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The latest Ford News in the Pacific Northwest.
Ford News For Seattle, Tacoma, and Bellevue Washington
Ford F-150 RaptorWith an astonishing 2,481 miles of sanctioned off-road racing under its belt for the 2016 Best in the Desert season and SCORE Baja 1000 alone, the brand new 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor proves to have both brains and brawn. Its smart technology, coupled with its sheer muscle and top-of-the-line capabilities, make it a standout truck going into the new year.

The Raptor also had a standout performance in the Pahrump Nugget 250, snagging 432 points. Working with Greg Foutz Motorsports, Ford Performance crafted a production-intent F-150 Raptor and incorporated all the necessary safety, lighting and navigation equipment to ensure success. The preemptive measures paid off; the team driving the Raptor completed the race in 10 hours, 21 minutes and 59 seconds. Overall, the race truck closed out its season with over 100 hours of off-road, competitive driving.

Greg Foutz, the Raptor's lead 
driver and team owner, expressed how impressed he was in a statement released by Ford. "I know how much we abused that truck, and they were able to capture a lot of data and provide updates as the Raptor readied for production,” he said.

Now that its tour of duty is complete, the Raptor race truck will return to Ford Performance's Dearborn headquarters before going on display at the 2017 North American International Auto Show. 

Interested in how the F-150 Raptor race truck was modified? Updates include:

  • Race-optimized three-inch-diameter internal-bypass front and rear Fox Racing shocks
  • Race-optimized front and rear springs
  • Custom-fabricated roll cage
  • MasterCraft seats with five-point harness safety belts and window nets
  • Rigid Industries LED light bars, racing fuel cell, Lowrance GPS, RacePak digital dash and data logger
Find out more at Sound Ford in Seattle, Washington!
The North American International Auto Show and CES are just around the corner, which makes Ford's release of its next-generation Fusion Hybrid well-timed. The autonomous development vehicle utilizes the existing autonomous vehicle platform, taking it to the next level with all-new computer hardware that increases the processing power. Considering that the Blue Oval's current generation of the vehicle hit the pavement three years ago, the newest Fusion Hybrid's debut is long-anticipated. See more in the video below:

 

The vehicle's variety of upgraded and new features make it worth the wait. According to a statement released by Ford, "Electrical controls are closer to production-ready, and adjustments to the sensor technology, including placement, allow the car to better see what’s around it." In addition, the car draws on the power of two LiDAR sensors to gather data and provide a more targeted field of vision; the current generation required four sensors for the same effects. The two elements that make the vehicle classified as autonomous - its platform and the virtual driver system - also receive upgrades for the newest Fusion Hybrid.

Want to learn more about the technology behind the Fusion Hybrid? Read the blog post penned by Chris Brewer, the chief program engineer of Ford Autonomous Vehicle Development, and talk to our representatives at Sound Ford in Seattle, Washington.

Joining a select group of vehicles that put the pedal to the medal this year, the Superformance-built GT40 MKII 50th Anniversary Edition recently placed on Autoblog.com's '22 Most Powerful Cars We Drove in 2016' list. The custom sports car was crafted to celebrate Ford's 1966 win at Le Mans with Carroll Shelby.

Watch Ford's homage to Le Mans in the video below:

 

With 550-horsepower and an impressive curb weight of approximately 2,500 pounds, the Shelby GT40 packs a punch. Its ability to propel from 0 to 60 in 3.5 seconds is notable; its specially crafted aluminum-block 427 FE V8 makes it stand out. For fans of the uniquely built GT40, Superperformance will construct only 20 of the MKII anniversary editions, which will incorporate a right-hand drive layout with a right-hand shift setup - one that emulates those used by Le Mans drivers in the races. According to Autoblog.com, "These cars are about as close as you can get to the real thing because 90 percent of the parts are interchangeable with the original, including the steel monocoque. However, there are a few modern luxuries for added comfort like air conditioning and an adjustable pedal box."

