Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
dfelt

Industry News: A123 Battery Maker Bankrupt!

Recommended Posts

Lithium ion battery maker A123 Systems today said it has sold its automotive business to Johnson Controls and is filing for bankruptcy protection.

The moves are a change in strategy for the ailing Waltham, MA-based company, which in August said it will sell an 80 percent share to the auto parts division of Chinese conglomerate Wanxiang for $450 million.

Johnson Controls will acquire a significant set of assets for its $125 million investment, some of which were paid with federal aid. A123 Systems’ auto business includes its technology, two battery factories in Michigan, a cathode powder manufacturing facility in China, and A123’s stake in two auto parts suppliers in China. Johnson Controls also will put up $72.5 million so A123 can maintain operations during the sale.

http://www.forbes.co...-sell-off-next/

So how will this affect the auto makers who use their batteries such as Toyota, Ford, Nissan......

Sounds off on how you see this shaking out in the auto industry!


View full article

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The big question is what Johnson Controls will do with their purchase, and what about A123 made it unprofitable. My initial guess as to what will happen is that JC will continue production, but possibly at a higher cost to the manufacturers. However, if the battery business only made sense as long as gov't subsidies flowed, and if those subsidies are drying up, costs for the car manufacturers may become high enough to really hamper some of the push for hybrids & electrics. Time will tell.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The big question is what Johnson Controls will do with their purchase, and what about A123 made it unprofitable. My initial guess as to what will happen is that JC will continue production, but possibly at a higher cost to the manufacturers. However, if the battery business only made sense as long as gov't subsidies flowed, and if those subsidies are drying up, costs for the car manufacturers may become high enough to really hamper some of the push for hybrids & electrics. Time will tell.

I am wondering what happened to the half of the $249 Million grant from the Gov that supposedly was not used yet.Is the company sitting on it, did the gov not give that half to them yet. How does a company that has been building battery packs for Toyota for so long not know how to keep at least a break even business plan? Where did the money go that caused them to do this?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just another case of poorly managed funds given out to the public sector.

I wish the Goverment would fire up NASA again and put power and battery projects throught them. We had some of the greatest minds in the world working for NASA and they would contract the private contractors to build and develope these systems. The companies then would take what they learned and apply it to the private sector.

Yes there was some waste but never on the scale we see today. Companies got paid for results too not just handed out money with no oversight.

I figure JC may take some of the things 123 has learned and developed and use it in their own products. They will have much less invested since they paid less for 123 and it will keep the development cost down. It is a win for JC but a loss for the tax payer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OCN, care to take your stab at the +s and -s

Positives:

JC brings out products based on A123 battery technology that they were not able to do themselves and no one else was willing to do as they did not want to pay a royalty to A123.

Auto Industry could gain here also as JC has major inroads here and could do a better job of selling certain technology bits into the auto industry better than A123 did.

Battery management could become better as JC mgmt devices get coupled with A123 battery technology.

Pure Economy of scale that JC can bring that A123 was not able to do.

Negatives:

Since A123 was moving production of products into China and as with any bankruptcy, security and control of Intellectual tends to get weaker, I can see china stealing A123 tech and putting it into their own products. Even with lawsuits, by the time things work their way through the courts, China companies will have figured out backward engineering ways to reproduce what A123 did and move on at a loss to JC and the Tax payers who funded the R&D.

JC could just sit on a portion of the technology as they might just want the patents but not really interested in doing anything with it. Sit and wait till they can sue someone who comes up with an identical idea and wants to use it.

Loss of all intellectual products due to having it in China rather than being produced here.

I actually see more positive out of this than negative at the moment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your content will need to be approved by a moderator

Guest
You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  



  • Social Stream

  • Similar Content

    • By Drew Dowdell
      When Ford decided to pull the plug in the U.S. on all of its cars except the Mustang, it meant that the U.S. will miss out on a lot of the goodness that European markets get from the Blue Oval.  Today, more evidence of that was released in the form the the updated Ford Focus ST.
      The 2019 Focus ST gains a 2.3-liter turbo 4-cylinder, replacing the 2.0T previously offered. This motor is the same basic unit found in the Focus RS and Mustang.  The motor bumps power up to 276 HP and 310 lb-ft of torque, an increase of 24 hp and 40 lb-ft of torque over the previous car. Running from 0-62 mph (100 kph) takes under 6 seconds. 
      Diesel buyers can opt for a 2.0T diesel Focus ST rated for 187 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque.
      Drivers can choose between a 6-speed manual or an additional cost 7-speed automatic.  Power is sent solely to the front wheels through an electronic limited-slip differential.  Selectable drive modes are available with Normal, Sport, and Slippery-Wet. For manual drivers, there is a Performance pack which includes an additional Track mode plus launch control system, red brake calipers, and rev-matching. 
      The Ford Focus ST will be available in hatch or wagon version and goes on sale this summer.
      See page 2 for the full Ford Press Release







