Hills Social http://social.hillsford.co.uk Thu, 12 Apr 2018 07:42:20 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 FORD UNVEILS ALL-NEW FOCUS – MOST INNOVATIVE, DYNAMIC AND EXCITING FORD EVER – 20 YEARS ON FROM ORIGINAL GAME-CHANGER http://social.hillsford.co.uk/ford-unveils-all-new-focus-most-innovative-dynamic-and-exciting-ford-ever-20-years-on-from-original-game-changer/ http://social.hillsford.co.uk/ford-unveils-all-new-focus-most-innovative-dynamic-and-exciting-ford-ever-20-years-on-from-original-game-changer/#respond Thu, 12 Apr 2018 07:42:20 +0000 http://social.hillsford.co.uk/?p=7564 Designed from a clean sheet of paper, the all-new Ford Focus ushers in a new era for technology, comfort, space and driving experience for Europe’s mid-size car customers. New “human-centric” design for expanded line-up includes first Focus Active crossover and upscale Focus Vignale New Stop & Go, Speed Sign Recognition and Lane-Centring technologies help negotiate

The post FORD UNVEILS ALL-NEW FOCUS – MOST INNOVATIVE, DYNAMIC AND EXCITING FORD EVER – 20 YEARS ON FROM ORIGINAL GAME-CHANGER appeared first on Hills Social.

]]>
  • Designed from a clean sheet of paper, the all-new Ford Focus ushers in a new era for technology, comfort, space and driving experience for Europe’s mid-size car customers. New “human-centric” design for expanded line-up includes first Focus Active crossover and upscale Focus Vignale
  • New Stop & Go, Speed Sign Recognition and Lane-Centring technologies help negotiate stop-start traffic. Predictive curve light and Sign-based light help drivers see more clearly
  • First Head-up display for a Ford model in Europe delivers greater confidence at the wheel. Active Park Assist 2 enables fully automated parking manoeuvres at the push of a button
  • Standard selectable Drive Modes, 20 per cent torsional rigidity improvement and isolated independent rear suspension offering Continuously Controlled Damping – a first for Focus – keep it at the top of the class for driving dynamics and improve comfort
  • All-new Focus introduces FordPass Connect embedded modem for connectivity on the move, Wireless charging pad, SYNC 3 with 8-inch touchscreen, and B&O PLAY audio
  • Advanced EcoBoost petrol and EcoBlue diesel engines supported by new eight-speed automatic transmission, offering a 10 per cent fuel-efficiency improvement across the range

COLOGNE, Germany, April 10, 2018 – Ford today delivered the global public debut of the all-new Ford Focus, the most accomplished and technically-competent Focus ever.

Following closer collaboration with customers than ever before, the all-new Focus has been developed from the ground up to provide the most confidence-inspiring, intuitive, and rewarding driving and occupant experience of any mid-size family car in Europe.

Focus introduces a new human-centric design philosophy that fuses emotional exterior styling with class-leading aerodynamics; and delivers an interior offering more space combined with high quality materials and craftsmanship.

The most sophisticated range of Ford driver assistance technologies ever offered to Ford customers is seamlessly integrated to enable an intuitive, stress-reducing and refined driving experience. Advanced technologies include:

  • Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) now enhanced with Stop & Go, Speed Sign Recognition and Lane-Centring for effortlessly negotiating stop-start traffic
  • Ford’s Adaptive Front Lighting System with new camera-based Predictive curve light and Sign-based light that pre-adjust headlamp patterns for improved visibility by monitoring bends in the road and – for the first time in the industry – road signs
  • Active Park Assist 2 that now also operates gear selection, acceleration and braking to enable fully-automated manoeuvres at the push of a button
  • Ford’s first Head-up display (HUD) to be offered in Europe, helping drivers focus their attention on the road ahead
  • Evasive Steering Assist, a segment-first technology that helps drivers steer around stopped or slower vehicles to help avoid collisions

The all-new Focus remains true to the nameplate’s 20-year legacy of class-leading driving dynamics, further enhanced with the first Focus-application of Continuously Controlled Damping (CCD) technology for the independent front and rear suspension systems; new Drive Modes; an isolated rear subframe for greater refinement; and Ford-patented spring technology.

The occupant experience is enhanced with comfort and convenience features including FordPass Connect embedded modem for connectivity on the move and a new Wireless charging pad for compatible smartphone devices.

Powertrain options include a further optimised version of Ford’s multi-award-winning 1.0-litre EcoBoost and new 1.5-litre EcoBoost petrol engine, both enhanced with Ford’s industry-first cylinder deactivation application for three-cylinder engines. New 1.5-litre EcoBlue and 2.0-litre EcoBlue diesel engines deliver ultimate fuel-efficiency, and a new intelligent eight-speed automatic transmission adapts shift patterns to driving style, and is controlled using a stylish and ergonomic Rotary Gear Shift Dial.

“Our all-new Ford Focus is the pinnacle of technology and driving appeal in its segment,” said Joe Bakaj, vice president, Product Development, Ford of Europe. “The chance to build a completely new car from a fresh piece of paper does not come around often. We grabbed it with both hands, to develop the best mid-size family car that money can buy.”

Unveiled in five-door hatchback, wagon and in selected markets four-door body styles, the most comprehensive Focus line-up ever is offered with exclusive personalities to complement the broadest spectrum of mid-sized car customer aspirations, including the stylish Focus Trend and Titanium, sporty Focus ST-Line, upscale Focus Vignale and the first Focus Active crossover.

The all-new Focus is the first vehicle globally to be based on Ford’s new C2 platform designed to enhance crash performance; deliver more interior space for Ford’s mid-size models without negatively impacting exterior dimensions; and support improved aerodynamics for better fuel-efficiency. Best-ever craftsmanship and quality is delivered following a €600 million investment at Ford’s Saarlouis assembly facility, Germany.

Ford has sold almost seven million Focus cars in Europe* and more than 16 million around the world since the game-changing first generation Focus was introduced in 1998.

“Focus has been our heartland in Europe for two decades. Leading the pack for design, technology and driving fun, it encapsulates everything our customers love about Ford,” said Steven Armstrong, group vice president and president, Europe Middle East and Africa, Ford Motor Company. “With mid-size family cars accounting for almost one-in-five sales across Europe last year, Focus remains as important as ever to our company and our customers, which is why we’ve put so much energy into developing an all-new model that is among the very best cars we’ve ever produced.”

Human-centric design

The all-new Ford Focus marks an evolution in Ford design language. Created to deliver rich user experiences with every interaction, the “human-centric” design philosophy unites expressive form language with functional, customer-driven attributes.

“We wanted our all-new Focus to be a product customers fall in love with, and stay in love with,” said Amko Leenarts, director, Design, Ford of Europe. “Inside and out, our new design philosophy is about creating memorable moments of interaction that build and maintain the relationship between human being and machine.”

Focus has matured proportionally, to reflect a more premium, sporting silhouette while offering increased comfort and roominess. The distinctive new silhouette is achieved principally through positioning the A-pillars further rearward; a balanced proportion that allows them to aim towards the centre of the front wheel while the muscular sheet metal of the C-pillars sits squarely over the rear wheels. The resulting longer hood and flowing front fender, coupled to a marked reduction in the wedge of the beltline, is both powerful and elegant, enhancing the car’s premium and sporting character.

Extending the wheelbase by 53 millimetres enables a larger tyre diameter, allowing the wheels to be positioned higher into the sheet metal and reducing the perception of length and visual mass. The shorter overhangs and rearward cabin position gives a strong, dynamic stance with a compact impression.

Managing air flow around the vehicle played a pivotal role in the design development of the all-new Focus. A highly sculptural, athletic exterior delivers class-leading aerodynamic efficiency through the sleek, lower profile; the short rear overhangs; truncated corners; and harmoniously integrated aerodynamic features.

Generous in movement, the sheet metal is formed through highly tensioned, athletic sculpturing. Wide surfaces catch the light to visually entertain from front to rear. The long front fenders project with conviction towards the squat rear haunches, creating a dynamic visual agility.

The face of the all-new Focus is simple and harmonious, exuding a clear and assertive presence. A discernibly larger, yet recognisably proud Ford grille sits confidently between the horizontally-biased headlamps, which, like the taillamps, are placed as far outboard as possible to enhance width and stance.

The taillamps are now two-piece, allowing for a more versatile deck-lid opening, while LED lighting technologies provide distinctly recognisable signatures in daylight and darkness. The Focus script is positioned proudly in individual satin-finished letters between the taillamps, reaffirming the premium execution at the rear.

The all-new Focus offers a tailored spectrum of choice, with differentiating executions for Focus Vignale, ST-Line, Active and Titanium reflecting the customers’ specific preferences and needs. Identifiers include:

  • The Focus Vignale “coast-to-coast” lower front aperture designed to appear more jewel-like and artisanal; and restrained Vignale ornamentation such as the satin aluminium finishes for the roof rails, fascia and rocker inserts, and signature Vignale grille mesh
  • The Focus ST-Line’s more aggressively styled rear diffuser and larger functional roof-spoiler; more open front apertures designed to enhance performance and reveal the engine components behind; and bold signature ST-Line lower wing elements directing air to the air-curtain inlets
  • The Focus Active with its elevated ground clearance and protective black wheel arch and rocker claddings; front and rear skid plates and rocker inserts painted in contrast silver; and bespoke front end design

A palette of 13 exterior colours includes Orange Glow, Desert Island Blue and Vignale-exclusive four-coat Dark Mulberry.

The human-centric design philosophy extends to the interior, which delivers a more inviting and accommodating environment with greater perceived quality – achieved using simple, clean lines, expressive and confidence-inspiring materials, and seamlessly integrated surfaces.

