Archive for the 'Design' Category


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.


2012 Ford Mondeo Details Leaked: Looks premium and mascular

British auto news publisher Auto Express has revealed some exclusive pictures and details of the 2012 Ford Mondeo, based on the Evos concept. Mondeo is expected to debut at the 2012 Geneva Auto Show and reportedly will be available next summer. However, some think it may be even debuted in the upcoming Detroit Auto show.

Torque News is not surprised by Ford Mondeo’s early coming. On August 25 Ford had invited a large group of reporters and auto journalists presenting the Evos concept. At the dinner I was sitting at the same table with J May who is the Group Vice President of Global Design and Chief Creative Officer at Ford Motor Company. May’s team headed the Evos concept’s design. Knowing some concepts never become actual cars or taking a long time to materialize we asked him how long before Evos becomes an actual car. His time frame was four month. We all thought that was impressive.

This is why the time frame of the Evos-built 2012 Ford Mondeo is not surprising.

The car looks mascular. With Evos concept, Ford is moving to the premium segment. It wants to make good looking and feel-good type of cars for an urban drivers at an affordable price. The company is aware what Audi and BMW are offering and Ford is gearing toward matching them.

Two distinct side lines and the narrow headlights make the car’s look very distinct. The roof-line is quite laid back. No wonder J May has received number of awards as Ford’s designer.

According to Auto Express “the range-extending 2.0-litre petrol engine and electric motors won’t be offered from launch, but will follow. This will allow for an electric-only range of around 50 miles and about 500 miles between fill-ups.”

Ford Mondeo Titanium is already getting a four cylinder engine. Mondeo EcoBoost will go on sale later this year in Germany. The images of the 2012 Ford Mondeo can be seen in the Auto Express referenced link above. The accompanying pictures here are that of Evos concept.


Comparison Test: 2012 Ford Focus Titanium vs. 2011 Hyundai Elantra Limite

Yes, this is another comparison of inexpensive compact sedans. We know you want to see yet another Burnout Supertest, but this is no less important. Especially when you consider that the winner of this comparison will be crowned nothing less than the best compact car you can buy in America.

It’s a story that’s been in the making for months, as the 2012 Ford Focus Titanium and 2011 Hyundai Elantra Limited are both previous comparison test champions. So what we have here is the best of the best.

Without question both Ford and Hyundai have raised their games. Whether it’s styling, features or performance, both of these sedans are stacked with plenty of everything. And sure enough, both Ford and Hyundai claim that their respective entries set the standard for the segment.

From the Outside In

One look at the new 2011 Hyundai Elantra and it’s obvious that Hyundai gave the art degree types at its North American Design Center in Irvine, California, free rein. The Elantra looks like a shrunken Sonata, but with a friendlier face and more bulbous fenders. It’s what Hyundai calls “Fluidic Sculpture” design and it’s one of the more eye-catching designs in the class.

The new 2012 Ford Focus, with its more purposeful lines, is a welcome change from the dreadfully awkward model that preceded it. It may not have the flair of the Elantra, but its “kinetic design form language” seems more of one piece. Since styling is so subjective there’s no real winner here, but we’re impressed with the sheer design-per-inch of both sedans.

Continue reading ‘Comparison Test: 2012 Ford Focus Titanium vs. 2011 Hyundai Elantra Limite’


2013 Ford Escape Spy Photos – Future Cars

Source: Car and Driver

Update: Our spy photographers have caught the interior of the upcoming Escape. We’ve added a picture below, and to read more about the interior, click over here.

After a full decade on the market, the Ford Escape is at last getting a ground-up redesign, and spies have caught this development mule out on an R&D mission. Although its innards are hidden beneath the curvy body of the current European Ford Kuga—which itself could have made a fitting second-gen Escape years ago—this vehicle gives away its actual identity with covered air intakes up front and ill-fitting tailpipes out back. However little we can actually see here, it is certain that the second-generation Escape will be a vastly different creature, both aesthetically and dynamically, from the Clinton-era ute we know now.

Ford previewed the new look at the Detroit auto show with the Vertrek concept, a clear evolution of both the Kuga’s shape, and Ford’s “Kinetic design” styling language. The most fundamental change will be a switch to Ford’s global C platform, which also serves as the foundation for the 2012 Focus, the upcoming C-Max, and the current Kuga, thereby allowing the Kuga and Escape to be merged into one global product.

Escape From Six-Cylinders?

