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    2017 Ford F-150 to Get 10-Speed Automatic, Second-Generation 3.5L EcoBoost


    • What you need to know about the new 3.5L EcoBoost and Ten-Speed Automatic for the 2017 F-150


    2017 will be an important year for the Ford F-150 as the blue oval will be introducing the second-generation of the 3.5L EcoBoost V6 and a ten-speed automatic transmission.

     

    The second-generation 3.5L EcoBoost is completely all-new with the block, heads, turbochargers, and other components changed. A key item Ford points out with the 3.5 engine is that it features direct injection and port fuel injection - basically two injectors for each cylinder. In low-load situations, the engine uses only the port fuel injection as it is said to be more efficient. During heavy-load situations, both injection systems are used to provide maximum power.

     

    Horsepower still stands at 365. Torque has increased from 420 to 450 pound-feet, making the 3.5L the one of the torquiest engines in a full-size, light-duty truck (GM's 6.2L V8 with 460 pound-feet rules the roost here). There is also a more potent version that will go into the Raptor with 450 horsepower.

     

    The engine will be paired up with a new ten-speed automatic that is the result of a partnership with Ford and General Motors. The automatic is said to improve overall efficiency with eighth, ninth, and tenth gear all being overdrive and a reduction in friction.

     

    Ford didn't talk about how much of an improvement the ten-speed would bring in terms of fuel economy numbers, so we'll be waiting for the official EPA numbers. The new 3.5L EcoBoost and ten-speed automatic will arrive later this fall.

     

    Source: Ford

     

    Press Release is on Page 2


     

    MORE TORQUE AND BETTER BOOST: 2017 FORD F-150 TO DEBUT WITH ALL-NEW 3.5-LITER ECOBOOST ENGINE AND 10-SPEED TRANSMISSION

    • Continuously improving for customers, 2017 Ford F-150 doubles down on efficiency, capability and performance with debut of the second-generation 3.5-liter EcoBoost® engine and all-new Ford-built 10-speed automatic transmission
    • New 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine provides 30 lb.-ft. more peak torque compared with the first-generation EcoBoost engine, up to a best-in-class 450 lb.-ft. for a V6, beating gasoline- and diesel-powered competitors
    • The first volume-production 10-speed automatic transmission available to consumers from any automaker will deliver improved acceleration and performance


    DEARBORN, Mich., May 3, 2016 – Ford, America’s truck leader, continues its relentless pace of innovation, delivering more torque and better acceleration to 2017 F-150 customers with the all-new 3.5-liter EcoBoost® engine and 10-speed transmission.

     


    The new second-generation 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine will provide 30 lb.-ft. more peak torque compared with the first-generation 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine, up to a best-in-class 450 lb.-ft. for a V6. F-150 remains the only truck in its segment to offer a twin-turbo V6 gasoline engine.

     

    The all-new Ford-built transmission – the first volume-production 10-speed automatic transmission available to consumers from any automaker – will deliver improved acceleration and performance compared with previous six-speed automatic transmissions.

     

    “The Ford truck team lives to serve our hardworking truck customers,” said Raj Nair, Ford executive vice president, Product Development, and chief technical officer. “The powertrain is the heart of every F-150, and together our all-new 3.5-liter EcoBoost and 10-speed transmission will give our customers better power, efficiency and confidence.”

     

    More than 20 patents are approved or pending for the innovative powertrain combination.

     

    Second-generation 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine
    The new 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine builds on the success of the 2.7-liter EcoBoost engine and first-generation 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine available for the 2016 F-150. Nearly 1 million F-150 EcoBoost engines have been sold to date, with the 2.7-liter and first-generation 3.5-liter accounting for approximately 60 percent of F-150 sales.

     

    Ford engineers designed the new 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine to provide best-in-class torque for a V6 engine, beating gasoline- and diesel-powered competitors. The new engine provides better low-end and peak engine performance, ideal for hauling heavy payloads and towing heavy trailers.

     

    The engine features an all-new, Ford-first dual-direct and port fuel-injection system. Two injectors per cylinder – one mounted in the intake port where air enters the cylinder and one positioned inside the cylinder – work together to improve power output, efficiency, and emissions.

     

    All-new turbochargers deliver more boost thanks to improved twin turbos and a lighter turbine wheel. The new turbos work seamlessly with Ford-first electrically activated wastegates, enhancing operating efficiency. Light-weighting the turbine wheel – by making it out of high-temperature super alloy Mar-M-247 developed by the aerospace industry – improves responsiveness.

