Behold the Newly-Expanded Ford Escape’s Storage Space!

Sometimes, it seems like no matter how much storage you have in your car, you always need more. Auto manufacturers are always looking for new ways to optimize storage space for drivers looking to get a little extra out of their vehicle. Recently, Ford did that exact thing with the new Ford Escape’s storage space. Featuring an entirely redesigned exterior, the 2017 Escape is said to have 25% more storage in the front row and 15% more storage overall compared to the previous model year.

2017 Ford Escape

2017 Ford Escape

The most drastic change is that of the center console, which is now 50% larger and is designed to be more comfortable and ergonomically efficient for the driver’s right arm. Additionally, the all-new electronic parking brake system freed up space in the interior for two new storage areas, a larger media bin with power ports, a new glove-box, and improved cup holders.

Ford senior Interior designer Zulf Ali said, “That whole center console area is what we call ‘Manhattan real estate’ because it’s valuable. It isn’t a lot of space to work with, but as a designer, those constraints are exciting. It’s a challenge that forces you to be more creative–to ask yourself, ‘OK, how can we get clever with this?’”

Last year, the Escape—Ford’s #2 best-selling vehicle—tied for first place on J.D. Power’s highest-ranked compact SUV of initial quality. However, designers and engineers who worked on the new Ford Escape are confident that the dramatic changes to the SUV’s interior and technology will help solidify its standing. The 2017 Escape is already available in showrooms with the spacious redesigns and extra storage.

Ford Drives U

schoolThe “broke college student” stereotype exists for a reason. Between the rising cost of tuition and how much money students spend on textbooks every semester, the prospect of purchasing a new car can seem like a distant post-graduation dream.

However, Ford is here to help. With the Ford Drives U program, eligible college students can apply for a $500 incentive and better finance rates; now that distant dream of owning your own brand-new car can become a not-so-distant reality.

You can sign up for the $500 in bonus cash right on Ford’s website to see if you’re eligible for the program. Once you sign up, you’re pre-registered until Ford approves you for great rates through Ford Credit.

In order to be eligible for this program, you must:

  • Be a full-time or part-time student at an accredited four-year college or university, junior college, community college, or trade school
  • Graduate between the dates of May 1, 2014 through January 3rd, 2017 (yes, recent graduates are still eligible!)
  • Be a student in an accredited Graduate School program

The Ford Drive U program began January 5, 2016 and will end January 3, 2017. Only Ford vehicles in the model years 2016 and 2017 are applicable. In order to become approved for the program, you must bring Proof of Student Eligibility, including a copy of your diploma, a copy of your final transcript, a letter of intent, or proof of enrollment status such as a current class schedule, reported card, or a dated letter from the school itself. Applicants must be enrolled in at least two classes or the equivalent of six credit hours.

Ford Revolutionizes F-150 Truck Production Using Recycled Aluminum

The Aluminum-Alloy body of the Ford F-150 makes it one of the toughest vehicles on the road today. However, the use of aluminum doesn’t just make the F-150 tougher. It also makes Ford’s signature truck more environmentally-conscious as well.

According to a recent Ford press release, Ford can create 30,000 Ford F-150 trucks a month with recycled aluminum.

2016 Ford F-150

2016 Ford F-150

Ford recycles up to 20 million pounds of aluminum a month during the production of the Ford F-150 fleet of vehicles. That aluminum is then repurposed to help create even more F-150s.

In order to recycle up to 20 million pounds of aluminum, Ford uses a closed-loop manufacturing system to reuse the aluminum that is left over from previous manufacturing.

This use of recycled aluminum helps to avoid 95% of the greenhouse gas emissions that usually result from the production of aluminum in the automotive industry.

For a truck that’s tough, affordable, and environmentally friendly, the answer is clear: the Ford F-150!

