Ford pulls out all the stops at L.A. Auto Show
The wraps come off four new rides in Tinsel Town, including the absolutely vicious Shelby Mustang GT500.
Ford Shelby GT500
Ford came to the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show in full force, showcasing new iterations of the high-volume favorites Escape and Flex, an ST-badged go-fast concept version of its Fiesta subcompact and the full roll-out of its 2013 Mustang lineup — including the vicious, 650-horsepower Shelby GT500.
What is it? A lot is riding on the new Escape, and Ford has packed the newest version of its segment-leading sales champ with additional features and technologies to ensure it stays globally competitive.
What's hot? Besides the sleek new styling reminiscent of the Focus, Ford continues its "democratization of technology" strategy by loading the Escape with standard high-tech features such as the MyFord Touch infotainment system, a new 4-wheel-drive system, a hands-free power liftgate triggered by a sensor under the rear bumper, park assist, curve control, and torque control and blind-spot sensors.
What's not? Both 1.6- and 2.0-liter EcoBoost engines are available as options above the standard 2.5-liter 4-cylinder, boosting fuel economy by 5 mpg from the outgoing model. However, the Escape won't be offered as a hybrid — an odd choice, given Ford's propensity for gas-electric powertrains and the fact that the Escape is the best-selling SUV in America.
How much and when? Price has yet to be announced. But the new Escape will be here in summer 2012
MSN Autos' verdict: A better-looking and more feature-heavy Escape signals nothing but continued success for Ford's best-selling SUV.
What is it? More than a simple visual refresh of its boxy people-mover, the new model offers more power and more compelling features and in-car tech. But don't worry, Flex lovers: It's still plenty boxy.
What's hot? In short, more power and more features. The Flex's 3.5-liter V6 engine gets an upgrade, including twin independent variable camshaft timing, that boosts horsepower by 20, to 285, while slightly improving fuel economy. Inside, the vehicle gets the same inflatable rear seatbelts as in the Ford Explorer, plus blind-spot and collision-warning systems and radar-enabled adaptive cruise control.
What's not? The styling of the boxy Flex has always been polarizing, and nothing will change with this new iteration — which, if anything, is even more composed of right angles and vertical through-lines than the outgoing model.
How much and when? Price has yet to be announced. It will hit dealerships in summer 2012
MSN Autos' verdict: Those who liked the original execution of the Flex will find a more capable model with more high-tech features; those who didn't probably won't have their minds changed by the new model.
Must-See on MSN
@Someone (05 mistake)
Except they have fixed the transmissions issues and while the Ford customers have reported the bugs in the technology, 85% of the customers are still pleased.
AS of last friday the owner of the 5.0 Mustang still had the same transmission grinding problem. Ford just changed the fluid. He paid over 30,000 dollars for a car that has a grinding manual transmission and Ford will not fix it. Ford never fixed my rear end problem, my electrical problem, water leak problem, interior rattles, and other problems either. Ford does not take care of their customers