Finding Anything Hear !!

29 November 2008

2008 Dodge Viper Photos

2008 Dodge Viper Photos

When you hear the words “Dodge Viper”, the only thing that comes to mind is an insane amount of power, and tire-melting torque. The fact that the Viper is gorgeous, handles pretty darn well, and costs $84 grand doesn’t even register. You don’t think about the fact that you’ll have to buy a gas station to be able to drive very much. Nor are you concerned with the fact that there are only two seats. All that matters is power - and the 08 Viper is the most powerful Viper yet. Dodge managed to bump the displacement up to 8.4 liters, and squeezed an extra 90 HP from the legendary V10, for a total of 600 horses under that massive hood.

While adding 90 HP, Dodge managed to increase gas mileage from 12 city / 20 highway to 13 city / 22 highway, and also reduce the 08 Viper’s gas guzzler tax from $3000 to $1700 - that’s a $1300 drop. Come to think of it, that buys a whole lot of gas. The mileage improvement is all the more impressive because the EPA got a lot stricter in 08.

The Viper isn’t for folks who want refinement or fancy gadgetry. In fact, the Viper isn’t even for folks who want cruise control ( it doesn’t have it ). The Viper is all about power - it’s crazy fast, crazy loud, and it isn’t sorry about it. Nor should it be.

2008 Dodge Viper Specs

600 HP 8.4 liter

V10560 lb-ft of torque6 speed

Tremec manual transmission

RWD only

Coupe or roadster body styles

3450 lb curb weight

EPA Says : 13 mpg city / 22 mpg highway

2008 Dodge Viper Reviews

Karl reviews the 2008 Dodge Viper and writes - ‘Fast forward 15 years and you have a 427 cubic inch, 505 horsepower

Corvette that essentially matches the Viper’s performance while destroying it in terms of comfort, functionality and value. Worse still, the original Viper’s slick exterior and “torque-at-any-rpm” have been lost. When considering the advantages a Viper has over a Z06 I can come up with only two — greater (barely) acceleration and more exotic (again, barely) looks.’ reviews the 2008 Dodge Viper and writes - ‘Another of the Viper’s charms is side sills that get hot enough to burn you, due to the exhaust pipes that run through them. I went unscathed, but I’d be careful if wearing shorts. I even respect this aspect. It reminds me of the Nissan 350Z; when it came out, I looked at the large brace that obstructs the cargo hatch and thought, you have to respect that. It’s there for a reason, and that reason is performance. It seems to say, “If you disapprove, buy something else.” The whole Viper is kind of like that. Still, the trunk isn’t bad at all; it’s large enough for golf clubs, I’m told, which seems to be all anyone cares about when it comes to trunk size.’

Edmunds reviews the 2008 Dodge Viper and writes - ‘Drive the Viper hard in a series of corners and in spite of its direct and precise steering, you won’t settle into a smooth rhythm like you might in a less powerful, lighter Porsche 911 or Z06 Corvette. Rather, its power delivery, weight and high-effort controls make the driving experience more World of Outlaws than Formula 1. Still, it never feels nervous in a straight line, even at triple-digit speeds. Pushing the Viper to the limit still requires the skill of a seasoned driver, but even rookie pilots will admire the car’s unbelievable abilities. It’s not comfortable enough to be used as an everyday driver, but for those who can afford to have it as a plaything, this Dodge supercar answers to nothing.’

To put 600 horsepower in perspective: At Daytona and Talladega, restrictor plates limit NASCAR Cup cars to about 470 horsepower; an '07 Indy car engine made roughly 670 horses.
Neither of these meets California's Low Emission Vehicle 2 requirements, as does the Viper's 8.4-liter V-10. Even when running behind the pace car, both Cup and Indy cars get single-digit fuel mileage: The Viper's EPA rating is 13/22, city/highway mpg. A win-capable Cup engine—without car—costs more than the Viper's $84,000 starting price. No one could buy a '07 Honda Indy car engine, but for about $1.5-million you could lease enough to supply one—and only one—car for the racing season.
On the twisty VIR road-racing track with an experienced race driver operating the Viper Coupe's controls, it's shockingly easy to produce extremely quick lap times. (We drove the Coupe on the track and the Roadster on public roads.) One reason: Its Michelin Pilot Sport 2 tires, which feature extra-sticky tread rubber special for the Viper. They give the Viper raw grip far beyond the experience of all but those who own fire-resistant suits.