     

    Ford’s commitment to continuous light-weighting to improve performance also is evident in the hollow camshafts in the all-new roller-finger follower valvetrain that help save up to 4 pounds of weight. The valvetrain also features more durable intake and exhaust valves, and hydraulic valve-lash adjusters that optimize engine durability over the life of the truck.

     

    The new 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine provides Auto Start-Stop as a standard feature, helping customers save fuel, though actual fuel savings vary depending on driving patterns. The technology also contributes to a reduction in CO2 emissions due to decreased idle times. Auto Start-Stop is specially tuned for truck customers, shutting off the engine when the vehicle is at a stop – except when towing or in four-wheel drive mode.

     

    All-new 10-speed transmission
    The new 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine will be paired with an all-new 10-speed transmission for the 2017 F-150.

     

    The transmission delivers improved acceleration and performance compared with previous six-speed automatic transmissions, thanks to optimized wide-span gear spacing, coupled with drag-reduction actions. Three overdrive gears and a wider ratio span enable lower-numerical rear-axle ratios to help improve fuel efficiency at highway speeds, while maintaining best-in-class towing.

     

    Weight savings play a key role in improved shifting performance. The 10-speed transmission uses advanced materials and alloys to save weight, and it is the first Ford gearbox that does not use cast-iron components.

     

    An integrated torque converter/turbine clutch also helps shave more than 2 pounds of weight, while also reducing the packaging footprint.

     

    Smarter shift logic helps 2017 F-150 customers tow with improved confidence using tow/haul mode. All-new real-time-adaptive shift-scheduling algorithms monitor more than a dozen powertrain- and driver-control signals to ensure the right gear at the right time for an engaging driving experience, including in sport mode.

     

    An integrated electric pump works with the standard Auto Start-Stop system for seamless restarts and improved driving efficiency.

     

    Manufacturing investment
    Ford announced earlier this year that it will invest $145 million to upgrade its Cleveland Engine Plant – creating or retaining 150 jobs to support production of the all-new second-generation 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine for the 2017 Ford F-150 lineup.

     

    An additional $1.4 billion is being invested at Ford’s Livonia Transmission Plant to create or retain 500 hourly jobs to build the 10-speed transmission.

     

    Both investments are part of the company’s commitment to invest $9 billion and create or retain 8,500 hourly jobs in its U.S. facilities during the next four years. In the past five years, Ford has invested $12 billion in its U.S. plants and created nearly 28,000 total U.S. jobs.

     

    The 2017 Ford F-150 goes on sale this fall.

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    The torque increase is great and more important than a HP increase. But even a small HP bump would have been nice.

     

    I do like the dual FI set up. A) its said to be more efficient at certain RPM loads. B) it will also help alleviate carbon build up that is known to accumulate on DI engines.

     

    I wonder when the exactly this 2017 with its new gen 3.5L EB and class leading 10spd will be available?

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    The first volume-production 10-speed automatic transmission available to consumers from any automaker will deliver improved acceleration and performance


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    ^ Is it beating the ZL1 to the dealerships? I honestly do not know but I know they said it would be available a month or so ago.. 

     

    I am a little disappointed w/ no hp bump but that's for no good reason as this is a truck and it's getting a 30tq increase. That's the most important part. I also hope that they chiseled out some of the ecoboost fuel economy situations. 

     

    It is good to hear that they are mixing direct and port injection, for the same reason named above, coked up valves. 

     

    I would eventually like to know where the efficiency gains will come from, 10spd vs 2nd gen 3.5EB. I'm curious how much efficiency will be had from the new more efficient with more ratios transmission and how much will be gained from the engine itself. Nice to see them both be put together at the same time. I would think this would yield pretty good overall gains being put together at the same time. 

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    "Torque has increased from 420 to 450 pound-feet, making the 3.5L the torquiest engine available in a full-size, light-duty truck."

     

    The GM 6.2L V8 makes 460 lb-ft of torque and is primarily available on the GM light duty 1500 trucks. Is there some asterisk to that claim that I'm not aware of?

     

    It's interesting Ford chose to go with a split port/direct injection system. I would have expected the added complexity and parts would outweigh the benefits, but they must have found something significantly advantageous in testing. I tend to like the idea of having port fuel injection even if merely for the fact that it cleans carbon deposits in the ports that DI engines have left untouched in a way that becomes additional maintenance long term.

