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Archive for March, 2015
Sporty New Ranger Utilizes Modern Design
The good news for fans of the defunct Ford Ranger is that the company recently unveiled a new model at the Bangkok Auto Show. It features an entire new sporty look with a hexagonal grill, sculpted sides and roll bar in the bed. The bad news is that the company has no plans to introduce the truck into the United States, which means the F-150 is the smallest new pickup you can buy at Chapman Ford.
Has all the Technology Bells and Whistles
The new Ranger’s interior is as modern as you might expect, featuring an array of gizmos like lane keeping assist, cruise control with adaptive radar and an alert system that keeps the driver focused after long hours on the road. The new Ranger also has an electronic 4×4 transfer case and locking differential to provide added traction on tough hill climbs. It will be powered by a choice of engines ranging from a 3.2-liter and 2.2-liter diesel to a 2.5-liter gas motor.
2011 was Last Year for U.S. Ranger
Ford’s last year for a Ranger in the U.S. was 2011. After that it closed the plant that built the vehicles and decided to go strictly with the very popular F-150 as the truck of choice, reasoning that the Ranger wasn’t that much smaller than the smallest ½-ton truck. Chapman Ford in Scottsdale has a huge inventory of F-150s, ranging from standard work trucks to the fully-decked out Raptor. Ranger fans should keep in touch with the dealership as the small used trucks still remain popular commodities.
Chief Engineer Says Don’t Look For Ranger Anytime Soon
Jackie DiMarco, Ford’s top engineer for the F-150, cited a declining small truck market as one of the reasons the company isn’t planning to bring back the Ranger for U.S. sales. DiMarco said small truck sales sunk to 1.9 percent of the total market by 2012, the main reason for killing off the little pickup. That, combined with the overwhelming sales of the F-150, gives the company little reason to bring the Ranger back. F-150 sales are well over a half-million each year and increasing with each passing turn of the calendar. By comparison, the Ranger only sold 70,000 vehicles in its final year of production. Although the resurrection of the Ranger would undoubtedly be popular with a small segment of truck buyers, it does not provide enough financial justification for Ford to restart production.
Ford recently revealed the fashionable new C-MAX and Grand C-MAX with a fresh slick exterior design, attractively built interior with better stowage options, significant fuel efficiency, and CO2 emissions upgrades.
When they go on sale in Europe in early 2015, the 5-seat C-MAX and the 7-seat Grand C-MAX will provide outstanding comfort and style. These versions will introduce leading-edge technological innovation, such as Ford’s SYNC 2 voice-activated connectivity system.
The C-MAX stable is going to be outfitted for the very first time with Ford’s brand new 1 .5-litre EcoBoost gasoline and 105 PS 1 .5-litre TDCi ECOnetic diesel power plant, which is supposed to supply 99 g/km CO2 in the 5-seat C-MAX .
All 2015 Ford C-MAX Hybrids will come with a 2.0-liter Atkinson-Cycle 4-cylinder engine, a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) that is gearless, and a 35-kW motor that produces 188 hp and 129 lb-ft of torque. The Energi has a larger version of the Hybrid’s lithium-ion battery pack, which has an all-electric range of 19 miles. The C-MAX can go as fast as 62 mph in full electric mode.
In terms of fuel economy, the Hybrid will give 42 mpg city and 37 mpg highway and the Energi 40 mpg city and 36 mpg highway.
The best feature about the C-MAX isn’t its great fuel economy, but how it handles and drives. The Ford hybrid engine has more pep and response compared to the Toyota Prius, which makes it feel more like a Ford Focus. The interchange between gas and electric power is seamless. And you tend to forget you are driving a hybrid. However the futuristic LCD displays in the C-MAX’s interior will push you back to reality. Even though the vehicle weighs almost 600 lbs more than the Prius, the 2015 C-MAX doesn’t feel sluggish when accelerating and the handling is fantastic. The C-MAX provides a smooth ride through winding roads and the cabin is whisper quiet. The raised seats gives the driver a commanding view of the road ahead and the tall roof with wide side glass, adds to the driver’s great visibility.
Active grill shutters close at highway speeds, which reduces drag and wind resistance that in turn, improves fuel economy.
One feature that drivers will find very useful is the MYFORD mobile app, which allows C-MAX owners to manage charge times and see battery level from their smart phones. While on the road, the app will display a map of charging stations that are close by.
The 5-seat interior has many attractive and soft touch surfaces that give an upscale feel for this class of vehicle. It has great ergonomics and the controls are user friendly, and easily accessible. There is ample headroom at the front and rear. The rear seats have good legroom, even for taller people.
If you’ve decided that you want the next car you own to be a full-size sedan, the 2015 Ford Taurus offers a lot of great features and value. While the Taurus line is the oldest in its class, that doesn’t mean Ford sat on its laurels with the newest model. On the contrary, the 2015 has everything drivers want from a modern vehicle.
From its driving dynamics to overall comfort & convenience, the Taurus provides solid performance across the metrics that matter most. One of the areas where Ford clearly stands apart from any vehicles that may claim to be competitors is in the engine department.
