Ford Maverick pickup leaked in new assembly-line spy photo

Byron Hurd, Jan. 8th 2020, AutoBlog

We're getting our best look yet at the new Ford Maverick thanks to a photo of a still-camouflaged prototype that appears to be sitting alone on an assembly line. While it's still wearing some of its disguise and quite a few bits are missing, this is the first time we've seen such little covering on the baby pickup's nose. 

Things have been quiet on the Maverick front for the past couple months, but today's leaked image (coming to us in a tip from shows us a handful of things we haven't seen before. The prototypes spied on public roads thus far have worn camouflage over what appeared to be a Bronco Sport front end. We can see from this that the Maverick will get a visually distinct nose, despite likely riding on the same fundamental platform.

If there was any lingering question as to whether this would be part of the baby Bronco family, this pic offers convincing evidence that it won't. Instead, the look seems to split the difference between the Bronco Sport and the midsize, rear-wheel-drive Ranger. Ford has kept relatively mum about the Maverick project, but there are a few things we do know. For starters, it's going to ride on a unibody, front-wheel-drive platform. As you can see in the spy photo below of the Maverick's rear suspension, at least one variant is riding on a twist-beam style setup with no rear differential in sight.

 It's difficult to say for certain from the angle of this photo, but it's possible that Ford will offer the Maverick with two different rear suspensions: one for base-model, front-wheel-drive variants and another designed to accommodate power going to the rear. The smart money would be on an all-wheel-drive system similar to what Ford offers in the Escape and Bronco Sport, likely without the latter's fancy (and optional) off-road setup, though we certainly have no reason to completely rule out the possibility of Ford offering a beefier version for those who need the extra capability. 

We're calling the Maverick a 2022 model here, but that's far from a given. As is the case with the details of the trucklet itself, Ford has kept tight-lipped about the Maverick's production timeline. We expect the company is hoping to clear the hurdle of getting the Bronco Sport and larger Bronco into the hands of customers before pivoting to production logistics for its new baby pickup.


Ford Begins Deliveries Of Mustang Mach-E With Competitive Price, 300-Mile Range

One of the most anticipated electric vehicles has hit the market before the end of 2020 and could be a positive catalyst for a legacy automotive manufacturer heading into the new year.

What Happened: The first 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E delivery occurred in Dallas, Texas on Tuesday, according to InsideEVs.

Deliveries in other states should start soon, with InsideEVs reporting that Mach-E buyers have received emails about their vehicles shipping.


2021 Ford Bronco Sport First Drive Review: Shockingly Capable

Vincent Nguyen - Dec 13, 2020,  SlashGear

The 2021 Ford Bronco Sport is an exciting proposition, but it's easy to misjudge. Unlike its bigger Bronco 2-door and 4-door siblings, Bronco Sport sits on a modified platform shared with the Escape crossover. But where the Escape is tailor-made for urban cruising, the new Bronco Sport is skewed towards outdoorsy owners who enjoy an active - dare I say wilderness-embracing - lifestyle.

In fact, it only shares 70 to 80-percent of the Escape's underpinnings. The Bronco Sport trims the wheelbase by 1.8-inches, compared to the Escape, while measuring 173-inches long. That's almost the same length as a Jeep Compass, making it a suitably small SUV despite how it looks in photos. 

It even shares the same engine choices with the Ford Escape. The Bronco Sport Base, Big Bend, and Outer Banks series have a 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine EcoBoost engine, with 181 horsepower and 190 lb.-ft of torque. This small engine packs quite a punch while still getting 25 mpg city, 28 highway, and a combined average of 26. I suspect this engine will be the lion's share of sales for most buyers.

It took spending half of my drive time pushing the 1.5-liter on a paved road and then off-road, to instill an unexpected sense of confidence that the Bronco Sport is, despite my fears otherwise, no Escape. Even more surprising, I'm left with the suspicion that most of the time it'll prove just as capable as the 2.0-liter engine.

That 2.0-liter turbo-4 is exclusively found in the Bronco Sport Badlands and First Edition, where it offers 245 horsepower and 277 lb.-ft of torque. Expect 21 mpg in the city, 26 on the highway highway, and 23 combined. Both engines are mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission; unlike the manual option in the bigger Bronco, this is the Bronco Sport's only gearbox.

