Ford Motors has unveiled the all-new, 2018 Ford Fiesta subcompact hatchback, which in addition to having a sharper design, more convenience and safety features, and better over refinement than its predecessor, now offers a new crossover-like “Active” version.
Shown at an event in Cologne, Germany, in four trims — Fiesta Titanium, the high-performance Fiesta ST , the upscale Fiesta Vignale, and the Fiesta Active — Ford’s little car adopts an evolutionary design highlighted by a more sculpted body. The significantly-revised, premium- and modern-looking interior (for the segment, at least) boasts an 8‑inch floating touchscreen and Ford’s SYNC 3 infotainment system, as well as a B&O Play Sound System.
Ford’s latest safety and assistance features are also present and accounted for and include lane keeping and an active park assist system that can navigate perpendicular parking spots.
Compared to the other models in the lineup, the Fiesta Active (pictured above) benefits from a raised ride height for more ground clearance, roof rails, and rugged bodywork including faux skid plates.
Ford claims the new Fiesta’s 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine is the first of three-cylinder engine to use cylinder deactivation for reducing fuel consumption.
The system can disengage or re-engage one of the cylinders in 14 milliseconds, while a dual-mass flywheel and vibration-reducing clutch disc help mitigate engine oscillations when two cylinders are running. It can also operate the small engine at speeds of up to 4,500 rpm.
Carsten Weber, Ford of Europe powertrain research and engineering manager, stated:
“We intensively tested the system in real world conditions using a range of deactivation strategies to develop a system that maximizes the fuel efficiency without compromising driving comfort.”
Pricing for the all-new, 2018 Ford Fiesta will be released at a later date, as well as powertrain choices for the United States and Canadian markets.
Do you like how it turned out?
Classic 1965 Ford Mustang Gets Drunk On Autonomous Tech
The 1965 Ford Mustang has time-traveled into the future, but not before stopping by a few bars on the way.
A collaborative project between the German conglomerate Siemens and Cranfield University, the one-off Mustang looks nearly identical to the model that rolled off the production line back in 1965, but — don’t be fooled — it boasts the latest autonomous driving technology that allows it to drive on its own without any human interaction… on paper.
Seeing as how electric drivetrains and autonomous tech go hand-in-hand, it’s a bit of a surprise that they didn’t go the extra mile and make it an electric car.
To add the autonomous driving technology to the 1965 Mustang, the team had to fully integrate the vehicle’s mechatronics system so that it can manage the braking, steering, and acceleration. The had to overcome a number of difficulties, notably with the extra play in the steering wheel and the performance of the old school drum brakes.
Siemens’ autonomous Mustang competed in the Goodwood Hill Climb, but with the least amount of grace, unfortunately. There were issues with the power steering and radar and lidar sensor and it struggled to stay in a straight line, much to the amusement of onlookers. The person in the driver’s seat even had to intervene on several occasions.
Fortunately, things were eventually smoothed out and the car made a successful run up the hill.
Watch the initial run in the video below, and try not to laugh.
Best Pickup Truck Manufacturers You Can Bet On
With more people buying more environmentally-friendly vehicles than eve, you’d think pickup trucks are falling out of fashion. Think again.
It seems that, more-so in the United States than anywhere else, there is less of a regard for emissions and even fuel economy as people continue to buy them in droves. In fact, thanks in large to pickups, “trucks” (a term used collectively in the auto industry for pickups, crossovers and SUVs) now outsell cars by 2 to 1.
While you scratch your head trying to figure out the broad appeal of pickups for the everyday man / family, know that at least four automakers are laughing all they way to the bank, and for good reason.
Not only has the Ford F-Series lineup has dominated the pickup truck segment for more than 40 years, but it’s also been the best-selling vehicle in America, period! And that doesn’t look to change anytime soon.
“Built Ford Tough” is more than just a marketing slogan. Widely considered the most well-rounded full-size pickup on the market, the F-150 in particular has transformed over the years to offer everything for everyone, giving birth to high performance iterations, off-road-oriented models, luxurious examples. Sure, the plain-Jane work versions is still around, but hardly anyone buys it.
