Power Wheels Ford F-150 available for $349.99

Fisher-Price Power Wheels F-150 - 13

Power Wheels 2015 F-150

BY GERRY MILES

Admit it: If you were still (a small-sized) kid…you’d want one of these.

Instead we had Little Red Wagons that were fun until you steered too hard in one direction, aka the Wrong Direction, and were unceremoniously tossed out sideways.

Pedal cars were fun, but once you grew, slapping your kneecaps atop the metal “dash” and the extra energy required for a) longish treks and b) hills diminished the “fun factor” quickly.

Today’s modern kid “has everything” and to that possible list of motoring offerings from Fisher Price comes the 2015 Ford F-150. Fisher-Price Power Wheels F-150 - 33

  • Features a roomy truck bed, working tailgate and eye-catching “chrome” wheels and grill
  • Proven tough, Monster Traction™ drive system allows kids to drive on hard surfaces, wet grass and bumpy terrain
  • 12-volt battery combines dynamic raw power with efficiency – no biodiesel, flex fuel or pulling up to the pump required.
  • The kids can listen to tunes via a working FM radio and MP3 jack or sound effects
  • Check out the full Power Wheels F-150 lineup and place your pre-order now at www.powerwheels.com/f150

And get ready to ride off into the sunset.

Fisher-Price Power Wheels F-150 - 12

 

 

No splitting hairs this is the best (Van) Damme Volvo commercial

Jean Claude Van Damme performs in a commercial that can only be called epic.

Jean Claude Van Damme performs in a commercial that can only be called epic.

BY GERRY MILES

The good news? Volvo has something that’s created some buzz about its brand.

The bad news? It’s about Volvo’s commercial trucks and Jean Claude Van Damme.

In what is clearly the coolest commercial since Volvo showed off its trucks’ stability with a high-wire act between the two Volvo trucks, JCVD is shown performing a split between two Volvos as they drive in reverse and Jean Claude displays nerve, strength and more to perform the feat.

The commercial, which was filmed at sunrise on a closed airstrip, was designed to show the stability of Volvo steering, explains Jan-Inge Svensson, the engineer behind the development of the system’s software at Volvo Trucks, on the Volvo website. “The stability and control are so good that you can reverse a truck over a long distance with very high precision, which is exactly what we’ve had to do in this film. It had to be perfect — right down to the last centimeter.”

It was done in just one take but had plenty of planning ahead of time.

Toyota trucks tow SAE line

2014 Toyota Tundra Platinum

2014 Toyota Tundra Platinum

BY GERRY MILES

There aren’t many that intrinsicly know how much they can tow behind their truck without referring to their owner’s manual.

Toyota, however, is the only automaker to adopt the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) towing standard, known as J2807, for its trucks and SUVs, beginning with the 2014 Toyota Tundra as the only full-sized truck to adopt the standard. Toyota has been in compliance with J2807 since 2011.

The  J2807 standard establishes a single, repeatable test curriculum to determine real-world tow ratings for body-on-frame vehicles. Prior to the standard, manufacturers had devised their own tests and published their ratings without a third-party guideline.

“Toyota owners look to us to develop vehicles that meet the highest safety standards, and our voluntary adoption of J2807 helps us deliver on that promise,” said Mike Sweers, chief engineer of the Toyota Tundra and Tacoma. “Tundra owners can tow confidently knowing that the published tow rating has been verified by the industry’s foremost engineering authority.  With Tundra, what you see is what you get.”

Toyota has certifications for its entire towing-equipped lineup, including every Toyota pick-up truck, SUV, and minivan. SAE’s J2807 certification includes a comprehensive test of the vehicle’s engine, transmission, cooling system, axles and structural rigidity to handle a rated load so customers will know that rated Toyota vehicles have survived the industry’s harshest test methods.

The Toyota Tundra is assembled exclusively in San Antonio and is the only half-ton full-size pickup to hail from the state of Texas. Toyota Motor Manufacturing Texas (TMMTX) employs 2,900 Texans, with on-site suppliers providing an additional 2,800 American jobs.

2014 Toyota Tundra SR5

2014 Toyota Tundra SR5

New Ford Transit Connect Taxi Ready for Service from New York to LA to Hong Kong

Ford introduces the 2014 Transit Connect Taxi, prioritizing passenger and cargo space, livery-duty durability and low operating costs.

Ford introduces the 2014 Transit Connect Taxi, prioritizing passenger and cargo space, livery-duty durability and low operating costs.

  • All-new this model year, Ford Transit Connect Taxi features an unmatched combination of performance, fuel economy, safety, comfort and flexibility
  • Ford C-MAX Hybrid also being adopted by taxi operators across the United States, where Ford leads with 60 percent share of the taxi market
  • Ford Transit Connect with HK Skyline Night
  • Ford Transit Connect Taxi adds Hong Kong to list of global cities where the vehicle will be in service

DEARBORN, Mich., Oct. 21, 2013 – Ford Motor Company today adds Hong Kong to the list of global cities served by its Transit Connect Taxi, building on the vehicle’s popularity among taxi operators in New York City, Chicago, Miami and Los Angeles.

All-new this model year, Ford Transit Connect Taxi features an unmatched combination of performance, fuel economy, safety, comfort and flexibility.

