Displaying items by tag: Ford

With or without its wayback garb, this baby Bronco remains impressively capable.

Ford continues to channel the rich history of its iconic Bronco 4x4 with the introduction of two new retro-inspired special editions of its compact Bronco Sport SUV.

The 2023 Bronco Sport Heritage Edition and Bronco Sport Heritage Limited Edition celebrate the birth of the Bronco brand with a classic-themed appearance package that takes styling cues from the original 1966 truck. Both variants feature a white roof, white rear badging, white 17-inch aluminum wheels, and a white grille with red BRONCO lettering.

The Bronco Sport Heritage Edition, built on the Big Bend trim level, utilizes Ford's 181-hp turbocharged 1.5-liter inline-three, which is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. Suspension features include hydraulic front bump stops and specially tuned springs included in Ford’s High-Performance Off-Road Stability Suspension (HOSS) system package, plus five user-selectable "G.O.A.T." terrain modes for off-road driving.

The Heritage Edition's interior styling includes white trim accents, plaid cloth seats, blue-and-red accent stitching, a microsuede center console armrest, and Navy Pier Blue accents on the door panels and dash. Buyers have a choice of seven paint options, including Robin's Egg Blue, a throwback color based on one that was available on the original Bronco.

The pricier Heritage Limited Edition is derived from the Bronco Sport lineup's more off-road-focused Badlands package, which features the larger turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four, two additional G.O.A.T. modes, a torque-vectoring rear differential, and a lockable center clutch pack for the all-wheel-drive system. Our Peak Blue sample is one of three paint shades available, the others being the lighter Robin's Egg Blue and the intense Yellowstone Metallic.

Heritage Limited Edition–specific features include larger 29-inch all-terrain tires, leather-trimmed seats, and white door inserts. A retro-style plaque adorns the center console, while metal Bronco door badging in the classic '60s script is satisfyingly eye-catching.

Despite its basis in the humble C2 unibody platform as used in the Escape SUV and Maverick pickup, the Bronco Sport proves to be unexpectedly capable off-road, with the 2.0-liter's 250 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque making light work of the steep gullies, embedded boulders, and deep sand that constitute the Johnson Valley area of the Mojave Desert. (So much of the model's off-road development was conducted here that Ford chose to include a geographic coordinate from the area as an Easter egg hidden in the molding of the rear hatch trim.)

An aluminum skid plate, part of the standard Badlands equipment package, eases concerns of stabbing the Bronco Sport's underbody with spiky terrain elements. Despite the Sport's modest ride height, its 8.8-inch ground clearance (on 235/65R-17 tires, the model's largest available) proves to be perfectly adequate for comfortably brisk-paced desert driving as we follow the dusty wake of our guide, Melissa. She is well-versed in the Bronco Sport's abilities, having taken a stock Bronco Sport Badlands to first place in the 1500-mile, off-road Rebelle Rally in both 2021 and 2022.

It is the suspension that makes the Bronco Sport, and despite the plethora of off-road driving modes available, this SUV handles even soft trail running just fine in its standard drive mode. Locking in the all-wheel-drive system and the rear differential is more than sufficient for confident thrashing in deeper sand.

All of that would be equally true for the less retro-tastic Badlands model, however. At $46,250, the Heritage Limited Edition is fully kitted out, carrying nearly $5000 worth of features that are optional on the Badlands. Screen that out, and you see that the retro look carries a roughly $2000 premium. One rung down, the $34,245 Heritage Edition represents a roughly $1500 upcharge over the equivalent Big Bend model.

Is that worth it? Well, several miles east of where we drove this Bronco Sport, classic Broncos, stock and modified, are swarming the viewing areas of this year’s King of the Hammers desert road-race competition. For off-road enthusiasts, the appeal of those classic Broncos, the reborn Bronco, and this offshoot Bronco Sport is wrapped up in the combination of capability and aesthetics. The Bronco Sport Heritage Editions lean more heavily on the latter, but to no detriment of the former.

caranddriver.com

Published in Ford

As expected, it is an electric crossover.

Ford recently made another difficult decision and stopped the production of the legendary model.

There is simply no place for the Fiesta in the new business policy of this manufacturer. But not for many other models, such as Ka, Focus, Mondeo, S-Max and Galaxy.

Just like that, all these cars are going into history to make way for the new models of Ford's electric division, the Ford Model E, headed by Martin Sander.

"We didn't decide to do it lightly, but we have to do something," Sander commented on Autocar's cancellation of the Fiesta. And now we know why it happens.

The factory in Cologne is going completely "electric", and the first in a series of new models is still hidden under the tarpaulin. However, thanks to Sander, we can now see its outline.

As expected, it is a crossover and arrives as a market counterpart to models such as the Skoda Eniaq.

