This 1969 Mustang Boss 429 continuation car makes 815 hp

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Classic Recreations, the custom fabricators from Oklahoma, has rolled into SEMA in Las Vegas with a continuation 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429 that features a custom-built crate engine making 815 horsepower.

Swathed in monochromatic “Vengeance Black” paint, the racing pony car was built from an original 1969 Mustang body and restored to factory condition. It’s the first vehicle released under Classic’s new license with Ford, which also permits it to offer continuation versions of the 1969-1970 Boss 302 and Mach 1 Mustangs. The Boss 429 was born when Ford, eyeing intense NASCAR competition from Chrysler, developed a new 429 cubic-inch, 375-hp V8 for the Mustang. Fordbuilt fewer than 900 of them for the 1969 model year and just under 500 for 1970, the only two years they were built.

“The Boss 429 is one of the coolest and rarest Mustangs ever produced, but they have gotten so valuable that most owners won’t drive them,” Classic Recreations owner Jason Engel said in a statement. “This offers people the chance to own an incredibly rare car that they can actually drive, and with modern chassis and engine tech, these cars will actually be faster and easier to drive than the original.”

This continuation version brings a 546 cubic-inch (8.9-liter) mated to a Tremec manual transmission. It also features an updated valve train, electronic fuel injection and engine management systems. There’s also a four-link rear suspension and front tubular upper and lower control arms with adjustable coilovers and oversized sway bars for stability at high speeds. It’s also been fitted with stainless steel performance mufflers and long tube headers to accentuate the aggressive sound and allow the engine to breathe.

Elsewhere, the Boss 429 gets Michelin Pilot Sport tires mounted to all-new forged aluminum 18-inch wheels made by American Racing and zinc-washed rotors mated to six-piston front and four-piston rear brake calipers. There’s also a tilt column and complete rack-and-pinion steering conversion. There are also Kicker Audio speakers, a custom console, aluminum steering wheel and factory Boss 429 200-mph gauges.

The custom conversion Boss 429 starts at $209,000.

[Source: Autoblog]

2019 Ford Series 1 Mustang RTR arrives with Vaughn Gittin Jr. drift car looks

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Ford is offering a limited-edition Mustang for 2019 called the Series 1 Mustang RTR. Built as a collaboration with Vaughn Gittin Jr. and his RTR team, the car consists mostly of aesthetic modifications to a Performance Pack 1-equipped Mustang GT or EcoBoost.

The one big performance enhancement it does get, though, is a Ford Performance suspension with adjustable sway bars. When you see Gittin Jr., it’s normally in a Mustang sliding sideways, so that’s why this Mustang gets the adjustable suspension. You can set it up to best suit track time, drifting, drag strip runs or normal road driving. It’s compatible with both the standard shocks and MagneRide suspension option. A 19-inch wheel package finishes the running gear changes.

To set it apart from your run-of-the-mill Mustangs, the Series 1 changes up the front end design with an RTR grille, lighting and graphics package. An aero package is highlighted by a spoiler with an RTR gurney flap. Of course, there are plenty of RTR badges throughout, and you get a serialized dash plaque for authenticity. There will only be 500 Series 1 Mustang RTRs made for the 2019 model year.

This whole package will be treated as a dealer installed option, and comes with the normal Ford warranty for the Mustang. It’s slated to be available at dealerships in early 2019 for the time being. Chances are that buying this won’t turn you into a drifter like Gittin Jr., but you can get a Mustang with some of the looks now.

