Tips for Your Next Holiday Road Trip

2018 Ford Expedition

The holidays can be hectic, especially when it comes to travelling. That’s why we at Jimmy Michel Motors have compiled a post on tips for your next holiday road trip. From staying safe to reducing stress on the road, there are a few things you can do to make any drive more enjoyable.

According to the Travel Insurance Review, you should break up your driving and rotate drivers if possible. AAA notes that over 48 million people will travel more than 50 miles for Thanksgiving, which means the roads are bound to be busy. Avoid driving more than three hours straight, and switch out drivers if possible. Although most of us prefer to make any trip a straight shot, it’s not worth it to sacrifice safety. Stretch your legs, hydrate, and use the restroom.

Next, take 10 minutes to prepare the cabin of your car for the trip. Adjust the seat and mirrors, set your GPS and mount it using a hands-free system, and put the snacks and water bottles where you can reach them. You should also have a pair of sunglasses readily available, and be sure to prepare entertainment items (like DVDs, audio books, games, and art supplies) for kids beforehand.

Finally, stay prepared with a travel medical kit. You should always have an emergency roadside kit that’s well-stocked with antiseptic, Band Aids, gauze, pain killers (preferably aspirin), tweezers, and cotton balls. Also, check your spare tire to make sure it’s well inflated. Naturally, you should also stop by your local dealership for regular service before any long trip to be sure that your car is in proper working order.

Future Ford Pickup Design: Redefining Truck Styling

2018 Ford F-150

Many aspiring vehicle designers of past decades hung posters of exotic sports cars on their walls as children, including outrageous and at-times bizarre designs. However, the next generation of car designers isn’t dreaming about Lamborghinis or Ferraris anymore; instead, truck design is the name of the game. Considering Ford’s reputation as one of the foremost truck brands—especially for its award-winning F-Series pickups—the brand is recruiting top-name designers to go to work on the future Ford pickup design.

According to Wired Writer Jack Stewart, Ford is looking to stay ahead of the curve with truck design, particularly when it comes to the F-150. The F-150 has been the best-selling vehicle in the US since 1981 (that’s best-selling vehicle, not just best-selling truck), and it’s remained at the top, in part, because of its innovative styling. In fact, the 2014 model year shocked car and truck enthusiasts everywhere with an aluminum construction that saved on gas and weight without sacrificing power or affordability.

Teaming up with the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, a group of 16 students has been challenged to make the next great breakthrough in Ford truck design.

“The project we’re giving them is ‘Future Truck,’” says Craig Metros, Ford’s exterior design director. “We just rolled out a brief, with history of F-150, how it’s developed as a product, where it is today, and glimpses of it going into the future.”

What are designers creating? For starters, some have proposed integrating electrification and eco-friendly design practices, optimizing carbon-fiber materials design, and even introducing technologies borrowed from magnetic-levitation (maglev) public transport systems. We at Jimmy Michel Motors can’t wait to see the future Ford pickup design that’s developed by the College for Creative Studies and Ford.

What’s New for the 2018 Ford F-150

2018 Ford F-150

When you’re named America’s best-selling vehicle, you don’t want to let that title go to waste. The Ford F-150 has earned its accolades for always reaching for new and exciting improvements. Ford’s innovations in design and performance never fail to anticipate the driver’s needs, and the same can be said for the changes in the 2018 Ford F-150, outlined by Detroit Free Press writer Mark Phelan.

Most of what’s new in this full-size pickup is under the hood. The base trim of the 2018 Ford F-150 has the same six-speed automatic transmission from the previous model year. That model is powered by a 3.3-liter V6. For the rest of the trims, however, there’s a new standard in town—Ford’s advanced 10-speed automatic transmission. Now, every truck but the base trim gets the smooth and powerful acceleration that this transmission provides.

Some of the engines in the Ford F-150 lineup also get an extra jolt of power. Both the 5-liter V8 and 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 have been tweaked to provide even more strength. For drivers, this translates to slightly better fuel economy and remarkably higher payload and towing capacities. The 2018 Ford F-150 can now carry up to 3,270 pounds in its bed and haul up to 13,200 pounds.

If you want a pickup that has the technology and safety you’d expect in a family hauler and the power and capability to handle most jobs, the 2018 Ford F-150 should be your pick. Visit Jimmy Michel to take the new Ford F-150 for a test drive and get your first impression of the new powertrain.

