Nov 04

2014 Ford Mustang GT Convertible to Gain Supercar Status at SEMA Show

2014 Ford Mustang GT Convertible

While no one would accuse the production 2014 Ford Mustang GT convertible of lacking in power, Ford has teamed up with custom tuners Hollywood Hot Rods to give the model the performance of supercars that can cost several times as much. Created for the SEMA Show running from Nov. 5 through Nov. 8 in Las Vegas, the Hollywood Hot Rods Mustang GT convertible incorporates a Ford Racing Whipple supercharger and a Banks Power water-methanol injection system into its 5.0-liter V8 engine to generate an estimated 750 horsepower.

Hollywood Hot Rods ensured all that power can be properly harnessed on the road by outfitting the special Mustang GT convertible with a Cortex Racing X-treme grip track suspension that features a rear Watts linkage and torque arm. Meanwhile, the use of StopTech six-piston brakes and JRI coilover dampers at all four corners helps keep the tires under control at high speeds.

“The Hollywood Hot Rods model slated for SEMA shows that the Mustang GT convertible is capable of handling extreme performance that might be lost on some of its competitors,” said Jim McGovern, general manager of Ford of Londonderry, a New Hampshire Ford dealer near Manchester. “Not to mention, the custom tuners spent a lot of time massaging the Mustang’s iconic design to highlight the car’s endless potential in the aftermarket.”

Hand-crafted during 250 hours of labor, an all-aluminum lift-off roof adorns the black Hollywood Hot Rods Mustang GT convertible, complementing a completely reshaped tail section. In fact, every custom body modification is made of aluminum, including the front splitter, side scoops, skirts and diffuser.

Though drivers won’t be able to take home the Hollywood Hot Rods model, the production 2014 Mustang GT convertible offers a more-than-sufficient mix of performance and style. The 5.0-liter V8 engine churns out 420 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque while still netting up to 26 mpg on the highway. Outside, buyers get a GT-exclusive grille and splitter, HID headlamps, LED sequential rear taillights and a dual stainless-steel exhaust with bright rolled tips.

“With its Mustang GT models, Ford has done an excellent job of retaining massive V8 power for muscle-car purists while modernizing them with sleeker styling and more miles per gallon,” added McGovern. “That means that new generations of driving enthusiasts will get to fall in love with the Mustang just like their parents and grandparents did.”

Nov 01

Hottest Car and Hottest Truck at SEMA Are Both Fords

The 2012 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show, taking place this year from Oct. 30 through Nov. 2 in Las Vegas, is under way, and there are plenty of impressively modified vehicles on display. And while aftermarket parts manufacturers can practically choose any vehicle they want to showcase their products, the Ford Mustang and Ford F-Series pickup truck were the most popular car and truck this year.

This was the first year for the Ford Mustang to receive the “Hottest Car” award, while it was the third consecutive “Hottest Truck” award for the F-Series. To determine the award winners, SEMA officials counted the number of new 2012 and 2013 vehicles exhibited in the booths, and more Mustangs and F-Series pickups were on display than any other car or truck. A few of the modified vehicles included a 2013 Ford Mustang by M2-Motoring, which incorporated some of the best features of each generation of Mustang into one vehicle, and a 2013 Ford F-150 FX2 Sport Super Cab by Truckin’ Magazine, which offered a lowered stance, upgraded interior and custom stripe kit.

We’ve been talking about the many modified Ford vehicles at SEMA at our Ford dealership in Massachusetts for a while now, and we’re not surprised that so many manufacturers chose the Mustang and the F-Series to show off their products. Come down to Watertown Ford to test-drive SEMA’s hottest vehicles and see just how impressive they are, even in stock form!

Aug 29

Ford Creates One-Off Mustang to Remember Carroll Shelby

The extended Ford family lost a legend this past spring when Carroll Shelby passed away, and to honor the performance-car pioneer’s memory, the automaker has developed the one-off 2013 Shelby GT500 Cobra. Based on the production 2013 Shelby GT500, the tribute Ford Mustang adds a supercharger to boost output to 850 horsepower, as well as a Shelby American wide-body kit and the same blue-with-white-stripes exterior finish that marked many of the original Cobra roadsters.