Following the discontinuation of the Fiesta, the new entry-level model of Ford's European range will be the Puma, with the electric Puma EV set to be introduced next year, and on sale in 2025.

Ford aims to achieve annual sales of 600,000 electric cars in Europe by 2026. From 2030, every passenger Ford on the Old Continent will be electric.

Let's also mention that Ford invests 490 million dollars in Romanian plants (Puma EV) and 470 million dollars in the factory in Halewood, where electric drive systems are produced.

Published in Blog/News
Tagged under
Friday, 16 December 2022 06:55

The end for the Ford Focus

First, Ford announced the end of its Fiesta small city car, and now it has announced a new victim of its strategy.

It's the Focus, which replaced the Escort back in 1998, and since the first generation has announced itself as one of the best compact cars - which it remains to this day.

Along with the robust off-roader Bronco (from spring 2023) and pick-up Ranger, it also includes icons like the new Mustang or the large electric pick-up F-150 Lightning, according to the HAK Review.

By 2030, all Ford models should be fully electrified. SUV and crossover models with higher margins will remain on offer.

Ford intends to distribute its products in the future through four pillars. Sports models such as the Mustang or Mustang Mach E are classified as Wild Performance.

Extreme adventurers like the Bronco and Ranger Raptor will be sold as Ultimate Outdoor. The successful compact SUVs Kuga and Puma will be part of the Urban Escape group in the future. In the Active Adventure class, there will be large Explorer-style SUVs.

The Puma electric SUV is coming next year, and an electric replacement for the Kuga in 2024.

Published in Blog/News
Tagged under
Sunday, 16 October 2022 06:03

Ford F-150 arrives in Europe

Hedin US Motor AB, a branch of the Hedin Mobility Group, will import the F-150 pickup truck into Europe with the blessing of Ford Motor Company.

"The Ford F-150 is the world's best-selling pickup truck for a reason, so we're thrilled to expand our group's import sector by bringing the American icon to Europe," said the company's founder and No. 1 man, Anders Hedin. "We look forward to offering European dealerships the F-150 family of vehicles, complete with a full service program, warranties, spare parts and accessories," added Anders Larkvist, CEO of Hedin US Motor AB.

Sales are scheduled to begin in November 2022. Pricing information is currently unavailable, but what we do know is that other European markets will follow the lead of Germany and Sweden, where buyers are presented with three options, starting with the Coyote V8-powered Lariat. The PowerBoost hybrid Limited and EcoBoost Raptor are also on their way to the Old Continent.

What may be a bit surprising is that there is no electric Lightning among the selections, but on the other hand it is also understandable, since Ford can hardly cope with the demand on domestic soil. The importer doesn't mention what cabin configurations are in the game, although we do know that the Raptor comes in a SuperCrew variant.

The Lariat is available in the US in SuperCab and SuperCrew trims, while the Limited can be configured as a SuperCrew. The logical conclusion would be that Hedin ordered SuperCrew models throughout the range.

As for pricing, the net price for the four-door Lariat with the 5.0-liter Coyote V8 engine is $54,545. The Limited powered by the PowerBoost hybrid system costs $81,465, while the Raptor costs $72,520.

Published in Blog/News
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After the news of a few days ago that the American company will lay off 3,000 workers worldwide, Ford has now announced that it will postpone investments in production in Spain.

The Detroit-based company issued a statement saying it was delaying its manufacturing investment in Spain, citing a "revised outlook for Europe." However, the American brand has announced that it remains committed to the production of cars in Spain and will not suspend work at its factory in Valencia.

Ford will not seek a share of Spain's EU pandemic relief funds, money that would ensure the first electric cars roll off production lines in Valencia by June 2025. According to a statement from the automaker, Ford will work with authorities to identify other potential public funds that will enable the transition to a fully electric fleet of passenger vehicles in Europe by 2030.

During June of this year, Ford announced that the new generation of electric vehicles will be produced in Valencia. The latest announcement did not elaborate on the revised outlook for Europe, which the American brand blames for delaying investment.

Last week it was announced that 3,000 Ford workers would lose their jobs, primarily in North America and India. For now, no layoffs are expected in Valencia, although the American automaker has announced that there will be some workforce restructuring as electric cars require fewer man hours to assemble.

As a reminder, Ford is abandoning its factory in Saarlouis in 2025, so the production of the legendary Ford Focus model is expected to end as well.

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Not everyone is cut out to be an athlete, but a pair of running shoes and a snazzy track jacket can at least help you look the part. We bring this up because that's essentially the gist behind the relatively new ST-Line trim level for the Ford Edge.