Simplified, less cluttered design supports a more calming atmosphere. Front doors now flow fluidly behind the instrument panel for a visually spacious, upmarket, wrap-around effect. The upper instrument panel and door interiors are constructed from soft touch materials for a more premium feel. Sophisticated jewellery elements reflect contemporary high-end consumer product design, with polished glass and brushed finishes among those offered for the passenger-side instrument panel deco-spear, door trims and air-vent registers.

As with the exterior, the interiors of the all-new Focus derivatives feature unique design elements and materials for a distinctive character, including fine-grain wood-effect finishes and premium leather for Vignale, sporty carbon fibre-effect finishes and red stitching for the ST-Line, and more rugged, textured materials and surfaces for the Active.

“Those ‘busy’ areas where different structures and materials meet within a space are gone,” Leenarts said. “Instead, materials are specifically chosen to better blend and complement each other, emphasising the improved craftsmanship and quality.”

Confidence-inspiring technologies

The all-new Ford Focus introduces a wider range of advanced features than any Ford vehicle before, bringing technologies synonymous with Level 2 automation to a family car.

Sophisticated Ford Co-Pilot360 technologies enhance protection, driving and parking, and are designed to make the driving experience more comfortable, less demanding and safer.

ACC with Stop & GoSpeed Sign Recognition and Lane-Centring helps the vehicle maintain a comfortable driving distance from vehicles ahead; helps reduce stress during long road trips by helping keep the vehicle centred in its lane; and can adjust the vehicle speed to within legal limits by monitoring the roadside and overhead gantries for speed signs in addition to using information from the on-board navigation system. ACC works at speeds up to 200 km/h (125 mph).

The new Stop & Go feature enables the ACC system to bring the vehicle to a complete halt in stop-start traffic using up to 50 per cent of total braking force, and automatically pull away if the stopping duration is less than 3 seconds. For stopping durations greater than 3 seconds, the driver can push a steering wheel button or gently apply the accelerator pull away.

Lane Centring technology monitors road markings and can apply gentle but discernible torque to the steering system to help drivers stay centred in their lane whenever the ACC system is activated. Designed to support drivers at speeds up to 200 km/h (125 mph), the technology will deliver visual and audible warnings if it detects a lack of steering wheel input from the driver.

“Think back to when you took your driving test, and how hard you had to concentrate to be safe on the road. Driving hasn’t become any less demanding – we just become more accustomed to pressure. Technologies like Stop & Go and Lane-Centring will reduce the demand on drivers, helping them focus their attention and be less stressed, and more confident, at the wheel,” said Helmut Reder, global vehicle line director C-car, Ford of Europe.

Ford’s Adaptive Front Lighting System with Predictive curve light and Sign-based light for the first time pre-adjusts headlamp patterns for maximum visibility before reaching a curve, junction or roundabout.

The system uses the forward-facing camera to monitor lane markings up to 65 metres ahead, enabling light from the headlamps to be angled into the corner pre-emptively for improved visibility on approach, rather than relying solely on the driver’s steering wheel inputs. The Ford-patented integration of road sign-reading capability to optimise beam patterns enables the beam to be widened at junctions and roundabouts to better illuminate hazards that are not in the direction of travel.

The all-new Focus lighting technologies including Adaptive Front Lighting System that adjusts the headlight beam angle and intensity to match the driving environment, and Glare-free high beam that removes the guilt of accidentally dazzling other drivers and helps users see more of the road ahead at night, are supported by advanced full-LED headlamps that use an innovative adjustable drum configuration for greater flexibility and softer, less distracting transitions.

Focus is also the first Ford vehicle in Europe to offer a Head-up display (HUD), which helps drivers keep their eyes on the road by projecting useful information into their field of vision. The system maximises effectiveness with one of the largest fields of view of any HUD available in Europe, measuring 6 degrees by 2.5 degrees. The system is also amongst the brightest available, adjustable in 16 increments up to 10,000 candela per metre2.

Special filters for the retractable polycarbonate screen make it the first of its type that can be read by users wearing polarised lenses. Depending on vehicle specification, the configurable selection of projected information includes speed – the only content that is always present; Traffic Sign Recognition; ACC; navigation; Shift Indicator; entertainment system; and emergency notifications.

Active Park Assist 2 makes parking even easier: delivering fully-automated manoeuvres into parallel and perpendicular parking spaces at the push of a button. Enabled by the shift-by-wire capability of Ford’s new eight-speed automatic gearbox, the system identifies suitable parking spaces and the driver can control vehicle motion by simply selecting neutral and holding down a single centre console-mounted button.

The vehicle then fully controls forward and reverse gear selection, throttle and braking, as well as steering – manoeuvring into spaces just 110 centimetres longer than the car and on gradients up to 12 per cent at speeds of up to 4 km/h (2.5 mph), before engaging park. The technology can also help driver exit parallel parking spaces using fully automated Park-out Assist.

Also further enhanced, Ford’s Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection technology can detect people in or near the road ahead, or who may cross the vehicle’s path. The system automatically applies the brakes if it detects a potential collision and the driver does not respond to warnings; can now also detect cyclists; and functions in the dark using light from the headlamps.

Additional technologies designed to help Focus drivers avoid accidents and distraction include:

  • Evasive Steering Assist, designed to operate at city and motorway speeds, which uses radar and a camera to detect slower-moving and stationary vehicles ahead and provides steering support to enable drivers to manoeuvre around a vehicle if a collision is imminent
  • Blind Spot Information System with Cross Traffic Alert, which warns drivers reversing out of a parking space of vehicles that may soon be crossing behind them and can for the first time now apply the brakes to avoid or mitigate the effects of collisions if drivers do not respond to warnings
  • Rear wide-view camera, which offers a near-180 degree view to the rear of the vehicle for improved visibility when reversing from parking spaces or driveways
  • Wrong Way Alert, first available for customers in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, which uses a windscreen mounted camera and information from the car’s navigation system to provide drivers with audible and visual warnings when driving through two “No Entry” signs on a motorway ramp
  • Ford MyKey, which allows owners to programme a key for younger drivers that can inhibit incoming phone calls; restrict top speed; prevent deactivation of driver assistance and safety features; reduce audio system maximum volume, and disable the audio system altogether if occupants are not using seatbelts

Should an accident occur, new Post-Collision Braking technology helps to reduce the impact of a potential secondary collision by automatically applying moderate brake pressure when an initial collision event is detected; slowing the vehicle can potentially lessen injury to occupants and further damage to the vehicle.

Ford anticipates a five-star safety rating for the all-new Focus, supported by a 40 per cent increase in front crash load capability from the all-new C2 platform.

Energetic and responsive

A sophisticated all-new chassis complemented with advanced driving technologies delivers a class-leading, energetic, engaging and rewarding fun-to-drive experience for all-new Focus five-door and wagon customers, alongside greater refinement.

The all-new Focus enhances the legacy established by the game-changing first generation model, with a new isolated subframe for the short long arm (SLA) independent rear suspension configuration that optimises both comfort and the vehicle’s responses to driver inputs.

The SLA system delivers a desirable balance between front and rear compliance over larger bumps in the road, for smoother journeys. Multi-compound bushes feature different stiffness characteristics when stressed in different directions – separating the sub-frame from the body structure for better isolation of smaller bumps and improved noise, vibration and harshness. A unique SLA geometry for Focus wagon models repositions the dampers helping the vehicle remain agile and responsive even with a fully loaded boot, and helping maximise boot space with a wider load-floor area.

A lightweight twist-beam rear suspension configuration is also offered; refined to deliver the distinctive character and driving dynamics customers expect from Focus. Enhanced using the same Ford-patented force vectoring spring technology that supports the responsive, engaging and fun-to-drive experience of the all-new Fiesta ST, the twist-beam configuration is designed to complement the lighter 1.0-litre EcoBoost and 1.5-litre EcoBlue powertrains.

The advanced spring technology applies vectoring forces to the rear suspension, enabling cornering forces to travel directly into the spring for increased lateral stiffness, and improving stability, agility and responsiveness for an even more enjoyable driving experience.

Refinement of five-door models equipped with SLA suspension is further enhanced with the first introduction of Ford’s CCD technology for Focus, which every 2 milliseconds monitors suspension, body, steering and braking inputs, and adjusts damping responses for outstanding ride quality.

The technology also helps reduce the impact of driving through potholes, by detecting the edge of a pothole and adjusting the damper so that the wheel doesn’t fall as far into it. Because the tyre and wheel don’t drop as far, they don’t strike the opposite side of the pothole as harshly. The rear suspension can respond even faster, with a signal from the front wheel providing a pre-warning to the rear wheel well before it reaches the pothole.

The CCD system also supports Drive Mode technology. Normal, Sport and Eco modes are offered for the first time on a Focus, enabling drivers to immediately adjust throttle pedal, eight-speed automatic gearbox, Electronic Power Assisted Steering (EPAS) and ACC characteristics to match the driving situation. When equipped with CCD, Focus also offers Comfort and Eco-Comfort Drive Modes, and will adjust the suspension character accordingly.

A new column-mounted EPAS system and new software deliver an even more responsive, intuitive and engaging feel for a brilliantly rewarding driving experience, complemented by comfort-enhancing features including Torque Steer Compensation. Focus also debuts a bespoke, in-house developed Ford Stability Control system tailored to support Ford driving dynamics, and featuring Torque Vectoring Control.

Braking distances from 100 km/h (62 mph) are reduced by up to 1 metre, supported by the new Electric Brake Booster for select models that builds pressure faster, and delivers a more confident and consistent pedal feel across a broader range of operating conditions.

