I just wanted to take a quick moment to discuss what Ford is doing right now, and how excited that should make all of us. We recently took a trip out to the city of Detroit (home of the blue oval) for the North American International Auto Show where, once again, I was blown away by what Ford was doing. I also learned that the auto show attracted some 815,000+ people this year which is a completely different point but nonetheless makes me happy for the auto industry in general. Ford had an amazing display with all the the latest and greatest including the new Ford Fusion, which will be a 325hp AWD sedan that should blow away the competition.
So back to my original point in that Ford is onto something special right now and I truly think this is a great enhancement for the auto industry in general. I mean look at the lineup that Ford is bringing to the table right now. Cars, trucks and SUVs that are everyday capable vehicles that are reliable and, in some regards, the best selling vehicle (cough, cough F-150) for almost the last 40 years. Then look at all this excitement they are building and that really is what this article is all about. Let me start at the so called, “bottom” and work my way up.
Ford Fiesta ST – Improving on a fuel efficient sub-compact vehicle that usually only appeals to the typical commuter is something generally left to the European markets. Hot-hatches have always been the rage in the U.K. and hadn’t really ever caught on in the U.S. until Ford launched a couple of the most fun to drive, fuel efficient vehicles in the segment. The Fiesta ST is beloved by everyone who owns one, and for the money it’s hard to beat this hot hatch for what you’d spend elsewhere. Quick, nimble and plenty of space to actually fit and haul things, the Fiesta ST is the perfect 5 o’clock bum-rush ripper for the over crowded commute home.
Focus ST – When you need a bit more space and horsepower over the Fiesta ST, the next logical place to look would be at the Focus ST. Highly regarded as the most fun FWD car in its class, or really any class for that matter, the Focus ST is a reasonably priced do-it-all type of vehicle. Room to fit 4 or 5 adults comfortably, room to haul some gear up to the cabin, and then enough motor to go out on the track for the weekend. The Focus ST is the vehicle you
want need in your life. If you haven’t driven one, it’s hard to explain just what makes this vehicle so much fun. Like the Fiesta, it’s nimble and lightweight when you’re behind the wheel but, then once you hit the boost from the 252hp ecoboost, you remember why you didn’t look at anything else to buy. A well designed cabin and plenty of amenities that are optional (get the Recaro seats) the Focus ST is worth it’s weight in gold (ok maybe its weight in avocados, so there is still that).
Focus RS – Just when you think it can’t get any better than the Focus ST, Ford goes and lets Ken Block and the folks at the blue oval bring to life a 350hp AWD hatchback. It has a drift mode—need I say more? I hope to get behind the wheel of one but with the limited production and almost all of them being pre-sold, the hype this time is real. This RS is going to be an STI and VW Golf R fighter with some serious attitude.
Mustang – Base model V6, Ecoboost 2.3L and the 5.0 Coyote V8 make the Mustang a win-win no matter which way you go. If you want a car that really goes and makes you smile every time you turn the key or push the button to fire it up, the new 2016 Mustang is the perfect option. I recently drove the Ecoboost Mustang and couldn’t stop giggling while I was behind the wheel. Then I hopped into the 5.0L and those giggles turned into words that shall not be repeated here but, I’ll let you know that it was a great, great thing. The Recaro seat package blew me away with how good an all black on black Mustang could look and feel. Again the folks at blue oval spent no time fooling around and made this new Mustang all business.
Mustang GT350 & GT350R – Don’t think I forgot about what might be the second coming of the muscle car shootout world, the new GT350R is as vicious on the looks as it is on performance. This new Mustang comes at a time that the Hellcat vehicles are putting down over 700hp which is an amazing feat for something that has a factory warranty (now as long as people quit crashing them from losing control) and pretty solidly good looks. The GT350R has carbon fiber wheels, added aero and horsepower, plus a mostly gutted interior…yeah this will do just fine for anybody looking to get into some trouble in a hurry.
Fusion – Hot off the press, the new Fusion improves off of the already good looking design but, now puts 325 horsepower on tap through an AWD system. This vehicle is competing with vehicles like the Accord and Camry which in my mind seems almost unfair (not biased at all so no need to remind me). I’m very excited to see just how great this vehicle handles and drives, but if it’s anything like any one of the numerous other sedans and SUVs that Ford makes, it should be an instant hit. We should have a shot at driving one soon so check back in the near future for an overall driving review. I never thought I’d say but, I’m looking forward to driving the Fusion around in the snow or maybe anywhere for that matter.
Raptor F-150 – The original Raptor is still a good looking and cool truck that you literally could take off of a jump and then continue your commute to work if you wanted. The new Raptor has only improved on what was already in place and dropped over 500lbs with the aluminum body, and will ditch the gas guzzling V8 for the new Ecoboost V6 engine. All that power is going to be mated to a new 10-speed transmission which should make for an interesting ride and drive, delivering all sorts of torque when you need it. This truck is something for the off road enthusiast as well as the die hard go fast everyday truck user, and just like Tron I’m fighting for the user this time around. We can expect to see this Raptor comes out later this year.
Ford GT – When we walked upstairs at the Ford booth in Detroit a few weeks back my jaw was actually stuck to the floor for about 3 whole minutes. The White exterior, black wheels, red accents on the interior and brake calipers was absolutely stunning in person. When the doors swung open, I’m pretty sure I shed a tear. Let me remind you, I grew up in a Chevy household so there is certainly something to be said about that. This was the most “pre-production” version that has been released yet and now knowing that the price tag is going to be $400k makes no difference at all. None. Don’t care. The booth was slammed the entire time with people just staring at the GT going in and out of race mode. The car lowers itself, pops the wing/air brake up and down and then raises back up again. Speechless. And with 650 horsepower rumored, I’m guessing this amazing piece of machinery will end up one of Ford’s greatest achievements they have ever built. Judging just solely on how it looks, they have already basically sold out—so good luck getting one.
So enthusiasts and people just looking for A->B travel can all come together and find a Ford vehicle that can fit the needs of everyday, track day, off-road or weekend top down cruising. Don’t worry about the choice you’ve made because it’s all looking great going forward. Reliable, good looking and fun to drive cars that reward you the more you drive them, thank you Ford. According to CarMD, in 2015 Ford had the overall lowest average repair cost among the top 10 compared brands, which is great news looking forward to the quality and stability of owning a Ford. Not to mention the C-Max that has the future of Ford and electric technology on the forefront of what is to come next. Also have you seen the resurgence of the new Lincoln Continental? Wow.
I look forward to hopefully getting behind the wheel of these new models and you should too, because don’t you just love it when a plan comes together? Again, thank you Ford.