Saturday, June 30, 2012

Ford’s New Silicon Valley Lab Opens, Ready to Engage Bay Area Tech and Startup Community to Accelerate Innovation

  • Ford Silicon Valley Lab now officially open for business in Palo Alto, Calif.
  • Ford frames Silicon Valley Lab’s mission around three priorities: big data, open-source innovation and user experience to enhance future personal mobility
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., June 18, 2012 – The Ford Silicon Valley Lab (SVL) is now officially open for business, ready to engage the tech community in the quest for the next great idea.

Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford today comes to the spiritual home of the computer and consumer electronics industry to celebrate the grand opening of the Ford Silicon Valley Lab and to participate in the Computer History Museum’s “Revolutionaries” lecture series.


“We have been innovating for more than a century at Ford, but we acknowledge we don’t have a monopoly on creativity,” said Ford. “Our new office will complement our existing research efforts by allowing us to tap into the region that has been driving consumer technology forward in recent decades.”

While Ford is strongly associated with the industrial heartland of America, the company has global reach with Research and Innovation facilities in Dearborn, Mich.; Aachen, Germany; Nanjing, China; and technology scouts in Tel Aviv, Israel.

“We want Silicon Valley to view Ford as a platform that is open, accessible and ready for their innovative ideas and technologies,” said Paul Mascarenas, chief technical officer and vice president of Ford Research and Advanced Engineering. “We are looking for unexpected solutions for the future, and we believe Silicon Valley is the right place to round out our global research organization.

“We view technology as more than just an impressive list of microprocessors, sensors and software,” he added. “It is the enabler of a safe, intuitive and enjoyable time behind the wheel.”

Ford’s Silicon Valley Lab will serve as a local touch point for the many relationships Ford already has with Bay Area technology companies and startups. Its core mission, though, is to operate as an independent lab focused on three key areas supporting the future of personal mobility:
 
  • Big data – Ford is increasingly a data-driven company, fusing both internal and external sources to shape product and marketing offerings and support strategic decision making. In addition, vehicle data from the growing list of sensing technologies built into the car can be used locally to create a more personalized, convenient and productive driving experience, then aggregated to help address congestion and improve efficiency.
     
  • Open-source innovation – Viewing the car as a platform and providing access to real-time data allows for the rapid development of custom hardware and software applications. Ford has extensive experience in development of on-board and off-board applications for the SYNC® in-car connectivity system. Now the Silicon Valley Lab is looking at open-source development using the research platform OpenXC developed with Bug Labs.
     
  • User experience – Information and services need to be presented to the driver in ways that don’t take away from the primary task of operating the vehicle. Ford is rethinking how drivers and passengers interact with vehicles as well as how vehicles should interact with them. Innovations in design and new technologies can help to optimally organize, filter and deliver content.
“As new ways of processing, curating and filtering information are conceived, the possibilities for enhancing personal mobility are virtually limitless,” said Venkatesh Prasad, general manager of the new lab and senior technical leader of open innovation. “With many of the finest forward-thinking minds in the world located in the San Francisco Bay region, the Ford Silicon Valley Lab is ideally positioned to interact with and forge connections to local innovators and grow the relationships with our current partners.”

The Ford SVL team is now ready to listen, learn and even teach at its location in downtown Palo Alto. For more information or to contact the lab, visit http://fordsvl.com.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Ford Sets Truck Standard Again with New F-150 Limited, Offering Class-Leading Luxury and Capability


  • Building on three decades of truck leadership and a decade of luxury pickup innovation, Ford marks the 2013 model year with its most refined F-150 yet
  • Offering standard SYNC® with MyFord Touch®, navigation with SiriusXM® Travel Link, rain-sensing windshield wipers and high-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps, F-150 Limited features an unprecedented level of customer convenience and connectivity technologies
  • Featuring series-specific Limited details on the exterior like dimensional box-side lettering and unique 22-inch polished aluminum wheels, F-150 Limited has stylish red and black full-grain leather and genuine aluminum and piano black finishes


DEARBORN, Mich., June 26, 2012 – Ford, the industry’s truck leader, marks the launch of the latest F-150 with a new statement on pickup luxury for 2013 – the F-150 Limited.

