Ford Answers Your Ford Questions!
Last month we decided to take Nuts & Bolts in a different, temporary direction. For a few issues we'll be gathering up your tech questions and taking them to the people building new 4x4s. Last month was Dodge Truck, and this month is Ford, but send us your GM, Toyota, and Jeep questions too, as we will be knocking on their doors next. Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ford, The Future, And 4x4s
Q What is Ford's view of the off-road marketplace? The exciting new F-150 SVT Raptor and proven-rugged Super Duty trucks show it is an important market, but what does Ford consider important for future 4x4 vehicles, and what does Ford want our readers to know it is doing for recreational off-roaders?
A FORD RESPONDS: Ford remains committed to providing exciting and capable products to off-road enthusiasts. We have long been committed to off-roading and we take learning's from off-road racing and apply those directly to our truck product development.
Ford continues to introduce innovative technology and features that appeal to off-road customers, such as the F-150 SVT Raptor's standard electronic locking rear differential, Hill Descent Control, and a new off-road mode.
Built Ford Tough durability is designed, engineered, and manufactured into all our trucks. Combining Built Ford Tough with great suspension travel, traction devices, and innovative technology helps make Ford a leader in off-roading.
We have many exciting new products that will appeal to off-roaders. Building off the new '09 F-150, we are now introducing the all-new '10 F-150 SVT Raptor, the first-ever factory-built, high-performance off-road truck. The F-150 SVT Raptor is still fully capable and practical to use every day.
The all-new '11 Super Duty enhances off-road capability with availability of electronic locking differential and Hill Descent Control. The latter feature integrates brake and powertrain calibration to control speed and direction down off-road grades.
4wor Responds: We can't say they're lying. The Raptor was in our 4x4 of the Year test, which starts on page 38. We've heard rumors that Ford has hired retired desert racers to do extreme off-road testing in special rollcage-equipped engineering vehicles to help determine just how much abuse new Ford trucks can take.
Q What is the most fuel-efficient 4x4 (with two-speed transfer case) that Ford currently offers, and what is Ford doing to cross-pollinate a performance 4x4 off-road vehicle and fuel efficiency?
A Ford: The Ranger 4.0L V-6 4x4 with manual transmission offers 15 city, 19 highway. The F-150 4.6L 3V 4x4 offers 14 city, 19 highway. Super Duty does not have fuel economy window labels, as it is O8500 GVWR. As previously announced, we will be introducing a new EcoBoost engine on the F-150 late in 2010, which will offer exceptional fuel economy and low-end torque.
Q With the square design of the Ford Flex and the great response Ford is receiving for that crossover, does Ford have any considerations of building a new version of the original square-styled Bronco? Or is that nameplate dead?
A Ford: While many enthusiasts have painstakingly restored original '66-'77 Broncos, we have no plans at this time to resurrect this nameplate.
4WOR: Why don't you send us A Ford Flex and a Super Duty, and we'll resurrect this nameplate?!
Ford Dirt Racing
Q What off-road motorsports is Ford involved in? Does Ford sponsor any 4x4 teams, be it for stadium racing; rally racing, desert racing, or rockcrawling?
A Ford: In the United States, Ford is actively involved in 4x4 events and sporting racing. Ford is the official vehicle of the Best in the Desert Series, and we provide vehicle support for TORQ series. Look for Ford displays and vehicles, including the F-150 SVT Raptor, at 4x4 events across the country.
4WOR: And Ford still sponsors the Professional Bull Riders!