With this model, drivers can opt for a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder, a FWD or AWB V6, or a twin-turbocharged V6. Thanks to the availability of multiple options, you can choose the engine that’s going to provide exactly the type of performance you want when you’re out on the road.
While the Taurus has an ample body size and delivers plenty of horsepower, that doesn’t mean it’s a slacker in the fuel economy department. Drivers who opt for the EcoBoost 4-cylinder will be able to enjoy 32-mpg on the highway. So even if gas ever does go up again in price, owning this Taurus means you won’t have to worry about that increase taking a major toll on your wallet.
Inside the Taurus
Thanks to the five seat belts it comes with, fights over seating won’t ever be an issue. What’s really cool about the driver and passenger seats is in addition to being heated and cooled, they can also massage whoever is sitting in them! If you’ve ever been on a long road trip and wished you could get a little back rub, this car will literally be able to grant that wish for you.
In terms of features and technology, Ford Sync, a backup camera and adaptive cruise control are just a few examples of what you can enjoy with this vehicle. So if you’re ready to experience everything the Taurus has to offer for yourself, be sure to stop Chapman Ford to check it out.
Possibly Capping Production at 5,000 per Year
When Ford delivers its first Shelby GT350 Mustang to dealerships like Chapman Ford later this year, it is expected to be as part of a limited production run. Although Ford has not announced production limits, a posting by a Ford dealer on a Mustang forum indicates there will be a limited number of vehicles in both the 350GT and 350GTR, where the “R” stands for “Racing.” Ford describes the 350GTR as “the most track-ready road going production Mustang ever built.” The new Mustang is designed in the spirit of the 1965 GT350, the brainchild of racing legend Carroll Shelby. The new version takes advantage of modern technology and a 5.2-liter dual overhead cam engine that pumps out more than 500 horsepower.
It’s All About That Weight
Ford has utilized carbon fiber in the wheels and body in an attempt to make the 350GTR as light as possible. By replacing aluminum wheels with carbon fiber as standard equipment, the car loses 13 pounds right off the bat. For those who want the best possible performance, Ford has scrapped basically everything that doesn’t make the car go faster. This means that normal standard equipment like an air conditioner, stereo, rear seats and backup camera are all gone. For those who still like a little creature comfort when they’re blasting around the track, Ford does offer a electronics package that includes a/c, navigation and a seven-speaker stereo system.
Fine-tuned Aerodynamics Reduce Drag
The Shelby GT350R is designed for speed, which means every part of the body has been optimized for aerodynamic performance. The hood vent not only allows heat to escape but reduces lift on the vehicle. Other items designed to increase the downward force on the car include underbody belly pans, vented wheel wells and fender vents that reduce turbulence. See the all new GT350 and GT350R later this year at Chapman Ford.
Get Off the Hellcat Waiting List
For sports car lovers disappointed at the long wait times for the Dodge Hellcat, the GT350R promises an exhilarating ride in a vehicle that will actually appear in showrooms this year. Stop in at Chapman Ford now and see about putting a deposit down on a GT350R so you can own the coolest, and hottest, Mustang ever built. Prices are expected to start just north of $50,000 for this outstanding bundle of fun.
Looking Past Fuel Efficiency to What’s Next
Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford, great-grandson of founder Henry Ford, is convinced that the solution to alternative energy vehicles is going to come within his lifetime. With that in his hip pocket, he is focusing the company on the next great innovation, which is delivering the necessary technology to deal with the world’s shift toward urbanization. Ford told CNET that “in the decades to come, 75 percent of the world’s population will live in cities and 50 of those cities will be of 10 million people or more.” The resulting mass of people will simply not be able to use cars as they do today. That many vehicles won’t fit on the roads and will make current large city traffic jams seem appealing to the potential gridlock.
Requires Integrated Approach to Moving People Efficiently
Ford says the world needs the same kind of innovative thinking that evolved transportation from the stagecoach to the train back in the 19th century. He cited America’s construction of the interstate highway system as a similar achievement for its time. “We are going to build smart cars, but we also need smart roads, smart parking, smart public transportation systems and more,” he said. “We don’t want to waste our time sitting in traffic, sitting at toll booths or looking for parking spots.”
Appealing to Engineers and Entrepreneurs
Although Ford has some very specific ideas for transportation of the future, he is looking for the “best and brightest” to put their minds to work and understand both the opportunity and challenges ahead. He cites a smart road system that changes traffic flow depending on the time of day, cars that communicate with each other in case of an accident and smartphone apps to help you get around roadblocks. Although some of the technology is already available, Ford recognizes it will take a monumental effort to get all the transportation systems in the world to work together.
Still Plans on Making Cars
Dealerships like Chapman Ford can still expect to have plenty of new vehicles on the lot for decades to come. Ford emphasized he is not getting out of the car business, but just diversifying to solve the problems of personal mobility in the future. “I suspect we’ll always be making cars and trucks, but we may be doing something different as well,” he told CNET. “If we think of ourselves as a mobility company rather than just an automobile provider, that really opens lots of different possibilities.”