GM Testing the Waters of Smaller Engines

The 2019 Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra 1500 pickups will be the first in a fleet of new full-sized pickup trucks from automaker GMC that will feature a four-cylinder engine option. This will represent a major sea change for some loyal customers. Ford’s success with its v-6 EcoBoost engines may have already proven that a V-8 engine doesn’t have to be the standard. And modern advances in engineering have made smaller engines in larger vehicles a very real option.

The new 2.7 liter, inline four-cylinder will feature what GM is calling Active Fuel Management. This technology will allow the engine to switch over to a two-cylinder mode for “light load conditions.”

The new engine represents a keystone moment for General Motors as it is the first time they will put a four-cylinder engine in a full-size pickup and it is the first engine in a pickup to use the AFM two-cylinder technology.

The new inline four turbo engine is rated at 348 pound-feet of torque and 310hp with an 8-speed automatic transmission. GM hopes to compete in fuel efficiency against Ford’s F-150 that features an aluminum body and V-6 EcoBoost engine.

Ford and Lyft Team Up For Autonomous Car Venture

Ford recently announced it will partner with Lyft to provide self-driving cars, in large numbers, to the ride-services fleet by 2021. Ford and Lyft teams will begin working together to design software to allow Ford vehicles to communicate with Lyft’s smartphone apps.

The company has said it will invest $700 million in a factory in Flat Rock, Michigan, to make it capable of building electric and self-driving vehicles.

Ford self-driving test vehicles will be connected to Lyft’s network, but at first, customers will not be able to use them. Ford will put human-driven vehicles on Lyft’s network.

Ford also is testing delivery services using self-driving vehicles and a van shuttle service. The self-driving vehicles Ford will deploy through Lyft will use software developed by Argo AI, a company in which Ford is investing $1 billion over the next five years.

Ford Is Bringing Back the Ranger – And Maybe an Off-Road Package

As many people are aware, Ford Motor Company is prepping to restart production of an American icon: the Ford Ranger, the ever popular mid-sized truck. And many people are thinking it is about time, as Ford hasn’t made a mid-sized truck for about seven years. Small truck sales have seen an uptick with models like the Chevy Colorado and Toyota Tacoma both admired in the pick-up community. And both offering off-road packages.

Ford Motor Company has already projected that Ford Ranger will be released sometime in late 2018. Car & Driver, however, have captured some spy photos of something that looks like a possible off-road version of the beloved Ranger: See image here.

Max Goldberg from MSN Auto News writes:

“Ford is very familiar with the off-road truck segment, as its Ford Raptor is the talk of the town and for good reason. In the spy shots, you can see a more tucked-away front and rear bumper, fender flares, thicker control arms, and other all-terrain goodies.
The direction in which Ford would take this potential off-roader is unclear, thus the engine options are also up for grabs. If Ford intends to follow the Ford F-150 Raptor model, we can expect to see more of a high-horsepower EcoBoost engine, but if they intend to focus on rock crawling we would most likely see a four-cylinder diesel or naturally aspirated V-6.”

Ford Android Auto and Apple CarPlay Update Available

Ford 2016 model-year vehicles now have a Sync 3 infotainment system update available. Owners have several update options. The software can be downloaded to a USB drive or a Wi-Fi connection can be used to download the update directly to the vehicle.

Customers must upgrade their USB hubs in order to receive Apple CarPlay support. Android Auto support is available with the existing hardware. Both infotainment services allow users to access smartphone features such as navigation, music, phone, and messaging through Sync 3.

This is Ford’s first attempt at a Wi-Fi enabled update and their hired a specific team of engineers to for the project. Wi-Fi enabled vehicles will update automatically. 2017 model-year Fords are already equipped with Sync 3 that supports Android and Apple.

James Bond Cars: Casino Royale

Movie 19: Casino Royale (2006)
In this next film starring Daniel Craig as 007, Bond investigates the funding of terrorism. He kills a bomb-maker and takes his cell. He finds a text that is traced to Alex Dimitrios and Le Chiffre. Bond foils LeChiffre’s plan to destroy the Skyfleet airliner prototype. Le Chiffre finds himself in a poker game at the Casino Royale to try to recoup his loss but Bond is there to beat him aided by HM Treasury member Vesper Lynd.

