Ford Builds Cool Cars. Be Like Ford.
The Enthusiast’s Brand?

As you might remember, last month I posted an editorial story about the current state of Nissan; a brand which was one of the greatest enthusiast marques, but is now a shell of its former self – at least in the eyes of many who love cars. But it’s not all doom and gloom out there, and I wanted to follow that story up with one about a car company I think is doing it right – Ford.

2015 Mustang Media Drive in L.A.

Let’s get this out of the way: I drive a 2015 Ford Mustang so that might make me biased. Or maybe it just means I’ve put my money where my mouth is? One thing’s for certain though, I’m certainly a dyed in the wool blue oval guy.

All-New Ford GT Heritage--1st, 2nd, 3rd Generation

Yeah, I’ve owned a couple Fords in the past, but I’ve also owned just about everything else; from Nissans to VWs to Chevys. But when it comes to being a car lover in general, there’s just no denying how impressive Ford’s current line-up is. In fact, I’m not sure if there’s ever been another brand that’s offered so many different kinds of exciting vehicles at one time. Maybe Toyota or the aforementioned Nissan at the height of their early ’90s glory?

2016 Shelby GT350R Mustang

Today, just about every company makes a couple of great enthusiast vehicles, but in 2016 Ford makes at least eight of them, with possibly more on the way. But what really makes Ford’s current line-up so impressive is that it makes cool vehicles in so many different segments and in so many different price ranges. So let’s start at the bottom and work our way up through the current FoMoCo range to find evidence that Ford is the new king of car-guy cred.

2016 Ford Fiesta

First up we’ve got the Fiesta – a small European-style compact hatchback that’s just about as cheap as a new car can get. But even in its base form the Fiesta is an intriguing machine. That’s because it comes with a 1.0-liter, three-cylinder turbocharged EcoBoost motor that is surprisingly fun, while delivering hybrid-like fuel economy. And being turbocharged, you can bet there’s plenty of aftermarket potential there.

Ford 1.0-litre EcoBoost Engine Powers Formula Ford Race Car

In fact, Ford itself has used the 1.0 turbo as the power plant for its Formula EcoBoost project – a lightweight racer which sports a 200 horsepower version of the turbo three-banger.

2016 Ford Fiesta ST

Then we get to the Fiesta ST – a car which has earned near universal praise for being one of the best hot hatchbacks of all time. With 197 turbocharged horsepower and a tweaked suspension setup in a very compact platform, it’s not surprising.

2016 Ford Fiesta ST

I’ve had the chance to ring out Fiesta STs on a couple of occasions, and I can legitimately say it’s one of the most fun cars I’ve ever driven. If you haven’t, go drive one. Best of all though, the Fiesta ST is priced at a level that nearly every new car buyer can afford – something other manufactures seem to have forgotten when it comes to building performance cars.

2016 Ford Focus ST

Stepping up a class we get to the Focus ST – a car that delivers the same front-wheel drive fun of the Fiesta, but in a slightly larger and more powerful package.

ford-focus-st-estate-1

And in certain markets you can even get a Focus ST Estate. What’s not to like about a station wagon with a potent 250-plus horsepower turbo four-cylinder engine, a manual gearbox and big brakes?!

2016 Ford Focus RS

And that’s before we even get to the now-available-in-America Focus RS. Already an established legend in Europe, the new RS has come with the Subaru STI and other rally-bred cars firmly in its sights.

Ford Focus RS

It’s a a 345 horsepower, all-wheel drive hatchback that has an actual ‘drift mode’ setting and stickers for about 37 grand. What more really needs to be said? ‘Thank you, Ford’, perhaps?

2017 Ford Fusion Sport

And while it’s not quite an ST or RS model, Ford just unveiled a new version of its Fusion sedan that will include a 325 horsepower EcoBoost V6 with all-wheel-drive. Remember, this is a car that competes with Honda Accords and Toyota Camrys…

2015 Ford Mustang

Now we get to the Mustang – the one with an independent rear suspension, a vastly improved interior and more refinement than ever. Even in base model V6 form, there’s a ton of bang for your buck.

