What’s News: 2 more Ford recalls

Recall the first: Ranger fasteners

Ford’s first recall of the day covers approximately 2,500 examples of the 2019 Ranger midsize pickup. The vehicles were all built at Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant between March 5 and 13, 2019. This recall also covers about 260 trucks in Canada.

Ford’s second recall covers a much larger number of vehicles, encompassing some 270,000 examples of the 2013-2016 Ford Fusion, all of which are equipped with Ford’s 2.5-liter I4 gas engine. The vehicles were built at both the Flat Rock Assembly Plant and the Hermosillo Assembly Plant between early 2012 and early 2016.

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What’s News: 2019 Mustang 350 better than the best

Once the nose of the 2019 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 was pointed down the main straight of M1 Concourse, I mashed the throttle to the floor. All usual things happened—forceful acceleration, more noise, that floaty sensation behind my navel—but then something different did, too.

The rev needle kept climbing, climbing, climbing. Instinct told me that I should have upshifted long ago, but here I was screaming toward 8,000 RPM with the engine still feeling like it had plenty left to give. This was spooky. This was incredible.

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Ford teases competition for Tesla Y

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Ford is preparing to launch its first electric vehicle built to be electric from the ground up: a Mustang-inspired all-electric crossover, and now, the automaker is teasing it as a Tesla Model Y competitor.

Last year, Ford said that it was going ‘all-in’ on EVs following the ousting of CEO Mark Fields and appointment of Jim Hackett.

Hackett formed a new internal team, called ‘Team Edison’, to oversee electric car programs. He also shifted one-third of internal combustion engine investments to electric cars, but the company is still investing more in the former than the latter.

Ford confirmed that its first next-gen electric vehicle will be inspired by the Mustang.

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Ford teases Mustang-inspired electric SUV as Tesla Model Y competitor

Earlier this year, Ford released the first image of the vehicle — pictured above — and the Mustang-inspired all-electric crossover is expected to hit the market as soon as next year.

What’s News: VW cheated?

Porsche has just announced it will not appeal a penalty imposed upon it by the Stuttgart Prosecutor’s Office for violating the German Act on Regulatory Offenses. In other words, Porsche has agreed to pay a penalty following an investigation regarding its role in fitting vehicles with diesel engines. Dieselgate is still haunting VW Group brands. Porsche will now pay a total of €535 Euros, or $599 million according to the latest conversion rates, for negligent breach beginning in 2009 for failure to follow regulatory requirements in exhaust gas-related testing.

Parent company Volkswagen Group knew a heavy fine was coming and therefore began setting aside the money. Porsche says it will take the financial impact of this fine into account when it reports its second-quarter earnings.

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Street Racing

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For many people, the idea of street racing creates bad vibes especially if it’s an illegal event. As an event, it precedes cars by several centuries as there were many illegal horse races and chariot races on the roads before the invention of the motor car.

The heyday for street racing was in the 1960s with a race that should have taken place at Woodward Avenue Drag Strip in Detroit, Michigan. However, because the racecourse was often unavailable the organizers took it to public roads instead. This was only the beginning of their problems.

Organizing Chaos

The consensus among street race organizers is that it’s best to avoid the busier areas of the city and suburbs. This might have to do with safety or it possibly could have something to do with not getting caught!

Apart from that, there seems to be a whole spectrum of how an event can be held. Some are almost spontaneous; others are planned precisely over several months-it all depends on who the organizers are.

hot-rod-875524_1920However, it comes together and despite the best planning things can still go wrong. In an event in Southern California in 2018, several bystanders were killed as well as a number of the drivers. One of those killed was to a nineteen-year-old returning from Disneyland.

As for the money aspect, the amount of money being bet on these events is staggering. It’s a ready-made audience of gamblers.

As well as racing another activity bet on is the “side-show” or “takeover,” which refers to a crowd of cars associated with the organizers who will block a junction just ahead of the racers coming through. As the racing cars need to get as close to each other as they can, crashes often occur. Side bets get placed on that as well. Basically when it comes to street racing “High Stakes” is measured in peoples’ lives.

Law Enforcement Response

The police are trying to fix the problem using a special task force but they face challenges including that they are likely to suffer assault while physically attempting to break up events. Even when they do raid a race they may find the ringleaders are elsewhere, remember that it is a virtual event too. The task force must look at the big picture.

With modern social media and the ability to generate flash mobs many, it can tough for police to prevent a race. Organizers have plenty of incentive to keep it up too, because there’s a lot of money in it, as we’ll return to in a moment.

Modifications

Race organizers sometimes move to a whole new area where police haven’t had a chance to prepare. An event in Sweden was covered by filmmaker Stephanie Benini who used a reality TV style way of broadcasting to focus on the event itself. The video shows a number of police cars at the scene. The whole thing lasted nine hours, between 11pm and 8am and police weren’t able to shut it down.

If racing weren’t dangerous enough inherently, experts viewing the movie footage have observed some of the cars have been massively upgraded. One Volvo, for example, has rear tires in the film that don’t match any Volvo being sold on forecourts. Maybe improper customization will play a part in future street races and future race accidents.

Even though it is an illegal event the organizers tried to be as sensible as they could be, closing down roads for the racers. But as stated above, the danger aspect cannot be removed completely.

Legal Races

As an interesting side note, racing returned to Woodward in 2018. Here’s a story on the topic.

What’s News: Ford fuel economy lawsuit brewing

Last December, Ford announced its all-new 2019 Ranger was “the most fuel-efficient gas-powered midsize pickup in America.” The EPA rated the reborn Ranger at 21/26/23 mpg city/highway/combined. Prefer the 4×4 variant? You’re looking at 20/24/22 mpg. Not bad at all. Unfortunately, those figures could be inaccurate.

Automotive News reports that a new lawsuit seeking class-action status has just been filed that accuses Ford of customer deception regarding the new Ranger’s fuel economy ratings, as well as a few other vehicles. This information came to light following the already announced criminal investigation into Ford’s emissions certification process. The very same firm that led class-action suits against Toyota for unintended acceleration and Volkswagen for on diesel emissions, Hagens Berman, just filed a complaint alleging Ford “deliberately miscalculated and misrepresented factors used in vehicle certification testing.”

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What’s News: F2 will switch to 18” tires in 2020

Formula 2 is to switch to 18-inch tyres next year in a move that will help Pirelli get a season of racing experience under its belt before F1 follows suit in 2021.

As part of Liberty Media’s vision for a big overhaul of F1 from 2021, one of the changes that has been set in stone is a shift to 18-inch rubber.

But in a surprise move announced ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix, it has been decided that F2 will have the different-sized wheels a year in advance of F1.

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What’s News: Mazda challenges all comers

According to the March 2019 fiscal year results report, Mazda is apparently developing an all-new straight-six engine with Skyactiv-Xtechnology, joining BMW, Mercedes, and Jaguar with renewed commitment to the best engine you can put in a car, and making Toyota look a little silly.

In this presentation titled Fiscal Year 2019 March Results on Mazda’s investor website, page 25 details some future product plans for the company going forward, including expanding on its fantastic Kodo design language, developing a mild-hybrid system and its own electric vehicle technology, and then seemingly out of nowhere casually lists a Skyactiv-X straight-six, as well as a Skyactiv-D straight-six diesel.

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