      All-New Ford Focus ST Blends Track-Day Performance, B-road Fun and Everyday Usability Without Compromise
      Ford Performance-developed all-new Focus ST enhanced with advanced sports technologies will go on sale in the summer in five-door and wagon body styles Powerful, free-revving powertrains include 280 PS, 420 Nm, 2.3-litre EcoBoost petrol with twin-scroll turbo and anti-lag; 190 PS 2.0-litre EcoBlue diesel with 400 Nm from 2,000 rpm First Ford front-wheel drive electronic limited-slip differential improves traction and stability. Rev-matching offered for short-shift six-speed manual gearbox. Seven-speed auto available Selectable Drive Modes a first for Focus ST, adjusting features including Electronic Brake Booster and fastest Ford electric power-assisted steering to match performance to scenario Comfort and driving experience optimised with Recaro sports seats and advanced independent rear suspension configuration with available Continuously Controlled Damping COLOGNE, Germany, Feb. 18, 2019 – Ford today revealed the all-new Focus ST – developed by Ford Performance to deliver nimble hot-hatchback thrills in a stylish, comfortable and practical family car.
      The all-new Focus ST builds on the class-leading driving dynamics of the fourth generation Focus in five-door and wagon body styles. Ford’s new C2 architecture is enhanced with unique suspension, braking and powertrain configurations for the most responsive and agile Focus ST driving experience ever – on road and track.
      A new engine line-up makes available to drivers up to 12 per cent more power and 17 per cent more torque compared with the previous generation Focus ST. Ford’s 280 PS 2.3-litre EcoBoost petrol and 190 PS 2.0-litre EcoBlue diesel engines* both deliver a broad spread of power and torque across the rev-range, for fast-revving sports performance.
      Ford’s first application of an electronic limited-slip differential (eLSD) for a front-wheel drive vehicle further enhances as standard the cornering and stability of the EcoBoost-powered variant – sharpening responses to changing grip levels and driver inputs using computer-controlled pre-emptive actuation.
      A choice of six-speed manual or quick-shifting new seven-speed automatic transmissions is offered, and Selectable Drive Modes technology is introduced to the Focus ST for the first time, enabling drivers to adjust the vehicle’s character to suit the driving scenario. Continuously Controlled Damping (CCD) – standard for five-door EcoBoost variants – enhances the short long arm (SLA) independent rear suspension configuration for ultimate refinement.
      “Intelligent technologies like eLSD and CCD make our all-new Focus ST the most ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ yet, able to switch from refined tourer to focussed performance car at the push of a button,” said Leo Roeks, Ford Performance director, Europe. “We’ve incorporated learnings from programmes including our Ford GT supercar and the acclaimed Focus RS to develop a mid-size performance car with a degree of flexibility that’s unique in its segment.”
      The all-new Focus ST will be manufactured with best-ever craftsmanship and quality following a €600 million investment at Ford’s Saarlouis assembly facility, Germany.
      Responsive power delivery
      A new generation of Ford’s 2.3-litre EcoBoost all-aluminium engine is the most powerful ever offered for a Focus ST. Using advanced turbocharging technology to deliver 280 PS power at 5,500 rpm and 420 Nm of torque from 3,000 rpm to 4,000 rpm, it is also the most free-revving Focus ST engine ever, and supports anticipated 0‑100 km/h (0-62 mph) acceleration in less than 6 seconds.
      Engine response is enhanced using a low-inertia twin-scroll turbocharger, which scavenges exhaust gas energy more effectively using separated channels to minimise interference between gas pulses. An electronically actuated waste-gate allows closer control of boost pressures for optimised engine performance. In addition, a unique exhaust system that reduces back pressure, bespoke air intake system and optimised intercooler further improve breathing.
      Innovative anti-lag technology developed for the Ford GT supercar and F-150 Raptor pick-up is introduced to the Focus ST, for immediate power delivery in Sport and Track Drive Modes. Anti‑lag keeps the throttle open when the driver lifts off the accelerator pedal, alleviating the reversal of air flow from the turbocharger to maintain compressor wheel speed and enabling boost pressure to build faster on demand.
      Ford’s 190 PS 2.0-litre EcoBlue is the most powerful diesel engine ever offered for a Ford Focus model, delivering peak power at 3,500 rpm and 400 Nm of torque between 2,000 rpm and 3,000 rpm – and 360 Nm from 1,500 rpm – for immediate and linear acceleration.
      A low-inertia variable geometry turbocharger; steel pistons for less expansion when hot; and an integrated intake system with innovative mirror-image porting for optimised combustion help to deliver a diesel powertrain that produces 10 per cent more power and more than twice as much torque as the 2.0‑litre Duratec ST petrol engine in the first generation Focus ST.
      The Focus ST’s six-speed manual transmission enables more urgent gear-changes and provides a sportier feel with a shift-throw reduction of 7 per cent compared with the standard all-new Focus. Ford’s new rev-matching technology that debuted on the new Ford Mustang is also introduced as part of an optional Performance Pack for 2.3-litre EcoBoost manual models.
      Delivering smoother, faster downshifts, the technology is accompanied by a shift indicator light, and uses the engine’s electronic control system to briefly “blip” the throttle as the driver engages a lower gear – matching the engine rotation speed to that of the gear that is being selected.
      Rev-matching enables less-experienced performance drivers to benefit from the seamless, momentum-maintaining gearshifts delivered by the “heel-and-toe” driving technique, while also enabling experienced performance drivers to deactivate the system if they prefer.
      A new seven-speed variant of Ford’s latest intelligent automatic transmission family complements the rewarding, engaging and sporty 2.3-litre EcoBoost driving experience. Gear differentiation is optimised for performance, and Adaptive Shift Scheduling – which assesses individual driving styles to optimise gearshift timings – is enhanced to offer more flexibility and the ability to differentiate between road and track use. Drivers can select gears manually using steering wheel-mounted paddle-shifters.
      “The EcoBoost petrol and EcoBlue diesel powertrains have unique characters, but are equally charismatic,” Roeks said. “The Focus ST’s sporty ‘pops and bangs’ soundtrack perfectly matches the car’s feisty performance and is an essential part of the ST experience.” 
      Intuitive dynamics enhanced with technology
      Building on accomplished Ford Focus driving dynamics, the new Focus ST was developed to blend B-road fun-to-drive, legitimate track-day performance, and everyday usability better than any vehicle in its class.
      The SLA suspension configuration helps optimise the vehicle’s responses to driver inputs without sacrificing comfort, and includes a unique geometry for wagon models that repositions the dampers helping the vehicle remain nimble and responsive even when fully loaded. The agile and energetic character of the standard Focus is retained using the original spring specifications, with damping stiffness increased up to 20 per cent at the front and 13 per cent at the rear, and ride height reduced by 10 mm, to improve road-holding and response in performance driving scenarios.
      Ford’s sophisticated CCD technology every 2 milliseconds monitors suspension, body, steering and braking inputs to adjust damping responses for outstanding ride quality and driving dynamics.
      The driving experience is further enhanced using eLSD technology for Focus ST 2.3 litre EcoBoost models. Incorporated into the transmission, the system uses hydraulically activated clutches to limit the engine torque delivered to a wheel that has reduced traction on the road surface, and redistributes up to 100 per cent of available torque to the wheel with more traction to counteract wheelspin that can hamper acceleration through, and out of, corners.
