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Ford

All-New, 2018 Ford Fiesta Revealed, Offers Fiesta Active Crossover

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New, 2018 Ford Fiesta ST

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.

New, 2018 Ford Fiesta Active, front side

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.

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Ford

GM, Ford, Toyota Team Up To Make Self-Driving Cars Safer

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Cruise Chevrolet Bolt Self-Driving Car

The three automakers have formed an autonomous safety consortium.

General Motors, Toyota, and Ford have partnered with standards group SAE International to establish the Automated Vehicle Safety Consortium (AVSC), a new organization dedicated to self-driving car safety.

The primary goal of the group is to create a safety framework for developing and testing SAE Level 4 and Level 5 autonomous vehicles.

“The work will ultimately inform and accelerate the development of industry standards for autonomous vehicles (AVs) and harmonize with efforts of other consortia and standards bodies throughout the world,” the group said in a press release.

While there has been great progress in the way of self-driving technology, there remains uncertainty about when and how the technology should be pushed to market. Determining appropriate safety rules to govern automation continues to be a hot a topic of discussion.

“Our goal with the consortium is to work with industry and government partners to expedite development of standards that can lead to rule making,” said Ford’s CTO of autonomous vehicles, Randy Visintainer.

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Crossovers

New 2020 Ford Escape Debuts With New Look, Hybrid Choices, More Tech

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New, 2020 Ford Escape SUV, red

Ford has completely “reinvented” it’s best-selling crossover.

The all-new, 2020 Ford Escape debuts with a sportier design, two new hybrid powertrain options and a long list of new tech features.

Compered to the previous model, the new Escape has a smoother, more car-like look that Ford says was inspired by high-profile sports cars. Highlights include a trapezoidal grille like the one on the Mustang, a slopping roofline and a lower front fascia that supposedly takes some styling cues from the Ford GT.

Overall, the new Ford Escape is lower, wider and longer than its predecessor, offering more interior space as a result. In fact, Ford claims significantly improved rear legroom and up to 37.5 cubic feet (1,062 liters) of cargo space when the rear seats are up, an improvement of 3.5 cubic feet (28 liters). The second-row seats can slide front to back to maximize legroom or cargo space.

Considering that the new Escape is essentially a more utilitarian Ford Focus, it has nearly the same interior design and layout as Ford’s hatchback. The optional list of tech features now includes a head-up display and new 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster.

Engineers worked hard to make it more aerodynamic. Thanks to the use of more high-strength, lightweight steel, it is also more than than 200 pounds lighter.

Buyers will be able to choose from two EcoBoost engines and two new hybrid powertrains. The base engine is a 1.5L EcoBoost that produces 180 horsepower and 177 lb-ft. of torque, while more power can be had with a 2.0L EcoBoost four-cylinder engine rated at 250 horsepower and 275 lb-ft. of torque. Both powerplants are paired with an eight-speed automatic that drives the front wheels as standard, although all-wheel drive is an option.

Those looking for efficiency above all else can opt for a hybrid 2.5-liter four-cylinder that runs on the Atkinson cycle and generates 198 hp (148 kW). A continuously variable transmission. drives the front-wheel drive as standard, but all-wheel drive is available.

Ford will also offers a plugin hybrid version of the new Escape. It can be recharged in 3.5 hours using a 240-volt charger and is estimated to have best-in-class range of at least 30 miles (48 kilometers) on electric power.

Active Park Assist 2.0 and Evasive Steering Assist join the list of driver-assist technologies. Active Park Assist 2.0 system allows the Escape to automatically park in a parallel or perpendicular spot with little assistance from the driver, while Evasive Steering Assist helps avoid an imminent collision by detecting a slower-moving or stationary vehicle ahead and providing steering support to assist the driver.

The all-new, 2020 Ford Escape goes on sale in fall 2019, with the plug-in hybrid arriving in spring 2020. Are you happy with how it turned out?

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Crossovers

New Ford Explorer’s ‘Mindful Mode’ Helps You Digitally Detox

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New Ford Explorer Digital Cluster Detox

Ford thinks you need a break from looking at screens.

The all-new, 2020 Ford Explorer comes with a long list of tech features that includes a digital instrument cluster and a vertical touchscreen in the center stack, both which can overwhelm the driver with information overload. To help alleviate this issue, Ford decided to add a Mindful Mode that lets drivers digitally detox.

When activated, Mindful Mode removes most of the information displayed on the instrument cluster and touchscreen, leaving only data that the driver needs, such as speed, speed limit, and fuel level. By fading everything else into a blue background, it provides some respite from processing information displayed on the screens.

Ford expects Mindful Mode will be popular among Explorer. According to its research, more than half of adults around the world want a mandatory timeout from their devices.

“People are increasingly aware of and alarmed by their device dependency. Yet if there’s one opportunity throughout the day to reduce your exposure to digital demands, it’s when you’re driving. Ford’s new Explorer can serve as a sanctuary from chaos and distraction,” stated Sheryl Connelly, Ford’s global consumer trends and futurist.

Is this a feature you would want in your car? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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