27
Dec
12

Ford Experiments With In-Car Sensors To Predict Driver Behavior, Cut Stress

DEARBORN, Michigan — Ford predicts that in-car sensors will be the next big thing in vehicles.

Biometric sensors will measure the stress level of the driver and help to personalize driver-assist technologies, the automaker said.

The 2013 Ford Fusion previews the future, with 74 sensors that “can monitor the perimeter around the car and see into places that are not readily visible from the driver’s seat,” Ford said.

“Fusion features an unprecedented level of sensors for its driver-assist technologies,” said Paul Mascarenas, Ford’s chief technical officer, in a statement.

Ford said it is researching the use of real-time sensor data — both radar and camera-based — that can help to evaluate external factors affecting driver attention, such as traffic congestion. The real-time sensor data can cut potential distractions, such as an incoming phone call.

Ford researchers are also looking at ways to predict driver behavior to “help optimize and configure vehicle controls for improved performance such as better energy management,” the automaker said.

The automaker is also experimenting with “advanced machine learning.” This technology is previewed in EV+, a feature found in the 2013 Ford Fusion and C-Max Energi plug-in hybrids. It “learns” typical locations of charging and then “automatically maximizes electric-only driving mode when nearing those locations,” the automaker noted.

14
Dec
12

Next-Generation Ford Transit Connect Breaks New Ground in Commercial Van Fuel Efficiency with 30+ MPG

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SOURCE Ford Motor Company

DEARBORN, Mich., Dec. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ –

  • Ford brings an all-new compact Transit Connect commercial van to market, ideally suited to small business owners and fleets placing high value on fuel efficiency
  • Transit Connect Van is expected to deliver at least 5 mpg better fuel economy on the highway than Ram C/V Cargo Van while carrying more payload than a full-size Ram 1500 pickup truck
  • Anticipating up to 30+ mpg on the highway with EcoBoost® power, Transit Connect Van offers customers their choice of two fuel-efficient four-cylinder engines, two wheelbase lengths, two model series and an available CNG/LPG prep package
  • Transit Connect Van takes versatility to a new level with convenient sliding side doors, side-hinged rear cargo doors, a choice of side and rear window configurations, and an estimated 1,600-pound payload

With global commercial vehicle sales expected to jump significantly during the next several years, Ford’s all-new 2014 Transit Connect cargo van is set to provide cost-conscious commercial fleets and small business owners with unmatched fuel economy and versatility in an expanding commercial vehicle market.

Redesigned from the ground up, Ford Transit Connect cargo van drives and parks like a car, hauls more payload than a full-size Ram 1500 pickup, and delivers fuel efficiency unmatched by any other commercial vehicle in North America today – 30+ mpg on the highway.

“We have completely reengineered Transit Connect with North American business owners top of mind,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of The Americas. “This all-new cargo hauler offers entrepreneurs and fleet owners a unique combination of leading fuel efficiency, cargo capacity and maneuverability.”

Continue reading ‘Next-Generation Ford Transit Connect Breaks New Ground in Commercial Van Fuel Efficiency with 30+ MPG’

05
Nov
12

2013 Ford C-Max Energi Plug-In Adds To C-Max Hybrid Sales

source: Green Car Reports

The 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid has now reached dealerships throughout the country, selling 3,182 units in October.

But Ford had an “October surprise” in store: The company sold 144 of the plug-in hybrid C-Max Energi version as well.

That car hasn’t been driven by any members of the automotive media, and Ford communications staff have been vague about when it would go on sale, saying only things like “at the end of the year.”

Well, October kicks off the fourth quarter of 2012, so perhaps that’s what they meant.

Ford’s October sales of 144 C-Max Energi hatchbacks, plus another 118 Ford Focus Electric battery-electric cars, contributed to the highest monthly sales for plug-in electric cars since modern plug-ins went on sale in December 2010.

The company issued a press release proudly touting the October sales of its hybrid C-Max, and comparing them to the Toyota Prius V wagon, which sold 2,769.

As Ford’s first dedicated hybrid–a model that has no standard gasoline version–the C-Max has to compete against the best-selling Toyota Prius, now a range of four cars including a plug-in hybrid version.

One of its jobs is to lure new customers into Ford showrooms in hybrid-heavy markets like the West Coast. (Those markets notably do not include Michigan, Ford’s home state.)

And according to Ford, it’s working.

“One in four C-MAX Hybrids sold in October were sold in California,” the release said, “with Los Angeles as the best-selling region and San Francisco following in second.”

“Initial conquest data show that more than 70 percent of C-MAX Hybrid buyers traded in a competitive model or added it without trading in another vehicle,” Ford continued.

“And one third of C-MAX Hybrid customers in October said they cross-shopped the Toyota Prius and Prius V.”

The Toyota Prius line as a whole sold 16,774 units in October, and Toyota also sold hybrid models of several of its conventional cars as well, for a total of 20,273 hybrids last month.

Ford’s total of 4,612 hybrids sold in October, while its best month ever, still puts it in second place in U.S. hybrid sales overall–but decisively ahead of Honda, which sold 948 hybrids throughout the month.

The one remaining question about the C-Max Hybrid is its real-world gas mileage. Green Car Reports has now done two short tests of Ford’s latest hybrid (here and here) and has not come close to its rated efficiency of 47 mpg combined.