The Edge's latest model expansion is hardly a surprise. Although this generation of Edge dates back to the 2015 model year, Ford's mid-size two-row SUV found more than 85,000 buyers even in last year's depressed market. A performance-oriented ST model was added for 2019, with the latter version accounting for nearly 13 percent of sales in its first two years of production, according to Ford. The ST-Line is a natural extension, offering most of the ST's athletic looks but none of its performance enhancers. It joined the mix for 2020, and the trim has since spread to the larger, three-row Explorer.

2021 ford edge stline

HIGHS: Sportier appearance, quiet and spacious cabin, big new touchscreen.

Given the number of ST models on the road, it's not easy to distinguish the ST-Line—which is the point. Like its sportier sibling, the ST-Line ditches chrome accents for a black honeycomb grille and other darkened exterior bits, as well as body-color bumpers and black 20-inch wheels shod with all-season tires. Notably absent are the ST's optional 21-inchers with summer tires, trapezoidal exhaust outlets, and prominent red ST emblems front and rear. But the effect is the same, bringing some welcome visual zest to an otherwise blocky vehicle.

 

Unlike the ST with its 335-hp twin-turbo 2.7-liter V-6—the only six-cylinder Edge these days—the ST-Line employs the regular model's 250-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four mated to an unobtrusive eight-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive initially was a $1995 option, but it's been made standard across the Edge lineup for 2022. Our 2021 model-year test car made do with front-wheel drive and featured a panoramic sunroof and an active-safety package with adaptive cruise control and evasive steering assist, raising its as-tested price to a reasonable $42,725. The 2022 ST-Line's base price is now $42,790, which equates to a $6100 premium over the starter SE model yet a $2700 discount versus the full ST.

2021 ford edge stline
Spur the ST-Line, and it calmly accelerates, pushed along by a hefty 275 pound-feet of torque. Our test car reached 60 mph in 6.6 seconds and covered the quarter-mile in 15.2 seconds at 92 mph—perfectly adequate times that are about a second behind those of the ST yet slightly quicker than what we recorded in our last test of a base-engine Edge, a 301-pound-heavier all-wheel-drive model that only managed a fourth-place finish in a 2019 comparison test. However, our 4056-pound test car still is no lightweight, and many competitors offer more power for similar money. Among them is the winner of that comparison, the V-6-powered Honda Passport, which is nearly a second quicker to 60 mph.

LOWS: Mediocre performance, lackluster fuel economy, awkward driving position.

2021 ford edge stline
The ST-Line's bulk is a drag on fuel economy. We averaged just 19 mpg, despite a 24-mpg combined EPA figure, and our example's 24-mpg result on our 75-mph highway test is also 5 mpg below its highway rating. Without the ST's suspension upgrades and optional bigger brakes, the ST-Line encourages only light exercise behind the wheel. While snow prevented us from seeing if it improves upon our previous test car's decent 0.83 g of skidpad grip, its 174-foot stop from 70 mph is average for this segment. Ride comfort and overall control are good for the daily slog. But we know from previous experience that the standard Edge's stoppers are ill-suited for spirited driving and that its soft suspension quickly becomes unsettled when you pick up the pace. "Spooky" is how we've described its handling behavior in the past, and disconnected is how we still feel when looking out over its long dash from the booster-seat driving position.
 
2021 ford edge stline
Inside, you'll find red contrast stitching and grippy seat inserts, as well as the 12.0-inch touchscreen running Ford's latest Sync 4A infotainment suite that all Edge models gained for 2021. Though one test driver did note that the system froze up and crashed while driving—sadly, a fairly common occurrence in our digital world—the large, highly configurable screen is a meaningful upgrade that brings wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity, among other features. It also helps distract from the Edge's old-school instrument cluster with an analog speedometer flanked by tiny hard-to-read displays, as well as the several sharp-edged plastic trim pieces we found in our test car. The Edge offers generous stretch-out space for rear-seat passengers, and all occupants will appreciate the hushed way the ST-Line's engine goes about its work—72 decibels at full chat, 68 decibels at a steady 70 mph.

Prospective buyers seeking a more energetic Ford Edge should still look to the full ST model, as the ST-Line's black accents don't enhance this aging crossover's uninspired driving experience. Nor does a fancy touchscreen refine its cabin to the levels found in newer rivals such as the redesigned Hyundai Santa Fe and Kia Sorento. But the ST-Line treatment does make for an attractive game of dress-up for those who value style over performance.

