All-New 2013 Ford Explorer Sport Arriving Later This Year

As a new addition for the 2013 model year, the Ford Explorer Sport will combine fuel efficiency and high performance in a sporty design.

The 2013 Ford Explorer Sport will be equipped with Ford’s EcoBoost 3.5-liter V6 engine, a revolutionary engine design that generates 355-horsepower at 5,700 rpms. The EcoBoost engine delivers power normally found in a V8 engine, but has the fuel efficiency of a V6 with is unique twin-turbocharged, direct-injection strategy. Also equipped on the 2013 Ford Explorer Sport is the terrain management system that integrates powertrain and braking control to provide appropriate traction for various driving and climate conditions. The terrain management system is activated by a control knob that enables 4WD control through a choice of different settings.

The exterior of the 2013 Explorer Sport boasts many unique features, including 20-inch painted wheels, black roof rack rails, and blacked-out headlamp and taillamp treatments. The interior is just as alluring. It features leather trimmed seating, unique Sport-logo floor mats, and illuminated scuff plates. Aside from looks alone, the interior continues to feel high-end with the inclusion of 10-way power driver’s seat, rear view camera, SYNC with MyFord touch driver technology, and a Sony Premium Audio System.

MyFord Touch Gets an Update

Since its debut, the MyFord Touch connectivity system has been a huge success, even ranking as an important part of a consumers vehicle purchase decision. In fact, 56 percent of 2011 and 2012 model buyers said in owner surveys that SYNC and MyFord Touch were important in their purchase decision.

The popular system is now receiving an upgrade, launching on the 2013 Ford Taurus and Flex models, as well as for current customers with eligible systems. For those who currently own a Ford with the MyFord Touch system, Ford will mail out MyFord Touch upgrade packages that include a USB flash drive with the updated software, a notification letter, detailed instructions for the 60-minute download, and an updated SD card with all-new map data for those who have the navigation option.

The touch screen interface has been enhanced with simpler graphics and bolder text that is easier to use. The response time of the touch screen is much faster now, so drivers can focus more on driving and less on the screen. The voice controls also provide even better recognition then before, allowing drivers to tell their cars what to do while keeping their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.  Ford engineers also added new features, including better phone compatibility, support of tablet computers and Audible audiobooks, and improved navigation maps, including destination entry.

For customers who would prefer help with upgrading their system, visit your local Ford dealer for installation of the system upgrade.

Ford Reveals Luxurious Super Duty Platinum

The Ford F-Series Super Duty is going platinum.  The 2013 F-250 Platinum was recently unveiled and it is set to be the automaker’s most luxurious truck ever.

The Platinum will immediately stand out from other Super Dutys due to its chrome exterior trim, mesh chrome grille, and 20-inch polished aluminum alloy wheels.  The interior of the truck has been revised as well, adding an all-new center stack with a media bin with USB, auxiliary, and a/v inputs and MyFord Touch.  This system has also been revised for special duty, adding redundant hard buttons that can be used with work gloves on and a larger, 8-inch screen (compared to the usual 6).  Other luxurious equipment includes a back-up camera, remote start system, and power telescoping side-view mirrors.

Color options on the new pickup will include Ingot Silver, Kodiak Brown, Ruby red, Tuxedo Black, and White Platinum on the outside, and Pecan or Midnight Black leather options inside.  Engine options will be the same as those on other F-Series Super Duty models and include either a gas-powered V8 that outputs 385 horsepower and 405 lb-ft. of torque or a 6.7-liter Powerstroke turbodiesel that outputs 400 horsepower and 800 lb-ft. of torque.

All 2013 Ford F-Series Super Duty trucks will go on sale in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Ford Shows Off All-New Escape in New Reality Series

We’re all pretty excited about the upcoming launch of the all-new 2013 Ford Escape, and to make sure you are as well, we want to share some exclusive news about an upcoming show that will feature the redesigned model.  Ford has teamed up with the Emmy Award-winning co-creators of The Amazing Race to create a socially interactive reality competition series, Escape Routes.

Escape Routes will give viewers a chance to see the redesigned Escape in action. During the series, 6 teams of two will be pitted against each other as they travel to a new city within the U.S. each week.  In each episode, the teams will compete in an urban challenge, then “Escape” the city for a big challenge.  At the end of the series, the points will be tallied and the winning team will win a grand prize of $100,000 and two 2013 Ford Escapes.

Certain features of the all-new Escape, such as the aerodynamic exterior, navigation, active park assist, hands-free power lift gate, and Sync with MyFord Touch, will help the competitors to complete tasks and challenges throughout the competition.

