Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Perfect Fit: Recycled Clothing Finds A New Home Inside Next-Generation Ford Focus

  • Ford is using recycled cottons in the interior of the new 2012 Focus as part of carpet backing and sound absorption material
  • Cotton from post-consumer, recycled blue jeans is an example of the material used in the new Focus as part of the drive to find creative eco-friendly materials
  • The use of environmentally friendly materials is part of the company’s commitment to “reduce, reuse and recycle”
2012 Ford Focus - Recycled Cottons in the Interior


DEARBORN, Mich., Nov. 30, 2010 – Old clothes turn up in plenty of places – the hamper, the bottom of a closet, behind the washing machine. They’re also found in the next-generation Ford Focus, albeit in different and more useful forms.


The 2012 Focus, on sale early next year in North America and Europe, uses these cottons from recycled clothing in areas such as carpet backing and sound-absorption materials for interior quietness. Using environmentally friendly materials, including recycled clothing, is one part of Ford’s overall green strategy.


“Ford is continually looking for greener alternatives,” said Carrie Majeske, product sustainability manager. “One of our key goals is to use more recycled or renewable materials without compromising performance or durability. Recycled content is a way to divert waste from landfills and reduce the impact of mining virgin material.”


Ford’s “reduce, reuse and recycle” commitment is part of the company’s broader global sustainability strategy to reduce its environmental footprint while at the same time accelerating the development of advanced, fuel-efficient vehicle technologies around the world.


Over the past several years, Ford has concentrated on increasing the use of non-metal recycled and bio-based materials, including soy foam seat cushions, recycled resins for underbody systems, recycled yarns on seat covers and natural-fiber plastic for interior components.


Creative, eco-friendly solutions
Ford vehicles continue to become more eco-friendly through the creative use of renewable and recycled materials. For instance, one of the clothing materials used in the next-generation Focus is post-consumer cotton that comes from recycled blue jeans.


“The good news is these jeans didn’t end up in a landfill, nor did we use the water, fertilizer and land to grow virgin cotton,” Majeske said. “It’s an alternative that our customers can appreciate, it’s cost effective, and it’s better for our planet. These are the kinds of sustainable solutions we are looking for in all our vehicles.”


The amount of post-consumer cotton from blue jeans used in a vehicle comes out to roughly two pairs of average-sized American jeans, based on pounds of cotton used per yard of denim and the yards of denim used to make a pair of jeans.


“Great fuel economy is our first priority for reducing the vehicle’s impact on the environment,” said Majeske. “As we deliver that, we also seek to use materials inside a vehicle that reduce the environmental impact as well. The use of recycled clothing is one step, but what else are people discarding that could be used in our vehicles? Ford is determined to find out.”


The new Focus is the result of a global product development program bringing together Ford’s best engineers and designers from around the world. The high-tech, fuel-efficient Focus will be manufactured in Ford plants in Asia, Europe and North America.

Monday, November 29, 2010

All-New Ford Focus Brings Smarter Ambient Lighting, Adding Helpful Innovations

  • All-new 2012 Ford Focus takes ambient lighting to a new level of customer convenience, adding helpful features that illuminate, assist or warn a driver
  • Focus ambient lighting functionality enables unique features to make a driver’s life easier, such as search light to locate misplaced items and door ajar warning
  • Focus ambient lighting is switchable between seven interior accent colors, adding color to instrument panel, cupholders and footwells
2012 Ford Focus - Flashlight/Ambient Lighting


DEARBORN, Mich., Nov. 24, 2010 – The all-new 2012 Ford Focus marks the arrival of the next generation of ambient lighting. Switchable between seven vibrant colors, ambient lighting has always enabled a driver to set the mood inside a Ford vehicle. Now ambient lighting can make a driver’s life easier, too.  


“When LED illumination combines with ambient lighting technology inside a car, it enables clever features that make life easier for the driver,” said Christopher Eardley, Ford interior lighting engineer. “Ambient lighting can change interior accent color, but it can also add functionality that keeps a driver smiling.”  


A recent study by a prominent lighting research journal found that a driver’s visual senses could be improved through the use of interior light. Respondents said interior design and finishesappear more attractive, controls were easier to use, and overall they felt safer.  


