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Sunday, 26 April 2015

Gentlemen, Start Your Engines!

> Catwalk Mustangs <

The Ford Motor Company is one of the top five largest and oldest car manufactures in the global automotive industry, certainly one of the leaders; it has a long-standing and tumultuous history. The company's brands include Ford and Lincoln, they sell automobiles and commercial vehicles under the Ford brand and their luxury cars under the Lincoln brand. Founded in 1903 in Detroit USA by Henry Ford, who in 1896 created the Quadricycle and influenced the Fordism of the 19th century. In 1913 he took over the engineering and creation of the assembly line working methodology, to simplify and reduce the production times and costs of the Model-T, dubbed "Tin Lizzy", from 12 hours to only 1,5 hours. By 1927 more than 15 million vehicles were produced and sold. In 1966 the Ford GT 40 models became world famous when they won the LeMans 24 hour Race threee times in a row from 1966 until 1968, they dominated their opposition and broke Ferrari's winning strike who had won this race from 1960 to 1965 consecutively. Style icons like the Ford Mustang and various models of the Ford GT 40 are still very sought after today, and they are in a very high demand for collectors all over the world. In 2012,a GT 40 sold for more than 9 Million And not least for their starring roles on the big screen in movies like: "Gone in 60 seconds", both "LeMans and Bullit" starring Steve McQueen, and many other film/television shows, that made them very damous, timeless and immortal. 
The presentation by Ford at the Geneva Motor Show 2015 had a clear focus to demonstrate Performance and Sportiness. In a very spectacular and entertaining show, the Ford demo drivers started their engines to showcase their ultra-sporty and exclusive stallions around the circus-type arena. One by one, more than 1000 horsepower made its way onto the ring. Mouth-watering models like the Ford GT, the Ford Focus RS, the new Mustang Fastback Coupe and the Convertible too, the Ford Focus ST and the Fiesta ST.
The cars entered the arena in a very elegant and choreographed fashion show, in a disciplined and synchronised manner, almost like a Dressage routine at the Equestrian Show or Horse Ballet, it was wonderful to see. There were a few other rare classic style icons spotted in the arena too, just before one of the hosts Ex-Formula 1 driver Johnny Herbert opened the show, I caught sight of a Ford Mustang and a Forf GT 40. Ford were certainly in good company with Europa Chef Jim Fairly, Ken Block the rally driver, and Raj Nair, the Vice President and Chief Technical Officier at the Ford Motor Company, who actually launched the show.

I first came to know of Ford's phenomenal design skills in January of this year, when one of my Canadien friends, a vivid automobile enthusiat, posted pictures of this new Ford GT on my Facebook wall.
I was instantly attracted to this very good looking car, which could easily be compared to a Lamborghini as a supercar.  I was most surprised because of the narrow-minded image I would usually attribute to Ford, as being a manufacturer of small to medium middle-class family cars with no real affiliation to extraordinary supercars. So I was very excited to see this car live at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show. 
The Ford GT supercar will be produced in a limited edition to run and will be constructed in a very lightweight carbon fibre bodywork; it will also have active aerodynamics and will be fitted with a twin-turbo V6 EcoBoost engine. It will produce more than 600 HP, but will achieve remarkable low fuel consumption figures, and will be topped off with a selective seven-speed dual clutch transmission.

