There are a few pickups out in the market that can lay claim to the tag of a ‘performer’ on and off-road. And on this short list, the Ford Ranger is assured of a spot. With its durability, power and reliability no tough roads are difficult for the driver commanding the Ranger. And with a redesigned exterior propped up by tough exterior Ford Ranger accessories, the pickup is more than ready for the challenges presented by the outdoors.
There are a number of accessories that can be used for the exterior of the Ranger. And each of these accessories has a story to tell, and some roles to play on the pickup. When shopping for Ford Ranger accessories, you have to keep in mind first the kinds of activities that you are into. This way, you will know the right kind of accessories and you can prioritize which ones will suit your needs. If your most common weekend activity is hauling your family to the nearest camping site, then the Ford Ranger accessories that should be selected are those that support your weekend activities. Examples of these accessories are the bed caps and the bed rails. These accessories protect the flooring of the Ranger from the scratches and the dents that can be caused by the movement and the shifting of the cargoes. The caps and the rails are also effective protectors for the paint. The good thing about these accessories is that these can be custom-made, thus you can always ask for the right design and measurements for your Ranger needs. And speaking of exterior accessories that can make a pickup tougher, the bumpers should not be left out of the equation. Primarily situated in the front, bumpers that are constructed tough and using the right materials can serve as a buffer for the vehicle when doing hard work off road. You can consider the bumpers as your first line of defense against fender benders. And when chosen carefully, these bumpers can even add some styling touch to the Ford Ranger. The choices are just too many when it comes to Ford Ranger accessories and these practical accessories can be customized as well thus arming a Ranger can be both fun and satisfying.
Ford markets the Ford Ranger 2011 as the driver’s answer not just for highway driving but for off road adventures as well. The latest version improves on the last Ranger that has been issued. For the latest version of the pickup, enthusiasts and the drivers can count on a number of practical and helpful features, well-positioned controls and other convenient interior accessories that makes driving convenient and relaxing no matter how long the drive hours will be. The latest version of the Ranger is available in four models. Consumers can start with the well-appointed XL or they can always go for the high-end Wildtrak and there are three available cab configurations to choose from. Each of these models that are available in the market offers the drivers and the occupants with different degrees of relaxation and comfort.
A check with the interior of the 2011 Ford Ranger reveals convenience at its finest. The seats are fitted with hard wearing new fabric, thus these seats can be expected to last for a long time. Entertainment system has been noted by Ford as the Ranger comes with an integrated CD, radio and MP3 audio system. If the XLT is chosen, then the driver can expect more convenience with the introduction of the air conditioning system, high-end 6-CD/mp3 audio system that features aux-in connection and all that jazz and colors that ensure car-like comfort. Another trim that can be selected is the Thunder which offers two-tone black leather seats, a foot well and lighting on the rear passenger seat. But when it comes to top end trim, then the Ford Ranger Wildtrak is the obvious selection. The interior provides ample space and comfort is defined by the selection of perforated Alcantara seats and leather-wrapped steering wheel and the gear shift knob.
Performance-wise, the Ranger is packed with high-performing diesels. This series from Ford is fitted with the 2.5 liter Duratorq TDCi diesel engine. Thanks to this engine, the vehicle is allowed to deliver responsive acceleration and better than average fuel consumption. Drivers are given the choice between the manual transmission and the 5-speed automatic transmission. But if these features are not enough, then the choice should be the ‘Wildtrak’ since this comes with the 3.0 liter Duratorq TDCi engine.
We all know Toyota Prius- it’s the car that we usually associate with the words fuel-efficient and green vehicle. Well based on the latest Yahoo write-up, it seems that Toyoya Prius has some company and a better one at that. Enter Ford Fusion hybrid. According to USA Today, the 2010 Ford Fusion is the best gasoline-electric hybrid yet. This can be a sweeping statement that can knock Prius off its wheels. According to the paper, the Ford Fusion is known for its smooth ride and best-integrated gas-electric power system. The cost? Well, this car is pegged at $107,000 and according to the paper the Lexus LS 600h hybrid comes in next.
The latest innovation coming from Ford Motor has a powerful engine but with no wheels and doors. And this isn’t even the latest pick-up from the Ford pick-up series so don’t bother looking under the hood. The newest toy from the company is the Ford Motor Company’s Sync system that is located in the dash of 21 new cars, trucks and crossovers. Though small in size, the chip’s capability is immense since this is known as the speech engine.
The microchip will run on Microsoft software and the presence of the Sync’s speech engine is the key to delivering a fully integrated voice-activated in-car communications and entertainment system. What this means is that when you talk to your car, the car will hear you and it will do something constructive for you. For this technology to work inside your car, you need to whip out your Bluetooth-enabled cell phone or digital music player. Decide which one of the gadget you will use. If you are always on the go, then the Bluetooth-enabled phone is a wise choice. Pair or link your phone to Sync and this is as simple as connecting to a wireless Bluetooth handset. When the phone is hooked into the system, the Sync is ready to receive your voice commands.
