2017 Ford Fiesta ST: Discounts boost fun-for-the-money factor

17FiestaST_19_HR.JPGIf, in your summer break, you’ve been disconnected from Ford news, know that deliveries of the Ford GT have been delayed, the 2018 Mustang will have more horsepower, and there is some doubt about whether Ford will offer the 2018 Fiesta – and its lively ST version – in the United States. We sure hope the Fiesta ST sticks around (offering more smiles per dollar than just about anything on a Ford showroom), but it’s here for the moment, and as a model-year closeout right now it’s deeply discounted.

Naturally, deals can be had when an older generation of a model is being replaced with a new one. But added to that, with gas prices low and Americans clamoring for crossovers and pickups, not subcompacts, the Fiesta’s future here is uncertain. The doubt was sown by a quote from the Fiesta program manager, and a conversation with a Ford spokesman offered no clarity. So for all those reasons, perhaps, the closeout mentality is fully underway.

A new Fiesta ST in Maryland was available with a $4,500 discount, providing a selling price of $18,664 plus necessary taxes, title and license fees. Ford’s $750 customer cash is a part of that, as is $500 in ‘Bonus Cash’. But we also assume you can dicker your way to further discounts, down into the $17s, and, well, who knows. The sales manager we spoke with assured us we could assume whatever we wanted.

You shouldn’t assume, however, that deals on performance hatches will be around forever – in the case of this car, whether the model will be around forever, at least for Americans – and a new Fiesta ST with a drive-out of under $20,000 is tempting.

[Source: Autoblog]

2018 Jeep Wrangler will keep classic hood style

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One of our spy photographers caught some FCA employees poking around under the hood of a 2018 Jeep Wrangler prototype. They had the hood open wide, and because of that, we can catch a couple little details that tell us a bit more about the exterior styling of the Wrangler. Mainly that some of the Wrangler’s signature hood details will remain for the new generation.

The first details we caught were the bolt holes in the hood at the base near the hinges. These show that, as with the previous model of Wrangler, the 2018 model will feature chunky, rugged-looking external hood hinges. We can also infer that if these hinges remain, the doors will likely have matching ones, and those will hopefully still be removable.

The second details we spotted were a bit more subtle. On the sides of the hood towards the leading edge, there are some indentations. Based on the positioning, and their small size, we believe these are the indentations for external tie-down latches for the hood, just like the old model. Actually, just like pretty much every Wrangler-style Jeep back to the military models used in World War II.

Based on a report last week from JL Wrangler Forums, we are expecting to see the fully revealed 2018 Jeep Wrangler and its classic hood details at this year’s LA auto show. It is then expected to arrive at Portland Jeep Wrangler dealer, Dick’s Country Dodge, in December with both V6 and four-cylinder engine offerings.

[Source: Autoblog]

2018 Ford Mustang GT has more horsepower than Chevy Camaro SS

Ford has finally announced the power and torque figures for the 2018 Mustang lineup, and both the V8-powered GT and four-cylinder-powered EcoBoost models benefit from some big increases. Most impressive is the GT, which now produces an extra 25 horsepower and 20 pound-feet of torque to bring it to 460 horsepower and 420 pound-feet total. That puts the GT ahead of the Camaro SS by 5 horsepower, though it still trails the bow-tie-branded pony car by 35 pound-feet of torque.

Still, the Mustang GT isn’t slow. In fact, Ford claims that it will do a 0-60 mph sprint in under 4 seconds, which just beats the Camaro SS, for which Chevy claims a 4-second flat time to 60. There are a couple of prerequisites for the Mustang GT to hit that time, though. It has to be equipped with both the 10-speed automatic and the performance package. The automatic allows the Mustang to use the special “Drag Mode” driving mode for the fastest shifting and maximum torque delivery. The performance package provides the car with the stickier Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S tires.

The Mustang EcoBoost also sees increased performance for 2018. Torque increases from 320 to 350 pound-feet, though horsepower remains the same at 310. That means the Mustang EcoBoost is down 25 horsepower to the V6 Camaro, but has a whopping 66 more pound-feet of torque. Just like with the GT, the Mustang EcoBoost manages its best 0-60 time with the 10-speed auto and the performance package. Equipped as such, it will get to 60 in less than 5 seconds, also just beating the Camaro V6’s best claimed time of 5.1 seconds.

Ford says the 2018 Mustang will be arriving at Portland Ford dealer, Mackenzie Ford in Hillsboro, this fall. The online configuration tool will also go live tomorrow, and will allow people to spec their perfect Mustang. It will also show pricing for the new pony car.

The 2018 Hyundai Azera looks pretty classy

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With the reveal of the new Azera, Hyundai has made it clear that it has no plans to leave the large, upscale sedan market. This South Korean Avalon-fighter underwent a significant redesign inside and out and will first go on sale in Korea next month.

