My friend and car enthusiast Matt who blogs over at Hot Rod Regal represented Ford during the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) this year.
Kelly requested I document the 2015 North American International Auto Show since I am an aircraft mechanic and car enthusiast. Ford Motor Company paid for my travel and accommodations at the the three-day NAIAS Digital Summit. I was not compensated in any other manner for my time. My opinions posted here are my own. -Matt McKahan
Ford brought out the big guns this year at the 2015 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, Michigan. While most think the focus was on high performance, hot rod type cars and trucks; the message was actually performance driving innovation. The Ford Motor Company’s quest for the best innovation is what matters to me as a consumer with a family in mind. I only have a limited amount of funds and want to get the best possible vehicle when I purchase one. Ford focused on innovation that creates a vehicle with better gas mileage with the same or better power, convenient tech integration, smaller impact on the environment, safety, and ultimately better savings for my checkbook. Check out my 1st time experience at the Detroit auto show while I look for the very best and newest logic to help keep my family’s money in our pockets. Ford performance drives innovation for everyone!
The push for ultra high performance combined with the desire for luxurious amenities packaged into one vehicle seems to be the current trend of all OEM car manufacturers. This is a very good thing for the consumer of all walks. We can have our cake and eat it too when it comes to getting a safe, responsible means of transportation, but satisfy our youthful desire for power and well appointed “cool” cars and trucks.
Ford wasted no time proving they were paying attention to detail by showing how their performance based vehicles incorporate some of the newest logic. This was evident by the 3 major press releases at the 2015 NAIAS seen in the next 3 short videos.
The 2017 Ford Raptor
The 2015 Shelby Mustang GT350R
The 2016 Ford GT
The next innovation I noticed Ford embracing were something called “Air curtains”. Nearly every Ford model had these aerodynamic enhancements. At first, I thought Ford was ducting air from the front of the cars/trucks into the brakes for cooling. This excited me as a performance minded car enthusiast. Upon further investigation, I discovered the ducting I noticed were aerodynamic improvements to gain fuel consumption efficiency. The inlet/exit ducts that construct the “Air curtains” take the smooth air from the front of the vehicle and moves it through the inner fender until it exits in front of the forward wheels and tires. The air exiting the inner fender over the wheel and tire promotes smooth air flow over the side of the wheel and tire that would normally be turbulent air. Turbulent air causes drag which causes more fuel burn. This is a HUGE innovation that I have not seen on any other type of vehicle. Check out the following photos to see how this concept works.
Ford is incorporating this aerodynamic technology into nearly all the new model vehicles. They are way ahead of the game here, and I did not see any other car manufacture use this innovation. This last example was from the 2016 Platinum edition Ford Explorer.
As I show you the next set of photos, I have to be honest – I was also window shopping for a future family vehicle for my wife and I. Still interested in the performance and mechanical design of the cars, I was also taking notes on how convenient and safe they would be for a starting family.
The 2015 Edge also has the “Air curtain” technology incorporated among other things. I was pretty much geeking out at this point in time by checking out all the features of each car. The 2015 Edge has acoustic glass, a twin turbo EcoBoost engine, all wheel drive, and active noise cancellation through the stereo.
The 2015 Edge Sport has available inflatable rear safety belts. This is an “advanced restraint system that combines attributes of safety belt and airbag technologies. It is designed to reduce head, neck and chest injuries for rear seat passengers in frontal crashes by distributing crash force energy across five times more of an occupant’s torso than a traditional safety belt.” -Ford media release.
I have seen inflatable seat belt airbags only in commercial vehicles previously. This is another innovation Ford is leading the way on.
The newly redesigned 2015 Mustang was loaded with new innovative features also (click the link to see them)
Even the F-150 trucks have the “Air curtain” improvements. I really like the way they hide the inlet duct here (seen in the next photo) – directly above the bumper. I bet this was a feature many people overlooked.
I was very impressed with what Ford brought to the table at the 2015 NAIAS. There were very visible and deliberate design improvements on all their models with concern to safety, performance, aerodynamics, digital integration and aesthetics. I am typically a GM guy, but Ford and the multiple engineering improvements across all models really stood out to me. The “Behind the Blue Oval” display booth was by far the most organized, informational, and spectacular with displays on manufacturing, history, and design. Ford really had the “Wow factor” on all levels! It is for these reason’s I think this was Ford’s year at the 2015 North American International Auto Show and I felt honored to be part of it.
As for shopping for the “Family vehicle” I still have a little time for that… The next step though is to go see these vehicles in person with my wife and experience the difference together.