2015 Mustang Media Drive in L.A.

Sitting above the V6 is the 2.3-liter EcoBoost model, which I’m quite familiar with being an owner. For about 25 grand you can get yourself a very fun, rear-wheel drive coupé that handles well, gets great gas mileage and has a ton of aftermarket potential. I’ve called it the S16 Silvia that Nissan won’t build.

16MustangGT-BlackPackage_03_HR

Need a V8 in your life? No problem, Ford will happily sell you a Mustang GT with a 5.0 Coyote under the hood. And with 435 horsepower on tap for a little over 30 grand, you’re looking at one of the best performance buys anywhere.

The All-new Shelby GT350 Mustang

Next up we get to a car that in my opinion is one of the most incredible automobiles available at any price point. The Mustang GT350 is a bargain at its 50 thousand dollar MSRP.

The All-New Ford 5.2-liter V8

That’s because the 540hp GT350 not only delivers the numbers, it does so in a very exotic way. Not with forced induction, but with a 5.2-liter, naturally aspirated flat-plane crank V8 that sounds unreal as it screams to its 8,200rpm redline.

Shelby GT350R Mustang

Not enough for you? Try the track-focused GT350R with its carbon fiber wheels and other upgrades. It’s about as hardcore a production car as you’ll find these days. It’s also likely that at some point in the near future Ford will release an even more powerful version of the Mustang to take the place of the old GT500. I’d expect it to rival the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat in terms of power output.

Ford F-150 Raptor at NAIAS

Stepping in a totally different direction we have the Ford Raptor – a groundbreaking pickup that’s a legit off-roader right out of the box.

All-New 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor SuperCab

While the first-gen Raptor was a massive success, the new version might be even better with its lightweight chassis, EcoBoost V6 and 10-speed gearbox. I’m not an off-road guy, but the appeal is undeniable.

All-New Ford GT RL, 3/4 Front, January 2015

And sitting atop all of this we have the halo car – the Ford GT. It’s one of the most exotic American cars of all time and a legitimate competitor to Europe’s greatest.

All-New Ford GT RL, 3/4 Rear, January 2015

Sure, there’s the 650 horsepower engine, the exotic goodies and all that, but just look at it. No wonder nearly all of them are already spoken for, even with a $400,000 price tag. God Bless America.

2015 - IMSA BoP Test

And this all without getting into Ford’s motorsport efforts, which include everything from Cobra Jet Mustang drag specials to rallycross and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Falcon

Is there anything the line-up is lacking? Actually, yes. I’ve long wondered why Ford hasn’t built a rear-wheel drive sport sedan to compete with the likes of BMW, Infiniti, and Cadillac. Channeling the spirit of the recently departed Aussie Falcon, Ford could base it on the current Mustang platform, add some doors and throw any number of motors under the hood.

2017 Lincoln Continental

And then there’s Lincoln. The brand has been struggling to find a direction, and it’d be awesome to see some legit high performance luxury sedans to go up against Cadillac’s awesome ATS-V and CTS-V. Some day perhaps? Lincoln recently debuted the new Continental and that at least seems like a step in the right direction.

2016 Ford Fiesta ST

Is building cars for enthusiasts risky? I don’t know, but I’m pretty sure Ford has the right idea here. It’s managed to the find the perfect balance between mainstream success and building exciting and interesting models for people who love cars. Naysayers might argue that it’s too expensive to make enthusiast cars these days, but maybe someone forgot to tell Ford?

All-new Ford GT in Liquid Silver, L-R, 3/4 Front Shown, February

With ever-increasing government regulations threatening the existence of performance machines, who knows if this is the beginning or the peak of something great, so let’s just enjoy it while we can.

The All-new Shelby GT350 Mustang

While there will always be those who dislike a brand for whatever reason, I think we should all tip our caps to Ford for doing so much cool stuff lately. Hopefully more car companies will follow its lead – I’m looking at you Nissan, Toyota and so many others…

Mike Garrett
Instagram: japanifornia_media
mike@speedhunters.com

Images Courtesy of Ford Media

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111 comments

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1

Speedhunters i prefer be like chevy XP hahaha(camaro life bro)

2

You make a good point, why have one flagship car when you could have all your cars be reflective of the brand. 

That picture at the top is really great, you really can walk into a ford dealership today and get a very cool car for whatever you are into.

