Ford Motor Co. has announced a winter tire package for the highly-capable, 2017 Ford Focus RS, the first time an automaker has offered a winter tire option in North America.
The performance-tuned, all-wheel drive hatchback is already a blast to toss around and now it’s even more fun in the snow. Ford’s engineers tested a wide variety of tire and wheel setups in Northern Michigan and Sweden before arriving at an optimum combination for ride, handling and performance.
That optimum combination proved to be 225/40R18 Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4 tires wrapped around new 18×7.5-inch wheels clad in a sparkle silver finish that helps hide salt residue. Ford Performance chassis supervisor Adam Wirth stated:
“This tire package allows RS owners to continue spirited driving even in the snow. “We fully expect our more extreme-weather customers to take advantage of the ability to use snow chains.”
Owners of the Ford Focus RS with the winter tire package can still take advantage of all four default driving modes, including the drift setting for the ultimate fun in the snow.
The package comes standard for customers in Canada, but is a $1,995 option in the US market.
Ford Is Making fully Electric F-150 Pickup Truck
The company is aiming to ‘futureproof’ its best-selling vehicle.
Ford has confirmed that it’s working on an all-fully electric F-150 pickup in preparation for the auto industry’s impeding shift towards battery power.
The F-Series was the United States’ best-selling truck in 2018, the 42nd consecutive year it’s held that title, and the most popular vehicle of any kind for the 35th straight year. However, with an increasingly-threatening Tesla very enthusiastic about building an all-electric pickup and several new upstarts like Rivian fielding similar projects, Ford is no longer only contending with General Motors and FCA in the segment. It can’t afford to rest on its laurels.
“We’re going to be electrifying the F-Series — battery electric and hybrid,” Jim Farley, the company’s president of global markets, said, acknowledging that a pure battery-powered variant is necessary to “futureproof” the model’s success.
Not long before this revelation, Ford and Volkswagen announced an automotive alliance that has the development of midsize pickups as a focal point. The German automaker has made it well known its intention to dominate the EV boom; its relative expertise in electrification could spill over to the the F-150.
What you think about the idea of an all-electric Ford F-150? Yay or nay?
Ford And VW Form Global Automotive Alliance
The two automakers will focus on trucks, vans and mobility solutions.
Ford and Volkswagen have entered into a global automotive alliance to jointly develop both vehicles in existing market segments and future mobility solutions.
Unlike the Renault Nissan Mitsubishi alliance or other strategic partnership in the industry. neither company will have a financial stake in the other, at least not initially. The partnership was formed solely to mitigate vehicle development costs.
The first programs to benefit will be medium-sized pickup trucks and other commercial vehicles in the European market, with Volkswagen relying on Ford’s expertise in the area. Expect to see their first products to hit the market as early as 2022.
Ford and Volkswagen also signed a memorandum of understanding to investigate collaboration on autonomous vehicles, mobility services and electric vehicles and are already in the process of exploring opportunities.
“Over time, this alliance will help both companies create value and meet the needs of our customers and society,” stated Ford CEO Jim Hackett. “It will not only drive significant efficiencies and help both companies improve their fitness, but also gives us the opportunity to collaborate on shaping the next era of mobility.”
The fact that neither company owns a stake in the other should result in smoother sailing than experienced by Renault and Nisan.
New, 2020 Ford Explorer Debuts As RWD, 365HP Large SUV
It’s the first SUV to ride on the Blue Oval’s new platform.
Ford has unveiled the all-new, 2020 Explorer, the latest iteration of its mainstay three-row family SUV.
Whereas the previous-generation Ford Explorer is built on a front-wheel drive platform that debuted in 2008, the new model moves onto a brand-new rear-wheel-drive platform that also underpins the new Lincoln Aviator. It’s a return to form for Ford’s nearly 30-year-old nameplate.
Power is provided by a 2.3L turbocharged four-cylinder that produces 300 horsepower and 310 lb.-ft. of torque, paired to Ford’s new ten-speed automatic that drives either the rear wheels or, optionally, all four wheels.
That output isn’t too shabby for a base engine, but buyers looking for even more oomph! will have the choice of a 3.0L turbocharged V6 with 365 horsepower and 380 lb-ft. of torque, the most powerful engine ever put in an Explorer. A hybrid powertrain will also be available.
The 3.0-liter EcoBoost equipped Explorer can tow up to 5,600 pounds (2,540 km), while models with the 2.3-liter EcoBoost and Class III Trailer Tow Package can tow up to 5,300 pounds (2,404 km).
Moving to the exterior, designers chose to give the new Ford Explore an evolutionary design that reminiscent of its predecessor, but the rear-wheel drive proportions give it a sportier, more athletic look that should appeal to more buyers.
The interior is both upscale and practical, featuring a new sliding second-row seat that eases entry to the rearmost row. The long list of standard comfort and convenience features includes a 4G LTE WiFi hot spot that can accommodate up to 10 devices, a power-operated rear hatch, and a vertically-mounted infotainment system that juts out of the dashboard like a tablet. Do you like the look?
Cargo capacity comes in at 87.8 cubic feet with the second and third rows folded and 6.1 cubic feet more than the current Explorer.
On the safety front, every Explorer now comes with Co-Pilot360, Ford’s suite of passive and active safety features that consists of a blind-spot monitor with a cross-traffic alert system, lane-keep assist, automatic high-beam headlights, and a forward collision system with automatic braking and pedestrian detection.
An adaptive cruise control system with lane-centering technology is available, as are an automatic rear braking system and Ford’s latest parking assistant, which is able to parallel or perpendicularly park the Explorer without the driver having to touch the steering wheel or pedals.
The all-new, 2020 Ford Explorer goes on sale in summer 2019 with a starting price of $32,765 in the United States. Are you happy with how it turned out, and could you consider one for your next vehicle?