“Interior ambient lighting has transcended ‘looking cool’ and is poised to deliver additional customer value in the all-new Focus,” said Eardley.  


Search light

Ever misplaced a small item in the footwells or in the storage pocket of a car door, at night? It has happened to Eardley and his teammates working in Ford’s interior environment group. This momentary inconvenience was the inspiration for the ambient lighting “search light” functionality.  


Flip a switch on the instrument panel of the all-new 2012 Ford Focus and all of the ambient lighting points – doors, footwells and cupholders – are bathed in bright white light to help a driver find misplaced items inside the car.  


Door ajar

If the driver of a 2012 Ford Focus swings the door of the parked car open into a travel lane, approaching motorists, pedestrians and cyclists would be warned of an open door by the red illumination of the door’s ambient lighting.  


In addition to serving as a warning signal to other traffic of an open Focus door, it notifies vehicle occupants of a door being improperly latched, or ajar.  


Welcome and departure lighting

Collaboration between Ford interior light engineering and driving environment teams has resulted in the welcome and farewell lighting illumination now featuring a two-stage sequence, from instrument panel to dome lighting, enhancing the customer entrance and exit experience.  


Play protection

Engaging “play protection” through the ambient lighting switch ensures that children inside the vehicle will be unable to operate the dome light. This also helps to ensure that the interior lighting won’t be inadvertently left on.


An enthusiastic lighting and illumination professional, Eardley has spent nine years working in the automotive interior lighting industry, the last two with Ford. He is based at Ford’s Merkenich Technical Centre near Cologne, Germany.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Roseville students build for national car contest

With every hissing psshhhttt from the air suspension, the impossibly shiny 1951 Ford drops closer to the ground. A group of high school students surrounds the chopped coupe, guiding it to the perfect photo-ready height.


We're in the parking lot outside the auto shop at Roseville High School. A team of sophomores, juniors and seniors looks over the pearly white Ford with obvious pride. Last year, these students helped bring to life a car that would win five regional competitions.


Their next stop is to compete at the national level: the AutoRama in Houston, over Thanksgiving.


In nearly four decades of teaching auto shop, Roseville High's Paul Tregembo Sr. has never had students reach this level.


Read the full article here from The Detroit News.


Car Culture’s Rex Roy can be reached at www.RexRoy.net.

1951 Ford Custom Coupe - HOPE


From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20101118/OPINION03/11180378/Roseville-students-build-for-national-car-contest#ixzz15feKNDeU

All-New Ford Focus Makes North American Debut with High-Tech Style, Projected 40 MPG

  • New Ford Focus combines expressive design with an exceptional array of smart new technologies, high levels of craftsmanship and occupant safety
  • Focus will deliver up to a projected 40 mpg on the highway, while offering the driver engaging performance and handling
  • Focus production starts at the end of 2010 at the company’s Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Mich.
  • North American Focus hatchback and sedan models will go on sale – in S, SE, SEL and Titanium trim series levels – at Ford dealerships in early 2011
2012 Ford Focus - 40 MPG


LOS ANGELES, Nov. 17, 2010 – The all-new Ford Focus is gearing up for its North American launch with a sporty five-door hatchback and sleek four-door sedan, both taking center stage today at the 2010 Los Angeles International Auto Show.


The all-new Focus will set a new standard in the small car segment, offering more technology and features than more expensive European cars, while delivering an expected 40 mpg, the only gas engine-powered vehicle with an automatic transmission in its segment to do so.


“Focus brings a desirable combination of dynamic design, outstanding driver engagement, unmatched levels of technology and impressive fuel economy,” said Mark Fields, president of The Americas. “The new model should expand Focus appeal to a whole new generation of customers.”


Focus is Ford’s most significant global nameplate. With more than 10 million units sold since launch in 1998, Focus has become a sales leader with consumers worldwide for its outstanding value, comfort, safety, technology and driving dynamics.


Following an unprecedented global development program under the company’s One Ford strategy, the all-new 2012 Focus is set to continue its successful tradition. Focus demonstrates how Ford can scale to meet the universal needs of worldwide customers, while fine-tuning to suit regional preferences.


“In every world market where Focus competes, customers are looking for expressive design, meaningful technologies, responsive performance and exceptional fuel economy,” said Derrick Kuzak, Ford group vice president of Global Product Development. “Focus will set new standards for these comparatives and offer a class-leading range of standard and available content, enabled by its global scale.”