I think you reached a little bit with the different body style and trim levels of the same car. Someone could argue that honda makes good cars, the civic, the civic 4 door, the civic hatch, the civic type r, the civic type r hatch etc. Same could be said for nissan, the gt-r, the gt-r spec-v, the gt-r with leather etc.

3

I read this article on my phone sitting in my Focus ST.  #proudfather

4

I don't dislike ford, I just disagree with their one market policy. a lot of the cars that are fords flagships all come from specialised, localised markets, I think its somewhat foolish to try to build one car for all roads. 

I do, truly love their classics - especially their Group B era cars, and hell, their modern and upcoming models are immense as well (as is their impressive motorsports prescience) but i think by cutting away the XR8's and other localised models they are making a really bad move research and product design/development wise.

But then my last name isn't Ford, and if it was I would be trying to simplify the model range too I guess....

5

Speedhunters х1

6

i hope that car brands continue to build enthusiast cars, i mean they are bonkers to drive and hella fun!

7

Where can I get the Leading image in Hires? That would be a fantastic background!

8

Ford is certainly doing everything right. Japanese manufacturers are not as bad as you describe though. Toyota for example - it awoke from its decade-long slumber and gave birth to FR-S. Maybe not by itself - but there. 

FR-coupe Toyota is back! Lately the focus shifted into the Lexus brand, meanwhile FT-1 that so many people are waiting for is slowly decaying somewhere, and while still a welcome guest on almost every autoshow - the production model is nowhere to be seen... The Japanese market S-FR will prove to be a great economy class FR if ever introduced to european/american markets. 

Honda is also there. While their Civic is definitely a shadow of its former self and nowadays looks more like a slightly deflated Accord, both in style and driving experience, the S660, Civic Type R and the NSX are definitely a new breath of life for the brand. Again...hopefully they do end up on American (Canadian!) shores.

Nissan. Well. I agree with you there. GTR has been out for who knows how long and now successors yet. IDx was killed before it was born. Z is also nowhere to be seen. But hey! Here's a new Maxima! It's a "racecar" bred sedan! Bla-bla-bla.

Subaru? Impreza has been and will be one the most modifiable sedans on the market. Turbos, AWD, 6-speed, do you need anything else? Oh! 4 doors to load up all your mates to go on an awesome cruise! The Levorg that is a hit on its native soil and is coming to Europe is also an amazing machine by itself. Station wagon lovers are happy!

Kudos on the awesome article!

10

Ford should build Mondeo/Fusion ST & RS

11

Dimitry Mochkin Isn't the FR-S Scion's model?

12

Agreed, that's why I don't like the styling on the new Mustang. It was designed to appeal to Europeans, and as such threw away its American heritage.

13

Scion is a daughter company of Toyota, made to sell cars for the "young" market. It mostly sells rebadged Toyotas from other markets and a...Mazda 2

14

I actually feel ford has become less cool. This r one Ford policy killed off the Falcon and they give us the horrible thing called the FGX which looks horrendous. Meanwhile Holdens VF is a masterpiece compared to this and I feel Ford should have done much more to support the Australian heritage that the Falcon gives. What happened to the days of the XA and the XY? There is noting quite like a Commodore and a Falcon and Fords complete axing of the falcon as well as its horrible send off (FGX) makes me not like Ford America and the One Ford policy. Couldn't they give the Falcon a true send off?

15

Ford cool??? when did that happen. Most of there "sporty" cars are FWD with an open differential... even Honda knows that a bad ideal. Fords is building for cash not reliability. The Ecoboost line up has a lot of issues and recalls. From that 1.6L to the 3.5L (time chains). Don't count on another V8 engine again unless its Mustang with a 40K+ price tag.

16

ROYFZ Heritage or not, it eventually boils down to money. If it doesn't generate profits, they'll close it. Same thing happens to Holden over there in the land of Oz...

17

@Jackal440 How is this not cool? I don't understand you right here...