The '06 Viper (there was no '07) suffered from too little front grip to allow it to produce optimum lap times. When a NASCAR driver complains that his car is pushing, he means the front tires are losing grip a lot earlier than the rears: The '06 pushed significantly. However, if you lack a racer's skill and experience, push is far safer than the alternative of having the rear tires lose grip before the fronts: When that happens the car may spin out. On the racetrack, the '08 Viper's front tires slide just slightly before the rears: It's a near-perfect condition for car-club-style track-day events.

There is one "however": Slow corners. A deft touch is required to avoid spinning the rear tires and causing the rear to step out. But developing a measured touch on the throttle is something '08 Viper owners will have to learn.
The '08's 90 ponies over the '06 come from a host of modifications. These include variable exhaust-valve timing, larger intake and exhaust valves, reshaped combustion chambers, a better flowing intake manifold, and separate ignition coils for each sparkplug. A race-style twin-disc small-diameter clutch allows the engine to rev quicker and better handle the extra horsepower. The '08 Viper features a new Tremec manual six-speed transmission with beefier gears and a shorter-throw shifter that helps cut drag strip times. Dodge says the Viper will run sub-four-second 0-60 mph times.
Power and Performance
Many termed the first Viper a "four-wheeled Harley." This slur referred to its lack of technological sophistication and creature comforts. The 2008 version is a far different animal. It offers advanced features and comfort comparable to its rivals from Ford and Chevrolet (though it still doesn't have stability control). Early Vipers were infamous for poor braking performance, partially because they lacked an anti-lock braking system (ABS). The '08 model changes that with huge rotors, giant Brembo calipers and superbly calibrated ABS. (Dodge claims a sub-100-foot 60-0 mph braking distance.) Even on poorly maintained Deep South rural roads, the Roadster offered ride comfort challenging its rival from Bowling Green. Steering feel was superb.
One of the few complaints is the instrument panel. It has a giant, centrally located tachometer and a tiny speedometer placed to the side. Because the speedometer is so small and hard to read, I could not safely check my speed at the end of VIR's front straight, and still have time to correctly determine where to step on the brakes: You have to get rid of about 100 mph to negotiate VIR's Turn One, so driving past the correct braking marker is a bad thing. The speedo goes to 220 mph, about 20 mph beyond what Dodges claims as the Viper's top speed. On public roads, the small speedo makes it a challenge to ensure a non-prosecutable speed. My friends in law enforcement say most allow at least eight mph over the limit and many give 14. Viper drivers shouldn't expect the same tolerances. (
About the Author
Mac Demere is an auto journalist, vehicle tester and race driver who competed in the NASCAR Southwest Tour and Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona.

Copyright 2000-2008

2009 Ford Escape XLT 4WD I4

2009 Ford Escape XLT 4WD I4

2009 Ford Escape XLT 4WD Review : CAREY RUSS

After major revitalization to its Escape small crossover SUV last year, Ford could be forgiven for doing little or nothing to it for 2009. There are newer nameplates from the Blue Oval to steal the limelight, and business in general has been interesting, and not in the best of possible ways.

But there is still a demand for a vehicle that combines plenty of useful interior space with a small footprint and reasonable fuel economy, and to encourage that Ford has further developed the Escape for 2009 with a new four-cylinder engine -- also now used, in modified form, in the Escape Hybrid -- and enhancements to the 3.0-liter V6 for more power with less fuel. Small aerodynamic modifications also contribute to fuel efficiency and reduce interior noise levels. Anti-lock brakes and the AdvanceTrac¨ with RSC¨ (Roll Stability Control) stability control system are standard equipment in all models. Suspension re-tuning has improved ride and handling characteristics. Green is in in Dearborn, and last year's seat fabrics made from recycled materials are joined by soy-based foam padding. Easy Fuel(tm) capless refueling means no more lost gas caps.

Regular trim levels are XLS, XLT and Limited, with standard equipment levels varying from comfortably middle class to near-luxury, and enough options available to tailor an Escape to nearly every need or desire. For the first time, the Hybrid is offered in two levels, standard and Limited, which is equipped similarly to the gasoline Limited.

