Evan J. Smith
March 11, 2015
Photos By: Ford Motor Co.

Ford Set to Build on Performance Legacy

When Ford announced plans to sell the 2015 Mustang globally, it was just the tip of the iceberg. Ford recently announced it is bringing more vehicles to customers worldwide. More than 12 new performance vehicles through 2020, including the much-anticipated Focus RS, will be available globally.

Ford is also uniting regional performance engineering and racing teams as one global team under Ford Performance, delivering more new vehicles and more parts more quickly. This group will be headed up by Dave Pericak (director, Global Ford Performance), who served as Ford’s Lead Engineer on the Boss 302 and the 2015 Mustang.

“Ford remains committed to innovation through performance,” said Raj Nair, Ford group vice president, Global Product Development. “Our new global Ford Performance team ties together racing, performance vehicles, and parts. It will allow us to quickly introduce products and accessories that meet the needs of customers around the world on-road and on the track.”

The Focus RS, which builds on a pedigree of driving excellence dating to the first Ford RS in 1968, was last introduced in 2009. “To earn the RS badge, the vehicle has to be a no-compromise driver’s car that can deliver exceptional performance on the track when required while providing excellent every day driving,” said Nair. Focus RS will join Ford’s existing performance lineup, including Fiesta ST, Focus ST, Shelby GT350 Mustang and F-150 Raptor.

Shelby GT350 Auctioned

Ford announced the first publicly available Shelby GT350 Mustang will be auctioned by Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale to benefit JDRF, which aired live on Velocity on Saturday, January 17, 2015. Ford stated all the proceeds will benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). The winning bidder can select from available colors and packages for the all-new 500-plus-horsepower Shelby GT350.

“JDRF is privileged to work with Ford, and we are extremely grateful for the generous support from Ford and its employees through the years,” said John Brady, JDRF chairman, international board of directors. “We are honored to be part of the company’s 50-year celebration of the Shelby GT350 at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale. This very exciting and worthwhile event means a great deal to not only JDRF and the type 1 community, but to me personally as well. We are dedicated to continue our work and to share our vision of creating a world without type 1 diabetes.”

“Ford and Barrett-Jackson have raised millions of dollars to benefit local and national charities for many years,” said Craig Jackson, chairman and CEO of Barrett-Jackson Auctions. “The auction of the new Shelby GT350 promises to be electrifying, while helping raise necessary funding for JDRF.”

2015 Stang Convertibles Ship—Much More Coming

Fresh on the heels of the 2015 Mustang introduction, Ford delivers the 2015 Mustang Convertible. Drop-top enthusiasts can option their pony with the base V-6, 310hp EcoBoost or the 5.0L Coyote engine, or any of the existing trim packages. Heated seats and remote start are also available. Your cold-weather driving experience can be improved with selectable snow/wet drive modes that perform well in inclement weather.

“Cold weather may have come unseasonably early this year, but with available heated seats, remote start, and selectable drive modes with a snow/wet setting, Mustang is the perfect offering for the season,” said Melanie Banker, Mustang brand manager. “Heated seats, standard on all Premium Mustang convertibles, allow the driver and front passenger to stay warm even when the temperature drops. While these seats also have a cooling feature, we suspect customers won’t be using this function for a few more months.”

Moving up the horsepower chart, Mustang fans will have the chance once again to purchase an R-model Mustang when the Shelby GT350 R hits the streets (and track) in 2016. Expect a lightened package with carbon fiber wheels, and larger brakes for improved track performance. We anticipate pricing will fall in the $70,000-$80,000 range.

Ford’s popular Raptor is rumored to be getting a V-6 with EcoBoost, along with lighter overall weight and improved street and off-road capabilities. Of course the big news is the all-new Ford GT, which will also get a V-6 with twin-turbo EcoBoost technology and will be built by Multimatic.