Also exclusive to the Badlands and First Edition models are the steering-mounted paddle shifters. The two upper trims get additional coolers, too, for their transmission and the rear drivetrain. That, Ford says, should ensure better performance during more intense off-road sessions. Read More

Ford's 'super-secret' Megazilla V8 will be a monster motor

In the spirit of monster movies, Ford is working on a sequel to its "Godzilla" engine.

The appropriately nicknamed 7.3-liter V8 debuted on the 2020 F-Series Super Duty pickup but is also available for purchase as an a la carte crate engine for racing and custom car applications priced at $8,150.

In stock form, the iron-block, pushrod motor is rated at 430 hp and 475 lb-ft of torque, but tuners have already cranked it up to over 700 hp without even having to use a supercharger.

Ford is clearly aware of the powerplant's potential - and the potential profits it can make by selling an even more potent version of it.

Ford Performance Product Manager Mike Goodwin recently told the Performance Racing Industry news outlet that his division is working on a "super-secret project" it calls the "Megazilla" that will be more powerful than the current mill.

He didn't provide any details about how Ford plans to achieve that, but Fiat Chrysler's Mopar division has set a high bar for large-displacement crate engines with its 1,000 hp supercharged 7.0-liter "Hellephant" HEMI V8.

In the meantime, Goodwin said that Ford Performance will soon offer its own control pack for the Godzilla V8 that will make it easy to get running in virtually any vehicle it fits in, including a Bronco or a shopping cart. Read More

Ford Names Its Clever Electrical Vehicle Architecture

Nov 28, 2020

The new Mustang Mach-E crossover will be one of the first recipients of the technology.

Vehicle control interfaces have changed dramatically over the last couple of years, with giant touchscreens taking the place of physical controls. Behind those screens, there is more computing power than most of us are aware of, and the next major evolution is the 'connected' vehicle. Like your computer or smartphone, your car can now be upgraded wirelessly. Ford has employed a new electric vehicle architecture on upcoming models like the Mustang Mach-E and F-150 pickup to make this possible but up until now, we didn't know what the system was called.

Ali Jamoul, North America Engineering Director at Ford, shared at a media event that Ford has dubbed it the Fully Networked Vehicle, otherwise known as FNV.

Different versions of FNV will be utilized depending on the vehicle, but the new Mustang Mach-E and F-150 will be the first products to use it. The "fully networked" part of the name makes sense since over-the-air (OTA) updates will be possible with FNV. Months ago, Ford confirmed that the Mach-E's OTA updates will ensure that the crossover can be continually improved during its lifetime, with many of these upgrades - be it infotainment or performance-related - taking place while the vehicle is safely parked at home. When a new update becomes available, owners will be notified via their smartphones. Read more

Revealed! Ford Nails Mustang Mach-E EPA Rating

Jay Traugott | Nov. 22, 2020, CarBuzz

The 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E has been in the news a lot lately and this isn't going to change for the foreseeable future. This all-electric, performance-focused SUV is a big deal for the Blue Oval as it's about to embark on a major EV product surge, such as the battery-powered F-150 due in 2022. But one of the big questions we've still have regarding the Mach-E is its EPA rated driving range. The official report is expected at any time.

But today, a member of the Mach-E Forum has posted an image of their soon to arrive EV's window sticker that reveals the government agency's official rating of the all-wheel-drive extended range Premium trim.

As you can see, it's officially rated at 270 miles, the exact figure Ford says it targeted all along. This is also good news for other targets across the Mach-E lineup. Those trims include the base Select, followed by the Premium, California Route 1, First Edition, and GT. To compare, the Tesla Model Y AWD Long Range is rated at 326 miles on a single charge, and 303 miles for the Performance version.

