Truck fans across the country have eagerly awaited any bits of information about the next generation of Ford's off-road beast, the F-150 Raptor and this week the Blue Oval dished all the goods at the Detroit Auto Show! With a twin-turbo EcoBoosted 3.5L V6 putting out 450hp mated to a segment exclusive ten-speed automatic transmission and thirteen inches of suspension travel with huge twin-chamber Fox shocks to cushion the fall back to earth, the all new Raptor is sure to have waiting lines at many dealerships this fall!
From the Ford Press Release:
"DETROIT, Jan. 11, 2016 – Eagerly anticipated and still unmatched by any auto manufacturer, Ford – America’s truck leader – introduces the all-new F-150 Raptor SuperCrew, adding agility, versatility and roominess to the toughest, smartest, most capable F-150 Raptor ever.
Developed with the DNA of a Baja race truck, F-150 Raptor is unique among off-road and performance vehicles, with a purpose-built engine, chassis and suspension that enables it to travel fast over challenging desert landscapes or crawl over rocky terrain.
F-150 Raptor SuperCrew with four full-size doors provides rear passengers with more legroom and comfort on the trails and more space to stow gear while exploring the American and Canadian wilderness. SuperCrew’s 145-inch wheelbase is 12 inches longer than the standard Raptor SuperCab 133-inch wheelbase.
“F-150 Raptor means superior off-road capability, from rock crawling to sand running,” said Dave Pericak, Ford Performance global director. “With the addition of SuperCrew, F-150 Raptor customers can leave the pavement behind – without sacrificing comfort and space.”
Advanced materials – including high-strength steel and high-strength, military grade, aluminum alloy – help save up to 500 pounds versus the prior Raptor for improved off-road prowess. Combined with all-new EcoBoost engine technology, the next-generation F-150 Raptor’s power-to-weight ratio has been improved, making the truck even more agile off-road.
Toughest F-150 Raptor ever
The all-new F-150 Raptor starts with a purpose-built fully boxed frame – the backbone of the truck – that is the strongest in the F-150 lineup, featuring more high-strength steel than the outgoing Raptor.
F-150 Raptor’s chiseled looks are reminiscent of Trophy Trucks – the fastest and most powerful class of off-road pickups. F-150 Raptor is 6 inches wider than standard F-150 for enhanced stability off-road.
The all-new F-150 Raptor also boasts its first-ever dual exhaust and new 17-inch wheels with next-generation BFGoodrich All-Terrain KO2 tires designed for off-road performance.
Read the full post HERE:
The annual Detroit Auto Show, or as it is now know around the world The North American International Auto Show, never fails to open the year with automotive excitement and this year the spot light is shinning on the Blue Oval. Over the last week the floor plan for the show was revealed and in the Ford display area were designated spots for display vehicles codenamed ‘Hummingbird’ and ‘Phoenix’ which fueled the rumor mill to full output! We will get to what those had to reveal in a moment, first we want to get you the details as we know them for the third reveal of the first day of the show; the 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor!
Building on the reputation of the most powerful and capable four wheel drive pickup ever factory produced, the next generation Raptor takes serious off- roading to the next level entirely! In addition to the all aluminum construction of the new truck making it lighter than the awesome truck it replaces the 2017 Raptor will get its power from a twin turbo 3.5L EcoBoost that will develop more horsepower and torque than the monster 6.2L in the 2014 if you can believe it! Power will reach the wheels through an all new 10-Speed automatic transmission and Raptor pilots will have SIX driving modes to ensure that power is used to its fullest! New driving modes include; Normal (everyday stuff), Street (spirited hi-performance driving), Weather (for inclement conditions), Mud/Sand (for typical off road stuff), Baja (when a high speed desert run is needed) and Rock (for the crawling opportunities)! Larger Fox Racing Shox with greater travel, tuned high flow dual exhaust and a bigger stronger transfer case are just a few more dream items on the massive list of improvements for this new beast!