After earning success as a racer in the 1950s, Carroll Shelby conceptualized the original Shelby Cobra in the early 1960s, linking a sports car from British specialist automaker AC Cars with a Ford V8 engine. Ford provided financial support for Shelby’s Cobras through 1965, and the partnership continued that decade with the development of new Ford performance cars, including the GT40 and Mustang variants like the Shelby GT350 and GT500. The Shelby nameplate was revived for the 2007 model year for high-performance Mustangs, and Carroll Shelby had the idea to turn a 2013 GT500 into a true Cobra before his passing.

“Carroll Shelby really changed the way the industry looks at muscle cars, and the Shelby GT500 Cobra represents a lot of the design and engineering innovation that he encouraged during his years of working with Ford,” said Jim McGovern, general manager of Ford of Londonderry, a New Hampshire Ford dealer. “To this day, the Shelby name is instantly associated with superior performance, and we expect the nameplate to be out on the road for decades to come.”

Another modified Ford Mustang will be garnering attention this fall at the 2012 SEMA Show as the first to be customized entirely by a team of women. Part of the SEMA Mustang Build Powered by Women project, a custom 2013 Mustang GT called High Gear was the top vote-getter of three female-created designs, and a team of more than 20 women are bringing the car to life.

Created by Jennifer Seely in Ford’s design department, the silver High Gear Mustang GT aims to fuse the ideas of luxury and power, using rose-gold chrome accents inside and out, as well as high-end quilted suede and leather upholstery. Immediately following its reveal at SEMA on Oct. 30, the High Gear car will be donated by Ford and auctioned on eBay to raise money for the SEMA Memorial Scholarship fund, which supports the next generation of automotive aftermarket leaders.

Even driving enthusiasts that don’t plan to attend SEMA this year can dream up their own customized Mustang by using the redesigned 2013 Ford Mustang Customizer app for iOS and Android phones and tablets. Once users have created their personalized Mustang, they can enter it into battle mode, where it can be voted on by other users to earn points and badges. Meanwhile, another new feature called the drift challenge lets friends compete against each other for the fastest times on nine courses.

“Regardless of whether you ever plan to really make your own Mustang, Ford’s Customizer app can be a whole lot of fun among fellow enthusiasts,” added McGovern. “Still, the technology also helps Mustang fans wrap their head around just how many possibilities there are to make the pony car their own, and I’m sure it has given drivers some ideas that have come to life in their garage.”

 

May 02

Ford Mustang Cleans Up in Edmunds.com’s Best Retained Value Awards

 Residual value may not be at the top of every sports-car buyer’s list, but Mustang owners can rest assured that their pony car will be worth more when it comes time to trade it in at their local Ford dealership. Edmunds.com recently published its 2012 Best Retained Value Awards, with the 2012 Ford Mustang, Shelby GT500 coupe and Shelby GT500 convertible all winning their categories thanks to their low depreciation.

Overall, Ford led all auto brands with five category wins in Edmunds.com’s Best Retained Value Awards, including nods for the 2012 F-150 in the Large Light Duty Truck category and the 2012 F-350 Super Duty in the Large Heavy Duty Truck category. Meanwhile, the Ford Mustang took the Coupe $25K-$35K category, and the two Shelby GT500 models topped the Coupe Over $45,000 and Convertible Over $45,000 segments.

“Retained value is a good indicator of quality, reliability and desirability, which are three traits the Mustang has in spades,” said Peter King, general manager of Watertown Ford, a Massachusetts Ford dealer. “We often focus on power and speed when talking about sports cars, but getting more money back when you trade in makes the Mustang more than just an emotional purchase; it makes it a smart buy too.”

Edmunds.com named winners in 23 different market segments based on projected residual value after five years of ownership, which was expressed as a percentage the vehicle’s original True Market Value. Eligible models had to have been released before the end of 2011 for the 2012 model year, and their unit sales in February 2012 needed to be at least 20 percent of the average unit sales for models in their segment. Edmunds.com projects that the 2012 Mustang will retain 46.8 percent of its value after five years, while the Shelby GT500 coupe and convertible are expected to retain 47.5 percent and 46.5 percent of their original values, respectively.

The Ford Mustang recently got a refresh for the 2013 model year, adding more aggressive styling to the already imposing sports car. Currently on sale at dealerships, the 2013 Mustang features a more prominent grille, high-intensity headlights and three high-tech LED bars for taillights. Meanwhile, a newly sculpted hood makes room for the Mustang’s strongest attribute: its engines. Even the standard Mustang comes with 305 horsepower, while the 2013 Mustang GT pumps out 420 horsepower with its 5.0-liter V8, an eight-horsepower improvement from the 2012 model.

