From EcoBoost Sippers to 650HP Monsters
by Jason Giacchino
While this year’s LA Auto Show boasted no shortage of wild concept cars and prototypes without any hope of seeing the light of day, Ford opted to use the venue as a showcase for its many forthcoming 2013 models.
2013 Ford Escape:
Although Ford already offers a hybrid Escape, the Detroit-based automaker has decided to offer other, more fuel-efficient Escape options for 2013. The new Escape will come with an optional 2.0-liter or 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine as well as a carryover 2.5-liter four-cylinder. Additional fuel savings are attributed to 10-percent more efficient aerodynamics. Estimates put fuel efficiency around the 28-33 mph range.
Other features included in the redesign include active park assist (giving parallel parking prowess to the inept), an intelligent 4WD system and a sensor-based Blind Spot Information System. An upgraded MyFord Touch infotainment system is optional.
2013 Ford Flex:
Introduced as a 2009 model, the three-row, seven-passenger wagon is getting its first significant updates for the 2013 model year. The base model is powered by a 285-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6. The addition of a second-generation MyFord Touch entertainment and information interface; radar-based adaptive cruise control; a blind-spot information system that uses radar to monitor traffic around the Flex; and electric power steering earned the lion’s share of the gawking at this year’s LA Auto Show.
Pricing has not been announced, but is expected to remain close to that of the current model, which starts at around $30,000 and creeps up toward $50,000 with all of the goodies.
2013 Ford Focus ST & ST-R:
Powering the Focus ST is a 2.0-liter turbocharged EcoBoost four-cylinder. With direct injection, variable intake and exhaust timing, and hexagonal center-exit exhaust, the aluminum block four-banger is good for 247 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual will be the only transmission offered at launch.
The ST will also make use of a torque-steer compensation scheme using its electronic power-assisted steering (EPAS). When the system senses torque steer, EPAS reacts by varying the torque of the power-assistance motor to dampen out the effects of torque steer.
A race-specific variation will also be offered (ST-R) that doesn’t stray far from the production counterpart. The body is largely unchanged and the same 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine comes standard. Inside is simplified with a production dashboard and center stack. Pedestrian-Focus door handles are fitted to the inside of the ST-R’s otherwise bare-metal doors.
A FIA-regulation roll cage, upgraded brakes, and a retuned suspension complete the goodies. All you need to do is add communications equipment to take this baby to the track.
2013 Ford Fiesta ST Concept:
The new Ford Fiesta ST Concept is equipped with a 1.6-liter turbocharged Ford EcoBoost engine producing 180 hp and 177 lb.-ft. of torque. It was built to show what a future production Fiesta ST model might look like.
The ST concept is lower to the ground and offers widened wheel arches with 17-inch alloy wheels. The manual transmission version will deliver lower emissions than the automatic transmission model.
2013 Ford Mustangs:
For 2013, Ford’s Pony Car is getting updated style, tech and packaging to make it a more competitive offering in the segment. The 3.7-liter V6 returns unchanged.
Up front, all the Mustangs receive a new front fascia with revised lower air intakes and a new splitter. High-intensity discharge headlamps are also now standard across the board, and GT models get a new hood with functional air extractors, as well as optional HID fog lamps. New body-colored rocker panels flank both sides, and new 17-, 18- and 19-inch wheels are also available. Around back, there’s now a high-gloss black panel that connects the slightly redesigned tail lamps.
In addition to cosmetic updates, all Mustang GT (5.0-liter V8) models will boast 420 horsepower and will be available with a SelectShift automatic transmission.
A new Track Pack upgrades the previously available Brembo brake package with the addition of an engine oil cooler, upgraded radiator, performance brake pads, 3.73 rear-end gears and the same Torsen limited-slip differential found on the Boss 302.
In only its second model year, Ford updated the 2013 Boss 302’s graphics package. The foglamp covers in the grille are now removable for 2013, and Ford says this will improve cooling during longer stints of high-performance driving.
2013 Ford Shelby GT500 Mustang:
Wowing crowds with its 5.8 liter V8 (up from 5.4-liter) aluminum-block V-8, the GT500 boasts redesigned heads for better cooling, new camshaft profiles, the addition of piston squirters and higher-flow fuel injectors. A larger and more efficient TVS supercharger ups boost from 9 to 15 psi and the intercooler is bigger as well. The result is an extra 100 hp and 90 lb-ft compared to the 2012 model for an astonishing 650 hp and 600 lb-ft of torque figure! The cooling system was upgraded to dissipate the excess heat, and a carbon-fiber driveshaft, upgraded clutch, strengthened transmission (with revised gearing), and sturdier rear axle were deemed necessary to cope with the extra output.
The GT500 is equipped with an adjustable launch-control function to keep the hood pointing forward and rubber surrounding the rims.
The GT500 receives the same exterior revisions as the rest of the 2013 Mustang line including new headlights, new LED taillights set in a blacked-out tail panel, and body-colored rocker extensions. A quad-tipped dual-exhaust system and two new forged-wheel designs are unique to the Shelby GT500.