18

@Jackal440 You diss the red badge you diss yoself

19

Personally I think GM is offerring the broadest range of performance vehicles. In the US we have the Camaro, Corvette, SS, CTS-V, ATS-V, hell, the Sonic RS is pretty potent. Not to mention the VXR Vauxhauls and all of HSV's wonderous creations. Of course I'm pretty biased towards GM since my family has always had bowties. Not to down trod on Ford, just offering my opinion :)

20
90nissanS13@my350z

Great article, Mike! This is a great topic of discussion. Ford really has it together, it's like a company run by car-people. They took a page out of Nissan's old game book.

21

ROYFZ Whats wrong with giving us a fpv gt R-spec for the price of an xr8

22

@Dom So you diss Peterbilt you diss yourself?

23

Dill Pickle If you think about it - most are pretty much equivalents to one another from econo-enthusiast cars like Fiesta and Sonic to hardcore racecars - GT and 'Vette. To each their own!

24

You don't have to be a blue oval fan to appreciate what Ford's doing.  Watch the RS 'rebirth of an icon' series on youtube.  They are deep in almost every performance category. Hopefully others note their success.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oz-ApdYRNGE

25

You are absolutely right! Ford its killing it...at least in their direction of ideas...in reliability...I dont know.

We can dream about a new evo to compete with the focus and the sti...or a new s2000.

Who knows, its the start of the year!

26
benadict cumberbatch

a sneak peak at sh's new upcoming article.....



"if you don't chew big red then fuck you!"



all displeasure with advertising aside, ford is beyond rocking it and one of the few auto makers who listens to their customers.

27

I'm sure Toyota will be able to bring back some fun products, they have already started and they might be pushed to do more as the competition is doing the same thing. And it's generally true for most Japanese manufracturers (except Nissan and Mitsubishi, who are... Well pretty much killing everything exciting they could find in their models). But around here we can see that there is actually some demand for these, the car press is getting crazy about the latest Mazda, Honda and Toyota promises. If manufacturers don't do it, that would really be a missed opportunity. 

By the way speaking about Japanese manufacturers and cool cars, I think Mazda is especially doing it right. Getting themselves a reputation of building fun cars, saving what BMW and Alfa Romeo had and killed.

28

@benadict cumberbatch hahahaha except in Australia... Alpha Mike Foxtrot Ford, don't let the door hit you on the way out...

29

Mike, I like your write up and clearly you are a fan. Sadly, Ford have left production in Australia, leaving thousands unemployed because unions, etc.

Anyway, I used to be a fan, had an AUIII Tickford XR8 with a 5 litre windsor, lowered, bbs ch wheels, zorst, ecu chip, high stall and shift kit back in the day and was a bit of fun. 3 or 4 Falcons and a Territory which is now the family 'dog' car. Hasn't aged the best but had since new so don't want to trade out for an unknown.

Their stealership charges are as high as euro marques. Quality soso but the big 'F U' came from not listening to Australian buyers.

I moved to Porsche, and in your country, everything you mention about Ford, Porsche do, but better. For around the same coin if not a little more.

I do like that GT though...horn bucket. Again, not for us Aussies, heck, we ain't even getting the big 350 'stang. Something about how we can't handle the horsepower. And the line lock function has been disabled for us from factory.

So Alpha Mike Foxtrot to you Ford, watch the door doesn't hit you on the way out...

30

Honda does make good cars but this article was about enthusiast cars which would leave only the Type R and that's not sold worldwide like all the Ford cars listed. As for Nissan, you might as well count the GT-R with nav, the GT-R with the special paint, etc using your logic. You'd have a point if you said GT-R and GT-R Nismo because that's a change on a fundamental level of the car. Mustang GT vs GT350 is a huge difference compared to a GT-R vs GT-R V-spec. I'll agree counting the ST hatch and estate separate seems like he's padding it.

31

Aisakey Hell yes, God bless that particular Hiroshima automaker. If only they build more performance cars beside the MX-5/Roadster, Mazda would be an imminent threat to Ford.

32

Dimitry Mochkin a Mazda 2 sedan to be exact, in which they turned into an utterly ugly looking Scion iA

33

Mazda 2 is a Mazda 2.
Calling a turd something else doesn't change it's nature.

34

This might sound like blasphemy to many here, but I'd rather have a Fusion SHO than an R35 GTR. 

I've never been really attracted to the current GTR's shape, but the Fusion is a really good-looking sedan and I find it more appealing the more I see it.