Distinguished by its sleek and sporty design, the new Focus is packed with more affordable technologies and features than Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla or even larger competitors such as Honda Accord or Toyota Camry. In addition, Focus offers high standards of quality and craftsmanship and class-leading fuel economy, and it takes driving dynamics to a new level.


“One of every four new vehicles sold in the world today comes from this small car segment, which we anticipate will see further growth in North America,” said Jim Hughes, chief engineer. “We’re aiming to stretch Focus’ ‘brandwidth’ by adding a premium Titanium series with luxury levels of convenience and comfort, appealing to an ever-expanding spectrum of buyers.”


Developed in Europe and for sale in more than 120 markets worldwide, the all-new Focus is a key element of the North American Ford product portfolio. Building on the quality leadership of the previous model, the next-generation Focus range has been expanded to include a high-series Titanium model that will please drivers shifting from larger and luxury-class vehicles.


Striking, streamlined design
Both Focus bodystyles share a sporty character, marking the next evolution of Ford’s acclaimed kinetic design form language. With its striking front end, sleek profile, dramatic rising beltline and athletic stance, the new Focus signals the rewarding experience awaiting a driver.


The all-new Focus four-door has a drag coefficient as low as 0.297, compared to the current model’s 0.320. This is a lower drag coefficient than Chevrolet Cruze and Volkswagen Jetta. The slippery Focus shape and steeply raked windshield contribute to significantly reduced drag. Optimized aerodynamics help to reduce Focus wind noise at speed and contribute to improved fuel efficiency.


Focus features new active grille shutters to block airflow through the cooling system when not required. In addition to an aerodynamic improvement at higher speeds, active grille shutters reduce underhood temperatures at low speed, increasing thermal efficiency.


Stylish, functional interior
The dynamic quality of the exterior is reinforced by the distinctive design of the interior. Focus has a modern, cockpit-style interior, with a stylish center console.


The most significant interior innovation is SYNC® with MyFord Touch™, which replaces many of the traditional vehicle buttons, knobs and gauges with clear, colorful LCD screens and five-way buttons. The screens can be personalized to display information relevant to each driver using a simple button click, voice command or touch screen tap. MyFord Touch is powered by a new generation of the company’s award-winning SYNC system, which includes a sophisticated voice control system for vehicle functions, connected Bluetooth® devices, MP3 players and a wide variety of external media.


The interior combines functionality with outstanding craftsmanship. The cabin’s bold and contemporary graphics, the sculptured shape of the soft-touch instrument panel and the choice of superior trim materials combine to give occupants a premium-class experience.


Focus brings C-car interior space to a new level, rivaling larger vehicles. It offers more shoulder room than an Audi A4, and more front headroom than a Toyota Camry. In the spacious second row, Focus provides more hip room than the Audi or Toyota.


Smart technology for safety and practicality
The worldwide scale of Ford’s C-car program makes additional technologies and features more economically viable than ever for cars in this segment. This enabled Focus engineers to make a wide range of innovative technologies available to meet the diverse needs of global consumers.


While the number of features offered in each market will vary according to local customer demand and acceptance, the full range of technologies has been engineered for Focus, meaning additional features could be made available to meet changing market requirements.


The comprehensive range of smart technologies and features available on the new Focus for North America includes:

  • Active park assist
  • SYNC with Traffic, Directions and Information
  • HD Radio™ with iTunes® Tagging
  • Ambient lighting
  • Torque vectoring control
  • Rear view camera
  • Intelligent Access with push-button start

Unmatched driving quality
The original Ford Focus brought new levels of driving agility to this segment of cars. Now Focus raises the benchmark to target class-leading driving quality, blending communicative steering with significantly improved ride quality. To achieve this, Ford engineers have optimized new designs for the Control Blade™ multilink rear suspension and semi-isolated front subframe.


The Focus chassis design is complemented by a completely new electric power-assisted steering (EPAS) system, which has been carefully tuned to deliver precise response at speed while remaining light and maneuverable for easy parking.


Ford engineers have enhanced Focus cornering stability and agility with an advanced torque vectoring control system, behaving like a limited-slip differential to constantly balance the distribution of torque between the front wheels. This results in reduced understeer, improved traction and better turn-in.


