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Ford touts new product line, teases new unnamed, off-road small utility vehicle

16 March, 2018, 01:41 | Author: Abraham Jackson
  • Ford's upcoming small off-road crossover SUV

Next year, Ford will also bring a new Transit van to the U.S., and it says advanced driver-assistance systems, like automatic emergency braking and others, will be added to future commercial vehicles like the future E-Series, F-650, F-750, and F59-based vehicles.

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We already knew that Ford was working on a performance version of a battery-powered SUV; the vehicle maker used this year's reveal of the Bullitt Mustang ahead of the Detroit Motor Show to tease the idea as the "Mach 1".

Ford expects to beat Toyota in hybrid vehicle sales by 2021, the company said Thursday.

The Blue Oval says it's "going all-in on hybrids", including versions of the F-150 truck and Mustang sports vehicle.

Confirmed new models at this stage include an all-new unnamed off-road SUV (top), and the revival of the Bronco, both of which Ford say are designed "to win a growing number of people who love getting away and spending time outdoors". "Now, we're ready to reclaim our rightful place as the off-road vehicle leader". "Retail sales are up nearly 50% and you better believe we're continuing to look at ways we can increase our volume", Farley added.

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The Ford Performance division has committed to 12 new models by the year 2020, meaning the Edge ST and Explorer ST are just the start of the Blue Oval's performance vehicle onslaught.

Among the vehicles slated for hybridization starting in 2020 are the F-150 pickup, Explorer, Escape and Bronco SUVs and the Mustang, followed by six battery-electric vehicles by 2022. "On the F-150 Hybrid, Ford will lean in to capability, such as the low-end torque for extra pulling power and the fact it can serve as a mobile generator", it said. In an all-terrain Bronco, the low-end torque could aid tough low-speed off-roading situations, and the mobile generator could be used for camping.

The next three years will see several upgrades for Ford's popular F-Series pickup truck line as well.

In 2019, the Ranger will return to the North American market and give Ford a competitor in the "mid-size truck" segment in the States, while a new F-Series Super Duty will make its debut. Additionally, by the end of 2019, every new Ford will have 4G LTE connectivity, and the company is developing a new cloud platform that will deliver over-the-air updates. Ford says that it's "rethinking the ownership experience" as part of this and that over-the-air software updates to add new features will be part of the $11 billion investment plan.

More standard safety tech is on the way for most Ford vehicles. A Ford representative told me that "We already do OTA updates for SYNC 3, and, beginning 2020, new vehicles will be capable of OTA updates for the key modules and systems such as the powertrain and body control modules". Ford will work on achieving this goal through "supply base relationships, using common cell and component design and by manufacturing motors, transmissions and battery packs".

In doing this, Ford aims to make hybrids mainstream by integrating them with the company's most profitable and best-selling vehicles, said Jim Farley, the company's president of global markets.

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