The all-new 2014 Transit Connect for the way you live
Preproduction vehicle shown.
There's finally a vehicle as unique as you are. The all-new 2014 Ford Transit Connect answers your drive for life with its ability to be ready for just about anything. This rolling statement of individuality shatters the norm with distinctive styling, versatility, efficiency and affordability.
Transit Connect stands out with style and will be offered in two wheelbases with standard seating for five, and available seating for seven. Available EcoBoost® technology helps optimize power and efficiency. Other features include a low floor for easy loading, entry and exit, and available flip-and-fold seating for customized space. Sliding rear seats help accommodate long legs and large cargo while overhead storage bins help keep personal items secure. An available panoramic roof allows plenty of natural light. The Transit Connect helps you get more done with ease and comfort by giving you what you need to fit your life.
Sign up now to Get Updates on the latest information and come back to Ford.com on November 28 for more information. The Transit Connect will be available in the fall of 2013.
Next-Generation 2014 Transit and Transit Connect Commercial Vans Set Efficiency as Priority
As Ford engineers finalize the all-new 2014 Transit Connect commercial van, outstanding efficiency, durability and versatility will be key objectives. "After just three years on the market in North America, we've completely reengineered the Transit Connect," said Executive Vice President and President of The Americas Joseph R. Hinrichs. "This all-new cargo hauler will offer entrepreneurs and fleets a unique combination of cargo capacity, maneuverability and efficiency."
With global commercial vehicle sales expected to grow by 4.8 million
over the next several years to a total of 21 million units annually by
2017, Transit Connect represents a major opportunity. Ford is leveraging
its "One Ford" product strategy to meet the needs of Transit Connect
customers in 66 global markets with vans that are Built Ford Tough®,
more efficient, more capable and worthy of carrying the Ford commercial
Transit Connect will also be joined by the all-new 2014 Ford Transit full-size van, which will provide professional tradespeople and commercial fleet customers with a diverse array of bodystyles and configurations tailored to their work needs and engineered to help keep operating costs low.
To meet the needs of North American customers, the Transit Connect van is offered in two wheelbase lengths, in XL and XLT series levels, and with up to a 1,650-pound payload and 2,000-pound towing capacity when properly equipped. The low floor height and high ceiling help Transit Connect offer up to 130 cu. ft. of cargo space.
Two available 4-cylinder engines, a normally aspirated 2.5L unit and a 1.6L EcoBoost® engine, will aid in the efficiency of Transit Connect. Both engines come mated to an efficient 6-speed automatic transmission, geared for around-town responsiveness and low-rpm highway cruising.
This stylish, contemporary cargo van will offer useful available options like a rear view camera and a voice-activated mobile communications and entertainment system with a 6.5 -inch touch screen - SYNC® with MyFord Touch® with Navigation System.*
The larger Transit will offer the additional choice of roof height depending on wheelbase chosen.
Commercial-Strength DNAThe Transit and Transit Connect abilities are reflected in this van's cargo-carrying and payload capabilities, and its high-strength body, engineered to rigorous global commercial vehicle durability standards.
The all-new Transit Connect van builds on the foundation of reliability and durability established by the current Transit Connect small cargo van. Introduced in North America in 2009, Transit Connect has become the must-have vehicle for small-business proprietors and fleets. The 2014 Transit will be built at the Kansas City, Mo., Assembly Plant.
The current E-Series cargo and passenger vans will continue production into 2014, while the E-Series chassis cab and cutaway will remain in the Ford lineup until the end of the decade.
*Driving while distracted can result in loss of vehicle control. Only use SYNC/MyFord Touch/other devices, even with voice commands, when it is safe to do so. Not all features are compatible with all phones.Preproduction model shown with optional equipment. Available fall 2013
FORD ATLAS CONCEPT TRUCK.
The Ford Atlas Concept is a bold look at potential design, technology and capability features that could one day appear in Ford trucks.