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    "Torque has increased from 420 to 450 pound-feet, making the 3.5L the torquiest engine available in a full-size, light-duty truck."

     

    The GM 6.2L V8 makes 460 lb-ft of torque and is primarily available on the GM light duty 1500 trucks. Is there some asterisk to that claim that I'm not aware of?

     

    It's interesting Ford chose to go with a split port/direct injection system. I would have expected the added complexity and parts would outweigh the benefits, but they must have found something significantly advantageous in testing. I tend to like the idea of having port fuel injection even if merely for the fact that it cleans carbon deposits in the ports that DI engines have left untouched in a way that becomes additional maintenance long term.

     

     

    Maybe its meant as not " peak torque ", but as in torquiest power spread. There the EB's ( 2.7 and 3.5 ) have shown to not be as peaky as the EcoTec3's

     

    One must remember that the 6.2L is only available on some trims too.

     

    EDIT

     

    * best-in-class 450 lb.-ft. for a V6. *

     

    I was reading the PR and can't find where it states " torquest engine in a full sized light duty truck

     

     

    https://media.ford.com/content/fordmedia/fna/us/en/news/2016/05/03/2017-ford-f150-more-torque-better-boost.html

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    "Torque has increased from 420 to 450 pound-feet, making the 3.5L the torquiest engine available in a full-size, light-duty truck."

     

    The GM 6.2L V8 makes 460 lb-ft of torque and is primarily available on the GM light duty 1500 trucks. Is there some asterisk to that claim that I'm not aware of?

     

    It's interesting Ford chose to go with a split port/direct injection system. I would have expected the added complexity and parts would outweigh the benefits, but they must have found something significantly advantageous in testing. I tend to like the idea of having port fuel injection even if merely for the fact that it cleans carbon deposits in the ports that DI engines have left untouched in a way that becomes additional maintenance long term.

    Good point. I made a slight correction and added GM's 6.2 to the story.

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    On no. please no more back and forth bickering....f***** dammit buy an American truck, any of them and be pleased how they dispatch anything foreign.

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    The dual-mode FI system sounds like it'll be an advantage.

     

    I doubt the 10-spd is likely to EVER see 9th & 10th gear usage. My brother has a 6-spd (5th & 6th overdrive) and it almost never shifts to 6th. You have to be coasting on dead-level highway with a slight tailwind to get it in 6th. I'd like to take a spin in one of these 10-spd F-150s tho.

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    The first volume-production 10-speed automatic transmission available to consumers from any automaker will deliver improved acceleration and performance

    And will be available around the same time as the ZL1.

    Just to clarify.

    Still great news for Ford. The ten speed will be a hit for both Ford and GM.

    Yeah I just saw that too. I didn't see the press release was on page 2. I guess they're taking a jab at the EcoDiesel V6.

    Or it's just clever marketing since they don't have a mainstream V8 to compare to the 6.2L. Edited by surreal1272
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    The duel fuel injection system is what Toyota has been doing for a few years in their V6es... seems to work pretty well for them.

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    But will it really be as fuel efficient as a natural V8? So far the forums do not show this for the turbo motors.

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    But will it really be as fuel efficient as a natural V8? So far the forums do not show this for the turbo motors.

    The current 3.5 is more efficient than THEIR n/a v8. The GM 5.3 is a great motor that blends power and efficiency very well. No clue if this will be more efficient or not but even if it's equal the output difference is very significant.

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    More interested to see how the 10 speed will do.....

     

     

    Makes me wonder since FCA is screwing up the 9 speeds pretty well right now...

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    But will it really be as fuel efficient as a natural V8? So far the forums do not show this for the turbo motors.

    The current 3.5 is more efficient than THEIR n/a v8. The GM 5.3 is a great motor that blends power and efficiency very well. No clue if this will be more efficient or not but even if it's equal the output difference is very significant.

     

     

    The current 5.3 is also only paired with a 6-speed at the moment in most applications.  So that is another factor.

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    But will it really be as fuel efficient as a natural V8? So far the forums do not show this for the turbo motors.

    The current 3.5 is more efficient than THEIR n/a v8. The GM 5.3 is a great motor that blends power and efficiency very well. No clue if this will be more efficient or not but even if it's equal the output difference is very significant.

