicle since the partnership.
The Troller TR-X Concept was developed in Ford Brazil’s Design Center. Its exaggerated muscular shape and rugged appearance places it somewhere between the Toyota FJ Cruiser and Jeep Wrangler in terms of style. Although quite how well those plastic bumpers and scuff-plates would hold up on a real off-road excursion remains to be seen.
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Inside Line have put their digital artists to work in an effort to predict the styling of the 2015 Ford Mustang. The car’s lines are influenced by any and every scrap of solid information available on the new Mustang. Whatever happens, when the new Mustang goes on sale it will be released in markets around the world, instead of being tailored exclusively to North American tastes.
That means the car will more than likely shrink a little in size, it’ll definitely shed more than a couple of pounds of bulk, and the drivetrain options are likely to increase – possibly to incorporate a turbocharged four-cylinder. Ford are also likely to finally fit the Mustang with independent rear suspension, something which is more or less a must-have for any serious European sports car buyer.
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Ford’s SVT (Special Vehicle Team) department has been churning out high-performance vehicles for 20 years now. And to celebrate that milestone they’ve put together an anniversary model in the form of the 2013 Ford Shelby GT500 Convertible.
The 2013 Ford Shelby GT500 Convertible is powered by the same supercharged 5.8 litre V8 found in the GT500 Coupe. That means it offers the windswept driver 650 horsepower and 600 lb-ft of torque. However unlike the coupe, the top speed isn’t 200mph. Due to the less streamlined aerodynamics of the convertible roofline, the speed has been electronically capped at 155 mph.
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The 2013 Ford Fusion has made its world debut today at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show. As you can clearly see from the photos, Ford have decided that it is in fact possible to design a handsome-looking mid-size sedan for the American market. They’ve used the gorgeous Ford Evos concept as a template for the Fusion’s styling, and while it might not be as good looking as the concept, it’s managed to retain some of the nicer features. Up front is a hexagonal grille which might have the boys at Aston Martin feeling a bit cheated, but as it suits the car so well you can understand why Ford decided to go with it.
On the whole, the 2013 Ford Fusion isn’t ground breaking in terms of styling, but it does have the look of a car which was designed with a bit of love and attention to detail. Not hastily concocted by accountants armed with rulers and set squares. But it’s the technology and drivetrain options where Ford really took their time to come up with something to keep the competition on their toes.
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Galpin Auto Sports have constructed a one-off widebody Ford Mustang which will be sold off at the annual Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, AZ, this January. The car’s construction was financed by SPX Corporation, a fortune 500 company, and all the proceeds will be donated to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, TN.
The Galpin Auto Sports Widebody Ford Mustang is powered by a fettled and massaged 5.0 litre V8 which now produces 700 horsepower thanks to a Ford Racing supercharger and Bassani Performance exhaust system. Unfortunately the sweet mechanical whine of the supercharger and throaty roar of the exhaust will probably lose the decibel war with the 1000-Watt JL Audio system.
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