The system is particularly effective as the car accelerates through corners, applying an imperceptible amount of braking to the inside front wheel so that more of the engine torque goes to the outside wheel with greater traction. This makes the car feel smaller, more agile and responsive. Torque vectoring control provides handling characteristics that will flatter novice drivers and reward the expert ones.


Spirited performance with outstanding economy
The engaging driver appeal of the new Ford Focus is magnified by an advanced powertrain delivering spirited performance while targeting class-leading fuel economy.


Focus is fitted with a completely new 2.0-liter gasoline direct-injection four-cylinder engine that combines high-pressure direct injection and twin independent variable camshaft timing (Ti-VCT) for enhanced performance and fuel efficiency. This engine delivers more power than the current 2.0-liter Duratec® unit featured in the North American Focus, while contributing to projected fuel economy gains of more than 10 percent.


To maximize its performance and economy advantage, the engine is mated with the latest dry-clutch six-speed Ford PowerShift automatic transmission. A high-efficiency dual dry-clutch design, the transmission alone can help to reduce fuel consumption by up to 9 percent compared to a traditional four-speed automatic. This advanced transmission is also offered with SelectShift Automatic™ functionality, allowing drivers to manually control gear selection.


For drivers preferring a stick shift and clutch pedal, Focus offers a five-speed manual transmission alternative.


The all-new 2012 Ford Focus goes on sale at North American Ford dealerships in early 2011. It will be manufactured at Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Mich.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Mulally's Simple Gesture Leads to Ford's Turnaround

In 2006, Alan Mulally came to Ford at a pivotal time for the industry and the automaker. How did Mulally, Ford's CEO, turn around the automaker in just four years? He sat down with CNBC’s Phil LeBeau and shared how a simple gesture in an executive meeting he provided Mark Fields for his honesty helped pave the way for the automaker's turnaround.


Click here to watch Mulally's interview with CNBC.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Ford Names First Markets To Sell Focus Electric, The Company’s First All-Electric Passenger Car

  • Ford has announced the first U.S. markets slated to receive the all-new Focus Electric, which debuts in late 2011
  • Markets were chosen based on several criteria, including commuting patterns, existing hybrid purchase trends, utility company collaboration and local government commitment to electrification
  • Focus Electric is Ford’s first all electric passenger car, and is targeting up to 100 miles of zero CO2-emissions, gas-free driving on a full charge
  • Ford has an aggressive strategy that will deliver a range of electrified vehicles in both Europe and North America, including the Transit Connect Electric small commercial van, two next-generation lithium-ion battery hybrids and a plug-in hybrid
Ford Focus Electric



DEARBORN, Mich., Nov. 15 – Ford Motor Company has announced first markets that will sell the Focus Electric, Ford’s first all-electric, zero CO2-emissions passenger car.


The first markets selected for Ford Focus Electric: Atlanta, Austin and Houston, Texas; Boston, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, New York, Orlando, Fla., Phoenix and Tucson, Ariz.; Portland, Ore.; Raleigh Durham, N.C.; Richmond, Va., Seattle, and Washington, D.C.


“There is a great deal of excitement for the Focus Electric across America and Ford wants to build on this enthusiasm by making our first all electric passenger vehicle available in as many pilot markets as possible,” said Mark Fields, President of the Americas, Ford Motor Company. “This is the first step in rolling out the Focus Electric. As the country continues to build up its electric vehicle infrastructure and demand for the Focus Electric grows, Ford will continue to evaluate additional markets and consider making this vehicle available in more cities across the country.”


The Focus Electric initial markets were chosen based on several different criteria including existing hybrid purchase trends, utility company collaboration and local government commitment to electrification. As part of the collaboration with dealers, utilities and local governments, Ford will help develop consumer outreach and education programs on electric vehicles as well as share information on charging needs and requirements to ensure the electrical grid can support customers’ needs.


Last month, Ford launched a new educational Web site on electric vehicles (http://www.fordvehicles.com/technology/electric/). The site offers video, text and diagrams to help consumers understand differences in the technologies of electrified vehicles


Focus Electric, available in late 2011, will be built at the Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Mich. Production will occur on the same line as the gasoline version of the Focus. Using an existing vehicle platform and assembly line will give Ford the ability to vary production based on demand for the Focus Electric.


