Friday, December 19, 2008

I'm certain there's a new Ford in My future, but could it be a Hybrid?

Seeing Alan Mulally the CEO of Ford drive the Fusion Hybrid to DC recently and then reading reviews like the one linked in the title from Left Lane News, I've been thinking a Hybrid, especially this one would make so much sense for me. I know I've said before that Hybrids don't make sense for many folks, that have long commutes and don't live in urban areas. But I don't have a long commute and I live in a suburban area. And the improvement the Fusion Hybrid has over past offerings is that it operates on Electric up to 40 mph. Combine that with the 38 MPG city rating and I'm set! I've always liked the Fusion and my driving habits are a perfect match with this car. But can I drive a Hybrid?
I like to shift for myself. My Ranger and Mazda3 are both Manual. And then there's the 4 door sedan thing. I'm weird I guess, I don't really find 4 door sedans useful. My Ranger, well that's just tons of fun and can get through any weather. The Mazda3 is nimble, fun and because it's a 5 door it's versatile. So, what do I do? Ultimately I'd like to go from 2 great vehicles to just 1.

Maybe? Ford Kuga with the EcoBoost 2.0 I-4, 6 speed Manual and All Wheel Drive?
Or should I grow up and let the Fusion shift for me? I'm torn, but at least I'm torn between Fords. Conflicting "dreams" but FordDreams just the same........
I've got a couple of years til I'm buying again.

Ford cutting NASCAR budget by 20%, maybe they should cut it to 20%, what do they get for the dollars? What do we get?

In the title, is an Autoblog piece on Chrysler not backing out of NASCAR and it mentions that Ford has cut their support by 20%. I've had issues with NASCAR for a long time. I mean what does Ford get from their investment? Or more importantly, what do we get? Take a look at the 2 "Fusions" above. The top is one of the "Car Of Tomorrow" that is a Fusion only because of the stickers. The bottom is the production car. Do you really think people buy a Fusion because of NASCAR? Doubtfully.
In the early days it was simple, win on Sunday, sell on Monday! The cars were production based. That's why it was called Stock Car racing! And there was mutual benefit to the auto makers and the racers. Manufacturers learned through racing how to improve reliability and safety. There was a true symbiotic relationship between the two.

Even later when the cars were less "stock" this relationship existed. Manufacturers used racing as a form of testing that still improved the road going versions. And of course the marketing ties were obvious. You could buy a car that looked very close to what was being raced. But what about now?

What do these 2 Fusions have in common? What do I get out of NASCAR?
The production Ford Fusion is a great 4 door midsize sedan, with a compitent chassis and selection of powertrains. The NASCAR version is a tube chassis and composite body in the shape of a 2 door coupe. Production comes with front or all wheel drive and either 4 or 6 cylinder engines. NASCAR? Rear wheel drive, Carburated V-8. When was the last Carberator used in a production car? 1990? So, what development are we getting from NASCAR?
As for Marketing, it could be argued that the truck series is "relevant", but barely.
The V8 engines used in Production vehicls are Overhead Cam Multi Valve technical beauties.
The V8 engines used in NASCAR? Overhead Valve Pushrod engines, really nice, but not cutting edge by production standards.
So, in my opinion Ford and GM and Chrysler would be better served by cutting their NASCAR budgets out. The bang for the buck isn't there.
From what I've seen on TV they'd be better supporting professional wrestling.
Or God forbid, American Idol? Go Ford?

End of Days? Thankfully not for Ford

I've been away a long time, don't expect many folks to still be reading this blog, but what the hell. With what seems like the end of days I was at least comforted to know that Ford feels they can survivie. As noted by Mulally himself in the press release at AutoBlog ( linked in title).

With all the gloom and doom, there is hope on the horizon, there are products that folks will want to buy, that will get better economy and can be competative.

I've had my own personal issues to deal with and backed away from blogging. For a while there I really wasn't following any news. So I've been happy to read about the new Ford Fusion Hybrid, the prospect of EcoBoost 2.0 engines coming into the line and of course the reality of Ford's "World Car" finally.

It's been a tough year for everyone, and the next year is going to be tough also. But 2010 is a chance for all of us to recover, prosper and grow. Is it time to "Dream" again? Maybe finally it is.

For those that have commented lately, I just moderated, so they should be there. For those looking to advertise on My blogs, sorry, I'm not that active, you wouldn't get your money's worth and I've decided not to go that route anyway.

While I respect my fellow bloggers that have ads, I don't need the pennies.