Focus is the first vehicle to be manufactured using Ford’s all-new C2 platform that – combined with an all-new body structure – enabled engineers to enhance stiffness for greater responsiveness. Torsional rigidity is improved by 20 per cent compared with the previous generation Focus, and the stiffness of individual suspension attachment points is increased by up to 50 per cent, reducing flex for better body control.

The all-new Focus features an innovative method to increase the stiffness of the rear structure, developed for the acclaimed Ford Focus RS model. An extruded foam is inserted wet into a rear underbody cavity during the assembly process, which then dries and expands under the heat of the paint-drying process to deliver 10 per cent greater local lateral rigidity with minimal additional weight.

From the 10 millimetre lower Focus ST-Line with unique springs, dampers and stabiliser bars, to the more than 30 millimetre raised Focus Active with unique front and rear knuckles, the chassis of every derivative has been tuned to deliver the immediately recognisable Focus character.

“Focus and a class-leading fun-to-drive experience go hand-in-hand and we have no intention of letting any competitor steal that crown,” Reder said. “Our all-new chassis combined with sophisticated technologies like Drive Modes and Continuously Controlled Damping deliver the agility and responsiveness of a hot hatchback, with the refined ride of a large executive car.”

Connected and comfortable

Spacious, practical and well connected – the all-new Focus interior features innovative engineering and advanced comfort and convenience technologies that help the vehicle seamlessly integrate into customers’ lives.

Focus introduces FordPass Connect embedded modem technology for Ford customers in Europe, turning the vehicle into a mobile WiFi hotspot with connectivity for up to 10 devices. In addition to helping drivers plan faster, less stressful journeys with Live Traffic updates for the navigation system and enabling occupants to stream entertainment on the move, FordPass Connect allows a range of convenient features via the FordPass mobile app, including:

  • Vehicle Locator, helping owners find their car in sprawling shopping mall car parks
  • Vehicle Status, for checking fuel levels, alarm status, oil life and more
  • Door Lock Unlock, to remotely allow access to your Focus
  • Remote Start, for Focus models with eight-speed automatic transmission**
  • eCall functionality, which automatically dials emergency services in the event of a serious accident, and enables occupants to be directly connected to the emergency services by pushing an SOS button in the overhead console

Also helping drivers stay connected on the move and wave goodbye to a tangle of cables in the centre console, a new Wireless charging pad beneath the instrument panel enables occupants to easily charge compatible smartphones. The pad automatically detects compatible devices to initiate charging.

Devices can remain connected via Bluetooth to Ford’s SYNC 3 communications and entertainment system while using wireless charging. Supported by an 8-inch colour touchscreen that can be operated using pinch and swipe gestures, and compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto™, SYNC 3 allows drivers to control audio, navigation and climate functions plus connected smartphones using simple voice commands.

A new B&O PLAY sound system will help occupants get the best from music streamed via FordPass Connect or smartphone devices. The 675 watt system features ten speakers, including a 140 millimetre boot-mounted subwoofer and a mid-range speaker in the centre of the dashboard, and has been specifically calibrated for the Focus five-door and wagon body styles for one of the best audio experiences of any vehicle, let alone a mid-sized hatchback.

Comfort is key to the more refined and upscale all-new Focus occupant experience. Front seat occupants will enjoy generous shoulder room of 1,421 millimetres, and instrument panel positioning is optimised for greater space. An electric parking brake – standard with eight-speed automatic transmission and for high series models with manual transmission – and Rotary Gear Shift Dial also free up more space for the driver and front passenger. A narrower centre console – enabled by relocating switches and controls to the touchscreen – features soft knee pads for more comfort.

For rear seat passengers, additional space is delivered by the longer wheelbase and flat floor. Knee clearance is improved by more than 50 millimetres compared with the outgoing Focus, for a best-in-class 81 millimetres. Shoulder-room is increased by almost 60 millimetres compared with the outgoing Focus. The impression of spaciousness is enhanced with a rear door design featuring windows that stretch into the rear pillar for a more open sensation, and an available openable panoramic roof.

Developed specifically for the new C2 platform, the Focus heating ventilation and air-conditioning system heats and cools the cabin faster with a more powerful 140 cc compressor, and features more flexible coolant lines and smoother airflow paths for quieter operation. Focus even features special shaping for the door mirrors, designed to help mitigate the buffeting throb effect that can occur when one window is lowered at speed – good news for dog owners.

Speaking of dog owners, there is more good news for them: the wagon boot space is designed to comfortably accommodate a dog crate, with load height increased by 43 millimetres; length to the rear seat increased by 25 millimetres; and – with the rear seats folded via the pull of a switch using the new Easy Fold Seats feature – length to the front seats increased by 175 millimetres for more than 1,650-litre capacity.

Ford’s Hands-free tailgate technology allows access to the wagon boot space with a simple kicking motion under the rear bumper, and engineers have delivered a solution to the challenge of where to place the tonneau cover once removed: it now fits neatly beneath the new flexible load floor, and is easier to remove with a simple pull-strap release.

Power of choice

All-new Focus customers can choose from an advanced range of Ford EcoBoost petrol and Ford EcoBlue diesel engines delivering optimised power and refinement; and meeting the latest stringent Euro 6 emissions standards calculated using the World Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP). Powertrains are supported by standard Auto Start-Stop for reduced running costs; and slick-shifting six-speed manual and new eight-speed automatic transmissions for effortless cruising.

Ford’s multi-award-winning 1.0-litre EcoBoost is offered with 85 PS, 100 PS and 125 PS, and new 1.5-litre EcoBoost engine is offered with 150 PS and 182 PS.

Fuel-efficiency and CO2 emissions from both EcoBoost petrol engines are enhanced using Ford’s industry-first cylinder deactivation system for a three-cylinder engine, which can automatically stop one of the engine’s cylinders when full capacity is not needed, such as when coasting or cruising with light demand on the engine. The technology can disengage or re-engage one cylinder in 14 milliseconds – 20 times faster than the blink of an eye – with no compromise in performance or refinement.

Core EcoBoost technologies including advanced turbocharging, high-pressure direct fuel injection and Twin-independent Variable Cam Timing, also feature for both engines. Particulate emissions are reduced using standard gas particulate filter technology.

The 1.0-litre EcoBoost is further enhanced to deliver anticipated CO2 emissions from 107 g/km*** for the five-door model using:

  • A reversed direction cylinder-head from which exhaust gases now exit the rear, for faster warm-up of emission reduction technology
  • A high pressure fuel rail that now delivers up to 250 bar injection pressure, helping reduce particulates emissions
  • Wide-range cam-phasing, optimised cylinder turbulence and higher compression ratios for more efficient combustion
  • Gallery-cooled pistons featuring low-friction piston rings to further reduce energy-sapping friction within the engine

The new 1.5-litre EcoBoost engine delivers CO2 emissions from an anticipated 122 g/km for the five-door model, with features including:

  • A new combination of port fuel injection and direct fuel injection that helps deliver high power and responsiveness alongside enhanced fuel-efficiency, with a particular increase in fuel-efficiency under light engine loads
  • A low-friction three-cylinder architecture that delivers naturally high torque at low rpm
  • An integrated exhaust manifold that improves fuel-efficiency by helping the engine reach optimal temperatures faster, and delivers torque more rapidly by minimising the distance exhaust gasses travel between cylinders and turbocharger
  • An all-aluminium construction for reduced weight

Ford’s advanced new turbocharged EcoBlue diesel engines are designed to deliver higher power, more torque at low rpm, and enhanced fuel-efficiency and refinement for higher-mileage drivers. The new 1.5-litre EcoBlue is offered with 95 PS and 120 PS both delivering 300 Nm of torque, and with CO2 emissions from an anticipated 91 g/km for the five-door model. The 2.0‑litre EcoBlue engine delivers 150 PS, 370 Nm of torque, and CO2 emissions from an anticipated 112 g/km for the five-door model.

The all-new 1.5-litre EcoBlue features innovative technologies, including:

  • Low-pressure exhaust gas recirculation combined with water-air charge cooling for more efficient combustion and reduced emissions
  • An integrated intake manifold for optimised engine breathing
  • Low-inertia turbocharging for faster, more controllable turbo response, featuring rocket engine materials designed for high temperature applications
  • A high-pressure fuel injection system that is more responsive, quieter, and offers more precise fuel delivery

In addition to an integrated intake system with mirror-image porting for optimised engine breathing; low-inertia turbocharger; high-pressure fuel injection system that is more responsive, quieter and offers more precise fuel delivery; and standard selective catalytic reduction emissions after-treatment that contributes to improved NOX reduction, the 2.0-litre EcoBlue features multiple innovations that reduce friction, including:

·        A 10 mm offset crank design that minimises piston side-load, reducing rubbing forces against the cylinder walls

  • Steel pistons – used for the first time in a Ford diesel engine – for optimised dimensions and less expansion when hot
  • Minimised crankshaft bearing diameters
  • A belt-in-oil design for the camshaft and oil pump drive belts

Ford’s new quick-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission is engineered to further optimise fuel-efficiency and deliver responsive performance. Available with 125 PS 1.0-litre EcoBoost, 150 PS 1.5-litre EcoBoost, 120 PS 1.5-litre EcoBlue and 150 PS 2.0-litre EcoBlue engines, features include:

  • Adaptive Shift Scheduling, which assesses individual driving styles to optimise gearshift timings. The system can identify uphill and downhill gradients and hard cornering, and adjust gearshifts accordingly for a more stable, engaging and refined driving experience
  • Adaptive Shift Quality Control, which assesses vehicle and environmental information to help adjust clutch pressures for consistently smooth gearshifts. The technology can also adjust shift smoothness to suit driving style

Ford’s latest six-speed manual transmissions also enhance the driving experience with improved shift quality; reduced gear whine and rattle; and a low-friction architectures that feature low-viscosity oils, friction-optimised bearings and in some cases Teflon bushings.

