Category: Business Written by AJ Williams, Chronicle Web Editor
The next chapter in the life of the iconic pony car begins today as the all-new Ford Mustang – loaded with innovative technologies and delivering world-class levels of performance – is simultaneously revealed around the globe in six cities on four continents.
“Ford Mustang inspires passion like no other car,” said Raj Nair, Ford group vice president, global product development. “The visceral look, sound and performance of Mustang resonates with people, even if they’ve never driven one. Mustang is definitely more than just a car – it is the heart and soul of Ford.”
Mustang’s impact goes well beyond the 9 million-plus cars sold in its 50 years of continuous production. It has made thousands of appearances in film, television, music and video games, and is the world’s most-liked vehicle on Facebook. For the first time ever, Ford will bring Mustang to customers in key parts of Europe and Asia.
“We crafted this car with the goal of creating a contemporary interpretation of Mustang – an American automotive icon that symbolizes optimism and freedom for millions of people around the world,” said Jim Farley, executive vice president of Ford global marketing, sales and service and Lincoln.
All-new shape, yet unmistakably Mustang
The clean-sheet design of both Mustang fastback and convertible evokes the essential character of the brand, retaining key design elements – including the long sculpted hood and short rear deck – with contemporary execution.
“You only get one chance to make a first impression, and when you see this car you immediately see a Mustang strong and true,” said Moray Callum, Ford executive director, design, The Americas.
Several key design features define the all-new Mustang, including:
A lower, wider stance with a reduction in roof height, and wider rear fenders and track
The return of Mustang fastback with a sleeker profile enabled by more steeply sloped windshield and rear glass
Three-dimensional, tri-bar taillamps with sequential turn signals
Contemporary execution of the signature shark-bite front fascia and trapezoidal grille
Mustang convertible drivers will appreciate the standard multilayer insulated cloth top that gives the car a more upscale appearance and a quieter cabin. The new top lowers twice as fast as before, and has a sleeker profile when folded for open-air motoring.
The information and controls an active driver needs are all readily accessible in the aviation-inspired cockpit, which is executed with the highest degree of craftsmanship ever found in a Mustang. Large, clear instrumentation puts vehicle information right in front of the driver in the roomier cabin, while improved ergonomics and tactile switches and knobs provide better control. The added width and a new rear suspension contribute to improved shoulder and hip room for passengers, and a more usefully shaped trunk can accommodate two golf bags.
The Mustang experience
The way Mustang looks, drives and sounds is key to the visceral experience that makes drivers just want to get in and hit the road. With more options to choose from, there is a Mustang to fit any lifestyle. The upgraded V6 and V8 are joined by an all-new 2.3-liter EcoBoost® engine that brings state-of-the-art technology to Mustang.
Mustang GT continues with the latest edition of the throaty 5.0-liter V8, now featuring an upgraded valvetrain and cylinder heads that yield more than 420 horsepower and 390 lb.-ft. of torque. A new intake manifold improves low-speed breathing for better fuel economy, idle stability and emissions.
“This EcoBoost engine delivers where a Mustang driver expects it to, with a broad, flat torque curve that pours out when you stand on it for easy passing or hustling down a twisty road,” said Dave Pericak, Ford Mustang chief engineer.
The Mustang EcoBoost engine uses direct injection, variable cam timing and turbocharging to deliver plenty of usable performance and projected segment-leading fuel efficiency. A unique intake manifold and turbocharger housing enable it to deliver the performance Mustang drivers expect with output projected at more than 305 horsepower and 300 lb.-ft. of torque.
With at least 300 horsepower and 270 lb.-ft. of torque on tap from the standard 3.7-liter V6, even the most accessible Mustang delivers the performance customers expect.
Drivers will appreciate smoother shifts from the updated manual gearbox, while a reworked automatic transmission features new steering wheel-mounted shift paddles for drivers who want the choice between convenience and control.
Most nimble pony ever
When life throws drivers a curve, the all-new Mustang sets new handling benchmarks for the brand, delivering world-class dynamics and ride quality.
“We already set a very high standard for Mustang’s dynamics with Boss 302, and our goal was to go above and beyond that with this new car,” said Pericak.