Real-world mileage is likely to be much in the public eye with Hyundai and Kia having to restate their window-sticker figures and offer refunds to customers who bought cars with higher MPG ratings than were justified–due to errors in the EPA testing it submitted for certification, Hyundai says.

While the 144 C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid sales in October came as a surprise, Ford notes that the car is now on sale at Ford dealerships that have been certified to sell plug-in cars in half the states in the country.

Its role is to compete head-to-head with the Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid, which has a lower electric range–6 to 11 miles–but carries the trusted Prius name.

09
Oct
12

2013 Ford Explorer Sport The twin-turbo EcoBoost V-6 helps the Explorer explore its limits.

BY CSABA CSERE

Although “sport” is right there in the term “sport-utility vehicle,” those vehicles’ inherently heavy weights, higher centers of gravity, and blocky shapes usually preclude sports-car fun, no matter how much power you shoehorn under the hood. Most SUVs are little more than shuttle buses, a task for which they are well-suited.

Still, there are some loons who want their family hauler to haul ass—witness the chariots of lunacy in our most recent hot-rod SUV comparo. To tap this market, Ford has just introduced the Explorer Sport.

In a nutshell, the Explorer Sport is simply an Explorer fitted with the Taurus SHO’s 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6, that makes 365 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque. Hit the throttle, and it’s pretty clear this is not your usual seven-seat Ford—it rockets up to 80 mph before the acceleration starts to tail off. Zero to 60 times fall from about eight seconds for the naturally aspirated V-6 Explorer to around six in the Sport.

The powertrain is quiet and very smooth. Only at low speeds do you hear much engine noise, and what you do hear sounds angry enough for a family vehicle. To handle the elevated engine torque, the Explorer Sport only comes with all-wheel drive and Ford’s system allocates the power as needed to maximize traction. Even so, a full-throttle launch reveals traces of torque steer, although this disappears once the transmission shifts into second gear.

Continue reading ‘2013 Ford Explorer Sport The twin-turbo EcoBoost V-6 helps the Explorer explore its limits.’

20
Sep
12

Why the Fusion defines the new Ford

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Detroit. There are product launches in this business and then there are new product introductions that qualify as defining moments for a car company. Although we’ve long since past the point where fall new car introductions were the talk of small towns across America (and it’s a shame that era has passed), there’s no question that the introduction of the new Ford Fusion definitely qualifies as one of those defining moments.

The new Fusion is the culmination of everything that has gone into transforming Ford under the gifted leadership of Alan Mulally, and it’s exactly what Bill Ford Jr. had in mind when he began courting the Boeing leader to come to Dearborn and jump-start his family’s car company.

Despite everything you’ve read of late about Ford’s internal hand-wringing over Alan Mulally’s successor – Mark Fields – I can assure you that the company’s focus has never wavered from the job at hand, which, as Mulally has repeatedly defined it, means designing, engineering and building the best vehicles they can possibly muster.  Cars and trucks that are both efficient and fun to drive.

Continue reading ‘Why the Fusion defines the new Ford’

06
Jul
12

Ford C-MAX Hybrid Aims for 47 MPG to Beat Prius v as Most Fuel-Efficient, Affordable Hybrid Utility Vehicle in America

DEARBORN – Ford’s new C-MAX Hybrid soon will make a big statement in the largest hybrid segment with projected leading fuel economy of 47 mpg city – beating the Toyota Prius v by 3 mpg, plus a $1,300-lower base price.

The segment for small hybrids such as the C-MAX Hybrid and Prius accounts for 65 percent of all hybrid sales. Ford expects about half of C-MAX buyers to be conquest customers trading in competitive models.

Ford has simultaneously increased hybrid efficiency and performance while reducing cost. The result is an expected payback period of two years for the hybrid technology premium compared with leading small crossovers. This is about half of the four-year period Ford research shows could trigger more mainstream hybrid sales.

Continue reading ‘Ford C-MAX Hybrid Aims for 47 MPG to Beat Prius v as Most Fuel-Efficient, Affordable Hybrid Utility Vehicle in America’

11
Jun
12

Ford Enables Industry’s First In-Car Voice Control of MOG Smartphone App via SYNC App

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The FINANCIAL — LinkFord and MOG announced Ford drivers can now enjoy MOG’s award-winning, on-demand music service at their request using SYNC AppLink and the power of their voice

SYNC AppLink gives music lovers access to MOG’s vast catalog of more than 15 million songs in the car. Ford drivers simply need to launch the MOG app on their

USB-connected iPhone and MOG will immediately become an available option. Once selected, the listener’s MOG play queue will instantly begin playing so users can pick up listening wherever they left off.

According to Ford Motor Company, MOG can be controlled with voice commands and in-dash controls, allowing drivers to easily personalize their listening experience in a range of 2012 model Ford Motor Company vehicles. Ford drivers will have immediate access to their fav

orite songs and downloads via the AppLink interface along with access to custom radio channels that can be easily “tuned” by using the traditional tune knob on the in-dash interface.

Continue reading ‘Ford Enables Industry’s First In-Car Voice Control of MOG Smartphone App via SYNC App’




News and Events for the Ford or Lincoln owner and enthusiast.





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