Specifications

2021 Ford Edge ST-Line
Vehicle Type: front-engine, front-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door wagon

PRICE
Base/As Tested: $40,185/$42,725
Options: sunroof, $1595; Ford Co-Pilot 360 (steering assist, lane centering, adaptive cruise, navigation), $895; cargo net, $50

ENGINE
turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve inline-4, aluminum block and head, direct fuel injection
Displacement: 122 in3, 1999 cm3
Power: 250 hp @ 5500 rpm
Torque: 275 lb-ft @ 3000 rpm

TRANSMISSION
8-speed automatic

CHASSIS
Suspension, F/R: struts/multilink
Brakes, F/R: 13.6-in vented disc/12.4-in disc
Tires: Pirelli Scorpion Verde All Season
245/50R-20 102V M+S

DIMENSIONS
Wheelbase: 112.2 in
Length: 188.8 in
Width: 75.9 in
Height: 68.3 in
Passenger Volume: 110 ft3
Cargo Volume: 39 ft3
Curb Weight: 4056 lb

C/D TEST RESULTS
60 mph: 6.6 sec
1/4-Mile: 15.2 sec @ 92 mph
100 mph: 18.6 sec
Results above omit 1-ft rollout of 0.3 sec.
Rolling Start, 5–60 mph: 6.9 sec
Top Gear, 30–50 mph: 3.3 sec
Top Gear, 50–70 mph: 4.4 sec
Top Speed (gov ltd): 122 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 174 ft

C/D FUEL ECONOMY
Observed: 19 mpg
75-mph Highway Driving: 24 mpg
Highway Range: 440 mi

EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/City/Highway: 24/21/29 mpg

https://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/a39108471/2021-ford-edge-st-line-by-the-numbers/

Published in Ford

If you've been a Ford Ranger fan as long as us, you probably had the same emotional response we did when hearing that the Tremor model would be making a comeback. For better or worse Ford surprised us all when the 2021 Ranger Tremor arrived as a hardcore off-road package instead of the audiophile-geared truck it was in the early 2000s. With a small lift, impressive Fox 2.0 shocks, and 32-inch General Grabber all-terrain tires, the Ranger Tremor is the real deal when it comes to off-road capability—on paper anyway. This combination elevates Ford's Ranger to compete in the class of premium midsize off-roaders that previously included the Chevy Colorado ZR2 and Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro.

  So, is the 2021 Ford Ranger Tremor the ultimate when it comes to factory off-road pickups? Read on to see just how our judges thought it fared during our weeklong torture test.

 

002 2022 four wheeler pickup truck of the year ford ranger tremor

 Ford Ranger Tremor RTI Ramp And Track Data

When Ford brought the Ranger back as a midsize in 2019 it did so following a trend that is becoming more and more common. Ford has offered this generation of Ranger with only a single drivetrain choice. It's really not a bad one, though, as the little truck's 2.3-liter EcoBoost I-4 engine pumps out 270 hp and an impressive 310 lb-ft of torque. Backing the EcoBoost engine is a 10-speed automatic transmission similar to what's found in the larger F-150 pickups.

 Testing at the track is really the only place where our diverse group of competitors are compared head-to-head. While we don't expect the smaller midsize trucks to take down the more powerful half-tons, it is interesting to see where everything shakes out. When putting rubber to road, the Ranger Tremor ran from 0 to 60 mph in 7.61 seconds and completed the quarter-mile in 16.08 seconds at 88.0 mph. This was enough to be the quickest and fastest of the trio of midsize contenders, but what we found even more interesting was the fact that the Ranger Tremor was only a fraction of a second off of besting the far more powerful Tundra. Unfortunately, when it came to braking performance the Ranger fell to the back of the pack, reining things in from 60 mph to 0 in 152.22 feet, a full 10 feet further than the next closest competitor.

 When it came time for the RTI ramp the Ranger Tremor held its own nicely with a solid mid-pack score. Climbing 51 inches up the ramp the Ranger scored a 440.53, which proved a better score than both the Nissan Frontier and Toyota Tundra but fell far behind the flexy Tacoma.

003 2022 four wheeler pickup truck of the year ford ranger tremor

Ford Ranger Tremor Interior And Exterior

Ford made a decision, when relaunching the Ranger nameplate in 2019, to utilize the company's existing global platform. While this certainly saved the company development time and money, it's left the three-year-old Ranger feeling somewhat dated already, and this was reflected in our judges' scoring of the truck. There were many comments about the truck's hollow-sounding door closure, the interior's overall simplicity, large amount of hard plastic trim, and generally uninteresting design. Despite this, our judges were largely in agreement that the Ranger's front seats proved quite comfortable, and the B&O audio system sounded fantastic. While there was nothing specifically wrong with the Ranger's interior (although one judge disagreed with the location of the power mirror switch), it didn't win many fans and this was reflected in the scoring.