I've just finished a week with a 4WD V6 Escape XLT, and if the exterior aero changes were subtle, the functional changes were readily apparent and appreciated. The six-speed transmission and more powerful engine worked together for quick acceleration and reasonable fuel economy. The 21.5 mpg overall I got, with better possible (see below), was an improvement over the 18 to 20 of earlier V6 Escapes I've tested, and the effect of the extra 40 horsepower was welcome in freeway passing and merging situations.

As ever, the Escape strikes a good balance between a small exterior size, easily manageable in parking lots and narrow streets, and interior space. Add the recent drivetrain, suspension, and safety upgrades, and an improved interior, and it has stayed competitive in a tough environment.

APPEARANCE: As crossovers in general have abandoned the truck-like look, Ford has embraced that heritage in the Escape. The recent restyle, with more angular styling and a bold chrome grille, demonstrates this. It is very much the small sibling to the Explorer and Expedition, with no apologies. Changes for 2009 are aerodynamic, for increased fuel efficiency. Every fraction of a mile per gallon is important in the CAFE game. A deeper front spoiler and small spoilers in front of the rear wheels improve under-body airflow for decreased drag to slightly improve mileage. Approach and departure angles, at least for normal city use and my "rolled curb" driveway, are unaffected.

COMFORT: Last year's restyling also freshened the interior, with new materials and multiple textures. Fashion has not impaired function, as the instruments are shielded from glare and easy to see and the audio and climate system controls on the center stack are within easy reach. As has been typical of Ford for years, buttons and knobs are large and well-marked. The standard audio system plays both commercial and MP3 CDs, plus AM, FM, and Sirius satellite radio. An auxiliary jack allows attachment of an external audio player. The optional SYNC system adds voice activation and a USB port for MP3 files on a memory stick. Step-in height is reasonable, with seat cushion height close enough to hip level for most people for comfortable access. Once in the seats, the firmer new foam is an improvement over earlier seats in support and comfort. Perhaps the best interior feature is the console between the seats. Open the top, and it appears to be a standard deep box with a removable smaller top section. Not quite - the bottom section is also removable, to reveal a compartment large enough to hide a small laptop or camera bag or purse.

The rear bench seat is lightly contoured for two, but a center passenger is more than an afterthought, and a nearly-flat floor helps. A 60/40 split, with flip-up cushions that allow each section to be folded flat, for the passenger/cargo versatility and convenience expected in a crossover. The liftgate glass can be opened separately from the liftgate, to toss in small items, and a cargo cover is available.

SAFETY: The Escape's unibody chassis has front and rear crush zones with a central safety cage. Front, front side, and full-length side curtain "Safety Canopy" airbags, the AdvanceTrac with RSC stability enhancement system, a tire-pressure monitoring system, and antilock brakes are all standard equipment. The XLT has Ford's "Securi-Lock" keypad entry system, old-tech but a good way to store a key in a car for long-term parking.

RIDE AND HANDLING: As always, the Escape is made with car-like unibody construction and a fully-independent MacPherson strut/multilink suspension. Firmer shock damping and revisions to stabilizer bar specs have resulted in a smooth, comfortable ride with a notable lack of excessive lean in corners and wallowing over road undulations. The Michelin tires fitted to the Escape were designed and built expressly for it, and help reduce fuel consumption and road noise.

PERFORMANCE: Forty more horsepower with no penalty in fuel economy? There's a deal, because that is the result from internal revisions to the 3.0-liter twincam alloy Duratec V6 and the replacement of the old four-speed automatic with a new six-speed. Power is now 240hp at 6550 rpm, up from 200, with torque 223 lb-ft at 4300. Acceleration can be brisk when needed, with, according to Ford, a 1.7-second improvement in 0-60 time. The new transmission shifts smoothly and works well. Actual fuel economy may be monitored through the trip computer, and is very subject to driving style. With gentle acceleration and braking, and a top speed of 50 mph on good but non-highway secondary roads, I saw as much as 24 mpg. One full-throttle freeway merge saw that drop immediately to 18. Foot to floor, pour bucket of unleaded regular down intake... but do note that this is the same with any car. Unlike many small crossovers, the Escape can tow, as much as 3500 pounds with a V6 equipped with the towing package.

CONCLUSIONS: Drivetrain, aerodynamic, and interior improvements have kept the Ford Escape crossover SUV current.