     

     

    The current 5.3 is also only paired with a 6-speed at the moment in most applications.  So that is another factor.

     

    True, as is the current 3.5. I'm actually a HUGE fan of the 5.3. I actually think if I got to pick any truck engine to use daily(with money being a factor) it would be the 5.3 over either ecoboost and obviously the 6.2 will be a gas hog.. V8 burble still and good fuel economy, respectable hp/tq. I just like the combination a lot. If Ford would use some of the tech in their 5.0 they'd be onto something a little more. 

     

    I'm just very eager to read about a lot of the new product coming out; CT6, XT5, 10spd, Raptors, ZL1s, Mach1??? 

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    But will it really be as fuel efficient as a natural V8? So far the forums do not show this for the turbo motors.

    The current 3.5 is more efficient than THEIR n/a v8. The GM 5.3 is a great motor that blends power and efficiency very well. No clue if this will be more efficient or not but even if it's equal the output difference is very significant.

     

     

    The current 5.3 is also only paired with a 6-speed at the moment in most applications.  So that is another factor.

     

    True, as is the current 3.5. I'm actually a HUGE fan of the 5.3. I actually think if I got to pick any truck engine to use daily(with money being a factor) it would be the 5.3 over either ecoboost and obviously the 6.2 will be a gas hog.. V8 burble still and good fuel economy, respectable hp/tq. I just like the combination a lot. If Ford would use some of the tech in their 5.0 they'd be onto something a little more. 

     

    I'm just very eager to read about a lot of the new product coming out; CT6, XT5, 10spd, Raptors, ZL1s, Mach1??? 

     

     

    I'm just talking about the eventual comparisons of the new 3.5 + 10speed to the 5.3 + 6speed. 

     

    My own concern would be the Ecoboost's tendency to not meet EPA MPG specs in the real world where I can usually beat it with the 5.3. Just my own experience.

     

    The 6.2+8speed is just about the same mpgs as the current 3.5EB. So not that much of a hog.

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    But will it really be as fuel efficient as a natural V8? So far the forums do not show this for the turbo motors.

    The current 3.5 is more efficient than THEIR n/a v8. The GM 5.3 is a great motor that blends power and efficiency very well. No clue if this will be more efficient or not but even if it's equal the output difference is very significant.

     

     

    The current 5.3 is also only paired with a 6-speed at the moment in most applications.  So that is another factor.

     

    True, as is the current 3.5. I'm actually a HUGE fan of the 5.3. I actually think if I got to pick any truck engine to use daily(with money being a factor) it would be the 5.3 over either ecoboost and obviously the 6.2 will be a gas hog.. V8 burble still and good fuel economy, respectable hp/tq. I just like the combination a lot. If Ford would use some of the tech in their 5.0 they'd be onto something a little more. 

     

    I'm just very eager to read about a lot of the new product coming out; CT6, XT5, 10spd, Raptors, ZL1s, Mach1??? 

     

     

    I'm just talking about the eventual comparisons of the new 3.5 + 10speed to the 5.3 + 6speed. 

     

    My own concern would be the Ecoboost's tendency to not meet EPA MPG specs in the real world where I can usually beat it with the 5.3. Just my own experience.

     

    The 6.2+8speed is just about the same mpgs as the current 3.5EB. So not that much of a hog.

     

    That was one thing I "addressed" as well in an earlier post. I hope this new motor addresses that issue as well. 

     

    I would think the 5.3 would get the 8spd across the board for 2017 as it has been slowly moving through the lineup. You can get it now can't you? Only in like High Country or whatever trim though, right? 

     

    Well I was factoring in purchase cost and fuel cost and at 1-2 mpg across the board or for the life of the truck that adds up when fuel eventually goes above $3/gallon again. 

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    But will it really be as fuel efficient as a natural V8? So far the forums do not show this for the turbo motors.

    The current 3.5 is more efficient than THEIR n/a v8. The GM 5.3 is a great motor that blends power and efficiency very well. No clue if this will be more efficient or not but even if it's equal the output difference is very significant.

     

     

    The current 5.3 is also only paired with a 6-speed at the moment in most applications.  So that is another factor.

     

    True, as is the current 3.5. I'm actually a HUGE fan of the 5.3. I actually think if I got to pick any truck engine to use daily(with money being a factor) it would be the 5.3 over either ecoboost and obviously the 6.2 will be a gas hog.. V8 burble still and good fuel economy, respectable hp/tq. I just like the combination a lot. If Ford would use some of the tech in their 5.0 they'd be onto something a little more. 