 While the interior didn't garner the highest scores, the Ranger Tremor's exterior made fans out of the bulk of our judging crew. Setting the Tremor apart from other Ranger models is a slight increase in ride height, 32-inch General Grabber tires, metallic painted wheels, unique fender flares, a painted grille, rear recovery hooks, and hoop side steps. This combination gives the Ranger Tremor an aggressive style that our judges enjoyed. Specifically, the Ranger gained high marks for its stance, loads of ground clearance, aggressive all-terrain tires, and its four closed-loop recovery points. The only real complaint heard from the team focused on the Tremor-specific hoop side steps. Our judges found the steps to be largely unusable for entering or exiting the vehicle, several scraped their shins against the large hoops, and we spent the entire week of testing worried that we would damage them off-road since they hang well below the doorsill. We were all in agreement that if Ford were to ditch the large steps in favor of a more low-profile rocker guard the Tremor package would be perfect.

004 2022 four wheeler pickup truck of the year ford ranger tremor

Ford Ranger Tremor OThe Highway

When it came to pounding the pavement the Ford Ranger Tremor scored very average marks from our judges. They noted that the Ranger felt small and nimble, which was especially handy when navigating tight parking lots. Many of our judges gave high marks to the Ranger's corner-carving ability and tight overall handling characteristics. The truck was also noted to be very smooth, thanks in part to the Tremor package's Fox 2.0 monotube dampers. The truck's EcoBoost engine and 10-speed transmission were crowd favorites as well. While there was some slight grumbling about perceived turbo lag from the turbocharged 2.3-liter I-4 engine, everyone agreed that once on the boost the small truck would really hustle. The biggest complaint we found among the judges when it came to highway driving centered around cabin noise. With the stereo off many noticed increased levels of wind and road noise, with the aggressive General tires contributing as well. Thankfully, the B&O audio system easily drowned out these noises. Fuel economy calculated from the Ranger Tremor was quite interesting. The truck is rated at 19 mpg across the board by the EPA, but during the course of our testing we saw an average of 16.43 mpg with a worst tank of 14.93 and best of 22.38. What this tells us is the Ranger Tremor gets quite thirsty when driven hard off-road but can be quite miserly while cruising on the highway. We have no doubt that in normal driving this truck can match or beat its EPA ratings, which is really rather rare.

005 2022 four wheeler pickup truck of the year ford ranger tremor

When The Pavement Ends

Ford's Ranger Tremor comes packed with off-road features, and these really appealed to our team of judges. Thanks in part to the truck's increased ride height and 32-inch General Grabber A/TX all-terrain tires, the Ranger Tremor boasts an impressive 9.8 inches of ground clearance along with a 30.9-degree approach, 24.2-degree breakover, and 25.5-degree departure angles. This gave the truck plenty of clearance to maneuver over and around obstacles on our rocky trails. The Tremor's suspension features Fox 2.0 dampers with reservoirs in the rear. Wheel travel has increased to 6.5 inches in the front and 8.5 inches in the rear. When combined with the truck's specially tuned front and rear springs and the Fox shocks the Ranger Tremor gives a fantastic ride over moderate-size bumps and rough terrain even at higher speeds.

The Ranger Tremor also comes fitted with a host of electronic goodies designed to help during off-road adventures. Most important among these is the electronic locking rear differential. Our judges were blown away by the fact that Ford allows Ranger drivers to engage the locking differential in all drive modes, including two-wheel drive. While the locker still disengages at a relatively low speed (about 20-mph), none of the other competitors allow rear locker use in two-wheel drive and most are low-range-only. In addition to the locking differential, the Ranger Tremor also comes with Ford's Terrain Management System, which includes four distinct drive modes. It doesn't stop there; the Ranger also features Ford's innovative Trail Control system which allows the truck to handle steering and braking while on the trail. Finally, Ford recalibrated the Tremor's traction control system for improved acceleration and traction on loose surfaces.

During the course of testing there wasn't a discipline that our judges didn't rate the Ranger Tremor highly on. The truck performed admirably on our rutted hill climbs, tackled bumpy desert roads with ease and comfort, and had no issues in the rocks (aside from the low-hanging side steps, that is.) The real surprise was in the sand where the Ranger Tremor impressed with its tight chassis, great suspension tuning, and fantastic power.

006 2022 four wheeler pickup truck of the year ford ranger tremor

Bottom Line

While the 2021 Ford Ranger Tremor might not be the newest kid on the block, it has proven to be a really solid all-around performer. If you can look past the dated interior design, the Ranger Tremor might be the perfect midsize truck for those looking to get deep into the backcountry in comfort and style. The truck's suspension, tires, and wheel package work very well together, while the drivetrain provides plenty of power and efficiency. We'd go as far as to say that the Tremor package might just be the best Ranger available today … just need to ditch those side steps.