Escape Routes will air Saturdays from 8-9 pm, starting March 31st.  Prior to the premiere, viewers will have the change to select the 6th team to compete by voting for their favorite competitors on http://escaperoutes.com.  Once the competition begins, fans/teammates will be able to impact the real world competition by competing in online challenges.  Online followers can also win prizes, such as trips to the filming of Escape Routes and a 2013 Escape.

Head on over to http://escaperoutes.com to watch videos of the finalists and vote on the team you want to see in the competition.  While you’re there, register to be entered in the competition and start playing along.  Don’t forget to mark your calendars for March 31st!

What Your Car Color Says About Your Personality

Is there a link between the color of the car you drive and your personality? We can’t say for sure, but a few studies have been performed and resulted in some interesting answers to this question. Check out the results below and tell us – do you think yours is accurate?

Red

Red cars always get noticed on the road, which makes them the ideal color for outspoken, energetic, and dynamic people, according to many studies.  However, a study from CNW Marketing Research in the U.S. found that many drivers who chose this color lacked confidence.  Red car drivers are also more likely to be involved in an accident than those who drive gray, silver, or blue cars, but not those whose color choice is black, brown, or yellow.

Black

People who drive black cars are empowered, aggressive, and not easily manipulated. They also have a high likelihood of being involved in an accident.

White

White cars have a similar crash rate to red and green cars, but the cars take a lot more upkeep.  White car drivers tend to be careful, pure, and pay a lot of attention to detail.

Gray

Gray car drivers tend to be hardworking, calm, and sober, and tend to have above-average confidence.  Gray vehicles also have a relatively low crash rate.

Silver

Drivers who choose silver cars are often cool, elegant, and somewhat detached.  According to the CNW study, they are have a confidence level.  Silver cars are also the least likely to be involved in an accident.

Blue

The owners of light- to mid-blue cars tend to be calm, quiet, and faithful, while those who opt for darker shades of blue are often confident, credible, and dependable.  The study by CNW found bright blue car drivers to be lacking in confidence, while drivers of dark blue cars often have an above-average confidence level.  Blue cars are less likely to be involved in an accident than red, green, black, yellow, or brown cars.

Brown

Brown car drivers are categorized as being non-nonsense, reliable, and down to earth, but they are not likely to be overly cautious, as this color of car has a high crash rate.

Cream /Gold

Cream-colored cars are less likely to be involved in accident and are typically driven by reserved, self-contained people.  On the other hand, those who opt for a gold car are independent and want to be noticed.

Yellow

As one of the brightest colors, it’s not surprising that people who choose this color for their car are upbeat, optimistic, and youthful. However, yellow car drivers also have the highest percentage of crashes in relation to their total number.

Orange

Orange cars are often chosen by drivers who are fun-loving, trendy, talkative, and fickle, according to studies.  Their drivers also tend to have fluctuating confidence levels.

Green

Drivers of dark green cars tend to be trustworthy, well-balanced, and traditional, while bright green cars are likely to have owners who are trendy, lively, and whimsical.  CNW Marketing Research also found green car drivers to be the most confident, although they rank alongside red in terms of crashes.

Purple

Purple cars are relatively rare, so it’s not surprising that their drivers were found to be creative, original, and individualistic.

Buying Vs. Leasing

Buy vs. lease.  It’s an age-old question in car buying, but while both sides have their loyal supporters, most people looking to obtain a new car are not positive which they should choose because they don’t know which option is right for them. Because of the confusion often associated with buying vs. leasing, we are going to break down the main benefits and drawbacks of each and compare the two so that the next time you go in for a new car, you can confidently choose the option that works best for you!

Overview of Buying

When you purchase a car, you pay for the entire cost of the vehicle, regardless of how long you keep it.  You will typically make a down payment, and then have a set monthly payment based on what is still owed, the length of the agreement, and your interest rate.  At the end of the pay period, you own the car.  When you decide to give up the vehicle, you will trade it in or sell it for its depreciated value.

Overview of Leasing

When you lease a vehicle, you only pay for the depreciated value over a set period of time.  If you do pay a down payment, it is typically lower than one you would make on a purchased vehicle.  Your monthly payment is based on the length of the lease, the residual value of the car (the amount the car is expected to be worth at the end of the lease), and the money factor, which is similar to interest.  When the lease is over, you either return the vehicle or purchase it for its depreciated value.

Buy vs. Lease

Payments:

  • Buy: Your down payment and monthly payments will be higher, but when you reach the end of your agreement, the payments stop and you own the car.
  • Lease: Your down payment and monthly payments will be lower, but at the end of the agreement you either turn the car in or buy it. Either way, you will likely continue to have monthly payments.

