As if we didn’t have enough to worry about on the roads, Massachusetts has recently started using unmarked Ford F150’s to catch unlawful drivers. This was first brought to the public’s attention by Noah, a writer for the Pansy Patrol. The description of the vehicle is a late model blue/gray F150 with an officer inside and government plates. Hidden light bars also adorn the vehicle, but chances are the only time you’ll see them are when the lights are flashing red and blue.
While I support the officers who manage traffic violations, I personally think using unmarked police vehicles is borderline to “playing by the rules”, especially when you consider the safety aspects of pulling over for an unmarked vehicle. Now that they are using one of the most popular trucks on the road, the use of unmarked police vehicles goes farther into the gray area.
Ford Active Park Assist
It all started with BMW, who developed the technology to have a car park itself in your garage. But that wasn’t practical enough for Toyota, who had been developing parallel parking technology. While it does “work”, many journalists have said the system is complicated to use and needs more refinement before being released to the world.
Most other auto manufacturers have been hush-hush about this technology, but Ford has decided to enter the ring with their own parallel parking system. and it looks like they’ve gotten it right. Despite the extremely larger area provided in this video, the system appears to be very simple to use.
When you’re ready to park, you hit the Park button on the center console and drive forward until you find a spot that looks like it’ll work. The parking system will ding if it thinks the spot is acceptable (cutoff is vehicle length + 20%). All you need to do then is pull forward until its happy, put the transmission into reverse and let the system take care of the rest. Pretty neat, huh? Hit the jump to see the vid.
Posted in Auto Manufacturers, Cool Vehicles, News Worthy, Safe Driving, Videos
Tagged Auto Technology, Automotive Technology, Autos, Cars, Cool, Ford, Park, Parking, Technology
AutoAnything is committed to quality, which is why we carry big name brands that devote a lot of their time to Research and Development. It’s not often that our partners get nationally recognized for all their hard work, but when it does happen, you gotta give credit where credit is due.
The Travel channels television show, Worlds Greatest, did a feature on DiabloSport. After looking at their operations, the ingenuity of their products & their upcoming DiabloSport Trinity programmer, the show’s host dubbed them the Worlds Greatest Automotive Performance Company. Here the clip from the broadcast:
Posted in News Worthy, Performance Chips, Product Review, Tuners, TV Shows, Videos
Tagged Autos, Cars, Chevy, Diablo Sport, DiabloSport, DiabloSport Trinity, Dodge, Ford, performance chips, Performance Parts, Power Programmer, Trucks
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen technology like this. BMW has the technology for their cars to pull forward into a garage after you get out of the vehicle and pull out the key. Toyota has a similar technology called Intelligent Park Assist, which lets their cars parallel park themselves into a parking space, although there have been some reports that this technology might need a little more fine tuning before it’s ready for the masses.
Ford has unveiled today their own parking assist technology which is similar to Toyota’s. The cool thing about it is that it will actually find (via sensors) a parking space before you can activate the system. It will be first rolled out in the Cadillac line of autos, but it should find it’s way to Ford and maybe Mercury, if that brand doesn’t hit the chopping block. Here’s a cool demo video from Ford.
Posted in Auto Manufacturers, Cool Vehicles, News Worthy, Safe Driving, Videos
Tagged BMW, Cadillac, Ford, Mercury, Park, Park Assist, Parking, Toyota, Video
There’s no denying that the American auto industry is in trouble. Ford, General Motors and Chrysler are all saying they could run out of operating cash by as soon as the first half of 2009. If they go down, an estimated 3-6 million Americans would lose their jobs over the next several years. These jobs are made up of the 355,000 people directly employed by the big three and also the companies that rely on domestic auto makers for business; dealerships, OEM manufacturers and financing companies would all go down the drain.
There is no doubt that it would be bad for our economy if Ford, Chrysler and General Motors all go bankrupt. The CEO’s of Detroit are in Washington D.C. today asking for another $25 billion dollar loan that they can use to invest in green technologies and to also pay their monthly bills. Although that seems like a sizable amount of money, it would be split evenly between all three companies. Considering that GM’s monthly operating cost is $13 billion, this loan would only keep GM alive for another three weeks!
I’m all for supporting our American economy, it really is in trouble. But did the CEO’s really have to fly in their private company jets to Washington DC ? Analyst Richard Aboulafia of the Teal Group estimates the roundtrip cost at $20,000 for each jet. A first-class roundtrip ticket bought this morning would have cost less than $1,000.
I think we do need to figure out a way to save the American auto industry, but Rick Wagoner (GM), Alan Mulally (Ford) and Bob Nardelli (Chrysler) are not inspiring any confidence with their not-so-thrifty decisions. Congress seems to agree; “There is a delicious irony in seeing private luxury jets flying into Washington, D.C., and people coming off of them with tin cups in their hand, saying that they’re going to be trimming down and streamlining their businesses,” said the Democratic Representative Gary Ackerman of New York.
Is scary to realize that Detroit’s treo hasn’t yet figured out that saving jobs should come before the preservation of their company perks.
Source: ABC News via AutoBlog – Photo by Mark Wilson
Posted in Auto Manufacturers, News Worthy, Stupid Stunts
Tagged Auto, Autos, Bailout, Car, Cars, Chrysler, Congress, Dodge, Ford, General Motors, GM, News, Politics, Truck, Trucks
Think trucks and truck accessories are dead? The 2008 SEMA Show proved quite the opposite. Two new full-size trucks, the 2009 Dodge Ram and the 2009 Ford F-150, are driving hundreds of new parts to the aftermarket arena.