[Source: Autoblog]

Ford rolls out 7 wild off-road and performance F-Series trucks for SEMA

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Ford is bringing an F-Series truck for everyone to the SEMA show this year. Whether you fancy off-road madness or fast street trucks, there appears to be one of everything. Here’s the rundown:

Gen-2 Full-Race Motorsports ‘Freak-O-Boost’ F-150

This truck (pictured above in the gallery) is for the off-road enthusiasts. A three-inch lift kit and Icon Vehicle Dynamics suspension along with some Raptor bits give it extra capability off the pavement. Bead-lock wheels and all-terrain tires are there to help as well. There’s apparently plenty of power to be had, as Full-Race Motorsports applied a twin-turbo upgrade, cat-back exhaust, HeadGames Motorworks cylinder heads and a high-flow fuel pump. This particular F-150started out life with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine, but all these changes transform it into quite the off-road beast.
Ford F-Series 2018 SEMA

Transfer Flow F-150

If you were looking for the ultimate adventure truck, Transfer Flow seems to have it covered. Starting with the 3.0-liter diesel V6, this truck gets an off-road air suspension by Hellwig Products. Big off-road tires give it the rugged appearance to go with the extra capability. There’s a 50-gallon fuel tank on board, along with a 40-gallon in-bed auxiliary toolbox combo with a refueling kit too. Yeah, you’ll probably have enough fuel for some adventuring here.

Ford F-Series 2018 SEMA

Kurt Busch and ZB Customs F-150

But maybe you wanted 1,000 horsepower, as any reasonable person might desire. Enter the 5.0-liter twin-turbo V8 F-150with exactly that much power. This truck has JE forged pistons, Ford Performance forged rotating assembly, oil pan and pump and side-exit exhaust. The suspension is dropped two-inches and it rides on JRi Shocks’ hydraulic ride height system. PAC Racing coilovers and sway bars should help keep the 1,000 horsepower in line a little bit better too. Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperCar tires are brought to a halt by eight-piston Brembos up front and four-piston calipers in the rear.

Ford F-Series 2018 SEMA

Speedkore F-150

This one doesn’t have 1,000 horsepower, but it does have the 5.0-liter V8 with the Ford Performance supercharger tacked on. Lowered by three inches, it has some MaxTrac suspension components and the same eight-piston Brembos from the previous truck. Tons of exterior enhancements make the sport truck look the part, and a side-exit exhaust should grab people’s attention who didn’t see the stealthy truck at first.

Ford F-Series 2018 SEMA

Wilderness Collective F-250 Super Duty

Here’s another lifted adventure truck, this one designed and put together by a tour company, Wilderness Collective. It gets a two-inch air lift kit along with off-road wheels and tires. This truck is one of the few that doesn’t get a big power bump, but the focus here is on being able to take it anywhere. It has a full radio communications kit and lights everywhere to illuminate your way ahead. Plenty of camping and wilderness friendly add-ons are found tied to or mounted all over the truck too.

Extang F-350 Super Duty

Extang F-350 Super Duty

This truck is designed to be the ultimate tailgating accessory. It has a slide out game table, BBQ grill and cooler plus a 65-inch 4K TV to watch all the games on. Mechanically, it features a specially designed air suspension along with 24-inch wheels. It literally comes with everything you might need when hanging out before a big game.

Ford F-Series 2018 SEMA

Deberti Design F-250 Super Duty Work Truck

Most of the trucks here weren’t made for the average work truck needs, but this one strives to be the best work truck it can be. There’s a twin-turbo kit from Midwest Diesel & Auto that pumps the power all the way up to 900 horsepower. Adjustable Fox shocks and Hellwig airbags make up the important suspension modifications, while bead-lock wheels and off-road tires give it some extra ability when the worksite is extra gnarly.

[Source: Autoblog]

2019 Ford Ranger gets customized in 7 unique ways

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Though we’re all a bit disappointed that Ford doesn’t have any plans to bring the current Ranger Raptor to America, the customized Rangers that will be on display at SEMA might ease the pain. Each has been built with off-roading in mind, and two of the 2019 Rangers were modified by Ford Performance with many Ford accessories. A few of these companies also showed off their own aftermarket products for the Ranger. So even if the Ranger Raptor isn’t going to be on dealerlots, these customs should provide some inspiration in building your own off-road Ranger.

