Welcome to the Hooniverse News! As always, this is a weekly recap of some of the biggest stories in the automotive industry without the fluff or bull. I just throw in a little opinion of mine because I can. This week:
Ford opens up GT reservations, launches time-killing configurator
Ford announces ambitious plan to redo all Dearborn facilities
Tesla updates the Model S… sort of
Lincoln Continental is competitively priced
What’s your automotive news?
2017 Ford GT – apply today!
If you are one of the many who have a deep, passionate desire to own the new Ford GT, get ready to prove yourself worthy at www.FordGT.com and then get ready to spend around $450,000 on it. Ford announced a while back that they would adopt an almost Ferrari-like vetting process for prospective buyers and that process starts this week. The first two years’ worth of GT production, or 500 cars, is up for grabs among those that Ford likes the most. That implies Ford has more than two years of GT production planned, which I approve of.
As Henry Ford III put it, “GT customers are strong ambassadors for Ford Motor Company” and they want to ensure the ownership experience for those ambassadors is as unique as the car itself. They didn’t explicitly state it, but you can bet they’re looking at who has the most blue ovals in their garage. Those that demonstrate they have more Harley Davidson F-150s than what was once thought impossible will be contacted by a special Ford GT Concierge Service which will walk them through the whole process of ordering their beast, taking delivery, and beyond. Ford estimates that the car will end up being priced in the “mid-$400,000” range.
For the rest of us, Ford gave us something to ruin our productivity. Also on www.FordGT.com is the configurator we’ve (or at least I) have been waiting for. Eight paint colors, seven striping options, three exterior trim options, two wheel styles in five colors (including carbon fiber wheels), five brake caliper colors, and four interior schemes are at your disposal. Ford has given owners and procrastinators alike plenty more options this time around; I would know having spent hours on the 2005-06 Ford GT configurator back when that was live. They also have a placeholder for two “Series” options… which could get very interesting.
I’ve already explored every color option possible in that configurator. If it was my money (lol), Frozen White stripes over Liquid Blue paint all day erry day.
Just look at it… LOOK AT IT.
Feel free to post your own configuration in the comments.
[Source: Ford, www.FordGT.com]
Ford’s Dearborn campus renovation plan
Perhaps the term “renovation” doesn’t give Ford enough credit to what they have planned for their Dearborn, MI campuses. Over the next ten years, 30,000 employees from 70 buildings in the Dearborn area will be collocated into two main campus locations. The new campuses aim to promote innovation and collaboration while also cutting down on their environmental impact. The whole project ties into Ford’s plan to become an auto and mobility company.
The new Product Campus will replace the dozens of individual buildings strewn across Dearborn that currently house various engineering, R&D, and testing divisions, which is known collectively as the Ford Research and Engineering Center Campus. Putting all of those teams into one closely connected campus should do wonders for their productivity which will have a profound influence on the products they release – at least that’s the idea. A central green area will link buildings with walking trails, bike paths, and covered walkways help make the collaboration easier while geothermal heating and cooling and rainwater capture will cut energy use by up to 50%. The whole Product Campus will end up amassing to about 4.5 million square feet when the majority of its work is complete by 2023.
Ford’s World Headquarters Campus (above) is scheduled to undergo renovations of its own starting in 2021. The plan calls for 1.3 million square feet of reworked space, enhanced green spaces (including athletic fields), improved connectivity, and a new Ford Credit facility to form a more cohesive, employee-friendly campus. It’s also going to have a modern cafe! But more importantly, they plan to preserve the iconic image of the world headquarters which was originally constructed in 1956.
The same probably can’t be said about the Product Campus, the concept art of which is shown in the first image. It looks dramatically different than the buildings that have been sitting there since the 1950s. The design studios and engineering labs that produced all of Ford’s best (and worst) for the last 60 years are going to look very different by 2026 when it’s all scheduled to be done. The work spaces that brought the Falcon, Galaxie, Mustang, and even the new GT to life are being deprecated and that makes me a bit sad. Damn, now I really wanna go back to Dearborn, like, right now.
Tesla Model S update
You could think of this as Tesla’s idea of a mid-cycle refresh. It’s not terribly refreshing.
The Model S has been a big success for Tesla and is constantly getting updates in some form which usually bring greater range and improved performance. This week though, Tesla showed off the first styling update for the Model S since it first launched in 2012. The most noticeable change is the new “grille” which was redone to match the Model X’s, meaning it’s much thinner and opens up more free space on the nose. Compared to the Model 3, which has no fake grille at all but still has the body sculpting to house one, this seems like a more elegant way to show off the grille-less nature of an electric car.
Additional updates include lightly reworked headlights, a standard 48 amp charger, new interior trim options, and the same HEPA filtration system (the one with the nuclear apocalypse mode) that debuted on the Model X as an available option. So not a huge change, but all Tesla really needs to keep the Model S flying off the assembly line.
I wonder if anyone is lining up at Tesla Stores to order one of these…
2017 Lincoln Continental pricing
Lincoln’s all-new flagship sedan will take on the establishment at a price which undercuts them all. The 2017 Continental starts at $46,410, including destination charges. In standard form, the Continental is powered by a 3.7-liter V6 with 300 horsepower being sent to the front wheels plus loads of standard luxury features like parking sensors, ten-way heated seats, and those cool e-latch door handles which impressively made it from concept to production.
All-wheel drive and turbos are extra, of course. For $51,615 you’ll get a 2.7-liter turbocharged V6 with 335 horsepower. All-wheel drive is a $2,000 option up to this point. The range-topping Continentals are the ones that get that awesome 400 horsepower V6 with AWD standard, but that engine commands at least $61,030. The most expensive Continental you can start with, the Black Label, starts at $70,030 and includes nearly every option in the book.
The 2017 Lincoln Continental goes on sale this fall.
[Source: Autoweek, because apparently Lincoln didn’t tell anyone else]
What’s your automotive news?
That’s all I’ve got for you this week, so now it’s your turn. If you saw anything, fixed something, broke everything, or otherwise did anything even remotely car related that you want to share with your fellow hoon, sound off in the comments.
Have a good weekend.
[Image © 2016 Hooniverse/Greg Kachadurian]