Now, for the mystery of the Hummingbird…. This morning the cover was pulled off of the most powerful, track-ready Mustang ever built by Ford, the 2016 Mustang GT350R. And yes, the R stands for Ridiculously Awesome! From the all new and all amazing “19 CARBON FIBER wheels at each corner to the (now lower) roof this Pony is pure adrenaline top to bottom! Reworking the car for aerodynamic improvement the put the headlights at an inch lower than a stock Mustang and that’s not all! Out back there is a huge rear spoiler, also carbon fiber, which will help keep the hind quarters firmly land locked and help keep those massive tires gripping the tarmac! Maintaining traction was at the fore front of the Ford Performance Team because they knew it would be near impossible to harness the ponies that will be produced by the all new, first ever for Ford, flat plane crankshaft 5.2L V8 under the hood! Rumors have been flying and no firm numbers are available yet however its very safe to say that horsepower will be well above 500 and torque will be simply monstrous! At every point the eye focuses there is pure performance. On the outside there is a new rear diffuser and a multitude of new vents. Air coolers for engine oil and the 6-Speed manual transmission will keep the high revving action well lubricated and power will applied to the wide rears by a 3.73 ratio, limited slip Torsen rear axle. Set to go on sales later this year as a 2016 model racers and enthusiasts around the country have already made bee lines for their nearest dealerships to get their names on the waiting list!
And finally, the biggest news of the show, if not the year as a whole….. This morning Ford announced the return of an American built, world class supercar; the Ford GT! 2016 will be the 50th anniversary of Ford GT race cars placing 1-2-3 at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans and to honor that momentous occasion will be no less than the most advanced Ford supercar ever; the Ford GT featuring the most powerful EcoBoost production engine ever – a new twin-turbocharged Ford EcoBoost V6 producing more than 600 horsepower! Dreamed up by a passionate group of dedicated Ford Performance believers and then built with the specific intention of hunting Ferraris, Lamborghinis, and McLarens the Ford GT sets the new standard for the term Supercar. Built around a carbon fibers driver cell with aluminum front and rear sub-frames that have been encapsulated in structural carbon fiber body panels the GT promises an incredible on track driving experience with world class performance. From the huge ceramic disc brakes at each corner to the tear drop shaped, fighter aircraft inspires fuselage with enhanced visibility curved windshield, every aspect of the Ford GT screams ‘Full Bore Adrenaline Fueled Track Domination”! As it was meant to….
Full details will be coming soon on all three new additions to the Ford Performance line up and you can see more pics of the gorgeous GT HERE, read more on the GT350R HERE and the Raptor HERE. As always Ford fans, stay tuned here for the latest breaking news!
Although Global Rallycross has been an exciting series of racing since it began way back in 1967 it has only been gaining in popularity here in the US since it was officially debuted at X Games 16 here in Los Angeles in 2010. Originally a made-for-TV sport with drivers from rallying competing, the first-ever rallycross was held on February 4, 1967 at England’s Lydden Circuit and the Blue Oval has been a driving force ever since Brian Melia competed with his Ford Lotus Cortina in that inaugural year! In 2009 by Brian Gale and Chip Pankow created the Red Bull Global Rallycross series of races that spans venues around the world on courses that mix both asphalt and dirt course with jumps and obstacles that make a it true spectator event. The cars themselves are mechanical works of wonder using space age technology in the frames work and the some of the most sophisticated high performance engine technologies on the planet. Racing teams like the Swedish wonders Team Olsbergs MSE can use their mechanical magic to sooth over 600 hp from small displacement 4 cylinder engines that power all four wheels and can allow incredibly gifted drivers like the Hoonigan Ken Block to do things with their cars that you would not believe unless you saw it for your self in one of his world famous Gymkhana videos! Ford Racing teams swept the Manufactures Championship in the 2011, 2012 AND 2013 seasons and the 2014 season was an incredibly strong showing for the flying Fiesta’s once again! During the Los Angeles leg of the series some incredible driving from drivers Joni Wiman and Ken Block secured yet another title for the awesome folks at Ford Racing with still another round to go! Just in case you weren’t counting along, that’s FOUR consecutive Manufactures Titles for the Blue Oval! Huge Congrats to all involved for an amazing effort and well deserved title. If you haven’t seen a rallycross event it is really a fun watch and next year should be even more exciting as Ford will be fending off attacks from many great teams to try and keep their title, we cant wait!