Ford Performance Ranger Pre-Runner

The first of these concepts is the Ranger Pre-Runner, which certainly touches on the desert racing-inspired machines Raptor fans like. It started as a regular Ranger FX4 with the electronic-locking 3.73 ratio rear differential. From there, Ford added a 3-inch leveling kit, shocks and upper control arms from BDS and Fox, along with a Ford Performance cat-back exhaust. These are all accompanied by beefy all-terrain tires, rock sliders, a recovery kit, and an off-road bumper and skid plate from Desert Racer.

Ford Performance Ranger Base Camp

2019 Ford Performance Base Camp SEMA Concept
The second Ford Performance concept utilizes the exact same suspension set-up as the Pre-Runner. It’s clearly more aimed at the overlanding crowd with it’s bed rack and rooftop tent. It has off-road bumpers from Warn, and a winch from the same company. It has a few other Ford Performance off-road goodies such as the snorkel, skid plate and rear differential cover. It also gets all-terrain tires, a cat-back exhaust and side steps.

Addictive Desert Designs Xbox Ranger

2019 Addictive Desert Designs Xbox Ford Ranger
The Xbox Ranger from Addictive Desert Designs is a classic SEMA show vehicle. It’s a pickup truck with a 6-inch suspension lift, a white camouflage color scheme, lots of accent lighting (in green), and a pair of game systems built-in. The systems are naturally Xbox One X models, and they can either be played through screens on the front-seat head rests, or on a big 42-inch TV in the bed. Despite the over-the-top looks, the Xbox Ranger does have some off-road credibility thanks to the suspension lift, along with Fox coilover suspension. It also has a Ford Performance cat-back exhaust and rear skid plate, plus custom front and rear bumpers and a sport bar with a spare tire carrier.

ARE Project Nightfall Ranger

2019 ARE Ford Ranger Nightfall SEMA concept
ARE took the same path as Ford Performance with the use of BDS front upper control arms and a Fox leveling kit, but it has a number of bumpers. For one thing, it’s the only truck here to use a bed cap, which isn’t surprising considering bed caps are part of ARE’s core product line. It features a cat-back exhaust, big 20-inch wheels with 305-mm wide tires. It has custom front and rear bumpers and huge Bushwacker fender flares. Bed trays help keep stuff in the back organized, and a custom leather interior and Kicker sound system keep the interior entertaining.

BDS Project Ranger X

2019 Ford BDS Project Ranger X SEMA concept
One of the more extreme custom Rangers is the one from BDS, the supplier of those popular upper control arms on the other trucks. The most major change is making the truck longer to fit both the four-door cab and a huge utility bed on the back. It’s also ready for serious off-roading with its 6-inch suspension lift and Fox coilovers. It’s well-protected with full skidplates along the bottom and a Warn bumper with integrated winch. Bushwacker fender flares finish off the exterior, and a Kicker sound system is added to the interior.

LGE CTS Baja-Forged Ranger

2019 LGE CTS Ford Ranger Baja Forged SEMA concept
The Baja-Forged Ranger from LGE CTS is the rare custom Ranger to feature suspension from someone other than BDS and Fox. It has an Icon suspension with billet control arms and remote-reservoir shocks. It also has meaty 35-inch mud-terrain tires. It has a serious Baja look with custom front and rear bumpers, big fender flares and a custom bed cage with placements for various tools and an off-road jack. There’s a full complement of off-road lighting both front and rear. As a concession to comfort and style, it does have a custom leather interior.

Air Design USA Ranger

2019 Air Design USA Ford Ranger SEMA concept
Rounding out the group of Rangers is one from Air Design USA. One of the unique aspects of this truck is that the company’s body parts, all featured on the truck, are official licensed Ford Accessories. That includes the front and rear bumpers, fender vents, hood scoop, cab spoiler and tailgate spoiler. It uses BDS upper control arms and has 20-inch wheels with 33-inch tires. Naturally, it has a custom paint job and leather interior.