Drawing on 65 years of F-Series heritage and 36 consecutive years of sales leadership, Ford is once again staying well ahead of the game by listening to its customers and using their insights as inspiration. Truck owners need a tough, efficient partner that's ready for anything. The Ford Atlas Concept is the ultimate solution for them to get the job done and play as hard as they do.
Even at first glance, the Ford Atlas Concept sheet metal ripples with muscle toned with modern refinement.
As for brains, it comes with Trailer Backup Assist, a ground-breaking innovation that lets the driver back a trailer with the twist of a knob. Together with Dynamic Hitch Assist, it helps a driver with limited towing experience handle trailering like a seasoned pro. And helps a seasoned pro handle trailering like never before.
The 360-degree camera lets the driver see all around the truck on the center stack screen with the Ford Atlas Concept in the middle and the world surrounding it. This Ford truck first gives you a bird's eye view to help position the vehicle in tight places. Perfect for a busy job site or the grocery store parking lot.
"Ford Atlas Concept is the latest in our series of signature Ford Truck concepts, which includes Mighty Tonka and Super Chief," said J. Mays, Ford group vice president and chief creative officer. "Where Tonka demonstrated uncompromising strength and Super Chief tough truck luxury, Ford Atlas Concept reflects how Ford Trucks help our customers carry their world. Professionally and personally."
Features that accommodate both work and off-the-clock utility include sideview mirror-mounted LED spotlights capable of illuminating a worksite when an owner is working early or late and the SYNC® with MyFord Touch® screen is workglove friendly and can turn the cab into a Wi-Fi® hotspot. It's an open platform that can work with a broad range of productivity applications.
The cargo box includes its own LED lighting, tie downs and hidden cargo ramps stowed under the bed to make loading easy. The tailgate step becomes a cradle for the integrated roof carrier.
LED headlamps and taillamps offer enhanced road lighting over conventional halogen or HID lights and last longer.
The Ford Atlas Concept was built with technologies to help maximize efficiency. Active grille and wheel shutters together with power-deployable front spoiler and running boards actually re-shape the Atlas, improving its aerodynamics and help it cut through the wind. The Atlas also uses Auto Start-Stop engine shutoff technology for enhanced efficiency in stop-and-go driving conditions. The system is designed specifically for trucks. For instance, Auto Start-Stop pauses when the truck senses it's towing.
It's powered by a twin-turbocharged EcoBoost® engine mated to an advanced automatic transmission.
"More than a tribute to Ford's historic truck legacy, Ford Atlas Concept was inspired by the work ethic and lifestyle of today's Ford Truck owners and drivers," said Ford Atlas Concept design director Gordon Piotti. "Atlas pushes the envelope to evoke emotional appeal, as its Ford DNA remains instantly recognizable."
That means the iconic block front grille and leading edge drop down on the side windows together with muscular and efficient body sculpture gives owners something they can feel proud to park in their driveway.
Predicting the future isn't always 100% accurate. But if the new Ford Atlas Concept is any indication, the road ahead is a world ahead of anything truck owners have ever known.
What is the Ford Focus Rally?
Focus Rally America is the ultimate interactive cross-country road rally. Six teams of two, along with the all-new 2012 Ford Focus, will compete against each other to complete various challenges and tasks as they drive cross-country. Teams play to win the ultimate prize of $100,000 and a brand new 2012 Ford Focus.
How can I participate?
Register online and pick your team to join the adventure. Participate in daily challenges to help your drivers decipher clues and puzzles, follow along and watch live-streaming video of your drivers, and rack up points to increase your chances of winning a trip to participate in the race or bring home a brand new 2012 Ford Focus.
How long is the Ford Focus Rally?
The Rally begins on February 4, 2011, and ends on March 7, 2011. The winning team will be announced on March 7, 2011. The final prize drawing will take place on March 15, 2011.
Can I change my team?
Yes! You can change your team, but BEWARE! if you change from one team to another you will lose all of the points and privileges that you've earned thus far. You can change your team by modifying your Account Info in the My Account section.
How do I subscribe to Focus Rally alerts?