The Focus Electric will offer consumers the same fun and exciting driving experience as the gasoline powered version. Instead of a traditional gas engine, the Focus Electric’s motor will be powered by a 23 kwh lithium-ion battery. The system utilizes liquid heating and cooling system to maximize battery life and driving range.


Collaboration between Ford and local authorities
Ford has been working with local government agencies and utilities in several of the selected markets to help prepare for the adoption of electric vehicles. Efforts focus on development of consumer outreach and education programs on electric vehicles as well as shared information on charging needs and requirements to allow for ease of consumer charging and to ensure the electrical grid can support the necessary additional demand. 


“Making electric vehicles a viable option for consumers requires teamwork across a variety of industries and government entities,” said Mike Tinskey, Global Manager of Electric Vehicle Infrastructure, Ford Motor Company. “Working with utilities, governments and technology companies is a key part of our electric strategy to make sure the infrastructure and support for electric vehicles is in place as we begin rolling them out.”


As part of its electrification outreach, Ford has been conducting the “Charging Into the Future: The Ford Electric Vehicle Tour.” The 14-city tour promotes Ford’s electric vehicle strategy and educates consumers about what to expect from electrified automobiles and what is needed from the public and private sector to support this new technology.


Electrification is an important piece of Ford’s overall product sustainability strategy. Ford’s aggressive strategy includes the launch of five new electrified vehicles in Europe and North America. In addition to Focus Electric, Ford will introduce the Transit Connect Electric small commercial van, two next-generation lithium-ion battery hybrids and a plug-in hybrid. The range of electrified vehicles allows Ford to address a variety of consumer driving needs.


Ford’s electrification strategy also leverages the most fuel-efficient powertrains, the most technically competent hybrids and the company’s global vehicle platforms in order to develop affordable choices for consumers.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Dealership latest to join solar energy craze

By Julie Snyder
C & G Staff WriterRoy O'Brien, General Manager of Roy O'Brien Ford


ST. CLAIR SHORES — Who would have thought that when it opened in 1946 Roy O’Brien Ford would someday operate by solar and wind energy?


Not Mark O’Brien, the St. Clair Shores dealership’s general manager and chief executive officer — that is, up until a few years ago.


O’Brien said his family’s longtime business, the place with the famous jingle “Stay on the right track, to Nine Mile and Mack,” recently became almost entirely self-sustaining, having installed three combination solar powered panels/wind powered turbines around the exterior.


Thanks to the sun’s rays and the power of a good breeze, Roy O’Brien Ford is keeping itself brightly lit all day, every day, without using a bit of juice from the electric company.


“We’re pretty excited about it,” said O’Brien of a three-year plan to get the dealership entirely off the grid. “It’s a sign of where we’re going with solar energy.”


O’Brien began researching the idea several years ago. He met with local companies, such as Eco-Green Energy in Eastpointe, to determine an environmentally-friendly future.


The installation of the solar panel/wind turbines was step one, and was completed four weeks ago, O’Brien said. The energy captured from the streetside poles allows the showroom to receive light via a five-day battery backup system. In the unlikely event that there be five days of cloudy days with no wind, the solar energy would fade and the dealership would automatically connect to electric power via DTE.


“It’s a good time to be energy independent,” said O’Brien. “Soon, the only thing we’ll need to rely on (from an outside source) is water.”


Next year’s plan is to complete the installation of solar panels on the entire roof of the dealership. O’Brien said the collision shop is not running on solar energy — yet.


The year after that, the business will go geothermal for its heating and cooling needs.


“We’ll be warm in the winter and cool in the summer, compliments of Mother Nature,” said O’Brien, adding that it would also provide hot water for the business.


The plan doesn’t end there.


O’Brien said that in a couple of years, Roy O’Brien Ford will be providing free charging stations for electric car owners. This service is anticipated once the government standardizes vehicle plug-ins. Once that happens, drivers will be able to pull into any charging station around the country and find a socket that fits their ride.


“We’re the first dealership in Southeast Michigan to have these installed,” said O’Brien. “It’s cool to be on the cutting edge.” 


And they are on the cutting edge locally, say experts from Eco-Green Energy.


