There is some very cool news coming from Ford these past two days. Yesterday Ford announced that the Ford GT’s five new drive modes to optimize performance in any condition, from rain to racing and more. Modes include Normal for everyday touring, Wet for driving in the elements, Sport for more spirited ventures, Track for racing, and V-Max for maximum straight-line speed. With one simple turn of a dial, the driver can change engine, aerodynamic, stability control and shift characteristics, optimizing their experience of the Ford GT.
Now today Ford Performance will become the exclusive live U.S. distribution channel of the 2017 FIA World Rallycross season. Ford is the first OEM to serve as a live distribution partner for the FIA World Rallycross series, and all 12 races will be streamed live on the Ford Performance Facebook page.
Lincoln Motor Company has just released some fantastic news. There will be an all-new Head-Up Display this spring on the Lincoln Continental, designed to help drivers keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.
They are the first to use Digital Light Projection technology – DLP – Lincoln’s new system leapfrogs the competition with its size and brightness – the brightest display and biggest display size in its class. The Head-Up Display is customizable, allowing the client to choose what features they see, providing a human, warm and personal experience that Lincoln client’s desire.
“We’ll be using a DLP chip from Texas Instruments, while many other automakers use a different technology that doesn’t get quite as bright,” said Anthony King, product design engineer for The Lincoln Motor Company. “That’s what sets us apart.”
An added benefit: The infrared reflective coating on the glass that reflects the display deflects heat, helping the car stay cool in warmer climates. The system is designed to help drivers keep their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel; everything in the Head-Up Display controlled by the steering wheel.
Customizable so clients can choose what they want to see displayed, the system allows the driver to set the brightness they desire, as well as the position – which can be adjusted up and down, side to side, and rotated to achieve the ideal viewing position for each driver.
However clients want to use the Head-Up Display, they can choose the information to view – from showing every available component to paring it down, or even turning it off completely. Only the phone and navigation system information automatically will appear in the display when in use. Features such as outside temperature, Lane-Keeping System, adaptive cruise control, distance to empty and the time can be turned on or off.
“It’s unique, and we’ve chosen that because our research has shown that a non-redundant display actually makes it more compelling to clients,” said King. “It’s simple, and defines what quiet luxury really means.”
Ford just put up a new video on their YouTube channel for you to experience the Raptor like never before through a new virtual reality and 360-degree experience called the 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor: Born to Baja video.
You can experience the Ford F-150 Raptor in the FordVR app and Ford Performance’s YouTube channel. Set at this year’s Baja 1000 Race, the world’s most brutal test for trucks and the drivers inside, this 36-hour experience allows VR-users to tear up the desert in Ford’s toughest truck. The video, narrated by Denis Leary, takes you through the entire Raptor story — from factory to the finish line.
There is some cool new coming from the folks over at Ford Motor Company. They are testing 3D printing of large scale car parts using the Stratasys Infinite Build 3D printer. Ford is the first automotive company to trial this technology with Stratasys, and is currently exploring potential applications for future production vehicles, like Ford Performance vehicles or for personalized car parts. Increasingly affordable and efficient, 3D printing large car parts, like car spoilers, could benefit both Ford and consumers. Parts that are printed can be lighter in weight than their traditionally manufactured counterparts, and may help improve fuel efficiency.
Capable of printing car parts of practically any shape or length, the Stratasys Infinite Build system could be a breakthrough for vehicle manufacturing, providing a more efficient and affordable way to produce tooling, prototype parts, or components at low volumes, like Ford Performance vehicles, or for personalized car parts.
“With the Infinite Build technology, we are now able to print large tools, fixtures, and components, making us more nimble in design iterations,” said Ellen Lee, Ford technical leader for additive manufacturing research. “We’re excited to have early access to Stratasys’ new technology in order to help steer the development of large scale printing for automotive applications and requirements.”
The new 3D print system is located at Ford’s Research and Innovation Center in Dearborn.
It’s difficult to write this review without first setting the scene.
It was November of 1846 and the Donner party had hit a snag. After nearly 6 months on the trail, an early snowstorm pummelled the Sierra Nevada Mountains and trapped the party of 87 near Truckee California. As livestock and supplies began to dwindle and rescue operations were delayed, many in the Donner Party resorted to cannibalism to survive. It wasn’t until March of 1847 that 48 emaciated survivors trudged their way through the mountain pass to tell their story.
It was this on my mind as I thought about our food supplies in the back seat of our 2017 Ford Fusion Sport. When I went to bed the night before, I was comforted by the weather report of 1-3″ of snow. By morning’s light the totals on the ground were over 18″ and growing fast. We had to get on the road and we had to do it right now.
I grew up in the snow. Any self respecting native New Englander knows how to drive in the snow. Alpine snow is different though, at 7,000 feet sometimes it comes down harder than any forecast can predict. Steep inclines and switchback turns give even the most seasoned driver pause, and white roads hide what ice may lie underneath. Chains become a legal requirement, and all their hand numbing, bloody knuckle curse word inspiring fun along with it.