The fact that there are so many of them out there means that Ford did the car right.

35

To each - their own, right?

36

Overall I agree. Similar to Toyota, I like the direction Ford is taking their lineup. I also can't help but drool over the lines of that Estate. That said, having been around truck people my whole life, I can quite honestly say that F150 is a massive piece of shit that will spend more time on the shop than on the road. It is complete and utter garbage, held together with mix of protein powder and bro sweat (same as Fords recent 250 and 350 trucks too). I hope the build quality of their cars is I ugly better than their trucks.
I'm also probably the only person who doesn't like the lines of the new GT. It looks too stretched out for my tastes (as a road car at least...it would be right at home on a racetrack in 1999 next to a McLaren Longtail).
I'm excited to see Ford return to Le Mans and sports car racing (side note the Shelby GT350 GT4 spec Mustang from CTSCC is georgious, and capable!), but at the same time I'm extremely disappointed to see them pulling out of Australia. V8SC is currently one of the best racing series on the planet, and it won't be the same without Ford.
Last point, I genunily think the recent trend in Nissan is because of the French ownership. They don't give a rats ass about Nissan's heritage, and they don't give a damn about Nissan's enthusiast customers. All they are concerned with is using Infinity to go after BMW, Merc, Audi, Lexus, etc. They won't make an entry level Nissan sports car because they want you to buy their little French shitbox "hot hatches".
Despite their efforts, Nissan has never really been successful in the global Motorsports arena, whether it's F1, Le Mans, Rallying, etc. However, even without actually winning very much, Nissan is almost always viewed as having strong racing pedegree, the GTR is iconic, so is the Z. Peugeot and Citroen, on the other hand, despite massive efforts, and actually a lot of success at various points, are not really viewed as Giants of the motorsport world. Outside of Europe, they're both just crappy French cars with odd styling that break down a lot, and are hard to find parts for. This is just my on little conspiracy, but I think this bugs Peugeot and Citroen, and I think they mean to undermine the racing heritage of Nissan with this new direction they seem to be going in. Now with Darren Cox gone, the R35 at the end of its life cycle, no factory Nissan presence at the Dubai 24hrs (which means no GT Acadamy drivers), things are looking very sad indeed.

37

Ice Age I'm with you. Actually all of nissan's offering isn't  really appealing to me since they changed CEO to carlos ghosn. the GTR isn't the successor of the R badge, but a 4wd twin turbo version of a 350/370z..

38

Toyota's heading to the right direction with their GT86 and other cars, while honda is getting there with their Civic Type R (all that's left is too fix the nsx and revive the integra. Nissan is focusing too much on their race and premium department that they're forgetting what made them successful back then. Rumor's of the new GTR seems like it's really straying away from what the original GTR until the R34 stood for.

39

Like Mike alluded to:

PUT YOUR MONEY WHERE YOUR MOUTH IS. NEW CARS COME WITH WARRANTIES!!

As a mechanic working on BMW MINI's, reliabilty is relative. IMO we mechanics are here to continue and aid in the R&D for future models, engines etc. Any crazy issues are noted and relayed to the engineers. For example BMW has issues with injectors. Everyone has issues with airbags thanks to TAKATA and you'd be surprised how much is covered under Federal emissions (cats, thermostats, high pressure fuel pumps etc.)

MINI chains are common on R56's-mostly because of oil loss. Why? These DI engines just burn through oil like a Rasta burns through a spliff. To make matters worse, there is no low oil light until you're almost empty (the F56 have followed BMW with no dipstick). It is what it is. Not too long ago people checked their oil and tires at the very least. Now...not so much. We're entering the autonomous age.

So for Ford to give us this catalog (Chevy too-just not as tight of a design identity) deserves at least a THANK YOU. Toyota is coming with the SFR to join the FRS. What more do you need? The BMW Z4/Supra is testing NOW!!!!

Honda has CRZ, CIVIC SI/Type R, NSX, S660, baby NSX rumored, turbo S2000 rumored. 

So all this reliability "research" is just an excuse to not take the olive branch these businesses are extending to you. 

