Monday, December 10, 2012

All-Electric Road Trip

Focus Electric owner honors historic drive—and showcases the possibilities of current EV technology

When a young engineer named Roy Chapin completed the first-ever drive from Detroit to New York City in 1901, he showed the world that the automobile—then a fledgling machine—could be used for more than jaunts around town. In summer 2012, University of Illinois engineering professor Ty Newell retraced that historic road trip in his gas-free Focus Electric to bring similar attention to the cross-country capabilities of Electric Vehicles.

Newell, 60, and his wife, Debra, picked up their Focus Electric in Wantagh, N.Y. on July 3. The couple ventured westward in a reverse version of Chapin’s route, traveling through the state of New York and across Canada to Detroit, before ultimately returning home to Urbana, Ill. The Newells' trip spanned 1,650 miles, and their use of the MyFord Mobile app and websites such as steered them to battery charging stations along the way.

“We wanted to show that electric vehicles are not restricted,” says Newell, who not only teaches resource conservation but also lives it. (His self-constructed home is completely solar-powered.)

The 76-mile driving range and four-hour charge time (using a 240-volt charging station) of Focus Electric helped attract Newell to the car. Along with, of course, the fuel savings. “It’s one of the best performing cars I’ve driven,” Newell says. “And it’s oil-free. To me, that says it all.”

The trip’s many highlights included a stop at the former location of Thomas Edison’s first power plant and a renewal of the couple’s wedding vows at the camp where they first met. The Newells also received a tour of the Ford Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Mich., where Automotive Hall of Fame President Bill Chapin, Roy Chapin’s grandson, greeted them.

Although the ride back in 1901 predated gas pumps and paved roads, Bill Chapin notes similarities between that trip and Ty Newell’s. “My grandfather’s journey, like Ty’s, was larger than the trip itself,” he says. Plus, neither made a single gas station stop.

Source: Ford

How Does Ford Come Up With Vehicle Names?

A Mustang by any other name might drive as sweet, but it’s hard to imagine feeling quite as cool in, say, a Ford Moose. There’s magic behind a car’s moniker, as Rick Novak, Ford global cross vehicle marketing strategy manager, explains.

Several key members of our global-marketing team, our advertising agency team and Ford senior management work together on the naming process. The brainstorming sessions can be a lot of fun! We do it not just for Ford vehicles but also for new technologies, such as SYNC® with MyFord Touch®.

We go through several rounds of reviews, including one with customers. Our customers today are globally connected, so we want to ensure that the name has global appeal. Fiesta and SYNC are two recent examples of names that went through this global process.

We want the name to be easy to say and understand, and we want it to communicate the right message. For example, the name Explorer conveys a “can do” attitude: It communicates that the vehicle is fully capable of handling whatever you throw at it. And the name EcoBoost™ says it is a smart innovation that gives the customer the perfect “and” solution—power plus fuel economy.

The bottom line: A name is only as good as the product and features behind it. The name helps deliver the right message, but in the end it’s the product that makes the name a success or turns the vehicle into an icon.

Source: Ford

Police Presence

1919 Converted Model T police transport truck

A look back at Ford vehicles that have worked the highway patrol

For over a century, the men and women in blue have been stationed behind the wheel of Ford vehicles. Nearly every showroom model—from long-bodied Country Sedans and Galaxie Mainliners to the rugged Explorer and high-speed Mustang of today—has at one time served as a member of police forces at home or abroad, and according to company archives, 58% of police vehicles patrolling the U.S. and Canada were carrying the Blue Oval by 1961. None is more memorable than the Crown Victoria, which accounted for 75% of police sales in 1998. Here are a few highlights from this distinguished record of service.


Early Ford retail models are first modified for police use.


Converted Model T police transport truck


First official Ford police package is unveiled


A total of 26 Ford vehicles can be refit for police use.


The Crown Victoria becomes its own consumer model.


Police Interceptor concept makes its debut on the auto show circuit


Next-generation Sedan and Utility Police Interceptor


Release of the F-150 XL Special Service Vehicle

Source: Ford

2013 Ford Flex Featured in Video Series Defining Suburban Driving

What do the terms Flex Factor, Trunk Tetris and Bizzaro Husband have in common? They are all part of the newly penned Suburban Dictionary, featuring the 2013 Ford Flex.

The Suburban Dictionary, authored by bestselling author Christian Lander (Stuff White People Like), is the definitive source for terms that describe the moments and things that only seem to become part of your life after you hit the other side of 30 and ditch the city for suburban life.

Lander, working with Ford, has also produced a series of videos to show you the daily troubles of the average suburban driver. For more information about how the features in a Ford Flex can help you survive life in the suburbs, click here.

“At the heart of the project is gentle poking fun of a generation that never expected to get older,” said Lander. “But while we all lament our bodies not bouncing back from a night out or a carb-laden dinner, we're also finding out that the aging process isn't all bad. When I was twenty two, I used to lay on my futon thinking that nothing would be worse than having to live in the suburbs. Now that I'm thirty three, I can't think of anything worse than having to sleep on a futon.”