     

    I'm just very eager to read about a lot of the new product coming out; CT6, XT5, 10spd, Raptors, ZL1s, Mach1??? 

     

     

    I'm just talking about the eventual comparisons of the new 3.5 + 10speed to the 5.3 + 6speed. 

     

    My own concern would be the Ecoboost's tendency to not meet EPA MPG specs in the real world where I can usually beat it with the 5.3. Just my own experience.

     

    The 6.2+8speed is just about the same mpgs as the current 3.5EB. So not that much of a hog.

     

     

     

    Most comparisons of the 5.3L are against the 2.7L, not the 3.5L, where its been proven the 2.7L not only out performs at the pump, but is also notably quicker loaded and unloaded.

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    Most comparisons of the 5.3L are against the 2.7L, not the 3.5L, where its been proven the 2.7L not only out performs at the pump, but is also notably quicker loaded and unloaded.

     

    I agree the 2.7 is the natural competition to the 5.3, but I disagree about the "proven" fuel economy.  The EPA numbers may look good, but that's not what most people consider "proven" in the real world. In fact, the exact opposite seems to be true

     

    18.9 mpg Average?  Just about any Chevy pickup with the 5.3 can do that without a sweat.

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    Most comparisons of the 5.3L are against the 2.7L, not the 3.5L, where its been proven the 2.7L not only out performs at the pump, but is also notably quicker loaded and unloaded.

     

    I agree the 2.7 is the natural competition to the 5.3, but I disagree about the "proven" fuel economy.  The EPA numbers may look good, but that's not what most people consider "proven" in the real world. In fact, the exact opposite seems to be true

     

    18.9 mpg Average?  Just about any Chevy pickup with the 5.3 can do that without a sweat.

     

     

     

    The EPA rates the four-wheel-drive 2015 F-150 with the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6 at 18/23 mpg, and when we put it through our Real MPG testing, we saw 17 mpg city, 22 mpg highway, and 19 mpg combined. We also did a far less scientific test while the trucks were loaded down with the mats and divided the miles driven by the gallons pumped. In that test, we got 16.8 mpg.

    Then there’s Chevy’s solution. Recognizing that many truck buyers prefer V-8s regardless of power ratings, Chevy went through its 5.3-liter truck engine with a fine-toothed comb looking for efficiencies. Its piece-de-resistance is a cylinder deactivation system that turns it into a 2.7-liter V-4 under light loads. It’s a neat trick, but not as effective as Ford’s solution. The Chevy is EPA-rated at 16 mpg city, 22 mpg highway, and 18 mpg combined. In our Real MPG testing, it returned a disappointing 13 mpg city, 19 mpg highway, and 15 mpg combined. In our payload fuel economy test, though, it came within striking distance of the Ford at 16.4 mpg observed

     

    REAL MPG, CITY/HWY/COMB Chevy 13/19/15 mpg  Ford 17/22/19 mpg

     

     

    EPA CITY/HWY/COMB ECON Chevy 16/22/18 mpg  Ford 18/23/20 mpg

     

    Real MPG is what M/T recorded ( unloaded ), the Ford avg 4 mpg better and was much closer to its EPA ratings than the Chevy

     

    http://www.motortrend.com/news/comparison-2015-ford-f-150-vs-ram-1500-chevrolet-silverado/

    Edited by FordCosworth
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    I prefer the longer term tests... and my own experiences with both (as a conservative driver) show opposite results.  I can get 21 - 22 out of heavier Suburban 5.3 on the highway... and do that regularly.

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    I prefer the longer term tests... and my own experiences with both (as a conservative driver) show opposite results.  I can get 21 - 22 out of heavier Suburban 5.3 on the highway... and do that regularly.

     

     

    And I prefer actual head to head comparisons that what " one claims ". 

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    I prefer the longer term tests... and my own experiences with both (as a conservative driver) show opposite results.  I can get 21 - 22 out of heavier Suburban 5.3 on the highway... and do that regularly.

     

     

    And I prefer actual head to head comparisons that what " one claims ". 

     

     

    Edmunds and Wards and Car and Driver and many posters on Ford150 got the same results, and I quote "Where's the Eco in Ecoboost?"

     

    In fact all of my ecoboost drives have returned disappointing MPGs with the exception of the Fusion 2.0T. 