2006 Ford Mustang GT Deluxe Convertible

2006 Ford Mustang GT Deluxe Convertible

2006 Ford Mustang GT Convertible Review : John Heilig


MODEL: Ford Mustang GT ConvertibleENGINE: 4.6.liter V8HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 300 hp @ 5,750 rpm/320 lb.-ft. @ 4,500 rpm TRANSMISSION: 5-speed manualWHEELBASE: 107.1 in.

LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT: 187.6 x 73.9 x 55.4 in.
TIRES: P235/55ZR17
CARGO VOLUME: 13.1 cu. ft
ECONOMY: 17 mpg city/25 mpg highway/12.9 mpg test
PRICE: $32,365 (includes $625 destination and delivery charge)

To all the people in the northeast, I apologize. The rain and subsequent flooding that hit in early October was my fault. You see, I scheduled the Ford Mustang GT convertible for that time frame, and as constant readers will remember, almost every time I have a convertible scheduled, it rains. Since this is a special convertible, we had special rain.

I had been looking for the Mustang convertible almost from the day the coupe version was announced. We were promised a rag top at that time; it just took longer for me to get behind the wheel of one than I expected. We were supposed to have the car in the summer, but it had to go back for repairs or something, and the car was pulled. So I was glad to get it, even though October weather is often iffy. Little did I know. There were other scheduling problems that limited seat time, but I had enough time behind the wheel to know this was a special car.

The GT is powered by a 4.6-liter, three-vales-per-cylinder V8 that delivers a healthy 300 horsepower. Granted, a V8 engine of this size could be expected to generate more power than this, but I think it's enough power for this car that weighs a tick under 3,500 pounds. There was plenty of power to move the Mustang to illegal speeds very quickly. And the roar from the V8 made all the teenage home hot rod builders with their Japanese minicars that make noises like angry bees green with envy. This was a real roar.

Engine power reaches the rear wheels through a five-speed automatic transmission. I have to confess that I was slightly nervous about the manual. I drove last year's GT and the year before's Cobra, each with 5-speeds, and didn't like them because of the gearbox. I thought the gearboxes used in those cars was notchy and hard to shift. The 2006 5-speed, however, is a pleasure to use. It is still a serious gearbox that requires the driver to shift it properly (and not get sloppy choosing the gears), but there's far less of a chance that you'll find first instead of third when you're downshifting, and that's a comfort in a car like this.

Transferring the power to the road in wet weather, or on wet roads, sometimes became a problem. There were times when I had to feather the clutch before tromping down on the accelerator pedal.

The GT is equipped with four-wheel power disc brakes that are significantly larger than the 4-wheel discs used in the standard Mustang. They do a great job of stopping the car, and give the driver the confidence necessary with all the power under the hood.

For is doing a great job of comparing this generation Mustang with the shark-nose 1968 pony. I owned a 1965 fastback with a 289 cubic inch engine. I forget the power ratings, but the car was quick, but the brakes were suspect at times. Handling wasn't great either.

Handling of the 2006 Mustang is fabulous. If I drove into a corner at a sensible, but high, speed, I had the confidence that I was going to emerge out the other side of the corner intact. The ride was flat, even under hard cornering, but wasn't so firm that your kidneys suffered on long rides.
Fuel economy wasn't great, at 12.9 mpg during our test. Still, I did drive the car hard, and one might expect better numbers for normal day-to-day driving.

This was the convertible, so I was interested in how well the top raised and lowered. I was able to get the power top down quickly the first two days I had the car, but then Hurricane Tammy hit and it stayed up. With the top down there was little or no backdraft that could mess up what's left of my hair. It could be that I was hunkered down below the high headrest of the car, but in any case the backdraft wasn't a problem. The car was also relatively quiet with the top up, which it was most of the time.
Ford did a great job of redesigning the dash and instrument panel. On the right side of the dash you face "striped" aluminum panels, with a center slit that opens when the air bag deploys (we didn't' check). The air vents close flush with the dash when they're shut, making a neat package.
The instruments are set in deep nacells that remind you of earlier Mustangs. In between the two huge speed and tach gauges are two smaller fuel level and water temperature gauges. The gauges are backlit blue at night.

The audio and HVAC systems are fairly standard, but that's not the charm. What I liked was the classic pony logo with a red, white, and blue stripe behind it that was located in the center of the steering wheel.