In the Suburban Dictionary video series, Lander utilizes the vehicle to battle through the daily tasks of the average suburbanite: going out to dinner on a weekend, packing your car to the brim and more. The one thing that he has up on the competition, however, is the Flex.

The 2013 Ford Flex represents the perfect suburban family vehicle in the video series. It is a seven-passenger kid-hauling machine. It has the style and attitude that parents and drivers who need a large utility but want to make a statement desire. Stacked with available features like active-park assist, MyFord Touch®, navigation and an in-car refrigerator, the Flex fills the needs of every member of the household.

The Suburban Dictionary lives on the Ford Flex Facebook page and is fed by humorous definitions created by both Lander and the Ford Facebook community.

Source: Ford

Evolution of Ford Vans

Click Here to see the video.

Source: Ford

2014 Ford Transit Vans

2014 Ford Transit with medium roof and long wheelbase in Ingot Silver Metallic. Coming fall 2013. Preproduction model shown.

Source: Ford

2014 Ford Transit Connect

Multi-purpose for the multi-you.

The all-new multi-purpose 2014 Transit Connect** is ready for anything. Short- and long-wheelbase versions offer generous room for passengers and cargo.

Just the Right Fit for Your Business Plan

The new Ford Transit Connect can be configured to fit perfectly into anyone’s business plan. It’s durable and capable, maneuverable and efficient, with a modern design that projects a professional image for your company. Coming to the North American International Auto Show, January 2013.

Source: Ford

2014 Ford Fiesta

Recently, the world got a glimpse into the future when the 2014 Fiesta was revealed. Sporty and spirited yet remarkably efficient, Fiesta offers available leather-trimmed and heated front seats, plus available SYNC® with MyFord Touch® technology,* now with a 6.5-inch color touch screen and available voice-activated navigation. Fiesta ST clicks up the cool quotient with a 1.6L EcoBoost® I-4 engine, 6-speed manual transmission, unique sport suspension, available ST RECARO® Package and more. Coming spring 2013.

Source: Ford

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Limited-Production Continental Mark II

The Ford retractable roof was originally developed for the limited-production Continental Mark II. With the price of the Mark II already so high, Ford decided against adding the retractable roof feature, as it would further inflate the price of a car that was already outlandishly expensive for its time. With an estimated $2 million already invested towards its development, Ford decided to apply the expensive new technology to their more affordable Fairlane model, giving birth to the 'Skyliner.' The promise of higher-volume production did a better job of amortizing the costs, and improved feasibility.

This Skyliner has been in the same family/friends since the mid-1960s, traded between brothers, and a 20-year stint of ownership by a close family in Canada. In 2006 the car, which had been totally disassembled since the early 1980s, was re-purchased by the Schmidt family and carried to Hill's Automotive for a concours restoration, completed late in 2007.

Source: Internet

1958 Skyliner Retractable Convertible

This 1958 Ford Fairlane 500, Skyliner Retractable Convertible was purchased by the present owner in 1972, when he was sixteen years old. The purchase price at that time was $200 and a used shotgun was worth about $50.

Ford produced the Skyliner Retractable Convertible for three years - 1957, 1958, and 1959. It was the most expensive vehicle offered by Ford. The 1958 Skyliner sold for $3,163 while the standard convertible sold for $2,650 and the send went for $2,055. A total of 14,713 units were produced in 1958. The 4,609-pound car is powered by a 300-horsepower 352 cubic inch, V-8 engine.

The car has undergone a complete restoration by RM Restoration in Ontario, Canada.

Source: Internet

1958 Skyliner Retractable Convertible

This 1958 Ford Fairlane 500, Skyliner Retractable Convertible was purchased by the present owner in 1972, when he was sixteen years old. The purchase price at that time was $200 and a used shotgun was worth about $50.

Ford produced the Skyliner Retractable Convertible for three years - 1957, 1958, and 1959. It was the most expensive vehicle offered by Ford. The 1958 Skyliner sold for $3,163 while the standard convertible sold for $2,650 and the send went for $2,055. A total of 14,713 units were produced in 1958. The 4,609-pound car is powered by a 300-horsepower 352 cubic inch, V-8 engine.

The car has undergone a complete restoration by RM Restoration in Ontario, Canada.

Source: Internet

1953 Ford Sunliner

Sunliner Convertible

Chassis Num: B3LC-124499

Sold for $44,000 at 2012 RM Auctions.

For 1953, Ford produced 2,001 Sunliner Indianapolis Pace Cars of which 25 are known to the Pace Society Register. Pace cars had been a tradition at the Indy 500 since the first 500-mile race in 1911. William Clay Ford was invited to drive the 1953 Ford Indy 500 Pace Car, accompanied by multiple Indy 500 winner Wilbur Shaw. At the post-race banquet, winner Bill Vukovich was awarded a Pace Car replica. The original example is housed in the Henry Ford Museum.

The special edition 1953 Ford Pace Cars were given special trim and can be identified by their data plates, which list 'SS' for both color and trim. All were built between February 18th and May 5th of 1953.

