For Sale By:Private Seller
Exterior Color: Black
Interior Color: Gray
Power Options: Cruise Control, Power Locks, Power Windows
Drive Type: None
Pearl River, Louisiana, United States
Ford has already confirmed that the 2015 F-150 (pictured above) was just the beginning for its more extensive use of aluminum. CEO Alan Mulally said it himself during the 2014 Detroit Auto Show. We've even already seen the future Raptor testing with an aluminum body. But a recent discovery from an intrepid spy photographer might indicate that the lightweight metal is coming to the Blue Oval's Super Duty pickups in their upcoming generation, as well.
According to Automotive News, a spy shooter in Colorado spotted a prototype for the next-gen F-350 testing. He happened to have a magnet on hand and got close enough to check the truck out. When he held it up to the metal in the bed, it didn't stick, which signaled to him a switch from steel to aluminum.
Obviously, this claim raises some questions. Given that it was a test vehicle, one possibility is that the Blue Oval is just evaluating the feasibility of switching to aluminum for the Super Duty trucks, not necessarily committed to it yet. Ford has been testing it quite exhaustively, after all. In fact, much of the rest of the truck in question was covered in camouflage, so it's possible that the magnet failed to work along the rest of the body not because it was aluminum, but because it wasn't powerful enough to get through the disguising material. Thus, the lightweight metal's use could be far less substantial than on the new F-150. Still, it was a clever idea for the cameraman to check things out and might have given us the first hint about brand's next heavy-duty models.
Australia's Motoring has put together a little video on two of the great performance vehicles available down under - the Holden VF Commodore HSV GTS and the Ford Falcon FPV GT R-Spec. And while both FPV and the Falcon might be on their way out, there's still plenty of time for a little head-to-head comparison between the two.
The cars aren't all that well evenly matched, though. The Ford boasts a 5.0-liter, supercharged V8, which the Aussies measure out at 449 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. The HSV, though, with its Corvette-derived, 6.2-liter, supercharged V8 is just too powerful - 576 hp and 545 lb-ft of torque.
Predictably, it doesn't end too well for the Ford. As the guys from Motoring point out, the new VF Commodore is just too new and too good, with its extra power and its adaptive dampers (GM's excellent MagnaRide). Interestingly, Motoring did point out that the Holden's electric steering is better than the Ford's hydraulic steering, which is a lot like a Porsche purist saying they prefer water-cooled engines to air cooled.
Recently, the finance arm of PSA/Peugeot-Citroën was in such debt trouble that it was pricing itself out of the car loan market. The rates it was paying to service its debt, which was rated one step above junk, were so high that it was forced to charge car-buying customers higher rates than they could find elsewhere. This was adding to Peugeot's already impressive woes by sending revenue out the door to competitors.
Two months ago a deal was worked out with the French government whereby the state would provide 7 billion euro ($9 billion USD) in bonds to guarantee the finance arm's loans. The French government could nominate someone to join the Peugeot board, Peugeot would guarantee more French jobs, and on top of that deal, other banks would provide non-guaranteed loans. The government would take no equity stake in the car company.
Although not yet finalized, the arrangement is meant to create some breathing room for Peugeot Finance to lower its interest rates for customers, and a government-nominated board member, Louis Gallois, was recently named to Peugeot's supervisory board. The arrangement was also openly questioned by at least three competitors: Ford, Renault - which is 15-percent owned by the French government after it received state aid - and the German state of Lower Saxony, itself a 15-percent shareholder in Volkswagen.