Sheldon Wardwell said it was exciting getting Roy O’Brien Ford started on the road to environmental consciousness, but the concept isn’t unheard of.


“It’s hot right now,” he said.


He said with the continued increase in energy costs, and dependence on fossil fuels, which create significant carbon dioxide contaminates in the environment, now is a good time for everyone to go solar. In addition, Eco-Green Energy officials say that using eco-friendly products can reduce energy costs 40 to 85 percent. Wardwell said the six-lamp hybrid poles at Roy O’Brien Ford will pay for themselves in two to three years.


Eco-Green sells and installs many eco-friendly, efficient lighting and wind-power products, including its latest product seen outside Roy O’Brien Ford — the hybrid street-side pole lamp and commercial wind turbines. There’s also a residential version.


The hybrid lamp is completely self-sustaining, with a 400 watt wind turbine and two 75 watt solar panels. The product is designed for municipal street lighting, parking lots, car dealerships or any off-grid applications. The residential wind turbine can be used by residential and small-business owners to offset their energy requirements.


Wardwell said Eco-Green will also replace Roy O’Brien’s lot lighting with LED and induction lighting to reduce energy costs by 50 to 60 percent. “They’re reducing their energy consumption substantially,” he said.


“We would like to be considered a pioneer business from wind energy to heating oil,” said O’Brien. “Very soon we’ll be self contained, and it’s really very intriguing. We won’t be using, but creating the energy.”


You can reach Staff Writer Julie Snyder at jsnyder@candgnews.com or at (586) 498-1039.


You can read the original article here from candgnews.com.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

2012 Mustang Boss 302 Lets Loose With TracKey; Choose Stock or Full-Race Calibration

  • TracKey, available for 2012 Mustang Boss 302 owners through Ford dealers, adds TracMode powertrain control software to the car for track use, providing full race calibration and two-stage launch control in addition to stock calibration, without compromising factory warranty
  • Using a dual-path powertrain control module (PCM), TracKey software is installed after the vehicle is purchased; accessed by a specially programmed vehicle key, new code coexists with stock Boss software, allowing drivers to choose between street or track use simply by selecting a key
  • No aftermarket chips or permanent modifications are made when TracKey is used, allowing owners to return to the stock setting by starting the car with a regular key

2012 Mustang Boss 302 TracKey


DEARBORN, Mich., Nov. 11, 2010 – You hold two keys: One has a black Boss logo, the other red: Either will start your 2012 Mustang Boss 302. Slide the all-black key into the lock cylinder, give it a twist and you’re treated to 444 ponies worth of smooth, streetable driving joy. Or choose red – the TracKey – and you have a competition-ready track car.  


A joint project between Mustang engineers and Ford Racing, TracKey adds a second set of powertrain control module (PCM) software to a customer’s Mustang Boss 302, activated by a specially programmed vehicle key. When invoked by TracKey, the new TracMode software alters more than 200 engine management parameters, increasing low-end torque and turning the potent but well-mannered stock Boss into a competition-ready track car. Remove TracKey and start Boss with the standard key, and all factory engine settings are restored for a comfortable drive home from the course.  


“From an engine management standpoint, we’ve done just about everything possible to give TracKey users a full race car experience,” explains Jeff Seaman, Mustang powertrain engineer. “It’s not for use on the street – for example, the deceleration is set up to preserve the brakes, and the throttle response is very aggressive. A skilled driver on a closed course will really appreciate the benefits.”  


As part of the TracKey software package, Ford engineers also devised a two-stage launch control feature similar to that used on the Cobra Jet race car. Using a combination of steering wheel buttons, drivers can set the tach needle to a desired launch rpm. Floor the throttle and the engine will rev to the preset rpm until the clutch is released, helping aid acceleration and vehicle control from a standing start.  


One key, hundreds of changes

Devised during an all-night garage brainstorming session among core Mustang team members, TracKey introduces the concept known as the dual-path powertrain control module. The industry-first, patent-pending innovation allows two separate sets of engine management software to exist on a single PCM, selected through the existing SecuriLock® Passive Anti-Theft System (PATS) transceiver found in current production keys.  


The TracKey PCM software, installed by an authorized Ford dealer after a customer takes delivery of the car, adjusts variable cam timing, spark maps, engine braking, fuel control and other engine parameters – more than 200 in total – to provide a complete race car calibration. The result is an aggressive, race-bred driving experience all the way down to the lopey idle rumbling through the Boss quad exhaust.  


