Friday, July 18, 2014

2015 Ford Mustang production to begin on July 14? Not quite, says Ford believes that it has unlocked start date for 2015 Ford Mustang production citing a Ford dealer communiqué. According to the report, job one on the 2015 hardtop will allegedly start in just a few days, on July 14, although units that are known as "OK to Buy" won't enter production until September 9. The cars built between those dates are most likely final pre-production cars for the executive test fleet, and will likely include the cars we'll be driving at the media launch.

Sun worshippers, meanwhile, would seem to have a longer wait. Job one on the droptop supposedly isn't slated to start until September 14, with production models starting on October 27. As is the case with the hardtop, these final pre-pros are for the execs and media to test, while actual dealer orders will come from vehicles made after the October date.

After speaking to Ford, though, we wouldn't put a great deal of stock in those dates as reported. We reached out to Said Deep, Ford's North American Product Communications Manager.

"There are multiple build schedules for any product that we build," Deep told Autoblog. "We don't recognize any of those dates."

While it's a virtual certainty that Ford is actively building pre-production Mustangs (your author spotted an uncovered, fully badged 2015 GT Convertible just yesterday), it doesn't seem like we're going to hear about the first consumer examples until they roll down the line at the Ford factory in Flat Rock, MI.


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Ford pits The Stig against Gran Turismo 6 in Focus ST Goodwood run

The Goodwood Festival of Speed is one of the world great automotive gatherings. So, it was the perfect event for Ford to give the refreshed 2015 Focus ST its world debut in front of a loving public. It even surprised us with a new diesel-powered version, as well.

The Blue Oval really put its focus on making the ST a better driver for this refresh. It left its 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder alone to still pump out a respectable 252 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque. The changes like a retuned front suspension, electric power steering and improved interior made the hot hatch an even better place to spend time behind the wheel.

To prove that the Focus ST is still as potent as ever, Ford set up a one-on-one race up the Goodwood Hill. But instead of putting the two cars side-by-side, former Stig from Top Gear UK, Ben Collins, piloted the real model up the course, and his rival drove the virtual version in Gran Turismo 6. The two hot hatches set off at the same time to see whether reality could beat the virtual world, and the finish was actually extremely close. Scroll down to watch the video and find out the winner of this battle at Goodwood.