     

    You and MT are the outier.

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    More interested to see how the 10 speed will do.....

     

     

    Makes me wonder since FCA is screwing up the 9 speeds pretty well right now...

    The nine-speed is much better. I just drove the Fiat 500X and Jeep Renegade and the nine-speed didn't have any of the issues from previous FCA models.

    Now the 2.4 on the other hand...

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      Trim: Grand Touring
      Engine: 2.5L DOHC Skyactiv-G Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, Six-Speed Automatic
      Horsepower @ RPM: 184 @ 5,700
      Torque @ RPM: 185 @ 3,250
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 27/35/30
      Curb Weight: 3,305 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Hofu, Japan
      Base Price: $30,695
      As Tested Price: $34,530 (Includes $835.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      GT Premium Package - $2,500.00
      Machine Gray Metallic - $300.00
      Door Sill Trim Plates - $125.00
      Cargo Mat - $75.00
    • By William Maley
      Mazda is already known for building vehicles that are fun to drive and is garnering one for their distinctive designs. One area that Mazda might not get a lot of credit is the constant improvements they make to their lineup. Take for example the Mazda6 sedan. Since its launch back in 2013 as a 2014 model, Mazda has been updating the 6 with new improvements and features to make it better. For example, when we drove the 2016 Mazda6 back in 2015, it featured new dashboard and infotainment system that made it more pleasant to be in. For 2017, Mazda has introduced two big changes for 6 - one dealing with handling and the other dealing with overall refinement.
      First up is Mazda’s G-Vectoring Control. This system monitors steering and throttle input (along with a few other things according to the brand), and when it deems necessary, will reduce engine power to shift weight to the front. This is said to improve overall handling in a corner. Here’s the thing, I really can’t tell if this system makes the 2017 Mazda6 a better handler than the previous 6 I drove back in 2015. The model shows the sharp handling characteristics that has made it one of the best driving models in the class with little body roll and steering that feels direct.  I would need to drive both a 2016 and 2017 Mazda6 back to back to see if there is a difference. The other improvement for the 2017 Mazda6 will be noticed by anyone going for a ride; a quieter interior. Mazda has added a bit more sound insulation for the 6 and it makes for a more pleasant driving experience. There isn’t as much wind whistle as there was in previous 6s I have driven. You still do get a fair amount of tire noise, but that’s more due to the 19-inch wheels fitted on the Grand Touring. The 19-inch wheels also make the ride slightly rough with various bumps being transmitted clearly to the backsides of you and your passengers. Mazda hasn’t messed with anything else for the 2017 6 and that’s mostly a good thing. It still retains the striking good looks of the outside, especially in this bronze color seen here.  The Mazda6’s interior is towards the top of the class with a modern design, high-quality materials, and an easy to understand control layout. The leather seats offer the right amount of comfort for long trips. Those sitting in the back will have no complaints in terms of head and legroom. Under the hood is a 2.5L SkyActiv-G four-cylinder engine with 184 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque. Sport and Touring models get the option of either a six-speed manual or automatic, while the Grand Touring makes due with only the automatic. The engine is a spritely performer with strong acceleration and having the power ready to go when needed. The six-speed is quick when it comes to downshifts. But the transmission does stumble when it comes to upshifts as it is slow to respond when you need that punch of power. At least the automatic transmission does feature paddles on the steering wheel to allow for some manual control to solve this. The continuous updates Mazda makes to the vehicles should be applauded as it helps keep them competitive in light of tougher competition. The 2017 Mazda6 is a key example of this. You might not be able to detect one of the changes made, but the other one us quite noticeable and makes the 6 that much better. Disclaimer: Mazda Provided the 6, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2017
      Make: Mazda
      Model: 6
      Trim: Grand Touring
      Engine: 2.5L DOHC Skyactiv-G Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, Six-Speed Automatic
      Horsepower @ RPM: 184 @ 5,700
      Torque @ RPM: 185 @ 3,250
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 27/35/30
      Curb Weight: 3,305 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Hofu, Japan
      Base Price: $30,695
      As Tested Price: $34,530 (Includes $835.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      GT Premium Package - $2,500.00
      Machine Gray Metallic - $300.00
      Door Sill Trim Plates - $125.00
      Cargo Mat - $75.00