2016 Ford F-150 MVP Edition Is a Baseball Fan’s Dream

baseballThe Kansas City Royals are returning to Major League Baseball as the league champions and Ford is celebrating in their own way. Fan Marc Lassalle emailed Ford after the team took the championship with a suggestion for a limited edition vehicle. The Detroit-based automaker eventually invited him to join the company’s executives at the Kansas City Assembly Plant for the unveiling of the Ford F-150 MVP Edition.

The Ford F-150 has been built in Kansas City since 1957. The last time the Royals won the championship in 1985, Ford responded with an MVP edition of the Ranger.

Based on the XLT trim, buyers in Kansas City can choose between white and paint. The truck comes with polished rocker panels and special badging, among other cosmetic additions.

The special edition F-150 comes at the perfect time given the Midwest Ford dealers have just renewed their sponsorship of the Royals for the 2016 season.

Only 300 Ford F-150 MPV Editions will hit the streets. Once those models—60% of which are “flame blue” and 40% are “Oxford white”—are gone, the model will go out of production.

While we here at Friendly Ford are proud to see Ford creating special models to celebrate sporting events close to the company’s heart!

Ford’s Pothole Protection System in Development for 2017 Ford Fusion

potholeOne of the more unfortunate parts of living in a big city is the potholes. Potholes seem to show up on the road all the time. What’s worse is that they can often cause some serious damage to your vehicle! If you’ve ever dreamed of a system that could help you avoid these potholes in the road, Ford has made your dream a reality.

According to a Ford press release, the automaker has developed a pothole protection system for the 2017 Ford Fusion.

Ford’s pothole protection system uses computer-controlled shock absorption to minimize the amount of damage potholes can do to your car.

“The new Fusion V6 Sport substantially reduces the harsh impact potholes often deliver,” says Jason Michener, Ford continuously controlled damping engineering expert. “Our new pothole mitigation technology works by actually detecting potholes and ‘catching’ the car’s wheel before it has a chance to drop all the way into the pothole.”

The 2017 Ford Fusion is just the first vehicle in the Ford lineup to make use of this revolutionary technology. Hopefully, it will spread to other vehicles in the near future in order to help drivers everywhere avoid the constant and irritating potholes on city roads!

Ford Tests Driverless Vehicles in Snowy Conditions

snowy roadSeveral automakers are currently testing driverless technology. However, Ford Motor Company is going above and beyond to test driverless vehicles in a variety of conditions.

One of the biggest questions about driverless cars is how the sensors and cameras will be able to function in snow or other bad weather. Autonomous vehicles use sensors, cameras, radar, and other technology to pinpoint their location, but what will happen when snow covers the cameras and lane markers?

Ford is working to solve that problem by testing a fleet of driverless Fusion Hybrids on a snow-covered, 32-acre, closed-course testing facility in Ann Arbor. Ford has been working with the University of Michigan to develop special 3D maps. These maps will allow the vehicle to precisely understand the road’s signs and markings no matter what the weather.

Fusion Hybrid

Fusion Hybrid

The 3D maps are created to contain useful information allowing the car to localize, even with snowy conditions. Ford is even hoping to enable the program to recognize when the weather is too rough and stop driving.

Jim McBride, Ford technical leader for autonomous vehicles, said in a statement, “Weather isn’t perfect, and that’s why we’re testing autonomous vehicles in wintry conditions — for the roughly 70% of US residents who live in snowy regions.”

We at Friendly Ford are thankful that we are part of a company that cares about the safety of its customers. Being in Chicago, we know about snow and are excited to see the testing of driverless vehicles in snowy conditions!

Kids Get a Free Ford GT Snap Kit at Detroit Auto Show

Ford GT

Real Ford GT

If you are headed to the North American International Auto Show in Detroit later this month, be sure to bring your kids along. If they stop by the Ford stand, they could get a free Ford GT snap kit.

This Revell-built model includes 14 pieces and will snap together in just a few minutes. It will also feature a unique auto show stamp on the bottom to mark this special edition model.