This example was built in Long Beach, California on April 25th of 1953. It is painted White Sungate Ivory, with a gold and white leatherette interior and a white Orlon convertible top. It has the anniversary gold dash and top bows, the crossed checkered flag emblems on the front fenders, black lettering and the 'Coronado' Continental trunk kit. Other accessories include chrome wire-spoke hubcaps, dual mirrors, a radio, clock, heater, power steering, fender skirts and back-up lights.

The odometer shows 64,762 original miles and the car has been treated to a professional restoration. Power is from an L-head V8 engine displacing 239 cubic-inches and offering 110 horsepower. There is a Ford-O-Matic three-speed automatic transmission and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes.

In 2012, the car was offered for sale at the RM Auction in Scottsdale, Arizona. It was estimated to sell for $50,000-$60,000 and offered without reserve. As bidding came to a close, the car had been sold for the sum of $44,000 inclusive of buyer's premium.

By Daniel Vaughan

Source: Internet

Thursday, November 22, 2012


Happy Thanksgiving From My Family To Yours!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

1956 Ford Thunderbird

1956 Ford Thunderbird

Source: Internet

Michigan Assembly Plant

The Michigan Assembly plant is making history: it’s the only manufacturing site in the world to build vehicles with five different fuel efficient powertrains (four that deliver 40 MPG or better!) on the same line.

Source: Internet

2013 Ford Transit Wagon

Ford is excited to introduce the Transit Connect Wagon, which can seat up to seven people and anticipates up to 30 MPG+ on the highway with EcoBoost® power.

There’s finally a vehicle as unique as you are. The all-new 2014 Ford Transit Connect answers your drive for life with its ability to be ready for just about anything. Available in the fall of 2013.

Interior Transit Connect - Interior Front

Interior Transit Connect - All Seats Down

Interior Transit Connect - All Seats

Interior Transit Connect - Vista Roof

Ford Transit Connect Wagon

Ford Transit Connect Wagon

Ford Transit Connect Wagon Rear View

Ford Transit Connect Wagon

Ford Transit Connect Wagon Close Up View

Ford Transit Connect Wagon

Source: Internet

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

1954 Ford FX Atmos

The Ford FX Atmos was an attempt to cross the boundaries of design and conventional thinking. It was even envisioned to be powered by nuclear power. There were two joysticks on either side of the driver which controlled the vehicle. The driver's seating was central with the passengers sitting on either side and back.

The design was something similar seen in the 'Jettson's' TV show.

Source: Internet

1958 Ford Nucleon Arrow

The Ford Nucleon Concept was constructed in 1958 and there was only one ever constructed. This vehicle was intended to be powered by a small nuclear reactor which would be housed in the rear. A power capsule sat between twin booms in the rear. The capsule contained the radioactive core and provided the power.

An electronic torque convert took the place of the drive-train, with the drive-train being integral with the power module. It was believed the Nucleon would be able to travel at least 5000 miles before requiring a recharge. When the core was drained, it could be brought to a charging station where it could be re-charged.

The front windshield was a one-piece glass and without pillars. The passenger compartment had a cab-forward design and was constructed to provide adequate protection for the driver and the passengers from the reactor in the rear.

A mock-up of this car can be seen at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan.

Source: Internet

1958 Ford Fairlane 500 Sunliner Convertible

Sold for $30,800 at 2006 RM Auctions.

Sold for $34,100 at 2008 RM Auctions.

The 1958 model year was filled with extravagant and flamboyant designs with large tailfins and lots of chrome. The Fairlane 500 range was part of the Fairlane series and adorned with trim options and chrome. There was a double runner chorme strip with a gold anodized insert as side trim along with brightwork on the C-pillars.

The Skyliner and Sunliner were the two convertible options offered on the Fairlane 500 range. The Skyliner, offered from 1947 through 1959, had a folding hardtop which was rather clumsy, complicated and heavy. The Sunliner had a folding soft top, a more traditional design. The Sunliner was the more popular of the two, outselling its counterpart about two-to-one.

This 1958 Ford Fairlane 500 Sunliner Convertible with chassis number G8MC104765 is complete with fender skirts, power steering, twin mirrors, white tonneau covers, whitewall tires, and power steering. Under the hood is a 332 cubic-inch V8 engine that produces 265 horsepower. There is a three-speed automatic transmission and four-wheel drum brakes.

It was offered for sale at the 2006 RM Auctions in Meadow Brook where it was estimated to fetch between $35,000 - $45,000. It was offered without reserve, finding a new home at $30.800.

Source: Internet

1961 Ford Gyron Concept

The Ford Gyron was a two-wheeled gyrocar which made its debut at the 1961 Detroit Motor Show. It was a concept car that had a very futuristic, two-wheeled design. It had a motorcycle-like design, with one wheel in the front and one in the rear. The vehicle was stabilized by gyroscopes. When the vehicle was at a stand-still, two small stabilizer legs appeared from the sides to add support.

There was seating for two, with driver and passenger sitting side-by-side. It was a concept created for research and marketing purposes with never put into production.

