LOW-VOLUME products but which create a big impact are what Ford Philippines unveiled at this year’s edition of the Manila International Auto Show. Introduced by the American car maker were a pair of its US-market staple models — the Ford Mustang and Expedition — that, in the Philippines, cater to a more affluent set of buyers rather than to the mass market.
The Mustang is offered in four variants, including the range-topping convertible, with prices set between P2.798 million and P3.678 million. The lineup starts with the fastback fitted with a 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine and a 10-speed automatic transmission, then moves up to the 5.0-liter V8 GT, the convertible with the same V8 engine but with a six-speed manual transmission, and the convertible with both the V8 and 10-speed automatic.
In EcoBoost form the 2.3-liter four-pot makes 310 hp and 474 Nm of torque. The 5.0-liter V8, which according to Ford has been “extensively redesigned” and has been fitted with a new port fuel direct injection system, puts out 460 horsepower and 569 Nm. The V8 can also be paired with an active valve performance exhaust, which lets drivers to select how (relatively) muted or loud the exhaust notes can get.
Besides refreshed styling defined by crisper lines, a lower hood, additional vents, some new lower-body aero pieces and whole set of LED jewelry, the Mustang also has an updated cabin marked by new materials. And fitted to whichever variant is a 12-inch fully customizable LCD display cluster from where infotainment and performance settings can be controlled.
Regardless of variant too, the Mustang is equipped with driver-assist technologies , including a blind spot information system with cross-traffic alert, lane-keeping assist, a rear-view camera and adaptive cruise control. Also fitted is Ford’s TrackApps, a suite of applications that lets drivers to review or fine-tune their performance on a racetrack. It can record acceleration pace, amount of g-force generated and braking performance, as well provide a countdown, lap timing and launch control.
The new Expedition has also received the EcoBoost treatment, and so this relatively small 3.5-liter V6 engine is still capable of churning out 375 hp and a massive 637 Nm of torque. Combined with a 10-speed automatic transmission and an auto start/stop feature for the engine — which shuts off the engine when the car is merely idling in traffic — lower emissions and improved fuel consumption are assured, Ford said.
Helping in this regard further is the Expedition’s structure. In its latest form the vehicle is propped by a redesigned, fully boxed, high-strength steel frame over which a body made entirely out of aluminum — significantly cutting down on weight — is draped. Ford said the latest Expedition weighs up to 135 kilograms less than its predecessor model.
What the new Expedition retains is the spacious interior for which the nameplate has been known. Its cabin furniture is also still flexible enough to take in more passengers or cargo — if not both. Among the new items in there are a B&O Play premium audio with 12 speakers and HD radio, as well as power outlets on every row and a wireless charging system compatible with select mobile phones. The vehicle also comes with a foot-activated lift gate.
Driver-assist technologies fitted on the Expedition includes hill-descent control, hill-start assist, blind spot information with trailer coverage and cross-traffic alert, a forward and reverse sensing system, and traction control.
Ford sells the Expedition, available solely in four-wheel drive for P4.258 million. Add P100,000 for a set of bucket seats. — BMA