2018 Ford F-150 Police Responder is Ford’s first pursuit-rated pickup

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Ford introduced its latest police vehicle, the Ford F-150 Police Responder, today. It isn’t the first F-150 police vehicle ever, but it is the first one to achieve the same pursuit rating of other Ford police vehicles – including its Taurus- and Explorer-based Interceptors, and the new Fusion hybrid-based Police Responder Hybrid Sedan. What this means is that it’s fast enough for pursuits, and it can handle extended high-speed driving without risking overheating, reduced braking performance, or other mechanical issues. It also distinguishes it from the Expedition and F-150 SSV models that are already available, which are not pursuit-rated.

Under the hood is the familiar twin-turbocharged EcoBoost 3.5-liter V6 used in other F-150s and the Expedition. It makes 375 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque, and will propel the truck to a limited top speed of 100 mph, which is 5 less than a civilian F-150. That engine is coupled to a 10-speed automatic transmission and a part-time four-wheel-drive system with a low-range transfer case.

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All Police Responder F-150s also come standard with the FX4 off-road package, which adds a locking rear differential, skid plates, and off-road tuned shocks. The shocks are also supplemented by a stiffer front anti-roll bar specific to the Police Responder. Upgraded brake calipers are fitted that can better handle heat, with reformulated pads.

The aluminum wheel and all-terrain tire package is also exclusive to the Responder. According to a Ford representative, aluminum wheels were acceptable because of the thicker tires. To complete the Police Responder package, a 240-amp alternator is fitted, along with redesigned cloth seats to allow for utility belts, steel-plates in the seat backs, and a column-mounted shifter. The shifter frees up space in the center console for equipment, and allows for quicker shifting.

New 2018 Ford Mustang GT won’t wake the neighborhood

As much as we all love the sound of a burly V8 cracking and spitting to life after a cold start, not everyone in this world shares our sentiments. Even enthusiasts can be undone by a noisy car at the early hours of the morning. Ford has come up with a solution on the new 2018 Mustang GT. Its so-called “Good Neighbor Mode” allows owners to start their cars at a relatively sedate noise level. This should help prevent any noise complaint calls to local constabularies.

The optional mode works like any active exhaust system. When you select Quiet Mode or Quiet Start, a set of baffles in the exhaust system close, dropping the sound to about 72 decibels. Ford says that’s about 10 decibels less than the standard Mustang GT. A lot of cars offer similar systems, though the Mustang has a bit of a party trick: scheduled quiet hours. For example, an owner can set the exhaust to automatically switch to quiet mode from 9 p.m. to 8 a.m.

Switching to and scheduling Quiet Mode is just like changing to any of the other exhaust modes. Cars with the 4-inch screen can find the mode in the settings menu. Those that opt for the upgraded 12-inch digital instrument cluster find the setting in the pony menu. Once you’re out on the open road, you can simply switch it back to Sport mode like any blue-blooded American.

[Source: Autoblog]

Watch an exclusive sneak peak of Top Gear America’s Ford F-150 Raptor review

With its premiere on July 30, we’re just a couple of days away from finally seeing the new Top Gear America. But you won’t have to wait that long to get a quick taste of the show on BBC America. We have a clip to share with you, and it’s of actor and now Top Gear America host William Fichtner driving a Ford F-150 Raptor in the desert. This is an exclusive clip you’ll only see on Autoblog.

He seems to like the truck, saying it’s “the American dream incarnate,” and “a fighter jet on four wheels.” It does look about as majestic as a bald eagle out in its natural habitat. While plenty of that is because of the inherent coolness of the truck, part of it is probably due to the way the truck is filmed. It appears that Top Gear America will have a high level of production value, with beautifully framed shots and lighting.

When the full episode airs on Sunday, Fichtner, the man behind Finding Steve McQueen, will be joined by two other hosts, Antron Brown and Tom “Wookie” Ford. Brown is a drag racer who first raced motorcycles before taking on Top Fuel drag cars in 2008. He took home his first Top Fuel championship in 2012. Ford has been in the automotive journalism biz for quite a while. He’s presently an associate editor for Top Gearmagazine and was previously at CAR magazine. He also has worked on a number of automotive-related TV shows, including gone, but not forgotten, Fifth Gear.