Alex Tremulus's career began with the US airforce and included work at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base on the concept of Military flying saucers. He later became chief designer for the short-lived Tucker marque. His later endeavor's include Ford with their Tuscan gyroscopic motorcycles and the Gyronaught XU1 gyroscopic car. He was the designer of the Ford Gyron with the gyroscopic systems based on Louis Brennan's theories.

Source: Internet

1962 Ford Seattle-ITE XXI Concept

This 1963 Ford Seattle-ite XXI was a concept that was very bold, dramatic, futuristic, and inspiring for its era. It utilizing advanced technology including a trip computer, navigation and traffic information systems, fuel cell power and steer-by-wire technology. There were a total of six wheels with two being in the front. The four wheels in front were steer-able and turn in tandem. This would done to enhance tracking, traction, and braking efficiency. The cockpit was nearly enclosed in glass. In the rear there were four large exhaust pipes that appeared more to be fuselage for an aircraft than exhaust outlets.

This vehicle was show-cased at the 1963 Worlds Fair.

Source: Internet

2001 Ford Forty-Nine Cocnept

Forty-Nine Ford: Rekindling romance with new version of American classic

The year was 1949. After years of wartime sacrifice and sameness in durable goods, postwar America was ready for an automotive design revolution. The '49 Ford - with radically new 'slab sides,' integrated body and fenders, independent front suspension and rear quarter windows that opened - served as a symbol of optimism for the future. Fifty years later, an all-new Ford Forty-Nine custom coupe concept car is poised to repeat a bit of history, as it makes its world debut at the 2001 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The new Ford Forty-Nine concept is designed to take America on a 'sentimental drag-race' down memory lane and underscore Ford's commitment to designing excitement into new cars coming down the road. The Forty-Nine concept harkens back to the romance of a Friday night at the drive-in or bowling alley, listening to rock-and-roll and cruising 'the strip' in a chopped and channeled custom car. 'The inspiration for the Forty-Nine concept comes from the passion and excitement of the original, combined with the imagination of people across America who customized the car and turned it into what they thought a really great car should be,' says J Mays, Ford Motor Company vice president of Design. 'The concept melds together many of the custom car designs from the 1950s as well as elegant cues and shapes from some of the great Italian designs, such as Ghia.' As soon as it was introduced in New York City amid much fanfare in June 1948, the '49 Ford became a runaway sensation. As the first all-new, postwar Ford design, the car attracted 1.3 million orders even before it officially went on sale at dealerships. The design was so acclaimed that it won the prestigious Fashion Academy Award in 1949 and repeated the rare honor again in 1950. The original '49 had a modern slab-side design, with front fenders, body sides and rear quarter panels forming one continuous line from head to taillights. It boasted a 'dream car' silhouette as well as a simple grille and balanced greenhouse. The car's advertisements heralded its 'mid-ship' ride, 'hydra-coil' springs, 'picture window' visibility, 'Magic Action' king-size brakes and 'sofa wide' seats built for living-room comfort. The '49 Ford fit perfectly into America's cruisin' and car customization craze, which reached a frenzy in the late 1940's and early '50's. Teenagers across the country began snapping up the car, tinkering with the engine to make it go faster, reshaping the body to make it look sportier and reworking the suspension to achieve an altered ride. The 1949-51 Ford coupes were considered some of the most desirable cars to chop and channel.

To create the all-new concept Forty-Nine, Ford designers went back to the car's roots - simple shapes, clean body panels and modern conveniences. The Forty-Nine concept's hyper-smooth appearance is achieved by an all-glass upper body structure with totally concealed pillars and windshield wipers. The exterior finish is velvety black with bright chrome wrapping around the greenhouse and modest chrome accents elsewhere, such as its badging and 20-inch chrome wheels. Clean, simple, design cues are conveyed in the rounded high intensity discharge (HID) and projector-beam front lighting. In the rear, sleek, narrow, wrap-around LED tail lamps make a distinctive statement. The interior also is a modern interpretation of the original car's simple design cues. A cantilevered, bench-style front seat is power-actuated. A floating center console runs the entire length of the interior, giving the impression of four-passenger bucket seating, while also serving to stiffen the vehicle's structure. The floating console houses the five-speed shift lever and ventilation for both front and rear seat passengers. The interior color theme is two-tone: black and sienna. The black leather seats have sienna leather seat backs. Sienna leather also accents the upper door trim panels, instrument panel and package tray. The armrest is wrapped in charcoal leather. The lower door trim panels are finished in satin metallic silver. The silver carpet inserts are accented with chrome rails running the front to rear. The car's primary gauges are contained within a single round instrument binnacle - similar to the production '49 and hot rods of the era. The analog tachometer takes center stage and is surrounded by the electronic speedometer. Audio and climate controls are presented in a flip-out panel located in the instrument panel, just ahead of the shifter. Their respective readouts, along with temperature, oil and fuel gauges, are displayed on either side of the centrally mounted clock, at the base of the windshield. A two-tone, leather-wrapped steering wheel features cruise and radio controls on a metal ring, reminiscent of the 'horn-ring' popular in the 1950's. The rear view mirror is positioned along a prominent 'wind-split' rod, which extends from the instrument panel to the front header. The mirror can be adjusted up or down along the length of the rod, which serves multiple purposes. It adjusts to the needs of drivers of all sizes and also looks striking. The rod also serves to house the radio antenna, which extends through the roof. The audio system features a multi-disc CD changer and a strategically placed speaker network, anchored by a massive sub-woofer, all driven by a 200-watt power amplifier.