Shelby enthusiasts who were interested in the GT40, but not necessarily ready to reserve one of the 20 for themselves, had the rare opportunity to view one of the replicas at the Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Arizona in early January 2016. Missed the auction, but want to learn more about the GT40? Talk to any of our representatives at Sound Ford in Seattle, Washington.

Ford's 'Trading One Uniform For Another' Program Awards Scholarships to Five US Military Veterans

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(Posted on Jan 10, 2017 at 12:00PM )
Quick Lane BowlFive U.S. military veterans were recently awarded $10,000 scholarships as part of Ford Motor Company's "Trading One Uniform for Another" program, which was developed in partnership with the Disabled American Veterans organization (DAV).

Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center announced the award recipients, as stated in a Ford release, saying that the scholarships will help offset expenditures related to obtaining a certification in automotive maintenance and repair.

Representatives at Quick Lane promoted the awards to demonstrate the importance of supporting service men and women who have retired from active military duty. The awards will put the veterans on the track to become qualified automotive technicians, giving them an opportunity for a bright future beyond their military duties. The scholarships are able to be applied towards tuition, books and other fees at community colleges, universities, trade or vocational schools nationwide that provide accredited programs for automotive mechanics.

As stated in the same release by Frederiek Toney, the president of Global Ford's Customer Service Division, “The ‘Trading One Uniform For Another’ program is another example of Quick Lane’s commitment to the men and women who served our country and helping to provide employment opportunities after their service. We are proud to stand beside the DAV in awarding these scholarships to our U.S. military veterans, thanking them for their service, and congratulating them on the pursuit of a career in automotive maintenance and repair.”

Recipients of the scholarships are listed below:

  • Walter J. Decker, United States Army veteran, King, North Carolina
  • Casey Markvicka, United States Army veteran, Burwell, Nebraska
  • Robert Jarden, United States Army veteran, Nashville, Illinois
  • Jessica Johnson, United States Marine Corps veteran, Kennewick, Washington
  • Marie Sussenbach, United States Air Force veteran, Greenville, Illinois
See how Ford is giving back to veterans and more at Sound Ford in Seattle, Washington!
Not every vehicle is equipped to handle rough winter weather, but the 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor can count itself as one of the few that can - and in style. In efforts to prove that 'snow' driving condition is too great for the Raptor, professional rally driver Ken Block recently took the pickup to the icy roads and showed off its features. Captured on film - which is viewable in the video below - the Raptor proves that it's truly the high-performance off-road pickup of the new year.  


Truck enthusiasts and Ford engineers alike can attribute the Raptor's success in the snow to a variety of components; one of which is the high-strength, military-grade, aluminum alloy that it's built with. The metal harmonizes strength and durability with lightness, making its weight 500 pounds less than before. Coupled with a boxed steel frame, it's both strong and high-performance. The SuperCrew model also offers the Raptor's distinguishing aesthetic features, such has the signature grille and large front skid plates, as well as an upgraded rear departure angle to improve the ease of transitions from flat surfaces to steep inclines.  

Going beyond its visible elements, the all-new Raptor also boasts a hybrid of selective attributes of clutch-driven, on-demand all-wheel drive and 
mechanical-locking four-wheel drive, as well as a brand new, twin-turbo, intercooled DOHC 24-valve, high-output 3.5L EcoBoost® with direct fuel injection. This allows the Raptor to utilize greater power than its predecessor's 6.2L V8 – 450 horsepower and 510 lb.-ft. of torque.

The cherry on top of the pie? An all-new Terrain Management System that enables drivers to choose from six preset modes, adapting to various environmental conditions, such as street, Baja, mud and sand. 