 007 2022 four wheeler pickup truck of the year ford ranger tremor

What's Hot

  • Smooth and powerful EcoBoost Engine, Fox 2.0 monotube dampers, rugged off-road styling

What's Not

  • Dated interior design, large low-hanging side steps, cramped rear seat
008 2022 four wheeler pickup truck of the year ford ranger tremor

Logbook Quotes

  • "Super fun on rough graded roads and a total surprise in the sand. "
  • "Once the EcoBoost engine's turbo lights this truck really scoots!"
  • "Love this truck's stance. She just sits right. "
  • "Ouch! I just winged my shin on the dumb low-hanging side steps … again. "
  • "Drove a good way with no radio on and this truck has a lot of road and wind noise leaking in. "
  • "This truck's exhaust note when on the gas sounds like an old VW bus. You decide if that's a good or bad thing. "
001 2022 four wheeler pickup truck of the year ford ranger tremor

2021 Ford Ranger Tremor

  • Base Price: $34,745
  • Price As Tested: $44,430
  • EPA Fuel Econ (City/Hwy/Comb): 19/19/19
  • Tested Fuel Econ (Average/Best): 16.40/22.38
  • Engine: 2.3-liter EcoBoost I-4
  • Power: 270 hp @ 5,500 RPM
  • Torque: 310 lb-ft @ 3,000 RPM
  • Transmission: 10-speed automatic
  • Accel 0-60 MPH: 7.61 seconds
  • ¼-Mile: 16.08 seconds @ 88.0 mph
  • Braking 60-0 MPH: 152.22 feet

https://www.motortrend.com/reviews/ford-ranger-tremor-four-wheeler-of-the-year-2022/

Published in Ford
Monday, 29 November 2021 06:37

FORD FOCUS ST REVIEW

 
 
  PROS
  • Entertaining to drive
  • Spacious rear seats
  • Plenty of standard equipment

 CONS

  • Rivals are faster...
  • ...and cheaper
  • Interior quality a disappointment

Is the Ford Focus ST any good?

If you’re talking hot hatches, you’ll probably soon start discussing products with a blue oval on their nose. That’s because the Ford Focus ST is the latest in a long line of pumped-up hatches from the brand and one of the most potent. Opt for the 2.3-litre turbocharged petrol engine and you get 280hp and a 0-62mph time of less than 6.0 seconds.

It’s not quite as fast as some rivals, but it’s certainly more practical with oodles of rear seat space, a perfectly usable boot and five doors. If you want even more practicality there’s a versatile estate version and even a diesel for those with an eye on fuel economy.

The regular line-up was joined by an even more focused Edition version late in 2021. This runout model ahead of a major facelift in 2022 gains lighter alloy wheels, uprated suspension and a distinctive shade of blue paint to differentiate it from lesser versions.

The ST doesn’t have an easy time of things, though. It faces stiff competition from the Renaultsport Megane, Volkswagen Golf GTI, BMW 128ti and our current favourite, the Toyota GR Yaris.

2021 Ford Focus ST seats

What’s it like inside?

The scene is set by a pair of part-leather clad Recaro sports seats with six-way power adjustment and a heated ST-specific steering wheel wrapped in perforated leather. The seats hold you tightly in place around corners yet provide good comfort as well, while the heating elements are almost too effective on their hottest setting.

A part-metal gearlever, some contrast stitching and ST branded floormats finish off the sporty makeover and there’s plenty of equipment including dual-zone climate control and a B&O stereo. Infotainment is taken care of by the same touchscreen infotainment system that proves easy to navigate if a bit basic-looking.

 2021 Ford Focus ST dash

A digital driver’s display is standard, but isn’t as customisable as the screen in a Golf GTI although the addition of a head up display is a nice touch. It’s easy to read and projects your speed and other information clearly into your line of sight.

The rest of the interior is familiar Focus, with quality proving passable but by no means opulent and plenty of space for passengers. Those in the back get more leg room than in a Golf GTI and certainly a GR Yaris, and the boot isn’t bad, either. If you want more information about the interior, infotainment and practicality, take a look at our main Ford Focus review.

2021 Ford Focus ST rear cornering

What’s it like to drive?

Two engines are on offer, a 2.3-litre petrol with 280hp and a 2.0-litre diesel with a far tamer 190hp. The former sprints from 0-62mpg in 5.7 seconds with a six-speed manual or 6.0 seconds dead with the optional seven-speed automatic gearbox. The latter takes a yawning 7.6 seconds and is only available with the manual.

We’d recommend sticking to the six-speed manual as the automatic isn’t as sharp as those found in the Golf GTI and Cupra Leon. Besides, the manual ‘box is enjoyable to use and helps you get the most out of the potent petrol engine. Sure, you can leave the engine in a high gear and feel it pull happily from less than 1500rpm, but it does its best work over 3000rpm. 