Recently the fine folks at Road and Track wrote a piece about why Ford should take the new 2015 Mustang to Le Mans and we could not agree MORE! To truly celebrate the Mustangs 50th Anniversary and its availability in Europe for the first time Ford Racing should build a Mustang race car to take back to the legendary race at Le Mans! Not since 1997 has the thunder of a Ford V8 been heard on the most famous course in Europe although the Blue Oval has MUCH history there. Long ago Mr Carroll Shelby and his Daytona Coupes tested at Riverside International Raceway just a mile from our present day location here at Raceway Ford. He took his powerful Ford racers over to France and started a run of victories for Ford in Europe’s race that continued throughout the entire 60’s! Auto enthusiasts all across the planet look forward to the world famous 24 Hours of Le Mans and there has never been a better time to go back than now, and never a better car to do it with than the all-new Mustang! Our man Mike theCarGuy even started an online petition to let Ford know how many fans want to hear the thunder of a Ford V8 once again in France! You can sign it HERE:
This weekend is the 82nd running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the world’s oldest active sports car race in endurance racing which has held annually since 1923 near the town of Le Mans, France, and considered to be the most prestigious automobile races in the world. The race has a special place in Blue Oval history as well!
As the 1960’s began motorsports were gaining in popularity among the public and among auto manufactures. In Europe it was quite common for car makers to field racing teams with full factory backing in many forms of racing and the idea began to gain footing in the States with the increasing interest in speed in a country full of open roads and back yard tinkerers. Ford Motor Company Chairman Henry Ford II was no different, he had the racing bug and wanted the Blue Oval to be a dominant force in the winner’s circles of the racing world and set out to make it happen. While building a team to compete in the most famous American form of motorsports the Indianapolis 500 he received word early in 1963 that famed Italian auto maker Enzo Ferrari was interested in selling his company. Negotiations were entered into almost immediately and for a short time it looked as though Ford would end up owning the exotic prancing horse car company however, Mr Ferrari’s real passion was also in racing and when Henry Ford II told negotiators that the Italian company would NOT be allowed to field and entry in the Indy 500 due to Ford supplying engines to their own team the Italian called off the whole purchase! Henry Ford took it as a personal insult and committed to doing whatever it would take to completely destroy Ferrari on the track, where they were the most proud of their achievements!
A partnership with chassis builder Lola was already in place as the Indy Racing effort took shape so it was easy for Ford to extend that into the endurance race car effort as well and a mid engine design was quickly put forward. The Ford Advanced Vehicles Ltd team under the direction of Aston Martin’s former team manager, John Wyer, competing with the first generation of the new racer, the GT40, and failed miserably at Le Mans in ’64 & ’65, as Ferrari finished 1-2-3 both years. To ensure failure would not be an option it was decided that the effort needed a serious infusion of racing know how and Ford turned the entire effort over to legendary Texas racer Carroll Shelby. Mr Shelby had more than proven himself on the track as a driver and his little pocket rocket, the Ford Cobra had shown his hot rodding way of looking at design could create some unbeatable combinations! The entire team was moved to the Shelby headquarters in Southern California and the prototypes immediately began undergoing the Shelby ‘improvements’! Carroll was a huge fan of the phrase, “there is no replacement for displacement” and the original GT40’s 289 engines were taken out and the massively powerful Ford 427 engines installed in their place. Along with many suspension and bodywork changes the final versions were tested at the famous Riverside International Raceway, just a stone’s throw from our location here at Raceway Ford, and on the straights 200 mph was easily reached! The engine was borrowed from the Ford’s stock car racing effort and was so powerful that even when refitted with lighter aluminum heads with smaller valves with a lower output it is estimated that while racing at speed it was only running at around 60 to 80 percent of full output! To win at endurance racing longevity is key and with the help of famed engine builders, Kar Kraft, the Shelby 427 was Built Ford Tough and gained fame as being nearly indestructible! Another famous racing team, Holman and Moody were also working with one of the GT40 prototypes and when it came time for the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans race Ford had a contingent of EIGHT Gt40’s ready to go! From the start of the action the Fords were untouchable, early into the race the new racers from Ferrai, the P3’s, were involved in an accident and the older more seasoned P2’s literally burned up their engines trying to keep up with the blistering pace being set by the big-block Blue Oval race cars! After 24 hours of complete dominance three of Fords amazing GT40’s took the checkered flag nearly together in the famous photo finish below!