The all-new Focus delivers fuel-efficiency and CO2 emission improvements of 10 per cent across the range, according to Ford data, assisted by painstakingly crafted aerodynamics that result in best-in-class drag co-efficients of 0.250 for the Focus four-door and 0.273 for the Focus five-door models. Aerodynamic features include:

  • Standard Active Grille Shutter technology that automatically closes to reduce drag when cooling airflow to the radiator is not needed, now featuring improved sealing and ducting
  • Air-curtain technology that guides airflow across the front wheels to reduce turbulence
  • Air separation features incorporated into the rear bumper and light units, in addition to optimised rear spoiler and window strake designs, to limit drag-inducing vortices
  • Additional underbody shielding for the central tunnel, fuel tank and rear axle

Fuel-efficiency is further improved by weight-reductions of up to 88 kilogrammes like-for-like, compared with the outgoing Focus. Even the brake architecture is enhanced to benefit fuel-efficiency: the faster response of the Electric Brake Booster allows more clearance between the brake pads and disc for less drag.

Manufactured in Europe

The all-new Ford Focus is manufactured using industry-first processes at Ford’s Saarlouis assembly facility, Germany – delivering best-ever Focus quality and craftsmanship.

A new 6,000 metre2 hot-forming facility enables ultra-high-strength, lightweight boron steel components to be manufactured on-site, and is the first hot-forming production line in the industry to feature fully automated unloading for optimised efficiency.

Forty-metre furnaces use gas and magnetic induction to heat boron steel plates to 930 degrees C, making them pliable enough to be moulded by 1,250 tonne presses. The water-cooled plates are then precisely cut into their final shape inside special cells each containing a laser that slices through the boron steel with a 3,000 degrees C beam.

An advanced new form and pierce process improves fit and finish of the entire Focus front end by using cameras to measure the optimal location for the position of mounting holes, within tolerances of 0.1 millimetres. To ensure ultimate precision, a second camera system monitors the position of the apparatus and can adjust to tolerances of 0.1 millimetres to account for expansion and contraction in changing temperatures. The process enables mounting holes to be positioned with 0.5 millimetre accuracy.

The first Ford-application of a new laser-welding technology operates with greater speed, flexibility and efficiency, and is capable of delivering wobble-welded seams for more strength. Also introduced is advanced tri-focal laser-brazing – the fastest at Ford with an operating speed of 60 millimetres per second – for cleaner, stronger and more precise joints between roof and body side.

“Innovation in every area has helped us create an all-new Focus with unprecedented craftsmanship and delivering an unparalleled driving and occupant experience,” Bakaj said. “The all-new Focus is the fulfilment of the Focus promise and as of today, sets the benchmark for others to follow. I am immensely proud of the team that has helped deliver what I believe is the best car we have ever made.”

 

The post FORD UNVEILS ALL-NEW FOCUS – MOST INNOVATIVE, DYNAMIC AND EXCITING FORD EVER – 20 YEARS ON FROM ORIGINAL GAME-CHANGER appeared first on Hills Social.

]]>
http://social.hillsford.co.uk/ford-unveils-all-new-focus-most-innovative-dynamic-and-exciting-ford-ever-20-years-on-from-original-game-changer/feed/ 0
ALL-NEW FORD FIESTA IS BEST BUY ON A BUDGET http://social.hillsford.co.uk/new-ford-fiesta-best-buy-budget/ http://social.hillsford.co.uk/new-ford-fiesta-best-buy-budget/#respond Fri, 01 Dec 2017 09:25:04 +0000 http://social.hillsford.co.uk/?p=7362 ALL-NEW FORD FIESTA IS BEST BUY ON A BUDGET, SAY WOMEN’S WORLD CAR OF THE YEAR JUDGES The all-new Ford Fiesta delivers more technologies, refinement and style than ever before; and also offers award-winning value, according to the Women’s World Car of the Year panel of expert judges. Fiesta has been voted winner in the

The post ALL-NEW FORD FIESTA IS BEST BUY ON A BUDGET appeared first on Hills Social.

]]>
ALL-NEW FORD FIESTA IS BEST BUY ON A BUDGET, SAY WOMEN’S WORLD CAR OF THE YEAR JUDGES

The all-new Ford Fiesta delivers more technologies, refinement and style than ever before; and also offers award-winning value, according to the Women’s World Car of the Year panel of expert judges.

Fiesta has been voted winner in the Budget Car category at the Women’s World Car of the Year awards for 2017 – the only car awards in the world voted for entirely by women.

Twenty-five expert judges representing 20 countries around the world chose the Fiesta as the clear winner from ten finalists in the category, selected from an initial list of 420 vehicles.

“We congratulate Ford on a decisive win for the Fiesta, a win that was never in doubt,” says Sandy Myhre from the Women’s World Car of the Year panel. “Fiesta was such a consistent nomination among our judges that it scored highly in the Supreme category, too, with more votes than high-end models including the Aston Martin DB11 and Range Rover Velar.”

Women’s World Car of the Year winners are chosen based on criteria including safety, value-for-money, style, storage space, child-friendliness, ease-of-driving, environmental footprint and sex appeal.

The all-new Ford Fiesta is on sale across Europe in distinctive versions including the stylish Fiesta Titanium, the Ford Performance-inspired Fiesta ST-Line and the upscale Fiesta Vignale.

Sophisticated Fiesta driver assistance technologies and features include SYNC 3  connectivity; an enhanced Pedestrian Detection system that can help prevent collisions at night; and the first Ford Active Park Assist system that can deliver brake interventions to prevent low-speed bumps when parking hands-free.

Cutting-edge powertrains include Ford’s multi-award winning 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine offering up to 140 PS, and a 1.5-litre TDCi diesel offering up to 120 PS.

Find out more about the all-new Ford Fiesta

The post ALL-NEW FORD FIESTA IS BEST BUY ON A BUDGET appeared first on Hills Social.

]]>
http://social.hillsford.co.uk/new-ford-fiesta-best-buy-budget/feed/ 0
TRANSFORMING URBAN MOBILITY http://social.hillsford.co.uk/transforming-urban-mobility/ http://social.hillsford.co.uk/transforming-urban-mobility/#respond Tue, 31 Oct 2017 11:03:34 +0000 http://social.hillsford.co.uk/?p=7357 The following speech was given by Steven Armstrong, Group Vice President and President, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Ford Motor Company at the 2017 Handelsblatt Auto-Gipfel  event in Sindelfingen, Germany: It’s a real pleasure to be here. Jim Farley was at the Auto-Gipfel last year – he said that this was one of the most

The post TRANSFORMING URBAN MOBILITY appeared first on Hills Social.

]]>
The following speech was given by Steven Armstrong, Group Vice President and President, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Ford Motor Company at the 2017 Handelsblatt Auto-Gipfel  event in Sindelfingen, Germany:

It’s a real pleasure to be here. Jim Farley was at the Auto-Gipfel last year – he said that this was one of the most important gatherings of automotive leaders in Europe and I can see absolutely, he was right. We all know our industry is in a moment of massive transformation.
Gabor set the scene, and Dieter Zetsche and Matthias Müller gave us a frank account of the challenges they face.

I want to do the same but also shine a light on some of the possibilities that we at Ford see
Three weeks ago our new CEO, Jim Hackett set out the Ford story – his view of the future.
New smart vehicles will pair or thrive in new transportation operating systems in cities. Our commitment to this means we will be more evolved to capitalize on new business opportunities in new mobility and transport services.

Cars and vans have always connected A to B via roads, highways, freeways, autobahns. But now they will be embedded in more complex physical and digital networks – our cities. And as we know, this century, the 21st century, is the century of the city.

Today just over half of the world’s population already live in cities. The UN estimates this will rise to 66% by 2050 – that’s two and a half billion more people living in urban areas.

Cities are drawing millions of us in as they promise opportunity, vibrancy and excitement – however, they also promise us traffic! Easy to see here in and around Stuttgart.

A rise in people means a rise in vehicles, and our beautiful cities here in Europe are struggling to cope.  Ageing infrastructure is creaking and our customers are feeling frustrated.   Congestion jams up all of our lives and is costly in many ways.

Economists can tell you what this means in terms of lost GDP but in our lives we may feel the loss in time. In Europe in 2016, we spent an average of 91 hours in traffic.

That’s equivalent to more than two working weeks – giving that back to people to spend with their friends and families would surely be one of the greatest gifts.

Time is freedom. And freedom has always been central to the promise made by Henry Ford over 100 years ago – to open the highways to all mankind. The challenge now is the same but different.  Back then we wanted to give people the opportunity to explore.  To extend their horizons to seek new opportunity and achieve the great American dream.
Now the mission is to help our customers navigate their lives by giving them the most frictionless journeys in more complex and different environments. Ford Motor Company was built on the belief that freedom of movement drives human progress. And in turn we need to ensure that the services around them can be seamlessly delivered to enhance our lives or even just keep them running to plan.

As we know, online shopping has exploded in the last decade with over 4bn parcels being delivered each year in our European cities.  This is still growing exponentially.
At the same time, we also need to keep our shops in city centres and malls fully stocked.
And most importantly we need healthcare, emergency and social services to be immediately accessible when we need it most – not stuck in traffic.

The problem is more vehicles means increased competition for a place in our most valuable public space – our roads.

Cities are made of places and spaces. When we visualise cities it is often the squares and parks that come to mind – yet we forget the sheer scale of our streets and roads. They represent the biggest public investment too – and if we can help make them work better, we will see leaps in productivity, growth and well-being.

