Sponsorship

Ford ups the horsepower at the Kentucky Derby, becomes multi-year partner of Churchill Downs

The Ford F-Series will be on display during the Kentucky Derby.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Every running of the Kentucky Derby kicks off with the crowd together singing "My Old Kentucky Home". Traditionally, the sun shines bright in the land of Churchill Downs, which is also where Ford makes the Ford F-Series Super Duty, Ford Escape, and Ford Expedition.

Ford has announced a new multi-year partnership with Churchill Downs, unseating Ram as the official automotive company of the famed horse racing track.

"With Louisville Assembly Plant and Kentucky Truck Plant practically in the backyard of Churchill Downs, Ford's participation in this uniquely American tradition is long overdue," said Matt Van Dyke, Ford marketing director. "While our workhorse trucks naturally play a huge role supporting the many aspects of the equine and racing industries, our legendary sports car is named Mustang and our much-anticipated off-roading icon is Bronco. Ford products capture the freedom synonymous with the relationship between a winning horse and jockey."

The new 2020 Ford F-Series Super Duty will serve as featured vehicle of the 146th Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 2, 2020.

As official truck, non-luxury SUV, car and van of Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby, Ford is hosting on-site activations throughout Derby Week, including special access for FordPass Rewards members plus celebrations for veterans and active duty military personnel.

Each Kentucky Oaks and Derby horse owner will also receive a Ford Explorer to use during the event.

In addition, Derby attendees can experience a wide variety of displays highlighting the Ford lineup, including the new 2020 Ford F-Series Super Duty that recently began production at Kentucky Truck Plant and the 2020 Ford Escape, which is built at Louisville Assembly Plant.

"Our employees here in Louisville are proud to be building products that play an integral role in our customers' lives, and now for the great American tradition that is the Kentucky Derby," said Joe Bobnar, Ford director of manufacturing for Louisville Assembly Plant and Kentucky Truck Plant. "This partnership means something special to our thousands of dedicated employees, retirees and dealers in the Louisville community."

The company will also host a Ford Day during the 2020 racing season, granting Ford employees and their guests free admission to a race day at Churchill Downs.

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

Ford has listened and will be making its Bronco available with a manual transmission and the Sasquatch Package.

Photo courtesy of Twitter/@MrLevine

It's safe to say that enthusiasm for the 2021 Ford Bronco is high. The voices of the enthusiasts are loud too. So loud, that the powers that be at Ford Motor Company headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan heard them when they shouted all over social media that they wanted the Bronco to be available with a manual transmission and the Sasquatch Package - a combination not announced at the product's debut.

"The Bronco community spoke and we heard them," said Mark Grueber, Ford Bronco consumer marketing manager. "Our team moved quickly to add Sasquatch with a manual transmission – another example of our focus on giving customers the best possible off-road vehicles and accessories that we can."

2021 Ford Bronco four-door Many orders have already been placed for the 2021 Bronco.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Previously, the Sasquatch Package was only available on select trim levels of the two- and four-door Bronco with the available 10-speed automatic transmission.

The Sasquatch Package gives the model 35-inch Goodyear mud-terrain tires that are mounted to 17-inch beadlock-capable wheels, Dana front and rear electronic locking axles with 4.7:1 final drive ratio, and a high-clearance suspension with a nearly two-inch wider track, position-sensitive Bilstein shocks, and wider fender flares.

The change makes the Bronco the only 4x4 with a seven-speed manual and 35-inch off-road tires in its class, giving it one more boasting point in the Bronco vs. Wrangler throwdown for off-road supremacy.

The Sasquatch Package will now be available across the Ford Bronco lineup including the Base, Big Bend, Black Diamond, Outerbanks, and Badlands grades. It is standard on the Bronco Wildtrak and First Edition models. Exterior paint job options vary by trim level.

"Capability is always a priority, and pairing Sasquatch with a manual transmission and available advanced 4x4 system gives it a maximum crawl ratio of 94.75:1, providing even more off-road capability across the line-up," said Dave Pericak, Ford icons global director.

The manual transmission with Sasquatch package is targeted to be available in late 2021. But, you may have to wait 15 months to get yours.

Earlier this year, AutomotiveMap rode in a Bronco with a manual transmission as well as the Bronco Sport.

The Bronco build and price module on Ford.com will go live in October. How can you get a deal on your preferred model? There's one thing you need to know.

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The first all-electric Karma Automotive model is set to debut next year.

Photo courtesy of Karma Automotive

Karma Automotive is promising to debut its first all-electric car in 2021. To understand how we got here, it's important to look back a decade.

Fisker Automotive was founded by heralded car designer Henrik Fisker in 2007. For a brief moment in history, it produced the Fisker Karma, one of the world's first production luxury plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). The first Karma was delivered in 2011 but by 2014, the company was staring down liquidation.

That year, Fisker Automotive's Karma vehicle design, tooling, and manufacturing facility were purchased by Wanxiang Group, the largest China-based automotive components company by revenue. Henrik Fisker retried the Fisker trademarks and rights to the Fisker brand. He went on to launch Fisker Inc., a separate company that has big plans for all-electric vehicles, in 2016. Wanxiang Group renamed its vehicle company Karma Automotive.

And now here we are.

Karma Automotive has released an image of the GS as a teaser.

Karma Automotive says that the 2021 debut will be the first public step in a full line, which includes electrification options and leans on technological advancements to set itself apart. The GS Series model will be Karma's first-ever battery electric luxury sedan.

The new models will retain much of the same design as the Revero.

"We are pleased to announce that Karma will now offer our first all-electric vehicle next year as part of the GS series," said Dr. Lance Zhou, Karma's CEO. "Cost reductions in the BOM, streamlining our supply chain and standardized production methods also allowed for a new, more attainable pricing structure for the GS lineup allowing for higher market penetration, opening up the market to a larger group of entry level luxury buyers."

Though its looks, range, pricing, and options aren't yet public knowledge, customers can currently reserve their model at http://www.karmaautomotive.com/reserve. All reservations require a fully-refundable $100 deposit.

For years Chinese brands have been looking to break into the U.S. market without much success. Though there are a growing number of Karma dealerships in the U.S., sales of the vehicles are few and far between.

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