      The Borg Warner-developed technology is faster to deploy and offers greater precision than a traditional mechanical LSD. The system can pre-emptively adjust torque distribution using inputs from powertrain and vehicle dynamics sensors, rather than responding to wheelspin as it occurs, and can apply differential locking gradually for fine-tuning performance.
      Focus ST 2.0-litre EcoBlue models feature Torque Vectoring Control technology, which improves road holding and reduces understeer by applying brake force to the inside front wheel when cornering.
      The all-new Focus ST steals Ford’s fastest-steering-response crown from the acclaimed Fiesta ST. The electric power-assisted steering (EPAS) system is 15 per cent faster than the standard Focus, requiring just two turns lock-to-lock.
      Class-leading connected feel is supported by unique steering knuckle geometry, with a rod attachment point 9 mm further forward and 6.5 mm higher than the standard Focus for sharper responses. New Steering Torque Disturbance Reduction software for EPAS also helps reduce torque steer, making it even easier to deploy with precision the Focus ST’s power and torque via bespoke-specification Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres.
      Larger front and rear brake components provide the foundation for a high performance braking system with improved stopping power and fade resistance. Front disc dimensions have grown to 330 mm x 27 mm and feature dual-piston callipers. Rear discs now measure 302 mm x 11 mm. Focus ST braking performance was verified using the same demanding test procedures as the Ford GT supercar, and achieved almost four-times the fade resistance performance of the previous generation Focus ST in testing.
      The C2 architecture’s Electric Brake Booster (EBB) further demonstrates its advantages in the Focus ST application. The technology builds brake pressure faster than a hydraulic system for a more connected, confident and consistent pedal feel across a broader range of operating conditions. For the Focus ST, this means the system can both mitigate for changes in braking behaviour experienced during high performance driving, and can adjust the braking feel and dynamics to match the selected Drive Mode.
      In addition, Slippery/Wet, Normal, Sport and – for models equipped with the Performance Pack – Track Drive Modes adjust eLSD, CCD, EPAS, throttle mapping, automatic transmission shift scheduling, electronic stability control, electronic sound enhancement (ESE) and climate settings to suit the driving scenario. A dedicated “Sport” button on the flat-bottomed steering wheel gives direct access to Sport mode, and an additional “Mode” button allows drivers to quickly scroll through the Drive Mode options.
      “Selecting Track mode instantly makes braking response more direct and edgy; introduces higher steering efforts for more feedback; tunes the throttle to be more aggressive; instructs the eLSD to deliver maximum traction; and gives drivers more leeway within the ESC system,” said David Put, Ford Performance vehicle dynamics. “Drivers can have full confidence in the Focus ST’s ability to deliver on the track.”
      The traditional Focus ST gauge cluster benefits from a contemporary execution inspired by the Ford GT supercar. Digital turbocharger boost pressure, oil pressure and oil temperature gauges are now displayed in a bespoke Ford Performance screen on the 4.2-inch, TFT colour instrument display. Launch Control for consistently fast standing starts on track is also delivered via the Performance Pack for 2.3-litre EcoBoost models.
      Developed for form and function
      Developed to be as comfortable as it is fun-to-drive, the all-new Focus ST exploits the class-leading roominess and exceptional refinement of the standard Focus range, and features an upscale interior that balances everyday practicality and a true sporty driving experience.
      Ford Performance engineers fine-tuned the positioning of supportive Recaro front seats to complement the connected and in-control feel for the driver, while ESE technology amplifies genuine engine and exhaust noise in Sport and Track modes – heightening the sports driving sensation and delivering additional feedback to assist performance drivers.
      Tuned engine mounts and an isolated subframe – alongside available CCD technology – increase refinement for all occupants. Generous front shoulder room and best-in-class rear knee clearance combine with maximum 1,653-litre wagon luggage capacity and a boot space that can comfortably accommodate a large dog crate, for maximum comfort and practicality.
      In addition to the sports steering wheel and Ebony coloured Recaro seats with a choice of high-quality cloth, leather, or partial leather and Miko Dinamica materials, the unique Focus ST interior intensifies the sporty atmosphere with an ST-embossed aluminium gear knob and scuff plates; alloy pedals; metallic hexagonal and satin silver decorative elements; and metal grey stitching for the seats, door inserts and centre console soft side pads.
      The Focus ST builds on the premium, sporting Focus silhouette with subtle, functional styling changes and unique alloy wheel designs. Revised upper and lower front grille designs are optimised for increased cooling capability, and bold signature lower wing elements channel air in to the air-curtain inlets for improved aerodynamic performance.
      A larger, more steeply angled rear roof spoiler increases downforce to support the Focus ST’s driving dynamics. A twin exit tailpipe configuration borders the aggressively styled rear diffuser element, and improves practicality by delivering the towing capability that was prevented by the centre-exit tailpipes of the previous generation Focus ST. The Performance Pack also adds red brake callipers.
      Exterior colour options chosen to emphasise the Focus ST’s dynamic styling include exclusive Ford Performance Blue and Orange Fury, alongside Frozen White, Magnetic grey, Race Red, Ruby Red and Shadow Black. Bold alloy wheel options include 18-inch Dark Sparkle and Magnetite designs, with a 19-inch wheel also offered in Magnetite.
      The Focus ST also benefits from the comprehensive range of sophisticated Ford driver assistance technologies that have helped the all-new Focus win 13 awards and a 5-star safety rating since going on sale in 2018.
      Seamlessly integrated technologies that enable an intuitive, stress-reducing and refined driving experience include:
      Adaptive Cruise Control now enhanced with Stop & Go, Speed Sign Recognition and Lane-Centring for effortlessly negotiating stop-start traffic Ford’s Adaptive Front Lighting System with new camera-based predictive curve light and sign-based light that pre-adjust headlamp patterns for improved visibility by monitoring bends in the road and – for the first time in the industry – road signs Active Park Assist 2 that operates gear selection, acceleration and braking in addition to steering, to enable fully-automated manoeuvres at the push of a button Ford’s first Head-up display to be offered in Europe, helping drivers focus their attention on the road ahead Evasive Steering Assist, a segment-first technology that helps drivers steer around stopped or slower vehicles to help avoid collisions Ford’s SYNC 3 connectivity system allows drivers to control audio, navigation and climate functions plus connected smartphones using simple voice commands supported by an 8-inch colour touchscreen. The system provides Apple CarPlay and Android Auto™ compatibility free of charge, and available FordPass Connect embedded modem technology turns the vehicle into a mobile WiFi hotspot with connectivity for up to 10 devices
      “Our target was to deliver an all-new Focus ST that is as effortless to drive day-to-day as the rest of the Focus line-up,” Roeks said. “The model’s comprehensive range of technologies means customers gain exhilarating ST performance without sacrifice.”
      The all-new Focus ST will go on sale across Europe in summer 2019.

