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.
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!
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.
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!
Technology is an amazing thing, so it seems like it was only a matter of time before car manufacturers began experimenting with 3D printing.
About 3D Printing
Ford OEM has recently honed in on a process in which it tries out making various vehicle parts on a 3D printer. These parts are being compared to their metal versions, which are heavier and more expensive to make. If the parts become successful, they could change the way Ford designs. According to Ford, they are the first manufacturer to play with making production parts with a 3D printer.
The 3D printer that Ford OEM has been using is about the size of a small room. The printer works by printing one layer of plastic at a time. Depending on how large a given piece is, the printing can take anywhere from hours to days. 3D printers have been around for a while, and Ford has even experimented with them in the past. However, only now are they intelligent enough to perhaps be used for OEM parts.
As always, the parts would have to meet a high standard to be approved of by Ford OEM and if we ever carry these parts at Jimmy Michel Motors, we’ll stand behind them as we do all Ford products.
Ford is donating 10,000 books to the Detroit Public Schools to help promote literacy.
Ford Motor Company is teaming up with the nonprofit organization First Book to donate 10,000 books to Detroit Public Schools in order to promote literacy from an early age. Organized by the Ford Driving Dreams initiative, the Ford book donations will go to classrooms for kindergarten through elementary school.
Ford celebrated the donation with 65 third graders from Amelia Earhart Elementary School earlier this month with a reading party at the Ford Resource and Engagement Center. Oscar De La Hoya, a former pro boxer, and several Ford representatives read to the children.
De La Hoya has been an active voice in promoting education for underprivileged youth and said that he was:
“excited to be part of an initiative that educates and inspires the kids of Detroit to get excited about reading books every day.”
Ford Driving Dreams has similar goals. As part of Ford’s overall mission to improve education in Detroit, Driving Dreams is focused on keeping students in school. Together with First Book, Ford hopes to improve the poor access to reading materials and low rates of literacy in low-income communities like Detroit.
Ford Driving Dreams was launched in 2012 and has since helped 75,000 students around the country and will have delivered 50,000 new books to students in Michigan, Texas, and Florida by the end of 2016. To learn more about Ford’s charitable giving and to stay up to date on the latest Ford models, check back in with our blog soon!
Ford is branching out in transportation options with the new Ford GoBike!
Ford Smart Mobility LLC recently acquired Chariot, a crowd-sourced shuttle service based in San Francisco that Ford plans to use to help grow its shuttle services around the world. Ford hopes to extend its shuttle services to five more markets within a year and a half.
Also in the Bay Area and around San Francisco, Ford is rolling out the new Ford GoBike, a bike sharing service where bikes are provided and riders borrow them for a few hours and then drop them off at another GoBike stop.
Ford hopes to get this project underway by next year and wants to increase the number of cyclists using GoBikes to 7,000 in that area by the end of 2018. GoBikes will be able to be accessed using FordPass. Eventually, Ford wants to develop an interconnected mobility network connected through data collection from the GoBikes to include real-time data on weather and traffic, among others.
Ford is putting together a team called City Solutions that will help continue its efforts to expand mobility services around the world. These are just some of the initiatives to increase new Ford transportation in global cities. Ford will continue to expand in its role as a leader in the global mobility market.
For more information on Ford news and vehicles feel free to contact our experts at Jimmy Michel Motors in Aurora, MO.
The Ford Focus RS is about to get a huge power upgrade!
The 2016 Ford Focus RS was already a powerful, popular model, but now, thanks to British tuning company Mountune, your Focus RS can be even stronger, with the Ford Mountune Power Upgrade kit.
In fact, the kit improves the horsepower output of the Focus RS by 25 horsepower, bringing the total from 350 to 375 horsepower. This much of a jump is a huge difference, especially for a vehicle already known for its performance abilities.
Plus, with the Mountune upgrade in effect, the 2016 Ford Focus RS can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.5 seconds. It’s essentially a racecar!
Mountune worked with Ford Performance on the kit, so if you are interested in upgrading your vehicle, it will not affect your warranty. For more information on the Ford Focus RS Mountune upgrade or to take the Focus RS out on a test drive, visit us anytime at Jimmy Michel Motors.
“The Runner” has an extra special star and it’s the new Ford Escape!
Ford loves its collaborations, and that’s what it did for the new Ford Escape. A new collaboration with Verizon’s Go90 mobile app puts the 2017 Ford Escape in the starring role of “The Runner,” a new kind of reality show.
“The Runner” will run on the Go90 app, AOL.com, and Xbox. This reality show pits five teams of contestants against a character called “The Runner.” All teams will chase The Runner, who’s trying to make it across the United States.
It’s innovative because of the way the public can interact with this show. Viewers can choose their favorite chase team and help them out by giving them clues to The Runner’s location.
And of course, the chasing teams all get help from the Ford Escape. Contestants will use SYNC 3 technology, voice-activated features, and a foot-activated liftgate, as well as text message capability in the new Escape to make their journey.
“The Runner” will have three new episodes a day throughout the month, meaning that viewers can keep track of each contestant’s progress. You can pick your favorite players and help them along their way. Plus, you’ll be able to preview the best features of the all-new Ford Escape!
The Ford designers have come up with another innovative way to give you more storage space!
When you are traveling on the road, you definitely want all of your equipment by your side. The best place for that equipment is around your vehicle’s center console. However, this area is usually limited on space. Always looking to improve the vehicle experience, Ford has found a way to address that issue.
In order to create more room throughout the center console, Ford’s designers created a smaller electronic parking brake.
Once the size of the parking brake was reduced, Ford could increase the remaining cargo room along the center console. The result is a 25% increase in front room storage for Escape passengers.
“That whole center console area is what we call ‘Manhattan real estate’ because it’s valuable,” said Zulf Ali, Ford senior interior designer. “It isn’t a lot of space to work with, but as a designer, those constraints are exciting. It’s a challenge that forces you to be more creative – to ask yourself, ‘OK, how can we get clever with this?’”
For a vehicle that has room for everything that you could ever want or need on the road, the 2017 Ford Escape has you covered!
No development schedule was mentioned for the long-range electric Ford, but the company will probably aim for a release date near the release of the new long-range Chevy Bolt, which Chevy claims will have a range of at least 200 miles, and the similarly ranged next-generation Nissan Leaf. Chevy is aiming for a fall 2016 release of the new Bolt.
Ford CEO Mark Fields said on the matter, “We want to make sure we’re either among the leaders or in a leadership position” in the electric vehicle market and that they are “clearly developing for” the same things their competitors are. With the recent announcement of a more affordable Tesla, the Model 3 priced at the average electric vehicle price of $35,000, the non-luxury EV market will be even more competitive.
Fields also mentioned Ford’s stated plan to invest $4.5 billion over the next several years in developing 13 new hybrid and electric vehicles.
If you have any questions about Ford’s plan for EVs leave a comment below or reach out to us at Jimmy Michel Motors in Aurora, MO.