Mustang features all-new front and rear suspension systems. At the front, a new perimeter subframe helps to stiffen the structure while reducing mass, providing a better foundation for more predictable wheel control that benefits handling, steering and ride.
The new double-ball-joint front MacPherson strut system also enables the use of larger, more powerful brakes. This is expected to be the best stopping Mustang yet, with three available brake packages.
At the rear is an all-new integral-link independent rear suspension. The geometry, springs, dampers and bushings all have been specifically modified and tuned for this high-performance application. New aluminum rear knuckles help reduce unsprung mass for improved ride and handling.
Smarter than your average pony
The all-new Mustang features a significant amount of innovative technologies providing drivers with enhanced information, control and connectivity when they want it. From Intelligent Access with push-button start to SYNC® and MyKey® in every Mustang built, plus available Track Apps, MyColor gauges and new Shaker Pro audio system, drivers will be able to customize their time behind the wheel.
The feeling of freedom and confidence Mustang instills in its drivers is amplified when they can take control of how the car behaves. On a twisty back road or a weekend track day, the driver can tap the toggle switches on the console to quickly adjust steering effort, engine response, and transmission and electronic stability control settings using the available Selectable Drive Modes to create the perfect Mustang at any time.
The advanced new Ford-developed stability control system is tuned to maximize Mustang’s dynamic capabilities. When the time comes to turn up the wick at the track, Mustang GT includes standard launch control that enables drivers to achieve smooth, consistent starts every time.
When it’s time to back off and relax for the drive home, available advanced driver-assist features including Blind Spot Information System with cross-traffic alert and adaptive cruise control can help ease the load, while SYNC AppLink™ lets drivers control their smartphone apps to listen to their favorite form of entertainment.
50 years of Mustang
April 17, 2014, marks the 50th anniversary of the introduction of the original Ford Mustang and each 2015 model celebrates the milestone with a badge on the instrument panel that includes the galloping pony logo and the words “Mustang – Since 1964.” Mustang will continue to be built in the United States at Flat Rock Assembly Plant.
“From day one, we knew if we were going to build a new Mustang, we had to do it right,” said Pericak. “We built a new Mustang from the ground up that is quicker, better-looking, more refined and more efficient, without losing any of the raw appeal that people have associated with Mustang for half a century.”
Last Updated on Thursday, 05 December 2013 14:02
Category: Business - Original Written by Curbed Detroit
Behold! The first tangible evidence that the M1 Rail project is real. These construction workers, spotted late last night at the intersection of Woodward and Congress, aren't laying track or installing station platforms. They were, however, working on the streetcar's heavy-duty utility systems, which need to be installed prior to laying track. This intersection will be the location of M1's southernmost stop. Continue to Curbed Detroit...
Last Updated on Thursday, 05 December 2013 13:31
Chrysler Group LLC Reports November 2013 U.S. Sales Increased 16 Percent; Best November Sales Since 2007
Category: Business - Original Written by AJ Williams, Chronicle Web Editor
Chrysler Group LLC today reported U.S. sales of 142,275 units, a 16 percent increase compared with sales in November 2012 (122,565 units), and the group’s best November sales since 2007.
The Chrysler, Jeep®, Dodge and Ram Truck brands each posted year-over-year sales gains in November compared with the same month a year ago. The Jeep brand’s 30 percent increase was the largest sales gain of any Chrysler Group brand during the month. Chrysler Group extended its streak of year-over-year sales gains to 44-consecutive months in November.
“Our all-new Jeep Cherokee is off to a terrific start with more than 10,169 units sold in its first full month on sale,” said Reid Bigland, Head of U.S. Sales. “Our launch emphasis on Jeep Cherokee quality is now being rewarded with brisk sales and helping Chrysler Group achieve our 44th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales growth.”
In its first full month of sales, the all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee mid-size SUV recorded sales of 10,169 units. The addition of the Cherokee to the product lineup helped the Jeep brand attain its best November sales ever. In addition, the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Jeep Wrangler, Jeep Patriot and Jeep Compass each posted year-over-year sales gains in November, led by the 31 percent increase in Compass sales.
