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Ford baby Bronco and Explorer ST joining SUV lineup, Mustang GT500 teased

16 March 2018
Ford baby Bronco and Explorer ST joining SUV lineup, Mustang GT500 teased

More than that, Ford says it's making a big push into electric vehicles in general, including plug-in hybrids for the forthcoming Bronco, Escape, Explorer, F-150 and the Mustang. The new Ford Explorer lineup will consist of two models, he said; the standard Explorer and a new, sporty Explorer ST. Ford will also have a commercial van unibody and a battery-electric vehicle platform.

In a bid to reverse the narrative that the company was in decline in recent months, Ford Motor Co. offered reporters and analysts a glimpse at a product plan that will renew three quarters of the vehicles in dealer showrooms by 2020. The automaker also announced Ford Co-Pilot360, which it says is the most advanced suite of driver-assist safety technologies to be offered standard by a full-line brand. The unnamed truck and Bronco were not created to tackle Moab's radical off-road scene, but to give a Ford owner a totally new level of off-road performance.

Ford also plans to take on Tesla with a performance-oriented battery electric utility vehicle in 2020 - the first of six new pure electric vehicles due by 2022 as part of Ford's planned $11 billion investment in electrification. The F-series pickup line generated US$41 billion in revenue a year ago - about 28 per cent of Ford's total US$145.7 billion in revenue - but the lion's share of the company's profit.

The F-150 hybrid will use the partially electric powertrain to add low-end torque for extra pulling power and to be used as a mobile generator, he said. The auto maker has also indicated the Mustang is moving away from V8 power for its hybrid version, saying it would deliver "V8-like performance with more low-end torque".

Ford's President for Global Markets, Jim Farley said, "Ford helped start the off-road phenomenon and has majored in off-road capability for decades - from the Bronco to the Raptor". "Hybrids for years have been mostly niche products but are now on the cusp of a mainstream breakout", Farley said in a statement. (Ford believes customers want blind-spot warning systems more so than expensive adaptive cruise-control systems.) Customers will be able to add other features to the Co-Pilot 360 package, as well.

The hybrids are a pillar of Ford's plan to continue to offer large, powerful and capable vehicles, even in the event of another oil or economic crisis that could send fuel prices soaring.

New vehicles aside, the next two years will see Ford shift its operational structure. That's likely to include wireless recharging. "Seventy percent of each vehicle's engineering will be driven from this new architecture approach, with 30 percent of content - including grilles, hoods, doors and more - customised for each vehicle".

The company also is slashing the number of option combinations that could be ordered for an individual model to simplify its build process.

Ford NA announced in a press conference its plans to focus more on SUVs and pickups, and that it will have eight SUVs by the year 2020.