Seats were very comfortable, but could use more side support for hard cornering. I'd like to see ford install something like Recaro seats on the GT version. Sure, they'd cost more, but I think they'd attract more buyers.

Speaking of cost, the GT convertible comes with a base price of $30,550. Our tester had a bunch of sensible options that raised the bottom line to $32,365, still sensible.
© 2005 The Auto Page Syndicate

2008 LA Auto Show: Ford Fusion for 2010 Delivers Fuel Efficiency

2008 LA Auto Show

Ford Fusion for 2010 Delivers Fuel Efficiency

• 2.5-liter I-4 engine offers unsurpassed fuel economy in mid-size car non-HEV segment Wide range of powertrain choices available on the 2010 Fusion line, ranging from a 2.5-liter hybrid electric powertrain to 2.5L I-4 gasoline, 3.0L V6 flex-fuel, and 3.5-liter V-6 gasoline, each mated to six-speed transmissions for the first time.

• Addition of six-speed transmissions along with other refinements help increase fuel economy versus current model segment leaders.

LOS ANGELES - November 19, 2008: A wide new range of series and content choices in the 2010 Fusion models – S, SE, SEL and Sport – is complemented by a broad array of fuel-efficient powertrain options.

“Whatever the needs of our customer, we have a 2010 Fusion ready to deliver,” said Chief Nameplate Engineer J.D. Shanahan. “Our all-new lineup of engines and six-speed transmissions delivers power with unsurpassed fuel economy.”

The Fusion S features Ford’s all-new 2.5-liter Duratec I-4 engine, which produces 175 horsepower; the Fusion SE and SEL are available with the Duratec I-4 or the upgraded 3.0-liter V-6 Duratec engine producing 240 horsepower and capable of running on Flex Fuels such as E85 ethanol; and the Fusion Sport carries a 3.5-liter V-6 pumping out 263 horsepower.

All engines are mated to six-speed transmissions. The new combinations overall help increase fuel economy by at least 17 percent on the base I4 model and approximately 10 percent with larger-displacement engines, further underlining Ford’s commitment to producing fuel-efficient powertrain systems that deliver top performance.

“Customers want it all – exhilarating performance, continuing fuel economy improvements and near-zero emissions – all for a price that offers great value,” said Barb Samardzich, vice president, Powertrain Product Development. “We intend to meet or exceed customers’ expectations as we migrate advanced technologies from shelf to showroom. The efficiency of the powerpacks that will now be available on the 2010 Fusion demonstrates that we are committed to class-leading fuel economy, no matter the segment.”

Upgraded engine for Fusion S

First launched on 2009 Ford Escape, which has the best fuel economy in the small SUV segment, Ford’s Duratec 2.5-liter I-4 engine gives the 2010 Fusion S 175 horsepower and 172 pounds-feet of torque, an increase of 15 more horsepower and 16 more pounds-feet of torque than the outgoing 2.3-liter engine.

The 2.5-liter engine uses intake variable cam timing (iVCT) technology to optimize valve timing, creating a broad torque curve that helps deliver increased power along with improved efficiency. The powertrain also incorporates electronic throttle control (ETC), dual-mode crankshaft damping, new intake and exhaust manifolds and a new underbody-only catalyst, which help deliver greater fuel efficiency, more power, and lower noice, vibration, and harshness.

3.0-liter V-6 Duratec engine available for SE and SEL

The improved 3.0-liter V-6 delivers 19 more horsepower and 23 more foot-pounds of torque for a total of 240 horsepower and 228 foot-pounds of torque. It is optional on the SE and SEL models. The fuel economy also improves by at least 1 mpg and 2 mpg on the highway.
The 3.0-liter features a new air induction system and ETC as well as an industry-first Cam Torque Actuated (CTA) iVCT technology that uses available camshaft torsional energy rather than pressurized oil to phase the camshafts. This allows for a smaller-displacement oil pump versus traditional hydraulic VCT systems for improved fuel economy.

“With this technology, we are taking energy that is in your engine today – energy that was previously wasted – and using it to make an engine more efficient,” said Steve Wilkie, supervisor of Cam Drive/VCT Design. “The cam torque actuated technology is a significant player in the 3.0-liter’s ability to provide customers fuel economy and performance.”