Four Chrysler Group vehicles set sales records during the month of November. The Wrangler, Patriot, Dodge Dart, and Ram Cargo Van each recorded their best November sales ever. The Dart compact car achieved its record with a 44 percent year-over-year sales gain.
Chrysler Group finished the month with a 91 days supply of inventory (500,536 units). U.S. industry sales figures for November are internally projected at an estimated 16.3 million units Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR).
Last Updated on Thursday, 05 December 2013 13:22
Category: Business - Original Written by AJ Williams, Chronicle Web Editor
Ram 1500 Outclasses Competition with the Fuel Economy, Torque, Style and Amenities to Satisfy the Most Demanding Truck Buyers
Motor Trend has selected the Ram 1500 as its 2014 Truck of the Year®.
The announcement was made at the Chrysler Group LLC Warren Truck Assembly Plant in Michigan, the birthplace of Ram Trucks. A full report on Motor Trend’s comprehensive Truck of the Year testing will be featured on MotorTrend.com and in the February 2014 issue of Motor Trend.
Nine Truck of the Year contenders were put through an extensive battery of testing designed to evaluate virtually every aspect of each vehicle. In addition to the 2014 Ram 1500, the judges examined other all-new or significantly updated trucks the industry produced this year: the Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra, Ram Heavy Duty, and Toyota Tundra pickups; and the Ford Transit Connect, Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, Nissan NV200, and Ram ProMaster vans.
To determine which truck deserved top honors, the Motor Trend judges took the nine contenders to the Continental Tire Automotive Proving Grounds in Uvalde, Texas. There, the judges tested each truck’s performance with the following exercises:
1. Standard testing (without load): 0-60 mph and 1/4-mile acceleration, 60-0 mph braking, and maximum lateral grip.
2. Limit handling (without load): closed-course cornering, braking and acceleration.
3. Tow/payload testing: 0-60 acceleration repeated with trailers attached (pickups) or payload secured (vans), loaded to 75 percent of each truck’s maximum rating (as equipped)
4. Road looping: Highway and real-world replication.
At Continental’s 5,000-acre proving grounds, the team utilized the facility’s 8.5-mile high-speed oval, 15-acre dynamics pad, 1.1-mile dry-handling road course, and multi-surfaced ride road to evaluate each truck’s capabilities and expose strengths and weaknesses. Following the team’s intensive, weeklong evaluation in Uvalde, the trucks were shipped to Motor Trend headquarters in El Segundo, California, to undergo proprietary “Intellichoice Real MPG” fuel-economy testing. Using advanced technology including a weather station, GPS data-logger, and flow-rate and gas analyzers, Real MPG measures exhaust samples every second during an 88-mile drive to record accurate real-world fuel economy.
Once testing was completed, the judges convened to determine which truck would be crowned Truck of the Year. The winner is not chosen from a direct comparison against the other contenders, but rather as a result of how each contender measured up against the award’s six criteria: Design Advancement, Engineering Excellence, Efficiency, Safety, Value and Performance of Intended Function.
With the votes cast, the Ram 1500 clearly emerged as Motor Trend’s 2014 Truck of the Year. The judges were particularly impressed with the performance of the Ram 1500’s all-new EcoDiesel V-6 engine as well as its eight-speed TorqueFlite transmission, a combination that boasts a towing capacity of up to 9,200 pounds. Further, Motor Trend’s Real MPG testing supported what the team learned in Uvalde: None of the gas-powered half-ton trucks in this year’s competition – be they V-6 or V-8, 4x2 or 4x4 – could match the EcoDiesel’s mileage. After delivering observed fuel economy of 15 mpg under extreme testing at Continental’s proving grounds, the EcoDiesel continued to impress during the Real MPG test loop, returning the following frugal stats: 19/26/21 mpg city/highway/combined for the Laramie Longhorn Crew Cab 4x4 with a 3.92 rear axle and an even more notable 18/28/22 for the Lone Star Crew Cab 4x2 with a 3.55 rear axle.