“Ford Transit Connect Taxi has proven itself in taxi fleets across the U.S.,” said Raj Nair, group vice president, global product development. “Now, we are building on that success, offering the vehicle for sale in even more markets, including global cities like Hong Kong.”

The Transit Connect Taxi Ford unveiled in Hong Kong comes equipped with a Ford-engineered, clean-burning liquefied petroleum gas fuel system. It is designed to run on Hong Kong’s well-established LPG infrastructure, providing dependability, low maintenance and long-range travel.

In the United States, Ford owns nearly 60 percent of the taxi market. On sale since 2010, Ford Transit Connect Taxi serves passengers in some of the most demanding taxi markets, including Philadelphia and Boston.

Taxi of the future today

The 2014 Ford Transit Connect Taxi comes with a new powertrain – a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine paired with a new, fuel-efficient six-speed automatic transmission – providing drivers with quick response as well as durability, low-rpm cruising and an expected best-in-class highway fuel economy rating.

In addition, Transit Connect will be the only taxi in America offered with a compressed natural gas and LPG engine prep package. Conversion to CNG and LPG is supported by Ford Qualified Vehicle Modifiers, enabling significant fuel cost savings.

Ford’s second-generation Transit Connect Taxi features a lower vehicle height, providing improved roof clearance for taxicab companies to place advertising on the cabin roof. A new interior hood release gives drivers easy access to check fluid levels prior to starting a shift.

The new Transit Connect Taxi also is longer, offering seating for five and increased cargo capacity. It has an expected best-in-class 60.5 cubic feet of cargo volume behind the second row. The vehicle can accommodate a compressed gas tank, while still leaving ample room for luggage.

The Transit Connect Taxi floor has been lowered for improved access to the cabin, and it can be modified for wheelchair accessibility through Ford’s Qualified Vehicle Modifier program.

Ford C-MAX Hybrid chosen by taxi operators

In addition to Transit Connect Taxi’s success, Ford C-MAX Hybrid is being adopted by taxi operators right from dealer lots. A purpose-built taxi package isn’t available. Taxi operators like the vehicle’s utility, maneuverable size and class-leading U.S. EPA combined fuel economy of 43 mpg. C-MAX Hybrid taxis are on the road in San Francisco and New York.

Taxi operators attribute Ford C-MAX Hybrid’s class-leading fuel economy, 522-mile overall range and spaciousness to its success in taxi fleets. C-MAX Hybrid offers best-in-class passenger volume, plus best-in-class front- and second-row headroom and legroom, and plenty of room for cargo.

In addition, Ford C-MAX Hybrid’s ease of entry and exit is one of its top-rated features by customers – important for passengers quickly entering and exiting the vehicle.

Claes Nilsson is hooked on Volvo Trucks

Volvo Truck president Claes Nilsson got into the act to support the brands new truck during this dare devil commercial. (Volvo photo)

Volvo Truck president Claes Nilsson got into the act to support the brands new truck during this dare devil commercial.                                                                                                            (Volvo photo)

BY GERRY MILES

It’s one thing to stand behind your product, but it’s another to stand on it. And there’s a “hook” to the commercial…it’s 20 meters up over Gothenburg Harbor. In the air.

That’s what Claes Nilsson, president of Volvo Trucks, did to show off the strength of the FMX truck’s tow hook on Gothenburg, Sweden.

Claes Nilsson

Claes Nilsson                        Volvo Trucks President

“Well, I have to admit I had butterflies in my tummy and I certainly did wonder more than once about what I’d let myself in for. I’m no mountain-climber and I don’t like heights. But I’d promised to do the stunt so I couldn’t very well back out,” says Claes Nilsson.

The stunt included nearly 2 hours standing on a Volvo FMX construction truck dangling over Gothenburg harbour.

“Of course there were many retakes and filming is a time-consuming process. It was fairly cold — about 8 degrees above zero — and the wind was blowing about 10 metres a second, so my hands got pretty cold after a while. But it all went very well. Safety was 100 per cent all the way, so I was never really afraid,” continues Claes Nilsson.

“The idea behind the film — called “The Hook” — is that we wanted to show that the truck’s front towing hook is dimensioned to handle far greater stresses than those to which it is normally subjected. It’s all about spotlighting the strength and quality of our construction trucks. And you can’t do that more clearly than by hoisting the 15 ton truck up into the air via its own towing hook,” explains Claes Nilsson.

“The difficulty is to shoot the entire film in one take from a helicopter. I’m really impressed by Claes Nilsson, who stayed cool and focused throughout the two hours while hanging 20 meters up in the air. I tried it myself, but just for 15 minutes. It was pretty scary I can tell you,” says Filip Nilsson of Folke Film, who directed the film.

Volvo Trucks previously featured their trucks in a world class stunt called “The Ballerina Stunt” that features Faith Dickey walking a wire between two Volvo trucks along a highway in Croatia. It gives new meaning to the term backbone and fearless. Volvo says 7 million people have seen it on YouTube. Click on the link above to watch the spell-binding brief.

“Since then we’ve introduced another four truck models. Our plan is to subject them to a variety of tests in the upcoming months, all with the aim of demonstrating the improved characteristics of each model. These are not any run-of-the-mill tests we’re doing — I can assure you that nobody in the truck world has ever done anything like this before,” concludes Claes Nilsson.