Tag Archive: Sedan

Jun 15

Ford Australia launches Falcon GT F 351, last of its line [w/video]

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FPV Falcon GTF 351

It's always best to go out with a bang rather than a whimper, and Ford Performance Vehicles is doing just that in Australia with the Falcon GT F 351. It's the most powerful road car the Aussie performance brand has ever made with a supercharged 5.0-liter V8 pumping out 471 horsepower (351 kilowatts) and 420 pound-feet of torque. It's joined by the FPV Pursuit Ute with the same powerplant tuned to 422 hp and 402 lb-ft. Sadly, the last F in this Falcon's name stands for Final.

The GT F 351 is a monumental way to go out, though. It harkens back to the old days of Aussie muscle Fords, and the 351kw output is meant to reference the classic Falcon GT and its 351-cubic-inch V8. In addition to the massive power, the F has the improved suspension from the R-Spec model and Brembo brake calipers.

FPV is building just 500 GT F sedans for Australia and 50 more for New Zealand, plus 120 Pursuit Utes. They feature a blacked-out hood and black stripes over the hood and sides, plus gloss black accents around the headlights, door handles and mirrors.

To be clear, this isn't actually the final Falcon; its production ends in Australia in 2016. Instead, it's the swan song for Ford Performance Vehicles. It was brought in-house by Ford Australia, and the Blue Oval later decided to kill off the Aussie performance brand allegedly to give more room for the Mustang in the market in 2016. Scroll down to watch a melancholic video of FPV's final creations and to read the car's official announcement.

Continue reading Ford Australia launches Falcon GT F 351, last of its line [w/video]

Ford Australia launches Falcon GT F 351, last of its line [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 15 Jun 2014 09:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Jun 04

Ford builds Lightweight Concept with Fusion shell [w/video]

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Ford Fusion Lightweight Concept

It's a fairly well known fact that removing weight from a car is essentially a panacea for many of the modern automobiles problems. Does it handle like crap? Remove weight. Underpowered? Don't add power; trim the fat. Need to improve fuel economy? It's diet time.

Actually executing a major weight reduction program, though, much like with human beings, is no easy task. Unlike you or I, where motivation is the issue, the prohibitive measure in trimming a car's waistline is money. Lightweight materials are expensive, with carbon fiber and carbon-fiber reinforced plastic still primarily in the domain of higher end vehicles. Even aluminum construction, pioneered on a mass-produced level by Audi and Jaguar, is only now starting to make its way into the mainstream, thanks to the upcoming Ford F-150.

With this concept, though, Ford is attempting to show that a mass-produced, lightweight vehicle isn't too far off. This is the Lightweight Concept, and while it may look like a Fusion, it weighs as much as a Fiesta. For reference, the lightest Fusion available to the public is the 3,323-pound, 2.5-liter model with a manual transmission. A manually equipped, 1.6-liter Fiesta, meanwhile, is just 2,537 pounds.

The nearly 25 percent weight reduction is thanks to the intensive use of aluminum, not to mention large dollops of high-strength steel, carbon fiber and chemically laminated glass.The Fiesta's three-cylinder EcoBoost engine, tiny tires and lightweight wheels round out the package.

We wouldn't count on picking a 2,500-pound Fusion up from you local dealer in the near future, though.

"Our goal was to investigate how to design and build a mixed-materials, lightweight vehicle that could potentially be produced in high volume, while providing the same level of safety, durability and toughness as our vehicles on the road today," Matt Zaluzec, Ford's technical leader for global materials and manufacturing research, said in a statement. "There's not a one-size-fits-all approach to light-weighting. The Lightweight Concept gives us the platform to continue to explore the right mix of materials and applications for future vehicles."

Here's hoping some of these lightweight measures make to market in a wider form sooner rather than later. Maybe one day we'll even get a lightweight Mustang. Take a look below for the official press release from Ford.

Continue reading Ford builds Lightweight Concept with Fusion shell [w/video]

Ford builds Lightweight Concept with Fusion shell [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 04 Jun 2014 10:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mar 19

2016 Ford Taurus to ride atop reworked Fusion platform

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Ford Taurus SHO

Generally, cars get bigger and heavier as they get older. That's why it looks so ridiculous when you park a classic Mini next to a modern version. The same can be said of the Corvette, the BMW 3 Series, Porsche 911 and, of course, the Ford Taurus. In the Taurus' case, though, that size has become a liability, particularly because the big brute isn't nearly as sizable on the inside as it is on the out.

For 2016, Ford is aiming to rectify that. According to Edmunds, the 2016 Taurus will ride on a stretched and widened Ford Fusion platform. Ford is expecting this move to go a long way in trimming the Taurus' ample body fat.

"The problem with today's Taurus is that it is overweight and even the high performance SHO is not really competitive," said a source that spoke to Edmunds on condition of anonymity. The 365-horsepower SHO variant, "actually weighs about as much as the stretched Audi A8 L. Of course, Audi uses an extensive amount of aluminum, but it is a much bigger car."

It's unclear just how much fat Ford is expecting to extract from the Taurus, but for comparison, the aforementioned SHO tips the scales at 4,455 pounds, while a front-drive Fusion with the 2.0-liter EcoBoost is just 3,526. That gives Ford a lot of wiggle room. "Ford's big focus will be on light-weighting," the source told Edmunds.

Besides the diet, Ford is also planning to fit its biggest car with a new nine-speed automatic, in a bid to improve on fuel economy, according to Edmunds' source. It's unclear which engines will be featured, although we'd bet our bottom dollar that the 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder currently serving in the Taurus will be retained. Outside of that, though, it's anyone's guess. The 2.3-liter EcoBoost from the new Mustang might make an adequate replacement to the naturally aspirated V6 while the EcoBoosted engine from the SHO will likely carry on.

What are your thoughts on this? Should Ford be pushing the weight savings in a car that is so darn big and what should be the target weight? Would an all turbo lineup for the Taurus make sense? Let us know in Comments.

2016 Ford Taurus to ride atop reworked Fusion platform originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 19 Mar 2014 14:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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