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A Ford showcase of winter performance

Notre-Dame-de-la-Merci, QC – Depending on where you live, winters in Canada can be harsh with snow- and ice-covered roads to tackle on everyday commutes. 2017 has taken that a step further as piles of snow have touched down across the country from the west to east coast.

Some may see this cold and snowy weather as a negative, but there's another side to this coin, and that's how much fun you can have in it. Snowboarding or tobogganing are always great choices, but Ford had a different plan in mind, and that was to show off two very distinct vehicles in its production line – the Ford F-150 Raptor pickup and the Ford Focus RS.

The Raptor and Focus RS are high-performance variants, and Ford wanted a host of journalists to see how well they can tackle the snow, ice and even muddy tracks of the Mecaglisse Motorsport Complex, a few hours north of Montreal.

Both products were fitted with winter foot gear: BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2s for the Raptor and Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4s for the RS, which switched to studded tires for a closed-course off-road session.

The all-conquering Ford F-150 Raptor

The Raptor is all about conquering various terrain, and the ice and snow of Mecaglisse would be no exception. To fully test the truck out, a street and off-road trail section were set up. We won't get too much into the street portion, as it did its business in routine fashion. The few takeaways were a quieter ride than expected, as well as a smooth transition of gear changes up and down its new 10-speed unit. Outside of that, it charged through the snow and handled those skinny roads gracefully. When needing to back out or make a three-point turn, it was still as challenging as any truck would be.

The true test came down to the off-road trail that was littered with icy patches and a splashy mud pit. With its 3.5-litre EcoBoost V-6 engine producing 450 hp and 510 lb.-ft. of torque – increased numbers from the outgoing V-8 – the Raptor had no issues getting going; it was just a matter of staying on track.

Most of the time, staying balanced on ice has more to do with the driver than the vehicle. If the driver understands the proper techniques of lifting and accelerating when necessary to gain traction, the truck will do the proper work. However, all of that was achieved with once again, a smooth determination that stayed relatively balanced and comfortable at all times. There was no bouncing, sliding or vibrating around the cockpit, leading to a composed ride that felt lighter, thanks to a weight savings of 227 kg from the use of military grade, aluminum alloy for the body and high strength steel for the frame.

The driver's decisions could be key in any icy situation, but it was the Raptor that cut through those divots like a champ, especially the mud pit. With exceptional ground clearance and absorbent FOX Racing Shox under the chassis that stiffen the suspension, the Raptor powered through without any damage to the underbody. We even put it in Sport mode on the second run, and the same results were achieved at a quicker pace.

Slip and sliding with the Focus RS

The Ford Focus RS was made for extreme conditions. Perhaps, Ford had in mind some race tracks and rally courses littered with pavement and dirt, but the icy and drift-worthy track of Mecaglisse fits right in. The combination of the RS' 2.3-litre EcoBoost inline-four that produces an impressive 350 hp and 350 lb.-ft. of torque, a standard six-speed manual gearbox, and an all-wheel-drive (AWD) system with torque vectoring, makes for one eventful day in a hot hatch.

On this particular day, we wouldn't be testing out its straight line speed; rather we would see first hand its handling prowess, stability, braking abilities and pure fun factor. Just like the Raptor, the Focus RS handled a different closed off course with ease. Its twin-scroll turbocharger assisted on initial acceleration which quickly responded and pushed ahead, never getting bogged down in the snow. Furthermore, it was able to stop in a quick fashion when needed.

There are four drive modes: Normal, Sport, Track and Drift, but drift would be the only option on this day. The most notable moment was around an icy circle without any traction. The RS slid its way tippy-toeing at first and then gradually finding traction on the outside snow in pure drift style. Much of this balance is due to the AWD and torque vectoring that can send 70 of its engine power to its rear wheels, and 100 percent of that to either side, eliminating any understeer. The system works in such a rapid pace through the monitoring of multiple vehicle sensors 100 times per second.


It's rare for the Ford F-150 Raptor and Focus RS to come together at one event, but this true winter test showed the extreme capabilities of both variant products. The Raptor and Focus RS stayed balanced and wanting more, and the best part about it was, you knew both machines could be pushed even further.

The starting prices of $48,418 for the Focus RS and $68,399 for the Raptor won't be the cheapest out there, but that's what makes them variants. This was only a winter test, but if they can be so smooth and effective in these situations, can you imagine what both are capable of the rest of the time?