      View full article
    • By Drew Dowdell
      When Ford decided to pull the plug in the U.S. on all of its cars except the Mustang, it meant that the U.S. will miss out on a lot of the goodness that European markets get from the Blue Oval.  Today, more evidence of that was released in the form the the updated Ford Focus ST.
      The 2019 Focus ST gains a 2.3-liter turbo 4-cylinder, replacing the 2.0T previously offered. This motor is the same basic unit found in the Focus RS and Mustang.  The motor bumps power up to 276 HP and 310 lb-ft of torque, an increase of 24 hp and 40 lb-ft of torque over the previous car. Running from 0-62 mph (100 kph) takes under 6 seconds. 
      Diesel buyers can opt for a 2.0T diesel Focus ST rated for 187 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque.
      Drivers can choose between a 6-speed manual or an additional cost 7-speed automatic.  Power is sent solely to the front wheels through an electronic limited-slip differential.  Selectable drive modes are available with Normal, Sport, and Slippery-Wet. For manual drivers, there is a Performance pack which includes an additional Track mode plus launch control system, red brake calipers, and rev-matching. 
      The Ford Focus ST will be available in hatch or wagon version and goes on sale this summer.
      See page 2 for the full Ford Press Release







      All-New Ford Focus ST Blends Track-Day Performance, B-road Fun and Everyday Usability Without Compromise
      Ford Performance-developed all-new Focus ST enhanced with advanced sports technologies will go on sale in the summer in five-door and wagon body styles Powerful, free-revving powertrains include 280 PS, 420 Nm, 2.3-litre EcoBoost petrol with twin-scroll turbo and anti-lag; 190 PS 2.0-litre EcoBlue diesel with 400 Nm from 2,000 rpm First Ford front-wheel drive electronic limited-slip differential improves traction and stability. Rev-matching offered for short-shift six-speed manual gearbox. Seven-speed auto available Selectable Drive Modes a first for Focus ST, adjusting features including Electronic Brake Booster and fastest Ford electric power-assisted steering to match performance to scenario Comfort and driving experience optimised with Recaro sports seats and advanced independent rear suspension configuration with available Continuously Controlled Damping COLOGNE, Germany, Feb. 18, 2019 – Ford today revealed the all-new Focus ST – developed by Ford Performance to deliver nimble hot-hatchback thrills in a stylish, comfortable and practical family car.
      The all-new Focus ST builds on the class-leading driving dynamics of the fourth generation Focus in five-door and wagon body styles. Ford’s new C2 architecture is enhanced with unique suspension, braking and powertrain configurations for the most responsive and agile Focus ST driving experience ever – on road and track.
      A new engine line-up makes available to drivers up to 12 per cent more power and 17 per cent more torque compared with the previous generation Focus ST. Ford’s 280 PS 2.3-litre EcoBoost petrol and 190 PS 2.0-litre EcoBlue diesel engines* both deliver a broad spread of power and torque across the rev-range, for fast-revving sports performance.
      Ford’s first application of an electronic limited-slip differential (eLSD) for a front-wheel drive vehicle further enhances as standard the cornering and stability of the EcoBoost-powered variant – sharpening responses to changing grip levels and driver inputs using computer-controlled pre-emptive actuation.
      A choice of six-speed manual or quick-shifting new seven-speed automatic transmissions is offered, and Selectable Drive Modes technology is introduced to the Focus ST for the first time, enabling drivers to adjust the vehicle’s character to suit the driving scenario. Continuously Controlled Damping (CCD) – standard for five-door EcoBoost variants – enhances the short long arm (SLA) independent rear suspension configuration for ultimate refinement.
      “Intelligent technologies like eLSD and CCD make our all-new Focus ST the most ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ yet, able to switch from refined tourer to focussed performance car at the push of a button,” said Leo Roeks, Ford Performance director, Europe. “We’ve incorporated learnings from programmes including our Ford GT supercar and the acclaimed Focus RS to develop a mid-size performance car with a degree of flexibility that’s unique in its segment.”
      The all-new Focus ST will be manufactured with best-ever craftsmanship and quality following a €600 million investment at Ford’s Saarlouis assembly facility, Germany.
      Responsive power delivery
      A new generation of Ford’s 2.3-litre EcoBoost all-aluminium engine is the most powerful ever offered for a Focus ST. Using advanced turbocharging technology to deliver 280 PS power at 5,500 rpm and 420 Nm of torque from 3,000 rpm to 4,000 rpm, it is also the most free-revving Focus ST engine ever, and supports anticipated 0‑100 km/h (0-62 mph) acceleration in less than 6 seconds.
      Engine response is enhanced using a low-inertia twin-scroll turbocharger, which scavenges exhaust gas energy more effectively using separated channels to minimise interference between gas pulses. An electronically actuated waste-gate allows closer control of boost pressures for optimised engine performance. In addition, a unique exhaust system that reduces back pressure, bespoke air intake system and optimised intercooler further improve breathing.
      Innovative anti-lag technology developed for the Ford GT supercar and F-150 Raptor pick-up is introduced to the Focus ST, for immediate power delivery in Sport and Track Drive Modes. Anti‑lag keeps the throttle open when the driver lifts off the accelerator pedal, alleviating the reversal of air flow from the turbocharger to maintain compressor wheel speed and enabling boost pressure to build faster on demand.
      Ford’s 190 PS 2.0-litre EcoBlue is the most powerful diesel engine ever offered for a Ford Focus model, delivering peak power at 3,500 rpm and 400 Nm of torque between 2,000 rpm and 3,000 rpm – and 360 Nm from 1,500 rpm – for immediate and linear acceleration.
