With short notice an elite group of Automotive Journalists and industry professionals were invited to Ford Motor Company’s Research and Development Center in Dearborn, Michigan for a combination of on, and off the record presentation. What I will say about the event is, WOW! FoMoCo is making huge strides toward the future of diversified mobility options.
Drivers Assistance: Ford will start implementing a suite of standard driver assistance items fitted as standard in a bundle called “Ford Co-Pilot360” including Automatic Emergency Braking with pedestrian detection, blind spot information with cross traffic, lane keeping, rear camera, and auto high beams. FoMoCo is investing $500M over the next five years for continued development of these advanced safety tech items.
Fresh Look: By 2020 Ford Motor Company CEO Jim Hackett states that Ford will have North America’s freshest lineup in a movement to push the average showroom age down nearly 50% from 5.7 to 3.3 years as it replaces three quarter of the existing Ford offerings as we know it.
Five new distinct platforms will share 70% across the varied architectures and will be the foundation of the ford lineup in the immediate future:
- Front-Wheel Drive Unibody
- Rear-Wheel Drive Unibody
- Commercial Van Unibody
- Battery Electric Vehicles
Alternative Powertrain: Ford touched on both next-gen hybrid technology as well as battery electric in this presentation making note that the technology will be more readily available through thigh volume units by way of common platform, and drivetrain sharing. This may very well mean that you’ll be taking the kiddos to soccer practice in a Hybrid or Plug-In Hybrid Explorer & Escape in the near future. Ford F-Series and Mustang hybrids were both mentioned, with emphasis on performance regarding the pony car. A Battery Electric Vehicle is scheduled to arrive in 2020, as part of a group of six total by 2022, in a $11B global EV investment. Ford predicts to exceed Toyota in Hybrid sales by year 2021, I suspect F150 sales will attribute greatly to that effort.
Bronco:The entire room was thinking the same thing: Bronco, and aside from “Coming soon” FoMoCo have me my biggest tease to date, having one in the room under cover, and covered again under the silk sheet. Another small off-road capable SUV, yet to be named, is absolutely coming down the pipeline also.
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