[Source: Autoblog]

Would you pay $17 a month to give your older Ford connectivity?

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When it was first introduced in 2007, there was nothing like the original Ford Sync system, since it allowed car owners to connect and use a portable device better than anything that came before it. And because it was a brought-in/tethered and software-based system, Sync leveraged a device’s connectivity and was easily updated.

It took competitors awhile to catch up: Toyota Entune wasn’t available until 2011, and Chevy MyLink didn’t roll out until 2012. But now Ford is the one playing catchup since it stuck with the brought-in strategy while most other automakers were quicker to add connectivity via an embedded cellular modem.

Ford initially installed 2G/3G modems in its small fleet of electric and plug-in electric vehicles starting in 2012 so that owners could keep tabs on charging. Embedded connectivity came to Lincoln in 2014, and Ford began adding onboard 4G LTE via Sync Connect to select cars starting with the Escape in 2015.

To get more cars connected more quickly, last week the automaker rolled out its FordPass SmartLink solution that plugs into the OBD port of 2010 to 2017 model year vehicles. This lets owners retroactively get onboard Wi-Fi, set up a “geo-fence” to keep tabs on a car’s location, receive vehicle health reports and allows remote engine starting and door locking/unlocking using a smartphone app, among other features.

But to connect older Ford vehicles will cost owners $16.99 a month for two years, not including installation. Ford throws in 1 GB of data or a 30-day trial, whichever comes first, after which owners have to add the vehicle to their Verizon shared data plan, which supplies connectivity for SmartLink, or establish a new account. (Disclosure: Autoblog is owned by Verizon.)

By comparison, GM’s 4G LTE data plans start at $10 a month for 200 MB and goes up to $30 for 3 GB, and owners can also add a car to an AT&T shared-data plan. But OnStar doesn’t have a separate monthly subscription for the embedded modem or an installation charge, and standard features via the RemoteLink Mobile App are free for the first five years of ownership. FCA’s Uconnect Access service also uses an embedded modem to provide similar telematics features for $20 per month following a free one-year trial, while a la carte in-car Wi-Fi is offered for $10 per day, $20 per week or $35 per month.

OnStar quietly shuttered its aftermarket For My Vehicle (FMV) system two years after introduction because not enough people wanted to pay $299 a year to add the service to existing vehicles. There is an appetite for embedded connectivity — and data — but among new car buyers.

A GM spokesperson told me that from 2016 to 2017, data usage by the company’s car owners increased nearly 300 percent, from 6.8 million GB to 20.3 million GB. “In general, the vehicle connectivity trend is heating up,” Mark Boyadjis, a principal analyst and manager of Automotive User Experience at IHS Markit, told me. “We estimate that by 2022, 87 percent of U.S. vehicles sold will be equipped with telematics.”

Boyadjis added that IHS Markit research shows that 30 percent of new car shoppers are willing to pay extra for telematics services. “But we also know that a majority of respondents are increasingly expecting these features to come standard on their vehicle,” he said.

Which makes me wonder whether they want to add it to older vehicles. And whether Ford’s attempt to play catchup can attract enough existing vehicle owners willing pay to get their cars connected.

Boyadjis admits he’s on the fence. “I have a 2012 Ford Focus Hatchback,” he said. But looking at two-year contract of around $400 not including installation, he’s not sure if the features justify the costs.

“The remote start and lock/unlock from my phone would be nice, as would the vehicle health report feature, since my car is beyond 70,000 miles now,” he added. “While I am intrigued about the prospect of gaining these new services for my vehicle, I’m unsure if I will pull the trigger. We’ll see.”

