2016 Ford Focus RS may yet be AWD, US sales likely

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Ford Focus RS

When it comes to forbidden fruit, few vehicles are spoken of in as hushed a tone as the Ford Focus RS. The turbocharged, five-cylinder hot hatch could only be seen from afar by American customers as it tore up the roads of Europe. And while it's safe to say that Ford's Yankee fans are quite happy to now be on equal footing with drivers in the old country thanks to the Focus ST, we doubt there'd be much protestation over a successor to the RS arriving stateside.

Of course, we've seen images of the new RS undergoing testing, but a new story by Road and Track aims to fill in some very large blanks in our knowledge of that car, thanks to a pair of mysterious insiders at the Ford. Chief among those is this - the RS will almost certainly make its way to the US, albeit in limited quantities. It gets better, though.

Under hood, the new RS is unsurprisingly expected to borrow the 2.3-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder from the 2015 Ford Mustang and 2015 Lincoln MKC. While that twin-scroll turbo produces 310 horsepower in the Mustang and 285 ponies in the MKC, R&T expects the RS to deliver quite a bit more firepower - 325 to 350 hp, with preference going to the higher output due to the limited-edition nature of the RS. This roughly fits with previous reports.

R&T has it from two sources that the RS will use an all-wheel-drive system, which we imagine will be a must with so much power. The system will be totally distinct from Ford's other car-based AWD systems, and will feature torque-vectoring for even sharper handling. This system should, according to R&T, trickle down to other applications (AWD Focus ST?).

While this all seems like excellent news, as is always the case, we'd caution against counting your chickens, at least until the new model hatches. Skepticism aside, what do you think of this news? How much would you be willing to shell out for a 350-hp, AWD Focus? What other features would you like to see from Ford? Have your say in Comments.

2016 Ford Focus RS may yet be AWD, US sales likely originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 29 Aug 2014 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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New Parts: MMD’s Lineup of 2005 – 2014 Mustang Wheels

Modern Muscle Design, better known as MMD, has been working on some amazing new products. MMD has been one of the most innovative and prominent manufacturers in the Mustang aftermarket. They offer a wide range of styling parts for 2005+ Mustangs that take any Mustang from stock to stunning in no time at all. Their high quality parts are some of the most desirable first mods for Mustang owners.

When it comes to aftermarket Mustang wheels there are few wheels they look as amazing as MMD Mustang Wheels. MMD wheels for the 2005+ Mustang bring a modern muscle look to the retro Pony car, accentuating the body while sending a message about your Mustang. These wheels are a high-quality design and yield amazing results in terms of drivability and performance, all while looking amazing at the same time. MMD wheels are offered at a very reasonable price point and also come with a lifetime wheel warranty, making them an incredible option for your S197.

MMD has been hard at work with different designs for their wheels and it shows. They offer a huge range of different sizes and finishes so you can find that perfect look for your Mustang. Even more exciting is what MMD is working on for 2015 Mustang Wheels that will be sure to be a top seller for the S550 Mustang.

 

MMD 551C Wheels – 2005 – 2014 Mustangs

MMD Kage Wheels – 2005 – 2014 Mustangs

MMD Axim Wheels – 2005 – 2014 Mustangs

Leaked: 2015 Mustang GT350 Confirmed

Ford has been teasing the public with a mystery 2015 Mustang, but now we have confirmation of the next generation of SVT Mustangs! Ford has been hard at work doing R&D on the S550 SVT halo car, with videos of it appearing on the Nurburgring and driving around Michigan, but we now have confirmation on the nameplate of the model; it will be the Mustang GT350! That’s right folks, the GT350 badge is coming to the next generation of Mustang!

Their was a lot of ambiguity as to what exactly the S550 Mustang SVT model would be called; various news outlets and forums threw around different ideas such as Mach 1, Cobra, GT500, Boss, and more, but the one that kept popping up in every thread was GT350. The GT350 badge was finally confirmed in a leaked info sheet first brought to light by TheMustangSource showing different fender emblems, including the new 5.0 emblem. The code under the GT350 badge that reads, “16098B” is Ford’s in-house code for fender emblems. Worth noting is how the “GT350″ is written in Shelby style font, which does not come as a surprise to most people.

Evidence of the GT350

Dealer promo screen of GT350

Source: SVTP

In addition to the recently leaked fender emblem sheet from Ford, there have also been other confirmations that a SVT GT350 is on the way. The most reliable of these is a screen capture that was posted to a forum of a Dealer Promo order sheet. Someone from a Ford dealership posted an image that shows the available promotional content they could order (pictures, pamphlets, etc.) for various vehicles with a “Shelby GT350″ being listed as one of those vehicles. Between the dealer promo sheet and the GT350 badges being leaked, we can expect the return of the legendary Ford track-prepped Pony.

Is Shelby building the S550 GT350?

In the past, specifically with the GT500, Ford built the Shelby GT500. Shelby only licensed the name and badge to Ford, and Shelby’s involvement with the GT500 ended there. With the S197 model of the GT350 it was the exact opposite situation. Ford provided Shelby with the Mustangs, while Shelby did everything else thus making the S197 GT350 a Shelby American car, not a Ford car. This meant that you could only buy a S197 GT350 from Shelby American licensed Ford Dealers.