“Our annual Revell Make ‘n Take model kit program has become a fun-filled auto show tradition,” said Mark Bentley, Ford Licensing manager, in a statement. “Letting kids build their own Ford GT is a great way to introduce them to the Ford brand and create new enthusiasts.”

Now, in case you don’t have any kids, or just would like a model of your own, a retail version will be available in April, and it will be more detailed. The retail version of the Ford GT model will include 28 pieces and will take about 10 to 15 minutes to build. It will cost $14.99.

At previous shows Ford has offered models of the 2015 Ford Mustang and an F-150 Raptor.

Are you going to the Detroit Auto Show this year?

Donated Ford Transit Connect Cargo Vans Set To Help Hunger Relief Cause

Ford Transit Connect

Ford Transit Connect

If you think about it, the Ford Transit Connect is the best vehicle to serve hunger relief efforts. It’s highly efficient so you can keep costs down, meaning more money will go to more important things. It’s also got enormous cargo space, which in effect also saves gas as you can transport more with each trip. In fact, according to the automaker, each Transit Connect is capable of transporting 1,100 meals per vehicle per trip.

Hunger relief is actually one of a number of causes for which Ford has given its support. The latest charitable move was to donate five Ford Transit Connect cargo vans to various organizations that serve the Kansas City, Louisville, Miami, Phoenix and Dallas metropolitan areas.

Ford is well aware of the food insecurity issue in America. Janet Lawson, director of the Ford Motor Company Fund, said in a press release, “More than 48 million Americans live in fear of going hungry each day.” The donated Ford Transit Connect vehicles will tangibly help the cause.

Ford and Petty’s Garage Create Three Mustang GT King Edition Models

Ford Mustang PonyFord and Petty’s Garage (NASCAR legend Richard Petty’s the in-house speed shop) have teamed up to create some seriously powerful Mustang GT King Edition models. Capable of putting out up to 727 horsepower (with an optional level two upgrade that uses a smaller supercharger pulley), the modified Mustang GTs are sure to appeal to sports car enthusiasts everywhere.

Featuring Petty’s Garage’s signature blue accents, custom wheels and performance summer tires, there is no mistaking the GT King Edition–but it’s what’s happening behind the scenes that will have drivers gripping their steering wheels. Fitted with extreme-duty TrakPak Ford Performance halfshafts, a rear axle upgrade, and three-way adjustable front and rear sway bars, the customized Mustang GT is prepared to make the most of all that power the supercharged 5.0-liter V8 engine is packing.

“I’ve always liked the look of the Mustang, and the 2016 model gives us a great base car to work with,” said Richard Petty in a statement. “These new King edition Mustangs are pretty much the way I’d build my own. They are great fun to drive, and have a signature single exhaust.”

Interested? You better act fast. Only 243 King edition models, 43 King Premier and 14 King Premier Convertibles will be made available. Give us a call at Friendly Ford to learn more!

Dwayne Johnson and Ford Team Up to Promote Ford Service

In its newest marketing campaign, Ford has enlisted celebrity Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson to lead a series of commercials that will tout Ford Motor Company’s factory service professionals. In his role, the Fast and Furious star will lead a team of “Specialists” who are prepared to tackle any issue that may come up with your Ford vehicle.

service

Ford hasn’t released many details, but we do know that the Specialists are an elite crew of Ford technicians, trained and equipped to handle anything. We suspect the spots will offer a healthy amount of humor to highlight Ford’s superior service departments.

According to a recent news release, the Dwayne Johnson and Ford partnership stems from Johnson’s genuine love for the brand, having owned several Ford vehicles over the years.

Look for the ads to begin airing this week, along with other related content!

Here at Friendly Ford, we know you have a choice when it comes to servicing your vehicle. Stop by to meet our friendly, knowledgeable, and efficient staff, and see how we can meet your car’s needs!