Currently in its 13th generation, the highly regarded Ford is the first pickup truck to rely heavily upon aluminum construction, which has reduced its curb weight by some 700 pounds. It remains as rugged, robust, reliable, dependable and just downright capable, if not more so, than ever before.
According to Ford’s spokespeople, there are more F-Series trucks on the road with 250,000 miles or more on them than any other brand of trucks, Is there any wonder why they are the best selling vehicle in America?
GM’s Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra twins have played second fiddle to the F-150 for as long as they’ve been around, and it’s not because they are bad trucks. On the contrary, review after review has shown them to be on the same playing field in all metrics. So what gives?
A lot has to do with brand loyalty, and simply put, the F-150 has been around for much longer and, as such, has accumulated a larger following than both the Silverado and Sierra combined. These are hardcore brand loyalists we’re talking about, so getting them to change sides is as painstaking as gluing wings to a pig and telling it to fly.
GM’s trucks have always been fully capable, highly configurable and very reliable workhorses, and the arrival of the forth generation models only heightens these attributes, upping the style, tech and performance. Could be the fourth time be the charm? Has the General engineers and marketers F-150 enigma? Only time will tell.
Interestingly, despite the F-150’s insurmountable sales volume, it is General Motors that actually sells the most overall pickups. In addition to the full-size Silverado and Sierra, the company also offers the midsize Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, two quality, highly- regarded alternatives for those desiring a smaller pickup.
By the time Ford responds with a new Ranger, the Colorado / Canyon would have been on the market for at least three years.
RAM Trucks has been the very definition of an underdog, daring to venture where they others won’t. But that underdog status is quickly changing as sales of the RAM truck lineup inches closer and closer to the Silverado.
From tool of the trade to rolling boardroom, the Ram 1500 has widespread appeal. It is the only full-size pickup available with an fuel-sipping hybrid powertrain and an air suspension that smooths out the ride.
The latest iteration of Fiat Chrysler’s standout contender also boasts arguably the fanciest and techiest interior, thanks in large part to a massive, 12-inch touchscreen (optional) that will make the guys at Tesla brush.
Needless to say, the fifth-generation RAM 1500 has a lot going for, be it in sheer substance or in gimmicks. We younger buyers will be especially drawn to it.
For those looking for a great value but can do without the latest bells and whistles, the previous-generation 1500 will continue to be sold alongside the new model for a few years. Just ask for the 1500 Classic when at your local dealer.
You probably didn’t expect Toyota on this list. Despite building it’s bulletproof reputation on reliable, fuel-efficient family cars, the Japanese automaker is a relevant player in the pickup truck segment.
Like General Motors, Toyota offers both a full-size and midsize pickups. However, its full-size Tundra is long in the tooth and hardly registers on the sales chart. The , on the other hand, is the king of it’s segment, outselling both the Colorado and Canyon combined. More than that, it has been the only non-American pickup truck to have traction in the broader pickup truck segment.
With its diverse lineup, a solid reputation for reliability, and a wide selection of addons, the Tacoma can be anything from a stripped-down work truck to a rocking-crawling off-roader and even something that feigns luxury. It’s a good all-rounder that breaks the longstanding mold of bigger is better.
You can get some great full-size pickups from trusted dealers like .
Ford Fusion Could Live On As A Rugged Tall Wagon
The Ford Fusion as we know it will be discontinued in the early 2020s, but its name will live on.
When Ford announced that it will stop making traditional cars except and focus exclusively on utility vehicles and pickup trucks, the Fusion was among the mix. Now it is being reported that the midsize family sedan won’t be killed off completely.
Sources revealed to that not only will the the Fusion name live on after the sedan disappears, but it will also be used for a high-roofed “sport wagon” positioned against the Subaru Outback.
Without explicitly confirming any details, Ford spokesman Mike Levine, stated:
“We’ll likely continue to use the name because of its awareness, positive imagery and value with consumers.”
Similar to the Focus Active, the high-riding Fusion wagon will be built upon the same platform that underpins the latest sedan and will likely be called ‘Fusion Active’.
This is definitely a smart move by Ford. Despite the steady decline of the sedan segment, sales of of the Outback continue to rise. In fact, Subaru’s rugged wagon is on track to outsell the Fusion in 2018.