      A low-inertia variable geometry turbocharger; steel pistons for less expansion when hot; and an integrated intake system with innovative mirror-image porting for optimised combustion help to deliver a diesel powertrain that produces 10 per cent more power and more than twice as much torque as the 2.0‑litre Duratec ST petrol engine in the first generation Focus ST.
      The Focus ST’s six-speed manual transmission enables more urgent gear-changes and provides a sportier feel with a shift-throw reduction of 7 per cent compared with the standard all-new Focus. Ford’s new rev-matching technology that debuted on the new Ford Mustang is also introduced as part of an optional Performance Pack for 2.3-litre EcoBoost manual models.
      Delivering smoother, faster downshifts, the technology is accompanied by a shift indicator light, and uses the engine’s electronic control system to briefly “blip” the throttle as the driver engages a lower gear – matching the engine rotation speed to that of the gear that is being selected.
      Rev-matching enables less-experienced performance drivers to benefit from the seamless, momentum-maintaining gearshifts delivered by the “heel-and-toe” driving technique, while also enabling experienced performance drivers to deactivate the system if they prefer.
      A new seven-speed variant of Ford’s latest intelligent automatic transmission family complements the rewarding, engaging and sporty 2.3-litre EcoBoost driving experience. Gear differentiation is optimised for performance, and Adaptive Shift Scheduling – which assesses individual driving styles to optimise gearshift timings – is enhanced to offer more flexibility and the ability to differentiate between road and track use. Drivers can select gears manually using steering wheel-mounted paddle-shifters.
      “The EcoBoost petrol and EcoBlue diesel powertrains have unique characters, but are equally charismatic,” Roeks said. “The Focus ST’s sporty ‘pops and bangs’ soundtrack perfectly matches the car’s feisty performance and is an essential part of the ST experience.” 
      Intuitive dynamics enhanced with technology
      Building on accomplished Ford Focus driving dynamics, the new Focus ST was developed to blend B-road fun-to-drive, legitimate track-day performance, and everyday usability better than any vehicle in its class.
      The SLA suspension configuration helps optimise the vehicle’s responses to driver inputs without sacrificing comfort, and includes a unique geometry for wagon models that repositions the dampers helping the vehicle remain nimble and responsive even when fully loaded. The agile and energetic character of the standard Focus is retained using the original spring specifications, with damping stiffness increased up to 20 per cent at the front and 13 per cent at the rear, and ride height reduced by 10 mm, to improve road-holding and response in performance driving scenarios.
      Ford’s sophisticated CCD technology every 2 milliseconds monitors suspension, body, steering and braking inputs to adjust damping responses for outstanding ride quality and driving dynamics.
      The driving experience is further enhanced using eLSD technology for Focus ST 2.3 litre EcoBoost models. Incorporated into the transmission, the system uses hydraulically activated clutches to limit the engine torque delivered to a wheel that has reduced traction on the road surface, and redistributes up to 100 per cent of available torque to the wheel with more traction to counteract wheelspin that can hamper acceleration through, and out of, corners.
      The Borg Warner-developed technology is faster to deploy and offers greater precision than a traditional mechanical LSD. The system can pre-emptively adjust torque distribution using inputs from powertrain and vehicle dynamics sensors, rather than responding to wheelspin as it occurs, and can apply differential locking gradually for fine-tuning performance.
      Focus ST 2.0-litre EcoBlue models feature Torque Vectoring Control technology, which improves road holding and reduces understeer by applying brake force to the inside front wheel when cornering.
      The all-new Focus ST steals Ford’s fastest-steering-response crown from the acclaimed Fiesta ST. The electric power-assisted steering (EPAS) system is 15 per cent faster than the standard Focus, requiring just two turns lock-to-lock.
      Class-leading connected feel is supported by unique steering knuckle geometry, with a rod attachment point 9 mm further forward and 6.5 mm higher than the standard Focus for sharper responses. New Steering Torque Disturbance Reduction software for EPAS also helps reduce torque steer, making it even easier to deploy with precision the Focus ST’s power and torque via bespoke-specification Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres.
      Larger front and rear brake components provide the foundation for a high performance braking system with improved stopping power and fade resistance. Front disc dimensions have grown to 330 mm x 27 mm and feature dual-piston callipers. Rear discs now measure 302 mm x 11 mm. Focus ST braking performance was verified using the same demanding test procedures as the Ford GT supercar, and achieved almost four-times the fade resistance performance of the previous generation Focus ST in testing.
      The C2 architecture’s Electric Brake Booster (EBB) further demonstrates its advantages in the Focus ST application. The technology builds brake pressure faster than a hydraulic system for a more connected, confident and consistent pedal feel across a broader range of operating conditions. For the Focus ST, this means the system can both mitigate for changes in braking behaviour experienced during high performance driving, and can adjust the braking feel and dynamics to match the selected Drive Mode.
      In addition, Slippery/Wet, Normal, Sport and – for models equipped with the Performance Pack – Track Drive Modes adjust eLSD, CCD, EPAS, throttle mapping, automatic transmission shift scheduling, electronic stability control, electronic sound enhancement (ESE) and climate settings to suit the driving scenario. A dedicated “Sport” button on the flat-bottomed steering wheel gives direct access to Sport mode, and an additional “Mode” button allows drivers to quickly scroll through the Drive Mode options.
