Exterior Color: Orange
Number of Cylinders: 8
Drive Type: RWD
Options: Leather Seats, CD Player
Lowell, Indiana, United States
The camouflaged Ford F-150 SVT Raptor prototype captured above blazing its way across the desert during a test run left company engineers giggling in amazement, reveals Jamal Hameedi in a new Autoweek video. Ford's global performance vehicle chief engineer, accompanied by senior exterior designer Bruce Williams, sat down with the publication to discuss the concept and development of the automaker's super off-road F-150.
Designing a high-performance pickup in 2008, right when the cost of gasoline was going through the roof, seemed insane at the time, but the team pushed forward with the innovative vehicle regardless. The interview includes plenty of Ford B-roll footage as visual candy, and the conversations include discussions about exterior design, ride comfort, anti-lock brake tuning, suspension engineering, weight reduction and why it was necessary to make the Raptor visually different than Ford's standard F-150. The model's origin story is very interesting, and you can learn more about it by watching the video below.
In a change of pace from the high-end vehicles that often appear in Jay Leno's Garage, Ford sends its hottest hatchback (in the US, at least), the 252-horsepower Focus ST, to be featured on Leno's show. Accompanying the five-door hatch is its chief engineer, Jamal Hameedi.
Riding on stylish 18-inch wheels with summer tires and with a spoiler that doubles as a lunch tray, Hameedi and Leno walk us through the finer points of what makes the ST special, which also includes bigger brakes, torque vectoring, a manual transmission and, of course, 252 hp and 270 pound-feet of torque from the 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine, which is made possible by 21 psi of turbocharged boost.
Watch the video below to see what Leno thinks of the global Focus ST.
It's no secret that MyFord Touch has had its share of problems since being introduced, but the most recent reliability survey from Consumer Reports shows just how much this infotainment system has affected Ford. Just two years ago, the automaker was in the top 10 for the institute's reliability rankings, but since then, it has tumbled to the second-lowest rung just above dead-last Jaguar. In addition to MyFord Touch, CR also attributes a handful of new products that have had issues right out of the gate.
Compiled from 1.2 million subscriber surveys, this year's auto reliability survey heavily favors Japanese automakers, with eight of the 10 spots hailing from Japan. Toyota brands grabbed the top three spots (Scion, Toyota and Lexus - in that order) with Mazda, Subaru, Honda and Acura filling the next four spots. The only non-Asian automaker cracking the top 10 was Audi at number eight.
Audi climbed a total of 18 spots from last year, and Cadillac and GMC round out this year's top gainers breaking into the top 15. Helping Cadillac's upward movement, the CTS Coupe was named the most reliable domestic car. Lincoln, Volvo and Chrysler join Ford on this year's biggest loser list.