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Archive for March, 2016
Keeping New Models Under Wraps a Tough Job
It’s tough to keep new car models a secret now that everyone has a camera and video recorder built into their phones, but Ford engineers are giving it their best shot. Black vinyl cladding was the old method of trying disguise new models, but that has been mostly replaced with vinyl stickers that use different patterns to try and hide details while a vehicle is out on the road during testing. “While design is the fourth most important reason for purchase in the industry overall, it’s number two only behind fuel economy for Ford,” according to Dave Fish, vice president for a company that designs the new vehicle customer study. “It’s not surprising that Ford goes to extraordinary lengths to try and keep the wraps on its designs as long as possible.”
Extensive Road Testing a Necessary Evil
Before a new model ever shows up on the showroom at Chapman Ford, it has to undergo extensive road testing to see how it reacts to extreme temperature changes, as well as its driveability on different types of surfaces. That gives spy photographers plenty of opportunity to try and sneak a peek at the latest designs and post them on the Internet. It’s not so bad if consumers get a look at the latest models, but Ford and other automakers desperately seek to avoid the competition stealing any new ideas. “The work we’re doing is crucial to Ford staying competitive in a constantly evolving industry,” according to Ford prototype supervisor John LaQue. “When we make it to a reveal without a photo surfacing of a non-camouflaged car, we’ve all done our jobs.”
Vinyl Stickers Quick to Install, Easy to Remove
The newest form of camouflage is not specific to any model and can be applied in random fashion. Before you see a car in the Phoenix Ford inventory, chances are it has been driving in the area for hundreds of miles, as the Valley is a prime place to test for overheating. Along with vinyl stickers, the Ford Camouflage Team even uses fake body panels to try and throw snoops off the trail. The addition of width, height or length is a key factor in masking a new design.
New Methods of Camouflage Constantly Under Test
With the proliferation of drones and advances in camera technology, Ford engineers are constantly testing new ways to keep designs a secret. Ford has some of the most beautiful and exciting designs in the automotive industry, which you can see for yourself during your next trip to Chapman Ford.
$145 Million Investment Answers High Demand
With demand high for the 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine in the new F-150, Ford has made a commitment to invest $150 million in the Cleveland, Ohio Engine Plant. That means a total of 150 new jobs will come to the northeastern Ohio city as the company ramps up production for the 2017 F-150. “Ford customers have embraced EcoBoost’s unbeatable combination of power and efficiency, with more than 60 percent of F-150 customers choosing trucks powered by EcoBoost,” according to Ford president Joe Hinrichs. “This second generation 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine is another great example of Ford continuously improving and innovating to give these hardworking customers the best engines and trucks we can.” Take a test drive and see how powerful the new F-150 EcoBoost is by taking a trip to your Scottsdale Ford dealer, Chapman Ford.
Jobs Part of $9 Billion Commitment
The investment in the Cleveland Engine Plant is part of a $9 billion commitment that Ford has agreed to in a contract with the United Auto Workers. Part of that money will go to create or retain 8,500 hourly positions across the country in the next four years. “This is very exciting news for the hardworking men and women of Cleveland Engine Plant and the Ohio community as a whole,” UAW vice president Jimmy Settles said. “The team at Cleveland Engine is thrilled to begin building one of the most technologically advanced engines ever designed for the all-new F-150 Raptor.”
Engine Plant Has Long History
The Cleveland Engine Plant has 65 years of history producing motors for the Ford lineup. Along with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost, it also produces the 2.0-liter EcoBoost, 2.3-liter EcoBoost and the 3.7-liter V6 Mustang engine. The plant employs 1,500 people and has delivered more than 1 million EcoBoost engines in the past seven years. The 2017 Raptor will have the 3.5-liter high output EcoBoost engine under the hood, delivering more horsepower and better gas mileage than the previous Raptor paired with the 6.2-liter V8.
New Raptor Coming This Fall
Pay attention to the showroom at Chapman Ford this fall when the all-new Raptor is scheduled to arrive. Built with a high-strength steel body and military grade aluminum, America’s favorite off-road truck will have even more capability than before. Large racing shocks allow for greater suspension movement, allowing you to articulate over large rocks and deep crevices when you’re out on the trail. Beadlock capable wheels allow you to reduce tire pressure for greater traction off-road, then still drive the vehicle home.
Configuration Choices Make Van More Flexible
Whether you’re a contractor and need room for sheets of drywall or a plumber and need a place for everything and everything in its place, the 2017 Ford Transit Van has a configuration that’s just right for you. With 64 different combinations that range from wide-open areas with room to walk to segregated parts and equipment bins, the Ford Transit is easily customizable to your business needs. “Walk through center consoles are just one enhancement we are adding in response to real-world driver input,” according to Transit brand manager Yaro Hetman. “Fleet lovers tell us they love Transit and we are making it even better for the 2017 model year.” You can order your new Transit starting April 4 and pick it up at Chapman Ford in September.
Transit Provides Power on the Job Site
New high-capacity upfitter switches that are tied to an auxiliary fuse box, heavy-duty alternator and dual heavy-duty batteries provide plenty of power when you need it on the job site. Again, responding to customer requests, the output connector is now stationed behind the glove box for easy access. The 2017 Ford Transit Van also has LED lighting in the cargo area for increased visibility and less of a drain on the power supply. The D pillar houses a 12-volt outlet for powering hand tools and quickly charging batteries.