Yes, there are rivals that feel faster still, but it’s unlikely you’ll feel short changed by the way it pushes you into your seat. The noise is a bit disappointing, even with the sports exhausts popping and banging in the sportier modes.

The diesel is certainly the more economical option and has plenty of shove from low revs, but it doesn’t really feel all that fast and doesn’t allow you to make the most of the car’s agile handling. This option is due to be dropped with the introduction of the updated 2022 Focus.

The ST is great fun to drive, combining taut body control, sharp steering response and plenty of grip – all while maintaining a comfortable ride quality. The 2.3-litre petrol gets a limited slip differential as standard which boosts traction especially when exiting corners. It helps really pin the nose to the road so you can make the most of the power. It does mean the steering wheel writhes in your hands a little when you accelerate, but it’s easily controlled.

2021 Ford Focus ST front

You don’t have to drive very far in the ST before you find yourself building a rhythm down your favourite road, as a result. Think of the ST as more of a Volkswagen Golf Clubsport rival, rather than a Golf GTI– a performance hatchback that’s a little more focused on agility and grip than everyday comfort. It’s certainly more playful than both, tucking its nose into bends more keenly and proving happier to slide its tail if you like that sort of thing. A Megane RS is even more of a hooligan, though.

Performance Pack models add adaptive suspension that gets stiffer as you move from Normal to Sport then Track drive mode, giving even more breadth to the ST’s abilities. It’s certainly comfier in Normal mode although Track is too firm for the road. We also appreciated the rev matching function which makes for smoother shifts when selecting a lower gear.

There’s also a Focus ST Edition which you can tell by its unique black lightweight alloy wheels and distinctive light blue paint with a black roof. You also get motorsport-style coilover suspension that’s lower and stiffer. You can adjust it if you’ve got a set of spanners, but the standard settings provide a great compromise.

It’s certainly firmer than a normal ST, yet the uprated suspension controls body movements exceptionally well even on truly awful roads. It also makes the ST feel even more agile and entertaining and the expense of a little everyday comfort. If you’re a keen driver, it’s the one to have.

2021 Ford Focus ST rear

Should you buy one?

If driving thrills are at the top of your list of priorities but you still need a thoroughly practical car, the Ford Focus ST is well worth a look. It’s far more spacious than the GR Yaris and beats even the Golf GTI and Megane RS for rear seat space.

However, the Golf is a little classier inside, the Megane even more exciting to drive and the Yaris the ultimate hot hatch if space isn’t a concern.

What we like

The Focus’ agile handling and crisp manual gearbox make it a joy to drive, while the suspension is soft enough for day to day use if you avoid Edition models. Plentiful rear seat space and plenty of standard equipment also appeal.

What we don't like

All versions are rather pricey and the interior feels a bit low-rent especially compared to premium-badged rivals like the BMW 128ti.

(https://www.parkers.co.uk/ford/focus/st/review/)

Published in Ford
Wednesday, 10 November 2021 07:28

The new Ford Mondeo in the first pictures

Ford confirmed even earlier that at the end of March 2022, the production of the current Mondeo (limousine and caravan) will stop in the factory in Valencia, Spain, due to the growing changes in the wishes of customers.

On the other hand, in China, the Mondeo will get a successor, which is confirmed by these first pictures.

It is obvious that the new Mondeo for China will be a close relative of the recently introduced Ford Evos. Unlike the Evos, which is a cross-liftback model (4920 mm long and with a wheelbase of 2945 mm), the new Mondeo will be sold in the form of a classic sedan (4935 mm long and with the same wheelbase of 2945 mm).

Like the Evos, the Mondeo will have a 2.0 EcoBoost turbo petrol under the hood with 238hp and 376Nm, along with an eight-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive.

The equipment also includes a panoramic roof, automatic braking system, lane maintenance, Ford BlueCruise autopilot, 12.3-inch digital instrument panel, as well as a large screen Sync + 2.0 multimedia system.

Customers will also be able to get 19-inch alloy wheels, with 235/45 tires.

Sales of the new Mondeo will most likely start in China in the first quarter of 2022, while production will be taken care of by Changan Ford, which, among other things, produces the aforementioned Evos.

Published in Blog/News
Tagged under
Wednesday, 20 October 2021 06:20

New Ford Mustang Mach-E GT 2021 review

With 480bhp and a 310-mile range, does the new Ford Mustang Mach-E GT offers the perfect blend of performance and practicality? We find out...

 
 
Verdict

The Ford Mustang Mach-E GT proves that EVs can be engaging – to an extent. The performance is a given, but the sharp steering and extra agility in Untamed mode help the GT’s case. However, the mass means this is only true up to a point, although the practicality on refinement on offer, mixed with genuinely usable range and respectable charging, make the GT a solid flagship for Ford’s first bespoke electric model line and a good electric SUV.