The incredible GT40 went on to win at Le Mans in 1967, 1968 AND 1969 and well after Ford’s backing was gone private teams won with the ‘supercar’ in 1998 and 1999. In fact, the Ford GT40 has won more prestigious endurance racing events than any other model road-racing car in the history of motor sports! Never before or since has there been a racing effort that involved so many legendary names as the Ford GT40 project. A few of the iconic racing names that helped shape the GT40 include; Carroll Shelby, Dan Gurney, Bruce McLaren, Holman and Moody, Kar Kraft and of course the man whose single minded obsession made the effort possible, Henry Ford II. Although the checkered flag may have faded, the glory still shines brightly and there is nary a race face who doesn’t immediately recognize a GT40 from nearly any angle! An amazing car built by an amazing group of racers for an amazing car company, the Ford GT40.
In the early 1960’s the nation seemed to be obsessed with racing and performance cars, the hot rodders of the fifties had paved the way for a new generation of performance fans and the Ford Motor Company wanted a share of their attention hoping it would turn into a share of their business as well! At the end of the 1962 Indianapolis 500 the decision was made at Ford to develop an engine for the nations ‘Greatest Racing Spectacle’ and the engineers went to work in a big, and expensive way! Starting with the 260 cubic inch V8 that was being used in the Fairlane and the Falcon, a car that would provide the under pinnings for the soon to come Mustang, new heads were designed with four cams and a reversed intake exhaust set up that made for a spaghetti like mass of tubes up on the top of the engine. Results were astounding as the intial test engines developed 350 hp and with more work the 1964 dual overhead cam engine produced a maximum output of 425 HP at 8,000 rpm and weighing ONLY 395 lbs! Fords amazing little power house engine was combined with a new, European race car built by Lotus that had a mid-engined desing and was smaller and handled much better than the popular American four cylinder roadster racers of the day. American driver Dan Gurney, familiar with the advanced Formula One cars from the British firm Lotus, saw the potential in combining a lithe European chassis with newly developed and powerful Ford engine. He connected Lotus’s Colin Chapman with Ford Motor Company and the result was a lightweight monocoque chassis fitted with the new Ford Quad Cam V-8 mounted behind the driver. Jim Clark, who was already well known and would become a racing legend, was Team Lotus’s top driver and piloted the new car to an amazing second place finish on its debut run at the 1963 Indy 500. By the 1965 season Ford was especially eager for a win and sought every advantage it could gain. To ensure every advantage possible in keeping Jim on the track they brought in the Wood Brothers to serve as pit crew. The Woods were legendary in NASCAR for their precision refueling drills, and they were no less impressive at Indianapolis where they filled Clark’s car with 50 gallons in less than 20 seconds. The race was hardly a contest at all as Clark led for 190 of the race’s 200 laps and took the checkered flag nearly two minutes ahead of his nearest rival. Jim Clark became the first driver to finish the Indianapolis 500 with an average speed above 150 mph (he averaged 150.686) and would go on to become one of motor sports greatest. The Ford Quad Cam would provide the power for the winning Indy cars the next two years and a total of 6 times before Henry Ford II pulled the company out of racing completely in 1970 however the engine continued to be developed by A.J. Foyt for many years and continued winning as well. From the first time Henry Ford himself took the wheel ole Number 999, racing has been a part of Ford Motor Company and the results have ensured that Ford cars have provided the thrill of performance driving to millions of owners. From the motor that powered the Ford Falcon to the winners Circle at Indy; the racing heritage of Ford can clearly be seen and felt in cars like the all-new 2015 Mustang and will be for sure in many more cars from the racers at the Blue Oval!