Those with a thirst for only the highest performance will want the new 2013 Ford Shelby GT500, which goes on sale this month as a coupe and later this summer as a convertible. Featuring what Ford claims is the most powerful production V8 engine in the world, the 2013 Shelby GT500 pumps out an incredible 662 horsepower and 631 pound-feet of torque through its supercharged 5.8-liter unit. While the regular Mustang comes with a manual or automatic transmission, the Shelby GT500 is only available with a Tremec six-speed manual gearbox, helping to solidify the elite muscle car’s reputation among driving enthusiasts.

“Chevy has a long road ahead if they think they can one-up Ford when it comes to power,” King noted. “The Shelby GT500 has the new Camaro ZL1 beat by 82 horsepower. It is the king of the pony cars right now, and we don’t see that changing anytime soon.”

 


Jan 25

Ford Set to Reintroduce Turbocharged Mustang

 

Like pickup owners, American muscle-car enthusiasts have long had a thing for large, loud V8 engines. However, with the fast-growing success of the smaller, turbocharged EcoBoost engine in the F-150 pickup, Ford has decided to try one on for size in an upcoming Mustang. Recently confirming at the Detroit Auto Show that the muscle car is in the works, Ford has only gone as far to say that the turbocharged Mustang will reach Ford dealerships in the “very near future.”

A turbocharged Ford Mustang was last seen in the lineup as the Mustang SVO, which was produced from 1984 to 1986. Offering similar power to V8 models, the Mustang SVO proved that its turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder drivetrain was capable of hanging with larger displacement engines, but purists remained loyal to the conventional eight-cylinder powertrain.

“Times have changed, and an EcoBoost-powered Mustang could really take off with its combination of power and fuel efficiency,” said Jim McGovern, general manager of Ford of Londonderry, a New Hampshire Ford dealer. “We’ve already seen more than 40 percent of F-150 buyers go with the EcoBoost model, and if there’s any group that is slow to move away from V8 engines, it’s the truck crowd.”

The 2012 Ford F-150 EcoBoost is powered by a 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged engine with 365 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque, providing all the power of a V8 while using less gas. As the largest member of the EcoBoost family, the 3.5-liter V6 is just one of the potential options for the Mustang EcoBoost. Car and Driver magazine’s best guess is that the pony car will feature a four-cylinder similar to the 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine slated for the upcoming 247-horsepower 2013 Ford Focus ST. In that case, the publication asserts that the Mustang’s EcoBoost engine would be a third drivetrain option rather than a replacement for either of the existing V6 and V8 powerplants.

While big changes may be coming further down the line, the 2013 Ford Mustang will receive its own set of updates to improve performance and usability when it goes on sale early this year. Tops on the list with muscle-car fans should be the new Mustang GT’s power boost, with its tweaked 5.0-liter V8 now set to produce 420 horsepower, an increase of 8 horsepower compared to the 2012 model year.

On the outside, the 2013 Mustang gets a more aggressive front-end treatment, which includes a front splitter, revised headlights and a new hood with functional heat extractors to help keep engine temperatures down. The Mustang’s taillights are now bordered by strips of LEDs in a new glossy black panel that runs across the car’s width. Ford has even included “pony projection lights” on the exterior mirrors that project the Mustang logo on the ground when the doors are unlocked.

“Today’s Mustang is a meticulous mix of retro design and modern technology,” McGovern added. “You get the looks of the classic Mustang, but with modern, powerful engines and features like the Ford SYNC infotainment system that would have seemed like science fiction when the car first debuted.”

 

Nov 30

Ford Takes Aim at Chevy with 650-Horsepower Shelby GT500

To stay relevant in a competition you have to raise the bar for your competitors, and Ford aims to do exactly that with its 2013 Shelby GT500, unveiled to Ford fans at the LA Auto Show last month. Making its way to Ford dealerships next year, the Shelby’s 650 horsepower will surpass that of its upcoming rival, the 2012 Chevy Camaro ZL1.

The Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 achieves its 650 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque through the use of an aluminum 5.8-liter V8 engine that, according to Ford, is the most powerful production V8 in the world. In comparison, the Camaro ZL1, which made its debut at the Chicago Auto Show in February, hosts an engine with more displacement but less power: a 580-horsepower 6.2-liter V8.

