2015 Chicago Music Festivals

ChicagoOther than the wind, Chicago is also well-known for being a hotspot for some of the country’s biggest and most relevant music festivals. The following is a few of the bigger 2015 Chicago music festivals going down this year. We at Friendly Ford suggest you check one—or all—of them out!

 

Lollapalooza
Date: July 31-August 2
Location: Grant Park
The lineup for Lollapalooza 2015 looks like a who’s who list of the greatest and most influential artists in the world. Headliners this year include Paul McCartney, Florence + The Machine, and Metallica.

Pitchfork
Date: July 17-19
Location: Union Park
To say that Pitchfork, the internet publication, is an authority in the indie music world is a grand understatement. So they should be great at putting together the lineup for a festival, right?  Right. Headlining the Pitchfork Festival 2015 are Wilco, Sleater-Kinney, and Chance the Rapper.

Chicago Blues Fest
Date: June 12-14
Location: Grant Park
One of the coolest things about the Blues Fest is that you can see contemporary Blues legends as well as local cats. Buddy Guy headlines on Saturday.

Ford Takes Top Honor as Best Overall Truck Brand

When a single vehicle boasts at least 30 awards and accolades within one model year, it makes you sit up and take notice. Such is the story of the all-new 2015 Ford F-150. The truck’s 30th award is earned in collaboration with the F-250 and F-350 as Ford was named Best Overall Truck Brand in the Kelley Blue Book® 2015 Brand Image Awards.

2015 Ford F-150

2015 Ford F-Series Wins Best Overall Truck Brand in KBB’s 2015 Brand Image Awards

In order to determine the winners of the KBB Brand Image Award, data is taken from KBB’s Brand Watch Study, which is able to calculate opinions of new-car shoppers as they research for a new vehicle. Thirteen vehicles are named winners in seven categories based on their scores in twelve factors like exterior styling, affordability, fuel efficiency, prestige/sophistication, etc. The Best Overall Truck Brand award is the only category in which only one car is chosen as opposed to one mainstream model and one luxury.

This is Ford’s sixth time winning the award out of the seven times KBB has named a winner.

Here’s what the KBB experts had to say about Ford. “The Ford F-150 has been the best-selling vehicle in the country or more than 30 years, so the fact that KBB.com visitors would name it the Best Overall Truck Brand isn’t surprising. But Ford isn’t taking its fortunes for granted. The boldly recast 2015 Ford F-150 boasts aluminum-intensive architecture that saves as much as 700 pounds and delivers a subsequent increase in fuel economy.”

If you want more proof than the general consensus of 12,000-plus new-car shoppers, stop by Friendly Ford today to test drive Ford’s trucks for yourself.

Ford EcoBoost Challenge Is Taking Over Chicago May 9th

2015 Ford F-150

2015 Ford F-150 Available at our Chicago Area Dealership

Are you ready to drive? Ford is putting its lineup of cars and trucks toe-to-toe against the competition—and you get to be the judge! In the ultimate test drive experience, Ford is laying down the gauntlet and preparing to show Chicago why Ford is America’s most popular brand.

The exclusive EcoBoost Challenge Course is coming to Arlington Heights May 9th and with it is your chance to steer their cars through courses set up to demonstrate their capabilities in their natural environment: the open road. On hand will be the Fiesta ST, Focus ST, the Expedition, the all-new Mustang, Escape, and more.

Drivers like you can test their mettle on the Fiesta ST Reaction Time Challenge Course or open the throttle on the all-new Mustang in the Mustang Drive Course. There will also be the 2015 F-Series trucks available for test-drives at the event.

Limited numbers of test drivers can be given keys for the Ford Ecoboost Challenge, so sign up before it’s too late. Remember, you can also always swing by Friendly Ford where our knowledgeable staff can help you find the right Ford for your lifestyle.

Ford Automotive Design Gets Overhauled: More Comfort, More Precision

Ford is completely redefining automotive design, launching a new campaign focusing on ergonomics, lightweight materials, and exceeding efficiency. In fact, many of Ford’s recent designs are set to showcase at the Salone del Mobile in Milan, Italy, the world capital of design.