Ford has long been known for taking its run of the mill family cars and souping them up into something special. This is the fast Ford recipe, so it’s no surprise that the Blue Oval is taking a similar approach in the age of electrification, and the Mustang Mach-E GT is its first hot EV.

The strength of the Mustang nameplate means that a performance variant should sit naturally here, so the Mach-E GT boasts more power and torque, offering 480bhp and 860Nm respectively. It’s dual-motor powertrain gives strong traction off the line for a 3.7-second 0-62mph time, meaning it’s easily a match for the Tesla Model Y Performance.

On the move it feels it. As with many performance-focused electric cars, the throttle pedal’s map means you get a massive hit of torque with only a little travel and instant response to your inputs, so the GT romps forwards with an incredible urgency.

There are caveats, however. As long as you have the Mustang’s mass moving the response is good; this big EV’s relatively high kerbweight, at 2,273kg, means from a standstill it takes a little coaxing, while the thump also tails off at higher speeds. But at anything from town to motorway velocity, the Mach-E GT is more than rapid enough.

The enhanced powertrain is joined by some chassis upgrades in the form of Ford’s MagnaRide 2 adaptive suspension set-up, while 385mm Brembo brakes help stop the bulky machine and rein in its extra performance – but these additions have also been tuned with fun in mind, Ford claims.

Ultimately, that high weight means that the Mach-E GT is compromised; its straight-line punch is startling, but nothing we haven’t seen before from the likes of Tesla, while, despite the chassis tweaks, its mass is still obviously apparent in corners as you start to push the GT harder.

The steering is positive though, with a nice, fast response and relatively good grip, but it’s never truly engaging like the best fast Fords from history have been. You can feel some lethargy in quick direction changes, but it’s still not too bad for a big, battery powered SUV, and we should credit Ford with trying to inject some interest for keen drivers. In areas it has been successful.

 
There are Whisper, Active, Untamed and Untamed Plus driving modes to choose from that subtly change the car’s character from a greater focus on refinement to a greater focus on fun, altering the car’s torque delivery and chassis settings.

You notice the difference as the latter offers an extra edge of adjustability that deserts some of its EV rivals, tightening its line noticeably on the exit of bends as you apply the power. Untamed Plus also preps the drivetrain for repeated high-power deployment. Exploit this punch frequently though, and you’ll not get near the claimed 310-mile range on a full charge. The GT is powered by a 98.7kWh battery, of which 88kWh is usable, while 150kW rapid charging capability means a 10 to 80 per cent top-up takes 45 minutes.

 
 
 
Drop the GT back into Whisper mode and refinement is improved, making this sportiest Mach-E yet a sound cruiser on the smooth tarmac of our Croatian test route.

The chassis is just compliant enough, with enough suspension travel to soak up smoother, more flowing bumps sweetly. However, riding on 20-inch wheels the worst imperfections in the road surface do cause a shudder, and the firmer set-up to control the Mustang’s mass and deliver an engaging edge means that it does feel stiff at times.

Along with the standard-fit alloys, the GT also features more bespoke trim, including Ford Performance seats with extra bolstering to deal with the higher cornering forces. There are also body-coloured wheel arches, redesigned bumpers bespoke to the GT, a 3D-effect grille in grey, and two new body colours – Cyber Orange and Grabber Blue.

Of course, the interior is still dominated by the central 15.5-inch Tesla-style touchscreen, which features Ford’s SYNC4 infotainment with connected nav. It’s an intuitive system to use and responds quickly, although with nowhere to anchor your hand it’s not always the easiest to use on the move. The letterbox-style 10.2-inch digital display behind the steering wheel is delightfully simple and easy to read, though.

GT spec inherits the Mach-E AWD Extended Range’s list of standard kit, so wireless phone charging, adaptive cruise with lane centring, all-round parking sensors and a 360-degree camera, dual-zone climate control, heated seats and a heated steering wheel, adaptive LED headlights and plenty of safety kit are all fitted. But then you’d expect as much given the price.

The tech is fine, but the £65,080 Mustang Mach-E GT could offer some higher quality materials in places compared with similarly priced premium rivals, such as the Jaguar I-Pace.

There’s also a hands-free powered tailgate, which reveals a 402-litre boot. Practicality is boosted by the 100-litre ‘frunk’ (great for storing charging cables), while room in the rear is fine despite the Mach-E’s slightly swoopier coupe-like profile, which the GT’s bespoke styling elements enhance to good effect.

(https://www.autoexpress.co.uk/ford/mustang-mach-e/356340/new-ford-mustang-mach-e-gt-2021-review)

Published in Ford
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