The Mach-E will launch with two battery pack sizes, 68 kWh and 88 kWh for Extended Range versions. Those looking to hopefully achieve the maximum range possible should probably opt for the Premium RWD which Ford believes will hit 300 miles. Read More

It looks like the 2021 Ford F-150 PowerBoost hybrid may be pulling double duty as both the most powerful and most fuel-efficient model in the lineup when it hits showrooms this year. Read More

The Ford F-150 is due to add an electric powertrain to its options sheet for the 2022 model year. Ford execs this week said the electric F-150 will have more torque and horsepower of any F-150 in company history, and the fastest 0-60 time, meaning 5 seconds or less to 60 mph. Learn More

Ford Mustang Mach-E Electric Car Sees First Firm Dates: Tesla Model Y Rival Revs Up Production

Brooke Crother | Oct. 24, 2020 |

Buyers of the Ford Mustang Mach-E electric are seeing hard production dates.

Several people who placed orders for the Ford Electric crossover are receiving notifications of production dates of December 7, 2020, according to posts on the Mustang Mach E Reddit forum and the Mach E Club. Other December dates were also cited.

In an email, a Ford spokesperson told me that "production date emails" went out on Thursday.

The Mustang Mach-E is one of the most anticipated new electric cars and has one of the best chances of stealing some thunder from Tesla's popular Model Y. Both cars are classified as crossover SUVs, aka, a compact SUV.

Ford has previously stated that the 2021 Mustang Mach-E is slated to be available by late this year though volume availability isn't expected until 2021.

Read More

2021 Ford Bronco Almost Had A Foldable Windshield

Brett Foote |10/11/2020 | /

While we were awaiting the reveal of the all-new 2021 Ford Bronco, many rumors swirled regarding what, exactly, we could expect. One such rumor was that the new Ford Bronco would feature a foldable windshield, just like its established rival, the Jeep Wrangler. But when the Bronco was revealed, we quickly realized that the foldable windshield did not make it to production. And now, we know why.

"We looked at that. In the original vehicle, you could do that," Paul Wraith, Bronco chief designer, told Ford Authority executive editor, Alex Luft, in a recent interview. "But it brings with it some problems. It does provide the user with a fairly rare event, since you start getting into things like flat windshields, which is a compromised construction around pillars."

"So what we actually really wanted to do is to provide a very open-air feel, thin out the pillars as much as we could, which is why we have the airbags in the sport tubes," Wraith explained. "That provided people a very safe envelope for people to sit within. So when you look at tradeoffs, we think we made the right one - but it's very safe, very open, and a good experience - and I think we made the right tradeoff."

The sport tubes Wraith is referring to is what Ford calls the roof construction that runs from the windshield to the trunk. It's clear that safety was at the forefront of the Bronco's design, particularly in the event of a rollover accident, which is more common with high-riding, shorter-wheelbase vehicles.

Those that seek an open-air experience will still be able to remove the roof and doors rather easily. In the four-door 2021 Ford Bronco, those doors can also be stored in the rear cargo area, which is something the Jeep Wrangler does not accommodate. And its top can also be removed in sections by one person, while the Wrangler requires a bit of heavy lifting and preferably a partner.

Our Self-Driving Business in Austin, One Year Later

By Kathleen Baireuther, Austin Market Manager, Ford Autonomous Vehicles LLC

We stood in Austin one year ago with optimism for the journey ahead - launching a self-driving service that can be a part of the city's mobility ecosystem. Since then, we have been tackling the complex challenge of building a self-driving service, bringing together all of the intricate pieces to make it a reality. Although 2020 has been a challenging year, we've continued to build our business locally and we look forward to advancing our mission in the year to come.

One year of building our business in Austin: In the first year since our launch announcement in Austin, we have made significant strides, including:

· Opened an autonomous vehicle terminal. Located near downtown in East Austin, we opened a terminal that serves as the base for our self-driving vehicle test fleet. This was an important step forward as it allows us to manage our vehicle fleet.

· Invested in a command center. Ford made a real estate investment in a site near Austin-Bergstrom Airport that will eventually be home to a command center - the epicenter of Ford's local self-driving business and daily operations. It will house local customer relations, business development, research, safety evaluations and testing operations.

· Built our fleet operations expertise. Fleet operations that help ensure our vehicles are utilized, deep cleaned and maintained are a key part of creating a commercial service that people value - and that's profitable. We recently completed the first phase of a fleet operations pilot in Austin that will be utilized for our business in Austin and Ford's broader strategy.

