Model: Other Pickups
The era of the body-on-frame, fullsize SUV is rapidly vanishing in favor of smaller, unibody crossovers. However, Ford still sees life in the segment with the reveal of the updated 2015 Expedition, now available (solely) with the company's 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6. The new truck will make its public debut at the 2014 DFW Auto Show in Dallas on February 19.
The loss of the previous 5.4-liter V8 in favor of Ford's 3.5-liter, direct-injected, twin-turbocharged V6 engine might rankle some of the Expedition's fans, but Ford claims that the change gives the SUV better fuel economy, more power and increased low-end torque than before. Unfortunately, official engine specifications won't be released until later this year, but Ford says engine output will be similar to the 365 horsepower and 360 pound-feet of torque that this powerplant produces in other applications. The EcoBoost is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, and the SUV now uses electrically assisted power steering, for an even greater fuel economy advantage. Ford claims this also allows for better maneuverability at low speeds and better feel at high speeds.
Exterior styling is basically unchanged for 2015. The front end has the same three-bar chrome grille and headlight design, but the lower air dam gets added chrome and LED lamps. The rear gets more brightwork on the hatch, and there's a chrome-tipped exhaust pipe. As before, Ford is offering the Expedition in two wheelbase lengths - 119 inches and 131 inches. A new, optional, continuously controlled damping system alters suspension settings constantly based on 46 parameters and offers comfort, normal and sport modes (just like the Expedition's sister, the recently refreshed and decidedly less-attractive Lincoln Navigator).
Bill Ford went on the offensive to combat the rumors that CEO Alan Mulally would leave Dearborn for Steve Ballmer's vacated position leading Microsoft, adding that even if the 68-year-old, former Boeing exec were to depart, the Ford executive team is in a good place.
"I'm happy [Mulally] is going to stick around. But we also feel really good about where we are in terms of succession," Ford told Bloomberg TV, according to Automotive News. Rumors first cropped up about Mulally leaving Ford when AllThingsD speculated that he was in the running, early last month. In that same report, which you can read here, Ford's board of directors reportedly okayed the CEO stepping down ahead of his planned retirement in 2014.
That opened the floodgates, culminating in a report from a few days ago that the rumors over Ballmer's successor just might be true. The story is especially troubling, as Ford hasn't had Mulally under contract, according to AN. "He's here as long as he and I would like it to happen," Ford said, "We're also cognizant of training the next generation and getting them ready to go as well."
Ford has announced through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that it is recalling nearly 3,000 examples of its Five Hundred and Mercury Montego (pictured) sedans from the 2007 model year.
The action, which affects 2,945 vehicles, is due to potentially defective welds between the filler neck and the fuel tank, a condition that could result in a fuel leak or the smell of gasoline reaching the occupants. In the worst-case scenario, a leak could cause a fire. Cars with the affected fuel tank problem could see an illuminated dashboard warning light as a result of the evaporative emissions leak being detected.
Ford will inspect and replace the fuel tank at no cost to owners (those who have already had the procedure done at-cost can apply for reimbursement), and the Dearborn automaker will begin notifying Five Hundred and Montego owners beginning August 15. Check out the official NHTSA press release after the jump for further details.