Me personally I like the Mazda-based FIAT 124 I just hate the name. Dodge Arrow? Hmmm.. Chrysler 100? Sure! Abarth? yes! Alfa Romeo? Sweet! Lancia? F--k Yeah! Cant stand the name FIAT so I am seriously considering the SFR after the Gazoo concept and this render:

http://media.fyre.co/8rwWHR3QvmlpfyejrJuA_Image7.jpg

41

To say Ford makes eight enthusiast vehicles and then list Fiestas as one of these is reaching imo just because it has a turbo doesn't make it anything great. I don't get it. Maybe it is cool in the UK where young people like Citroens and Vauxhalls but I just don't get it. I personally think an enthusiast vehicle is one that is designed with performance and handling in mind with a true gearbox and looks to go with it, rather than something that is designed with economy and efficiency in mind that just happens to have a turbo because it's the efficient trend amongst manufacturers in 2016.

42

However I can agree with the rest of the cases you make for the other vehicles, just I wish not to deal with anything FWD or automatic. Oh and I want to add that the #1 rugby team in the world New Zealand's All Blacks get a free Ford each due to sponsorship. I just wish one got a Mustang, they usually pick out a Falcon or Explorer! -.-'

43

JohnRoket What? Porsche cost roughly the same as Ford in Aus? I imagine you have a Cayenne now?

44

Oh and Nissan has also now pulled out of Le Mans, and they have terminated their factory support for the 370Zs that were running in CTSCC.
In V8SC, they say they want to sell customer cars, but at the same time, they just signed on Dale Wood (a pay driver) in order to help fund the program instead of doing it with more factory support. It doesn't seem like they're taking that program very seriously anymore.

45

The cues are there, but it doesn't feel American, at least to me and by car buddies. Ford built the car to appeal to the rest of the world, they said it themselves. The last generation Mustang had a much bigger prescence and actually looked somewhat like the first generation.

46

No xr6 turbo or xr8? I believe you can still buy them new for now and yeah they are oz only but the xr6 turbo was a big hit down here for all the years it existed along with the fpv versions.

47

Joking arent you? Porshe for the same price?
Maybe you are talking highend SUV, but certainly not 911s,panamera=200k+
And for the money (50k), i would take a focus RS over base caymanhttp/boxter anyday!
This coming from an avid porshe enthusiast!

48

Speedhunters You're so right! But Damn, a Mustang 2.3 EcoBoost costs 60 grand in euro's in the netherlands.. A Fiesta 100hp EcoBoost 19000

49

Ps. The tickford musta been nice!
One of my mates dads had one when i was young and it blew my socks off.

50

Yes I applaude ford for doing all the performance and enthusiast cars, but personally I think ford have gone to shit to me. I just don't like anything they're doing nowadays. But hey, that's just me.

51

@gunbunny SeBaBunea  As a Ford guy i say the VF Commodore is great. That means Ford has nothing for me to root for of. The xr8 is great for an xr8 but not as a range topper like the 430w gts and I know there is a well and good reason for the axing but i wish Ford would a least end with a bang instead of a fizzle.

All I wanted was a 400kw+ crazy sedan to bring the Falcon to a fitting end.
(Anyway look at the sales of the VF anyway, its crazy!)
The falcon below, I wish we could have something with a similar 400kw motor with a new interior and updated styling.

52

John Key NZ Enthusiasts come in all ages and with all kinds of budgets. The Fiesta has the best tuned chasis in it's class and it's mated to a peppy turbo motor. It perfect for an enthusiast's first car or for someone in the inner city where you can exploit it's chuckability and compact size to your advantage :)

53

Nice advertorial, would be less obvious if you hadn't used press photo's

54

The 80's Ford motto really hits the spot, "Have you driven a Ford lately?"

Yet I would be happier if Shelby Mustangs made it overseas.

55

Not a fan of most Fords (especially design wise) but I can't argue with their performance line up... Ford is successfully doing what most manufacturers are saying is not worth the investment.

56

In belgium the ecoboost mustang is 35K ish, you guys just get stupid taxation, isn't a subaru wrx sti just as expensive as an bmw m4 over there too?

57

John Key NZ in what way is the Fiesta ST not an enthusiast vehicle?

58

Cool

59

I love the Fiesta ST, and may be looking to pick one up soon second hand (still waiting to see how the ST cars wear over time).

