Good Afternoon folks, and welcome to another edition of Gearheads.org. Today we’re going to highlight one of the Big Three’s newest designs to hit the NASCAR circuit. Ford has revealed it’s latest design changes to the 2013 NASCAR Ford Fusion this year, and press has been clamoring all over it.
The 2013 NASCAR Ford Fusion’s engine, and power train will remain untouched for this revamped model. All of the modifications have been totally cosmetic. The designers at Ford decided to make sure that their Fusion would not only be recognized, but also have some defining characteristics of it’s own. The 275hp, Duratec Inline 4 engine, as mentioned before will not change. Nor will its six speed manual transmission, that carries it to an impressive 175mph. Ford went with installing an actual grille on the front end of the car, as opposed to the stickers that normally sit there. Raised, and contoured hood lines, are now more visual to the naked eye. Also, Ford has made it a point to push their EcoBoost line, slapping the name on the sides of the Fusion. Just in case anyone forgot what the street version of the Fusion was all about. These design changes were scrutinized by NASCAR officials down to the millimeter, and after dozens of checks, the 2013 NASCAR Ford Fusion is good to go.
After it’s release, the 2013 NASCAR Ford Fusion, will become an unofficial spokes model for all new 2013 Ford Fusions. The extreme similarities, were fabricated for a few reasons, one to gain a higher level of interest in the 2013 Ford Fusion. Two, Ford’s wide mouth Aston Martin-ish style grille is an enticing feature that will also bring more interest to the sport of NASCAR. Because everybody knows that, the more a racing car looks like a street car, the more people are going to want it. Lastly, this simple design will once again help the Fusion become a brand name of it’s own, and not become the Taurus’ little brother. The Fusion popularity will become astronomical, when the 2013 NASCAR Ford Fusion wins a few races, and sets the track a blaze with style, and poise. So for the time being the Ford Fusion is looking very tempting, and with this designer launch of sorts, nothing but positive vibes, along with a few wins, are going to be heading in the direction of the 2013 Ford Fusion.
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We’re going to take a moment to look at an amazing car that has been proving a few points since it’s on the road. That car is the 2013 Mustang. Now before you get all up in arms, and stop reading , let me just say one thing. This isn’t going to be about any Plain Jane Mustang that just rolled off the assembly line. No, Sir, this article is going to highlight a Mustang that was put together for a quick racing season at Formula Drift.
If you haven’t guessed what it is, then here it is.The 2013 Monster Energy RTR Mustang. The 2013 Monster Energy RTR Mustang was born a stock GT350 Mustang, and was quickly snapped up by Monster Energy, and sponsored driver Vaughn Gittin Jr. for the 2012 Formula Drift season. Now the 2010 Mustang that Vaughn was currently driving was by any means no slouch at the track, but the guys over at Ford figured, why not throw a 2013 Mustang into the mix? So they did just that, hand over a set of keys to Vaughn and his team to see how a 2013 Mustang would fit into the realm of drifting. And of course for a driver like Vaughn, how do you test a new car? BURNOUTS & DOUGHNUTS!!!!
After a quick session of Hoomigan Style driving, the car was brought to a private building to be remade into the Monster that it is now. There was a collaboration between Ford Racing, Roush Yates, & Monster Energy that spawned the beginning of the 2013 Monster Energy RTR Mustang. The Mustang was stripped down to a former shell of itself, and then the designing took place. The already stout motor was stripped down, blue printed, given new cams, lifters, bottom end, and a much approved fuel injection system, which boosted the engine from a 5.0 to become a 6.7L beast. Ignition wiring was over hauled, exhaust as well as intake was drastically improved, so that the car could breath in any, and all types of racing conditions. So no matter where Vaughn would be racing, the air quality would not affect the overall power of the car. Next came the drive train, a new lighter, but stronger drive shaft was mated to the motor, so as to transfer all power and torque from the gearbox to the rear end. In order to bang through the gears of a drift course, the gearbox had to be custom made.
Close attention to detail was given to the first three gears. These gears are the primary gears that make a car like this one drift the way it does. Gears 4, 5, & 6 are just a bonus option at this point. So now, the big question, “How much power does she make?” Well the 2013 Monster Energy RTR Mustang makes an astonishing 800hp, and 769ft lbs of torque. All of this power allows Vaughn to turn tires into smoke, drive sideways with the greatest of ease, and persuade the ground to yield to his style of hard driving. To top it all off, the Mustang was given a paint job that would make Mr. HOONIGAN himself, Ken Block jealous. Graphics galore, all encompass the basic Monster Energy colors, Hot Neon Green, & Black, with a touch of Matte Slate Grey to break it all up.