This is key to Ford’s vision of mobility, our aim of being the world’s most trusted mobility company  – smart vehicles in a smart world.

This is not a thing we can do on our own. This involves the newest of collaborations – with cities and their leaders, with public services, with data scientists, start-ups and many others. And it needs the oldest of skills – understanding the customer and their needs, desires and passions.
The City of Tomorrow will need different infrastructure. As electric vehicles increase, the demand for electricity threatens to overwhelm the existing grid. The gain is massive in terms of reduced pollution, the challenge great in terms of the need for new and better networks of energy distribution.

The space in cities is ultimately a finite resource that will need to be managed effectively and efficiently.

We are used to the old patterns of bikes, buses, trams, taxis and private cars sharing space. But they mainly exist in parallel – aligning them so that they are better integrated will meet the needs of citizens who want a seamless, stress-free journey.These changes will make cities more liveable.

But to reach this innovation is needed, which is why we are working on all aspects of mobility – all elements of the journey.

There’s Chariot – the crowd-sourced shuttle service, now in four US cities. Here in Germany we have FordPass, the app allowing customers access to bikes in Cologne and Dusseldorf and a nationwide fleet of Call-a-bike units, which supplements the Ford Car-sharing offering.

And we don’t neglect the classic form of mobility – walking. We collaborated with a smart cities start up in London to create a network of Ford Smart Benches – located in busy inner city pedestrian areas these seats will offer wifi and mobile charging – an urban pit-stop if you like. And they will collect data on CO2 levels, noise, humidity and temperature – providing information to local government for free.

Our growing team based at the new European Ford Smart Mobility office opened just a few weeks ago in London will target near-term development of smart mobility technologies while focusing on the specific requirements of European cities. Co-located in East London with a hub of world-class digital companies, academic institutions, start-ups, and existing partners, we will radically boost our collaboration in the new world.

Because collaboration – not just leadership – will be at the heart of building the smart cities we need for the future.

But what excites me the most is our work in Commercial Vehicles. The Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle trial in London – testing telematics, contributing to cleaner air and feeding into our Transit Custom plug-in hybrid – in production in 2019.

And our partnership with Streetscooter here in Germany adding electric delivery vehicles to our market leading CV line up.

So we know that all of this represents unprecedented change.  As a team we talk about leaping ahead of what is currently predicted and that requires of us real imagination. We have to imagine the future and then build it. How can we do that? By showing,not merely telling.

If, as the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words then I say a Virtual Reality simulation must be worth a novel!

I would now like to share with you a glimpse of what we think is to come – just one of our ideas for a future autonomous delivery solution.

A world of autonomous vehicles that serves our customers with just a swipe of a tablet.  Please put your headsets on – you will find them beneath your seats. Let’s watch.

Now, that’s just one light iteration of the future, one imagined use case of million use cases but it highlights some of the main themes: Ease, integration, efficiency and new ways of living. And it’s easy to start to see other uses – the supply of prescription medicines after a virtual appointment with your doctor or even the delivery of parts to an elevator engineer high up an apartment block.

New ways of seeing mobility lead to new ways of delivering for our customers in a modern setting. We at Ford are excited about the possibilities ahead and the Freedom of this progress.

The post TRANSFORMING URBAN MOBILITY appeared first on Hills Social.

]]>
http://social.hillsford.co.uk/transforming-urban-mobility/feed/ 0
FORD SCRAPPAGE SCHEME HELPS LONDON DRIVERS AVOID T-CHARGE IN EFFORTS TO IMPROVE AIR QUALITY http://social.hillsford.co.uk/ford-scrappage-scheme-helps-london-drivers-avoid-t-charge-efforts-improve-air-quality/ http://social.hillsford.co.uk/ford-scrappage-scheme-helps-london-drivers-avoid-t-charge-efforts-improve-air-quality/#respond Wed, 25 Oct 2017 15:54:02 +0000 http://social.hillsford.co.uk/?p=7353 Drivers of older petrol and diesel vehicles, which do not comply with Euro 4 emission standard, must now pay the Emissions Surcharge, known as the T-Charge, when entering the central London Congestion Charge zone. Introduced with the aim to improve air quality, and in particular reduce nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particulate emissions, the surcharge is

The post FORD SCRAPPAGE SCHEME HELPS LONDON DRIVERS AVOID T-CHARGE IN EFFORTS TO IMPROVE AIR QUALITY appeared first on Hills Social.

]]>
Drivers of older petrol and diesel vehicles, which do not comply with Euro 4 emission standard, must now pay the Emissions Surcharge, known as the T-Charge, when entering the central London Congestion Charge zone.

Introduced with the aim to improve air quality, and in particular reduce nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particulate emissions, the surcharge is welcomed by Ford as a positive step in the collective approach needed to tackle air quality issues.

In August Ford announced a car and van scrappage scheme aimed at improving air quality by enabling owners of any pre-Euro 5 vehicle, registered by 31st December 2009, to benefit from a scrappage incentive of between £2,000 and £7,0001 on a variety of Ford models, including the new high-tech Fiesta and Transit Custom, Britain’s most popular car and van respectively.

“Removing the most polluting vehicles from our roads has the potential to transform air quality in congested urban areas,” said Andy Barratt, Chairman and MD of Ford of Britain. “But with over 19 million such vehicles on the road, we have always campaigned for collaboration across public and private sectors,” he added.

The Ford Scrappage scheme can help drivers, of any brand, to trade-in their old vehicles for new and affordable Ford cars and commercial vehicles, including the popular Fiesta and Transit Custom, with significantly lower emissions. All new Ford EcoBoost petrol and EcoBlue diesel models not only meet the Euro 6 standard, the toughest vehicle emissions yet, they also allow surcharge-free access to central London.

Almost 7,000 vehicles have been scrapped under the Ford scheme, which started in late August and runs to the end of the year, and is effective for registrations from September 1st to December 31st 2017.

Medium to longer-term actions to improve air quality include a plug-in hybrid version of the Ford Transit Custom, due to start trials later this year. The Transit PHEV is planned for commercial introduction in 2019 and is part of Ford’s total investment of $4.5 billion in electrified vehicles by 2020, which also includes a fully electric, long-range SUV.

Customer Eligibility

  • Incentive would apply to vehicles registered up to 31st December 2009
  • The traded-in vehicle  must have been registered in the owner’s name for at least 90 days
  • The trade-in vehicle must be scrapped

The post FORD SCRAPPAGE SCHEME HELPS LONDON DRIVERS AVOID T-CHARGE IN EFFORTS TO IMPROVE AIR QUALITY appeared first on Hills Social.

]]>
http://social.hillsford.co.uk/ford-scrappage-scheme-helps-london-drivers-avoid-t-charge-efforts-improve-air-quality/feed/ 0
FUEL-EFFICIENT ENGINES AND A LIGHT RIGHT FOOT HELP ALL-NEW FORD FIESTA AND RANGER SET THREE NEW ECO-DRIVING RECORDS http://social.hillsford.co.uk/fuel-efficient-engines-light-right-foot-help-new-ford-fiesta-ranger-set-three-new-eco-driving-records/ http://social.hillsford.co.uk/fuel-efficient-engines-light-right-foot-help-new-ford-fiesta-ranger-set-three-new-eco-driving-records/#respond Mon, 16 Oct 2017 12:47:08 +0000 http://social.hillsford.co.uk/?p=7349 “Hypermiling” drivers from U.K. and Norway, using eco-friendly driving techniques, set three new fuel-efficiency records in the all-new Ford Fiesta hatchback and Ford Ranger pickup Fiesta 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol and 1.5-litre TDCi diesel models each set new fuel-efficiency benchmarks at the U.K.’s annual MPG Marathon Ranger travels 1616 kilometres on a single tank of fuel

The post FUEL-EFFICIENT ENGINES AND A LIGHT RIGHT FOOT HELP ALL-NEW FORD FIESTA AND RANGER SET THREE NEW ECO-DRIVING RECORDS appeared first on Hills Social.

]]>
  • “Hypermiling” drivers from U.K. and Norway, using eco-friendly driving techniques, set three new fuel-efficiency records in the all-new Ford Fiesta hatchback and Ford Ranger pickup
  • Fiesta 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol and 1.5-litre TDCi diesel models each set new fuel-efficiency benchmarks at the U.K.’s annual MPG Marathon
  • Ranger travels 1616 kilometres on a single tank of fuel during drive through Norway, Sweden and Finland
  • Ford shares tips that helped drivers exceed official Fiesta fuel-efficiency figures by one-third
  • The all-new Ford Fiesta hatchback and Ranger pickup have set three new eco-driving records at fuel-efficiency challenges, including two new records for Fiesta at the U.K.’s annual MPG Marathon.

    Powered by Ford’s 120 PS TDCi diesel engine and driven by journalist Paul Clifton and engineer Ian McKean, Fiesta won the MPG Marathon Overall Champion title by averaging 2.3 l/100 km fuel-efficiency during 570 kilometres of driving – a 12 per cent improvement on the previous record and a 34 per cent improvement on the model’s official fuel-efficiency figure.*

    Powered by Ford’s multi-award-winning 125 PS 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine and driven by former-Ford works rally team Andy Dawson and Andrew Marriott, Fiesta averaged 2.9 l/100 km fuel-efficiency to be crowned Petrol Champion – a 14 per cent improvement on the previous record and a 33 per cent improvement on the model’s official fuel-efficiency figure.*

    “Maximising fuel-efficiency not only saves money, but smooth driving can also be fun thanks to the new Fiesta’s brilliant steering and suspension,” said Andy Dawson. “Using less fuel also means reduced emissions, limiting motorists’ environmental impact.”