MyFordDreams has always been my personal views, I'm not a team, it's just me. And if I "Dream" again, it will be just the same.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

If Ford sells one of these, I'll buy it

I love Ford, but I'm not loving what's out in the showrooms now. Well, I like the Fusion, and of course the Mustang. But if I was looking to replace my Mazda 3 now, I'd want something I can't get right now. I'd want the Kuga! I'll take mine with either a 2.0 EcoBoost or TDI. Oh, don't forget the 6 speed manual trans.
I'd consider the Mondeo with either of those powertrains also.
I need a 5 door or CUV wagon. The Reflex and Fiesta sound good on paper, but I want something that 4 adults can ride in comfort and that we can take on vacation with all our crap.
I also want fuel economy that matches or beats the 30 MPG I get from my 3.
Ford, you have until the spring of 2011 to get me what I want. Are you interested in keeping my business? Or do I have to change my "Dreams" ?

Monday, March 24, 2008

Jalopnik has updated FoMoCo Aussie Falcon/Mustang rumors...

Jalopnik has a piece ( linked in title ) about the latest resurgance of rumors that Ford will use the Australian Ford Falcon as the base for the next Mustang and other rear wheel drive vehicles like the Interceptor. Nothing really earth shattering here, rumors like this have been floating around the net for quite a while. Jalopnik refers to an article in the Detroit News by Bryce Hoffman.
With the emergence of real competition from Hyundai, Chrysler and GM, all with IRS as oposed to the Mustangs live axle, this is something that has been common sense to everyone. Hell I've written about this so often I'm not even going to bother linking to past posts, it would take too long.
The Aussie Falcon just got a redo, but has had the Control Blade IRS for several years. The currency situation makes it expensive to import the cars to the United States, more so that when I suggested it several years ago. But the Detroit News article says they're moving "development" to the US, not importing actual units. The chassis would be developed here in the US, used for the future Australian Falcon, new Mustang and Ford and Lincoln branded sedans. No mention of Mercury there? As Jalopnik points out that's a glaring omission.

A new Mustang and a new Rear Wheel Drive sedan for Lincoln and Ford is good news.
But the artilce says it will be 4 years until they reach market, will that be soon enough?
And what about CAFE requirements? I've said before that the 2.0 EcoBoost I4 should go in the Mustang as the base motor, but how about the Sedans? Well, FoMoCo has the direct injection V6 for them. I'm not sure a V8 is even needed, except for top of the line showcase models.

What about Mercury? Well, I've said before that Mercury should be reimagined as an outlet for Ford Import models like the Mondeo. The Fusion does well for Ford, but as nice as the Milan is and it's sharp, maybe a premium could be charged for the imported Mondeo? I know that the next Mondeo and Fusion should, according to what I've read online, be based on the same platform, but until then, give Mercury dealers something unique.

How about the Ford Kuga as the next Mercury Mariner? Until these platforms are under a US Ford product, use Mercury to bring them here and that can justify the premium prices.
Just my 2 cents.

Friday, March 21, 2008

What caught my eye at the New York International Auto show.

First I want to mention the shuffling of FoMoCo brands on the floor. Jaguar and Range Rover were moved to the back of the room. I'm sure this has nothing to do with FoMoCo selling those brands to Tata. I've been going to the New York show since 1977, when it was still over by Columbus Circle in the Colessium. I've missed the show less than 4 times in the intervening 31 years. This is my Haj, my pilgimage if you will. And I remember when Hyundai was downstairs with the trucks, where Kia is today. And I also remember when that's where Hyundai deserved to be. Well, now they're upstairs with the big boys, very close to FoMoCo, where they deserve to be.
The Genesis Coupe is amazing in person. I've read the specs, seen the videos at AutoBlog and seen all the images online. But walking around it, touching it and crawling all over the outside, because the doors were locked, left me wanting one very badly. I saw the Mustangs, sure, every flavor of them. The new Bullit, the Shelby GT500KR, the Saleen and the Pink Warrior. But I'd buy the Hyundai.

Sure the styling is derivative and maybe not too inspiring. Without getting inside, it's hard to say if the interior will feel cheep. Haven't driven it yet, that's for sure. But it's handsome, the prices being talked about are right on the money and without a doubt the IRS and 2.0 Turbo Direct Injection putting 212 hp to the ground through a 6 speed manual speak to my soul and my wallet.