Transit Connect Gets Tech Enhancements
As the country’s best-selling small commercial van, the Transit Connect has also responded to customer requests and will have the new SYNC 3 infotainment system as a standard feature. With a 6.5-inch high definition touch screen and navigation, this system not only helps you find your way around town, but also delivers hands-free communication and concert quality sound. SYNC 3 has state-of-the-art voice recognition software, meaning you’ll only have to ask once to make a phone call, start a route or listen to your favorite artist. The Transit Connect will also be available in Titanium and XLT trim packages.
E-Series Van Gets New Engine
The stripped chassis E-Series van, which is often used for ambulances, recreational vehicles and delivery vans, has a new powerplant for 2017. Customers will now be able to choose between the standard V-10 or a new 6.2-liter V8 with a single overhead cam design. The new engine also has a prep package for conversion to natural gas or propane. Get all the details by stopping by your Scottsdale Ford dealer, Chapman Ford.
Designed to Melt Ice and Snow
If you frequently travel in areas where ice and snow is a problem, the new Escape has an available windshield de-icer. As part of the Ford Cold Weather Package, the de-icer melts ice and snow in less than 10 minutes at temperatures as low as 18 degrees Fahrenheit. You can activate the feature from the driver’s seat, or use your smartphone in concert with SYNC Connect to start the process remotely. See the feature in action with a trip to Chapman Ford.
Escape First SUV to Get De-icer
The Ford Escape is the company’s first SUV to be outfitted with this unique feature, usually heard of in relation to airplane wings. “The windshield wiper de-icer is a great solution to one of the more nagging problems of winter,” according to Ford glass engineer Jennifer Gauthier. “Escape drivers in the U.S. are going to wonder how they ever got along without it.” Instead of spraying a solution, Ford has developed a window heater similar to the one in the rear window of most SUVs. Activating the heater frees up the wiper blades from the frost and allows them to function normally. Although there are few mornings when such a feature would be useful in the desert, those who make frequent trips to the cold country could find the service invaluable.
Cold Weather Package Keeps You Warm
In addition to the windshield de-icer, the Ford Cold Weather Package includes other features to help make those frosty mornings just a little more palatable. Heated seats, heated side mirrors, all-weather floor mats and a supplemental powertrain heater help get you going when the weather dips into the 30’s. The 2017 Escape will be coming to Chapman Ford sometime this spring.
2017 Escape Gets Major Refresh
Although the chassis and overall structure remain the same, the 2017 Ford Escape has a new look and a couple of EcoBoost engines from which to choose. You still have a 2.5-liter engine as the standard, but a new 1.5-liter EcoBoost and a twin-scroll 2.0-liter motor are both new for 2017, promising an increase in gas mileage for this popular mid-size SUV. The addition of an electric parking brake did away with the old handle, clearing up some room in the cabin for a better ergonomic feel. Upscale models feature new, softer leather and a more sophisticated feel. Safety features like adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist are also now available.
Spring has Sprung All Around the State
If you’re new to Arizona or haven’t ventured outside the Phoenix or Tucson areas, you might be surprised at the diversity of the landscape within just a couple of hours drive. The harsh Sonoran desert, which can be a brutal landscape during the summer, comes alive with wildflowers and greenery that bring the wildlife out in droves. Of course, the best way to see all the beauty is with an open air driving experience like the one you get in a new Ford Mustang convertible. Just unleash the center latch, push a button and let Mother Nature and all the sights, sounds and smells of the desert and surrounding mountains come inside. You can pick up your new Mustang convertible at Chapman Ford Scottsdale.
Apache Trail Steeped in History and Beauty
One of the most beautiful and historic drives near Phoenix is the Apache Trail. It starts in Apache Junction, some 30 miles east of downtown. You soon lose pavement as you go past the chain of Salt River Lakes. You’ll see the Superstition Mountains, home of the Lost Dutchman Gold Mine legend, on your right and the Four Peaks mountains to your north. Once you get to Roosevelt Dam, you can choose to scoot over to Highway 87 and continue north to Payson and the Mogollon Rim. Or you can take a shortcut by going straight ahead on the dirt road and wind up in Young at the base of the Rim. There are camping spots and plenty of places to pull over and have a picnic along the way.
Head to Alpine for White Mountains Scenic Drive
About 4 hours northeast of Phoenix is the tiny mountain town of Alpine, a great place to start your tour of the White Mountains. You’ll travel on US-191 using the Coronado Scenic Trail Byway to head to Hon Dah and then take FR 249 (it’s gravel, so drive slowly) and in a few miles the meadows of wildflowers will overtake your senses as you cruise your Ford Mustang convertible into Williams Valley. There are plenty of lakes and places to stop for pictures and to stretch your legs. Swing by Mount Baldy for a look at the second highest peak in Arizona.
Picacho Peak Usually Bursting With Wildflowers
Known as a good pit stop where you can get an ice cream cone on the way to Tucson, Picacho Peak is a short drive from both the state’s major cities. It has a 1,500 foot mountain that is great for hiking and experiencing tremendous views of the surrounding landscape. Picacho Peak Park has a visitor center with information, a playground and even a gift shop. It’s a popular place for wildflower pictures among the locals, but by no means the only place in Arizona to experience the wonder of the desert in the spring. The first step is to stop by Chapman Ford Scottsdale and see the selection of Ford Mustang convertibles that will make your spring sightseeing and experience you’ll want to repeat every year.