For the 2015 – 2016 Mustang GT350 it looks like the previous situation is going to be flipped. Ford will now be offering the S550 GT350 and Shelby will be licensing the badge and name to Ford. There has been various speculation that the GT500 moniker will return to Shelby American and that Shelby will offer the GT500 similar to how they offered the S197 GT350. The reasoning is that Ford has never offered two SVT Mustangs. They have offered two SVT vehicles, but one of which has always been a truck and the other a Mustang/Focus. This theory does give credibility to the rumor of their being a Shelby GT500 with more power than the Dodge Challenger Hellcat.

2015 – 2016 Mustang GT350 Specs

With Ford bringing back the track oriented Z/28 killer that is the Mustang GT350, we are all dying to see the window sticker and performance specs. Ford has been very secretive with the GT350 making sure that little to no information gets out. With that said, when you have a company with as many employees as Ford has and something as juicy as the GT350, information can not help but to seep out.

Road & Track predicted the GT350

Road & Track has predicted the announcement of the GT350 and that there would be no more GT500 for the S550 platform from Ford. So far, they have been spot on with their information on the next generation of Mustang details. With that said, by taking the information Road & Track has reported on and merging that with all the information we have gotten from various Ford-insiders, we can begin to paint a pretty reliable picture of what we can expect.

While the public waits for confirmation from Ford, the unanimously reported 5.2L coyote based “Voodoo engine” is the unifying idea across all demographics. With mention of the 5.2L engine also comes mention of a flat-plane crankshaft, which would be needed for the reported 8k redline and high 500 HP figures that are expected of the GT350. Interior spy shots of the GT350 hint at the MT-82 transmission backing up the power, not the fan-favorite Tremec Magnum XL.

There is also expected to be two different GT350 models released; a base GT350 and a track ready GT350R. Similar to the Boss 302 and the Boss 302 Laguna Seca, the GT350R is expected to be a much more stripped down Mustang, that is set to carve up the track. Like the Laguna Seca Boss, the GT350R would be a no frills version of its base option, giving enthusiasts the ultimate performance machine!

What is the Mustang GT350 release date?

As of yet, there is no officially confirmed release date for the GT350, but we have been tipped off that we can expect the GT350 to be revealed on September 19th at the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge. While it won’t be competing in the race, it will be the first the public can see the GT350; a January reveal date is expected for the consumer version of the Shelby GT350.

Are you excited for the return of the GT350? Or are you disappointed it is not a GT500?

2015 Ford Mustang production starts in Flat Rock

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2015 Ford Mustang Production

Today's the day, Ford fans. Production has officially commenced on the sixth-generation 2015 Mustang at the company's Flat Rock, MI factory. As production ramps up, sales should kick off in the coming months.

The production news isn't just a big deal for American fans. With the new Mustang getting a bespoke right-hand-drive variant, the pony car's worldwide availability has swollen to include 120 different countries, including its home nation.

"Mustang is and will continue to be an automotive icon," Joe Hinrichs, Ford's president of the Americas, said in a statement. "Expanding its availability globally affords our customers around the world the opportunity to have a true firsthand Mustang experience - one unlike any other."

Ford's Flat Rock facility has built the Mustang since the fifth-generation car debuted in 2005. For the 2015 model, the facility was subject to a massive $555-million investment that saw it add a new flexible body shop among other enhancements. Alongside the Mustang, Ford also builds its Fusion sedan.

"What an honor it is for the hardworking and dedicated UAW Local 3000 workers of Flat Rock Assembly Plant to build the next-generation Mustang," Jimmy Settles, a UAW vice president, said. "I don't think there is any place in the world where this vehicle is not known. To build it right here in Michigan is something to be proud of."

Take a look below for the full press release from Ford, and then check out the gallery of the new Mustang rolling down the production line.

Continue reading 2015 Ford Mustang production starts in Flat Rock

2015 Ford Mustang production starts in Flat Rock originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 28 Aug 2014 10:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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TX officer allegedly lets 140-mph street racer go with a warning [w/poll]

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Mustang and Texas Police

Being pulled over by the police is one of the most nerve-racking situations that a driver can go through, and it's even worse when you know that the officer has you dead to rights for speeding well over the posted limit. In this video, the driver of a heavily modified Ford Mustang with a claimed 966 horsepower at the rear wheels could have easily lost his ride for doing triple-digit speeds and street racing, but a friendly Texas police officer appears to send him on his way with a simple warning.

What's more, the driver in question wasn't just speeding - his Mustang was the camera car for a bunch of rolling street races in the wee hours of the morning on a Texas highway. The driver was more than willing to mix it up in the action, too. Eventually the cops catch on and pick the 'Stang to pull over, but not before the Ford owner runs a claimed 140 mph. With only audio to go on after the car is pulled over, the police officer seems incredibly nonchalant about catching someone who was so brazenly breaking the law. Incredibly, the patrolman actually tells the driver that he's seen everyone racing tonight but ignored them. With traffic picking up, the cop says that it's time to "cut it out" and go home for the night. As far as this video shows, that was the end of it.

Warning: There is explicit, not-safe-for-work language in the video below.

What do you think, should the officer have let the motorist go with just a warning, or was he being too generous? Let us know in the poll below and in Comments.

View Poll

Continue reading TX officer allegedly lets 140-mph street racer go with a warning [w/poll]

TX officer allegedly lets 140-mph street racer go with a warning [w/poll] originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 26 Aug 2014 11:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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