· Continued focus on safety. We have engaged in an ongoing dialogue about our operations with first responders in the city to ensure we are creating a safe environment.

Read more

2020 Ford Explorer Earns Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's Top Safety Pick+, the Institute's Highest Honor

9/21/2020 | Ford Media Center

The 2020 Ford Explorer has earned the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's Top Safety Pick+ for vehicles built after May 2020.  Top Safety Pick+ is the  Institute's highest safety award.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's Top Safety Pick+ award criteria includes six crashworthiness tests as well as ensuring minimum "acceptable or good" headlight ratings on vehicles that must come equipped with advanced driver-assist technologies that can help avoid or reduce a collision.

"Explorer is America's all-time best-selling  SUV and with that, our customers expect it to take their family on adventures everywhere - from school to our national parks," said Lee Newcombe, Explorer marketing manager, Ford Motor Company. "This honor from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reaffirms the obsession of our entire team who work tirelessly toward the goal of helping our customers arrive at these places and everywhere else in between."

As part of Ford's commitment to advanced technologies, Explorer features the Ford Co-Pilot360 suite of driver-assist features as standard equipment. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recognized Explorer in both vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian evaluations. Explorer aced all six areas of the  Institute's crashworthiness testing and is recognized for the lighting capabilities of its headlamps across all series levels.

The full suite of Ford Co-Pilot360 driver-assist features on the 2020 Ford Explorer include:

  • Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking including:
    • Pedestrian Detection
    • Forward Collision Warning
    • Dynamic Braking System  
  • Blind Spot Information System
  • Rearview Camera
  • Cross-Traffic Alert
  • Lane-Keeping System
  • Auto High-Beam Headlamps

Ford Promises Its Electric Truck Will Crush Your Current F-150

Alex Lauer, 9/18/2,

Buying an electric vehicle in the U.S. up till now has been about compromise. They usually cost more than their gas counterparts, but they're more environmentally friendly. They have instant torque, but towing depletes the battery quickly. All this is fine for car owners, but for trucks, especially for people who actually use their pickups for work? The compromises are out of the question.

Not only does Ford not want to compromise on its upcoming all-electric F-150 pickup, but in new announcements this week, the Blue Oval promised that the EV truck will absolutely crush older models in terms of performance, operational cost and even cargo. 

"The electric F-150, which is undergoing tens of thousands of hours of torture testing and targeting millions of simulated, laboratory and real world test miles, will be more powerful than any F-150 available today," the automaker said in a press release. 

Specifically, Ford says it will offer "more horsepower and torque," "the fastest acceleration" and, most importantly for EV skeptics concerned about hauling, "the ability to tow heavy trailers." But power isn't the only incentive the company is using to entice potential converts; the electric F-150 will also feature a "giant front trunk" (colloquially known as a "frunk") thanks to the reconfigured powertrain in EVs, and it will reportedly cost 40% less than traditional F-150s in terms of the "lifetime total cost of operation," which includes things like fuel, oil and maintenance. 

The pledge came alongside a few large-scale manufacturing announcements. First, Ford patted itself on the back for starting production on the latest F-150, but more importantly it broke ground on the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center, a new factory in the company's Dearborn, Michigan industrial park where the electric F-150 will begin production supposedly by mid-2022 for a 2023 model.

All of this, it should be said, isn't particularly surprising. Of course Ford needs to offer something undeniable to get Americans who have driven traditional F-150s their entire lives, and families who have driven them across generations, to consider going electric. One thing we didn't expect this early is to get a preview of what the design will look like.

The preview image of the front-end [pictured above], which appears to feature a huge LED bar running along the top of the grille and around the headlights, shows up for just a split second in the middle of the half-hour Rouge Center presentation, which isn't particularly exciting for people outside the industry.

If Ford has piqued your interest, you'd be better off watching this video of the prototype testing, which still has the old-school look, but some newfound power:

Ford Ranger Tremor hopes to dominate midsize truck market

Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press, 9/14/2020

America will see an all-new 2021 Ranger Tremor off-road package that enhances the look and feel of the midsize pickup as Ford steps up its fight against the Toyota Tacoma. This is the latest effort to win over drivers who enjoy using their truck both off-roading and commuting to work.