    Using “hypermiling” driving techniques that can help any driver maximise fuel-efficiency, the Fiesta drivers improved on the models’ official fuel-efficiency figures by one-third – equivalent to gaining an extra 14 litres of free fuel when filling the Fiesta’s 42-litre fuel tank.

    Ford’s six simple eco-driving tips are:

    1. Service your car and check the oil level regularly. Correctly maintained cars operate more efficiently
    2. Check tyre pressures monthly. Underinflated tyres can increase fuel consumption by up to four per cent
    3. Do not carry unnecessary weight in the boot or cabin
    4. Remove empty roof racks and keep windows shut, especially if driving at high speeds. This will reduce wind resistance, reducing fuel use by up to 10 per cent
    5. Drive smoothly, looking as far as possible ahead – and behind. Sudden acceleration and braking penalise fuel economy
    6. When accelerating, select higher gears as early as possible. Ford models have gear-shift indicators to optimise gear selection

    The Norwegian duo of Knut Wilthil and Henrik Borchgrevink went even further in a Ford Ranger 2.2‑litre TDCi diesel, to set an unconfirmed world record for the furthest distance travelled in a pickup on a single tank of fuel.

    By carefully planning their route and taking advanced measures such as only parking on downward slopes when taking breaks – enabling more fuel-efficient restarts – the experienced “hypermilers” covered 1616 kilometres through Norway, Sweden and Finland, at an average speed of 60 km/h.

    Despite challenging weather conditions, Wilthil and Borchgrevink achieved just under 5.0 l/100 km fuel-efficiency during the 30-hour drive, a 23 per cent improvement on the model’s official figure.*

    The all-new Ford Fiesta went on sale in Europe earlier this year, delivering from 3.2 l/100 km fuel-efficiency and 82 g/km CO2 emissions,* with fuel-efficient engines supported by technology that automatically stops the engine when stationary in traffic and restarts quickly when moving off again, and an Eco button for manual gearboxes that adjusts engine and throttle settings to help drivers save even more fuel when desired.

    The Ford Ranger is Europe’s best-selling pickup. Ford sold 31,000 Rangers in Europe up to September year-to-date. **

    The post FUEL-EFFICIENT ENGINES AND A LIGHT RIGHT FOOT HELP ALL-NEW FORD FIESTA AND RANGER SET THREE NEW ECO-DRIVING RECORDS appeared first on Hills Social.

    ]]>
    http://social.hillsford.co.uk/fuel-efficient-engines-light-right-foot-help-new-ford-fiesta-ranger-set-three-new-eco-driving-records/feed/ 0
    FORD TESTS MICROSOFT HOLOLENS GLOBALLY http://social.hillsford.co.uk/ford-tests-microsoft-hololens-globally/ http://social.hillsford.co.uk/ford-tests-microsoft-hololens-globally/#respond Tue, 26 Sep 2017 09:42:10 +0000 http://social.hillsford.co.uk/?p=7344 The post FORD TESTS MICROSOFT HOLOLENS GLOBALLY appeared first on Hills Social.

    ]]>

    MAKE WAY FOR HOLOGRAMS: NEW MIXED REALITY TECHNOLOGY MEETS CAR DESIGN AS FORD TESTS MICROSOFT HOLOLENS GLOBALLY

    • Ford is expanding testing of Microsoft HoloLens mixed reality technology globally to gain speed in designing more stylish vehicles for its customers
    • New technology allows designers wearing wireless headsets to see several digital designs and parts as if these were already incorporated into a physical vehicle; this is helping Ford explore more design proposals while shaving time off design and engineering processes that can take years
    • For example, evaluating a vehicle’s side mirror aesthetics and how that affects a driver’s view normally takes days or weeks, but can now be done in minutes, even seconds

    Ford designers have been swapping some clay-sculpting steels and rakes for mixed reality headsets and visualization software that can change vehicle design elements – side mirrors, grilles, vehicle interiors and more – in mere seconds.

    Designers have been piloting Microsoft HoloLens technology for a year now in Ford’s Dearborn studios, allowing them to see proposed virtual design elements as if these pieces were part of physical vehicles. They’ve been able to explore different shapes, sizes and textures of future vehicle attributes in minutes and hours instead of the weeks and months it can take to create clay models. And now, Ford is expanding this pioneering testing across the globe.

    “It’s amazing we can combine the old and the new – clay models and holograms – in a way that both saves time and allows designers to experiment and iterate quickly to dream up even more stylish, clever vehicles,” says Jim Holland, Ford vice president, vehicle component and systems engineering. “Microsoft HoloLens is a powerful tool for designers as we continue to reimagine vehicles and mobility experiences in fast-changing times.”

    HoloLens technology uses mixed reality, which enables designers to see holograms in photo-quality backdrops through wire-free headsets. They can scroll and preview at the flick of a finger through numerous design variations projected virtually onto an actual car or clay model.

    “We may not be able to teleport yet, but HoloLens allows us to review full-size 3D designs with designers and engineers around the world in real time,” says Craig Wetzel, Ford manager, design technical operations. “And we’ve only just scratched the surface, so possibilities for the future seem almost limitless. This is very exciting.”

    Seeing the future
    As designers wearing headsets move around an actual vehicle, the Microsoft HoloLens scans and maps the environment far more accurately than GPS to render holograms and images from the angle at which the vehicle is being viewed. A Windows 10 computer embedded in the headsets brings the power of the operating system to a holographic device that is untethered, wearable and mobile. Traditionally, designers and engineers have to wear headsets that rely on cables tethered to a PC.

    Designers see 3D holographic images of themes and features as though these elements were already part of the vehicle – allowing them to quickly evaluate the design, make changes, and determine styling options earlier in development.

    “With HoloLens, we can instantly flip through virtual representations to decide which direction they should go,” says Michael Smith, Ford design manager. “As a designer, you want to show, not just tell. This is much more compelling.”

    Ford has adapted HoloLens technology to enable designers to collaborate with engineers to better understand the customer experience, too. For example, the technology allows a designer and engineer to evaluate in near-real time how a new side mirror looks aesthetically, as well as the customer’s view of the vehicle’s surroundings.

    Whereas today it can take days, even weeks, to study a grille design, HoloLens allows designers and engineers to explore a variety of different iterations in a matter of hours. The headsets can even be synced to allow multiple team members to view a design simultaneously, making collaboration easy. They can also record audio notes – high-tech “sticky notes” – for team members working in other time zones or off-site.

    Beyond the global design test, Ford is investigating how to bring HoloLens technology into more engineering development processes to further bolster the company’s lead in using advanced visualization technologies such as virtual reality.

    “HoloLens allows a whole team of people to collaborate, share and experience ideas together,” says Elizabeth Baron, Ford virtual reality and advanced visualization technical specialist. “Mixing virtual and physical models is exciting, because it helps our designers and engineers communicate effectively and ideate to see what the future looks like earlier in the process. This allows great freedom and efficiency in how prototypes are created or changed.”

    The post FORD TESTS MICROSOFT HOLOLENS GLOBALLY appeared first on Hills Social.

    ]]>
    http://social.hillsford.co.uk/ford-tests-microsoft-hololens-globally/feed/ 0
    NEW FORD ECOSPORT http://social.hillsford.co.uk/new-ford-ecosport/ http://social.hillsford.co.uk/new-ford-ecosport/#respond Tue, 05 Sep 2017 15:48:43 +0000 http://social.hillsford.co.uk/?p=7308 The post NEW FORD ECOSPORT appeared first on Hills Social.

    ]]>

    NEW FORD ECOSPORT SUV ENHANCES QUALITY, TECHNOLOGY AND CAPABILITY TO DELIVER MORE CONFIDENCE AND COMFORT

    • New Ford EcoSport compact SUV debuts powerful, fuel-efficient all-new 1.5-litre Ford EcoBlue diesel engine; is more versatile and capable with Intelligent All Wheel Drive
    • Rugged, stylish new EcoSport exterior offers more personalisation options including contrast extended roof colours; is available as sporty EcoSport ST-Line version for the first time
    • Refined, ergonomic interior features floating central touchscreens up to 8-inches, heated steering wheel and premium B&O PLAY sound system
    • Sophisticated technologies include SYNC 3 connectivity, Cruise Control with Adjustable Speed Limiter, and Rear View Camera for more confident reversing

    COLOGNE, Germany, Sept. 5, 2017 – Ford today revealed the new Ford EcoSport compact sports utility vehicle (SUV) that will deliver enhanced versatility and capability, more refined styling and sophisticated technologies for customers in Europe, from later this year.

    The new Ford EcoSport for the first time offers Ford Intelligent All Wheel Drive technology for improved traction on- and off-road, combined with an advanced new 1.5-litre EcoBlue diesel engine, delivering up to 125 PS and optimised CO2 emissions.*

    Also available for the first time as a sporty, Ford Performance-inspired EcoSport ST‑Line model, the new Ford EcoSport delivers driver assistance technologies including SYNC 3 connectivity, Cruise Control with Adjustable Speed Limiter and Rear View Camera.

    Featuring enhanced dynamic, rugged and refined exterior styling, the new model is offered in 12 bold colours and offers even more personalisation options – including contrasting painted roof colour options that extend to the window pillars, upper door frames, rear roof spoiler and door mirrors. A user-centric, upscale new interior offers a superior occupant experience with floating central 8-inch touchscreen, heated steering wheel and smart stowage solutions including an adjustable boot floor.

    “Ford has sold 150,000 EcoSport compact SUVs in Europe since we first introduced the model to the region in 2014, and last year sales grew 40 per cent,” said Steven Armstrong, group vice president and president, Europe Middle East and Africa, Ford Motor Company. “The new Ford EcoSport offers customers even more style, comfort, capability and choice – blending rugged SUV functionality with city car practicality.”