[Source: Autoblog]

On the 100th anniversary of Ford trucks, a brief look at their evolution

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Today, July 27, 2017, marks the 100th anniversary of Ford’s entry into the pickup truck market, and to mark the occasion, we’re taking a quick look at the evolution of those trucks. It all started with the Model TT, which took a Model T cab, and stuck it on a heavy duty frame rated to carry one ton. It was sold in a chassis-cab configuration so that buyers could put on whatever type of bed or box was necessary. It was followed up by the Model AA, which increased the load capacity to 1.5 tons, and then the Model BB in 1933. In 1935, the Model 50 was introduced and was the first Ford truck with a V8.

The first of the F-Series trucks arrived for 1948. And while the F designation has remained, the first models had a more basic numbering system. The trucks started with the F-1, a contemporary F-150 equivalent, and went up to the ultra-heavy duty commercial trucks like the F-7. Tack a “50” onto the end of most of those names and you’ll have modern day F-Series trucks. The naming scheme was tweaked in 1953 with the introduction of the F-100, and the Falcon-based Ranchero joined the line-up in 1957. Ford notes that it was at this time that trucks started getting basic amenities such as automatic transmissions, arm rests, and sun visors.

The first F-150 was introduced in 1975. Just two years later, the Ford F-Series became the best selling truck in America, and it took best selling passenger vehicle in 1982. No other trucks have yet surpassed the best selling truck title. 1982 also marked the introduction of the Ford Ranger compact truck, which replaced the Mazda-based Ford Courier. In the ’70s and ’80s, Ford also began offering more luxurious accommodations such as leather, air conditioning, and power windows and locks.

Most of the rest of the story you know. Ford kept selling absurd numbers of trucks. Special high-performance models were launched for both on the road and off it in the form of the F-150 Lightning and F-150 Raptor. And in 2019, Ford is slated to bring the Ranger back to the US. We even tried out the foreign-market truck on sale now, and we were impressed, so the new one should be good, too. It might even have a Raptor-style off-road version. We look forward to trying them and other Ford trucks for many years to come.

[Source: Autoblog]

That F-22 inspired, 454 horsepower Ford F-150 Raptor sold for $300k

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The 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor is one of the fastest and most capable trucks ever built. Similar sentiments can be applied to the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor. A few weeks ago, Ford teased a special edition version of the Raptor that combined elements of both models, though details beyond the visual changes were scarce. Ford Performance had its hands under the hood, adding a huge amount of power to the 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6. At last week’s Experimental Aircraft Association AirVenture Oshkosh, the truck fetched $300,000 in a charity auction, all benefiting the Young Eagles program.

The standard Raptor makes an already impressive 450 horsepower and 510 lb-ft of torque. This Ford F-22 F-150 Raptor makes 545 horsepower and 660 lb-ft of torque. That’s 110 lb-ft more than the 2017 Ford GT supercar. Power is still sent through a 10-speed automatic. The extra power comes courtesy of a bump in boost, a Whipple intercooler, and a full Borla exhaust kit. Ford hasn’t listed performance numbers, but considering the standard model hits 60 mph in just over 5 seconds, a 0-60 mph in the mid 4s isn’t out of the question.

The engine isn’t the only that’s been upgraded. The F-22 F-150 Raptor gets a Deaver rear spring pack and Fox bypass series shocks with adjustable compression and rebound valving. Innov8 Racing custom forged beadlock wheels with Falken Wildpeak tires hide six-piston calipers and upgraded rotors. There’s a 1.3-million candela LED KC Hilites lighting system straight across the roof. A DeBerti two-tire, gas and ProEagle jack holder are there in case of a puncture.

The truck also gets wider carbon-fiber fender flares as well as carbon fiber hood and fender vents. The Sherwin-Williams silver and black paint has a number of F-22 Raptor cues, including silhouettes on the doors and a large “F-22” logo across the doors. The hood replaces the block “Ford” logo with another silhouette of the F-22.

The Ford F-22 F-150 Raptor was purchased by Gary Ackerman of Gaudin Ford in Las Vegas, Nevada for $300,000. Ackerman serves as Honorary Commander/Ambassador for the United States Air Force’s F-22 Squadron at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada. Now we just hope Ford considers adding a little more power to the standard model.

[Source: Autoblog]

Ford CEO Jim Hackett reviewing the future of technology, Lincoln, overseas markets

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Ford Chief Executive Jim Hackett is reviewing the automaker’s operations in India and other markets, as well as Ford’s future product programs including plans to build a self-driving commercial vehicle in 2021.

