Thursday, January 14, 2016

2016 NAIAS Ford Press Conference Fireside chat and New Car Reveals



The press conference was longer than most get, but Ford had a lot of great news.  I divided it into 2 videos and 2 posts to better cover what was done and not dilute either the Auto or Mobility side of their business.  In short Ford is on a roll and rightfully of their product and growth since the crash of 2007.  Monday January 11, 2016 Ford outlined how its going to be transforming itself for growth by changing from an automobile company to an Automobile/Mobility company.

The video is long but it gives you a lot of background on where they are going as an auto maker and why.  It describes successes and future trends that are driving what they are doing.

Two important vehicles were introduced to us at NAIAS this week.  First up was the new Raptor which was revealed as a concept last year.  Second was a significant freshening of the Fusion for 2017,

Fusion introduces for 2017, going on sale late summer 2016.  The two models will supplement the existing models and will be a Sport featuring an 325hp twin turbocharged V6 and a  range topping model named "Platinum that features real wood trim and ultra premium leather seating, dash and steering wheel.

The Platinum is so beautifully executed it reminds me more of a Lexus, Audi or other luxury brand.  Definitely outclasses the top two sellers in the mid-size market by a long shot.

Overall the changes to the Fusion line up are nominal and only a sharp eye is going to find them.  The grill shape is sharper and contains a honeycomb mesh design on the Platinum model.  It has new headlamps and tail lamps as well.  Wheel designs are new and refreshed as well.






Power trains for the base models continue with the 2.OL Ecoboost as an option in the midrange models and standard in the range topping Platinum.  Exclusive to Fusion Sport is the twin turbo 2.7l Ecoboost.  Transmissions remain the same at this writing.

Press releases and additional footage from Ford after the jump...
Press Release on the new Fusion:

FORD UNVEILS SMARTEST, MOST TECHNOLOGY-PACKED FUSION EVER, INCLUDING HYBRID AND PLUG-IN HYBRID VERSIONS OF NEW SEDAN

  • Class-exclusive combination of all-wheel drive and twin-turbocharged V6 engine pushes Ford Fusion V6 Sport to leave other family sedans – including Honda Accord and Toyota Camry – in the dust; Fusion even out-powers the 2016 BMW 340
  • Fusion Energi is the plug-in hybrid that stands out in a crowd – allowing customers to drive extended distances using just electricity, then operating as a conventional gas engine-powered hybrid when the battery runs low
  • Fusion is the first Ford car in North America with a pedestrian detection system; other advanced technologies include hands-free parallel and perpendicular parking and SYNC® 3
DETROIT, Jan. 11, 2016 – The new Ford Fusion continues to be a game changer among midsize sedans, with the most technologically advanced lineup ever – including two hybrid models and a new all-wheel-drive Fusion V6 Sport engineered to leave other family sedans in the dust.
Fusion V6 Sport and the new Fusion Platinum add to a lineup featuring three EcoBoost® engine choices, along with two hybrids, Fusion Hybrid and Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid – something neither Toyota nor Honda offers midsize sedan shoppers.
“Fusion offers people a lot more car – including helpful technology, beautiful design and a more rewarding driving experience than other midsize sedans,” said Raj Nair, Ford executive vice president and chief technical officer, Global Product Development.
  • Fusion V6 Sport: Fusion V6 Sport is a performance sedan unlike anything in the segment with a twin-turbocharged 2.7-liter EcoBoost® V6 delivering a projected 325 horsepower and 350 lb.-ft. of torque. All-wheel-drive Fusion V6 Sport is projected to make approximately 100 lb.-ft. of additional torque and nearly 50 more horsepower than the 3.5-liter V6 engines in Toyota Camry and Honda Accord
  • Fusion Hybrid and Fusion Energi: New Fusion Hybrid and Fusion Energi lead America’s best-selling lineup of plug-in hybrids. New software in both hybrids delivers an even more refined and engaging drive for customers, while more efficient electric motors are expected to contribute to better fuel economy and a purer range of electric driving
  • Fusion Platinum: Fusion Platinum is designed for those seeking even greater levels of refinement and craftsmanship in a midsize sedan. With available award-winning 2.0-liter EcoBoost and all-wheel drive, the real story is the interior experience. Instrument and door trim panels are wrapped in antiqued Cocoa leather, and the hand-wrapped steering wheel is finished in premium Venetian leather. A unique grille finished in Magnetic paint makes for an upscale design and 19-inch polished wheels return confident performance
Together, Fusion V6 Sport, Fusion Hybrid and Fusion Energi, and Fusion Platinum offer three different flavors of an award-winning lineup for midsize sedan customers.
Fusion V6 Sport adds continuously controlled damping for real-time suspension tuning based on setup and road inputs. The system features pothole detection technology that, in less than the blink of an eye, adjusts the shock absorbers to greatly reduce the severity of impact transmitted to occupants. Power and handling are complemented by unique, performance-inspired style inside and out. The look is distinguished by an aggressive exterior with deeper air intakes and a gloss black-finish mesh grille, 19-inch wheels, rear spoiler and dual twin exhaust outlets.
Fusion Hybrid and Fusion Energi are technology-packed electrified vehicles that offer an advanced EcoGuide system to provide drivers real-time coaching to get even better fuel economy. Fusion Energi features a 7.6-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery for an expected range of 19 miles using electric power only. The car automatically switches to an efficient 2.0-liter gasoline engine when the battery is depleted, allowing customers to drive more than 500 miles. 
Ford continues to innovate and evolve with its lithium-ion batteries that save weight and take up less space than the less sophisticated nickel-metal hydride batteries found in Toyota Camry Hybrid. Neither Camry nor Accord offers a plug-in hybrid.
Recharging Fusion Energi can be done overnight in just 2.5 hours. The car is smart enough to know when to begin charging to get electricity at the lowest price. It can even preheat or precool the cabin before drivers leave to save more fuel. 
Both electrified Fusions deliver impressive overall performance with electric-only speeds up to 85 mph. Regenerative braking captures up to 95 percent of the energy lost through heat during braking and recharges the hybrid battery on the move.
Meaningful technologyFusion is the most technologically advanced midsize car Ford has ever built in North America – the first car sold here with Ford’s pedestrian detection system. Fusion also has hands-free parallel and perpendicular parking capability. The new high-tech gear shift dial results in a roomier cabin with easy-to-reach bins.
Lane-keeping assist helps drivers maintain proper lane position using a small, forward-facing camera behind the rearview mirror that “looks” at the road ahead – monitoring lane lines to ensure the car is on course.
Available Blind Spot Information System with cross-traffic alert includes sensors in the car’s rear quarter-panels that can detect traffic in a driver’s blind spot, providing both audible and visual warnings if traffic – unseen by the driver – is detected. BLIS® enables cross-traffic alert, warning the driver of oncoming traffic when backing out of a parking space with obstructed views. In combination with the standard rearview camera, BLIS makes for confident maneuvering in parking lots.
SYNC® 3, Ford’s new communications and entertainment system, is also available. It features faster performance, more conversational voice recognition, a more intuitive smartphone-like touch screen and easier-to-understand graphical interface. SYNC Connect, optional with SYNC 3, enables owners to remotely start their car, schedule future starts, or lock and unlock the car using their smartphone.
The new Fusion arrives at dealerships this summer. Fusion V6 Sport follows a few weeks later.
Shortened video of the new Fusion Sport on the track:

Press release on the new Raptor:

STILL UNMATCHED: ALL-NEW FORD F-150 RAPTOR SUPERCREW IS AMERICA'S FAVORITE HIGH PERFORMANCE OFF-ROAD PICKUP TRUCK

  • Roomier: All-new Ford F-150 Raptor SuperCrew adds room for passengers and gear, expanding choice and versatility in the toughest, smartest, most capable F-150 Raptor ever
  • More agile: Enhanced suspension, use of advanced materials, all-new EcoBoost engine technology plus smart engineering saves up to 500 pounds, for improved power-to-weight ratio for even better off-road agility than previous F-150 Raptor
  • Unmatched performance: All-new high-output 3.5-liter EcoBoost, all-new 10-speed transmission and torque-on-demand transfer case make F-150 Raptor even more powerful, efficient and easy to drive off-road
  • Better traction: Segment-exclusive redesigned beadlock-capable wheels help increase grip in low-traction conditions; unique Avalanche Grey color signifies Raptor’s Ford Performance tie
DETROIT, Jan. 11, 2016 – Eagerly anticipated and still unmatched by any auto manufacturer,  Ford – America’s truck leader – introduces the all-new F-150 Raptor SuperCrew, adding agility, versatility and roominess to the toughest, smartest, most capable F-150 Raptor ever.
Developed with the DNA of a Baja race truck, F-150 Raptor is unique among off-road and performance vehicles, with a purpose-built engine, chassis and suspension that enables it to travel fast over challenging desert landscapes or crawl over rocky terrain.
F-150 Raptor SuperCrew with four full-size doors provides rear passengers with more legroom and comfort on the trails and more space to stow gear while exploring the American and Canadian wilderness. SuperCrew’s 145-inch wheelbase is 12 inches longer than the standard Raptor SuperCab 133-inch wheelbase.
“F-150 Raptor means superior off-road capability, from rock crawling to sand running,” said Dave Pericak, Ford Performance global director. “With the addition of SuperCrew, F-150 Raptor customers can leave the pavement behind – without sacrificing comfort and space.”
Advanced materials – including high-strength steel and high-strength, military grade, aluminum alloy – help save up to 500 pounds versus the prior Raptor for improved off-road prowess. Combined with all-new EcoBoost engine technology, the next-generation F-150 Raptor’s power-to-weight ratio has been improved, making the truck even more agile off-road.
Toughest F-150 Raptor everThe all-new F-150 Raptor starts with a purpose-built fully boxed frame – the backbone of the truck – that is the strongest in the F-150 lineup, featuring more high-strength steel than the outgoing Raptor.
F-150 Raptor’s chiseled looks are reminiscent of Trophy Trucks – the fastest and most powerful class of off-road pickups. F-150 Raptor is 6 inches wider than standard F-150 for enhanced stability off-road.
The all-new F-150 Raptor also boasts its first-ever dual exhaust and new 17-inch wheels with next-generation BFGoodrich All-Terrain KO2 tires designed for off-road performance.
Smartest F-150 Raptor ever
F-150 Raptor is powered by Ford’s new, second-generation high-output 3.5-liter EcoBoost® engine that produces more power with greater efficiency than the current 6.2-liter V8, which is rated at 411 horsepower and 434 lb.-ft. of torque.
The high-output 3.5-liter EcoBoost is a Raptor-exclusive in the F-150 lineup paired with an all-new 10-speed transmission for improved efficiency.
An all-new four-wheel-drive, torque-on-demand transfer case, with advanced, easy-to-use off-road mode driver-assist technology, further improves Raptor’s performance so it is easy to drive off-road across varying terrain.
F-150 Raptor’s new transfer case, which manages power distribution between the front and rear wheels, combines the best attributes of clutch-driven, on-demand all-wheel drive with durable, mechanical-locking four-wheel drive to send power to the wheels in slippery conditions.
F-150 Raptor’s pioneering off-road driving mode technology has evolved into an all-new Terrain Management System™ that enables the driver to select modes to optimize driving dynamics to environmental conditions – from snow to mud, sand and more.
Six preset modes help the truck power through different terrain and driving conditions:
  • Normal mode for everyday driving
  • Street mode for higher-performance, on-road driving
  • Weather mode for rain, snow or ice
  • Mud and sand mode for muddy and sandy trails and terrain
  • Baja mode for high-speed desert running and
  • Rock mode for low-speed rock crawling
Most capable F-150 Raptor everAn available Torsen front differential increases off-road capability further. The system increases grip significantly for the front end of the truck and allows it to pull itself over obstacles and up steep grades – even when traction is split between the front tires.
F-150 Raptor comes standard with new FOX Racing Shox with custom internal bypass technology that works to damp and stiffen suspension travel over rough terrain, helping prevent the truck from bottoming out.
Front and rear shock canisters have grown from 2.5 inches to 3 inches in diameter for improved performance. They feature more suspension travel than the current Raptor’s 11.2 inches at the front and 12 inches at the rear.
All-new F-150 Raptor will be built at Dearborn Truck Plant and goes on sale in the U.S. and Canada this fall.
F-150 foundationFord F-150 – the same hard-working light-duty truck available from XL work truck to Limited, the most luxurious F-150 ever – is the foundation of every F-150 Raptor. F-150 is part of Ford F-Series, America’s favorite truck for 39 straight years and America’s favorite vehicle for 34 straight years. 
More pics from NAIAS aka the Detroit Auto Show can be found in my flickr album.

As a bit of a disclosure, I was a guest of Ford as a "Digital Influencer" and they paid for my trip to NAIAS.  However, the opinions expressed are my own as if anyone could tell me what to say...