“The F-150 Limited signifies the highest levels of design refinement, luxury and technology that we’ve ever offered in a Built Ford Tough pickup truck,” said Ford Group Vice President for Product Development, Raj Nair. “The F-150 Limited reflects a growing trend – more and more customers today have high expectations for luxury and convenience, yet their needs call for a truly capable truck.”

Ford leads the luxury truck segment. In 1999, the company introduced the special-edition 2000 Harley-Davidson F-150. In 2001, the first King Ranch F-150 arrived. The 2009 F-150 took truck luxury to new heights with the Platinum model.

Today, more than 30 percent of F-150 sales are from these high-end trims, with MSRPs that start at more than $35,000 and reach almost $50,000.

Limited meets the still untapped and growing luxury needs of customers and dealers interested in exclusivity and fine craftsmanship who want to differentiate themselves from other high-end options. F-150 Limited surpasses the well-appointed Lariat, western-themed King Ranch and contemporary Platinum.

Refined exterior design
The 2013 Ford F-150 Limited design combines unique 22-inch polished aluminum wheels and center caps with a monochromatic exterior theme available in three handsome hues – Ruby Red Metallic Tinted Clearcoat, Tuxedo Black Metallic and White Platinum Metallic Tri-Coat.

The theme carries through the F-150 Limited exterior design with body-color front and rear bumpers, front bumper valance, sideview mirror caps, wheel-lip molding, upper fascia and grille surround.

Segment-first HID headlamps provide a signature look while delivering two and a half times more light than conventional halogen lamps. Lamp detailing even incorporates F-150 insignias.

Jewel-like chrome highlights the bold three-bar grille, tie-down hooks lining the cargo box, the single tip of the tuned exhaust and the tow hooks on 4x4 variants. “LIMITED” dimensional lettering accents the box sides.

F-150 Limited is available exclusively with a SuperCrew four-door cab configuration.

Inside Limited
Rich red and black full-grain leather-trimmed seats take luxury and style to new heights in trucks – capitalizing on a trend seen in other high-end luxury vehicles. The seats also offer cooling and heating with memory functionality to remember seating preferences for two different drivers. Head restraints are four-way-adjustable and second-row seats are heated, too.

Aluminum trims the center panel and console, lending a sophisticated yet technical touch that complements the piano black accents. Ambient lighting can shift the mood of the F-150 Limited interior, offering five accent colors.

A standard moonroof provides the upward view, while the rear view camera aids maneuvering visibility. Voice-activated navigation offers a bird’s-eye view via a centrally mounted 8-inch LCD screen. A power-sliding rear window features privacy tint and defrost functionality.

Connectivity comes standard with MyFord Touch® powered by SYNC®. Designers have optimized the physical interface for MyFord Touch to accommodate truck users who may be wearing work gloves by providing easy access to climate controls and audio presets on the center stack.

Limited offers a unique gauge cluster design with a 4.2-inch driver-programmable productivity screen that can be customized to monitor various vehicle systems. The new series level also includes a media hub with USB ports, an SD-card reader and RCA video input jacks. A powerful Sony® Audio System is standard.

Built Ford Tough
F-150 Limited brings uncompromised capability for entrepreneurial and lifestyle pursuits with an electronic six-speed automatic transmission with tow/haul mode, trailer tow package, trailer brake controller, Reverse Sensing System, power-deployable running boards and a 110-volt power inverter.

PowerFold side mirrors keep warm and dry in inclement weather and help ensure driver visibility with heated glass, memory position functionality, puddle lamps, turn signals and self-dimming actuation.