“Anything that could possibly affect all-out performance is deleted from the TracKey calibration,” said Dave Pericak, Mustang chief engineer. “Throttle limiting and torque management – any daily driveability enhancements are removed and replaced with a pure Ford Racing competition calibration.”  


When TracKey is removed and the vehicle is started with the standard key, the PCM settings are automatically drawn from the factory Boss 302 instruction set again without any additional modifications needed – a huge advantage over aftermarket tuning chips and ECU reprogramming. The convenience is useful for enthusiasts who want all-out performance at the racetrack but stock driveability for the journey there and back.  


An after-hours obsession

In the early stages of TracKey development, a major challenge was the complexity of installing multiple PCM computers and switching between them. However, Ford controls engineers developed a method to choose between two unique sets of software in a single powertrain control module on the Boss 302: The dual-path PCM was born.  


“We installed the 302R software on the same PCM that held the stock Boss software,” says Seaman. “Then the controls engineers developed a software system to activate one or the other, depending upon which key was used to start the vehicle. Really, all the parts to make this work existed – the Ford MyKey® system was already using the PATS transceiver to perform specific actions based on the key used to start the car, and the PCM was flexible enough to handle multiple control modules. It was just putting everything together.”  


As the project unfolded, the team was driven by the uniqueness of what they were trying to accomplish, and TracKey became an obsession. Considering the compressed time frame in which the technology was developed, motivation was essential to the creation of the finished product.  


“We’ve all been really excited about TracKey, so it came together quickly,” explained Pericak. “The concept was first discussed in spring 2009, and here we are 18 months later with a finished, tested, verified product. It’s a perfect example of what can happen when you get a core, cross-functional team willing to contribute 24/7 to bring a great idea to life.”  


TracKey powertrain software installation and key programming will be available to 2012 Mustang Boss 302 owners through Ford Racing authorized dealers. Pricing will be announced at a later date.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

All-New, High-Tech 2012 Ford Focus is Named Official Car of The 2011 International CES

  • The new Ford Focus will be the official car of the 2011 International CES held on Jan. 6-9 in Las Vegas
  • The all-new Focus is an ideal matchup for CES; demonstrating that high-end, high-demand tech features such as Ford SYNC, MyFord Touch, HD Radio, and in-car Wi-Fi capability can be expertly blended into a fun-to-drive car expected to deliver 40 mpg on the highway
  • Focus four-door sedan and sporty five-door hatchback models are set to go on sale in early 2011
2012 Ford Focus


DEARBORN, Mich., Nov. 9, 2010 – With its global launch near, the all-new Ford Focus takes on the role of official vehicle for the 2011 International CES, considered the largest technology trade show in the world.


The tech-packed Focus is a perfect match for CES, which runs from Jan. 6-9 in Las Vegas. As the official car, Focus will have a prominent presence during the show, including more product-specific signage, displays, demonstrations and materials. Focus follows in the footsteps of the 2010 Ford Taurus, which was the official car at the 2010 CES held earlier this year.


“The all-new Focus harnesses the best of what Ford Motor Company has to offer, delivering class-leading features and technologies as well as an expected 40 mpg,” said Ken Czubay, vice president, U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service, Ford Motor Company. “We’re excited for Focus to reach dealers in North America and Europe in early 2011 and want to share that excitement and the unprecedented level of technology Focus has to offer with the global consumer electronics industry – an increasingly important influence on new vehicles.”


The new Focus will share the spotlight at CES with Ford President and CEO Alan Mulally, who will deliver a keynote address at the trade show for the third consecutive year. Further upping the ante at CES, Ford is also increasing its display’s floor space fourfold for the 2011 show and expects to have more than twenty vehicles on display throughout the event.


“We welcome Ford, Alan Mulally and the new Focus to the 2011 International CES,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), producer of the International CES. “Vehicles such as the Focus are built with the latest technologies that address consumer demand for on-the-go innovations.”


Chockfull of tech
Studies by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) show that as many as 77 million adults make up the so-called technology enthusiast drivers population, more than half of whom express the desire for a connected communications and information system in their vehicles.