"Our target customer wants to have adventures, be free and get away from the daily grind but also needs to carry gear, supplies and passengers," said Chad Callander, marketing manager for the past five years for Ford Ranger.

Sales tend to be higher on the coasts, in larger metropolitan areas, with 15%-20% in California. Los Angeles is a huge market. But Seattle, San Diego, Dallas, Houston, Boston and New York also are hot spots for sales of the truck, which is smaller than the best-selling F-150.

"Anywhere it's easier to maneuver the vehicle into a parking space," Callander said.

After unveiling the vehicle at the Detroit auto show in 2018, and hitting dealerships in 2019, Ranger is one of the few vehicles to gain sales in 2020.

In the second three months of 2019, buyers purchased:

  • 68,683 Toyota Tacomas
  • 31,669 Chevy Colorados
  • 20,880 Ford Rangers

 In the second three months of this year, consumers bought:

  • 51,063 Toyota Tacomas
  • 25,008 Ford Rangers
  • 19,843 Chevy Colorados

Ranger rose from 10.2% of its market segment during the first six months of 2019 to 17% of the market a year later.

2021 Ford Bronco: Why It Has Independent Front Suspension

Angel Sergeev, 8/25/2020,

Because no death wobble.

The solid front axle is one of the most important selling points of the Jeep Wrangler and it was even highlighted for the automaker's salespeople in a document that recently leaked to the web. There's no denying that this suspension is good for off-road use but Ford's engineers decided against it and went with an independent front axle for the new Bronco instead. Here's why.

In a recent interview with MuscleCarsAndTrucks, engineers from the Bronco R&D team gave more details about the independent front suspension of the revived Bronco. If we have to summarize their words, the decision for an IFS layout is mainly linked with the vehicle's behavior on paved roads. But we'll let them explain it in their own words.

"For IFS we make [the Bronco's] manners much better on-road," Bronco Chief Engineer Eric Loeffler told the online publication. "Therefore we get the best of both worlds… in Bronco we've been able to balance the performance, especially at higher speeds where our competitors don't. And yet on-road the vehicle is just so much more enjoyable to drive."

Off-road fans out there are probably going to disagree - isn't the new Bronco designed to go in the mud most of the time, after all? The solid axle versus independent suspension debate won't settle down anytime soon but Ford might have an answer to its critics for choosing an IFS setup for the Bronco.

"If you want to be a high-speed off-road desert runner, you definitely want an IFS… there is an element to the suspension technology that we selected is the right one for what we're targeting," Ford's Global Program Manager Jeff Seaman added.

What's "a high-speed off-road desert runner" you might ask? Well, we don't know exactly but it sounds like the engineers wanted to make sure the new Bronco is immuned to the so-called death wobble phenomenon which causes the steering wheel to violently shake after hitting a road bump at higher speeds.

Read More

A 30-year-old New Hampshire native has driven across Route 66 in the height of summer in a 1929 Model A, taking in the famous sights in just nine days while rarely breaking 45mph.
Ryan Tebo - who had never been beyond Pennsylvania - spent several days driving from New Hampshire and arrived at the route's eastern branch starting point in Chicago, Illinois on August 13 and made it to Santa Monica, California in the three-speed manual by August 22.
Despite the sweltering 115 degrees Fahrenheit heat in places, and the coronavirus pandemic, Tebo documented his 3,600-mile-journey on social media and found it was the ideal time to take a road trip in the Ford motor which has no electronic fuel injection and drum brakes.

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Find Your Wild with the All-New Bronco Sport

Meet the latest in a legacy that can't be broken. Engineered to bring you and your crew closer to the wild, each of the four available models comes standard with 4x4, a Terrain Management System with G.O.A.T. Modes (Goes Over Any Type of Terrain) and an adventure-ready build. So gather your crew, pack your gear and embark on your adventure - Bronco Sport has got it from here. Learn More

First-Ever Ford GT Heritage Edition to Celebrate Storied '66 Daytona Win, Plus 2021 Studio Collection Graphics Package