The Dodge Challenger was getting a lot of attention. Not just the 2 Hemi versions. The V6 SE was getting a lot of looks and why not, it looks great. The V6 is a 3.5 putting out 250 hp and 250 lb ft. The bad news for Dodge is that a 4 speed auto should not be the only transmission for the base. And what price for the SE? Hardly seems smart to bring this out against the Hyundai. But compared to the Mustang? What the hell. At least this has an IRS.

News of the Transit Connect Taxi all over the net, but no mention of the 2 other Transit Connects on the floor. This one loaded with musical instruments and the other fitted out for a contractor. I sat in it and was very impressed. I was dismayed to overhear somebody saying that because it was built in Turkey they were sure the quality would be poor. Ignorance abounds. I personally think that if they put the Hybrid drivetrain in this it would be the best Taxi ever and even the non-Hybrid version would be great for small commercial duty.

Seeing the Verve Sedan concept was inspiring, and people seemed interested. Nobody was tripping over themselves to get to it, but there was good traffic.

I'm sure FoMoCo would love to say the same about this, the Explorer America concept.
Yep, another CUV. Ford was loaded with CUV and SUV, Edge, Escape, Flex, Taurus X and the Lincoln MKT. This is the explorer that may use the 2.0 EcoBoost as it's base. The spokesmodel was saying that the EcoBoost was going to put out 275 hp. And why can't that go to the Mustang?? And the Explorer has an IRS, why can't a Mustang?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Why buy a Mustang? When will FoMoCo see the light?

Back in 04 when I went to Nashville for the 40th Aniversary of the Mustang and saw the 05 up close and personal I was amazed. The rebirth of a great car! And I bought FoMoCo's line of crap that an IRS would push the price up and keep the Mustang from being competative. It didn't bother me that the base Mustang engine would be the 4.0 V6 from the ranger with 210 hp or that the GT's 4.6 V8 was only putting out 300 hp. But that was 04 and now in 08 Ford had better wake up and smell the coffee!
Ford has an IRS that can handle the power, look no further than their Australian Falcon range.
The Control Blade IRS has been available down under since before he current New Mustang came to market. And now with real competition coming from Detroit and Korea, all with IRS by the way, what does FoMoCo offer us? Not much from where I'm sitting.

Take a look at David that will slay Mustang. The Hyundai Genesis Coupe coming next year.
The V6 model will have over 300 hp meeting the Mustang GT on power and pricepoint, but with the IRS the Mustang so sorely lacks. And what really kills me is the base engine for the Hyundai will be a Turbo Direct Injection I4 putting out 212 hp! Oh and by the way it will also have the IRS. I've been saying for a whle, that FoMoCo needs to put an IRS under the Mustang and when I first saw the power of the MazdaSpeed3's 2.3 Turbo Direct Injected I4 I said SVO Mustang! I'd read online that FoMoCo will use the upcoming 2.0 EcoBoost I4 as the base engine for a future Explorer, great news since it will be putting out well over 200 hp, but why can't that be the Mustang's base engine?

Even GM sees the light! Check the article here at AutoBlog to see how Bob Lutz is suggesting that they could put a 2.0 Turbo Direct Injection engine in a version of the Camaro. And why not, if it's the new Cobalt SS turbo putting out 260 hp!

And what does FoMoCo have in store for us? A new Bullit Mustang and a mild refresh in 09?
I have some advice for them, get the Control Blade, put it under the Mustang, take the 2.0 EcoBoost I4 make it the base engine for the Mustang, take the Turbo Direct Injected 3.5 stuff that in the Mustang and if you insist on a V8 make sure that has 400 hp!
It's frustrating being a Ford fan, it really is. I wonder if Dearborn has any clue what they're doing.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Verve, Fiesta, Mazda 2 talk...........

There's been a lot of Verve/Fiesta/Mazda2 talk on the net recently, especially over at AutoBlog.
Much of it is promissing news. The US will be getting a version of the small Ford that the rest of the world has made a class leader. Styling cues from the Verve concept will show up on the production unit. Well, it's about time. As gas is expected to reach US $4 a gallon this summer and every other auto maker ( except Chrysler) has something in the pike.
Ford will bring a version of the Fiesta and Mazda will bring the 2. And word is that Mazda may bring a Diesel! Story linked in title from AutoBlog. Happy days right? Well............

Sort of. Ford seems to be avoiding hatchbacks and hasn't said anything about Diesels. But it is a move in the right direction. I've said from day 1 of MyFordDreams that Ford has the product to compete with anything the foreign automakers can bring here, they need look no further than their overseas showrooms.

