2017 Ford F-150 Raptor Named Popular Mechanics Pickup Truck of the Year

The 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor has been named the Popular Mechanics 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.

2017 Ford F-150 Raptor

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.

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

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 fun, capable performance.

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.

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!