Ford Shelby GT350R Auction Raises $1 Million for Diabetes Research

Ford Shelby GT250R auctionWhen the first Ford Shelby® GT350R Mustang rolled off the assembly line, it wasn’t headed to Chi-town to join our display of vehicles here at Friendly Ford—or any other dealership for that matter. Instead, the road racer was delivered to the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auction where it was awarded to the highest bidder. The winning bid of the VIN 001 Shelby GT350R earned $1,000,000 for JDRF and its research in type 1 diabetes.

While the Shelby GT350R ‘Stang won’t officially go on sale until later this year, the auction of the first-ever retail production vehicle caused great excitement in the world of auto enthusiasts. It was also an exciting day for those affiliated with JDRF. The non-profit organization is dedicated to researching ways to better treat type 1 diabetes as they work to find a cure.

The $1,000,000 in funds received from the Ford Shelby GT350R auction will support the organization’s research.

JDRF is honored to share in Ford’s 50-year celebration of the new Shelby GT350R at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale,” said JDRF president and CEO, Derek Rapp. “As the leading charitable funder of type 1 diabetes research, JDRF is extremely proud of our long-time partnership with Ford, and we are tremendously thankful for Ford’s continued support of JDRF. JDRF benefits greatly from this partnership, which is an essential element of our pursuit of our shared vision of a world without type 1.”

Faster than Fast: New Ford GT Supercar Debuts

Ford GT Supercar DebutThe new Ford GT Supercar debuted at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show and fast is indeed the keyword! With a streamlined structure, and sexy, sleek curves, Ford’s new baby is designed for speed! However, it’s hard to say which is more impressive: its function or beauty.

To a casual observer of the GT in motion, the 2015 Supercar is sure to appear as nothing but a blur. Due in part to the aerodynamic design, but also adding to the power is the 3.5-liter twin turbocharged EcoBoost V6 engine. A carbon-fiber driver’s cell and aluminum-alloy sub frames decrease the car’s overall bulk, thus enabling an increased pace.

With the newest addition to its performance lineup, Ford continues its tradition of GT panache. Swing-up clamshell doors give two passengers an extravagant entrance into the smooth and simple interior, each line and angle of the body calculated to reduce drag.

Designed as an homage to the original Ford GT built in 1966 (the original being commissioned by Henry Ford II to win the Le Mans 24-hour race in France), the Ford GT is set to be released next year in celebration of the original’s 50th anniversary.

Ford SYNC AppLink System Will Feature New Drive Mode

Ford SYNC AppLink systemDespite all the recent advancements in vehicle connectivity and infotainment systems, few automakers have stopped to consider the risks of distracted driving–until now. Ford recently partnered with Life360 to introduce a modified SYNC AppLink system that keeps the driver safe.

According to Ford, the new system will offer a Drive Mode that will notify people trying to communicate with the driver that they’re busy driving. This new Drive Mode will not only eliminate some driver distraction, but it will also eliminate the need to, for instance, call mom when you get home. Family members can see when a driver arrives safely, just another new feature of the system.

“Responsible driving habits are top priorities at Ford Motor Company, and we are pleased to be working with Life360 to help reduce driver distractions,” said Julius Marchwicki, Ford Connected Services Product manager. “With the integration of Life360 Drive Mode, we are helping to keep drivers’ attention on the road by letting their loved ones know that they are behind the wheel, encouraging family members and friends to hold off on sending texts.”

The new system also has made some improvements to hands-free options, like voice recognition. With the Ford SYNC AppLink system, the automaker is making the world safer one driver at a time. Get connected at Friendly Ford!

Could Ford’s ECOBEAST Patent Signal Something Ferocious on the Way?

Ford's ECOBEAST Patent

Ford’s current V6 EcoBoost Engine

What does Ford have up its sleeve?

That’s the question many are asking, including us at Friendly Ford, upon news that the automaker trademarked the term “ECOBEAST.” If that sounds like a reference to Ford’s EcoBoost engine technology, you’re on the right track. The patent request was filed under “Automobiles and automobile engines.”

What do you think Ford’s ECOBEAST patent could mean? Many believe it’s a high-output EcoBoost engine, even surpassing the highest-capacity 3.5-liter version currently offered. But why would a bigger engine require an entirely new name? Perhaps this will be an entire new line of engines.

Hopefully it’s not a red herring set loose by Ford to distract us all before the Detroit Auto Show, which might have something to do with the next-generation SVT Raptor on the way.

We’d like some answers, but trademark filing doesn’t indicate a projected timeline, so Ford could either be in its final stages before debut or initial development.  Still, it sounds like our favorite automaker has some exciting ideas in mind.