Autonomous Ford Fusion to Deliver Domino’s Pizzas in Michigan

2018 Ford Fusion

You know that the Ford Fusion is stylish. You know that it’s smart, convenient, and efficient. You know that it comes in multiple trims to suit your lifestyle, including a hybrid option. But, did you know that the Ford Fusion is the model being used to test autonomous pizza delivery?

That’s right. Popular pizza chain Domino’s has been dying to explore the realm of self-driving pizza delivery cars. According to EndGadget.com writer, Mariella Moon, the company has started with experiments in delivery via unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and drones on wheels. Now, the company is pairing with Ford to give a go at the first-ever self-driving pizza delivery service.

Domino’s and Ford have equipped a Ford Fusion with all of the autonomous equipment that Ford has to offer, like the cameras and sensors used for Ford’s suite of autonomous safety features. The Ford Fusion will head out in Ann Arbor over the period of a month.

Despite these features, the car will also be manned by a human driver as well. However, the driver won’t make a peep. The goal for Domino’s is to test the customer’s reaction to a totally driver-free delivery service, and to see how they interact with the system. On Ford’s end, the test is about learning more about developing a fully autonomous vehicle.

We may not have self-driving delivery vehicles at Jimmy Michel, but we do have the regular Ford Fusion—which is still a high above average vehicle choice. Stop in to check it out today, or get into a speculative conversation about the possible future of pizza delivery.

Ford’s Summer Shutdown Cut Short Thanks to SUV Demand

Americans are loving Ford crossover and SUVs so much that the automaker is cutting its annual summer shutdown short. The Ford Escape and Lincoln MKC have seen higher sales in the first half of the year than ever before. That increasing sales trend resulting in Ford’s Summer Shutdown getting cut one week short in order to meet demand.

The Louisville Assembly plant will shut down for one week instead of two. Production workers will have the week of July 4th off. They’ll return to work the following week in order to make an additional 8,500 vehicles in order to meet customer demand.

Sales of the Ford Escape from January through May rose three percent with nearly 130,000 units sold. The Lincoln MKC, a luxury crossover, saw a 10 percent sales increase with 11,161 units sold.

While sales for the Ford Expedition and F-Series Super Duty trucks are up as well, the Kentucky Truck Plant will go ahead with its two-week summer shutdown. Machine retooling and general maintenance will take place during that time.

Other assembly plants, like metal stamping plant in Chicago, will see a one-week shutdown as well in order to keep up with demand for parts.

We here at Jimmy Michel Motors are happy to see SUV sales continuing to rise!

Fun Activities to Do in the Park

Family Activities in the Park - Aurora, MO

Visiting a park with your family is great for getting some fresh air, but coming up with some fun activities can be a little difficult. No matter your age, there’s always something fun to do in a park. Here are a few recommended activities to do in a park from us here at Jimmy Michel Motors of Aurora!

Hit the Playground

Younger kids are bound to enjoy some time on the playground! Most parks in the area have a full set of playground equipment, ranging from monkey bars to slides. Kids can make new friends and spend time with old ones while you catch up on your reading or simply enjoy the sunshine!

Hike

Many parks offer a variety of trails, both paved and natural, that present a great way to get some exercise. Take in a fresh of breath air while you trek through tall trees and take in some scenic sights you won’t see in the big city.

Have a Scavenger Hunt

It never hurts to hold a birthday bash or family reunion at the park. One of the best ways to set up a fun event for all ages is to have a scavenger hunt. Divide people into teams then hand them a list and bag to collect items in. The list could also include tasks to accomplish, such as traversing a hill or walking a trail!

The Ford Focus Is the Most Exciting Thing on Four Wheels at the Tour de France

People tend to focus on those ridiculous, motor-less, two-wheeled things called “bicycles” when they talk about the goings-on at the Tour de France, but, gosh darn-it, Jimmy Michel Motors is a car dealership, not a bicycle dealership, and this is our blog, so we’re going to talk about those beautiful, motor-ful, four-wheeled things called “cars” right now.

This year, the Ford Focus stole the spotlight as the chase car for Team Sky, a British professional cycling team that always has a big presence at the Tour de France. A chase car needs to be fast, agile, and unobtrusive, able to keep up with its racers without interfering with the race itself. It carries alternate bicycles and maintenance supplies for immediate service over the course of the race. As the Tour de France has grown in prestige, chase cars have become ever more selective.