      “Selecting Track mode instantly makes braking response more direct and edgy; introduces higher steering efforts for more feedback; tunes the throttle to be more aggressive; instructs the eLSD to deliver maximum traction; and gives drivers more leeway within the ESC system,” said David Put, Ford Performance vehicle dynamics. “Drivers can have full confidence in the Focus ST’s ability to deliver on the track.”
      The traditional Focus ST gauge cluster benefits from a contemporary execution inspired by the Ford GT supercar. Digital turbocharger boost pressure, oil pressure and oil temperature gauges are now displayed in a bespoke Ford Performance screen on the 4.2-inch, TFT colour instrument display. Launch Control for consistently fast standing starts on track is also delivered via the Performance Pack for 2.3-litre EcoBoost models.
      Developed for form and function
      Developed to be as comfortable as it is fun-to-drive, the all-new Focus ST exploits the class-leading roominess and exceptional refinement of the standard Focus range, and features an upscale interior that balances everyday practicality and a true sporty driving experience.
      Ford Performance engineers fine-tuned the positioning of supportive Recaro front seats to complement the connected and in-control feel for the driver, while ESE technology amplifies genuine engine and exhaust noise in Sport and Track modes – heightening the sports driving sensation and delivering additional feedback to assist performance drivers.
      Tuned engine mounts and an isolated subframe – alongside available CCD technology – increase refinement for all occupants. Generous front shoulder room and best-in-class rear knee clearance combine with maximum 1,653-litre wagon luggage capacity and a boot space that can comfortably accommodate a large dog crate, for maximum comfort and practicality.
      In addition to the sports steering wheel and Ebony coloured Recaro seats with a choice of high-quality cloth, leather, or partial leather and Miko Dinamica materials, the unique Focus ST interior intensifies the sporty atmosphere with an ST-embossed aluminium gear knob and scuff plates; alloy pedals; metallic hexagonal and satin silver decorative elements; and metal grey stitching for the seats, door inserts and centre console soft side pads.
      The Focus ST builds on the premium, sporting Focus silhouette with subtle, functional styling changes and unique alloy wheel designs. Revised upper and lower front grille designs are optimised for increased cooling capability, and bold signature lower wing elements channel air in to the air-curtain inlets for improved aerodynamic performance.
      A larger, more steeply angled rear roof spoiler increases downforce to support the Focus ST’s driving dynamics. A twin exit tailpipe configuration borders the aggressively styled rear diffuser element, and improves practicality by delivering the towing capability that was prevented by the centre-exit tailpipes of the previous generation Focus ST. The Performance Pack also adds red brake callipers.
      Exterior colour options chosen to emphasise the Focus ST’s dynamic styling include exclusive Ford Performance Blue and Orange Fury, alongside Frozen White, Magnetic grey, Race Red, Ruby Red and Shadow Black. Bold alloy wheel options include 18-inch Dark Sparkle and Magnetite designs, with a 19-inch wheel also offered in Magnetite.
      The Focus ST also benefits from the comprehensive range of sophisticated Ford driver assistance technologies that have helped the all-new Focus win 13 awards and a 5-star safety rating since going on sale in 2018.
      Seamlessly integrated technologies that enable an intuitive, stress-reducing and refined driving experience include:
      Adaptive Cruise Control now enhanced with Stop & Go, Speed Sign Recognition and Lane-Centring for effortlessly negotiating stop-start traffic Ford’s Adaptive Front Lighting System with new camera-based predictive curve light and sign-based light that pre-adjust headlamp patterns for improved visibility by monitoring bends in the road and – for the first time in the industry – road signs Active Park Assist 2 that operates gear selection, acceleration and braking in addition to steering, to enable fully-automated manoeuvres at the push of a button Ford’s first Head-up display to be offered in Europe, helping drivers focus their attention on the road ahead Evasive Steering Assist, a segment-first technology that helps drivers steer around stopped or slower vehicles to help avoid collisions Ford’s SYNC 3 connectivity system allows drivers to control audio, navigation and climate functions plus connected smartphones using simple voice commands supported by an 8-inch colour touchscreen. The system provides Apple CarPlay and Android Auto™ compatibility free of charge, and available FordPass Connect embedded modem technology turns the vehicle into a mobile WiFi hotspot with connectivity for up to 10 devices
      “Our target was to deliver an all-new Focus ST that is as effortless to drive day-to-day as the rest of the Focus line-up,” Roeks said. “The model’s comprehensive range of technologies means customers gain exhilarating ST performance without sacrifice.”
      The all-new Focus ST will go on sale across Europe in summer 2019.
    • By Drew Dowdell
      The folks over at Hagerty found something interesting on the NHTSA website the other day, a VIN decoder ring that shows a second 2.3 liter 4-cylinder turbo with a horsepower rating of TBD.   Ford dropped the V6 in the base Mustang after 2018 deciding the Turbo-4 was enough, but crosstown rival Chevy kept their V6 going alongside their 275 horsepower 2.0T.  While Ford's 2.3T beats the Chevy Turbo in power, it comes up short against Chevy's V6.  With this finding, it looks like Ford is going try to rectify the deficit.
      Given that a similar 2.3T is good for 350 hp in the Focus RS, Ford should be able to easily surpass the 335 horsepower the Camaro V6 produces.  A statement from a Ford representative declined to give details but said that we would have exciting news about Mustang in Spring 2019.
       

