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Ford: What's new for 2011

Sharp new Fiesta leads the lineup

By

2011 Ford Fiesta

2011 Ford Fiesta: Outstanding new subcompact from Ford

Photo © Aaron Gold

CONFIRMED FOR 2011:

EDGE: (photo) Outside, the Edge gets updated styling; inside the cabin is improved with better materials and the new MyFord Touch controller, which uses an enhanced touch screen and cell-phone-like control buttons on the steering wheel for better access to stereo, navigation and climate functions. The Edge will be the first US-market Ford to get a 4-cylinder EcoBoost engine. (Horsepower figures haven't been announced, but the 2.0 liter EcoBoost in the European-market S-Max develops 200 horsepower.) The Edge Sport will get a 305 horsepower 3.7 liter V6, while the 285 hp 3.5 liter V6 remains available in other Edge models.

ESCAPE/ESCAPE HYBRID: The addition of electric power steering means the Escape can now be fitted with Ford's excellent automatic parking system. High-definition (HD) radio also joins the option list.

EXPEDITION: A new XL base model is available, and the Eddie Bauer trim level has been dropped. The Sync system now includes traffic and operator-assisted directions, HD radio is now optional, and the available rear-seat entertainment system gets dual screens mounted in the back of the front-seat headrests.

EXPLORER: (photo) Sharing the same platform as the Edge and Flex, the all-new Explorer is powered by either a 290 hp 3.5 liter V6 or a 237 hp 2-liter four-cylinder EcoBoost turbocharged engine. V6-powered Explorers are offered with a sophisticated and easy-to-use all-wheel-drive system. A long list of safety equipment includes the industry's first inflatable seatbelts, offered in the Explorer's back seat, which can help reduce injuries in children and elderly passengers by spreading the load on the chest.

EXPLORER SPORT TRAC: Discontinued.

FIESTA: (photo) The Fiesta is Ford's all-new entry in the subcompact class. Though largely developed in Europe, Ford developed a 4-door sedan body style and a 6-speed twin-clutch automatic transmission for the North American market. The new Fiesta has a 120 horsepower 1.6 liter engine and gets best-in-class EPA fuel economy estimates.

FLEX: An all-new Titanium model is based on the top-of-the-line Limited, adding blackout exterior trim, unique interior trim and exclusive 20" five-spoke alloy wheels. A power-folding third row seat is now optional on Limited and Titanium models, and the navigation system includes high definition (HD) radio.

FOCUS: No changes. A new Focus is due for 2012.

F-SERIES SUPER DUTY: (photo) Ford's super-size pickup gets two new engines, a 385 hp 6.2 liter gasoline V8 and a 6.7 liter turbodiesel developing 390 hp and 735 (!!) lb-ft. The gasoline engine is E85 compatible, while the diesel can run B20 biodiesel blend (80% petroleum diesel/20% biodiesel). Both engines are coupled to an all-new 6-speed automatic transmission with PTO (Power Take Off) capability for driving powered accessories. Towing capacity is up to 24,400 lbs.

FUSION/FUSION HYBRID: The Fusion can now be had with HD radio and 4-cylinder automatics now have manual gear selection. The options have been grouped into new packages.

MUSTANG: (photo) After heavy revisions for 2010, the Mustang gets a pair of new engines for 2011. The new V6 is a 3.7 liter unit with variable valve timing that produces 305 horsepower. EPA fuel economy estimates with the automatic transmission are 19 MPG city/31 MPG highway. The Mustang GT brings back the "5.0" badge with a true 5-liter V8 (the 5.0 from the 80s/90s was actually a 4.9); output is an SRT8/SS-hunting 412 hp and 390 lb-ft of torque. Both manual and automatic transmissions now have 6 speeds. Other improvements include refined aerodynamics and a new electric power steering system. The GT gets a stiffened suspension, while V6 models can be had with a Sport Package that includes GT suspension tuning, "summer" performance tires, front strut tower brace, lower rear-axle ratio and sport-tuned electronic stability control system.

RANGER: No changes.

SHELBY GT500: The meanest Mustang gets a host of improvements, including a new 5.4 liter supercharged V8 engine that weighs 102 lbs less, produces an extra 10 hp (550 total) and gets better fuel economy -- good enough, in fact, to finally dodge the gas guzzler tax. Electric power steering is new, and the GT500 now features a stiffer body structure and a quieter ride. A new SVT Performance Package option endows the GT500 with stiffer springs, a taller rear-axle ratio, and lightweight wheels with Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperCar G:2 tires.

TAURUS/TAURUS SHO Aside from three new exterior colors (two for the SHO), the Taurus is unchanged for 2011.

TRANSIT CONNECT: Ford's innovative commercial vehicle, introduced last year, gets a new XLT Wagon Premium package offers improved exterior and interior trim. Also new are a taxi prep package, a mobility prep package (with grab bars and wiring for handicapped-accessible features), and a CNG/LPG prep package that includes hardened valves and valve seals for easier conversion to alternative fuels. Ford is also starting a web site that will allow buyers to create custom vinyl graphics for the Transit Connect.

BEYOND 2011:

C-MAX: (photo) The C-Max is a small 7-seat micro-minivan based on the European-market Focus. Though the C-Max was originally designed for Europe, Ford plans to bring it to North America in late 2011 as a 2012 model.

FOCUS: (photo) An all-new Focus is on the way for 2012; like the original Focus, it will be nearly identical to the version sold in Europe.

TAURUS SHO: Ford is reportedly working on a 400 horsepower version of the EcoBoost V6 for installation in a future Taurus SHO.

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