Team Sky chose the Ford Focus hatchback because of its powerful and steady 350 horsepower 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine as well as its exceptional responsiveness and nimble drivability. Maybe the Ford Focus isn’t quite as light on its feet as the bicycles themselves, but we applaud Team Sky for their excellent decision-making—we’ve sampled the ride of the Ford Focus, and it’s by far one of the most fun sedans on the market!

2017 Ford EcoSport Featured in ‘Be The Guardian of Your Galaxy’ Ads for Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

 

Guardian of Your Galaxy                Tell us you can’t see Rocket driving this with Groot on his shoulder.          

The 2017 Ford EcoSport will be featured in an ad spot for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, the upcoming sequel to Marvel’s blockbuster, which will be released in theaters on May 5th. The ad will feature both the EcoSport and Groot and will urge viewers to “Be the Guardian of Your Galaxy.”

The EcoSport is the official vehicle of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and will also be seen in a 500-print limited comic that explores the features of the EcoSport and will show the vehicle as well as Groot, Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, and Rocket. The comic will also be online for a brief time.

The Ford EcoSport is Ford’s smallest SUV and comes with two engine options, a 1.0-liter three-cylinder turbocharged EcoBoost or a 2.0-liter four-cylinder, allowing for the EcoSport’s excellent fuel economy ratings and maintaining a fun, capable performance.

Guardian of Your Galaxy                               Now picture them driving the Ford Ecosport.

(Photo taken by Chris FaveroNo changes.)

The EcoSport is also packed with technologies like SYNC 3 with an available Wi-Fi hotspot and a floating 8-inch touchscreen display, plus available SYNC Connect and access to the FordPass app. Customers will be able to choose these technologies as well as show off their love for Marvel with more than 200 visual character elements in the Guardian Builder tool on marvel.com/ecosport.

Come to Jimmy Michel Motors and learn more about how you can use the latest Ford technology to make your life easier!

2017 Ford F-150 Raptor Named Popular Mechanic’s Pickup Truck of the Year

Popular Mechanic's Pickup Truck

The 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor has been named Popular Mechanic’s Pickup Truck of the Year in the magazine’s annual Popular Mechanics Automotive Excellence Awards, saying the Raptor “transcends the competition” in the pickup segment.

The Raptor has been improved for the 2017 model year over the previous year with better performance and new technology, with a segment-first 10-speed automatic transmission and class-leading 450 horsepower and 510 lb-ft of torque. Popular Mechanics automotive editor Ezra Dyer said the Raptor is “to a standard F-150 what the Bruce Banner is to the Incredible Hulk” and highlighted the truck’s superiority over other trucks on off-road terrain.

The Raptor also comes with a six-mode Terrain Management System, which lets the driver specify the kind of terrain they’re on, so the Raptor can adjust to perfectly handle that terrain. It’s 500 lbs lighter than previous model years as well, with a new aluminum-alloy body that improves performance and fuel economy.

The F-150 has also been named FOUR WHEELER’s Pickup Truck of the Year and the AutoTrader Must Test Drive award, The Fast Lane Truck Gold Hitch award, and the Cars.com Best Pickup of 2017 award. This is the F-150’s 40th straight year as America’s best-selling pickup truck.

Come into Jimmy Michel Ford today to check out all of our award-winning inventory!

Redesigned F-150 Coming in 2018

F-150 Legacy

This year marks the 40th consecutive year that the Ford F-Series have been the best selling trucks in America. This is all thanks to Ford’s commitment towards continuous innovation and anticipation of user needs. With all of that in mind, it’s no wonder that the manufacturer will release a redesigned F-150 for 2018. It’s only been a couple of years since the truck’s last all-new appearance, but that short turnover is consistent with Ford’s dedication towards keeping things fresh.

 Changes

One of the biggest things that the redesigned F-150 will bring in the 2018 model years is an all-new diesel engine option. This will add a new appeal to those with regular towing needs. The diesel options is also expected to have a good impact on the F-150’s fuel economy. The new Ford F-150 is also set to offer updated seat colors, a bold front-end grille, new wheel options, and new must-have in-cabin technologies.

It may seem like the current model of the Ford F-150 can’t get any better. Ford, however, will always be out to exceed those expectations. As far as we’re concerned, this is a good thing. We can’t wait to test drive the new 2018 Ford F-150 at Jimmy Michel Motors when the time comes!