You can sign up for email and/or SMS alerts (standard text-messaging rates will apply) by clicking Follow Focus Rally in the upper right corner of any page on FocusRally.com.
What can I win?
Throughout the Rally, participants will have chances to win a brand new 2012 Ford Focus and chances to win trips to meet the teams and attend a Focus Rally challenge.
A European Sport Sedan--From Ford
Welcome to the wintry top of the 2012 Ford Focus mountain, the fully equipped, massively geared up "Titanium" edition of the all-new compact sedan. This trim package, starting at $22,270, is $6,000 above the Focus S sedan base camp. With its glossy "piano black" plastic inside and out, aluminum wheels, 8-inch navi/audio/climate/phone touch screen, and its frosty overburden of chrome brightwork, things are very shiny at the summit. You'll need your snow goggles. By the way, secretly, your Sherpa hates you.
The Titanium sedan (the available five-door hatch is $495 more) asks you to consider this Aristotelian question: Would you ever want an extravagantly equipped version of a desperately cheap compact? As I read it, the Titanium Focus has the most content of any car at this price point, including rain-sensing wipers; rearview camera/sensing system; leather sport seats with six-way power and lumbar adjustment; and a 10-speaker Sony audio system, among many electronics. This thing is a slagheap of silicon.
Throw a couple thousand more at this car and you'll get a power moon roof; heated seats; voice-activated navigation; a Lexus-like self-parking feature; and a sport wheel-and-suspension package that shreds California back roads like Wolverine going through Arrow shirts. That's a lot of car for around $26,000 and?to my point?arguably better equipped than an entry-level BMW or Infiniti.
But in the end, you're still driving a Ford Focus, a brand and a car that has historically had the glamour of sweaty feet. Few nameplates outside of Amana could be more appliance-like. Ford has sold more than 10 million Focuses globally since 2000.
Here we encounter the tyranny of brand. Would you buy a Timex watch that keeps time better than the atomic clock in Boulder; a Piper Seminole that can break the sound barrier; a bottle of Andre Cold Duck that out-sparkles Dom Pérignon? Would you, in other words, pay less for more?
With the Focus Titanium, maybe you would. And this is the important thing about the car, transcending its fuel economy (figure about 28/38 miles per gallon), or middling 0-60 times (9 seconds). The brand, the meaning of Ford is changing, becoming more elastic on the high end. Bearing in mind that the Blue Oval has always had more cachet overseas than it has had in the U.S., Ford's Q score is wildly up these days. Indeed, compared with Ford, Justin Bieber is just treading water.
For this sudden love, you could credit many things. Consumer affection is in some ways a zero-sum game, and Toyota's loss over the past two years is definitely Ford's gain. Ford was also the only Detroit car maker to avoid a government-funded bankruptcy?winners don't take bailouts, right? You have to send the product planners a case of beer, as well: Ford's embrace of in-cabin information technology, such as its deal with Microsoft (the Sync system), has given the brand a bit of a hipster edge, as has its whole-hog social networking effort. Ford had socially networked brand advocates running around pushing its Fiesta for a year before the car landed Stateside.
With the new Focus Titanium, we are looking at the stirrings of a notion Henry Ford never remotely considered: Ford as an aspirational brand.
And, it has to be said, part of the desirability of the new Focus has to do with it being an undiluted European car. Based on Ford's global C platform (104.3-inch wheelbase), the Focus was largely designed and engineered in Germany, with a powertrain sorted in England (happily, however, the U.S.-spec Focus will be assembled in Michigan). Our previous Focus was basically warmed over for a decade, remedial in power and performance, while the European Focus grew more sophisticated through two full redesigns. No more. According to Ford execs, the new Focus has 80% global commonality, with the balance being on account of market-specific safety and emission standards.
