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— Urban Transport

Ford tips F1 technology into elegant E-Bike concept

By - September 22, 2011 6 Pictures
Automotive manufacturers often use the media glare surrounding events like the International Motor Show in Frankfurt to showcase concept vehicles never intended for production. Such models are created to highlight cutting edge design or brand new technology. This year Ford unveiled an urban mobility concept that uniquely marries Formula One sensing technology with a two-wheeled pedelec bike. The E-Bike design also sees the electric assist motor positioned at the front and cabling hidden within the graceful lines of the lightweight trapezoidal frame. Read More
— Automotive

Ford's Evos – four-gullwing-door fastback plug-in hybrid concept connects to 'the cloud'

By - September 1, 2011 57 Pictures
Ford's Evos may only be a concept car but with its four scissor doors reaching skyward to the heavens, it is both the most distinctive and important concept from Ford in many a year. The Evos is the first manifestation of the Blue Oval's "first truly global design language," a visual signature that Ford hopes will make its next generation of vehicles more recognizable than the current fleet. The plug-in hybrid will debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show two weeks from now and previews not just the new family resemblance, but the intuitive "cloud connected" functionality Ford will infuse into the next generation of vehicles. Read More
— Automotive

Edsel Ford’s 1934 Model 40 Speedster

By - August 19, 2011 8 Pictures
The annual Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance sees the world's most original and extraordinary automobiles on display, and this year another priceless restoration joined the group. Edsel Bryant Ford’s 1934 Model 40 Special Speedster has been the subject of an extensive restoration which returned it to how it originally looked in 1940 after its final redesign by Ford and Ford's lead designer E. T. Gregorie. That a 77-year-old vehicle can have aged as gracefully as it has is testimony to the talent of those that built it. Read More
— Automotive

Ford and SunPower offer rooftop solar panels to offset electricity used to charge EVs

By - August 18, 2011 2 Pictures
Although electric vehicles can claim to be greener by producing zero local emissions, the electricity used to charge their batteries needs to come from somewhere. For most people, that somewhere is usually a fossil fuel-powered power station, lessening the green credentials of such vehicles. In an effort to let drivers go the extra green mile, Ford and solar technology company SunPower have teamed up to offer buyers of Ford's upcoming EVs a discounted rooftop solar system to provide enough renewable energy to offset the electricity used to charge the vehicles. Read More
— Automotive

Ford produces the smallest motor in its history - three cylinder 1.0-Liter EcoBoost

By - June 6, 2011 6 Pictures
It’s a sign of the times that Ford is gearing up to launch the smallest capacity engine, with less cylinders than any it has previously produced. The new 1.0-liter EcoBoost will be launched globally in all small Ford cars, and in addition to recognized technologies employed by Ford in its EcoBoost engines, such as turbocharging, direct injection and twin independent variable camshaft timing (Ti-VCT), the new three-cylinder engine will have an offset crankshaft for improved fuel economy, a split cooling system that allows the cylinder block to warm up before the cylinder head, and the exhaust manifold is cast into the cylinder head to lower exhaust gas temperatures and save weight. Read More
— Automotive

Ford turns to chocolate bar to develop lighter plastic components

By - April 8, 2011 2 Pictures
We’ve seen the world’s first Formula 3 car running on a fuel derived from waste chocolate, and now engineers at Ford have turned to the tasty treat for inspiration to produce lighter plastic parts for Ford’s vehicles. Plastic parts have traditionally been a difficult area to save weight without sacrificing strength and durability, but by looking to the Aero chocolate bar they have produced a lighter plastic by introducing gas bubbles into the plastic as it is molded. The result is a microscopic honeycomb structure that Ford says saves weight by reducing the amount of plastic used without compromising the integrity of the part. Read More
— Automotive

Ford’s lighting lab mimics the ever-moving Sun

By - March 22, 2011 3 Pictures
When designing a vehicle’s interior, it’s essential to know what different colors, instrument layouts and lighting options will look like at different times of day. Certain shades of black, for instance, can look almost gray in bright sunlight, while instruments that are clearly visible at night may be subject to glare during the day. Since 2006, engineers at the Ford Motor Company have been using something called the Visual Performance Evaluation Lab (VPEL) to determine what the insides of their vehicles will look like at any time of day, under varying amounts of cloud cover. Read More
— Automotive

Ford’s electric Comuta Concept – 43 years after its debut

By - March 11, 2011 1 Picture
It’s extraordinary what pops up in the in-box each week. Those with a keen eye for fashion will note that the picture is from the sixties – the Ford Comuta was a concept presented at the Geneva Motor Show in 1967. It was all-electric, had a top speed of 40 mph and a range of 40 miles, and that was 40 years ago. The upcoming electric Ford Focus has more than double the range (160 km) and double the top speed of 84 mph (135 km/h), but surely the Comuta is worth digging out of the archives for a second look. With modern motors and advanced controllers and high density batteries, the Comuta might be quite suitable for European cities such as London where road speeds haven’t progressed much since the horse and cart. Read More
— Automotive

Ford draws first blood in battle of new WRC cars

By - February 16, 2011 56 Pictures
WRC is the closest of all world class motorsport competition to the genuine road environment, though conditions vary considerably across the 13 race, five continent series from last weekend’s first round in Sweden where blizzards and -28ºC temperatures necessitated tungsten-tipped studded Michelin tyres, through to the gravel and rocks and 40ºC temperatures the cars will encounter a fortnight from now in Mexico. New “environmentally aware” regulations were introduced this year based around 1600cc turbocharged, 4WD cars, and Ford's all-new Fiesta RS made a dream debut with a 1-2-3 finish. Snow plough duty on day one and a puncture on day two stopped seven-time World Rally Champion Sébastien Loeb from getting near the podium but Loeb’s new Citroen DS3 challenger proved fast and reliable and recorded more fastest stage times than rally winner Hirvonen. Read More
— Automotive

Ford’s home EV charging station stacks up against competitors

By - January 16, 2011 12 Pictures
Home charging stations aren't included in the purchase price of the growing numbers of electric vehicles from major automakers, so unless you live next door to a public charging station or are one of the 4,400 Volt owners to snap up a free one from GM, you’ll be forced to shell out some extra cash if you want a faster charging option than is possible with the included 120-volt cable. At least Ford’s home charging station for its new Focus Electric is shaping-up to be little cheaper and more flexible than some competitor offerings. Read More
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