2018 Ford Expedition first look and walkaround

We check out the all new 2018 Ford Expedition at the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto. This full-size SUV exchanges its heavy duty image for a more crossover-like appearance. The Expedition's closest competitors include:

- Chevrolet Tahoe
- GMC Yukon
- Nissan Armada

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2018 Ford EcoSport walkaround at CIAS

We check out the all new 2018 Ford EcoSport at the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto. Popular in other markets, Ford has decided to bring this subcompact SUV to the North American market. The Ecosport's closest competitors are:

- Mazda CX3
- Honda HR-V
- Nissan Qashqai
- Toyota C-HR

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Ford reveals GT numbers...and it's good news

The long-awaited 2017 Ford GT supercar has been unveiled, talked about and even dissected at its Ontario-based Multimatic production site. However, the few things not disclosed were the performance numbers; at least until now. 

With production beginning, Ford finally revealed that the Ford GT will spew 647 hp at 6,250 rpm and peak torque numbers of 550 lb.-ft. at 5,900 rpm from its 3.5-litre EcoBoost V6 engine. These numbers mark the GT as the most powerful EcoBoost engine produced by Ford that can top out at a speed of 347 km/h.

The 2017 GT was always suspected to receive more than 600 hp, but it's nice to finally see something official. According to Ford, the GT set a 2:09.8 lap time at Calabogie Motorsports Park near Ottawa, bettering times of some close competitors in the McLaren 675LT and the Ferrari 458 Speciale. A strong power-to-weight ratio coupled with its advanced active suspension system to achieve those quick lap times.

“The Ford GT is all about performance,” said Raj Nair, Ford executive vice president, global product development and chief technical officer. “We achieved considerable weight savings with the carbon fibre architecture. We then reinvested some of that savings into where it counts most – performance, specifically, the active dynamics. The result is an even faster car.”

Now that we have all the numbers in place, it's time to get the first 250 vehicles produced for 2017 and out on the road for some real life testing. In total, there will be 1,000 units produced over a four year period at an approximate price of $450,000 USD.

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Ford unleashes leaner and meaner Mustang

LOS ANGELES, CA – Today, Ford partnered with its ambassador of Service, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, to introduce the new Mustang – the world’s best-selling sports coupe and the company’s most advanced Mustang ever.

A host of improvements including new technology and design changes give owners ways to customize Mustang to their preferences, even better performance from more powerful engines and new MagneRide™ suspension technology. Customers have more ways than ever to personalize Mustang to make it their own, with three new paint colours, 12 distinct wheel choices and a customizable digital instrument cluster.

“The new Mustang is our best ever, based on more than 50 years as one of the iconic sports car in America and now, the world,” said Joe Hinrichs, president of The Americas. “Tapping Mustang’s enormous fan base, we’re bringing the new Mustang straight to the people – and introducing the new car across multiple social media channels, reaching millions.

Ford tapped Johnson to reveal the new Mustang to the world by giving one of the first models available to a deserving member of the military. A video of the debut was launched on Johnson’s social channels, including Youtube, Instagram and Facebook, where Mustang holds the title for the most-popular car with more than 8.4 million ‘likes.’

Technology for greater personalization

Mustang makes available Ford’s first 12-inch all-digital LCD screen in the dashboard. This all-new customizable instrument cluster can be easily personalized, offering three separate views. Customers can personalize the displays for normal, sport and track mode. All-new Mustang MyMode with memory function allows customers to save their favorite drive settings, including suspension and steering preferences.

The new Mustang is so customizable that even its engine note can be adjusted. Delivering an audible experience like never before, an all-new active valve exhaust system is optional on Mustang GT, with a fully variable soundtrack to match the entire acceleration range.

For the first time, Mustang benefits from a vast array of Ford driver-assist technology. Customers can feel more confident than ever behind the wheel with new features like Pre-Collision Assist with pedestrian detection, distance alert, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist and Driver Alert System.

Ford SYNC® Connect with FordPass™ is available on Mustang for the first time. When using the FordPass® app for smartphones, drivers can start, lock, unlock and locate their car for ultimate convenience.

Ultimate performance

Performance is at the core of Mustang DNA, offering drivers a unique thrill of acceleration and cornering for the ultimate fun-to-drive experience. On all models, new shock absorbers make for better ride control, a new cross-axis joint in the rear suspension leads to increased lateral stiffness, and innovative stabilizer bars bring sharper response and handling.

MagneRide damper technology is a new option with the Mustang Performance Package to optimize ride and handling in all situations.

The proven 2.3-litre EcoBoost four-cylinder engine continues to offer outstanding performance advantages versus the outgoing 3.7-litre V6. Using Ford’s transient overboost technology uniquely calibrated for Mustang, torque is increased for wide-open throttle acceleration.

Ford’s legendary 5.0-litre V8 engine has been thoroughly reworked. It is more powerful and revs higher than any Mustang GT before. This power increase was achieved with the first application for Mustang of Ford’s new dual-fuel, high-pressure direct injection and low-pressure port fuel injection on a V8 engine – delivering robust low-end torque, high-rpm power, and improved fuel efficiency.