The Ram’s optional air suspension system also scored high marks in Engineering Excellence, as it delivered a compliant ride and commendable handling no matter the terrain. In terms of design, the Ram 1500 impressed with its style, packaging, and interior ergonomics; notably, the Laramie Longhorn’s luxury aesthetics and real wood trim. The breadth of the lineup was another compelling factor. Whether outfitted as a basic workhorse or optioned up to a near-luxury hauler, the Ram 1500 provides all of the capability needed in a truck.
“For 2014 we had a large and highly competitive field of contenders for Motor Trend's Truck of the Year," said Edward Loh, Editor-in-Chief of Motor Trend. "At the end of the day, though, the Ram 1500 quickly rose to the top. Not only did it withstand our rigorous testing, it thoroughly impressed our judges with its vast array of standard and optional equipment, and, most notable, its fuel-efficient, segment-exclusive EcoDiesel V-6. With 420 lb-ft of torque and up to 28 ‘Real MPG’ highway, the EcoDiesel is a true game-changer. In fact it helped make Ram 1500 the Motor Trend 2014 Truck of the Year – and the only consecutive winner in the history of the award.”
"Half-ton truck customers have been asking for a diesel engine and Ram is the only truck manufacturer to answer the bell and deliver not only best-in-class fuel economy but also 9,200 pounds of towing capability," said Reid Bigland, President and CEO Ram Truck Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. "In a brutally competitive truck industry, the Ram 1500 is the only vehicle to ever win the Motor Trend Truck of the Year award two years in a row, reaffirming the fact that we have the best truck on the road."
Truck of the Year® is one of several coveted honors Motor Trend bestows on automakers, including Best Driver’s Car®, Sport/Utility of the Year®, and Car of the Year®. For more information on our 2014 Truck of the Year, visit motortrend.com, pick up the February 2014 issue of Motor Trend, or search the hashtags #MTTOTY on Twitter (@motortrend), Instagram (@motortrend), Facebook.com/motortrendmag and Google+ (plus.google.com/+motortrend).
Last Updated on Thursday, 05 December 2013 13:27
Category: Business - Original Written by Michigan Chronicle Staff
Delta Service Through Detroit Foundation, Inc., a non-profit serving metro Detroit, will open Twice Nice — an upscale resale shop — this month in Southfield. It will open for business at 8 a.m. on Black Friday, Nov. 29, at 26205 Greenfield Road, between 10 and 11 Mile Roads, just north of Lincoln. Profits will benefit community organizations through grants, as well as the public service programming of the foundation, in partnership with the Detroit Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
“This project provides a sustainable revenue source for the foundation, allowing us to continue to provide help to those in need in the Detroit metro area,” said DSTDFI President Jessye V. Franklin. “We have some fabulous items already and we’re looking for more.”
Startup monies for the venture were raised through foundation fundraisers, the pilot shop on ebay, and by DSTDFI board member contributions. The charitable fundraising business model also earned the support of the Michigan Women’s Foundation, which granted DSTDFI an Angel Micro Loan at the maximum level which is $35,000.
The upscale resale store will sell donated new and gently used clothes, accessories, furniture and other fashionable and home goods, and will be staffed predominately by volunteers. All items will be affordably priced and there’s something for everyone in the “Nice,” “Very Nice” and “Extremely Nice, Individually Priced” color-coded pricing structure. Holiday shopping hours are Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The Twice Nice project gives back to the community in more ways than one. The programming aspect of the venture is a long-term goal for a workforce development component — the opportunity to train metro Detroiters who desire a career in retail and/or retail management. DSTDFI will partner with a big box retailer to serve as an employee pipeline. Working for the nonprofit will also be an excellent opportunity for high school students to earn the community service hours that are required for their high school graduation.
Profits from Twice Nice will be reinvested in the community through direct grants to community-based nonprofits and through service projects. Funds will also support programming delivered by the Detroit Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
￼“This resale shop is unique,” said Mardi L. Woods, chair of the resale committee for the foundation. “Not only will it support access to goods in a clean, organized and accessible location, but the foundation will offer grants to other nonprofits that are doing work that responds directly to community need.”
The foundation is accepting donations of new and gently used goods on a continuing basis. For additional information, visit the website at www.twiceNICEresale.org or visit on Facebook.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 November 2013 16:00
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