“Chevy challenged Ford when it debuted the Camaro ZL1, and Ford answered in a big way with the new Shelby,” said Jim McGovern, general manager of Ford of Londonderry, a New Hampshire Ford dealer. “Of course, the media’s focus is always on horsepower, but the Shelby outperforms the ZL1 in so many other ways that there really is no question about who has come out on top this round.”

Beyond its advantage over the Camaro ZL1 in horsepower, the new Shelby GT500 is lighter at 3,850 pounds. That is heavy enough to help the range-topping Mustang achieve a top speed of more than 200 mph, but light enough to keep the car’s fuel economy out of reach of the gas-guzzler tax, which will be applied to the Camaro ZL1. To keep Chevy on its toes, Ford also gave the Shelby’s drivetrain a larger and more efficient supercharger, new cross-drilled engine block and cylinder heads, a new carbon-fiber driveshaft, revised camshaft profiles and an updated clutch, transmission and axle.

Although Ford put a great deal of effort into improving the Shelby GT500 specifically, the automaker will be updating its entire 2013 Ford Mustang lineup next year with an available new technology called Track Apps. Designed to be used by enthusiasts during their time spent on the racetrack, Ford’s Track Apps delivers detailed performance metrics to the driver in real time through a 4.2-inch LCD screen.

Measuring acceleration time, g force and stopping time and distance, Track Apps saves best times on a results screen for those that want to push the limit a little further each time at the track. The app can also relay specs like air-to-fuel ratio, cylinder head temperature, inlet air temperature, oil temperature and transmission temperature. While Mustang drivers are less likely to be concerned with fuel economy than performance, the productivity screen can also instantly calculate the vehicle’s average mpg.

“Nobody knows if Ford’s engineers would have come up with a 650-horsepower engine if Chevy hadn’t pushed to reach 580 horsepower first, but Ford nevertheless continues to raise the bar with Track Apps and each new subsequent upgrade,” added McGovern. “It will be interesting to see how Chevy responds to the new Shelby GT500. Until they do, Ford fans will have bragging rights.”

Sep 08

Ford Reduces Environmental Impact with Soy


Ford, which has already reduced its petroleum oil usage by more than 3 million pounds annually and its carbon dioxide emissions by more than 15 million pounds, continues to sweep away its environmental footprint with the introduction of a new and more sustainable headrest foam. By replacing 25 percent of the polyol found in vehicle headrests with soy, Ford will further its mission to lessen its impact on the environment.

Seventy-five percent of all Ford vehicles built in North America contain bio-based foam in the headrests; all North American-built Ford vehicles contain bio-foam in the seat backs and cushions. In fact, the 2008 Mustang was the first Ford vehicle to feature soybean oil-derived foam in its seats, proving that the alternative to petroleum-based foam could surmount stringent safety standards. Other places Ford might consider placing future bio-foam material include steering wheels, armrests and energy-absorption areas.

Ford partners with Lear Corporation to create the SoyFoam compound and research other possible environmentally-friendly interior alternatives. Being up to 24 percent more renewable than petroleum-based foam, SoyFoam naturally was the better choice for headrest material. Already a hit with the environment, it has also been granted approval by consumers who continue to purchase Ford vehicles from their local New England Ford dealerships.

Jun 28

Massachusetts Ford Dealer Stoneham Ford Contributes to High Five Tour

 

STONEHAM, MASS. – This summer, Colonel John Folsom, United States Marine Corps (retired) embarked on an important mission. Setting out in a 2011 Shelby Mustang GT500, Colonel Folsom plans to meet as many Americans as possible to thank them for their support of military families and raise funds for the mission of Wounded Warriors Family Support (http://woundedwarriorsfamilysupport.org/). Folsom’s organization helps families of soldiers who have been wounded, injured or killed during combat operations.

The High Five Tour is making its way across the country and visiting Ford dealerships like Stoneham Ford, which will be making a $2,000 contribution to the organization’s fundraising efforts during its Boston area stop on Thursday, June 30th.

“We are thrilled to have Colonel Folsom visit our dealership during his drive through Massachusetts,” said Alan Melkonian, owner and general manager of Stoneham Ford. “We have enormous respect for what he is trying to accomplish. The brave men and women of our armed services need our support and so do their families, so we are pleased to have this opportunity to give a little something back to them.”