F-150 Limited is powered exclusively by Ford’s ground breaking 3.5-liter Ti-VCT EcoBoost® engine, featuring:
 
  • 365 horsepower at 5,000 rpm on regular fuel
  • Unsurpassed 22 mpg highway for 4x2 model
  • Twin independent variable camshaft timing for improved fuel economy
  • Best-in-class 420 lb.-ft. of torque at 2,500 rpm vs. premium V8 competitors
  • Up to 90 percent peak torque available from 1,700 rpm to 5,000 rpm
To complement that power, sport-tuned dampers are fitted front and rear for confidence-inspiring road dynamics.

F-150 Limited arrives at dealerships this fall.


Monday, June 25, 2012

Commercial Truck Sales up 28% in May


Jun 14, 2012 2:34 PM
Retail sales of Class 3-8—the truck classes most often used in commercial applications--grew by 28% in May, according to figures compiled by Wards Information Products.
Truck dealers sold 51,839 Class 3-8 trucks during the month, compared with 40,570 sold during May 2011. Sales also finished 15% above those of April 2012.
Through the first five months of 2012, sales of Class 3-8 trucks totaled 230,198 vehicles, up 26% from the corresponding period of 2011.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Ford F500 With Welders Body at the Work Truck Show



Charles Brnadic goes over a Ford F500 with a custom Welder's body at The Work Truck Show 2012 in Indianapolis. See more at http://www.warnerbodies.com or call at 317-773-2100.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Ford’s 1.0-Liter EcoBoost Wins ‘International Engine of the Year’; Small but Powerful Engine Called ‘Remarkable’


  •  Ford’s new 1.0-liter EcoBoost® engine wins 2012 “International Engine of the Year”
  • 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine also wins “Best New Engine” and “Best Engine Under 1.0-Liter” in the awards presented by Engine Technology International magazine
  • EcoBoost combines turbocharging, direct fuel injection and variable valve timing on both intake and exhaust to deliver the power of a larger engine with the fuel efficiency of a smaller unit
  • New Focus in Europe is first car to be equipped with three-cylinder 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine. The engine comes next to Ford C-MAX and B-MAX in Europe later this year


DEARBORN, Mich., June 13, 2012 – Ford Motor Company’s new 1.0-liter EcoBoost® engine – which launched to acclaim this year in the Focus in Europe – today was named 2012 “International Engine of the Year” based on votes cast by 76 journalists from 35 countries around the world.

The small, high-tech three-cylinder engine also hauled in two other awards – “Best New Engine” and “Best Engine Under 1.0-Liter.” The awards were presented by Engine Technology International magazine.

This marks the first time Ford has won International Engine of the Year in the 13-year history of the awards. Moreover, the 1.0-liter EcoBoost garnered the highest score in the history of the awards.

“We set the bar incredibly high when we set out to design this engine,” said Joe Bakaj, Ford vice president, Global Powertrain. “We wanted to deliver eye-popping fuel economy, surprising performance, quietness and refinement – and all from a very small three-cylinder engine.

“The team responded to this seemingly impossible challenge with some really exciting innovation,” Bakaj added. “The result is a game changer for gas engines globally.”

Said Dean Slavnich, chairman of the International Engine of the Year awards and editor of Engine Technology International: “This is a fitting victory for a truly remarkable engine.”

The engine – small enough to fit on a European sheet of A4 paper – was designed at Ford’s technical centers in Dunton, U.K., and Merkenich, Germany. The engine is built in Ford’s plants in Craiova, Romania, and Cologne, Germany.

The 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine uses a low-inertia turbocharger to deliver power quickly when the throttle is opened from low rpm. The turbocharger’s impeller delivers high power at speeds of up to 248,000 rpm.