2012 Ford Focus Titanium Sedan
And so, the European styling, the intentional modernism of the shape, wind-curried and tight-drafted, with a great stance for a small car (a half-inch lower and 3 inches longer than the previous car). I appreciate that Ford design didn't attempt to graft on its Gillette razor grille with the multiple blades (cf., Ford Edge and Fusion). Instead, the Focus gets a powerful triptych-trapezoidal grille, which makes the car instantly recognizable at a distance?what designers call "down the road" graphic. For styling rivals, you'd have to look at Euro-only cars like the Citroën C4 or Peugeot 308. Stateside, compared with the Focus, the Chevy Cruze looks like a lump of arterial cholesterol.
The Focus is a seriously nice car on the inside, enough so that Ford engineers and marketers quietly ventured the Audi A3 and A4 as competitor. Talk about hubris. And yet, the Titanium interior is pretty artful, a sinuous composition in soft-touch materials, alloy-like painted trim, textured fabric, that piano-black plastic?assuming your Steinway is made by Mattel?and lots of electrons. The center stack is dominated by the 8-inch touch screen, above a gloss-black panel with the rotary controller for the Sony sound system (there's a smaller LCD between the gauges in the instrument cluster). The leather steering wheel has more buttons than a band uniform, offering triple redundancy for phone and audio. I think. Frankly, it would take more than a day behind the wheel to become fluent in these interfaces.
I was pleased to discover a traditional hand-brake lever to the right of the shift gate. In these uncertain times, you never know when you may have to execute a bootleg turn.
At a press event in Southern California last week, I drove two trim levels: the volume car, the SE ($17,270 MSRP), with optional 17-inch, all-season tires and five-speed manual transmission; and the Titanium sedan, with optional 18-inch summer tires, sport suspension and dual-clutch automatic transmission. In either fitment, the Focus proved to be damn crafty and athletic. The chassis feels hammer-hard and stout, paying dividends in the kind of cabin ambience you might expect in a larger and more expensive car. The ride quality is even and serene even when the asphalt isn't. The Focus's Noise-Vibration-Harshness (NVH) team just murdered it.
Fling the car into the corners and the Focus's handling is yar and well balanced; it's even tossable in a Euro-spec sort of way. The car gathers understeer as steering angles increase?it pushes like a front-drive car will, in other words, with an increasing bleating from the front tires. But transitional, corner-to-corner manners are solid and reassuring, and the electric power steering direct, linear and reasonably communicative.
The string-back glove set will appreciate the torque-vectoring system built into the front axle. Much like a mechanical limited-slip differential, torque vectoring subtly pulses the brake of the inside front wheel in a corner, directing more torque to the outside wheel, actually helping bend the car into a corner. Once there, you can go to the whip harder and sooner. Combined with the Titanium's optional 18-inch summer rubber and leaner sport suspension, the torque vectoring turns a fairly good front-driver into a fervid and stubborn little gymkhana car.
If only, alas, there was more torque to vector. The Ford chassis engineers have so outclassed the powertrain?a 2.0-liter, direct-injection four-banger with 160 horsepower and 146 pound-feet of torque, and that at a cringe-y 4,450 rpm?that you can't help but walk away feeling that the car is woefully underpowered. When was a sport hatch slower to 60 than 9 seconds, after all? You may wish the manual tranny had a sixth gear or that there were steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters for the six-speed, dual-clutch automatic. The little Up/Down button on the shifter is worthless. You may tire of having to kick this thing like it's a lazy court jester to get it to move. One way or another, driving enthusiasts are likely to feel unrequited by the powertrain.
The good news is that Ford will soon offer an engine worthy of the chassis, a 250-hp turbocharged four-cylinder in a performance variant called the ST. Until then, for me, the Titanium feels a little like fool's gold.
But man, Ford sure looks like the smartest kid in class these days. And I relish the notion that the Focus, of all cars, could nip at the heels of Audi and Acura. Really. Go tell it on the mountain.
Corrections & Amplifications
The 2012 Ford Focus is available with a five-speed manual transmission or a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. An earlier version of this column incorrectly said the manual transmission was a six-speed.