Powered by Thunderbird

The design under the hood is an obvious extension of the exterior design philosophy and the interior theme and an homage to hot-rodders' obsession with performance and appearance. The engine bay is finished in satin black, stainless and chrome metal finishes throughout. The radiator and its associated structure have been re-oriented to take full advantage of the design opportunities on the engine itself. The intake manifolds are finished in satin metal and valve covers in gloss black and accented with polished stainless steel. Filtered interior air inlets are located at the trailing edge of the front wheel opening, and dual stainless steel exhausts penetrate the rear bumper fascia. The engine bay is not only cosmetic: The chrome 'Powered by Thunderbird' badge on the side fender gives a hint at the powerplant under the hood. The Forty-Nine concept is powered by a Thunderbird 3.9-liter, DOHC, 32-valve V-8, tuned to fit the car's appearance and refined muscle. 'Like the Thunderbird, the Forty-Nine reminds us of the love affair that generations have had with the open road and the automobile,' says Mays. 'Both of these cars remind us of a romance and a passion of the American touring car that is just as thrilling today as it was 50 years ago.'

Source - Ford

2001 Ford Explorer Sportsman Concept

The Ford Explorer nameplate was introduced in 1990 and soon became the industry's best-selling sport utility vehicle. In the decade that followed, sport utility sales had double-digit growth annual, and by 2000, Explorer sales reached 440,000. Ford introduced several special edition Explorers, and one such example was the Sportsman Concept.

The Explorer Sportmans was designed to fulfill the dreams of anglers. It is based on the production 2002 Explorer and outfitted with Scott fly-fishing rods. It is finished in low-gloss, satin metallic green and has satin-finish front and rear chrome skid plates and an integrated hood and grille. The running boards deploy when the doors are opened and also serve as storage for fishing rods and equipment. There is a fully-detachable roof rack, which extends forward and folds down. This allows nets, fishing rods, and other items to easily be loaded from the side. Modular attachments are positioned on the rooftop to carry additional sporting equipment like tents or bicycles. When in a fixed position, the arms of the roof rack swing outward to form a basket for carrying fly-fishing equipment. The bottom of the basket is trimmed with Blondwood slats. There is extensive use of Blondwood, a type common in moist coastal regions of Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria in Australia.

Inside, there is extensive use of pebble-woven leather and Blondwood. There is a GPS screen, and the seatbacks carry packs that fold out for fly-typing. There is a 30-gallon live fish tank with clean-air filter, which locks into place in the rear compartment. It has rollers for easy loading and unloading.

The engine is a 4.6-liter SOHC V8 engine developing 240 horsepower. There is a five-speed automatic transmission with overdrive and four-wheel hydraulic power disc brakes.

In 2010, this vehicle was offered for sale at the 'Sports & Classics of Monterey' presented by RM Auctions. The car was estimated to sell for $40,000 - $60,000 and offered without reserve. As bidding came to a close, the car had been sold for the sum of $49,500 inclusive of buyer's premium.

Source: Internet

2008 Ford Flex by Chip Foose


• Two top customizers treat the all-new 2009 Ford Flex sheet metal as their canvas, highlighting the vehicle's diverse aftermarket appeal and potential.

• A Chip Foose-designed Flex defines suburban luxury.

• Funkmaster Flex showcases urban luxury with his modified Flex2.

Courtesy of customizing legends Chip Foose and Funkmaster Flex, the 2009 Ford Flex sports two distinct new looks at this year's Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show in Las Vegas.

Ahead of Flex's arrival in dealerships next summer, Ford tapped the duo to help customers start dreaming about the customization options this all-new vehicle brings.

'The Ford Flex elicits emotional responses from people unlike any vehicle in recent memory, yet customers have distinct interpretations of how the Flex can fit into their lifestyle,' says Kate Pearce, Ford Flex marketing plans manager. 'Bringing Flex to SEMA before the production vehicle's launch gives us an opportunity to explore the endless possibilities within the world of customization – and to help further broaden the vehicle's strong appeal.'

Funkmaster Flex and Foose each have taken a unique approach in customizing their vehicle, yet both remain true to the Flex's core design while providing their take on the latest luxury trends. Foose focuses on what he sees in suburban styling, while Funkmaster Flex brings the hottest in urban influence to his project.

2009 Ford Flex designed by Chip FooseStar of Overhaulin' and the hottest custom car designer on the scene, Foose gave the Flex a look of contemporary suburban luxury that accentuates its already stand-out good looks.

Riding on Foose Design 22-inch wheels and Eibach springs customized for a lower appearance, the Foose Flex exterior features a custom-mixed, tow-tone blue and cream pearl paint job.