Further 1.0-liter EcoBoost innovations include:

  • An exhaust manifold, cast into the cylinder head, lowers the temperature of exhaust gases to enable the optimum fuel-to-air ratio across a wider rev band
  • A unique cast iron block warms the engine more quickly than a conventional aluminum block to cut the amount of “warm-up” energy required by 50 percent, and cut fuel consumption
  • Two main engine drive belts are immersed in oil to deliver a quieter, more efficient engine
  • Offsetting the engine configuration by deliberately “unbalancing” the flywheel and pulley instead of adding energy-draining balancer shafts
The 1.0-liter EcoBoost debuted this year on the Focus in Europe and will be offered next in C-MAX and B-MAX in Europe later this year. The 1.0-liter EcoBoost will be made available in Ford models in the U.S. and Asia Pacific and Africa next year.

The new Focus 100-PS (98-horsepower) 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine delivers best-in-class fuel efficiency of 4.8 liter/100 km (58.9 mpg)* and CO2 emissions of 109 g/km. The 125-PS (123-horsepower) model returns 5.0 liter/100 km (56.5 mpg) with CO2 emissions of 114 g/km.

In its first full month of sales across Europe, more than 4,700 customers ordered a Focus 1.0-liter EcoBoost, accounting for nearly a quarter of all Focus cars ordered in Ford’s 19 traditional European markets.

Ford of Europe plans to triple annual production of vehicles equipped with efficient EcoBoost gas engines to approximately 480,000 by 2015, from 141,000 in 2011. The company projects that more than 300,000 of those vehicles will be equipped with the 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine.

In determining International Engine of the Year, judges consider driveability, performance, economy, refinement and the successful application of advanced engine technology. The popularity of the 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine with judges saw it receive 28 percent more points than its closest rival and the highest points total of any engine in the history of the competition.

“For a three-cylinder to power a vehicle like the Ford Focus with such ease proves the future is very, very bright for the internal combustion engine,” said Slavnich of Engine Technology International. “Power, response and very good real-world fuel consumption figures are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this engine and what it offers drivers today. Well done, Ford!”

Other judges also praised the 1.0-liter EcoBoost.

“If downsizing is the way ahead, there is currently no better example than this,” said U.K.-based journalist John Simister. “Same power as the naturally aspirated 1.6-liter engine it replaces, and much punchier to drive.”

“With good torque at the very low end, this high-tech three-cylinder turbo gives the driving performance of a small turbo-diesel, but without noise and vibrations,” said Christophe Congrega of French-based L’Automobile Magazine.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

New Features For The Ford F-150


                               Check out the new features on the Ford F-150.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Father’s Day Is the Perfect Time to Kick off Restoration of America’s Favorite Classic, the 1964-66 Ford Mustang


  • Mustang restorations started this summer should be ready in time for the car’s 50th anniversary in April 2014
  • Ford-licensed restoration parts for classic 1960s Mustangs can improve quality, lower costs and shorten restoration time


DEARBORN, Mich., June 12, 2012 – With the 50th anniversary of the Ford Mustang less than two years away, this summer is the time to begin restoring your classic pony car so that it can be ready for one of the most important milestones in American automotive history.

“Working nights and weekends, and as your budget allows, it takes roughly two years to do a complete wheels-up classic car restoration,” says Brian Martin, director of automotive restoration development at McPherson College in Kansas. McPherson is the only school in North America that offers a four-year bachelor’s degree in automobile restoration.

Martin says with careful project planning and outsourcing of some specialized jobs such as painting and transmission rebuilding, a father and son following a detailed plan can easily restore a first-generation Mustang in a good-sized home garage. What’s needed are basic hand tools, proper manuals, good mechanical skills and a realistic budget.

Restoring a classic Mustang is a great father and son project, and this Sunday, June 17, is Father’s Day a great day to kick off a Mustang restoration with the goal of having the car ready for its 50th anniversary on April 17, 2014.

Jonathan Brand and his dad have restored three classic Mustangs in their home garage, a ’65 coupe and two ’69 models. It was an experience Brand says he will never forget.

“My dad and I weren’t as close before we restored the Mustangs,” says Brand, an artist who now lives in New Haven, Conn. “It definitely brought us closer together, all those hours working on the cars. He taught me a lot about cars, and we had a lot of fun.”