 

2015 Ford GT Concept

The artfully-crafted 2015 Ford GT Concept

Although it sounds like something from a science-fiction movie, some Ford designers have taken to using eye tracking and biometric technologies to figure out the most important aspects of vehicle styling, said Ford. Using systems like this, new Ford models will feature precise detailing and state-of-the art fashion.

“Vehicle interiors have witnessed one of the biggest evolutions across the history of cars in recent years,” said Raj Nair, vice president of Global Product Development for Ford. “Not only have we introduced a great deal of useful new technology into our cars and trucks, we consistently are adding better materials, improved design and increased features across the board, from high-end vehicles to entry-level segments.”

Ford’s focus is on using ergonomic design, more lightweight materials, and on having incredible attention to detail. This means more comfortable interiors, more aluminum alloy and carbon fiber, and laser precision. The next-generation of Ford Automotive Design is bound to redefine the industry, but you can see the current generation at Friendly Ford.

Joey Logano Back to Victory Lane in the No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang

Checkered FlagJoey Logano was back to Victory Lane in his Mustang at Phoenix International Raceway, where he won his second career XFINITY series race.

We’d been waiting for a while at Friendly Ford to see the automaker score an XFINITY win again, and it was about time. Logano had finished second in his last four starts in the series, despite having started from pole in the last three.

This time, Logano took pole again but managed to make it stick during the race, even as runner-up Matt Kenseth fiercely contested his lead all day long. In the end, the No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang led 176 of the 200 laps at the one-mile track. Not bad!

“It felt good,” said Logano, who collected his 22nd career win in Phoenix. “It took a long time to get our next win. We’ve been so close to winning—obviously, a lot of poles and things are going well. We just needed a little more speed, and it was awesome to get it today.”

Spring Car Maintenance Checklist

After a brutally cold and snowy winter, spring is finally just around the corner. The frigid winter months are tough on your car, and it’s time to tell your vehicle “thank you” for getting you through the season, and prepare it for the warmer months ahead. Those at The News Wheel are one step ahead of us, preparing a helpful checklist to make sure your car is in tip-top shape for hitting the road this summer.

Here is a checklist of our own:

Clean, wash, and wax. It’s important to give your car a good wash after the last snow of the season to remove salt, dirt, and grime. This is also a good time to wax your car to revive that new-car shine and add a protective coating.  While you’re at it, clean out the inside, get rid of all those extra winter layers, and vacuum the interior.

Check the battery. Frigid temperatures are particularly tough on your battery. Have the battery’s life checked to be sure it’s holding a charge.

serviceCheck belts and hoses. Cracked or worn belts and hoses can become a major problem. If you notice any wear and tear or loose belts, bring your car by Friendly Ford’s service department as soon as possible to avoid costly issues down the road.

Check the tires. Over-worn tires can pose serious safety issues. They don’t provide the traction or control needed for everyday driving, and can become downright deadly in rain. Also check to make sure your tires are properly inflated according to manufacturer’s recommendations.

Check the windshield wipers. If your wipers aren’t clearing your windshield, make sure you replace them. Summer sunshine and heat will only damage existing cracks and worn rubber more.

Replace lights. Check the headlights, taillights, blinkers, high beams, and interior lights, then replace bulbs as necessary.

Check fluids. Check the engine oil, coolant, windshield wiper fluid, transmission fluid, brake fluid, and power steering fluid.

2015 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Review

2015 Ford Mustang

2015 Ford Mustang at CAS

The all-new 2015 Mustang EcoBoost is here and ready to take you by surprise. It’s not the thundering, heart-pounding V8 most people expect from America’s favorite sports car, but it delivers everything you’ll really ever need. Take a look at the following 2015 Ford Mustang EcoBoost review.

The Mustang EcoBoost is powered by a 2.3 liter turbocharged 4 cylinder engine that produces 310 horsepower and 320 pound-feet of torque, delivering the kind of power you’ll still find exhilarating. If its looks are what you’re focused on, then prepare to fall in love again and again. The EcoBoost is outfitted with dual exhausts, 18-inch wheels, HID headlamps, rear spoiler, leather-wrapped steering wheel and handsome lines that really draw the eye in.