Highest-Quality Cars Of 2010
report the fewest defects in these new car
is having a bang-up year. Last week it earned the highest rating of any
carmaker in J.D. Power and Associates' Initial Quality Survey--and
that's the fourth time they've done so in five years. Earlier this
spring Porsche also won top honors in JD Power's prestigious vehicle
But that doesn't mean the
Germany-based manufacturer is resting on its laurels. Instead, it's
deliberately calculating every move and hoping to uphold standards when
it launches the new 911 Carrera Turbo S, Cayenne Hybrid, V6 Panamera
and Boxster Spyder in the next year.
everybody's a bit
tentative and, especially in the luxury market, you have to be very
tentative, you have to be very competitive," says Tony Fouladpour, a
spokesman for Porsche. "You have to basically not slip
no big surprise that Porsche is receiving accolades for its high
quality. But it may be shocking to hear that in 2010 the world's most
reliable cars don't come from Europe: They're straight out of Detroit,
Mich. For the first time ever, domestic brands as a whole earned higher
initial quality scores than imports in JD Power's 2010 vehicle
J.D. Power compiled its 2010
Quality Study by surveying 82,000 buyers and lessees of new, 2010
model-year vehicles, asking them what problems they've had with their
cars. The study was conducted from February to May of this year, and
cars were scored based on how many problems were reported per 100
vehicles. The industry average score this year is 109, up slightly from
108 last year.
In our list of highest-quality cars we
include only those cars that earned the very highest marks for
American manufacturers, Ford performed particularly well in 2010:
Twelve of the company's cars ranked within the top three in their
segments, more than any other car company. And the $22,145 Mustang
coupe, $25,170 Taurus sedan, and $16,290 Focus compact car all make our
list of the year's highest-quality cars.
strong showing? Defect-free new launches. The redesigned Mustang and
Taurus each won their respective segments in their first year out of
the box. Other manufacturers also put out reliable new
$65,380 LS 460 and $54,070 GS both make our list, and the $51,970 Lexus
GX 460 SUV won its segment. Even though Porsche's first-ever sedan, the
$74,400 Panamera, didn't win its segment, it received notably high
initial quality scores as well.
These initial quality
scores--measured after 90 days of ownership--are significant because
new models often have many more quality problems than carryover models.
That's one reason why the Lexus LS has consistently been rated as the
one vehicle with the absolute least amount of complaints lodged against
"When Lexus launched in 1990, they pretty much
came in at
No. 1 in the industry," says Dave Sargent, vice president of global
vehicle research at J.D. Power. "The LS wasn't their only car they sold
back then, but it was certainly their main
better cars in general is the first step to reducing defects, says Ford
Quality communications manager Kristen Kinley, but streamlining the
manufacturing process--as Ford has done in recent years, and as it's
currently doing with the all-new Fiesta--has helped as
Fiestas that we're building in Europe and the ones that we're building
in Mexico follow the exact identical standards, and that reduced
complexity in the system has helped improve quality," she
most notorious problem reported by new-car buyers? Excessive wind
noise, according to Sargent. It's an admittedly subjective problem, but
the "excessive" label means the noise must be unexpected and unwelcome:
"If you're driving around in a 911 with the roof down, you're going to
hear wind noise, but you're going to expect
even though it can sometimes be remedied by reapplying seals or
readjusting doors, that extraneous noise signifies a design flaw,
That's precisely why Porsche and Ford
this year's report: Along with the Hyundai Azera, the Porsche 911
received no complaints of excessive wind noise. The Ford Fusion was
among the top five vehicles with the fewest such
Ford reveals its all-new, purpose-built Police Interceptor Utility Vehicle
Ford Motor Company, the police vehicle market leader for 15 years, has done it again. The company unveiled the all-new Police Interceptor Utility vehicle in Chicago.
To develop the all-new Police Interceptor Utility, Ford engineers worked hand-in-hand with Ford's Police Advisory Board of law enforcement professionals, which provided input on key vehicle attributes such as safety, performance, durability, driver comfort and functionality.
"Their feedback mattered to us," said Scott Tobin, Ford vehicle line director for cars and crossovers. "Safety and durability were at the top of their list. So safety and durability were at the top of ours."
