Ford pulls out all the stops at L.A. Auto Show
Ford Mustang Shelby GT500
What is it? While the entire Mustang lineup gets a minor face lift for 2013 — notice the fresh hood, more prominent grille and new signature LED lighting — the real news in the ongoing muscle wars always rests with the top-of-the-line model. In this case, it's the Mustang Shelby GT500, packing a gloves-off 650 horsepower and 600 lb-ft of torque.
What's hot: Ridiculous power is the inevitable conclusion at every stage of the muscle-car arms race, and the newest GT500 — offering 70 horses more than Chevy's range-topping Camaro ZL1 competitor — makes for serious bragging rights. Of course, that power is maximized through improved aerodynamics and a massaged suspension system; Performance and Track packages are also available.
What's not? Ford now has the horsepower bragging rights, but Chevy's muscle car still holds the current sales crown. In addition, one wonders how many variations the Blue Oval can pull out of the retro-throwback look before taking a chance on a truly new design.
How much and when? Price has yet to be announced, but the lineup is scheduled for release in spring 2012.
MSN Autos' verdict: 650 horsepower will melt the face off most drivers, but having the most powerful beast in the stable should create a trickle-down effect for the manufacturer's more everyday Mustangs.
Ford Fiesta ST Concept
What is it? Ford has a future global performance model in mind, one that's both fuel-efficient and fun to drive. The Fiesta ST concept could be that car — if it heads to production, which has yet to be confirmed.
What's hot? OK, let's be honest: From the looks of this thing, it's practically production-ready. Plus, the 5-door boasts Ford's 1.6-liter EcoBoost inline 4-cylinder engine with 177 horsepower and 178 lb-ft of torque mated to a 6-speed manual transmission. That — not to mention the gasoline direct injection and fully variable cam timing — is exactly what we like to see on our hot hatches.
What's not? Not much.
How much and when? Pricing and availability yet to be announced.
MSN Autos' verdict: When it comes to beautifully styled, fuel-efficient yet performance-minded hatchbacks, we say this: If you build it, they will come.
Josh Condon has covered everything from nanotechnology to champagne and caviar for the likes of The New York Times, Popular Science, Men's Journal, Cargo and RL Magazine. He's recently relocated from Brooklyn, N.Y., to Los Angeles and is spending way, way more time in his car as a result.
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@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