    The new Ford EcoSport for Europe will be built at Ford’s manufacturing facility in Craiova, Romania, following a €200 million investment, and goes on sale later this year, joining the Ford Edge and Kuga SUV models in Europe. A new SUV-inspired Fiesta Active crossover model also goes on sale in Europe next year.

    The SUV segment is the fastest growing in Europe. Registrations of SUV models grew by more than 21 per cent year-on-year to account for more than one quarter of all new passenger car registrations in 2016. Last year, Ford’s SUV sales in Europe grew by more than 30 per cent.

    Powerful and efficient
    The new Ford EcoSport will deliver an optimised driving experience equipped with Ford Intelligent All Wheel Drive. The technology is offered in combination with the all-new 1.5-litre Ford EcoBlue diesel engine and a six-speed manual gearbox, delivering 125 PS and 300 Nm of torque, with 4.5 l/100 km fuel efficiency and 119 g/km CO2 emissions.*

    Intelligent All Wheel Drive measures how the car’s wheels are gripping the road surface and can adjust torque delivery up to 50/50 between the front and rear wheels in under 20 milliseconds – twenty times quicker than it takes to blink. The system seamlessly transitions torque between all four wheels and provides a more secure footing on the road especially in slippery conditions.

    Ford’s all-new 1.5-litre EcoBlue diesel engine is designed to deliver higher power for improved performance, alongside reduced CO2 emissions. The refined four-cylinder engine features innovative technologies, including:

    • Low-pressure exhaust gas recirculation combined with water-air charge cooling for more efficient combustion and reduced emissions
    • An integrated intake manifold for optimised engine breathing
    • Low-inertia turbocharging for faster, more controllable turbo response, featuring rocket engine materials designed for high temperature applications
    • A high-pressure fuel injection system that is more responsive, quieter, and offers more precise fuel delivery

    A 125 PS 1.5-litre EcoBlue diesel model with front-wheel drive and all-new, low-friction six-speed manual gearbox will offer even lower CO2 and greater fuel-efficiency from mid-2018. Ford’s 100 PS 1.5-litre TDCi diesel engine combined with front-wheel drive and all-new six-speed manual gearbox will be available from launch.

    Also offered will be Ford’s multi-award-winning 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol in 140 PS, 125 PS and – from mid-2018 – 100 PS power outputs, with a six-speed manual gearbox; and 125 PS with a six-speed automatic gearbox featuring steering-column mounted paddle-shifters for convenient gear-shifting.

    The new EcoSport will continue to deliver ride and handling tuned specifically for customers in Europe, with optimised springs, dampers, spring aids, steering gear, rear axle twist beam, Electronic Stability Programme settings and steering assistance profiles.

    Rugged and refined styling
    The new Ford EcoSport features bold, dynamic Ford SUV styling, reflecting that of the mid-sized Kuga and large Edge.

    A sculpted bonnet with a central bulge delivers a cleaner front-end appearance, supported by heated washer nozzles hidden beneath the upper bonnet lip. The front-end design is dominated by a new large trapezoidal grille design and distinctive angular headlights that are now offered with a High Intensity Discharge lighting system, and incorporate stylish LED daytime running lights. Angular fog light housings complete a front three quarter profile that was inspired by the straps of a rucksack and designed to reflect an adventurous character.

    EcoSport’s rear bumper and tail light designs also are revised to deliver a cleaner, more sculpted appearance. Customers can choose from 12 bold exterior colours, including Lightning Blue, Ruby Red and vibrant metallic orange shade, Tiger Eye; and can further personalise their SUV with the new contrasting extended painted roof colour option.

    New 17- and 18-inch alloy wheel designs complement the rugged, sporty character, and are offered in a number of finishes, including Magnetic Low Gloss, Shadow Silver, Flash Grey and High Gloss Black. Customers continue to be able to choose a distinctive, boot-mounted spare wheel option.

    EcoSport now also delivers a new level of interior refinement with easier to use controls and soft-touch materials, and a new centre console ergonomically designed for easy operation and featuring fewer buttons. New seats designs are optimised for greater front and rear occupant comfort, and deliver a more upscale feel including available partial leather. Occupants can also match the ambience to their mood with adjustable interior lighting that can be set to one of seven colours.

    The interior features a host of smart stowage solutions, including a new height adjustable boot floor that can be raised to provide concealed storage, or lowered to increase luggage capacity to 334 litres. A new centre console features a built-in folding, sliding passenger armrest with a storage compartment ideal for tablet computers or snacks.

    The new EcoSport line-up will for the first time include the sporty new EcoSport ST-Line variant, joining the Edge ST-Line, Fiesta ST-Line, Focus ST-Line, Kuga ST-Line, Mondeo ST-Line and S-MAX ST-Line models that offer bold styling and sports-tuned driving dynamics alongside powerful and efficient EcoBoost petrol and TDCi diesel engines.

    The EcoSport ST-Line delivers unique Ford Performance-inspired bumpers and side skirts, black-finish roof rails and headlight bezels, 17-inch Dark Tarnish alloy wheels, ST-Line badging and extended painted roof and door mirrors as standard. The interior offers a unique ST-Line leather-trimmed flat-bottomed steering wheel; unique partial leather seats featuring Miko®-Dinamica inserts – an ecological suede made from recycled polyester – and red stitching; leather handbrake lever and gear knob; ST-Line branded scuff plates; and stainless steel sports pedals.

    Sophisticated driver assistance technology
    The new Ford EcoSport builds on the commanding SUV driving position and rewarding Ford driving dynamics to deliver an even easier and more enjoyable driving experience using advanced technologies.

    Ford’s sophisticated SYNC 3 communications and entertainment system is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto™. SYNC 3 is supported by EcoSport’s floating, 8-inch colour touchscreen, which can be operated with pinch and swipe gestures. Also offered with SYNC 3 is a floating 6.5-inch colour touchscreen. A 4.2-inch colour screen is offered in combination with Bluetooth connectivity and two USB inputs.

    A new B&O PLAY sound system offers an elevated audio experience; featuring ten speakers, including boot-mounted subwoofer and a mid-range speaker in the centre of the dash, the system has been specifically calibrated for EcoSport, and is controlled by the latest Digital Signal Processing Amplifier that allows for precise equalisation and audio mixing, including a Surround Sound setting.

    EcoSport for the first time delivers Cruise Control with Adjustable Speed Limiter that helps drivers keep within speed limits, and a Rear View Camera that makes parking more efficient and safer.

    Available automatic headlights and rain-sensing wipers remove some of the stresses of driving and enable customers to better concentrate on the road ahead, while a heated steering wheel and Electronic Automatic Temperature Control further improve comfort. More convenience is offered with a new 4.2-inch digital instrument cluster that makes key driving information easier to access, and power-foldable mirrors that are heated for quicker getaways on frosty mornings.

    Further driver assistance technologies include Ford’s Blind Spot Information System that can alert the driver to vehicles approaching alongside, and standard Roll Stability Control that adjusts engine torque and braking to help drivers maintain control.

    Improved occupant protection now includes driver and passenger front airbags; a driver knee airbag; new side airbags that provide extra thorax protection and are designed to direct the occupant away from an impact; and new curtain airbags that provide maximum side-impact coverage. EcoSport is also more secure than ever before, with a standard perimeter alarm.

    “We’ve enhanced the quality, technology and versatility of the new Ford EcoSport to deliver more of the confidence and control that compact SUV customers want,” said Gary Boes, global B-car vehicle line director, Ford Motor Company. “Drivers will feel more comfortable and self-assured than ever at the wheel.”

    The post NEW FORD ECOSPORT appeared first on Hills Social.

    ]]>
    http://social.hillsford.co.uk/new-ford-ecosport/feed/ 0
    EXCLUSIVE NEW FORD RANGER BLACK EDITION PICKUP http://social.hillsford.co.uk/new-ford-ranger-black-edition-pickup/ http://social.hillsford.co.uk/new-ford-ranger-black-edition-pickup/#respond Mon, 04 Sep 2017 09:33:52 +0000 http://social.hillsford.co.uk/?p=7294 EXCLUSIVE NEW FORD RANGER BLACK EDITION PICKUP TO MAKE DEBUT AT FRANKFURT MOTOR SHOW New Ford Ranger Black Edition pickup to make first appearance at Frankfurt Motor Show Striking de-chromed exterior with black detailing; just 2,500 units to be produced Ford Ranger is Europe’s No.1 selling pickup, with sales up 12.1 per cent year over

    The post EXCLUSIVE NEW FORD RANGER BLACK EDITION PICKUP appeared first on Hills Social.

    ]]>
    EXCLUSIVE NEW FORD RANGER BLACK EDITION PICKUP TO MAKE DEBUT AT FRANKFURT MOTOR SHOW
    • New Ford Ranger Black Edition pickup to make first appearance at Frankfurt Motor Show
    • Striking de-chromed exterior with black detailing; just 2,500 units to be produced
    • Ford Ranger is Europe’s No.1 selling pickup, with sales up 12.1 per cent year over year

    Ford is launching the exclusive new Ford Ranger Black Edition at the Frankfurt Motor Show, offering customers of Europe’s No.1 selling pickup a distinctive new version with a striking colour-coded appearance.

    The Black Edition model is based on the popular Limited series, and features a de-chromed body in Absolute Black with a black finish for the radiator grille, alloy wheels, sports bar and exterior detailing. Offered in Double Cab bodystyle only, the production run will be restricted to just 2,500 units, and vehicles are available to order from Ford dealers now.

    The Ranger Black Edition standard equipment specification includes satellite navigation, front parking sensors and rear view camera, adding to the Limited series features such as Ford SYNC 3 multimedia system with 8-inch touchscreen, dual-zone electronic climate control, leather seat trim, and power-folding, heated door mirrors.