Here is an example of the cadence of operations: Just press the ‘talking face’ button on the steering wheel and a computerized voice will respond by saying, ‘Please say a command’. Respond by saying ‘Phone’ then the Sync will say ‘Phone’. And depending on who you are calling, you can either say ‘Dial’ plus the digits or say ‘Call Home’. The call takes place using the car’s audio system.
The Democrats have signaled the move to propose a bail-out plan designed for the automotive industry. And now that the US Senate is about to tackle the plan this Monday, the Big Three are lobbying hard to get a piece of the bail-out pie. The amount that they are after? It’s $25 billion, enough to save them from big problems. On November 7, General and Motors said that they lost money in the third quarter. General Motors, the largest automaker in the US right now said that it lost $2.5 billion and added that it canceled its move to acquire Chrysler LLC. Ford Motor Co is another loser in the industry as it posted a $129 million loss in the third quarter and added that it will slash another 2,260 jobs.
The F-Series of Ford Motors is a series of full-size pick-up trucks that has been available in the market for more than five decades now. Of the many variants under the series, the Ford F-150 is the most popular. The F-150 is considered as the best-selling vehicle in the United States for 23 years now and the best-selling truck for 31 years but this does not include the combined sales of the GM pick-up trucks. It is estimated that the F-Series makes up almost half of the profits of Ford in recent years. But recent developments suggest that Ford’s F-Series may yield its tag as the best-selling vehicle in the country, at least for the month of May. When May sales figures started trickling in, it showed that the Ford F-Series lag its competition. The F-Series was outsold by four Japanese cars and what analysts see as reflection of current shifting consumer preferences. In the month of May, the Ford F-Series sales plummeted by 30.6 percent to 42,973 units as prices of oil continues to rise and car consumers turn to other options like the more fuel-efficient cars. The F-Series was produced in 11 generations now.
The series also features the 2008 Ford F-150 Foose Edition that debuted in the fall of 2007. This was made available in the market in 2008. The Foose Edition of the pick-up uses the Roush-developed powertrain. The pick-up can produce 450 horsepower and a 500 lb. ft of torque.
For more than 26 years now, the Ford F-150 pick-up of Ford Motors was considered as the best-selling vehicle, car or truck in the country. But this year, some things will definitely change. The pick-up is about to lose its top position to Toyota Camry, thus ceding its crown to the Toyota model as the best-selling vehicle, car or truck in the country. Since 1981, there is no passenger car, foreign or domestic that has outsold the F-150 or its ancestors for a full year. Within that time span, only a couple of single months were noted wherein the Chevy Silverado or the Ford Taurus has outsold the F-Series pick-up, partly due to incentives. So will this be the year where Ford F-150 will cede its post to a new-comer?
The May sales figures made this official. Based on some data, the Ford sold 42,972 F-Series trucks in May topped by Toyota Corolla at 52,826 and the Toyota Camry at 51,291. The Honda Civic on the other hand outsold both Toyota with 53,299 units.
Escalating oil price. Growing need to be environmentally-aware.
These are just two of the things that fuel car consumers and car manufacturers to drive up their research and development and focus on fuel efficient cars. In fact, the changing market conditions and realities has drove Ford Motors to re-assess its position and has seen its profits dwindle this year. General Motors and Chrysler has also the same problem since these manufacturers heavily relies on profits coming from pick-ups and SUVs. As we all know, with escalating oil prices, these gas guzzlers are the ones that take the hit. As a testament to the escalating prices of oil, the market saw the price of oil reaching $135 per barrel this week. Actually the price per barrel hit $135.09 but then fell back shortly to settle at $130.81 the moment the dollar strengthens. But even though its price continues to soar, demands for oil remains the same. As mentioned, another thing that prompts companies and car consumers to reconsider is the need to cut on emissions and the growing trend to be environmentally-aware. People right now seek vehicles that has some respect for the environment. These things are the ones that motivate car consumers to re-assess their options, to cut their consumptions or to change their mode of transport. The reactions of the consumers can be seen in sales figures right now, and the demand of vehicles. We all know now that Ford is one company that has realized the shift in dynamics. The fall of truck sales and the soaring of gas prices has led Ford to cut production and has led the company to realize less profits. But cutting production and anticipating less profits aren’t the only thing that these car companies do right now. The focus right now is to design, develop and mass-produce cars that pollute less and can go on for miles with the use of the least amount of gas. Enter the low carbon cars.
The low-down on low carbon cars.
Low carbon cars, or simply those cars that pollute less are the rage right now in the market, and advocated by environmental engineers. In fact, these engineers call for government support for this initiative. They said that the government needs to pump extra cash from fuel duty so that this may reduce our dependency on fossil fuels. A number of groups call for a carbon emissions cut to 80 g per kilometer by 2020. Automakers has responded and they are now developing vehicles that go that way- the way of low carbon cars.
