Updated 2018 Ford Explorer Revealed

2017 Ford Explorer shown. 2018 Ford Explorer will recieve minor updates to design and technology.

2017 Ford Explorer shown. 2018 Ford Explorer will receive minor updates to design and technology.

The refreshed 2018 Ford Explorer was revealed last month, with updates to the grille and fog lamps as well as five new wheel choices and four new color options: Burgundy Velvet Tinted Clearcoat, Cinnamon Glaze, Platinum Dune Tricoat, and Blue Metallic.

The new Explorer was just refreshed mid-cycle for the 2016 model year, so the updates to the 2018 model are fairly minor, but it does have several technology updates that will have drivers gunning for the new model. The Explorer will have a 4G LTE hotspot with Wi-Fi connectivity that can support up to 10 devices with a range of 50 feet around the vehicle, and drivers can use it to lock and unlock the vehicle remotely as well as start it with the FordPass phone app.

The biggest addition to the Explorer is the Safe and Smart Package, which includes tons of active safety features like adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, autonomous emergency braking, and more. It will keep the same engine options, which include a 3.5-liter V6, a turbocharged inline-four, and a turbocharged V6.

You can look for the 2018 Ford Explorer in dealerships this fall. Get more information about the upcoming Explorer today at Friendly Ford!

Check Out These Thanksgiving Events in Chicago This Year

Here at Friendly Ford, we are so thankful to be just a short drive away from the amazing city of Chicago – the perfect place to be this Thanksgiving season. Whether you are looking for a place to practice your favorite tradition or something new, there is no shortage of Thanksgiving events in Chicago this year:

Thanksgiving

  • Thanksgiving Parade – This one is a no-brainer; if you can manage to wake up in time and get a good spot, you will treasure an in-person viewing of the Thanksgiving Day Parade.
  • Turkey Day Run – All donations for this Turkey Day Run, which includes multiple races, go to the Greater Chicago Food Depository.
  • ZooLights – It’s no secret to Chicagoans that the Lincoln Park Zoo is perhaps the best free zoo in the country, and that’s certainly the case during the winter season, when the zoo is dressed up in holiday lights.
  • Mac & Cheese Fest – Lastly, you may not consider macaroni and cheese to be a Thanksgiving staple, but after you attend this delicious, cheesy festival, you are sure to change your mind.

Be sure to drive safely this holiday season, and if you would like to take your next family road trip in a brand new car, visit us anytime at Friendly Ford.

The Fascinating History of Navy Pier

There are so many attractions in the great city of Chicago that it’s practically impossible to see it all in one weekend. But, for those limited on time while in the Windy City, Navy Pier is always a top priority. From its iconic Ferris wheel to its serene Crystal Gardens to its multitude of restaurants, Navy Pier has become a top destination in downtown Chicago.

Navy Pier

But how did Navy Pier become what it is today? Here’s a brief history of Navy Pier.

Navy Pier’s origins began in 1909 when city planner Daniel Burnham had the idea to build several recreational piers in Chicago. Only one was eventually built, costing $4.5 million (a lot of money back then!) and opening in 1916. At that time it was called Municipal Pier. It became a hub of entertainment in the rollicking 1920s and even survived through the Great Depression.

Interestingly, during the World Wars, the US military housed regiments of soldiers, Home Defense personnel, and Red Cross efforts on the pier. That’s why it was renamed Navy Pier in 1927 to honor the Navy veterans.

Over the next decades, it was the site of numerous conventions but after a fire tore through it, the pier fell into disuse by 1971.

Luckily, it was declared a historic landmark by the city in 1977 and the following decades were spent renovating Navy Pier into a $150 million attraction that was re-launched in 1995.

Next time you’re in Chicago, spend an afternoon at Navy Pier. And if you have time for a second place, visit us at Friendly Ford!

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 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.

Holiday Events in Roselle and Beyond

In our beautiful village of Roselle, tradition truly does meet tomorrow during the holidays. If you’re looking for holiday events in Roselle and the Chicago area, you won’t have to travel far to find the holiday spirit. Here are some of our favorite events here at Friendly Ford:

ZooLights at the Lincoln Zoo

At the top of our list is a must-see for the whole family. The ZooLights at the Lincoln Zoo is a spectacle that you won’t soon forget.  Lit up on November 29th, this twinkling wonderland will continue to shine each night until January 5th (closed for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day). ZooLights is a free event, so bring the kids on to meet Santa and some of his wild zoo friends. For more information, visit http://www.lpzoo.org/.

Navy Pier’s Winter Wonderfest

The outdoors a bit chilly for you? How about a winter wonderland that takes place entirely indoors? The Navy Pier’s Winter Wonderfest does just that, featuring carnival rides and ice skating amid the sights and sounds of the season. Marvel at the themed Christmas trees decorated by community groups, meet Santa, and even take part in the Craft Corner and Winter WonderTown. Visit http://www.winterwonderfest.com for more information on this magical event.

Holiday Exhibition Roller Derby Bout

Sure, hot cocoa and glittering lights are nice, but some people need a little more excitement in their holiday season. Here in Roselle, the Derby Dames will be competing in their Christmas best at Coachlite Skate Center. As The Griswolds, The McCallisters, The Red Ryders, and The Leg Lamps, they are going to zip, tackle, and scream holiday spirit this Saturday at 5:30pm. For more information, visit http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/516839.

Let’s Get it Blackhawks!

For the Chicago Blackhawks, it’s certainly been a season to remember, regardless of the outcome of the Stanley Cup Finals Game 6. As the Blackhawks are on the cusp of their second Stanley Cup in four seasons, we’re going to take a look back at how they got here.

The Blackhawks started the lockout-shortened NHL regular season with a record of 24 straight games without a loss to start the season. A blistering hot start to the season led to a Central Division Championship and a league best 77 points had them as the top seed going into the playoffs.