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    • By William Maley
      A group of Shelby GT350 owners are not happy with Ford.
      Yesterday, a lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida claiming that the track-ready GT350 isn't. According to filling, owners complain that the vehicle overheats in as little as 15 minutes due faulty transmissions and rear differentials when driven on a track. When the vehicle does overheat, it goes into a limp mode that reduces power to protect the powertrain. The filing goes on to say that Ford fixed this issue in the 2017 model, but told owners of the 2016 model to make the fixes themselves - a possible breach of the car's warranty.
      “When Ford marketed and sold these Shelby GT350 Mustangs, it knew exactly how to appeal to track-enthusiasts: it marketed enhanced performance in a limited-edition iconic vehicle that has been associated with racing for generations,” said Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman, the law firm handling the case.
      “We believe that Ford induced purchasers with its ‘track-ready’ marketing, when in fact it knew that this defect would ultimately bar these Mustangs from ever being the hotrod consumers paid for.”
      At the moment, the lawsuit has four named plaintiffs. Hagens Berman estimates about 4,000 owners are affected by this issue. 
      “Ford is committed to providing our customers with top-quality vehicles. However, we do not comment on pending litigation,” said Ford spokesman Bradley Carroll to The Detroit News.
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), The Detroit News

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      A group of Shelby GT350 owners are not happy with Ford.
      Yesterday, a lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida claiming that the track-ready GT350 isn't. According to filling, owners complain that the vehicle overheats in as little as 15 minutes due faulty transmissions and rear differentials when driven on a track. When the vehicle does overheat, it goes into a limp mode that reduces power to protect the powertrain. The filing goes on to say that Ford fixed this issue in the 2017 model, but told owners of the 2016 model to make the fixes themselves - a possible breach of the car's warranty.
      “When Ford marketed and sold these Shelby GT350 Mustangs, it knew exactly how to appeal to track-enthusiasts: it marketed enhanced performance in a limited-edition iconic vehicle that has been associated with racing for generations,” said Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman, the law firm handling the case.
      “We believe that Ford induced purchasers with its ‘track-ready’ marketing, when in fact it knew that this defect would ultimately bar these Mustangs from ever being the hotrod consumers paid for.”
      At the moment, the lawsuit has four named plaintiffs. Hagens Berman estimates about 4,000 owners are affected by this issue. 
      “Ford is committed to providing our customers with top-quality vehicles. However, we do not comment on pending litigation,” said Ford spokesman Bradley Carroll to The Detroit News.
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), The Detroit News
    • By William Maley
      Is the Honda Ridgeline a truck or not? Depends on to whom you ask this question. A truck person would say no since the Ridgeline isn’t a body-on-frame vehicle. Instead, it uses a unibody platform from the Honda Pilot. A consumer would say yes because it looks like a truck and has all the attributes you would find on one such as a bed. I spent some time in a Ridgeline over the holidays to see if I could figure out the answer.
      The previous Ridgeline looked like an auto show concept squared-off shape and missing the design cues you would expect on a truck such as a gap between the cab and bed. This put a lot of people off from looking at the Ridgeline. The new model looks more in line with the current crop of midsize trucks as Honda adopted the standard cab and bed design. This includes the gap between the bed and cab, although this is more of a design touch. Stick your hand in the gap and you’ll realize that both parts are connected (thanks unibody construction).
      The front end is where you’ll make your decision as to whether you like the Ridgeline or not. There is an imposing grille with a long chrome bar on top. A set of large headlights sits on either side of the grille. Other design items to take note of are the sculpted hood and front bumper. Personally, I found the front end to a bit over the top. Honda was trying to make the Ridgeline look tough and imposing, but the end result is a look that is trying too hard. 
      At least Honda got the Ridgeline’s bed right. Compared to the last model, Honda added four inches to the overall length of the bed (64 vs. 60 inches). This gives the Ridgeline the longest standard bed in the class. Unlike competitors, you cannot option a longer bed for the Ridgeline. Honda has also fitted some clever ideas for the Ridgeline’s bed. First is the in-bed trunk that offers 7.3 cubic feet of space where you can stow tools or luggage, giving the Ridgeline a significant edge in practicality than its competitors. Second is the dual-action tailgate which allows the tailgate to be opened downward or to the side.