    “Ranger customers appreciate the vehicle’s tough, go-anywhere capability and its rugged good looks, and we expect this attractive new limited series to be snapped up within weeks,” said Hans Schep, general manager, Commercial Vehicles, Ford of Europe.

    Ford Ranger is Europe’s top selling pickup with sales of 23,100 for July 2017 year-to-date*, an increase of 12.1 per cent over the prior year, and marking the best year for Ranger since launch.

    # # #

    * Ford of Europe reports its sales for the 20 European traditional markets where it is represented through National Sales Companies. They are Austria, Belgium, Britain, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Romania, Sweden and Switzerland

    The post EXCLUSIVE NEW FORD RANGER BLACK EDITION PICKUP appeared first on Hills Social.

    ]]>
    http://social.hillsford.co.uk/new-ford-ranger-black-edition-pickup/feed/ 0
    DIGITAL SHOWROOMS http://social.hillsford.co.uk/digital-showrooms/ http://social.hillsford.co.uk/digital-showrooms/#respond Wed, 23 Aug 2017 09:17:33 +0000 http://social.hillsford.co.uk/?p=7290 GAMING HELPS FORD SHARE A PASSION FOR DRIVING WITH MORE CONSUMERS THAN EVER BEFORE The virtual driving simulator series Forza Motorsport acts as a digital showroom for Ford, enabling more consumers than ever before to experience rare, high-performance vehicles like the Ford GT. At Gamescom – Europe’s biggest interactive games trade fair – experts from Ford and Microsoft

    The post DIGITAL SHOWROOMS appeared first on Hills Social.

    ]]>
    GAMING HELPS FORD SHARE A PASSION FOR DRIVING WITH MORE CONSUMERS THAN EVER BEFORE

    The virtual driving simulator series Forza Motorsport acts as a digital showroom for Ford, enabling more consumers than ever before to experience rare, high-performance vehicles like the Ford GT.

    At Gamescom – Europe’s biggest interactive games trade fair – experts from Ford and Microsoft are participating in a panel discussion about the growing relevance of digital driving experiences for consumers.

    Forza Motorsport 6 players have collectively spent more than 398 years driving a total of more than 466 million kilometres (290 million miles) in Ford vehicles since the game’s launch in 2015. The Ford GT – the game’s cover star – is the most driven car in the game, having covered 66 million kilometres (41 million miles).

    The Ford GT and the acclaimed Focus RS hot hatchback are among the Ford vehicles available to race in Forza. A Ford specialist worked with the game’s developers to ensure every virtual Ford model featured delivers the most accurate imitation of the real car.

    Ford and Turn10 studios spent almost a year developing the virtual version of the Ford GT using real-world data from the supercar’s top-secret development process to deliver highly realistic looks, performance, and even engine and transmissions sounds.

    In the future, Ford anticipates virtual reality technology could offer a convenient way for customers to test drive vehicles from the comfort of their homes.

    Immersive experiences at Gamescom

    Visitors to Ford’s Gamescom stand will discover interactive activities, including the opportunity to experience the first-of-its-kind Ford Reality Check app using Google Daydream VR , created by Ford, Google and award-winning virtual reality studio Happy Finish.

    The app brings to life the potentially fatal consequences of driving while distracted, casting users as a distracted driver picking up friends on the way to a party. Instant messages, phone calls and chatty passengers all compete for attention, sparking a series of near misses. The final distraction proves fatal due to the driver being distracted. The app’s creators hope it will help young people to develop safer driving practices.

    Forza players can win the chance to drive the Focus RS on track with tuition from Ford Chip Ganassi Racing driver Harry Tincknell, by setting the fastest virtual lap of the Spa-Francorchamps circuit using the gaming pods at the Ford show stand.

    Visitors also will be able to experience Tincknell’s real-world lap of the Spa-Francorchamps circuit, Belgium, using 3D virtual reality headsets, while seated in the Focus RS.

    Robotics enthusiasts can try their hand at programming a “YuMi” collaborative robot to perform tasks. Ford is among first auto makers to develop a new, closely integrated approach to car workers and collaborative robots working together on the assembly line. DJ Yoda and “YuMi” recently performed a set-list of tracks from 1976 onward to celebrate Fiesta’s 40th anniversary.

    Fans of LEGO will appreciate the full-size Ford Chip Ganassi LEGO racing driver. Featuring detailed Ford racing overalls and racing helmet, the LEGO driver contains 67,252 bricks; stands 1839.6 mm (6 ft) tall; weighs 61 kg (134.5 lb); and took seven LEGO builders 304 work-hours to construct.

    Virtual reality beyond gaming
    Virtual reality not only helps make Ford models accessible to more consumers, it helps Ford create vehicles, too.

    Ford engineers use virtual reality in the development and production of vehicles, from immersive technologies that allow designers to fully experience a vehicle without the need for a physical prototype, to full-body motion capture systems that provide data on how an employee uses his or her body to move and complete tasks on the assembly line.

    Experience the real thing
    Ford is displaying the Ford GT race car driven by Tincknell in the FIA World Endurance Championship at Gamescom. Last year Ford made an historic return to the iconic Le Mans 24 Hours race with the Ford GT race car taking victory in the LM GTE Pro class exactly 50 years after recording a 1-2-3 clean sweep at the 1966 race.

    The Ford GT race car is based on the 347 km/h (216 mph) Ford GT road car – the fastest Ford production vehicle on the track ever – powered by 3.5-litre V6 EcoBoost engine is SAE rated at 647 horsepower and 550 lb.-ft. of torque in U.S. specification.

    The Ford Focus RS five-door hatchback – featuring a 350 PS 2.3-litre EcoBoost petrol engine, Ford Performance All Wheel Drive and Selectable Drive Modes, and the all-new Fiesta ST-Line – featuring sporty exterior and interior styling, and sports suspension, are also on show.

    The post DIGITAL SHOWROOMS appeared first on Hills Social.

    ]]>
    http://social.hillsford.co.uk/digital-showrooms/feed/ 0
    No pressure brings big pressure for Pryce in Ulster http://social.hillsford.co.uk/pryce-in-ulster/ http://social.hillsford.co.uk/pryce-in-ulster/#respond Mon, 21 Aug 2017 08:19:29 +0000 http://social.hillsford.co.uk/?p=7286 Welshman Osian Pryce lost a second possible British Rally Championship win to a fuel-related problem aboard his Ford Fiesta R5 at this week’s John Mulholland Motors Ulster Rally. Osian and co-driver Dale Furniss had been in the thick of the action through the Northern Irish lanes. They ended the opening leg less than a second

    The post No pressure brings big pressure for Pryce in Ulster appeared first on Hills Social.

    ]]>
    Welshman Osian Pryce lost a second possible British Rally Championship win to a fuel-related problem aboard his Ford Fiesta R5 at this week’s John Mulholland Motors Ulster Rally.

    Osian and co-driver Dale Furniss had been in the thick of the action through the Northern Irish lanes. They ended the opening leg less than a second behind rally leader Keith Cronin after a string of fastest times through the treacherously slippery stages.

    Their efforts would, however, count for nothing when they were forced to retire the Alphera/Hills Ford from second place on the 11th of 14 stages.

    Despite a second successive early bath, Osian found plenty of positives in his trip across the Irish Sea.

    “I’ve been struggling to find the confidence in the car on the last few rallies,” he said, “so to come here and be competitive like this is good news for me. I think we all know that, when it comes to anywhere in Ireland, Keith [Cronin] is probably king. He’s got so much experience of these conditions and this style of road; so to be with him and beating him on some stages is really good for me – especially with this one being my second event in the car on Tarmac.”

    Pryce was particularly pleased with his storming drive through the final three Friday stages, when he slashed Cronin’s advantage from 19 seconds to nine-tenths of a second. On stage four – Holly Hill – he was an astonishing 12 seconds faster (a second per mile) than everybody else. And that included dropping time with a 360-degree spin.

    “Friday afternoon was fantastic,” Osian said. “We came here to win and, ultimately, that hasn’t been possible. But what we have done is show the pace we have and show that we’ve been able to take good time out of Fredrik [Ahlin, series leader] and leave him behind a bit here. That really shows progression for me. I’m happy with that.”

    The smiles weren’t quite so wide on Saturday.

    “I got caught out under braking at the first stage on Saturday,” said Osian. “I had to grab the handbrake and spin the car. That meant we slid backwards into a wall – the wall definitely came off second best…

    “We dropped around 20 seconds with that problem – the exhaust was squashed and the concentration had gone a little bit for the rest of the stage. We were still quickest again on one of the stages in the next loop, but it was on the repeat of that stage where we went off backwards that our rally ended.

    “The car cut-out, just like it did on the Nicky Grist. I was so sure it was the same problem, I jumped out of the car, gave the fuel pump a whack and that got it going again. We were able to go flat-out for a quarter of a mile or something like that when it happened again. I did the same again and we could get the car started, but when we put it under load and tried to pull away it wouldn’t run at all.

    “Obviously, there’s a lot of frustration to have the problem again and it goes without saying it hasn’t helped our championship situation. I said before the event we had to win to keep the title chances alive. Now we’re firmly in the hands of the other drivers and our chance is slim, to put it mildly. The final round (138.com Rally Isle of Man) is a double-header, which means we still have a mathematical chance of taking the title and that’s all the motivation I need.

    “We’ll be back on the Isle of Man. I can’t give up on this year.”

    The post No pressure brings big pressure for Pryce in Ulster appeared first on Hills Social.

    ]]>
    http://social.hillsford.co.uk/pryce-in-ulster/feed/ 0