The all-new Focus features Ford SYNC, MyFord Touch driver connect technology, Intelligent Access with Push Button Start, Sony Audio with HD Radio and Active Park Assist, among other advanced technologies more often associated with larger, premium vehicle segments.


For avid in-car tech lovers, Focus with MyFord Touch will feature a Wi-Fi radio that will provide Internet access when a compatible USB mobile broadband modem is inserted into SYNC’s USB port producing a secure wireless “hot spot” that will be broadcast throughout the vehicle. This secure connection will allow passengers with Wi-Fi-enabled mobile devices to access the web while on the go.


Tech enthusiasts as well as music lovers also will appreciate that Focus will be the first car in its class available with an audio system supplied by global consumer electronics leader Sony®. Featuring a class D digital amplifier developed specifically for Focus, this system has 10 speakers, three-layer soft dome tweeters and a subwoofer offering up 355 watts of continuous power. Coupled with MyFord Touch, the Focus audio system also features HD Radio technology with iTunes Tagging – also a first in its class.


“Customers want smaller cars with outstanding fuel economy, but without sacrificing any of the style, technology, connectivity and driving quality they demand from larger vehicles,” said Czubay. “With the all-new Focus leading the pack, our next-generation of smaller cars and utilities will prove that Ford is ready to meet that challenge.”

Monday, November 01, 2010

2011 Ford F-150 EcoBoost Logs Heavy-Duty Work at Oregon Timber Company to Prove Out Durability

  • 2011 Ford F-150 EcoBoost™ “hero engine” demonstrates its best-in-class 420 lb.-ft of torque, especially its wealth of low-end torque, in Oregon by dragging logs weighing from two to almost five tons
  • This real-world application is one of a series of videos documenting the torture tests for the 3.5-liter EcoBoost truck engine, which will be available in early 2011. Go to http://www.fordvehicles.com/trucks/f150/2011/experiencef150 to see how the new class-leading EcoBoost truck engine performs
  • Dyno stress web documentary shows this same engine already enduring the equivalent of 150,000 miles on the dynamometer, replicating the duty cycle of the harshest-use customer
  • Up next for the 2011 Ford F-150 EcoBoost torture test is a 24-hour endurance challenge at Homestead-Miami Speedway towing an 11,300-pound trailer at maximum speed.

2011 Ford F-150


DEARBORN, Mich., Nov. 1, 2010 – The 2011 Ford F-150 EcoBoost recently logged some tough miles in rugged Pacific Northwest country in the latest demonstration of its durability.


The new 3.5-liter EcoBoost “torture test” truck engine moved from the lab to the outdoors with a stop at a logging company in Oregon. It’s the current phase of a multi-part series of Web-based documentaries that began when this randomly selected EcoBoost engine endured the equivalent of 150,000 miles or 10 years’ use on the dynamometer, replicating the duty cycle of the harshest-use customer.


Go to http://www.fordvehicles.com/trucks/f150/2011/experiencef150 to see firsthand how the EcoBoost truck engine performs.


After the dyno torture testing, the engine was dropped into a new 2011 Ford F-150 to work as a log skidder for Nygaard Logging of Warrenton, Ore. Skidding is the process of moving harvested timber, after the branches have been removed, from the forest to a staging area where it is placed on a truck to be sent to a sawmill.


The 2011 Ford F-150 EcoBoost replaced a vehicle similar to a backhoe that “ropes” the harvested timber using high-strength cables and drags it to the staging area.


The work was performed at Clatsop State Forest, where the 2011 F-150 EcoBoost pulled logs weighing from 4,000 to 9,000 pounds. That’s where the new engine’s best-in-class torque of 420 lb.-ft. at 2,500 rpm was essential – especially low-end torque. Up to 90 percent of the EcoBoost truck engine’s peak torque is available from 1,700 rpm to 5,000 rpm – all on regular fuel.


The EcoBoost truck engine also delivers best-in-class maximum towing capability of 11,300 pounds.


“Each of these real-world tests demonstrates the durability and reliability that is designed, engineered and manufactured into our new EcoBoost truck engines – and all our truck engines,” said Eric Kuehn, chief engineer of the 2011 Ford F-150. “This work in particular demonstrates the outstanding low-end torque the EcoBoost truck engine delivers.”