“I am grateful for Ford’s support of the tour and for Stoneham Ford’s donation,” said Colonel John Folsom. “Soldiers and their families need our help to cope with the physical, psychological and spiritual stress that war causes. With generous donations like this, we can continue our mission.”

The High Five Tour will be visiting Stoneham Ford around noon this Thursday. For additional information on the High Five Tour, visit: http://www.highfivetour.com/ 

Jun 10

Ford’s Focus on Safety Pays Off

WATERTOWN, MASS. — New car buyers browsing at Ford dealers should feel increasingly assured that no matter their preference in size, style or other specs, their choice will have safety covered. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently issued its eighth Top Safety Pick to a current Ford model, this time to the 2012 Ford Focus.

The strong, yet lightweight frame of the Ford Focus helped the car to achieve top ratings of good in each of four safety tests from the IIHS, including front, rear, side and rollover impact evaluations. While 13 small cars were evaluated by the IIHS, only six vehicles earned a Top Safety Pick. The Dodge Caliber, Honda’s CR-Z and Insight hybrids, Nissan’s Sentra and Versa, the Scion xD, and the Suzuki SX all fell short of the prestigious industry honor.

“Ford is serious about cutting down on weight in their new cars and trucks, but they’re not sacrificing crashworthiness,” said Peter King, general manager of Greater Boston Ford dealer Watertown Ford. “With federal requirements mandating greater fuel economy than ever before, lightweight materials are the future of all Fords, but light doesn’t have to mean slight.”

Engineers of the 2012 Ford Focus put a priority on increasing the vehicle’s strength while reducing weight, improving fuel efficiency through reduced mass while maintaining a chassis capable of taking a beating. They succeeded with new fabrication techniques and the use of high-strength steels, which make up 55 percent of the Ford Focus’ body. Ultra-strong boron steel accounts for 31 percent of this steel make-up, more than any other vehicle in Ford’s lineup.

Capable of returning 40 mpg on the highway with the SFE package, the 2012 Ford Focus proves that strength and economy can be achieved in one tidy package. While the vehicle uses its small size to its advantage, the Focus hatchback still provides 44.8 of cargo space when the back seats are folded down, enough to fit a month’s worth of groceries or a pair of large dogs, and nearly as much as some mid-size wagons. Drivers can also maintain some peace and quiet with extensive sound insulation and a laminated acoustic windshield that drastically cut down on wind noise.

Ford’s smart thinking extends into the available technology in the Focus, like the automaker’s SYNC voice-activated communications system that controls the stereo, Bluetooth-enabled phones and popular MP3 players. Meanwhile, navigation with SIRIUS Travel Link gives Focus drivers 3D mapping and up-to-the-moment traffic information. With the class-exclusive Parking Technology Package, the Focus will even parallel park itself.

“The Focus defies conventional wisdom about what a compact car should be,” King added. “No other compact car can park itself, and features like acoustic glass are something you don’t normally get in a car until you’re spending twice what a Focus costs. But that’s the charm of the Focus – you get more for less.”

The other current Ford models to receive a Top Safety Pick from the IIHS include the 2011 Ford Explorer, Flex, Fusion and Taurus, as well as Ford Edge and F-150 models built after February 2011 and Fiesta models built after July 2010.

May 02

There’s nothing like cruising with the top down

Spring’s cool grasp is slowly loosening on New England, and that means convertible season is just days away. In times like this what could be better than a new Ford Mustang convertible.

Waft away on a surge of torque from either the 305 horsepower V6 or the 412 horsepower five-liter V8, both of which are available as drop tops. What could be better than walking out of the office after a long day, dropping the roof on your new Mustang and leaving your stress behind as the sun and breezes put a smile on your face.

Don’t think that the lack of a roof means the Mustang can’t handle, Ford engineers have made sure the chassis is solid as a rock. And just look at it; what an awesome tribute to the Mustangs of yesteryear.

Another benefit of the drop-top experience, you get to hear that fantastic all American exhaust note even more clearly than in the coupe version. It’s hard to say no to that. Whether it’s a drive to the beach with friends or a blast around country lanes, the Mustang convertible is an eager friend when it comes to finding fun.

So if you’re looking for some summer fun, stop by a New England Ford dealership and take a look at the new Mustang convertibles, you won’t be disappointed.

I’ll have mine in red, please.