Whether or not you live in a snowy climate, check out the Ford Raptor's capabilities at Sound Ford in Seattle, Washington.
Wagner PlaceBuilding upon its Dearborn campus upgrade, Ford Motor Company is investing $60 million to develop an all-new retail and office space in West Dearborn. Dubbed Wagner Place, the expansion marks the ongoing growth of the Blue Oval's footprint in Michigan and beyond. The new spaces join a family of other Dearborn facilities that have been undergoing renovations as of late. 

What was once two blocks of large, mostly uninhabited buildings is now projected to shine as a standout urban development. The new space will include outdoor green space, retail locations on the first floor, and offices occupying up to 600 Ford employees on the top level. Despite the modern updates, the Wagner Building will retain elements tracing back to the beginning of its 120-year legacy.

According to Donna Inch, the chairman and CEO of Ford Land, in a release, “Wagner Place will be beneficial both to the community as well as Ford employees. It is part of the company’s overall Dearborn campus transformation plan as Ford expands to be an auto and mobility company and recruits a new generation of talented workers.”

Slated for completion in mid-2018, Wagner Place is already being anticipated. Learn more at Sound Ford in Seattle, Washington today. 
One could argue with confidence that the new 2017 Ford F-350 is both the best in show and the best in tow

Earlier this year, the Blue Oval announced that the F-350 Super Duty is the Heavyweight Towing Champion of the World, surpassing the previous title holder (the Dodge Ram 3500) by 800 pounds. With a maximum towing capacity of 32,000 pounds, the F-350's newest accolade certainly isn't one to take lightly - both in the literal and figurative senses of the word. See a preview of the F-350 at this year's SEMA in the video below:



Doug Scott, the truck marketing manager for Ford, summed it up with a superlative. "This is the best heavy-duty truck we've ever made," he shared on EquipmentWorld.com.  The website also reports that the Super Duty F-350's maximum payload is 7,630 pounds, and on the F-350 single-rear-wheel, the towing capacity is an impressive (and class-leading) 18,000 pounds.

The F-350's towing superiority is notably attributed to its modern and upgraded features, which help accommodate for challenging terrain and heavy loads. As Jason Cannon reports for Equipment World, "For 2017, Super Duty becomes the first truck to offer adaptive cruise control and collision warning with brake support for heavy trailers, allowing truckers to traverse steep mountain grades while maintaining speed—even with a maxed out trailer load."

For truck drivers on the hunt for both muscle and ease, the F-350 offers perks that ensure both. While a centered stop lamp camera allows cargo box visibility - something especially useful when gooseneck and fifth-wheel trailers are part of the equation - Ford's Ultimate Trailer Tow Camera System utilizes multiple high-definition cameras to give drivers complete 360-degree visibility around the vehicle. In addition, the Trailer Reverse Guidance feature and factory-available trailer camera (a custom option) assist with trailer backup, increasing towing efficiency and safety. Further optimizing the driving experience is the Blind Spot Information System with trailer tow, a feature that's optimized for the Super Duty; it incorporates radar sensors in the tail lamps to detect areas beyond the driver's range of visibility.

With its unbeatable power and all-new features, the 2017 Ford F-350 is a paragon amongst trucks. Learn more and take a test-drive at Sound Ford in Seattle, Washington today!
Ford MustangFamous singers, activists and more agree that in many ways, women run the world - so any contender for the Women's World Car of the Year is worth noticing. This year, the Ford Mustang added another accolade to its collection, taking home the aforementioned title for 2016 after besting 294 competitors. 

The award was given to the Blue Oval after 17 judges across 14 countries analyzed all of the contenders. The Women's World Car of the Year award is the only vehicle honor globally that is determined by a panel of all-female judges, which makes it a standout trophy. Following the Mustang by a small, one-point margin was yet another Ford vehicle, the critically acclaimed Ford Focus RS.

As stated in a Ford release by Juliet Potter, a Women's World Car of the Year jury member from Australia, 
“Ford Mustang is surprisingly loved by women who are after a sexy, sporty, masculine car that turns heads. Combining the car’s silver-screen celebrity status with real-life practicality, Mustang screams, ‘I am in control!’ and delivers the same behind the wheel with above-average grip and suspension.” 