Inside, this color scheme continues with three-tone blue, gray and tan premium leather surfaces by Katzkin Leather.

Custom front and rear fascias and rocker panels are complemented by a custom wrap-around chrome beltline. Additional exterior details include painted appliqué door handles and a relocated license plate. With custom upper and lower grilles and bold FORD lettering across the front and rear, the Foose Flex reflects the right amount of expressive luxury appeal.

'When Ford called, I was quite excited to be one of the first to get my hands on the Flex,' says Foose. 'I didn't want the individual pieces I added to be the most eye-catching parts. I wanted it to look as if it came from Ford's design studio.'

Ford Flex

The 2009 Ford Flex is set to redefine the modern American journey when it goes on sale in summer 2008. This vehicle sets a higher standard for style, features, functionality and comfort in the industry's fastest-growing crossover segment.

The 2009 Flex will come straight from the factory with several key features and technologies, including:

• Two-tone roof – An all-black greenhouse – a Ford first – that visually integrates the body with the available two-tone roof. Customers can pair a White Suede or Silver roof option with one of Flex's 10 available exterior colors or choose a body-color roof.

• High-tech lighting – Available HID headlamps and LED tail lamps, plus 7-color programmable ambient lighting in the console, foot wells and cup holders.

• Available refrigerator – Unlike competitors' systems that merely keep cold beverages cool, the Flex's compressor-driven refrigerator can cool up to seven 12-ounce cans, four half-liter bottles or two 20-ounce bottles from room temperature to 41 degrees in approximately two-and-a-half hours. That's 40 percent faster than a standard home refrigerator.

• Multi-Panel Vista Roof™ – It not only brightens the interior, it gives Flex occupants seated in each row their own skylight.

• EasyFuel™ System – Flex's capless fuel filler saves time by doing away with unscrewing and replacing a fuel-filler cap and provides a better seal, cutting down the emissions of smog-forming vapors.

• Ford SYNC™, Ford's industry-exclusive, voice-activated hands-free in-car communications and entertainment system. This available system fully integrates mobile phones and digital media players into the vehicle.

• The SYNC in-car communications system was developed in collaboration wîth Microsoft and will be offered exclusively on Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles this year.

Big wheels – Standard 18-inch or available 19-inch bright aluminum wheels that plant the crossover firmly on the road.

Ford's exclusive second-generation door-entry keypad – Housed within the vehicle's black B pillars, the flat-panel, backlit keypad eliminates the need for door-mounted buttons and gives customers the ability to unlock doors, disarm the alarm system and disable the auto-lock function by entering a five-digit code.

Source - Ford

2011 Ford Ranger Wildtrak

All-New High-Tech Ford Ranger Wildtrak Makes Global Debut in Geneva

• All-new Ford Ranger Wildtrak pick-up takes its rightful place among leading lifestyle vehicles wîth distinctive contemporary styling and image

• Powerful new Ford Duratorq TDCi diesel engines deliver strong, refined performance and outstanding fuel economy

• Wildtrak's class-leading towing capability of up to 3350 kg and a payload capacity of 1112 kg prove that the Ford Ranger heritage of toughness is still going strong

• New global Ford Ranger expected to be a leader in safety with new side curtain airbags for head protection and thorax-protecting front-seat side airbags as standard across all cab styles in Europe

• Ranger Wildtrak among the most high-tech compact pickups with smart technologies such as Bluetooth® Voice Control and Rear View Camera system

• With a best-in-class water-wading capability of up to 800 mm and a ground clearance of up to 230 mm, Ranger is the perfect companion for off-road adventure

March 1, 2010 – The all-new Ford Ranger Wildtrak makes its global debut at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, a sporty compact pick-up that delivers impressive power and safety, excellent fuel efficiency and significant capability. It exudes a powerful presence bolstered by the latest in-car comfort and technologies.

The new global Ford Ranger boasts an extensive range of class-leading 'smart' features that make it easier, safer and more fun to drive than ever. It also sports a unique Rear View Camera System – the camera image is displayed in the rear view mirror – which dramatically improves visibility and simplifies hooking up to a trailer.

Aiming to deliver class-leading safety, new Ranger utilises a whole suite of technologies, including Electronic Stability Program (ESP), to keep its wheels sturdily planted on the road under all conditions. Despite being an enormously capable vehicle, the Ranger is also fitted with technologies such as satellite navigation and Bluetooth® voice control, more commonly found on premium or luxury cars.

Building on Ranger's long-standing heritage of capability, the all-new model extends Ford's credibility further, with selected European versions achieving a best-in-class towing capacity of 3350 kg. Ranger models fitted with the 2.2-litre Ford Duratorq TDCi diesel engine also have an outstanding payload capacity of up to 1333 kg.

New from the ground up – with everything changed except its name – new Ranger is the first commercial vehicle to be built under the One Ford strategy as part of a global product program, bringing together the full engineering expertise of Ford around the world.

