Probably the only race that Buick and Jaguar would finish in a tie is the J.D. Power and Associates 2009 Vehicle Dependability StudySM (VDS), but both are on the top of the leader board this week. Each rank highest in vehicle dependability in a tie. Buick improves from a sixth-place ranking in 2008, while Jaguar improves from 10th place. Following in the top-five rankings this year are Lexus, Toyota and Mercury.
Toyota garners five segment awards for the Highlander, Prius, Sequoia, Solara, and Tundra. Lexus follows with four segment awards for the ES 330 (in a tie with the … Read more
DETROIT--While the switch to electric power steering will boost fuel economy, it also opens the door to driver-friendly features for Ford vehicles--specifically, parallel-parking assist and a torque-assist feature that reduces driver effort on crowned road surfaces.
By 2012, 90 percent of Ford's vehicles, including light-duty trucks, will be equipped with standard electric power steering, replacing hydraulic steering.
"It improves fuel economy by 3 to 5 percent--which, depending on the size of the vehicle and the engine, equates to somewhere between 0.4 and a full 1 mpg," said Ali Jammoul, chief engineer of North American chassis.
Ford is purchasing electric power steering systems from Delphi and TRW Automotive. Valeo provides the parking-assist module. … Read more
When Ford launched the Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner hybrids five years ago, the company hoped the SUVs would be a hit. Now, the vehicles remain the most fuel-efficient SUVs on the market. Yesterday, workers at Ford's Kansas City assembly plant celebrated a milestone as its 100,000th hybrid SUV rolled off the line.
The Ford Escape Hybrid SUV and Mercury Mariner Hybrid SUV deliver 34 mpg city driving, 31 mpg highway. The newest entries to Ford's hybrid lineup, the Fusion Hybrid and Milan Hybrid deliver 41 mpg city driving, 36 mpg highway, the most fuel-efficient midsize sedans … Read more
Exactly five months after the introduction of the quad-interface, external 4x Blu-ray burner, Other World Computing on Tuesday announced its latest upgrade to the Mercury Pro Blu-ray, which will now burn Blu-ray Discs at up to 8x.
This speed translates into about 2GB per minutes, meaning you can finish a double-sided disc (50GB) in about 25 minutes. Other than Blu-ray Discs, the new drive also writes DVDs (all formats) at up to 16x and CDs at up to 40x. Of course, like all burners, it can play back any of the formats it can record.
The new external drive also … Read more
The days of keeping a library of tapes or CDs in your car are over. You walk around with an MP3 player, so why shouldn't you be able to use it in your car? Today's MP3 players can hold your entire music collection, so you don't have to decide which tunes to bring with you. Today's cars let you easily plug in an iPod or MP3 player and have full control over the device through voice command or the car's touch screen, and that's much safer than trying to manipulate the small controls on … Read more
Just a year after it got an update, the Mercury Mariner Hybrid gets yet another update for 2009, but this one counts for a lot. Ford fits it with the best cabin tech available, which includes the excellent Sync system for integrating MP3 players and cell phones, along with Sirius Travel Link, giving you traffic information and gas prices right in the car. The Mariner Hybrid also gets a bigger gas engine than the previous model, but it doesn't bring the EPA mileage numbers down. During our testing, it didn't seem to make much difference either way.
Ford's SmartGauge system is set to debut on the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid. We've seen what it looks like and what it can do. I have to say that the SmartGauge looks great in pictures, but it looks so much better in motion.
I wonder how much of this will translate directly into production. The interface is slick, but the "efficiency leaves" feature seems sort of gimmicky, where a simple mpg readout would suffice.
Earlier we reported on the 2010 Ford Fusion, with photos of the model update. Today we have news of the hybrid version of the Fusion and the 2010 Mercury Milan, due to hit dealers in the first quarter of 2009. Both cars get a new generation of the full hybrid system currently used in the Ford Escape Hybrid and Mercury Mariner Hybrid. Ford isn't giving out many details about this new hybrid system beyond the fact that it will get 5 mpg more than the Toyota Camry Hybrid. However, Ford has shown off the instrument cluster for the cars, a new concept in helping driver's learn about their cars and achieve maximum fuel economy.
We've long been fascinated by the power flow animations in current hybrid cars, which show when power is coming from the electric motor of gas engine. Ford takes this idea a step further, placing LCDs on either side of the speedometer. Similar to concept cars we've seen at many car shows, the LCDs can be configured to show different kinds of information. Ford breaks the different standard displays down like this:
Inform: Fuel level and battery charge status Enlighten: Adds electric vehicle mode indicator and tachometer Engage: Adds engine output power and battery output power Empower: Adds power to wheels, engine pull-up threshold and accessory power consumption… Read more
The new Ford Fusion has been revealed and guess what, it still looks like a multiblade razor.
The three-bar grill has expanded beyond the frame of the headlamps and now dominates the front end of the vehicle. While the headlamps themselves shrink in size and become more aggressive and horizontal in orientation. The lower grill loses its horizontal bars to become a gaping maw.
Under the hood, the Fusion (and by association, the Mercury Milan) receives three powerplant options. The first is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that features fuel saving feature called Aggressive Deceleration Fuel Shut-off. Essentially, the system … Read more