Quick PSA for those attempting an escape from the mountains in a Ford Fusion Sport.
Caltrans might let you slide if you have AWD (check) and brand new tires (check).
They will not let you know this on the internet, the official word is 4WD (nope) and snow tires (nope).
So I bought two pairs of chains, in order to not destroy the differential on my brand new loaner car. I attempted to install these chains in a Starbucks parking lot with 30 mph winds blowing snow into my everywhere. I failed. I felt like less of a man.
Turns out, according to the nice men at the local gas station, my (wow what kind of car is this? Ford? No Way!) 2017 Ford Fusion Sport did not take too kindly to chains. The low profile 19” wheels were so close to the wheel wells that any attempt by me and my meat mitts to squeeze in between was useless and likely even bad for the car. (Manhood restored!) With our recently purchased and now useless chains stowed securely in our trunk, we chose to risk it and get our butts back to Los Angeles.
To make a long story of focus and perseverance short, it took us 16 hours to get home. Our first 100 miles took over 8 hours. We were trapped in holiday traffic, mixed with apocalyptic snowfall, and raging winds. Our route was marked by cars and trucks in snow banks, bathroom lines over 30 minutes long, and a near complete breakdown of simple human decorum. We retraced a portion of the Donner Party’s route and lived to tell the tale.
The Blue Lightning paint job and athletic stance stand out from the curb. Even though it shares its now signature Fusion grill with more standard trim levels, accents and flares across the body separate the Sport from the herd. It looks like a million bucks. Well, more accurately, it looks like 70,000 bucks. (MSRP as tested $41k)
The trip began innocently enough, the clean dry roads of Southern California allowed the V6 2.7L engine ample room to shine. 380lb-ft of torque may not mean much to you, but trust me, good times were had. The car is quick, responsive, and drives like a luxury sports sedan. My love affair turned Stockholm Syndrome with the Fusion Sport began on the 405 North, merging and passing at will, deftly passing mile markers and semi trucks. The handling is smooth yet responsive, the 6 speed automatic transmission shifted seamlessly, and the steering was responsive without being overly tactile. The AWD, truly tested repeatedly and necessarily, was an all star. There never came a moment where I asked the car to do something it couldn’t do. Like all great AWD systems in the snow, simply pointing the nose of the car in the desired direction was enough. The slipping and gripping of the tires is all handled automatically and the car finds its way straight again.
This is really the only knock on this car. A look from the outside and a test drive might have you wondering how it is priced at less than half of what some of its luxury cousins are sold for. This is where some of the money is saved. Leather and fancy composites give way to more familiar upholstery and plastics. It’s nice enough, it is an American car after all. Functional interiors made with less than premium materials are kind of the hallmark of this nation’s automobiles. Comfortable seats, effective infotainment software, and all the appropriate spots to stow your gadgets. Not much to complain about inside and what little there was only exists because the bar of expectations had been raised so high. Perhaps the the Platinum and Sport trim levels will combine one day to take on the BMW 3 series? 2018 anyone?
The Home Stretch
I could argue that I lost all objectivity somewhere between hour 3 and 4 of our drive home. We had been stopped for over 30 minutes in the blinding snow and wind on Interstate 80, mere miles away from the point where some in the Donner party met their fateful end. I was out of the car, clearing the ice off our windshield wipers and talking to a fellow stranded motorist. We chatted about the weather and the fact that we were standing in the middle of an interstate highway when he said, “That’s a Ford?”. I nodded and told him a little about it, when suddenly we both stopped speaking and stood there. Two men, surrounded by thousands of stranded motorists, in the middle of a major weather event. I pondered the earth and human constructs like society. I figured I could get maybe three days out of the snacks we had, if we were on survival rations. We could always drink the snow and surely Caltrans wouldn’t just forget about the people in the countless cars they just waved through. We said our goodbyes and got into the warm embrace of our vehicles. My heated seat comforted my back, as any unbiased attempt at a review melted like flakes on the windshield. My loving wife handed me some almonds and traffic began to move again. I couldn’t help but imagine that the Fusion Sport nodded and smiled as we slid into gear and continued to trudge along our way.
2017 Ford Fusion Sport
MSRP (as tested) $40,995
2.7L GTDI Ecoboost Engine
19” Premium Wheels
There is some cool news coming out of Miami. Mercedes AMG is getting together with Cigarette Racing teamed up again this year by presenting the Cigarette Racing Team 50’ Marauder AMG boat inspired by the stunning Mercedes-AMG GT R.
The new Mercedes-AMG 50’ Marauder AMG boat is making its world premiere at the 2017 Miami Boat Show. Designed for high-speed and further improved dynamics, carbon-fiber was employed extensively in the design to help shed more than 1,300 pounds. The deck, cockpit and consoles were developed using advanced laminate analysis techniques and are all constructed from carbon-fiber with foam core. The engine hatch is also completely carbon fiber, employing vacuum infusion technology for its construction.