We expect that Ford will offer a choice of powertrains in the next Escape, but we don’t expect any available engine to have more than four cylinders or be paired with a transmission containing fewer than six ratios. Ford’s ubiquitous 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, which produces 168 hp and 167 lb-ft of torque in the C-Max, is likely to be the base powerplant. The same EcoBoost 1.6-liter inline-four that powered the Vertrek could lend its 180 hp and 173 lb-ft to the production vehicle, and the mighty 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-banger is a possibility for the top-shelf Escape. With about 237 hp and 250 lb-ft, it could make for an interesting Escape Sport. And, of course, the return of the Escape hybrid is a no-brainer. Expect to see upgrades to the system used in today’s hybrid, if not a completely new system or a plug-in version like that found in theC-Max Energi also shown in Detroit.


Ford Releases Slick-Looking Fiesta Sport Special Edition for Europe

As part of its One Ford initiative, Ford has made world cars of its latest Focus and Fiesta, but there are some models we still don’t get. Take this Fiesta Sport Special Edition, for example. This isn’t the first sporty, cool-looking Fiesta model Ford has kept from us, however: the automaker chose to leave the Fiesta 1600S—and all three-door Fiestas, for that matter—overseas. (At least we should get a turbocharged Fiesta ST soon.) To create the Fiesta Sport Special Edition, Ford started with a three-door Fiesta hatch and pretty much added the same bits that made up the Fiesta 1600S, including that car’s 132-hp, 1.6-liter gas engine; sport exhaust; aggressive front fascia and side skirts; a rear diffuser and spoiler; and black or silver 17-inch wheels. The Sport Special Edition also carries over the 1600S’s automatic climate control, leather handbrake and shift knob, and heated leather sport seats.

The Fiesta Sport Special Edition differs from the 1600S in that it will be available in more than two colors (seven, to be exact), and won’t offer the 1600S’s contrasting stripe package. Furthermore, the grille is rimmed with a thin strip of silver trim, as are the two front fog lights (the S1600’s were trimmed in black) and the exhaust tips. Interestingly, the Fiesta Sport Special Edition also offers Ford’s 93-hp, 1.6-liter diesel four-cylinder, although those versions will ride on smaller 16-inch wheels.


Ford Prepares Global Launch of Electric Cars, Leads on Intelligent Vehicles News

Chairman Bill Ford wrote in Fortune magazine this week that the company will start rolling out its EVs this year, beginning with an electric Ford Focus. It will be followed by a plug-in hybrid and an electric version of its new, sporty five-seater C-MAX.

He says that 25% of Ford’s global fleet will be electric by 2020.

“Some of the most fundamental and enduring elements of the automobile are being radically transformed,” says.

While he is referring primarily to replacing internal combustion engines with batteries and electric drive trains, Ford is also exploring other technological leaps that could improve the safety and efficiency of driving.

Continue reading ‘Ford Prepares Global Launch of Electric Cars, Leads on Intelligent Vehicles’


Ford touts new Explorer’s 30% increase in fuel efficiency

A week before Ford Motor Co. will unveil the all-new 2011 Ford Explorer in major cities across the U.S., the automaker today confirmed the sport-utility vehicle will be 30 percent more fuel-efficient than the outgoing model.

Ford has been building up the crossover’s debut with Facebook teaser pictures of parts of the vehicle and a steady diet of snippets about features and attributes. The new Explorer goes on sale later this year, but the production model has not been shown on the auto circuit.

Ford CEO Alan Mulally will be in New York on Monday to make a splash in Herald Square with special guest Mike Rowe, who is host of Discovery Channel’s “Dirty Jobs.” A simultaneous event is being planned in at least eight other cities including Dearborn, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles as part of an innovative marketing campaign.

Today’s news release confirmed the improved fuel economy. It will be achieved because the vehicle is lighter, more aerodynamic and car-based (from the Taurus family), and has an optional 2-liter four-cylinder Ecoboost engine, which means it is turbocharged and has direct-injection. The crossover also has a six-speed automatic transmission.

The current Explorer, with a 4-liter V-6 engine, is rated as getting 14 mpg in the city and 20 mpg in highway driving. A 30 percent improvement would mean the new Explorer should get 18/26 mpg. Official figures will be released once the EPA completes its testing.

“The all-new Explorer will give a huge universe of existing and prospective customers the capability they expect and the luxury and convenience they want, all combined with the fuel economy they need,” said Mark Fields, Ford president of The Americas, in a statement.

In an effort to get as many miles per gallon as possible, the Explorer will offer electric power-assisted steering, battery management, fast engine warm-up and aggressive deceleration fuel shutoff, and amore efficientair conditioning compressor.

Safety technology includes curve technology that will debut on the Explorer. It is an upgraded electronic stability control system to better hug the road if a driver takes a curve too quickly and will be added to 90 percent of Ford’s light trucks and crossovers by 2015.

The public got its first look at the replacement for the body-on-frame Explorer with the Explorer America concept at the 2008 North American International Auto Show. 222 – 2504

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

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