      View full article
    • By Drew Dowdell
      The folks over at Hagerty found something interesting on the NHTSA website the other day, a VIN decoder ring that shows a second 2.3 liter 4-cylinder turbo with a horsepower rating of TBD.   Ford dropped the V6 in the base Mustang after 2018 deciding the Turbo-4 was enough, but crosstown rival Chevy kept their V6 going alongside their 275 horsepower 2.0T.  While Ford's 2.3T beats the Chevy Turbo in power, it comes up short against Chevy's V6.  With this finding, it looks like Ford is going try to rectify the deficit.
      Given that a similar 2.3T is good for 350 hp in the Focus RS, Ford should be able to easily surpass the 335 horsepower the Camaro V6 produces.  A statement from a Ford representative declined to give details but said that we would have exciting news about Mustang in Spring 2019.
       
    • By William Maley
      Toyota is putting on quite the show today in Chicago with the debuts of the Land Cruiser Heritage Edition , Sequoia TRD Pro, and refreshed 2020 Tacoma. But they had one more surprise up their sleeve in the form of the 2020 RAV4 TRD Off-Road.
      Building upon the Adventure model, the TRD Off-Road begins with an updated suspension that takes some ideas from Ryan Millen's RAV4 rally car campaigned in the Rally America championship a few years ago - new coil springs and revised twin-tube shocks. A set of Falken A/T tires come wrapped with 18-inch matte black wheels.
      Other changes for the TRD Off-Road include a new front grille, red stitching, and the TRD logo on the seats and floormats. Power remains a 2.5L four-cylinder with 203 horsepower. This is paired with an eight-speed automatic.
      No mention of price, but Toyota says the RAV4 TRD Off-Road arrives at dealers this fall.
      Gallery: 2020 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road
      Source: Toyota
      Toyota RAV4 Drivers Earn Trail Cred’ Thanks to New TRD Off-Road Treatment
      2020 RAV4 TRD Off-Road Suspension Inspired by Rally RAV4 Race Team Standard Dynamic Torque Vectoring All-Wheel Drive Falken Wildpeak A/T Trail All-Terrain Tires TRD 18-inch Flow-Formed Matte Black Aluminum Wheels Exclusive TRD Exterior and Interior Features Standard Toyota Safety Sense (TSS 2.0) CHICAGO, February 7, 2019 – The all-new, fifth-generation Toyota RAV4, which launched just two months ago, is already looking ahead with the unveiling of the 2020 RAV4 TRD Off-Road model at the Chicago Auto Show. Arriving in the fall, the newest addition to the RAV4 family will be outfitted with a full array of special Toyota Racing Development engineering and design features for greater trail-driving capability and standout style.
       