Outside, the Azera has a significantly different and more formal, profile. While the previous model was rakish and wedgy, the new model adopts an upright version of Hyundai’s new corporate grille, along with a long hood and more vertical windshield. The flanks also receive long, flowing character lines that give it a muscular appearance. At the back, the Azera gets a new version of the full width taillights that the model has had since the nameplate’s introduction two generations ago.

The Azera also changes radically inside. Instead of the downward flowing dash of the old model, the new interior features an instrument panel that emphasizes width, with a dark top portion and lighter lower section. Sandwiched between the two halves of the dash is a section that rises up at the center stack to house the large touch screen and an analog clock, which looks a bit out of place.

Hyundai has yet to reveal any stats, pricing or availability for the new Azera, except for its aforementioned launch date in South Korea, where it will carry the Grandeur name. However, we would imagine more details will be coming soon ahead of its US launch.

[Source: Autoblog]

Hyundai’s Genesis G90 caught totally uncovered

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It seems weird to type “Genesis” without “Hyundai” in front of it – unless we’re referring to the band, of course, which we aren’t. What we have here is the first car that’ll launch under Hyundai’s new premium brand, officially called Genesis. This is essentially the replacement for the Equus, and when it reaches the States, it’ll be called G90.

The G90 clearly makes strong use of Hyundai’s “Athletic Elegance” design language, and looks like a more premium version of the existing Genesis sedan. There’s a long hood, hexagonal grille, and vertically oriented taillamps that flow down the rear fascia. Judging by these low-res spy shots, we like what we see – even if, from some angles, it looks strangely familiar.

Genesis (the brand) launches next month in Hyundai’s home market. Following the G90, the Genesis sedan as we currently know it will move to G80 nomenclature, and a midsize, rear-wheel-drive sedan – G70 – will follow. A luxury SUV and sport coupe will round out the premium lineup.

Head over to Korean site Bobaedream.co.kr for a view of the G90’s rump, as well.

[Source: Autoblog]

2018 Ford Expedition gears up for the trails with FX4 trim

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An aluminum body and more powerful engines aren’t the only new things featured on the 2018 Ford Expedition. Ford has revealed that it will now get an FX4 trim level complete with an array of goodies for going off-road.

Mechanical improvements start with an electronic limited-slip differential in the rear that can shift power left or right depending on which tire has traction. This should be a boon for slippery or rocky trails, and it will get extra help from the chunkier all-terrain tires and stiffer shocks fitted to the FX4. Those tires are mounted to 18-inch aluminum wheels specific to the trim level. The FX4 also gets a number of skid plates to protect vulnerable parts underneath the Expedition. There’s also a “sand shield” to prevent sand and dirt from packing up the intercoolers and keeping air from flowing over them. The FX4 comes with the standard 375-horsepower EcoBoost V6 fitted to other Expeditions.

The FX4 trim isn’t all mechanical upgrades, though. It also comes with a couple of subtle FX4 badges around the exterior. Some unique running boards are also fitted. Inside, rubber floor liners help keep the dirt from getting down into carpeting. Ford hasn’t released pricing for the FX4 yet, but the SUV will be available this fall.

[Source: Autoblog]

Turbocharge your burnout with the 2018 Ford Mustang EcoBoost’s line-lock

If you’ve always wanted line-lock in your EcoBoost Mustang so it could turn tread into smoke just like its V8-powered GT stablemates, we have great news: Ford’s made it happen. Well, for 2018 at least. Even better news is that it’ll be standard in all Mustangs, period. That means you don’t have to buy a higher trim or a special performance package to get it.

Neither will you be limited by transmission choice. Both the 10-speed auto and the 6-speed manual will come so equipped. The system is activated through the instrument cluster menu using steering wheel controls. After it locks up the front brakes, you’ve got 15 seconds to vaporize some rubber before the system deactivates.

Is this something that EcoBoost owners have been signing petitions about? We don’t have the data about customer preferences here, but our take is that this has more to do with normalizing the Ecoboost ‘Stang as a legitimate V8 alternative than to satisfy a hyper-vocal owner subset. Ford wants the EcoBoost to succeed quite badly. It’s a good standard-bearer for Ford’s EcoBoost program in general, it’s good for the company’s CAFE numbers, and it’s probably good for the younger buyers Ford wants to attract.

In other news, the available digital instrument cluster, which is a very cool piece of kit, now includes a little animation of a Mustang burning rubber when you activate the line-lock function. This may tip wafflers over the edge, right? Right.

You’ll see line-lock on new Mustangs at your Portland Ford dealer later this year. Unfortunately it doesn’t look like Ford will offer retrofit kits for older EcoBoost cars at this time.

[Source: Autoblog]