And the Ford GT is incredible, you just don't realize until you see it in person how crazy cool it is. Right behind the doors are these wicked flying buttresses that go from the rear roofline to the rear haunches, and make this insane pseudo wing aero look... that you can put both your arms through. Yeah, it's that big a design feature, and you have to really look for it to appreciate it.

60

I'd like to see a RWD fusion coupe.

61

Take a look at the Aussie Falcon XR6 turbo and F6 models. 4.0 litre, in line with a large turbo bolted to it. Guys here are running 1000hp ones and the reg and daily driven!! Great motor, easy power and only for the Australian/NZ market.

62

XR6 turbo.. good alternate 2JZ option..

63

The fiesta ST is a proper enthusiast car though. No denying that, but I agree with the regular fiesta, not anywhere close to an enthusiast car

64

Don't forget EcoBoost. The only reason Ford is cool outside USA.

65

Limesmack I just checked the price for the lowest spec EcoBoost Mustang here in Denmark.
With the current exchange rate, it goes for a little over 76K Euro.
And that's after we just had a 30% reduction in registration tax. FML.

66

No doubt that the current Ford line up looks very strong. I'm still hanging on for a Fiesta RS to get added to the line up, that's the car that will cause me to defect from Subaru!

67

Honestly, I am incredibly proud of how Ford has been getting along lately. The Fiesta ST with it's very clever suspension set up that makes it a blast to drive, the Focus RS headstrong plunge into the AWD hothatch market, the Mustang's intelligent step away from the horsepower wars and realizing the potential of chassis balancing - and even having the balls to opt for a turbocharged four-banger, and the GT is just a thing of vision. Always I've had the blue oval in my corner when it comes to the USDM, but never have I been this enthusiastic about the brand before. Best part is, it's not just pining for the European Ford that we never get over here - the Escorts and the Sierras.

68

G5555 John Key NZ Haven't you heard? True enthusiast cars can only be RWD, Manual, and have at least 300+ Horsepower /s

69

APtattoos So a Mustang?

70
90nissanS13@my350z

What is clever about the Fiesta ST's suspension? (No sarcasm)

71

I just recently when to the North American International Auto Show in Detroit with some of my friends and afterwards we were talking about if we had 100,000 to spend there what we would buy. I chose a GT350 and a Forcus RS. Never thought i would ever choose two Fords but their cars are just cool and exciting right now. And this is coming from a hardcore Japanese guy.

72

They just dont have enthusiast cars in lower price ranges like the Focus and Fiesta.

73

90nissanS13@my350z I'm clearly no expert, and my own experience with the machine is limited - but everything I have heard has been praise for it's balance and poise. "Clever suspension" might be a bit of a misnomer, as it comes across as something truly unique from conventional suspension geometries. It was merely an addage that Ford is placing this kind of balance in a primary focus of their cars, and that the Fiesta ST is a prime example of finding that balance.

74
90nissanS13@my350z

Okay, fair enough. I took a look at the suspension after reading your comment. All i saw was a torsion beam rear with a mcpherson strut up front. I had to ask for your elaboration. Honda has used this on some of their "sport" hatches and it didn't impress many. It's good to see Ford doing so well at this level.

75

And you're forgetting one... In Europe they make the best looking and best handling (good enough to shame many saloons...) minivan -  the S-Max. Go and check it.
It's a bliss, you can have a single car, big enough for all your kids, and still have fun driving.

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PauloRebordao Yep, some of them have the same motor in it as a Focus ST, or at least the older ST model anyway. Silly quick for a van.

77

The Ford Escort RS Cosworth still one of my favourite cars of all time.

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Twitch_6  I would have to disagree with you about the f150s being rubbish. I work at a ford dealership in a place where we are covered in snow 6-8 months a year. We usually only she trucks in if people were abusing them or its time for a service. We do see the truck a lot in the dealer though because that is fords bread and butter. Iunno man every brand has its problems and its strong points. I think fords strong points far out way its weak points.

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90nissanS13@my350z

Only if he knew... Smh

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PauloRebordao Would like to see that in the US.

81

rv_zenki Well said!

82

tbtstt If it's anything like the ST it would be amazing.

83

MTDatsun I agree completely. The GT looks simply insane in person. P1/LaFerrari levels of cool.