I can't understand Ford's not bringing hatchbacks to the United States. Don't get me wrong, both the Ford and Mazda sedans are fine looking cars and I know that the market seems to favor sedans over hatchbacks. Something that I'm confused about to be honest.
The trunks on these small sedans are less useful than a traditional hatchback, but Americans don't like Hatchbacks or Station Wagons. I've had many types of vehicles over the years, from small hatch to full size pickup and from my experience small hatchbacks make the most sense.
I'll explain, we at the MyFordDreams homestead own several vehicles, my Mazda 3 hatch, the Ford Ranger pickup, an Isuzu Rodeo and a Honda Civic Coupe. Now which vehicle do you think is used most for shopping, vacations and just going out with friends? The Ranger is great, with it's 4 wheel drive and 6 foot bed it's my choice for snow storms and trips to the dump. But it only seats 2, gets not so great milage and well it's not that comfortable driving for 6-8 hours. The Rodeo is a little more comfortable, but just as thirsty and not easy to park downtown. The Civic is great! Good economy, easy to park, fun to drive, but would you want to climb into the back seat in a suit? How about that trunk, how many bags of groceries do you really think you can get in there? What about big parcels? I got a new TV recently, do you think we could just pop it in there? Not a chance! The car we use most, for everything is the Mazda 3 hatchback.
Going downtown to see a Broadway show? Easy to park, easy for 4 adults to get in and out of, comfortable, great milage and really fun to drive. Why do you think they have that stupid Zoom Zoom campain? Going shopping? Pop the hatch and you can load all the groceries you want in there. Got a big TV? drop the seats and it'll swallow most boxes easily. Vacation? Same thing, fit as much luggage or people as you'd need.
I dream of something with 5 doors a Diesel and a 6 speed manual transmission, I hope Ford can bring me something along those lines. And if not Ford hopefully Mazda. My ultimate would be a new Ford Kuga with a 2.0 TDI, but if Mazda would bring their Diesel version of the CX-7 from Europe I'd settle for that. I'd even settle for a Kuga with a 2.0 EcoBoost gas engine. Igor has stated that the Kuga will be the new Escape, will it come with a manual trans?
I like the Fiesta/Mazda2 sedans, but could I live with them? Not as easilly as I could a decent hatch.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I was looking for pictures of my Mustang and found these..

I loved my Mustang, a 1991 LX 5.0 notchback with manual trans and 3.08 rear. Totally stock, but lots of fun to take to Englishtown Raceway Park. My buddy Joe Z and I used to go down a couple of times each year.

Here's a blast from the past! I totally forgot I had this video...

My good friend also named Joe and I used to take our Mustangs to Englishtown Raceway Park several times a season just to have fun. My Mustang was bone stock, 5.0 LX Notchback with a 5 spd manual and 3.08 rear gears. And I had thought I lost this video long ago. It's poor quality, but it's

Interesting article at AutoBlog, sounded very familiar...

So, I was reading AutoBlog just a while ago and came across an interesting piece refering to a Detroit News article, linked at AutoBlog, and the subject seemed like something I covered a long time ago. Ford's inane naming scheme. You know the whole "F bomb" thing. Which of course I explained long ago wasn't actually limited to F, but E and M and of course now the MK fiasco.

You can read my earlier post here it's from 2 years ago, but still rings true and then compare it to the article linked above. I love the comments over at AutoBlog

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Reflex fix

My Reflex fix. Like a junky craving, here's how I get my Reflex fix.

The more I see of Ford in Europe, the more I hope we see it here in the near future.

I haven't blogged in a while, been busy, but that doesn't mean I haven't been reading about all the new Ford products around the globe. And the more I see what the rest of the world gets, the more I hope that we get it here. Igor, a regular reader and commentor, has said that we should be patient and that he's got word that we will indeed see a new crop of Euro Fords in the North American market, possibly as early as 2010 or 2011. And he seems to be right? Mulally is quoted as saying Ford is going to bring global Ford product here in that timeframe.

Well, I know what I want, I want the Kuga CUV with a Turbo Diesel and 6 speed manual.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

This is the best thing I've heard about Ford in I don't know how long

Read the Autoblog post linked in the title, about Ford's intention to finally bring out Turbo Direct Injection Gasoline engines. The biggest surprise for me was mention of a 2.0 I4 making 275 hp that would be the new base engine for a future Explorer. And you can see where my mind went when I read that. While I think it's going to be great for an Explorer replacement, wouldn't it be great to see in a new Mustang?
Just dreaming, but isn't that better than MyFordNightmares???