Hackett, who took over as CEO in May, has told investors he is working on a 100-day review of Ford’s operations but has so far provided few details of the process, except to indicate that it is looking at the automakers’ luxury vehicle strategy, the future of its small vehicles and investments in emerging markets.

Ford Chief Financial Officer Bob Shanks told Reuters in an interview that the review covers a range of issues, including Ford’s strategy for India.

“We have a lot of work to do (as) we address issues of how to fix India,” Shanks said. “Everything is on the table.”

General Motors in May said it would stop selling cars in India but continue to produce vehicles there for export. Shanks said no decisions have been made and noted that Ford has a larger business in India than GM did. “We are very cognizant that will be the third-largest market in the world,” he said.

“Some big decisions will be made,” Shanks said, but he cautioned Ford may not disclose all those decisions at the end of the 100-day review.

Hackett is addressing challenges that have contributed to a nearly 8 percent decline in Ford’s share price this year.

The review of the Lincoln luxury brand includes whether current plans will meet former CEO Mark Fields’ ambitious targets for growth and revenue, people familiar with the process said.

Ford has set a target of putting a self-driving shuttle into commercial ride-sharing fleets by 2021. Hackett is reviewing the investment and timing for that project, the sources said.

Hackett also assessing whether to reduce and consolidate production of models such as the Fiesta subcompact and two midsized sedans that are built in multiple locations around the world, but are experiencing slowing demand.

One proposal would shift production of the next-generation Mondeo midsized sedan from Europe to Mexico, where it would share an assembly line with its sibling, the Ford Fusion, avoiding the cost of retooling two plants.

Shortly after he took charge, Hackett approved a proposal to shift production of the next-generation Focus for North America from Mexico to China, saving the company an estimated $500 million by consolidating two factories into one.

Hackett also is said to be questioning a plan to build at least half a dozen future models, including replacements for the Ford Mustang and Explorer and Lincoln Continental, on a new flexible platform that is designed to accommodate both front- and rear-wheel-drive vehicles.

Reporting by Paul Lienert and Joseph White in Detroit

[Source: Autoblog]

Ford to pay for repairs to every Police Interceptor Explorer SUV

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Ford will pay to repair police versions of its Ford Explorer SUVs to correct possible carbon monoxide leaks that may be linked to crashes and injuries after U.S. regulators escalated an investigation into 1.33 million vehicles. Ford said it will cover the costs of specific repairs in every Police Interceptor Explorer SUVs that may be tied to aftermarket installation of police equipment. The company said the modifications may have left holes in the underbody of the vehicles.

“If the holes are not properly sealed, it creates an opening where exhaust could enter the cabin,” Ford said in a statement. Ford acted amid concerns by some police departments about the safety of officers. The city of Austin, Texas said Friday it was removing all 400 of the city’s Ford Explorer SUVs from use.

Several Texas media outlets cited a city memo that said 20 police officers have been found with elevated levels of carbon monoxide and three have not returned to work. Ford said it has not found any elevated levels of carbon monoxide in regular Ford Explorers, but NHTSA is investigating reports of exhaust odors in those vehicles. Ford did not say how much it expected to pay to repair police vehicles and said its investigation is ongoing.

On Thursday, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it was upgrading and expanding a probe into 1.33 million Ford Explorer SUVs over reports of exhaust odors in vehicle compartments. Police have reported two crashes that may be linked to carbon monoxide exposure and a third incident involving injuries related to carbon monoxide exposure. The auto safety agency said it was also aware of more than 2,700 complaints that may be linked to exhaust orders and possible exposure to carbon monoxide and 41 injuries among police and civilian vehicles in the probe covering 2011-2017 model year Ford Explorer sport utility vehicles.

Ford has issued four technical service bulletins related to the exhaust odor issue to address complaints from police fleets and other owners, NHTSA and Ford said. NHTSA said it is evaluating preliminary testing that suggests carbon monoxide levels may be elevated in certain driving scenarios. NHTSA said it recently learned that the police version of the Ford Explorer was experiencing exhaust manifold cracks.

The agency said the reported injuries include “loss of consciousness, with the majority indicating nausea, headaches, or light-headedness.” (Reporting by David Shepardson in Washington; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

[Source: Autoblog]