Since law enforcement officials have specific needs, Ford's engineers designed several features to address the special requirements of the job. Including:
Ballistic Door Panels: These are certified by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) to stop all Type III and all lesser NIJ rounds.
75 MPH Crash Test Rated: Ford Police Interceptors are purpose-built to pass 75-mph rear-end crash testing. (Ford is the only manufacturer to publish results.)
Personal Safety System: Designed to protect, the Personal Safety System™ is a holistic, networked safety approach. The always-on-alert Safety Canopy® System includes a rollover sensor, along with roll-fold, side-curtain airbags. Meanwhile, the Interceptors are structurally tough. A reinforced, heavy-duty unibody architecture creates multiple crush zones.
Interior Comfort: The driver seat is six-way power adjustable with lumbar support. Plus, both front seats feature sculpted foam at the bottom of the seat back to accommodate an officer's utility belt. And inserted into the seatback, are anti-stab plates, designed to protect front-seat occupants.
The Police Interceptor utility crossover complements the Taurus-based sedan in Ford's police lineup. The utility vehicle will come in front- and all-wheel-drive models, and will be powered by a naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V6 making at least 280 hp working with a six-speed automatic transmission.
The utility vehicle and sedan are part of Ford's dual approach to replacing the aging Crown Victoria, which remains the most popular car for police around the country. Ford is breaking away from that car's tried-and-true mold of V8 power channeled to the rear wheels, though the company is quick to say the all-wheel setup will be just as effective for officers.
"This is a very diverse industry with multifaceted requirements," said Jim Holland, chief engineer of the police utility vehicle. The utility vehicle is also said to get 20 percent better fuel economy than the current Crown Vic.
Both vehicles were tested by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and the Michigan State Police.
Ford's new Police Interceptor utility will be manufactured at Ford's Chicago (Ill.) Assembly Plant and will be offered without interruption when production of the Crown Victoria Police Interceptor ends in late 2011.
Fiesta Nears Top on Back-to-School List
Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com announced its 2010 Top 10 Back-to-School Cars, and near the top of that list was the 2011 Fiesta. Fiesta came in at #2, but was ranked higher than all other new vehicles on the list, which combined both new and used cars.
Fiesta earned high marks for its fuel economy of up to 40 highway mpg*, standard stability control, and push-button start, plus a low starting price of around $14,000. In choosing the cars, the kbb.com editors kept key financial criteria in mind, considering all new cars with a value under $18,000.
Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com executive editorial director and executive market analyst, Jack R. Nerad, said new car entries like the Fiesta "offer advanced technological features and forward-looking designs to engage any student, with price points that won't disappoint parents."
Ford also earned a second nod on the list with its 2006 Crown Victoria. The editors cited comfort, interior space and reliability as the key factors for placing the Crown Vic in the Top 10.
To see the complete list of cars, view the Back-to-School Cars gallery on kbb.com.
*EPA-estimated 29 city/40 hwy/33 combined, automatic SFE.
Flex and Fusion named Top Safety Picks for 2010
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has awarded the 2010 Ford Flex (vehicles built after January 2010) and the 2010 Ford Fusion (vehicles built after April 2010) with Top Safety Pick.
Both Flex and Fusion received the Top Safety Pick designation last year, but in order to maintain it for 2010, each had to earn the highest rating of good for its roof strength in the Institute's new rollover test.
To measure roof strength, a metal plate is pushed against one corner of a vehicle's roof at a constant speed. The maximum force sustained by the roof before 5 inches of crush is compared to the vehicle's weight to find the strength-to-weight ratio. According to the IIHS, this is a useful assessment of vehicle structural protection in rollover crashes. Good-rated vehicles like Flex and Fusion have roofs that can withstand a force equal to at least 4 times the vehicle's weight.
In addition to the highest rating of good for front and side crash tests, rollover test and rear crash protection tests, becoming a Top Safety Pick requires that a vehicle have electronic stability control, which is a standard feature on both Flex and Fusion.