Ford‘s vision of a sports truck is entering a new model year with the 2014 F-150 SVT Raptor Special Edition that keeps the mechanicals intact, simply adding some unique to this version cosmetic touches.
These cosmetic touches include a Ruby Red Metallic exterior color or optionally, Tuxedo Black Metallic, and boxside graphics on the outside, and ‘Brick Red’ seat bolsters with black inserts and cloth honeycomb highlights, console top finish panel and center stack and door panel applique accents, on the inside.
Aside from that, it is still the same Ford F-150 SVT Rapor we know powerede by a 6.2-liter V8 engine producing 411 horsepower and o434 lb.-ft. of toruqe, mated to an electronic six-speed automatic transmission and a 4WD system featuring electronic shift-on-the-fly capability for the transfer case.
Over the years, the time taken to change a set of tires during a racing event has been going down from a few minutes at the dawn of racing, to less than three seconds in modern times. Recently, during the Malaysian Grand Prix, the Red Bull Racing F1 pit crew changed the tired on one of their cars in a telemetry-confirmed 2.05 seconds.
This beat an older F1 world record that stood at 2.28 seconds. Apparently, the record was beaten no fewer than five times during the aforementioned race, and now the former record is not second in the hierarchy, but it is actually sixth.
Set last year by Jenson Button’s team, the previous record was a documented 2.31 seconds time, while he made a stop during the German Grand Prix. It is worth nothing that these record-breaking stops do not include filling the tank with fuel, and only the tires are changed. Nevertheless, you can’t argue with the very high level of coordination and teamwork it takes to achieve something like this, and do it consistently throughout an entire racing season.
SRT only expected that it would only get a handful of orders for the more expensive Viper GTS model when it was first revealed, but it turns out that they were a bit on the pessimistic side.
Demanding a $23,000 premium over the standard Viper model, the GTS is packed with more luxurious interior amenities and modern technology, aiming to be more of an upscale model inside to match the beauty of the outside. With Graham Henckel stating that almost 90 percent of all Viper orders are for the GTS model, it is needless to say that SRT executives have been overwhelmed by the demand of the GTS model.
Instead of the base model manual ones, GTS owners are treated with power seats from Sabelt. They come standard with high-performance cloth in bright red, however buys can also opt for Nappa premium leather seats in black, red, or caramel.
“The GTS responds to a lot of those inputs from people who say, ‘I’ve had a basic Viper and that’s cool, and I really want one that’s more like a Ferrari inside,'” Henckel said in an interview with WardsAuto. “‘It’s rich and has modern electronics, and I can take it to a local car show and park it next to a Lamborghini and not be embarrassed by the materials in the car.”
According to Polk’s global new vehicle registration data for the full-year of 2012, the Ford Focus ranks as the best-selling vehicle nameplate in the world. Automotive data and trends forecasting supplier show that sales of the compact car totaled 1,020,410 cars worldwide.
With China registration up 51 percent last year, Ford‘s “global car” recorded market gains in China as well as the United States. To better understand, this means more than 1 in 4 Ford Focus vehicles sold worldwide went to China; meanwhile sales in the U.S. were up 40 percent in 2012.
The Fiesta, another global Ford,with 723,130 registrations last year, earned the tops spot as the best-selling subcompact car globally. Ford’s registrations of small cars – Fiesta and Focus – totaled 1,743,540 units in 2012, according to Polk.
“Focus and Fiesta represent the culmination of our One Ford global product strategy,” said Jim Farley, Ford executive vice president, global marketing, sales and service. “Since its launch in China in late March of last year, Focus sales continue to strengthen, with the car now ranking as the best-selling passenger car in China in 2012 for the first time ever,” Farley added.
Recently, Fisker announced that they were letting go of about 160 of their employees, and now those workers are fighting back with a lawsuit. The law firm of Outtan & Golden claims that Fisker did not provide the 60 days written notice that is required when undertaking mass lay offs or firings. To rectify this, the law firm is going after Fisker for 60 days worth of wages and benefits for the ousted employees. The suit was filed on behalf of a former Fisker employee named Sven Etzelsberger, however it is seeking class action status.
Fisker told the affected worker that it could not afford to give them severance pay. About 50 Fisker executives were kept on to help find perspective buyers for the company’s remaining assets, although if the lawsuit is a success, those assets may be needed. So it seems as though it is only a matter of time until the company files for chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Guinness World Records has made an announcement that Bugatti has been stripped of the title for fastest production car in the world. After setting a record speed of 267.8 mph, Bugatti has held that record for almost three years. The record has been re-investigated after accusations were made that the Veyron used in the record-setting run had its speed limiter removed.
This suspicion has been confirmed by Guinness World Records and since the speed limiter was removed, it was no longer considered the same production car that consumers paid their hard-earned money for. As the rules state, the record must be set in a car that is mechanically identical to those on sale to the public. Most likely, the title of world’s fastest production car will go to Shelby SuperCars’ Ultimate Aero, which held the record of 256.1 mph before the Veyron Super Sport went 267.8.
On Wednesday April 3rd, Hyundai and Kia announced a recall that affects nearly 1.7 million vehicles over issues with the stop lamp switch which can cause the brake lights to malfunction among other problems.
Aside from the brake lights not working when the brake pedal is depressed, a malfunctioning stop lamp switch can also cause the affected vehicles to keep their cruise control engaged when the brake pedal is used, intermittent operation of the push-button start, it can prevent the shifter from being moved out of park and can light up the electronic stability control warning light.
About 1 million Hyundai vehicles are affected, which are the 2007 to 2009 Accent and Tucson; the 2007 to 2010 Elantra; the 2007 to 2011 Santa Fe; the 2008 to 2009 Veracruz; the 2010 to 2011 Genesis Coupe; and the 2011 Sonata. On the other hand, 623,000 Kia vehicles were affected, which are the 2007 to 2010 Rondo and Sportage; the 2007 to 2011 Sorento; the 2007 Sedona; the 2010 to 2011 Soul; and the 2011 Optima.
This is the second recall of this kind, the first being in 2009 as Hyundai recalled about 500,000 vehicles for the same issue. Hyundai has made changes to the switch assembly to correct this issue since then, however, the affected vehicles were built before the changes were put in place.
The recall is scheduled to begin by June 2013, where Hyundai and Kia dealers will inspect the affected vehicles and replace the stop lamp switch free of charge. Customers can contact Hyundai at 1-800-633-5151, or Kia at 1-800-333-4542 for more information.
Marketing has grown to be such an important part in the automotive industry to the extent that it is not involved in the very first stages of development of new cars. This explains why carmakers have started creating a biography for a single target buyer even before they have begun developing a model car. Take Infiniti for instance, who knows everything about the people who will be buying its upcoming compact model, which is loosely inspired by the Etherea concept (shown in the picture) and due to appear in 2015.
“The target customer is a French lady called Pascale. She’s 34 years old, living in London with an English guy who works in banking,” Nissan global product planning boss Andy Palmer told Autonews Europe. “We pick a lead market, we pick a lead customer and we research in detail that lead customer. Every car has a person with a name, an income and a lifestyle and that gives product planners a reference of where we’re going with the car,” Palmer explained.
The goal of this extreme form of customer profiling it to give designers and planners a clear focus of what is required from the car they will develop. It is only natural that the more radical the car is, the less mainstream the customer will be. Usually, the fictional client lives in the country or region where the car will sell the strongest. When it developed the Juke, Nissan used the same approach, and the automaker has already identified the customer for the new Qashqai compact crossover due next year. Palmer didn’t get into personal details about the next Qashqai’s typical buyer, however they did day that the person is urban and European.