      The recent crop of trucks have been stepping up their game when it comes to interiors and the Ridgeline is no different. The interior is borrowed from the Pilot crossover and brings forth an easy-to-understand control layout and high-quality materials. One item that wasn’t carried over from the Pilot was the push-button transmission selector. Instead, the Ridgeline sticks with a good-ole lever. Thank you, Honda.
      The Ridgeline proved to be a very comfortable pickup truck thanks to supportive leather seats, and power-adjustments for the driver. I took this truck to Northern Michigan and back during the holidays, and I never felt tired or had any soreness afterward. The back seat provides more than enough head and legroom for passengers. The bottom cushion of the back seat can also be folded up to provide a decent amount space for carrying larger items.
      Honda’s infotainment system in the Ridgeline has to be one of the most frustrating systems we have ever come across. The eight-inch system gets off on the wrong foot by using touch-sensitive controls for the volume and other functions that don’t always respond whenever pressed. At least you can use the steering wheel controls for a number of these functions. HondaLink needs a serious revamp in terms of its interface as trying to do simple things is very convoluted. For example, if I want to pick a podcast episode from my iPod, I have to jump through a number of menus to just to get to the listing of the specific show I want to listen to. You can avoid using HondaLink by plugging in your iPhone or Android phone and using CarPlay or Android Auto. 
      All Honda Ridgeline’s come with a 3.5L V6 producing 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. This is paired up with a six-speed automatic. The base RT to the RTL-T has the choice of front or all-wheel drive. The RTL-E and Black Edition only come with all-wheel drive. No other V6 truck in the class can match the performance of the Ridgeline’s V6. Acceleration is strong whether you’re leaving a stoplight or making a pass. The run to 60 mph is said to take around 7 seconds, making this one quick midsize truck. The six-speed automatic delivers fast and smooth shifts.
      All-wheel drive Ridgelines like our tester come with Honda’s Intelligent Variable Torque Management system. This system quickly redistributes the amount of torque going to each wheel to improve handling and traction. AWD models also get the Intelligent Traction Management system which adjusts the settings of the powertrain to help you get through whatever terrain you find yourself in. We put these systems to the test by driving through an unplowed road with deep snow. The Ridgeline was able to make it through without breaking a sweat. That doesn’t make the Ridgeline a truck you want to take on an off-road trail as it only offers 7.9-inches of ground clearance and no low-range.
      The Ridgeline’s payload is towards the top the of class when compared with other midsize crew cab trucks. Front-wheel drive models can haul between 1,447 to 1,565 pounds in the bed. All-wheel drive models have a payload capacity of 1,499 to 1,584 pounds. For towing, the Ridgeline falls a bit short. Front-wheel drive models have a max tow rating of 3,500 lbs, while AWD models are slightly higher at 5,000 lbs. For most people, the Ridgeline will be enough to handle various towing needs. If you need a bit more, then the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon are ready to help.
      The EPA rates the Ridgeline AWD at 18 City/25 Highway/21 Combined. My average for the week landed at 23.6 mpg in a 60/40 mix of highway and city driving.
      Previously, we’ve considered GM’s midsize trucks as having the best ride in the class. The Honda Ridgeline now holds that honor. The unibody platform and four-wheel independent suspension setup give the Ridgeline a ride that is almost equal to a passenger sedan. Bumps and other imperfections are smoothed out. The Ridgeline is a decent handling truck as well. There isn’t much body roll and it feels stable when going into a corner. We do wish Honda would make the steering slightly heavier for the Ridgeline.
      The Honda Ridgeline may not meet the true definition of a pickup truck, but it is one in spirit. Yes, the unibody architecture does limit the capabilities of the Ridgeline as it cannot haul or tow heavy items. Nor can it go deep into the wilderness due to decisions made by Honda on the Ridgeline’s off-road capability. But it is in other areas that the Ridgeline begins to stand out such as the clever ideas in the bed, comfortable interior, and a ride that is more in tune with a regular car. They might not be the advantages you would expect in a truck, but they are something that Honda believes will bring in those interested in a pickup minus a lot of the issues that other models have. 
      To put it another way, the Honda Ridgeline is like Festivus from Seinfeld; they’re both for the rest of us.
      Disclaimer: Honda Provided the Ridgeline, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2017
      Make: Honda
      Model: Ridgeline
      Trim: RTL-E
      Engine: 3.5L SOHC 24-valve i-VTEC V6
      Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 280 @ 6,000
      Torque @ RPM: 262 @ 4700
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 18/25/21
      Curb Weight: 4,515 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Lincoln, Alabama
      Base Price: $41,370
      As Tested Price: $42,270 (Includes $900.00 Destination Charge)
      Options: N/A

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