The Cigarette Racing Team 2017 50’ Marauder AMG is powered by a pair of Mercury Racing 1550/1350 QC4v (Quad Cam 4 Valve) engines and M8 stern drives, delivering up to 3,100 hp. These sophisticated powerplants are dual calibration engines, which enable the operator to switch engine power levels through an electronic key fob. The Race Key fob unlocks up to 1550 hp, requiring race fuel. The Pleasure key fob is used for operating at 1,350 hp with 91 octane fuel.
The front-mid-engine concept with a transaxle, handcrafted AMG 4.0L V8 biturbo engine rated at 577 hp, extensively modified suspension, new aerodynamics and intelligent lightweight construction laid the foundation for an especially dynamic driving experience. In addition, the unmistakable AMG Panamericana grille celebrated its standard-production premiere in the Mercedes-AMG GT R, with its 15 chrome-plated vertical fins inspired by the look of the new AMG GT3 race car and the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL that won the legendary Panamericana Mexican road race in 1952.
Lincoln Motor Company is always looking for the next thing that will push their cars to a whole new level. They look at all aspects of their car designs. They even care about music. There’s just something about music. Something universal, but also personal. It can transport listeners back to the moment they first heard the notes of a favorite song come to life. Sound leaves behind such an imprint, it can linger for a lifetime. By creating a sonic profile of all the sounds and noises we have ever heard, our brains are able to recall moments that span the emotional spectrum; sounds that remind us of all the selves we’ve ever been and all those that we aspire to be.
And that’s why The Lincoln Motor Company is dedicated to creating unforgettable sound experiences — so dedicated, in fact, that we designed the cabin of the new 2017 Lincoln Continental around the 19 speakers of the Revel audio system to foster an incredible listener experience.
But they didn’t stop there. Determined to create a one-of-a-kind sound experience celebrating talent across the auditory spectrum, we called in some outside experts: virtuoso musician Gary Clark Jr. and Ben Fargen, a renowned amp builder who designs equipment for individualized sound. The task: build a custom amp designed to accommodate Gary’s impressive range, in celebration of the power of sound, in collaboration with the team at Revel.
Ford just released some exciting news in regards to the Ford Expedition. There is a ton of new upgrades on this new model. The latest Ford Expedition is the smartest, most capable and most adaptable Expedition ever. It provides families generous space, connectivity and smart new technology for their next adventures. There is flexible seating and storage solutions that include second-row tip-and-slide seating that provides easy access to the third row even when child seats are installed; new, more powerful 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine and class-exclusive 10-speed automatic transmission are expected to deliver the best towing capability of any full-size SUV.
Here is a list of other fantastic features.
Wireless charging; Expedition is Ford’s first vehicle to feature this system, which allows customers to place compatible mobile devices on an integrated charging pad conveniently located in the front center console. Wi-Fi hotspot supports as many as 10 devices at once, up to 50 feet away from the vehicle.
Dual-headrest rear seat entertainment system provides a next-generation video experience that allows passengers to view their home cable programming on either of two video screens or hand-held devices. SYNC® 3, with both Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ capability, allows drivers to stay connected on the move. SYNC Connect lets owners connect with the vehicle remotely using FordPass® to start, lock, unlock and locate their vehicle from anywhere, while also allowing access to important vehicle diagnostic information.
Power for passengers in every row, with four 12-volt power points, six USB chargers and a 110-volt power outlet that lets passengers stay charged and connected.12-speaker B&O PLAY premium audio system perfected by acoustic engineers for a sound experience even audiophiles will appreciate. Advanced cargo manager with an adjustable shelf behind the third row lets owners create a storage space customized to whatever they’re hauling; even when parked on a hill, cargo won’t roll out the back of Expedition when the liftgate is opened. Panoramic Vista Roof spans two rows, a feature not offered by any competitor.
Have you seen the FordHub? It is Ford’s first brand experience studio, an innovation playground where consumers can explore and learn more about Ford vehicles today and, how Ford is thinking about the future of mobility. As the brand shares its vision for the City of Tomorrow, the FordHub will allow consumers to learn how Ford is finding new ways to help people move – whether they own a car or not.
Ford is also revealing a new 90-second ad that – for the first time ever – highlights near- and long-term mobility solutions it is developing to help people Go Further in their daily lives. The ad launches just before kickoff of Super Bowl LI on Sunday. Digital extensions of the ad also debut at fordgofurther.com, featuring in-depth stories of Ford people who Go Further every day.
It seems that every year the technology improves by leaps and bounds. You can see the difference when you upgrade your smartphone. Imagine how technologically behind you’d be if you still had the same iPhone from 2010? With how rapidly technology is advancing in the auto industry too, car owners with 2010 models must feel like flip phone owners.
Now with Ford’s latest innovation, they can enjoy some of the newest tech features offered in today’s vehicles with a simple plug-in. Called SmartLink, Ford & Lincoln owners with 2010-2016 model year vehicles can access remote start, lock and unlock via their smartphone, activate 4G Wi-Fi hotspots capable of accepting up to eight devices, receive vehicle health and security alert and access vehicle location assistance.