Female and male drivers alike are sure to enjoy cruising around in the Ford Mustang - find out for yourself at Sound Ford in Seattle, Washington today.


Ford Climate Team Develops Technology Suite to Combat the Cold

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(Posted on Jan 5, 2017 at 12:00PM )
Frigid temperatures dissuade many drivers from hitting the road during the cold seasons, but Ford's extreme climate team recently engineered new technology to protect drivers from any discomfort caused by inclement weather. Following the notably chilly 2013-14 season that brought teeth-chattering temperatures and high levels of snowfall across North America, engineers at the Blue Oval set out to build features that can efficiently counteract any similar circumstances in the future. Efforts to do so included a customer clinic in Edmonton, Alberta that fielded driving concerns from customers; the responses highlighted the challenges many drivers face during the harsh winters.

According to Nicole Mazur, Ford Canada's product development quality supervisor, 
“What our customers in Canada told us is simple – ‘Heat everything! They wanted better access to some of the cold weather features Ford was already offering on its higher-series vehicles." Learn more by watching the video below:


With that insight in mind, Mazur collaborated with job-share partner Melissa DeLuka to address the responses via cross-functional product development. Working with the extreme climate team, which serves to help Ford better comprehend and analyze customers' input in regard to extreme climate regions, they developed a variety of features such as a heated steering wheel, heated mirrors and more. The efforts to more adeptly understand the climate extend beyond North America - teams have also worked in the Middle East, China, and other areas to address needs specific to those regions.

“Sometimes, it’s about comfort, but other times it’s more than that,” says DeLuka in the same statement. “What much of the United States experienced with the polar vortex is what northern Canada gets every year.”

One popular feature amongst polled consumers was a windshield wiper de-icer; 82 percent of those surveyed said that would consider purchasing the feature if it was available. From there, Ford developed a suite of cold weather technology that made its debut in the 2017 Ford Escape.

Want to test out the new features for yourself? Come by Sound Ford in Seattle, Washington and test-drive the Escape today.
MotorcraftIncreasingly competitive pricing and a greater availability of parts are notable takeaways from Motorcraft's more recent upgrade, which came about after an extensive review that focused on improving the parts purchase and repair experience for customers, dealers, distributors and repair shops.

Marc Liskey, the manager of Repair Product Planning Maintenance & Light Repair in North America, said in a Ford statement that the new updates will ultimately improve customer satisfaction.



“We are listening to our customers and taking significant steps to give them what they want,” he said. “Offering competitive pricing and consolidating parts will make it easier to stock and sell Motorcraft parts, helping dealers, distributors and installers to do their job more effectively.”

Although Ford and Motorcraft parts often have distinct advantages over other brands, independent shops don't always opt for those products. Consequently, customers often have to bring vehicles in for repairs, which contributes to lower customer satisfaction overall. Acknowledging this common occurrence, Ford and Motorcraft are working together to expand the usage of Motorcraft parts and, ultimately, propel installer and customer satisfaction. One method to increase the purchase of Motorcraft parts involves broadening parts coverage for vehicles with older model years, which ensures that customers with varying vehicle ages and budgets - such as a used 2004 Ford Ranger, or a 2006 Ford F-150 -  have quality parts.

“Motorcraft has a very strong reputation in the industry as a provider of OE quality parts for Ford and Lincoln vehicles that always fit right, are easy to install, and are backed by a strong limited warranty,” Brett Wheatley, the executive director of Ford's Customer Service Division, said in a release. “We’re building on these advantages by expanding our coverage to older models with attractive parts pricing and simplified product lines to make it easier for our dealers and installers to stock the Motorcraft parts our customers are looking for.”

Learn more about how Motorcraft parts can improve your Ford vehicle by talking to our representatives at Sound Ford in Seattle, Washington today.