Author Archives: Mario Thompson

Ford will pass its own annual hybrid record seven months early

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What used to take Ford a year now takes less than five months. The automaker continues to expand its stable of hybrid-electric and plug-in vehicle models, and that's one reason why the company is about to pass its previous annual hybrid-sales record this month, Bloomberg News says. Through the first four months of the year, Ford's advanced-powertrain sales increased almost fivefold to more than 30,000 units, including plug-ins. To compare, Ford's previous company record was 35,496 ...

Ford Announces The EcoBoost Challenge

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Ford is doing a thirteen city tour called the EcoBoost Challenge which will allow consumers to drive Ford products such as the Escape, Fusion, and the upcoming Fiesta ST. The tour will include events like the ST Performance Academy, a hyper-mile challenge for Ford hybrid vehicles and head-to-head competitive drives on a challenge course. “Ford is delivering on its promise to give fuel-efficiency-minded customers the power of choice, by offering a lineup that includes five electrified ...

Ford Mustang To Star In “Need For Speed” Movie

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A customized Ford Mustang will serve as one of the stars in an upcoming movie adaptation of the “Need For Speed” video game franchise. A modified Ford F-450 truck, dubbed “The Beast,” will also star in the new film. UPDATE: A report from Jalopnik suggests that the movie car doesn’t actually produce 900 hp. Instead, that figure may represent what the fictional car will make in the film. We reached out to Ford for comment on ...

2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid

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Your Mileage May Vary As difficult as it is to write this, I was actually excited about the 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid. With the beautiful looks of the newest midsize fighter from Ford and a fuel economy estimate capable of shaming even the stalwart Camry Hybrid, the battery-augmented four-door seemed like a recipe for unabashed success. But appearances love nothing more than swapping our boundless enthusiasm for cold platters of disappointment. The 2013 Fusion Hybrid gets ...

Project Ugly Horse: Part VIII

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Now With More EcoBoost There's an EcoBoost 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder in there somewhere, and it's headed straight for Ugly Horse. For the second time in my life, I'm staring at an engine in the back of a truck with no concept of how to get it safely into the garage by my lonesome. The first time this happened, I dragged home a $300 International 345 V8 in the back of my Scout Terra only to discover that ...

2014 Subaru Forester is a Top Safety Pick+

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The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has released its crash-test findings for thirteen compact crossovers and SUVs, and just two – the 2014 Subaru Forester and the 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport – have earned the agency’s Top Safety Pick+ rating. In this round of testing, the agency crashed a whole slew of vehicles: the 2013 Buick Encore, the 2013 BMW X1, the 2013 Ford Escape, the 2013 Honda CR-V, the 2013 Hyundai Tucson, the 2013 Jeep ...

Civic, Elantra Top April 2013 Compact Sales

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The Honda Civic and Hyundai Elantra together staged an upset in April compact sales. The Civic earned the top spot, while a hot-selling Elantra surged forwards, bumping the Toyota Corolla into third place. Honda sold 26,453 Civics last month, beating all of its competitors by a wide margin. Those Civic sales represent an 8.3-percent year-over-year increase, though year-to-date sales are down 2.8 percent. The Elantra earned second place with 24,445 sedans, coupes, and hatchbacks sold. That ...

Ford confirms 1.5-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine for 2014 Fusion

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Earlier this week, reports were swirling 'round the internet about the 2014 Ford Fusion getting a new 1.5-liter three-cylinder EcoBoost engine. That was... half correct. Ford today confirmed that the 2014 Fusion is, in fact, getting a new 1.5-liter EcoBoost mill, but it has four cylinders, not three. The new 1.5-liter engine will be the fifth EcoBoost powerplant from Ford Motor Company. Initially to be built at the automaker's Craiova, Romania plant, it will also be ...

2012 Ford F-150 Lariat 4×4 EcoBoost Long-Term Update 4

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When the F-150 was used as the tow vehicle for the Tesla test -- the one where Motor Trend editors drove the Tesla Model S from the Los Angeles area to Las Vegas -- we were reminded that at some point soon, the truck should really get a trailer brake controller. Since we weren't towing a heavy load that day, the truck's brakes would suffice, but that wouldn't always be the case, and we probably ...
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