Designed and developed in Australia, Ranger will be offered as a complete family of compact pick-ups with three different cab body styles, 4x2 and 4x4 drive trains, two ride heights and up to five series choices to suit every pocket and market. It will be produced in Thailand, South Africa and Argentina for more than 180 markets worldwide.

'From the introduction of the Ranger brand to Europe in 1997, the Ford Ranger has been a major player in the European pick-up segment,' said Jesus Alonso, Ford of Europe's Director for Commercial Vehicle Marketing, Sales and Service. 'This all-new global model offers high-level technologies and impressive efficiency and safety. We are starting a new chapter in the Ranger success story.'

21st century tough styling

Toned, taut and muscular, the all-new Ranger is designed to look powerful and confident, equally at home on a construction site or outside a high-class restaurant. Its front end features a short overhang with the signature three-bar grille, a global Ford commercial vehicle design cue. The windscreen has also been raked back for a sportier and more dynamic silhouette, creating a modern and aerodynamic look.

The beltline, along with the rails of the load box, were raised significantly – giving Ranger a substantive presence on the road while increasing its functionality with the deeper box. Larger headlamps, bigger mirrors and stamped-in wheel lips provide an integrated look across all series and contribute to an aggressive and sporty stance.

The Wildtrak version takes Ranger's sporty appearance even further, with a unique color split on the front. Designers masked out the feature line on the fascia and contrasted it by highlighting the lower intake. The same accent colors were used on the side mirrors, door handles and side air vents to give the vehicle a dark sporty look.

'Wildtrak's aggressive look and bold new graphics are a perfect fit for those who appreciate a sporty and more expressive image. It will look fantastic transporting the latest quad bike or jet ski for their weekend getaways,' said Craig Metros, chief designer of the all-new Ranger.

Sitting high on 18-inch alloy wheels, the Wildtrak also comes with a roof rack and a sports hoop which enhance its profile. Exclusive Wildtrak badging and graphics help to set it apart from other lifestyle vehicles.

Car-like levels of comfort and features

The purposeful interior of the Wildtrak echoes the dark sporty look of the outside. A special hydrographic finish on the centre console around the audio is reminiscent of strong but lightweight materials like carbon fibre.

The seat trim – a combination of leather and woven cloth inspired by sportswear with ventilated sections – provides lateral support and confidence even on rough terrain. Contrast stitching and a discreet strip on the seat upper and bolster, all in distinctive Wildtrak Orange, accentuate the premium feel of the interior.

The cabin of Ranger has been stretched to provide segment-leading spaciousness and comfort. Three passengers can easily fit in the second row of the Wildtrak, for instance. It offers ample knee room and better foot clearance between the B-pillar and the seat. This means that getting in and out of the new Ranger is easier than ever for rear-seat passengers.

With 23 storage spaces in the cabin, Ranger offers more practical stowage than any competitor. A deep centre console bin will keep up to six cans of beverage cool, while the glove box is large enough to accommodate a 16-inch laptop computer. Ample storage for mobile phones and other small items can be found in the console.

Also poised to be a leader in innovation, Ranger Wildtrak comes with Bluetooth® audio streaming, USB and iPod connectivity. There is voice control over the radio, CD, iPod, USB, air-conditioning and phone and the software recognises English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Turkish. It also offers a five-inch color screen with satellite navigation.

More power, more torque, more economy

European customers will have a choice of two state-of-the-art common-rail Ford Duratorq TDCi diesels and new fuel-efficient six-speed transmissions that serve up more power and torque.

The new 2.2-litre four-cylinder diesel delivers peak torque output of 375 Nm and power output of 110 kW (150 PS), whilst a highly responsive and efficient new 3.2-litre 5-cylinder diesel powers the Wildtrak and produces a powerful 470 Nm of torque is power rated at 147 kW (200PS). Both new powertrains have been developed and refined to deliver excellent fuel economy that is among the best in class. Fitted with an 80-litre fuel tank, Ranger is also expected to have one of the longest ranges in its segment.

Transmissions and final drive ratios have been carefully matched to deliver exceptional acceleration, excellent fuel efficiency and a quiet ride.

The new six-speed automatic transmission has been extensively tuned to deliver smooth, quick shifts that are almost imperceptible to the driver, reinforcing new Ranger's car-like refinement. In Normal mode, the calibration focuses on comfort and fuel economy. For sportier driving, a quick flick of the shifter changes the transmission to Performance mode, providing later shift points and giving the driver the option to select gears manually through a forward (downshift) or rearward (upshift) movement.

New Ranger also features smart Ford technologies such as Adaptive Automatic Mode, which adapts gear shifts according to driving style and Grade Control Logic, which automatically downshifts when driving downhill and the brake pedal is depressed. This feature prevents the transmission from changing to a higher gear.

For those who prefer greater involvement, the six-speed manual transmission with its short, car-like shifter, provides crisp and precise shifting matched perfectly to the generous torque output of the new diesels. An upshift indicator in the instrument panel helps coach drivers on the best gearing for optimum fuel economy.