This innovative method uses torsional energy to move the camshafts similar to the way a hydraulic ratchet works. The system takes oil from one side of the phaser and channels it to the other side, rather than draining one side and filling the other as with a traditional hydraulic system. This allows the CTA system to work more efficiently at all engine speeds and it requires a smaller oil pump, which equates to lower parasitic energy loss.

CTA reduces oil pump flow requirements by approximately 25 percent, producing a fuel economy benefit up to 0.4 percent. In addition, the CTA-based system responds more quickly than a traditional hydraulic oil actuated VCT system, improving tip-in performance feel and contributing to horsepower gains.

The 3.0-liter V-6 Duratec engine also is flex-fuel capable and can run on E85 ethanol, helping Ford deliver on a pledge made to double annual production of vehicles capable of running on renewable fuels by 2010.

3.5-liter V-6 powers Fusion Sport

The award-winning 3.5-liter V-6 Duratec engine joins the Fusion lineup for 2010, powering the Sport model with 263 horsepower and 249 pounds-feet of torque. The 3.5-liter uses a compact, lightweight dual-overhead cam valvetrain for peak power and smooth operation at high RPMs.
This engine also incorporates intake variable cam timing to optimize valve timing for a smooth idle and an impressive broad torque curve with good power.

A high 10.3:1 compression ratio and aluminum cylinder heads designed for high airflow and optimized combustion help complete the package, supporting the engine’s ability to deliver great performance and fuel economy, along with low emissions. Unlike some competitive performance engines, the 3.5-liter Duratec delivers all of this without requiring premium fuel.

Six-speed transmissions improve performance, drivability

The new pairing of Fusion’s engines with the 6F35-Mid automatic transmission further drives the mid-size sedan’s competitive advantage, especially when compared with the outgoing five-speed gearbox that was offered with Fusion’s I-4 models. A five-speed transmission is still the gearbox of choice for the 2.0-liter varieties offered on segment contenders Toyota Camry and Honda Accord.

When the six-speed transmission is paired with the 2.5-liter engine, for example, the Fusion powerpack delivers a 10 percent improvement in fuel efficiency along with increased power. The 3.0-liter configurations increase efficiency by 4 to 6 percent. The engine and transmission improvements combined with other vehicle systems improvements help deliver at least a 17 percent improvement on the base 2.5-liter model and approximately 10 percent on 3.0-liter equipped models.

The Ford transmission team made several specific modifications to the 6F35-Mid transmission to optimize its performance for Fusion, including using different final drive ratios for the 2.5-liter and 3.0-liter, developing an improved converter lock-up for lower operating temperatures and efficiency, recalibrating the converter clutch to accommodate a fuel-saving aggressive deceleration fuel shut-off system as well as other tweaks to diminish parasitic losses.
A SelectShift function also was added to the 3.0-liter application in response to customer requests, giving drivers the option of a fun-to-shift manual experience.

Other Fuel Savers

The Fusion powertrain packages incorporate other advanced fuel-saving and performance technologies, including:

• Electric Power Assisted Steering (EPAS). The 2010 Fusion has a rack-driven EPAS system. Available on the 2.5-liter and 3.0-liter engines, energy consumption of an EPAS system is typically less than 7 percent of a conventional hydraulic rack and pinion power steering system, contributing to less fuel consumption. Ford has committed to fit up to 90 percent of its Ford, Lincoln and Mercury products with EPAS by 2012 and first introduced a column-based EPAS system on the 2008 Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner.

• Adaptive Spark Ignition. Included on the V-6 configurations, this system can sense what type of fuel is being injected into the motor and communicates the information to the powertrain control module (PCM), which adjusts the spark accordingly. The ignition system features two knock sensors rather than one to further improve performance. These two sensors detect the presence of uncontrolled burning in the chambers more accurately, so the control module can retard engine timing as needed to eliminate the potential for engine knock and pinging. As a result, V6 engines run equally smoothly and are able to deliver power ratings on regular unleaded fuel instead of the more expensive premium.

• Aggressive Deceleration Fuel Shut-off. The 3.0-liter V-6 also regulates its gas consumption by using aggressive deceleration fuel shut-off for an efficiency improvement of approximately 1 percent. When the driver releases the accelerator pedal to slow down, the system temporarily turns off the fuel. The flow of fuel seamlessly resumes when the vehicle reaches a low speed or when the driver accelerates again. The system uses the transmission to keep the engine running at a low, more efficient operating point whenever possible. This system will be added to the 2.5-liter lineup later in the 2010 model year.

