Drive Type: -
Model: Model A
Sun City, California, United States
Ford has quite a party ready for the Goodwood Festival of Speed starting on June 27. Not only is the 2015 Mustang going to be driving in front of the European public for the first time, the Blue Oval is also unveiling its 2015 refresh for the Focus ST.
Official details about the latest Focus hot hatch are practically nonexistent at this point. Ford's teaser image shows narrower headlights, and the company says that the ST also benefits from the technical and quality improvements from the refreshed standard model, which likely means an even more Aston-Martin-like grille. However, any improvements for the power or handling are a mystery for now.
Ford will even give visitors to the festival the chance to drive the new ST - at least virtually. Gran Turismo 6 kiosks will be on hand with the hot hatch loaded up to race the Goodwood Hill Climb. There will also be real-time races between former Stig Ben Collins in the real ST challenging a player up the hill in the game.
Ford CEO Alan Mulally has less than a week left in his role of leading the Blue Oval before he hands off duties to Mark Fields on July 1. It doesn't look like Mulally is going to be shuffling off into his retirement anytime soon, though. The 68-year-old is being rather secretive about his next move, but he tells Bloomberg in a recent interview that he plans to stay close to Ford. Also, if Fields wants to ask for any advice, Mulally is happy to help.
Mulally took over at Ford in 2006 and led the company through a seriously rough patch in the auto industry. According to Bloomberg, he became famous or his Thursday meetings where executives were forced to deal with any problems before they could leave. Since announcing his retirement from Ford in May, Mulally has been insuring a smooth transition of power by traveling the world to all of company's major locations and saying goodbye to employees and dealers.
In terms of the future at Ford, Mulally doesn't predict any big changes in management style because the rest of the executive team is staying in place. He believes that Fields is going to maintain the processes already in place to keep things going. After all, it seems to be working. The company is predicting a return to profitability in Europe next year and is opening 88 new dealers in China. If the business could get its recalls under control, things could get even better.
Ken Block became famous for his series of Gymkhana videos, but he's a real racer in his own right. Block has competed many rounds in the FIA World Rally Championship and also rallied in the 2013 Rally America series. He nearly won that latter title last year - if not for a massive crash in the final event of the season.
Block and his co-driver Alex Gelsomino went into the Lake Superior Performance Rally needing a win to take the championship. However, missing a clump of dirt on the side of the road and one little word in the pace notes was all it took to catapult Block's Fiesta off the road and into a tumbling accident. Block says his initial reaction was anger because the crash came out of nowhere.
For 2014, Block is joining the FIA World Rallycross Championship for at least three rounds. He'll drive a Ford Fiesta for the Hoonigan Racing Division at the Norwegian, French and Turkish events of the 12-round championship. Former Formula One World Champion Jacques Villeneuve will also compete in the series.