84

@Wout I can guarantee that no money was paid for this. Unless you count the car payment I send for my Mustang every month ;)

85

LukeEVOVIII To each their own.

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@benadict cumberbatch Again this is not advertising. I'm certainly not lying to you. Just an opinion piece on "doing it right" compared to the "doing it wrong" Nissan story from last month:)

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APtattoos Ford needs to do a lux'd up Mustang with a Lincoln badge, but only with the turbo-i4 and the ttv6 to distinguish it a bit more from the Mustang.

88

Dill Pickle GM is doing some great stuff indeed. My only complaint is that they don't offer a whole lot at the lower end of the market. I really wish they would have gone ahead with the 130R Concept from a few years ago.

89

Says the mitsubishi guy lmao, now there's a company that has been going to shit for a LONG time. Funny thing is i just don't like anything mitsubishi has done either, as do most people

90

You sir are a hater, and probably jealous of all that ford horsepower around these days

91

You are an ignorant fool who knows absolutely zero about cars. My girlfriend has more car knowledge than you lmao. As a Ford Tech I can assure you that our F series is not "shit". We have damn near zero problems with them. Stop hating and go play with your Honda or whatever dude, keep ford out your mouth

92

Ice Age A Fusion SHO/Mondeo ST (yes, I am from the UK) would be a fantastic package with 400bhp from the 2.3 EcoBoost, AWD and a manual gearbox. America deserves the wagon version too. Have you seen the European market Mondeo wagon?

93

I know man tell me about it! Personally I don't think the new Outlander is a bad looking car really. But that is probably the only new car in the world I like atm

94
ChancellorBunchy

Ford is definitely killing it right now. My first car was a 2008 ford fusion se with sport package and a modest 160hp 2.3L duratec i4. Being a midsized American sedan, it had surprisingly nimble characteristics from the factory and was mountune, steeda and cosworth friendly. I was impressed
Later, I got a 2012 fusion sport awd with a 263hp 3.5L duratec v6 that made me a diehard fan of ford's bread & butter people mover. It was basically an improved version of the taurus sho from the 80s-90s.
The guy that bought it from me has custom 2.75" headers, borla catback and itb's on it making 330ish whp and goddammit I'm jealous. The sound... oh, god, the sound...
Safe to say the 2017 fusion sport is my next car. I just test drove an edge sport and f150 ecoboost 2.7 just to see what the new engine is all about and that thing is definitely underrated. Ford is lowballing us with the official numbers. That things gonna be a sleeper for sure.

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ChancellorBunchy

My god... ugh why don't we get this in the states?!?

96

Speedhunters We think you're pretty swell too

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ChancellorBunchy

How so? Not biased, just curious.

98
ChancellorBunchy

Nice.

99

Speedhunters FordPerformance great article. Definately worth the read through

100

I want a GT350 so bad...

101

I really wish Ford had re-thought the rear end of the new GT, the 2005 Model apart from the A pillar visibility was perfect...

102

As much as I agree with this article in slightly disappointed the Taurus SHO wasn't mentioned.

103

Ford builds great cars. Outside Brazil. Unfortunately (in this case) I live in Brazil.

104

I agree! FORD has been doing great off late. Regrading taking on the 5 series. I guess FORD should work on the Taurus..step it up a notch and plonk the 5.0 cayote in the SHO trim and put it up next to the M5?

105
ChancellorBunchy

A restyled Taurus on an enlarged s550 (current mustang, RWD) chassis would be excellent. Unfortunately, Ford's about ready to axe the ol' bull here in the states. Hopefully Lincoln goes RWD biased soon with the next Conti and MKZ models. *fingers crossed*

106
ChancellorBunchy

Man, that'd be awesome here in the states. @Mike Garrett, how about the new Transits? A couple businesses use them as transport vehicles here with minimal cosmetics like Wheels & Drop, color matched to their logo. They kinda look like badass bread trucks.

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ChancellorBunchy

Tell me about it. Already pre-ordered a Sport, but I'd kill for that thing to be rwd or at least rear-biased awd.

108

Help

109

Totally agree! Ford FTW!

110

No offense to anyone but the Ford GT is the only car that matters. Its truly amazing.

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