The best feature of the Mustang EcoBoost might just be its handling. It’s quick, sharp maneuverability will have you hugging every curve the back roads have to offer. The EcoBoost is 200 pounds lighter than the 5.0-liter version allowing for an even smoother drive.

Fast, fun, and fearless, the 2015 Ford Mustang EcoBoost looks and drives like a dream! To check out the new Mustang lineup, visit us at Friendly Ford.

Ford’s New Vice President of Global Strategy

It wasn’t long ago that Mark Fields announced the creation of the vice president of global strategy position—and he’s already filled it. John Casesa, a Wall Street analyst, will lead Ford’s global strategy team. Casesa has put in over 20 years as an analyst in the automotive industry, employed by Merrill Lynch & Co., Schroders PLC, and General Motors.

“John knows business and the auto industry inside and out,” Fields said in a statement.

As the new vice president of global strategy, Casesa will advise on investments in new products, technology, and business models. In the ever growing auto industry, Ford is looking to keep its global plan, “One Ford,” on track. The plan keeps vehicle variations from region to region to a minimum and changes only what’s necessary.

This isn’t the first shake up by Fields. Since taking the helm last July, Fields has changed quite a few leadership positions. First, he appointed a separate president to Lincoln, Ford’s luxury car brand. He also switched Jim Farley, now head of Europe, and Stephen Odell, head of global marketing sales and service. In February 2015, he named Mark LaNeve to head Ford’s US marketing, sales, and service after John Felice retired.

Casesa started March 1st and we at Friendly Ford bet we’ll see big moves from him.

The Liquid Silver 2017 Ford GT is a Looker

The Liquid Silver 2017 Ford GT is every bit as good as it looks! The new hue debuted at the Chicago Auto Show recently and garnered even more attention after taking the North American International Auto Show by storm only a few weeks earlier.

2015 Ford GT Concept

Ford GT Concept at CAS

The meltified supercar donned racing stripes and was officially confirmed for production in Markham, Ontario. Taking one look at this race-ready beauty and you’ll fall in love just as we at Friendly Ford did.

The 2017 Ford GT will host a 3.5-liter twin turbo V6 boasting more than 600 horsepower that will catch every ear and eye imaginable. Aluminum subframes and a carbon fiber monocoque outfit the GT, along with a seven-speed, dual-clutch gearbox.

Rumors are the Ford GT’s first task will be hitting up Le Mans, and it might possibly be the favorite to win it all. We’re interested to see what color the supercar will don when it does enter its first race. The Liquid Silver edition sure has our vote!

Tell us what you think about the all new 2017 Ford GT in the comments.

Friendly Ford and Equine Dreams Partner Up for Custom Ride for “Teddy”

Equine Dreams

Meet “Teddy”

Nothing is cuter than pint-sized animals—and miniature horses are some of the cutest. Equine Dreams is a local non-profit organization that uses therapeutic horseback riding and miniature horse visits to help children and adults with physical, social, and other disabilities. Recently, Friendly Ford and Equine Dreams teamed up to provide a custom vehicle for one of its star miniature horses, Teddy.

To help Equine Dreams, Friendly Ford is modifying a Ford Excursion to transport Teddy along with other horses and animals. The Excursion will get a raised roof and turtle top so the animals will fit in the rear of the vehicle.

“This organization is near and dear to my heart,” said Friendly Ford co-owner Randy Yockey. “My sister, [Equine Dreams CEO] Sharon Mason, runs this organization [and] she has a handicapped child. We’re going to convert her Excursion that she daily drives and we’re going to make it a transporter for a mini horse.”

And, making the project even sweeter, Yockey’s neighbor Mike Gillespie is donating his time to modify the Excursion at Friendly Ford’s body shop.

You can follow along with the “Teddy’s New Ride” project on Friendly Ford’s Facebook page. If you’re interested in helping out Equine Dreams yourself, they are always accepting more volunteers or your can make a donation online.