[Source: Autoblog]

Ford forms development group of 10 divisions for ‘breakthrough products’

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More iconic Ford vehicles may become inspiration for the rest of Ford’s product range. Earlier this week, Ford spoke of trying to transfer the passion for and emotional design of the 54-year-old Mustang to other vehicles in the automaker’s lineup. Now the company wants to use its deep knowledge of F-150, Transit, and Mustang customers as a template for creating vehicles that “better meet emerging customer needs.” To do that, Ford’s created the Enterprise Product Line Management (EPLM) group charged to “create a winning portfolio of vehicles and bring them to market faster and more efficiently.”

Consider this another effort at the kind of internal interdisciplinary planning that every company says it strives for but rarely pulls off successfully. First, the carmaker’s broken its developing and growing model range into 10 product lines: family utilities, urban utilities, rugged utilities, performance vehicles, luxury vehicles, compact trucks, F-Series, commercial vehicles, electric vehicles, and emerging market vehicles. The “nimble, customer-focused” teams managing those 10 product lines will do so from conception through to customer engagement “as end-to-end businesses,” and include members from engineering, product planning, manufacturing, marketing, and finance so as “to create breakthrough products and customer experiences.”

As the Detroit automaker sheds cars, moves to fewer and modular platforms, resurrects icons, expands nameplates from 20 to 23, and pieces together one of the industry’s youngest lineups, it views EPLM as the means to “create a winning portfolio of vehicles and bring them to market faster and more efficiently.” And of course, just as much as this is about what’s being put out, it’s about what’s being brought in; i.e., an “unyielding commitment to strong returns” and “profitable growth,” in the words of Jim Farley, Ford’s president of global markets. Ford’s North American and global profit marginstook substantial drops in the second quarter this year compared to Q2 last year, to 7.4 percent and 2.7 percent respectively. Company leaders had sought a 10 percent profit margin in North America, and 8 percent globally, by 2020.

According to Automotive News, “Ford CEO Jim Hackett and other senior executives say the automaker wants to offer products in segments where it knows it can win. …” Longtime Ford exec Jim Baumbick (pictured), who oversaw the creation of the flexible modular architecture plans, becomes a company officer as VP of the EPLM and will report to Farley. Baumbick retains his current role within the global product planning and strategy department.

We’re not aware of an umbrella term for the various overhauls happening at Ford right now. However, this latest comes right on time as the third sweeping reorganization in a 12-year cycle. In 1995, Scotsman and former Ford CEO Alex Trotman instituted his Ford 2000 plan to harmonize global operations, saving the company scads of money even with bumpy implementation and uneven results and earning a knighthood for it. In 2007, Alan Mulally rolled out One Ford, and we know how that went. Here we go again, so start your timers. And your profit-watching machines.

Ford cancels Focus Active import plans due to China tariffs

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Back in April, when the new generation Ford Focus was introduced for global markets, Ford announced that the redesigned hatchback would only make it to the United States as the Focus Active crossover version. Now, those plans appear to have been scrapped thanks to 25 percent import tariffs on Chinese-built goods.

Originally, Focus Active sales would have begun in the second half of next year. For Ford, the vehicle would have been largely a niche seller, with less than 50,000 sales projected annually. But as the Focus would have been imported from China, the tariffs would have eaten into Ford’s profits too much – so the automaker refocused, for the lack of a better term.

As Automotive News quotes Ford’s North American president, Kumar Galhotra: “Our viewpoint is that, given the tariffs, our costs would be substantially higher. Our resources could be better deployed at this stage.” And even if the tariffs were dropped, the decision will not be changed; Ford also didn’t seek for a tariff exemption for the Focus Active, citing the vehicle’s production timing. The Indian-built Ecosport compact crossover and the Spanish-built Transit Connect continue to be sold as previously.

The change of plans makes the Mustang the only passenger car Ford will sell in the United States: by 2020, 90 percent of new Ford vehicles sold in the United States are to be trucks, SUVs and commercial vehicles. Behind the portfolio restructuring is an attempt to improve profitability, and consumer demand in the U.S. is said to have shifted away from sedans.

[Source: Autoblog]