The 2013 Monster Energy RTR Mustang has been a force to be reckoned with, since it was introduced into this years Formula D series. As it stands now, Vaughn has just wrapped up Round 5 with not only the win, but he is also in the series lead as far as the championship points are concerned. With that said, this 2013 Mustang from Ford is clearly making a powerful name for itself in the racing market, and we know that racing influences everything that goes into a production car. I mean there’s a limited production RTR Mustang already in existence, how much longer until we see a Monster Energy body kit for anyone who wants to look like Vaughn, but without the wall scrapes that Formula D has to offer? Not long I hope.
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So let’s get to it, shall we? We’re going to jump on the Ford band wagon again, and talk about a sweet little ride that millions of people have grown to adore, and drool over. For the past few years Ford has been riding high as far as the racing scene is concerned. With big names from NHRA, Formula D, WRC, and now Ford has become an official staple in the world of Gymkhana. Thanks to a man called Ken Block. Ken Block has been rally racing since 2005, but he wasn’t in a Ford then, he was rocking an ’05 Subaru Impreza WRX rated at 500+hp. An All Wheel Drive beast that helped Block achieve many goals beyond measure. Also this Subaru opened the doors to a whole new sport called Gymkhana. The Wikipedia definition of the word Gymkhana is an event that is similar to autocross, but involves a much more technical aspect to the event. Memorization of the course plays a key role in completing the course in it’s entirety. The average YouTube viewer would classify Gymkhana as the following. Being able to drive your car better than the best Wheel-man’s favorite get-away driver. Combining WRC skills, with drifting, and having balls of Iron normally help achieve a higher than worldly impressive goals. Now as far as Ken Block is concerned, all of these skills have been achieved tenfold and to him it’s known as Hooning. Which makes him a Hoonigan. Think of it as a play on the word Honing one’s skills to be better at what you do. Combined with the word Hooligan, and there you have it, Hoonigan. So said so done.
Now, as I mentioned before this is a Ford party and we need to acknowledge the fact that Mr. #43 moved to Ford in 2010 for a seat with the Ford/Monster WRC rally team. His first car was a 2010 Ford Focus, and let’s not get it twisted, the Focus was great, but the Fiesta’s smaller wheelbase allowed for better controlled slides, and handling on the various courses in the WRC. From that point forward the Fiesta was the new car to be reckoned with for all of the rally races. Now let us get back to the car we are here to discuss, and that car is the 2012 Ford Fiesta HFHV Rally Car. This vehicle obviously is based off of a standard 4dr FWD Fiesta that is mass produced for the world. Here’s the kicker, the stock Fiesta comes with an 1.6l, I-4 Ti-VCT motor that pushes a mere 125hp, whereas the HFHV has been given a Pipo Motuers-built 2.0l turbo charged 4 banger that puts out a ridiculous 600hp & 665lb ft. of torque. (To the wheels!) I know it’s just straight bananas. Then to continue with the transformation from tame college car to Monster’s own street crushing machine, the Fiesta was given an AWD make-over, stripped of it’s interior, reinforced framework was installed, a 6spd sequential gearbox was placed behind the new motor, and to top it all off a graphics package that makes the eyes do more than pop. This car has seen a ton of roads, hills, valleys, ramps, jumps, water hazards, and even has a steady count of the air time it achieves when it leaves a jump or ramp. The 2012 Ford Fiesta HFHV Rally Car, as I mentioned before has become an intricate part of the rally world, as well as the internet world. This car has made appearances at venues such as the 2012 X-Games Rally Cross, the WRC rally championship, and Ken Block’s own Gymkhana 4 & 5 videos (Which have amassed over 30M hits world wide). So it’s pretty safe to say that MR. HOONIGAN, aka Ken Block will continue to power slide his way through the world, as long as there is a Ford for him to sit in and drive. The technology that went into this car was extremely over the top, enough to rival some of the tech that comes with a standard 2012 GTR. Hopefully in the immediate future Ford will combine with DC Shoes, & Monster to develop a new line of body kits, bolt on engine mods, and graphics packages for the everyday consumers to have a Fiesta that makes you feel like a real HOONIGAN.
Thanks for reading.