They made quick work of the Minnesota Wild in the first round winning in 5 games. The second round of the playoffs was a different story as the Blackhawks were forced to overcome a 3-1 deficit in their series vs. the Detroit Red Wing and take it to a thrilling game 7 that Chicago took in overtime. The next round the Blackhawks got back on track by beating the defending champion Los Angeles Kings in 5 games. So the next stop was the Stanley Cup Finals where Chicago would face the Boston Bruins.

In Game 1 the Blackhawks overcame a 3-1 third period deficit to win 4-3 in triples overtime. The Bruins returned the favor with an overtime win in Game 2 to tie the series at 1-1 going into Game 3. The Bruins completely shut out the Blackhawks in Game 3 to go up 2-1 in the series. This lead to another thrilling overtime finish in Game 4 where Brent Seabrook scored a game winning goal and a 6-5 victory to even the series at 2 games a piece. Chicago took the series lead in game 5 thanks to 2 goals from Patrick Kane. The Blackhawks can close out the series tonight with a Game 6 win in Boston.

Friendly Ford is really hoping the Blackhawks can pull it out tonight, or at least in game 7. We couldn’t be more proud of the fight and resilience this team has showed time and time again this year!

Farewell, Brian Urlacher!

The Chicago Bears have recently announced that they are parting ways with Brian Urlacher, their future Hall of Fame middle Linebacker. Urlacher was more than just a Pro Bowl linebacker, he was the face of the franchise ever since the Bears drafted him 9th overall out of New Mexico at the 2000 NFL Draft. This news has left many in the Chicago area shaken up, Friendly Ford included.

It was said the Bears offered a take it or leave it 1-year 2 million dollar contract ultimatum. Urlacher was looking for at least 3 million and found the offer insulting. Both sides then agreed to part ways which made for a sad day in the Windy City.

The beginning of the end of the Urlacher era can be traced back to the Bears total collapse after starting the season 7-1 last year. They finished the season losing 5 out of their last 8 games and missing the playoffs with a 10-6 record. This debacle led to the firing of long-time head coach and Urlacher supporter, Lovie Smith. With Smith and his staff gone, the Bears front office turned to Canadien Football League coach Marc Trestman to call the shots.

The split was a surprise to many because Urlacher was still playing football at a very high level even at the age of 34. However, he did have a problem staying healthy in recent years and missed the last 4 games of the season last year which contributed to the Bears missing the playoffs. Most feel certain though that Lovie Smith would have 100% been in favor of bringing Urlacher back next season.

Over the course of his illustrious career with the Bears, Urlacher collected plenty of hardware the last 13 seasons. He was selected to 8 Pro Bowls, won NFL Rookie of the Year in 2000 and was selected as the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2005. He also led the 2006 Bears to their first Super Bowl appearance since the 1985 team won it all back in the glory years.

Friendly Ford wants to thank Brian Urlacher for all the great memories throughout the years and wish him nothing but the best in the future!

Ford Fusion Sales in February Skyrocket

The 2013 Ford Fusion is celebrating its best February sales in the vehicle’s 7 year history. Sales for the Ford Fusion last month were better than ever, posting a total of 27,875 units sold. That number was a 28% increase from last February, and was also close to the all-time record for any month. March 2012 currently holds that record with 28,562 cars sold.

The Fusion has been a hot seller throughout the entire country but has been growing extraordinarily high in California and Florida. Los Angeles and San Francisco in particular had the highest sales growth in the country while showing sales increases of over 100% year-over-year.

One of the greatest markets for Ford growth is the US, has been Southeast Florida. The Fusion has been catching on quickly down there as well. Sales in Miami were up 114% and Orlando sales up 72% from last year.

Texas, which has always been the leading market for light-duty trucks, also features one of the best midsize sedan markets in the nation with its largest city, Houston. Fusion sales were up a whopping 73% compared to last February.

With highly fuel-efficient Eco Boost engine, top safety ratings, innovative technologies and a stylish look, it’s not surprising that the 2013 Ford Fusion is one of the hottest cars on the market.

Those of you in the greater Chicago area looking to get behind the wheel of the wildly popular Fusion should look no further than Friendly Ford!

Happy 50th MJ!

The greatest basketball player to ever play in Chicago—who are we kidding, the greatest athlete ever to play any sport, anywhere, ever—Michael Jordan, is reaching a new milestone this weekend. It’s actually not basketball related this time. Hard to believe but our sports hero is turning 50 on Sunday.

Jordan retired from the Chicago Bulls after the 1997-1998 season (let’s forget about that stint with the Washington Wizards) which was actually 14 years ago, but he’s still undoubtedly the most iconic athlete the world has ever seen.  His bald head, baggy shorts, and trademark Air Jordan shoes helped re-style the NBA. His off-the-court impact has also been indicated by his Jordan Brand clothing, Jordan Cologne, and the countless endorsements deals (Gatorade, Nike, McDonalds, etc.). Even today, when Jordan chimes in and give his opinion on the debate of who is better between Kobe and LeBron, it’s all the sudden the top story.

Over his illustrious NBA career, Jordan collected 6 NBA championships, 6 Finals MVPs, 5 regular season MVPs, 14 All-Star appearances, 3 All-Star game MVPs, 10 scoring titles, 1 Defensive Player of the Year award, 1 Rookie of the Year award, and 10 All-NBA first team selections. Throw in an NCAA championship and 2 Olympic Gold Medals and you’re looking one of the accomplished athletes ever.

He played and carried himself with such style and grace to the point that everything he did all the sudden became popular and became cool. This man was and truly is larger than life.

Here at Friendly Ford, we’d like to give a Happy Birthday shout out to Michael Jordan! Thanks for the memories, Mike!