Off-Roading

Ford adds available FX4 Off-Road Package to 2020 Expedition Limited

Ford has made a new FX4 off-roading package available for the 2020 Expedition.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The 2020 Ford Expedition Limited delivers premium features and appointments that would be at home in the parking lot of any steak house in Texas. Add in the FX4 off-road package and the large SUV is also at home on most any Texas ranch road as well.

"There's a growing trend in people looking to enjoy rugged terrain without having to give up the refinement, comfort or convenience of getting there," said Devin McParlane, Ford Expedition consumer marketing manager.

2020 Ford Expedition Limited FX4 Package The package is only available on Expedition Limited models.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Research by MaritzCX shows that nearly 20 percent of Expedition owners use their vehicle for off-roading. Forty-five percent take their SUV hunting, camping, or fishing.

The FX4 package includes 32-inch all-terrain tires on 18-inch metallic gray-painted cast-aluminum rims, off-road-tuned shocks, seven underbody skid plates (including a new sand shield to protect turbocharger intercoolers, steel plates to protect steering gear, engine, transmission and transfer case, and a full-length guard for the fuel tank). The chin spoiler beneath the front bumper is shortened to improve approach angles for climbing over steep obstacles. There are also chrome-plated running boards with angular step bars.

FX4 badging adorns the liftgate, front fender, and key points inside the vehicle's cabin.

The model is powered by a standard 375-horsepower 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine that is paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. It has a two-speed electronically controlled four-wheel-drive transfer case with neutral towing capability, electronic limited-slip differential, Terrain Management System, and heavy-duty radiator. Standard features include a 360-degree camera, rubber floor liners, and Ford Co-Pilot360 safety and driver assistance technology.

2020 Ford Expedition Limited FX4 Package Each model comes with FX4 badging.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The Expedition can tow up to 9,200 pounds, leading its class.

The new 2020 Expedition Limited FX4 package is available on the standard Expedition and extended-length Expedition MAX versions. It is currently on sale at a Ford dealership near you. The 2020 Ford Expedition Limited starts at $63,885 including a destination charge and minus $1,500 in current incentives. The FX4 package adds $2,035 to the price tag.

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 delivers new safety and driver assistance tech to the company's 2021 model lineup.

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

The U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has made public a list of proposed upgrades to the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP). NCAP testing addresses the crashworthiness of a vehicle as well as the vehicle's headlight functionality. These new proposed measures go even further, putting driver assistance and safety technology to the test.

Automakers often strive to achieve the highest score possible in NCAP testing, wearing their five-start safety ratings and Top Pick designations as badges of honor in marketing campaigns.

"Thanks in part to NCAP, new vehicles today are much safer than a generation ago," said NHTSA Deputy Administrator James Owens. "Even so, there are still too many fatalities and serious injuries in crashes every year, so it is critical that vehicles keep getting safer in the future, and a modernized NCAP will better enable American families to select vehicles with the safety features they want."

The immediate planned update to NCAP testing includes four advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS): lane keeping support, pedestrian automatic emergency braking, blind spot warning, and blind spot intervention. Engineers have designed these four specific technologies to mitigate high-frequency and high-risk crash types.

NHTSA is currently seeking public input on how best to develop a rating system for ADAS technologies.

"These upgrades will make NCAP more dynamic," Deputy Administrator Owens said. "American car buyers want safety, and NHTSA wants to empower them with comparative safety information about vehicles in the market. This information creates powerful market-based incentives for automakers to invest in advanced safety technologies that will save lives and prevent injuries."

The NHTSA began testing vehicles in 1978. The first tests examined frontal impact protection and used data from crash test dummies. The five-star safety rating system was established in 1993 and have been steadily increasing the scope of the testing over the last two decades.

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The Bugatti Chiron Sport "Les Légendes du Ciel" edition pays homage to vintage aircraft.

Photo courtesy of Bugatti

In the aftermath of World War I, company founder Ettore Bugatti showcased the first three vehicles made by the company that bore his name. They were race cars and Bugatti found itself at the pinnacle of the sport very quickly.

By 1930, the company would begin its relationship with the aerospace industry, first with the Bugatti 100P, which never actually flew due to World War II, but served as the inspiration for a number of patents that are filed by the company. The plane went into storage as the Second World War kicked off and Mr. Bugatti would never again work on it during his lifetime.

Bugatti Chiron Sport "Les Légendes du Ciel" edition

Photo courtesy of Bugatti

Bugatti is honoring its racing and aviation past with a new series of Chiron Sport models dubbed "Les Légendes du Ciel". The drivers who piloted the Bugattis to success in the early 1900s were often time multitalented with resumes declaring them flying aces, daredevils, and technically skilled pilots.

"Bugatti has had close associations with aviation since the company was established more than 110 years ago. Many successful Bugatti racing drivers, such as Albert Divo, Robert Benoist and Bartolomeo 'Meo' Costantini, flew for the French Air Force, the French aviator legend Roland Garros privately drove a Bugatti Type 18 to be as fast on the road as in the air," says Stephan Winkelmann, President of Bugatti. "It is therefore almost an obligation for us today to pay tribute to the legends of that time and dedicate a special edition to them."

Each of the new models features a special, matte gray "Gris Serpent" paint job, which is inspired by the exterior color of aircrafts from the 1920s. The color extends front to rear with high-contrast, which gloss stripe running up the center. The front wings are adorned with the "Les Légendes du Ciel" logo. The "Le Bleu-Blanc-Rouge" tricolor decorates the front area of the side sills made of exposed black carbon fiber.

At the front is Bugatti's traditional horseshoe radiator grille, finished in gloss black. The grille mesh is made of laser-cut and deep-drawn aluminum, and constructed in a dynamic pattern that that is repeated on the car's leather seats. Entry lights project the edition logo on the ground at entry while "Les Légendes du Ciel" logo on the middle console inlays.

Bugatti has covered the engine with black exposed carbon fiber with contrasting white lettering. The material continues at the back where black exposed carbon fibre and a black-coated exhaust trim cover made of 3D printed, high-temperature-resistant Inconel dominate.

The car's interior is almost entirely upholstered in leather. The leather's light brown color was chosen to be reminiscent of the natural leather in early aircrafts. On the door panels there is a hand-sketched racing scene between the Nieuport 17 aircraft and a Bugatti Type 13.

The new Bugatti Chiron Sport "Les Légendes du Ciel" edition is limited to 20 vehicles. Every model is independently numbered and costs $3.5 million.

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