AutoGuide.com gathered six of the most significant new cars for the 2017 model year for our annual Car of the Year evaluations. This year, our contenders are the Hyundai Elantra, BMW M2, Volkswagen Golf Alltrack, Kia Optima, 2017 Ford Focus RS and Chevrolet Cruze. There was no hard price cap on this year’s entrants, but we tried to make sure none of them were extravagantly priced. We will release a new video on each contender every day leading up to Dec. 13, when we announce our winner. Stay tuned for our Crossover/SUV of the Year and Truck of the Year series, which is also coming soon!
This is the first time the 2017 Ford Focus RS has been offered in North America, and the hot hatch has a lot of enthusiasts very excited. The car basically builds on what drivers liked about the Focus ST and makes it even more hardcore.
The biggest upgrades to the rally-inspired racer are the all-wheel-drive system and the 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder that provides a very healthy 350 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque. Thatengine is hooked up exclusively to a slick six-speed manual sending power to all four wheels so drivers have maximum traction for powering out of corners and even drifting like the Ken Block proteges everyone aspires to be — the system can send up to 70 percent of the engine’s torque to the rear axle for maximum hoonage.
Read more about the 2017 Ford Focus RS: AutoGuide.com Car of the Year Contender at AutoGuide.com.
The aluminum bodied Ford F150 and Super Duty pickups have been awarded with several titles on the first day of the 2016 LA Auto Show, including the 2017 Motor Trend Truck of the Year – setting up Ford as the favorite for the 2017 North American Truck of the Year. Patrick Rall reports for TorqueNews.com.
When Ford introduced the 2015 F150 with an all-aluminum body, there were a great many critics of this lightweight skin. Even as F150 sales soured through the 2015 and 2016 model years, critics insisted that the aluminum body is sure to be a problem sooner or later…even though we haven’t seen any issues in the millions of miles logged on the new F150 by owners around the country.
Of course, with the news that the 2017 Ford Super Duty would also have an aluminum body, those same critics have been vocal about the “dangers of aluminum”, but as has been the case with the 2015-2016 F150 owners, the publications which hand out annual awards aren’t bothered by the alloy body.
With the start of the LA Auto Show today, there have been three awards announced for the Ford F Series trucks, with some attention paid to the F150 and the new Super Duty.
Two Titles for the F150
First off, we have a couple of awards for the Ford F150.
The folks at Kelley Blue Book have named the 2017 F150 their Best Buy of the Year for the truck segment marking the third straight year that the F150 has taken the KBB title. To be clear, the Ford F150 has been the best truck according to KBB every year since it was introduced with the aluminum body.
The 2017 Ford F150 Raptor is still more than a month away from reaching the first buyers, but those folks looking to secure one of the new 450 horsepower pickups are flowing into dealerships – creating an early waiting list for the next gen Raptor. Patrick Rall reports for TorqueNews.com discussing the demand and sales of 2017 Ford F150 Raptor.
Last week, we brought you the news that the 2017 Ford F150 Raptor “build your own” page had gone live, allowing hopeful Raptor fans and dreamers alike to configure and price out their ideal 2017 Raptor. It turns out that by the time that Ford announced that the Raptor configurator was live on Ford.com, it had already been in action for more than a week and during that time, Ford saw a collection of interesting trends which will likely carry over to the actual sales details for the new high performance F150.
Also, Ford pointed out that while the 2017 F150 Raptor won’t hit showrooms until sometime in late December at the earliest, buyers are already making deposits at dealerships to get their hands on one of these trucks as soon as possible.
Shoppers Online Want a Big, Loaded F150 Raptor
During the first ten days of the 2017 Ford F150 Raptor configurator being live, Ford saw more than 90,000 visitors to the Raptor build page and more than 30,000 of those folks completed the online build process. It should be noted that with those 90,000 visits to the Raptor build page coming before the official announcement that the build page was live – those were organic visitors. Where many people went to Ford.com to build their Raptor after reading an article stating that the build page was live, those 90,000 checked the website without being directed there.
Much has been said about the 2015 and 2016 Ford F-150s being made of aluminum. Parts of the truck are still high grade steel. Ford has done extensive testing on the new trucks but questions like this one from a Canadian truck fan remain, “Did you get your new truck undercoated, not sure if I should with the body being aluminum? “ The next question is “What is the best undercoating to use?” The following is reprinted from TorqueNews.com and written by Mary Conway, discussing undercoating aluminum Ford F-150.
There are at least a dozen fan forums set up to address this issue and hundreds of different answers. The questions come from all over the U.S. and Canada. J.B. asks “I just purchased a 16 SuperCrew about a week ago. I live in Ohio where salt is used on the roads during the winter and I'm curious if I should get the truck undercoated. I've heard the trucks come treated from the factory, but I don't know if that's accurate. Is it worth getting undercoated? I really don't want to see rust underneath in two years.”
A truck owner named Rick from south east Michigan sounds like his information is direct from Ford. Rick says, “For corrosion protection, the entire frame is immersed in an e-coat solution and an electric charge is applied. The result is a durable protective shell that bonds with the steel and inhibits rust, even in hidden areas. Ford engineers went to great lengths to inhibit galvanic corrosion, which can occur when steel (and some other metals) comes into contact with aluminum along with moisture. Specially coated bolts, clips and isolated body mounts prevent steel and aluminum from coming into contact.”
Rick adds, “Extensive corrosion testing was also done to ensure the tough adhesives used in the body can stand up to the elements and extreme temperature.”
Aluminum doesn’t rust but it can corrode, getting white spots on it. Steel obviously can rust and often does regardless of the corrosion protection, especially is high-salt areas.
Ford Motor Company has offered up artwork and brief details on a few of the F150 pickups which will line their sprawling display at the 2016 SEMA Show and today, I bring you a look at the high performance Ford F150 Truck built by Hulst Customs. Patrick Rall reports for TorqueNews.com and is reprinted from there with permission.
While I like all sorts of trucks, my love of drag racing leads me to prefer a pickup built to lay down stunning quarter mile times, so when previewing the Ford F150 pickups headed to SEMA, I have picked the sole on-road performance truck. While we will bring you a look at the other Ford F150 pickups which will be on display at SEMA, I will start with my favorite of the group based on the available information – the F150 built by Hulst Customs.
The EraThr3 F150 by Hulst Customs
As we can see in the image below, the EraThr3 F150 built by Hulst Customs and a low profile street cruise with big wheels and big horsepower.
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