Thanks, Donald: In Response to Trump, UAW Spills the Beans on Ford Bronco, Ranger

1985 Ford Bronco

Regardless of which side of the aisle you stand on, the 2016 presidential election has brought new meaning to “political theater.” Every election features its fair share of attack ads, smear campaigns, and slander, but with two unprecedentedly polarizing candidates, it’s no stretch to assume people are watching debates, social media at their fingertips, just to hear what the “other guy” will say.

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The Return of the Manual!

Manual gearshift

When I cancelled a dentist appointment to take a 2012 Porsche 911 Carrera S through its paces, I figured I made the right choice. I think most people would choose a morning with a 911 over having teeth drilled.

Yesterday, though, karma caught up with me in the form of a rescheduled dentist appointment. And drilled teeth. And numbing that didn’t take the first time. I left the dentist’s office with a swollen face, numb lips and the promise of more pain once the drugs wore off. There was only one thing that could make me feel better:

Heel-toeing through the twisties of one my favorite roads. Manual transmissions may be going the way of the dodo, as evidenced by that 911 and its high-tech PDK, but at least I still have my 5-speed.

As it turns out, though, there is hope that manuals may be in the midst of a resurgence in popularity.

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Cars Coming Soon: Track-Ready Jaguar XKR-S, 2015 Ford Focus RS and a 4-Cylinder Mustang

2011 Ford Focus 500RS

Out of all the performance-bred excitement you are about to read, this is perhaps the one piece of information that’ll make you stumble over your words and spit out your morning mocha:

The Ford Mustang may get a 4-banger.

Before horrible visions of the 1976 2.3-liter 4-cylinder Mustang II creep into your head, rest assured that, should the Mustang drop cylinders, it’ll do so with plenty of panache.

In 1976, the 4-cylinder Mustang II put out all of 92 hp. A new 2.3-liter engine, slated for use in the 2015 Ford Focus RS, could make a whopping 320 hp and, potentially, be used in the forthcoming Mustang. How’s that sit with ya?

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Consumer Reports Reliability Study: Ford Down, Chrysler Up

2011 Ford Explorer

Uh oh, Ford…

The new Explorer, Fiesta, and Focus all had below-average reliability in their first year. As a result, Ford’s overall reliability rank among 28 major car makes slipped from the 10th to the 20th spot this year—the biggest drop for any major nameplate in Consumer Reports 2011 Annual Auto Survey.

This news was circulated yesterday in an e-mailed press release and posted on the CR website later in the day. While many blogs and news sources are repeating the message that Ford’s reliability has gone down the drain, the truth is, it hasn’t. Most of the problems reported are technology-related and involve the MyTouch infotainment system, a distraction I don’t believe should even be in cars.

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