The chassis features an active racing style torsion bar with adjustable ride height, and a carbon ceramic braking system. No price tag has been officially released yet, however Raj Nair mentioned in his presentation that it might be oriented towards to the Lamborghini Aventador as a main competitor for performance and price.
The Focus RS is a high- performance rally style sports car, that combines both road and racing characteristics, and is fitted with very powerful brakes, zero-lift aerodynamics and a 2.3 litre EcoBoost V4 engine, which delivers more than 320 HP.
Other performance features are the new All-Wheel-Drive system (AWD), with Dynamic Torque Vectoring, various selectable driving modes like: Normal. Sport, Track and Drift. It's an industry-first "Drift" mode, that supports controlled over steer drifts on road and asphalt. Another ultimate performance attribute is the "Launch Control" function. It configures the vehicle's chassis and powertrain systems, to deliever the best traction and fastest possible acceleration from a standing start. The driver selects the Launch Control function, engages first gear, applies full trottle and then releases the clutch. The vehicle automaticially delievers by the optimum drive by distributing torque trough the AWD, and maintaining maximum torque using the turbo over boost function; it manages the traction control system and the damper settings. The new Focus RS is the 30th car to adorn the RS "Rally Sport" badge and follows the footsteps of past automotive legends like the Escort RS 1600 (1970), the Sierra RS Cosworth (1985), and the Escort RS Cosworth (1992) .
Both models were developed by the newly established "Team Performance", which is a collaboration of the (US) tuning division SVT, the European RS (Rally Sport) Team, and Ford Racing. The purpose of this new division is to create unique performance vehicles, parts and accesoires, and also providing an extraordinary customer experience. By 2020 the team is hoping to complete a series of 12 "Performance" models, which will set new trends in the sporting sector of Ford vehicles. This particular series kicks-off with the Ford GT and te Ford Focus RS. Any new technology and innovations developed by "Team Performance" will influence and inspire any future and upcoming Ford vehicles and beyond.
Also making an appearance was the brand-new version of the Fiesta ST that was already introduced in 2013, it comes in a very sportive style and is fitted with a 1,6 litre EcoBoost petrol engine, producing 182 HP, and will boost the car from 0-60 mph in 6,9 seconds. Some driving and security features were revised to give the driver much better handling, like 'Enhanced Torque Vectoring Control' and a triple mode 'Electronic Stability Control'.  The inspiration for developing the Ford Fiesta ST was the ideology to try and revive all the sporting prowess, precise handling and the driveability to the 1989 Ford XR2i.

The latest version of the Ford Focus ST (Sports Technology) comes in a more agresssive sporty style, and is powered by a 2.0 litre diesel engine that delivers 185 HP, and it's very close on performance to the much proven 2.0 litre EcoBoost petrol engine. It will be offered in both five-door and wagon body styles, additional features for driving assistence, the SYNC2 connectivity system and much more.
The American Mustang will now be offered the first time to the European market, it comes in two versions, the Fastback Coupe model and the convertible model. It offers two engine variations, a 5.0 litre V8 with a 418 HP and a 2.3 litre EcoBoost turbo engine, capable of delievering 314 Hp, there is also a choice between a six-speed manual gearbox and fully automatic transmission.
The car will be fitted with a standard package that includes features like: 19-inch wheels, the performance brake package, and the Ford SYNC2 voice control connectivity with a modern 8-inch touchscreen. There will be at least ten exciting colours available, from a very fashionable yellow or orange ensemble, to a very elegant dark-blue. 

Summary                                                 

For me to see the circus arena presentation as a spectator was probably the highlight of the day thus far, I was quite astute enough and fortunate to record some short videos of the Ford spectacle.
A big "thumbs up" to Ford for such an incredibly smart and engaging method to welcome all the new arrivals. Unfortunately I could only attend the official press days for a day and a half, it was probably a little short to actually savour the whole ambience and I actually  missed the debut of two racing models on the Ford stand: The Fiesta R2 rally car, which is fitted with a 1.0 litre EcoBoost engine, and the MSA Formula single-seater car, that is fitted with a 1,6 litre Ford EcoBoost engine.

With the freshest full line-up of automobiles of all the manufactures of the show, from the small city cars, and the family hatchbacks and saloons, from American muscle cars, to a supercar for track and the street, Ford has approached a modern target market which will bring standards for safety, design, performance and sportiness.
I was very much enjoyed the visible design details like the agressive front radiator grilles, the round noses and the wide front valance with integrated spotlights. I would relish the opportunity to test drive the Ford Focus RS and its "Drift-Mode", now that I have discovered my passion for motorsport, speed and drifting. I' m sure this would be a blast.
Styling Advise for the Man who will drive a Ford car                                               
The subject of "Sportmanship and Sportiness" is for me personally an attitude towards life, and without it the fashion and lifestyle world would cease to exist.
In each trend and colour study it is the primary component and it stands out for its various details like casualness and cool-like indifference.
But most importantly is the unique individual styling, and in my opinion Ford managed the selection of the vehicle line-up and the choreography with great success, Let's wait and see what kind of automotive design pleasures and surprises the 'Performance Division' can produce in the upcoming years. That they are capable? Absolutely!. They've already proved this by obscuring the new Ford GT from public view until the last minute for the launch at the Detroit Motor Show in January.

I would really appreciate seeing more super sports cars from Ford in the near future, they could also play the protagonist in a Play Station or X-box game, alongside other supercars like Pagani, Ferrari and Lamborghini, and could also play a role in films, TV shows or movies. It could be the right time to create new cult status for certain cars, based on the legacies left behind by the iconic Ford Mustangs and the Ford GT 40's of old.



Photos: Jul Krabetz, Ford Press kit; Video & Source: Ford.com, Jul Krabetz 
 

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