Brand’s advice: Have patience, manage the budget and use Ford-licensed restoration parts, especially for the sheet metal repairs.

“We tried using panels from junkyards, but when you consider the time it takes to get them off and then to get them to fit properly on your car, it just isn’t worth it. We found the new parts fit really well,” Brand says.

95 percent of classic Mustang parts available
America’s love affair with the original Mustang is still going strong after nearly 50 years. Debuting in April 1964, the original Mustang sold more than 1.2 million units – including more than 174,000 convertibles – before its first redesign in 1967.

The original Mustang has long been America’s most popular classic car of the postwar era and is usually No. 1 or 2 on the list of most popular cars Hagerty Classic Car Insurance of Traverse City, Mich., insures.

Ford Motor Company aggressively supports the original Mustang with thousands of high-quality, officially licensed reproduction parts available at www.fordrestorationparts.com. These replacement parts look, fit and perform exactly as the originals. Many Ford restoration parts are actually made from the original Ford tools that have been preserved for the restoration market. About 95 percent of all the parts needed to build a “new” classic ’64 to ’66 Mustang are available today.

“We offer everything from a door handle to a complete Mustang body,” says Dennis Mondrach, Ford Restoration Parts licensing manager. “We just recently launched a 1965 Mustang convertible body – the complete assembly, all the sheet metal from the hood to the trunk. It is designed to enable fans of the original Mustang to build the classic of their dreams using a body that is stronger than the original.”

Reproduction Mustang bodies are available in every classic model year from 1965 to 1970 along with the ever-popular 1965 and 1967 convertibles. All cars feature modern welding andassembly techniques and are made from high-strength, modern automotive-grade steel. Officially licensed fenders, bumpers, door skins and other body parts for project cars that have restorable bodies are available to replace parts susceptible to rust or damaged in accidents.

Mondrach says it is nearly impossible to pluck a restorable 1964-66 Mustang or such parts as fenders, bumpers and grilles from scrapyards. Most have been wrecked, or rusted, and Mustangs with any parts good enough to be reused were long ago picked clean by restorers.

Classic Mustang restoration: Easier than you might think
Because the original Mustang uses technology that was state-of-the-art for mass-produced cars in the 1960s, the car is extremely easy to work on compared with today’s vehicles. Also, the Mustang’s mechanical components have always been easy to find and affordable, further adding to the car’s appeal among collectors. In addition, the car can easily be modified with better suspension, performance and safety options that were unavailable at the time.

Ford Racing, for example, offers many optional crate engines and performance options to meet the needs of every Mustang enthusiast.

Mondrach suggests starting a restoration with a Mustang whose body is sound and not in need of major rust, welding or accident repairs. “The costs add up quickly when you are cutting out and replacing damaged body panels. It may be more cost effective to start with a complete new body and use the engine, transmission, suspension and major trim from a donor car,” he says.

Martin, of McPherson College, recommends refurbishing the drivetrain, suspension and other mechanical components before the body and paintwork. He says a reasonable budget for a complete restoration is between $30,000 and $50,000, but that would include a new or rebuilt performance engine, transmission, rear axle, brakes, suspension, cooling and electrical systems, as well as all the trim, paint and interior parts to be as good as new.

Before starting a restoration, experts say, knowledge is the first and most important thing to attain. “Join a club. Buy the original Ford-issued repair manuals,” Martin says. “Ford service manuals from that time were really good. They were designed to speak to mechanics with a high school education, not like today’s repair manuals that assume you have an engineering degree.”

Other tips for restoring a classic Mustang
  • Decide how you will use the car when it is done. This will influence the cost of the restoration. Building a 100-point show car is far more expensive and time consuming than building a very clean weekend cruiser
  • Keep track of all the money you spend on parts, service and supplies, says Jonathan Klinger of Hagerty Insurance. You will need to document your costs to prove to the insurance company what you have invested, and receipts will be required when registering a custom-built “assembled vehicle” for title
  • Join the local Mustang club, a good source for used parts and knowledgeable members