Sure, accessories for green vehicles like the Smart Fortwo and Prius were given plenty of press ahead of the show. But there was little depth behind all of the high talk, as 2009 Ford F-150 accessories and 2009 Dodge Ram accessories outpaced parts for fuel misers by a cavernous margin.
Clearly, SEMA’s sharpest parts producers still want and need to be in the truck business. The big economic and environmental guns at their collective temples demand that a few highly publicized bones be thrown in trendy directions. Still, virtually no manufacturer suggests that green car accessories can replace the green lost when truck sales are sagging.
That’s probably why SEMA 2008 pushed a massive lot of 2009 F-150 accessories, but did so with little fanfare. Performance exhaust systems, suspension lift kits, lowering kits, style bits like billet grilles and body kits, and the usual utility suspects like tonneau covers and side steps all made their debut.
The wave continued on the Mopar side. 2009 Dodge Ram accessories sharpened the horns of the latest 1500 from Auburn Hills. Lifts, slams, truck bed accessories and bold bull bars premiered at SEMA 2008, allaying some fears that this Ram is more Caravan than Power Wagon.
Ford itself bolstered the 2009 F-150’s excitement with eye-attracting show concepts like the much-anticipated Raptor concept and a loaded jobsite dreamboat courtesy of DeWalt. While Chrysler’s Mopar booth focused on Challenger muscle, 2009 Dodge Rams roamed throughout the show floor as the showcase truck for dozens of brands.
The hot story of SEMA 2008 may be about trying to make traditional accessories and performance parts for non-traditional vehicles. Behind this public face, though, truck accessories are alive and well – especially if you’re sizing up a great deal on a 2009 Ford F-150 or Dodge Ram. Expect no shortage of add-ons for the latest editions of these mainstay half-tons.
Image caption: Extang’s latest tonneau cover on a showy 2009 F-150 Platinum Edition.
Posted in SEMA
Tagged Car Shows, Cars, Dodge, Ford, pickup truck bed covers, Prius, SEMA, SEMA 2008, SEMA Show, SEMA2008, Suv, Tonneau Cover, tonneau covers, Toyota, Trucks
Apparently, the design crew over at Ford’s Dearborn think tank remembers the spectacle that was the Jurassic McPark Summer of ’93. For 2 solid months, no one could venture out into public without being pounced on by prehistoric marketing, from reptilian underwear to dino-themed Scottish burgers so big that even Jeff Goldblum couldn’t, uh uh, wrap his, uh uh uh, enormous mouth around.
15 years later, Ford is reviving the memory of the film’s window-fogging villains by re-badging an F150 and dressing it up for intense off-roading. As I was circling around this impressive truck, complete with faux dust to simulate a weekend romp at Glamis, it became glaringly obvious that the Raptor is a real contender to swipe some of PreRunner market share
And it’s about time. Detroit’s oldest dinosaur has yet to put up a contender who can fight against the popularity of Nisson’s 4X4. The underwhelming yet similarly sized (Tremor, Edge or otherwise) has never proved to generate the same kind of cult following in mud-bogging circles as the Tacoma. However, the Ford Raptor may just kick start the company’s image in the minds of desert rats. This model at SEMA was decked out with deluxe upgrades, and I could see the reps from different suspension and tubular steel companies smacking their lips envisioning the accessories they could pump out for this killer
And, for the shameless self-promotion segment of this story, you can count on AutoAnything to be fully stocked with all the sharp gear that comes out for Ford’s latest best.
Posted in SEMA
Tagged F-150, F150, Ford, Ford F-150, Ford F150, Ford Trucks, Raptor, SEMA, SEMA 2008, SEMA Show, SEMA2008
The F150 is undisputably the most successful vehicle in the history of automobiles. At its peak, Ford was selling an F150 every 34 seconds, which is nearly 930,000 trucks sold in one year. Unfortunately for Ford, escalating gas prices have nearly killed truck sales this year, leaving them with tens of thousands of unsold vehicles. Ford knows they have a goose that lays golden eggs, they just need to figure out how to capitalize on it given the current market conditions.
Enter PML Fightlink, a UK based electric-motor and drive technology firm. Ford teamed up with PML to produce this one-off concept Ford F150 for the 2008 SEMA show. They started with a base crew cab F150 and striped out the engine, fuel system, transmission, gearbox, drivetrain, differentials and fuel tank to make room for a 40 kilowatt battery.
That 40kw battery powers four electric Hi-Pa drive motors that are installed at each wheel, and each motor produces 150 horsepower and 150 ft-lbs of torque at any RPM. The stock 5.4-liter V8 motor produced a healthy 320 horsepower, but with the Hi-Pa drive system, this F150 is now has 600 horses and 600 ft-lbs of torque on tap. A built-in generator recaptures kinetic energy that would have been lost during braking. This system is reported to be even more efficient than similar systems installed on today’s hybrid vehicles.
There is no word yet on any compromises this vehicle may make, like estimated range before a recharge is needed or even how long a recharge takes, but one thing is for sure, this is a giant leap forward for EV technology in trucks. It may be several more years before we see Hi-Pa drive technology in road going vehicles, but I’m confident that this technology will be a paramount factor for trucks and SUV’s returning to the roads.
Posted in Auto Manufacturers, Car Review, Concept Cars, Economy Cars, New Cars, News Worthy
Tagged Electric Car, Electric Cars, EV, F-150, F150, Ford, Ford F-150, Ford F150, SEMA, SEMA 2008, Truck, Trucks