Lynd and Bond are both kidnapped by Le Chiffre after the game. Lynd is ransomed and Bond is tortured. Le Chiffre is killed by a liaison between Le Chiffre and his clients. The winnings were never repaid to the Treasury so Bond establishes that Lynd was a double agent. As he goes after her he is attacked and the liaison takes the money. Bond eventually finds and captures White.

Now for the cars: once again we see the Aston Martin DB5, Aston Martin DBS V12, Bond damages a 1930 Bentley 4 1/2 Litre in a car chase with Le Chiffre driving a Citroen Traction Avant. Miami Police are seen driving a Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor and Bond also drives a Ford Mondeo 2.5 Litre ST. Le Chiffre and Mr. White are both seen driving their Jaguar XJ8s.

the Victor Crew

Ford 2015 Shelby GT350R Mustang

The Victor crew found out that Ford is releasing the new 2015 Shelby GT350 Mustang, hopefully later this year. It claims to be lighter with better suspension. It has track capability. If it didn’t contribute to track performance, it was removed. Don’t expect air conditioning in the base model. The Shelby is part of the Ford Performance vehicle lineup.

It comes with a hearty 5.2L V8 engine that delivers over 500 horsepower and a 6-speed manual transmission giving more than 400 lb-ft of torque. They made the chassis more light-weight. It comes with Michelin® Pilot® Super Sport tires.

Ford Mustang Shelby GT350

The New Ford GT

The new Ford GT has been making the rounds at the auto shows this year. This one was seen at the New York International Auto Show by the Victor crew.

Ford GT

With its body made of carbon fiber and aluminum for efficiency, twin turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine delivers over 600 horsepower, the new Ford GT delivers a very aerodynamic ride.

Some other features of this supercar are a rear spoiler and SYNC® 3 connectivity system.

It will be available next year in select global markets to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Ford GT race cars placing in the 1966 Le Mans race.

The all new Ford GT

The all new Ford GT

Drive Safe Ford Owners! Ford Recalls 1.3 Million Cars

Jody Victor would like Ford owners to please check this list to make sure there isn’t a safety issue with your vehicle! A variety of Ford vehicles from as far back as 2006 are now known to have safety issues involving power steering, fire hazards or floor mats.

2011-2013 Ford Explorers and 2008-2011 Escapes and Mercury Mariners are known to have an issue where the power steering can cut out. Explorer models have an issue with electric motor position sensors that can cause the sensors to intermittently shut off due to poor cable connections and this disables the power steering. For Escape and Mariner models the issue resides in torque sensors, in which the sensors may produce a low-fidelity signal that causes the computer to not recognize the driver’s steering movements and will disable the power steering.
Dealers will update the power steering software to continue delivering power assist even if a fault is detected in the system. This January, Ford shipped repair kits for the torque sensors, but the recalls do not call for any part replacements.

On the sedan side of things, the 2010-2014 Ford Taurus has license plate lamps that can corrode, short, and catch fire. Ford first found the problem in 2011, and after initially drawing a blank to the cause, it opened a second investigation in May 2013 and redesigned the lamp in February. The fires continued on these new models, however, and thus dealers will now install new lamp assemblies on 196,639 cars, of which 183,425 are in the U.S. Ford said it knew of at least five owner reports of smoking or melting lamps and another 20 reporting fires. Only vehicles sold or registered in 20 “salt belt” states (plus Washington, D.C.) are included, although Ford said it would also notify other Taurus owners of the condition.

Ford Taurus 2010-2014 models has an issue with its license plate lamps. The lamps may corrode, short out and catch fire. Only vehicles sold or registered in 20 so-called Salt Belt states (plus Washington, D.C.). Ford said they would notify other Taurus owners of the issue, however.

Finally, Ford is recalling approximately 80,000 all-weather floor mats that were sold as accessories between 2006-2011 for the following Ford models: Fusion, Mercury Milan, Lincoln Zephyr and Lincoln MKZ. These floor mats may cause the throttle pedal to get partially stuck. Ford stated it doesn’t matter if drivers put the all-weather mats over the standard mats or removed the standard mats before installing the all-weather ones. Ford is now redesigning these mats as part of the recall.

You can check for recalls on any Ford model by following the directions at Ford’s official owner’s website.

Joe Victor