Extensive work has gone into making the new global Ford Ranger more fuel-efficient than ever. Using the same cutting-edge simulation technology as Formula One teams, aerodynamicists performed more than 1,000 full-vehicle aerodynamic simulations to perfect the shape of the vehicle for fuel economy. Using Smart Regenerative Charging, Ranger is the first to be equipped with a battery management system, which controls the alternator so that it shuts off during acceleration and turns on during deceleration. This improves fuel economy as the alternator is not charging the battery all the time as in a typical vehicle.

Advanced safety protection

Although the Euro NCAP testing will not take place until later this year, Ford is forecasting that the new Ranger will be a leader in safety for its segment.

Like all contemporary Ford products, Ranger is engineered to provide comprehensive safety protection, starting with the highly protective body structure utilising high-strength steel throughout to protect occupants in a collision and the all-new frame that manages the brunt of crash energy. Engineers used sophisticated computer modelling to go through more than 9,000 full-vehicle crash simulations before the first prototype vehicle was subjected to a physical crash test.

Standard on all cab styles in Europe for the first time, side curtain airbags deploy from the headliner to provide a protective cushion for the head of occupants in case of a side impact. The curtain is designed to protect both rows of occupants by covering the upper side structure and glass from the A-pillar to the C-pillar. New side airbags available for the front seats also deploy from the side bolster of the seat to protect the thorax from side-impact forces, working in tandem with the front airbags for the driver and front passenger. Knee airbags are also standard across all models.

Other passive safety technologies include three-point safety belts for all seating positions, with pre-tensioners and load limiter for the front seats, as well as Ford BeltMinder technology which helps remind front-seat occupants to wear their belts.

Ranger also uses active safety technologies to help drivers avoid accidents. A key component is the ESP which comes with a full suite of features that make driving the Ranger even safer. The Trailer Sway Control system monitors the behavior of the tow vehicle and trailer array to sense the advent of trailer sway and apply braking countermeasures to reduce its effects. Adaptive Load Control provides additional stability assurance for drivers dealing with heavy payloads. When driving downhill, Hill Descent Control ensures that the brakes will be applied to control the vehicle at a set speed. Or when stopping on a steep grade, Hill Launch Assist helps the driver to pull his full load away confidently without creeping.

An array of braking technologies work together to ensure the shortest possible stopping distance under all circumstances, such as the Anti-Lock Brake System, Emergency Brake Assist and Electronic Brake Force Distribution which maximises brake force used on the rear wheels as payload changes while maintaining optimal stability. During emergency braking, the hazard lights also come on to warn other motorists.

On top of safety technologies, the new Ranger has been engineered with pedestrian protection features. Technologies that emerged from a global Ford research project on pedestrian-friendly vehicle designs, have now been applied to a pick-up for the first time ever. This includes a 'hexageneous' under-bonnet structure to reduce the potential for pedestrian head injuries, and a pedestrian-friendly front bumper design incorporating energy-absorbing materials. Other new Ranger technologies include Rear Park Assist and the Rear View Camera System.

A steadfast companion for adventure

With an all-new chassis frame, front and rear suspension and steering system, the new Ranger promises car-like comfort, reduced steering effort, more precise handling and better on-road stability. Even on narrow city streets, the pick-up's tight turning circle makes it easily manoeuvrable despite sitting on an increased wheelbase.

For those who need a dependable vehicle for off-road adventures, the Wildtrak fits the bill perfectly with a stiffer frame, ground clearance of up to 230 mm and driveline components strategically mounted above the frame rail out of harm's way. The Wildtrak can also go deeper than any other compact pickup, with the ability to wade through up to 800 mm of water – a class-leading feature.

Both automatic and manual four-wheel drive models are equipped with a proven electronically controlled transfer case that allows drivers to shift on the move from 4x2 to 4x4 any time via a switch conveniently located on the console. If extra torque at the wheels or additional downhill braking is needed, low-range gearing can also be enabled. In order to suit various customers' needs, Ranger can be ordered with a wide range of final drive ratios.

The Ranger's ESP system includes off-road logic which recognises when the pick-up is driven on rough roads and modifies the system to ensure the best balance between stability and timeliness of interventions. In 4x4 models, the ESP system can be partially switched off to disable over- and understeer control as well as engine torque reductions, while maintaining the brake intervention traction control. This setting is most suitable when driving through deep sand or extreme mud as vehicle momentum can be maintained whilst maximising available grip. The ESP can be switched to a second setting to further amend the ESP braking intervention that aids the initial pull away in snow and icy conditions.

When the terrain gets really rough and Ranger is in four-wheel drive low gearing, it provides the driver with more control through the accelerator pedal, which becomes damped and less sensitive. This prevents unintentional acceleration due to the bouncing motion of the driver's foot while moving over bumpy terrain.

'The all-new Ranger is a very capable and composed vehicle both on- and off-road,' said Jesus Alonso. 'It has been designed as a global vehicle and combines the best of all worlds – exceptional safety, outstanding fuel economy, contemporary styling, interior comfort, cutting edge technologies, and class-leading towing and payload capabilities – in a one-tonne package that fits right in with a sporty lifestyle.'

Source - Ford