General Motors is taking a lead right now, though Toyota thru its Toyota Prius has been in the business for some time and has been successful. Aside from Toyota and General Motors, we also have Honda, Nissan and Ford. Ford is expected to deliver its very own hybrids that will join the Ford Escape SUV in the Ford’s gasoline-electric line-up. At the heart of the Honda’s technology will be the Eco Boost engines that can generate plenty of power and better fuel economy. * More on Eco Boost in later postings. Nissan on the other hand plans to dip its fingers on the hybrid industry by 2010.
Then there’s General Motor’s Chevrolet Volt. The Volt is by far the sexiest green car of GM. Expect to see the Volt before the year ends in Paris and actual production vehicle can be seen by 2010. This sedan is expected to run for 40 miles before the small gasoline engine takes stage and recharge the battery for another 600 miles. For longer trips, it is expected that the Volt can deliver 100 miles per gallon. For General Motors, it isn’t just the Volt. An 80 mpg version of the Saturn Vue SUV is in the works as well and this will be delivered by next year. The Vue will be the first plug-in hybrid in the US once it debuts in the market. * More on plug-in hybrids on later postings.
These move by these companies is sure to address the needs for fuel efficient and eco-friendly cars. And most of the targets by these companies are pegged on 2010. So we will see by then if these vehicles can make a significant impact. But right now, we see oil prices surging ahead, going to record highs.
Looks like the high price of gas is here to stay. And Ford sees the writings on the wall. The demand for their vehicles have been going down, no thanks to escalating gas prices. It’s a market shift they say, and Ford says that it is scaling down its production. A big reversal after the company has announced a surprising first quarter profits. But it isn’t just Ford who feels the pinch of the times. General Motors and Chrysler also saw their market affected. This is because these two companies heavily relies on profits delivered by their trucks and SUVs. The changing face of the market saw a diminished popularity for SUVs and trucks as consumers find ways to address escalating gas prices. Ford said that they would drastically scale back production and step-up cost-cutting efforts in response to the sharp drops in sales and sport utility vehicles. Ford has now forecasted that the industry demand for cars and light trucks will stand at 14.7 million 10 15.1 million vehicles and this figure is considered as the lowest in more than a decade. Alan Mullaly, chief executive of Ford said that they saw a real change in the industry demand in pickups and SUVs in the first two months of May. He added that this seems to be a tipping point. One indicator of the market performance is the sales of pickups. Pickup sales are closely tied to housing and construction activity. Last year the sales of pickups accounted to 14 percent of the US market, but this year the figure is down to 9 percent.
As a response, Ford will cut down its North American production by 15 percent in the current quarter, as well as 15 to 20 percent in the third quarter and 2 to 8 percent in the fourth quarter. Though production of pickups and SUVs will be cut, it is expected that Ford will increase its output of more fuel-efficient models like the Focus and the Fusion.
*Picture above is a 2008 Ford Focus
This is the first vehicle of Ford Motors to debut on primetime, and not on Detroit or Geneva auto show mind you. The move of Ford Motors was to tap the immense popularity of the American Idol and of course gain access to more than 20 million viewers. So what’s the Ford Focus coupe 2009 has to offer? John Felice of Ford Division group characterize the Ford Focus as a little car that can deliver in a big way. He said that the Ford Focus is fun to drive, has strong quality and priced just right. It comes in with 35 miles per gallon, just the right car for those who wants to save.
The new 2009 Focus that will be delivered this year offer new front and rear fascias, standard integrated foglamps, chrome grille and the headlamp accents. For the Focus SES, it will come with a standard high-mounted spoiler, and the SE version of the Focus on the other hand features deck lid spoiler. The new dark chrome 17-inch aluminum wheels complete the looks and the design of the SES trim. The 2009 Ford Focus coupe features a 2.0 liter inline four cylinder engine that can provide you with 143 horsepower when combined with the five-speed manual transmission; and 140 horsepower if combined with the four-speed automatic. The 2009 Focus SES coupe also features more horsepower and a throatier sound, courtesy of the sport-tuned exhaust. There is a new option on the 2009 version of the Focus, and that’s the electronic stability control or the ESC that uses sophisticated sensros and the anti-lock braking system that can help correct skids that we know leads to accidents.
Aside from the 2.0 liter Duratec 20 dual-overhead cam DOHC inline 4-cylinder engine, there’s the super clean, 130 horsepower Duratec 20E engine as well. This engine qualifies as a Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle or PZEV. tailpipe emissions of this car is way cleaner that some of the hybrid gas-electric vehicles out there. Also getting an attention on the Focus is the SYNC standard. This technology will come as a standard on the SES series and an option on the SE. This technology is a fully integrated in-vehicle, voice activated communications and entertainment system for drivers to use their Bluetooth cellphones and other digital media players. This technology was first introduced on the Focus 2008 and was received well by consumers.
This car will be available later this summer and will come with a sticker price of $15,920.00.