(Images courtesy of Ford)
How bad do you want one of the all-new Ford GTs? You can officially submit your application today at FordGT.com. Approved applicants will work with the new Ford GT Concierge Service for a personalized purchase experience. “The purchase process for the Ford GT is as unique as our all-new supercar,” said Henry Ford III, global marketing manager, Ford Performance. “We understand GT customers are strong ambassadors for Ford Motor Company, and we look forward to providing them a service as distinct as the car itself.” Applicants will have an opportunity to identify their preferred Ford dealership in GT-approved markets and, if approved, will complete their purchase with the help of their dealer and the new Ford GT Concierge Service. Accepted applicants from around the world will be contacted by the concierge and provided a tailored experience – not only through the ordering and delivery but through years of ownership.
The new FordGT.com website also offers a configurator that allows anyone to build a virtual GT and easily share their dream combinations from a number of color, wheels and interior themes with the world through social media. For production, eight exterior colors can be paired with one of seven different stripe colors, giving the Ford GT customer many choices.
The Ford GT is not only the most advanced Ford production vehicle ever, featuring the latest in lightweighting, aerodynamics and EcoBoost® engine technology – it will be one of the rarest Ford products ever. Production is limited to 250 units per year, and the initial ordering period will cover the first two years of production - 500 vehicles. The Ford GT is expected to have a starting price in the mid-$400,000s, excluding destination and delivery. The web-based application process for the first round of applications for the all-new Ford GT closes on May 12, 2016, at 11:59 p.m. EDT.
FCA. Editor-In-Chief's Note: The downward spiral of FCA - and their inability to sell cars instead of Jeeps and Trucks - continues. The company's latest gambit is an attempt at propping up the slumping Dodge Dart - which is about to fall off of the table altogether with sales down 32 percent - by renaming the models, adjusting packages and content, and cutting the price. The lineup will now be confined to three models: Dart SXT Sport, Dart Turbo and Dart GT Sport, and if you want to know more, I'm sure you can find that info on FCA's website. This is what Tim Kuniskis, head of FCA's passenger car brands had to say about it: “We are repositioning the Dart lineup to better align production and dealer inventory with consumer demand and preference." Translation? They are so dead in the water with the Dart that this latest move is a Hail Mary pass of desperation. It isn't going to work, by the way. And the next move for the Dart? It's on the Midnight Train to Oblivion. -PMD
Ford will begin a 10-year transformation of its more than 60-year-old Dearborn facilities to consolidate 30,000 employees from 70 buildings into primarily two campus locations. The centralized campus will support Ford’s plan to be an auto and mobility company, and the company expects the new facilities to further drive innovation and collaboration in every part of its business. The massive construction project begins this month on the new product campus location, including a new Design Center. Ford states that upon completion, the transformation will result in a walkable community featuring paths, trails and covered walkways as well as autonomous vehicles, on-demand shuttles, eBikes, employee services, high-speed internet and more green spaces. New buildings will also reduce energy use by about 50 percent, save water and include the new zero-waste, zero-energy, zero-water Sustainability Showcase building. The current Ford Research and Engineering Center Campus – dedicated by U.S. President Eisenhower in May 1953 – currently houses 12,000 employees. After the transformation it will accommodate 24,000 employees in 4.5 million square feet of upgraded work space.
The Toyota uBox Concept was designed, engineered and hand-built by graduate students at Clemson University’s International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR). The vehicle is the result of a two-year collaboration with Toyota Motor North America designers and engineers and is intended to appeal to the next generation of car buyers: Gen-Z. The typical customer for the all-electric uBox is "a young entrepreneur who wants a vehicle that can provide utility and recreation on the weekend but that can also offer office space or other career-centric or lifestyle uses during the week," according to Toyota. The CU-ICAR/Toyota collaboration, called Deep Orange, immerses students into every aspect of automotive development – from market research and design studies to engineering design and manufacturing. "Deep Orange gives students’ hands-on experience with the entire vehicle development process, from identifying the market opportunity through the vehicle build," says Johnell Brooks, an associate professor in Clemson's graduate engineering program. "It's like automotive boot camp for the real world, and it wouldn’t happen without industry partners like Toyota."
(Aston Martin images)
Another luxury auto maker is getting into the boat "creation" business, apparently. Aston Martin and Quintessence Yachts will showcase the new AM37, "a powerboat created to capture the performance, handling, comfort and style synonymous with Aston Martin" during the prestigious Milan Design Week, Salone del Mobile. Now in its 55th year, Salone del Mobile is a city-wide design festival that attracts more than 400,000 guests from the international creative community, looking for the latest trends. The Aston Martin exhibition will be held at Larusmiani Concept Boutique on Via Monte Napoleone April 12 - 18 and will focus on the unique design elements of the AM37. Quintessence Yachts will hold the worldwide preview of the AM37 at an exclusive evening event on April 13th. Aston's PR boffins had this to say: "The AM37 is the result of years of research and development, challenging the status quo of the nautical world. Fusing the maritime and automotive worlds with the universal characteristics of style and elegance, the core of the AM37 offers the perfect balance of design and engineering, performance and comfort, luxury and functionality." Sounds like a giant bowl of "whatever" to us.
BMW says that the new M4 GTS takes the BMW M4 Coupe to a new level. Aimed squarely at the race track, the BMW M4 GTS adds innovative water injection technology to give the 3.0-liter, six-cylinder turbo a substantial power boost to 500HP and increases torque to 442 lb-ft, yet still keeps fuel economy and CO2 emissions at the level of the BMW M4 Coupe, according to BMW. The BMW M4 GTS goes 0 to 62 mph in 3.8 seconds and hits a top speed of 189.5 mph (electronically limited). It turned a lap time of 7.28 minutes around the legendary Nürburgring-Nordschleife. BMW M GmbH is launching the BMW M4 GTS in a special edition limited to 700 units to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the BMW M3, which has been in production since 1986. The first high-performance special edition in the M3/M4 model range will also be available for the first time in the North American market.
Cadillac. Editor-In-Chief's Note: Word is that Cadillac is scrapping plans to finally build a true flagship luxury sedan - the CT8 - most likely due to the fact that the SUV/Crossover frenzy shows no signs of waning. The design of the CT8 was said to be based on two of the most stunning concept cars of the last ten years, the Ciel and the Elmiraj. This is a car that Cadillac desperately needed, a statement machine that would go a long way toward projecting a new image for the brand, complementing the already stellar image of the Escalade. Now? So much for "Dare Greatly" and the big talk associated with that advertising campaign. What a bunch of unmitigated bullshit. -PMD
Editor's Note: “The Decision” is the first of five video shorts from the Ford Motor Company about the development of the Ford GT. It features Bill Ford Jr., Raj Nair, Dave Pericak and Edsel B. Ford II, who attended the 1966 race with his father, Henry Ford II. The shorts will culminate in one long-form documentary that will follow the development of both the Street Car and Race Car version of the Ford GT from the decision to build the cars to the return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans. (The Autoextremist makes a cameo appearance as well.) Watch it here. -WG