The manual transmission for both engine options has been upgraded for optimal torque. For the V8, the manual transmission has been totally redesigned to include a twin-disc clutch and dual-mass flywheel to increase torque capability and deliver more efficient clutch modulation.

A new 10-speed automatic transmission, available with both EcoBoost and V8 engines, is the best automatic Mustang has ever offered. With a wide-ratio span and optimized gear spacing, this all-new gearbox helps deliver higher average power for acceleration – improving responsiveness and performance.

Compared to the previous six-speed, the new 10-speed transmission has quicker shift times, better low-speed tip-in response and significantly reduced friction losses. The all-new electronic control system includes unique tunes for different drive modes and features real-time adaptive shift scheduling to ensure the right gear at the right time. Steering wheel-mounted shift paddles allow drivers maximum manual control.

Energy in the design

Overall, the car’s exterior design is now more athletic, with a lower, remodeled hood and grille that deliver a leaner look and refined aerodynamics, upper and lower front grilles, and a new position for hood vents. For the first time the entire Mustang line will feature all-LED front lights including signature lighting, low-beams, turn signals, efficient projector high-beams and available fog lamps.

The rear of the car gets revised LED taillamps for a more technical look, plus a new bumper, fascia and available performance spoiler. Dual-tip exhaust is standard for EcoBoost® Mustang, while V8-powered Mustang GT gets a standard quad-tip exhaust.

With a dozen available alloy wheel designs and fresh exterior colour choices – including all-new signature Orange Fury – enthusiasts can order a Mustang with the look they’re after.

Improved touch points and visual cues with a more premium look and feel characterize the new cockpit. The center console adds a new hand-stitched wrap with contrast stitching and padded knee bolsters while door handles, rings and bezels are finished in aluminum. Restyled seating surfaces feature new patterns and colour choices, the instrument panel sports an updated Mustang badge and there’s a new key fob design. A heated steering wheel is optional.

Ford’s most advanced Mustang ever goes on sale in North America this fall.

  • Published in News

Ford cancels $1.6B plant move to Mexico

FLAT ROCK, Mich. (AP) — Ford Motor Co. is canceling plans to build a new $1.6 billion factory in Mexico, and will invest at least some of the savings in new electric and autonomous vehicles to be built in the U.S.

The San Luis Potosi, Mexico, plant, which was announced last spring, was the subject of months of contention between the company and president-elect Donald Trump. Ford had planned to move production of its Ford Focus small car to the plant from Michigan.

Ford CEO Mark Fields said the company decided in recent weeks not to build the plant because of declining demand for small cars in the U.S. It will still move production of the Focus to Mexico, but that will go to an existing plant in Hermosillo. The Michigan plant that currently makes the Focus will get new products next year.

Fields said Ford will invest $700 million in the Flat Rock plant to make hybrid, electric and autonomous vehicles. It will also hire around 700 workers. In announcing the Michigan expansion, Fields noted Trump's promise to make the U.S. more competitive by lowering taxes and easing regulations.

"This is a vote of confidence for president-elect Trump in some and of the policies he may be pursuing," Fields said at the company's plant in Flat Rock Tuesday.

Trump has threatened to tax companies that move production to Mexico and ship products back to the U.S. under the North American Free Trade Agreement. Just hours before Ford's announcement, the president-elect sent out a tweet warning General Motors that imports of versions of the Cruze small car made in Mexico could be hit with a tax.

Among the new vehicles the Flat Rock plant will make is a fully electric SUV that will go 300 miles on a charge. That is due to go on sale in 2020. The plant also will make a hybrid autonomous vehicle that is scheduled to be released in 2021.

Ford also said Tuesday it will release a hybrid version of its best-seller, the F-150 pickup, in 2020.

Ford shares rose 3.3 percent to $12.53 around midday. GM shares gained less than 1 percent.

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2016 Ford Escape - Fuel Economy Review + Fill Up Costs

In this episode, we test out the fuel economy in the all-new 2016 Ford Escape. In the hyper-competitive compact SUV segment, the Escape is a key player with its powerful, yet efficient engine choices, ample space and innovative technology.

Our tester was equipped with a 2.0-litre four-cylinder twin-scroll EcoBoost engine and a six-speed automatic transmission. Our test yielded 504 kms on a tank of gas and gave a decent average fuel economy of 10.7L/100 km.

After using up our tank of gas, we were able to fill it back up for $41.55 at a fuel cost of $0.829/litre.




Tested fuel range: 504km on a full tank

Fuel economy: 10.7 L/100 km

Fuel economy (mpg): 22 mpg



CAD $41.55 @ $0.829/liter



2.0-litre four-cylinder EcoBoost

six-speed automatic

245 hp @ 5,500rpm

275 lb-ft @ 3,300rpm

All-wheel drive

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