Drive Type: Automatic
Model: Model A
Southwest Iowa, United States
As we reported earlier, the Chicago showing of this plucky Ford Fiesta ST GRC racer points to bigger and brighter days for Global RallyCross. For the upcoming season, you can expect to see Ken Block and Tanner Foust both driving the Ford racecar, and if last season's results are any indication, you can anticipate quite a few podium appearances, as well.
The Fiesta seen here was built by the Swedes at OlsbergsMSE, and will be driven in anger by Foust in 2013. Modifications are, as you'd expect, extensive, and include an engine, exhaust and braking upgrades, a racing style short-throw shifter and a limited-slip differential. As you can see, the car has been fully stripped out and caged for maximum speed and safety, too.
Refresh your memories with the details of the car, in the press releases below. And if you head out to the Chicago Auto Show this year, don't forget to drop by the Ford stand to have a look.
Ford is announcing six separate recalls for a variety of issues affecting a dozen models and a total of 100,610 vehicles in North America. However, according to Ford spokesperson Kelli Felker, "None of them have caused accidents or injuries." Half of them cover fewer than 1,000 cars.
The largest recall covers 92,022 North American examples (about 83,250 in the US) of some models of the Ford Taurus, Lincoln MKS, Ford Interceptor, Flex and Lincoln MKT from the 2013 and 2014 model years; the 2012-2014 Edge and the 2014 Lincoln MKX. All of them have a potential issue with the halfshaft on the right side that might not be fully seated and could move outward over time. If it shifts too far, the models may no longer be able to drive, and the condition could also allow the vehicles to roll away, even when in Park. Dealers will inspect the shaft to make sure it's seated and will replace the part if necessary.
The next-largest recall covers 5,264 North American examples (4,867 in the US) of the Ford F59 Commercial Stripped Chassis from the 2011-2014 model years. It's possible that an electrical junction box can corrode in areas with salty roads and short circuit. The problem could potentially cause a fire. Dealers will replace the box with an improved design.
Bill Ford Jr. has more sway than ever over the automaker that bears his surname, as the great-grandson of Ford's founder has reportedly doubled is holdings of Class B Ford stock. According to a report from Reuters (which cites a newly discovered securities filing), he acquired some 3.7 million Class B shares from an unnamed family member.
Class B shares of Ford stock are held by descendants of Henry Ford and offer expanded voting power to their holders - Bill Ford Jr. now controls roughly 11.5 percent of the total Class B pool. Ford Jr. is also a one of five trustees that manage a voting trust that oversees the majority of these "supervoting" shares. In total, Reuters reports there are 71 million Class B shares that account for 40 percent of the voting power in the company, despite making up just 2 percent of the total volume of all Ford stock.
Ford Jr. served as Ford's CEO until 2006, when he stepped down to hire and make space for current CEO, Alan Mulally. The move to consolidate Ford family voting power, at least somewhat, is seen by many as a comforting sign with Mulally's departure from the company likely to happen in the next several years.