      The vehicle that started the segment 22 years ago is now the best-selling non-pickup truck in the U.S. With the latest generation, it is bringing even more sport and more utility. For 2020, the new TRD Off-Road is designed for customers who make the great outdoors a second home.
       
      For the first time, the RAV4 will join a formidable team of Toyota TRD Off-Road SUVs and pickups inspired by the brand’s legendary off-road and desert racers. Beneath the new-generation RAV4’s bolder design, the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA-K) platform provides an ideal base for TRD’s renowned go-anywhere capability and style. Building on the 8.6-inch ground clearance and design features of the RAV4 Adventure grade, the 2020 RAV4 TRD Off-Road goes above and beyond with suspension, wheels and tires engineered specifically for trail driving.
       
      The Dynamic Force 2.5-liter, 203-horsepower four-cylinder engine, paired with an 8-speed Direct-Shift Automatic Transmission, provides get-up-and-go-anywhere performance and exemplary fuel efficiency. The driver can choose from Sport, Normal and Eco modes. To take more equipment along, such as personal watercraft, dirt bikes or a small enclosed trailer, the RAV4 TRD Off-Road is rated to tow up to 3,500 pounds.
       
      Standard Dynamic Torque Vectoring All-Wheel Drive can direct up to 50 percent of engine torque to the rear wheels, as well as distribute torque to the left or right rear wheel to enhance handling on or off pavement. When AWD isn’t needed, such as on long highway stretches, Rear Driveline Disconnect optimizes fuel economy.
       
      Using standard Multi-Terrain Select, the driver can maximize traction by matching the drive mode to the conditions -- Mud & Sand mode for beach driving, or Rock & Dirt mode for trails, and Snow for wintery conditions, for example. The Multi-Information Display (MID) shows torque allocation and slip control data. The new-generation RAV4’s short front and rear overhangs enhance trail-driving capability. In addition, the RAV4 TRD Off-Road will include Hill Start Assist Control (HAC), Trailer Sway Control (TSC), and Downhill Assist Control (DAC) for optimal on-road and off-road performance and safety.
       
      Thoroughly TRD
       
      The 2020 RAV4 TRD Off-Road takes cues from Toyota’s rich off-road racing history. It shares high-rise roof rails, large over-fenders, and aggressive bumper, grille designs and fog light surrounds with the RAV4 Adventure grade, but with a uniquely TRD personality.
      Inspired by TRD’s successful learnings with Ryan Millen’s Rally RAV4, TRD Off-Road suspension is engineered to enhance body control and small-bump isolation to help smooth out trails and rough city streets. Unique red coil springs are tuned for an off-road focus. The twin-tube shocks are re-valved and feature new internal rebound springs to improve rebound control. New bump stops maximize compression direction wheel travel and help improve body control over large bumps and dips.
       
      The 2020 RAV4 TRD Off-Road exclusively rolls on lighter and more rigid flow-formed 18x7-inch matte black TRD alloy wheels with Falken Wildpeak A/T Trail all-terrain tires. These all-terrain tires mean business, with a unique tread pattern and compound developed to TRD technical requirements. A rugged square shoulder design helps protect against punctures, on or off road, and the tires are Severe Snow Rated with open shoulder grooving to shed debris, mud and snow.
       
      Available in an exclusive two-tone Magnetic Gray Metallic w/Ice Edge Roof combination, the RAV4 TRD Off-Road is accented by dark gray front and rear lower fascias, and front LED fog lights are standard. TRD Off-Road is also available in Midnight Black or Lunar Rock, both of which are available with optional Ice Edge Roof. Other available colors include Ruby Flare Pearl and Super White.
       
      Inside, striking red stitching and red trim accent the cabin. Seat surfaces are covered in comfortable SofTex, which is lighter than leather yet highly durable, and the front seats have “TRD” stitched into the headrests. Exclusive TRD all-weather floor mats and rear cargo mat capture the mud, sand and water dragged in from the outside and easily shake out for cleanup.
       
      Next-Generation Toyota Safety Sense (TSS 2.0)

      Toyota Safety Sense (TSS 2.0), which is already standard on all 2019 RAV4 models, includes a long roster of active-safety technologies and capabilities:
      Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD) Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC) Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist (LDA w/SA) Automatic High Beam (AHB) Lane Tracing Assist (LTA) Road Sign Assist (RSA) Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) and Rear Cross Traffic Braking (RCTB) system will also be standard on the 2020 RAV4 TRD Off-Road.

      View full article
  • My Clubs

  • Recently Browsing

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Reader Rides

About us

CheersandGears.com - Founded 2001

We ♥ Cars

Get in touch

Follow us

Recent tweets

facebook

×