Driving Restrictions

  • Buy: There are essentially no driving restrictions. Since you own the car, you can drive as far as you like for as long as you like.  There is also no penalty for excessive wear.
  • Lease: You will likely have a maximum mileage limit, around 12,000-15,000 miles per year.  Going over these miles will cost you.  There is also often a penalty for excessive wear.

Equity

  • Buy: Buyers have the ability to build equity on their vehicle.  However, owners can also find themselves in an “upside-down situation.” If the car depreciates at a faster rate than you are paying it off, you can get into the situation where the car comes to be worth less than what is still owed.
  • Lease: Since you do not own the car, you are not building equity. However, lessees will never find themselves in an upside-down situation.

While it’s up to each individual buyer to decide which option fits their needs, we hope this breakdown helps you decide whether buy or lease is right for you!

Ford Makes Sync Standard on All Flex Models

Earlier this year, Ford made headlines when they announced that the popular Sync system will come standard on all 2013 Fusions.  Now, the system continues to creep through the Ford lineup as the automaker announced this week that Sync will also be standard on all 2013 Flex trim levels.

Ford’s Sync system is a voice-activated technology that helps drivers stay in touch, informed, and entertained through simple voice commands.  With Sync, drivers can make and receive phone calls, have incoming text messages read aloud, select music, get directions, and find out sports scores all while keeping their hands firmly on the wheel.

The Sync system will still be available with or without MyFord Touch, which is receiving its first large round of updates this year. MyFord Touch will be standard on higher trim levels, and optional on more basic models.

This change will likely be welcomed by current Flex owners looking to upgrade to the newer model and future Flex models, as most versions of the crossover are currently being purchased with the Sync option added.

Ford Will Almost Double EcoBoost Engine Availability in 2012

A grand total of 11 Ford vehicles will offer the EcoBoost engine this year.  A new version of the Focus compact hatchback, an all-new Taurus Police Interceptor sedan, the Escape crossover, and the Fusion sedan are the new Fords added to a list that already includes the F-150, Edge, Explorer, Flex, and Taurus, along with the Lincoln MKT and MKS.

The new Focus ST will feature a 2.0-liter EcoBoost I-4 paired engine with a 6-speed manual transmission.  Drivers will definitely enjoy the 247 hp that this engine will deliver.  Even more power is offered with the Taurus Police Interceptor sedan, which will deliver 365 hp with its new EcoBoost engine.

Ford’s 2013 Escape will actually offer two different EcoBoost engines.  Drivers will have the choice of either a 1.6-liter or 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 engine.  The Fusion will offer these two engines as well and will be offered as a hybrid and plug-in hybrid toward the end of 2012.

Redesigned 2013 Ford Fusion Named NAIAS Best in Show

Each year, automakers head to the North American International Auto Show to show off their most impressive new designs, far-out concepts, and innovative technologies.  With so much to see at the show, it can be hard to impress.  However, leaving an impression was not something Ford had a problem with at this year’s NAIAS, thanks to the debut of the new 2013 Fusion.  The redesigned sedan was so impressive in fact, that it was named AutoWeek’s “Best in Show.”

Even the staff at AutoWeek was surprised by how drawn they were to the everyday car.  According to Editor Wes Raynal, “It’s very rare for a midsize sedan to win Best in Show. I think it’s the first of a lot of awards the Fusion is going to win this year.” So far, he’s right.  The new Fusion also received EyesOn Design recognition from the Detroit Institute of Ophthalmology during the show.

Ford’s long-time Chief Creative Officer J Mays is feeling a little extra excitement about this car as well, stating that “I’ve been with the company for 13 years and I can truly say this is the best car ever to come out of the design and engineering center in Dearborn. We are delighted for the entire global design team, because this really was a global effort.” Aside from its sleek new design, other features that kept onlookers wanting more include impressive fuel economy, Ford’s new Lane-Keeping System, adaptive cruise control, and active park assist.

Ford’s iHeartRadio App Gives Drivers More Audio Control

Over 800 popular radio stations can be at your fingertips with Ford’s new iHeartRadio app.  Ford’s iHeartRadio works with SYNC® AppLink™ and allows drivers to use voice commands to control the system’s features.

The iHeartRadio app uses Clear Channel’s free digital radio service to offer over 800 popular radio stations and user-created custom stations to drivers.  Through the SYNC system, drivers can use voice commands to start or stop a song, play any of the iHeartRadio stations, and find traffic reports nearest to their location.

When drivers say commands like “genre,” “city” or “personality,” they can sift through the hundreds of radio stations available to find their taste of songs.  If they like a song they hear, the SYNC AppLink will allow drivers to post the song on their Facebook Timeline to share with friends.  Drivers can also give songs on custom stations a “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” to like or skip the song that is playing.

This makes Ford the first automaker to launch an iHeartRadio app with voice control.