2014 Paris Motor Show highlights

Ford

The future looks bright for the Chinese Volvo

China’s meteoric rise to become the center of the world’s automotive industry was well documented last week in our article and video on SAIC’s YEZ Concept car. This week another Chinese manufacturer is making global headlines by buying Volvo Automobiles. Unlike Government-owned SAIC, Volvo’s purchaser Zhejiang Geely is a public company controlled by Li Shufu (top left) a self-made 47 year-old billionaire who is being heralded as China’s Henry Ford. Geely’s ambition knows no bounds – it already plans to produce the world’s cheapest car (the tiny gullwing at top right), has a range of green drive trains ready for market including full electric and parallel and serial hybrids, has plans to produce a serious sports cars (bottom right) and now the first fully-owned Chinese prestige auto brand looks set to grab a fat slice of the Government fleet which makes up 8% of China’s auto market.  Read More

Boeing Phantom Eye (Photo: Boeing)

Unveiled earlier this week in St. Louis, Boeing's Phantom Eye will set a new benchmark in long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology when it takes to the skies in 2011. With a wing-span of 150-feet, the hydrogen-powered aircraft will cruise at 150 knots, carry up to 450-pounds and stay aloft at 65,000 feet for up to four days. Boeing calls it a game-changer, and plans are already in progress to build a bigger version that can remain airborne for 10 days.  Read More

Ford's new Curve Control system automatically slows vehicles down when they're entering a ...

We’ve all done it – swung too fast onto a freeway ramp and then suddenly had to yank on the steering wheel for control of the vehicle. It’s not fun, and reportedly loosing control on a bend accounts for about 50,000 crashes every year in the U.S. alone. That’s why Ford is introducing Curve Control on its 2011 Explorer and on 90 percent of its crossovers, SUVs, trucks and vans by 2015. The system senses when you’re entering a curve too quickly, and automatically slows your speed by up to 10mph in approximately one second.  Read More

Santos, the biomechanically-correct avatar

He may look like he stepped straight out of Second Life, but he isn’t here to kid around. Santos is a computer-generated auto worker who will perform various tasks on a virtual Ford assembly line, showing real-world researchers how those tasks affect his body. The avatar was originally developed for the US Department of Defense at the University of Iowa as part of the Virtual Soldier Research program where he was used to determine the physical strain that soldiers would experience in a variety of situations. Hmm... auto worker, soldier, university education, muscular, exotic name... perhaps he did just step out of Second Life.  Read More

The world's fastest road car - 1900 rear wheel horsepower and 267 mph after one mile

The emerging sport of One Mile Racing has a new champion – Ray Hofman's 2006 Ford GT runs a twin-turbo motor with a reputed 1900 rear wheel horsepower. A fortnight ago, Hofman piloted his Heffner Performance modified Ford GT over the measured mile with a terminal velocity of 266.9 mph, beating out the other two logical contenders for the title of the world's fastest street car. Just for the record, a Bugatti Veyron exits the standing mile at just over 200 mph. Hofman is now aiming for 280 mph. Is this the world's fastest road car?  Read More

Unveiled at the Beijing Motor Show, there's definitely a certain stripped-back elegance ab...

Ford designers set their sights on creating an endearingly simple vehicle for their latest project, and we'd have to say they've succeeded. Unveiled at the Beijing Motor Show, there's definitely a certain stripped-back elegance about the Start Concept, which along with its sculpted lines and some clever interior customization options, features a new 1.0-liter, three-cylinder addition to the company's EcoBoost petrol engine family that promises a CO2 rating of under 100 g/km.  Read More

Ford and Microsoft have teamed together to deliver Microsoft Hohm to US owners of EVs in o...

A couple of the drawbacks of owning an electric vehicle (EV) will be remembering to recharge it daily and knowing what time of day or night is best to take advantage of the most cost-effective electricity tariff. According to some figures, a household’s energy consumption could double while an EV is charging. To help overcome these conundrums, Ford and Microsoft have joined forces to implement the Microsoft Hohm energy management application for Ford’s EVs, starting with the Focus Electric next year.  Read More

Ford estimates it will save US$1.2 million annually by implementing a new PC Power Managem...

If companies and individuals still need an example of the economic and environmental benefits of switching off electrical equipment when not in use, here it is. Ford estimates it will save US$1.2 million annually on power costs alone and reduce its carbon footprint by an estimated 16,000 to 25,000 metric tons annually by implementing a new PC Power Management program. The new program will centrally control the power settings on Windows laptops and desktop PCs to enable a managed shutdown of computer systems not in use, especially overnight and on weekends.  Read More

Ford Motor Company's new Police Interceptor, due to replace the Crown Victoria currently u...

For the past 18 years, the cop car of choice for North American police forces has been a modified version of the Ford Crown Victoria. And here’s an interesting fact about the Crown Vic: it hasn’t been available to the general public since 2008. Here’s another: it looks like something your grandpa would drive. While police forces like the cars because of their V8 engines, rear-wheel-drive, and easy-to-repair body-on-frame construction, they have become aesthetically and technologically dated. It’s time for a change, so the Ford Motor Company is offering one - last Friday, they revealed a new purpose-built Police Interceptor, which will take over when the Crown Victoria goes out of production in late 2011. The Ford Taurus-based sedan is said to exceed the durability, safety, performance and fuel economy of the Crown Vic.  Read More

Unveiling the Ford Transit Connect Electric van

The Ford Motor Company chose the recent Chicago Auto Show to unveil its long awaited Transit Connect Electric van. The all-electric light duty commercial vehicle is the first in Ford’s accelerated electrified vehicle plan that also includes the Focus Electric in 2011, as well as a plug-in hybrid vehicle and next generation hybrid technology due in 2012.  Read More

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