In addition to improved powertrain performance, better aerodynamics and weight reductions helped deliver fuel economy gains for the 2010 Fusion.

Designers and engineers worked to optimize the airflow over, under and around the 2010 Fusion. Improvements included all-new front and rear fascias, new front and rear tire spoilers, a new underbody engine shield and overall optimization of the cooling air flow into the engine compartment.

Plus, the team eliminated 125 pounds versus the 2009 Fusion. The size of the radiator, for example, was able to be reduced in size by one-third (saving approximately pounds) with no degradation in performance. Also, 16-inch aluminum wheels helped reduce weight and aid aerodynamics while still delivering top performance.

Like everything else on the 2010 Fusion, our powertrain offerings have been improved and give our customers multiple choices to define the Fusion that is right for them,” Shanahan said.

Car of the Week - Sneak Preview : 2004 Volvo S60R and V70R

Car of the Week - Sneak Preview
2004 Volvo S60R and V70R
The combination of performance, safety, and value will soon have another definition with the appearance of the 2004 Volvo S60R and V70R. In the case of the V70, it will be the fastest wagon in the U.S. with its 300hp turbo engine creating 295 lb/ft of torque. In both models the most remarkable innovation is the Four-C (continuously controlled chassis concept) semi-active chassis with three driving modes. With a simple press of a button, the driver instantly changes the ride and handling characteristics of the vehicle. In all modes, the system monitors the vehicle a mere 500 time per second making adjustments.

We drove the R cars on twisty desert mountain roads, the grooved pro racetrack at Las Vegas, and through bumper-to-bumper on the glittery Strip. The Four -C effortlessly changed identity to match the drivers whim. And we were most impressed by the way the system coordinated with the brakes to bring this speeding bullet from 100 to 40 with soft strength and almost no pitch at all. It takes a real effort to fight the feeling that the Laws of Physics no longer apply to you. This is indeed a well thought out, highly advanced integration of high tech systems. We'll have more on these later on, but for now here are the tantalizing specs...


· Turbocharged 2.5-liter DOHC I-5 engine; aluminum cylinder head and block

· Dual Wide Range continuously variable timing on intake and exhaust camshafts

· Choice of 6-speed manual or electronically controlled 5-speed automatic transmission; automatic has Sport mode and Geartronic semi-automatic selections

· Haldex electronically controlled all-wheel-drive

· Four-C (continuously controlled chassis concept) semi-active chassis with three driving modes

· Brembo brakes

· Front and rear seat side curtain air bags

· Whiplash Protection Seating System (WHIPS)

· Side Impact Protection System (SIPS)

· Unique R front fascia and rear spoiler

· Unique grille with matte silver frame

· DE (projector) lights in air dam

· Bi-Xenon high and low beam headlamps

· Soft leather upholstery with metallic effects

· Brushed aluminum "space ball" 6-speed gear lever (manual transmission)

· 3-spoke, leather-clad steering wheel rim in two-tone gray; air bag cover in charcoal leather with blue stitching

· Gauges in R-blue with "watch-dial" bezels

· Special R logo key with integrated remote controls
Configuration Transversely mounted, inline 5-cylinder Displacement 2,521 cc (153.8 Horsepower 300 @ 5,250 rpm Torque 295 lb.-ft. @ 1,950-5,250 rpm Top speed, mph 155* manual / 152* automatic, *electronically controlled top speed


· 6-speed manual or 5-speed Geartronic automatic transmission

· Electronically controlled all-wheel-drive system

· Dynamic stability traction control (DSTC)


· Four-C adaptive suspension with three switchable chassis mode: Comfort, Sport and Advanced Sport; adjusts shock absorbers continuously and almost instantaneously

· Servotronic speed-sensitive power rack-and- pinion steering


Calipers Brembo 4-piston aluminum, front and rear
Front Discs 330 x 32 mm (ventilated)
Rear Discs 330 x 28 mm (ventilated)
ABS Four channel system
Wheels 17 x 8 in. aluminum alloy (standard) 18 x 8 in. aluminum alloy (optional for S60 R)
Tires 235/45ZR-17 Pirelli P-Zero (standard) 235/40ZR-18 Pirelli P-Zero (optional for S60 R)