In-Car Tech

Ford starts PowerUp over-the-air update program to enhance tech in vehicles

Ford PowerUp brings technology updates to existing vehicles.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Ford PowerUp has launched, bringing with it the ability to keep vehicles up-to-date with the latest software technology, so long as their systems can handle it.

"Software updates are common across billions of connected devices but not yet for vehicles. Ford Power-Up software updates will change that by quickly bringing it to millions of people," says Alex Purdy, director, business operations, enterprise connectivity, Ford Motor Company. "We've invested in more seamless technology so updates can happen while you're sleeping – making your next ride a better experience."

Introducing Ford Power-Up | Innovation | Ford www.youtube.com

The first PowerUp updates happened in March. Ford F-150 and Mustang Mach-E customers were the beneficiaries. Now the company is accelerating the program pushing out over-the-air updates to over 6 million vehicles already on the road. In order to receive those updates, vehicles must have an embedded modem. Nearly all new models have the feature.

The wireless upgrades enhance features, quality, experiences, capability, and convenience. The fresh technology is able to update the vast majority of vehicle computer modules – more than 110 on higher end models – and reduce the need for a trip to the dealership for service.

As part of the PowerUp rollout, Ford is also adding embedded Amazon Alexa to vehicles with three years of free connectivity. The voice command functionality allows users to be connected to their vehicle as well as the Amazon services in their home.

At first, 700,000 vehicles in the U.S. and Canada will get the tech with millions more to follow. The first models to get connected will be Bronco, Edge, F-150, Mustang Mach-E, and Super Duty that are equipped with SYNC 4 technology.

"Democratizing technology and putting it within reach of millions of customers has been a part of Ford's DNA dating back to the Model T, and our new collaboration is a continuation of that legacy," says Ned Curic, vice president, Alexa Automotive. "We can't wait for Ford customers to experience the best of what Alexa and voice AI can do while on the road – including new features and capabilities that will be delivered seamlessly through future over-the-air software updates. We love the vote of confidence from Ford to deepen our work together and continue making the driving experience more connected, entertaining, and productive."

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New off-roader

Ford Bronco Production Officially Begins

The Ford Bronco is finally ready for primetime.

Ford

The time is finally here. After years of speculation and several months of pandemic-related delays, the Ford Bronco is starting to roll off the assembly line. The SUV marks the first new Bronco model in Ford's lineup in 15 years, not counting the Bronco Sport, and is one of the most hyped and sought-after vehicles to hit the market in quite some time. Ford's announcement that production has begun will be accompanied by a special YouTube presentation that Ford says will include interviews with the Bronco team and with reservation holders at the automaker's new Modification Center.


2021 Ford Bronco Ford added 2,700 jobs to support Bronco production.Ford


Bronco production has driven Ford to invest $750 million into its Michigan Assembly Plant, and the automaker says it has added 2,700 jobs to support the rollout. Ford's push to begin production can't come soon enough. Over 125,000 Bronco orders have been placed, and multiple delays have pushed the vehicle's arrival back, meaning there is considerable demand for the off-road legend.

Ford is ready to capitalize on the craze and will offer several ways to customize the new vehicle. At its 1.7 million square-foot Modification Center, The Blue Oval will factory-install several optional modifications that include equipment such as a front bumper safari bar, graphics packages, roof racks, and more. That's on top of more than 200 factory-backed accessories that can be installed at the dealer, either at or after the time of purchase.


2021 Ford Bronco Delays and production difficulties have pushed the Bronco back.Ford


If you are hoping to get behind the wheel of a new Bronco, it could be a while. Even buyers that have been in line for a while now might not see their new vehicle until late 2021 or 2022, and the vehicle's official rollout will almost certainly re-spike demand. Even so, many feel it's worth the wait, and Ford's vehicle configuration tool is live, so go check it out for yourself.

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Have you ever seen such a big front lip spoiler?

Bring a Trailer

The Ford Mustang's nearly 60 years on the U.S. auto market has seen it evolve through several generations, body shapes, and powertrains. That means that if you're shopping for a used Mustang, you've got a huge variety of cars to choose from. Making things even better, Ford and its performance partners have created some truly impressive special editions of the car over the years.


2000 Ford Mustang SVT Cobra R The Cobra R got a prominent rear wing.Bring a Trailer


Back in the 1990s and 2000s, Ford's Special Vehicle Team had a big hand in building the Mustang's recent performance legacy. One of its coolest cars was the Mustang SVT Cobra R, which debuted in 2000 as the fastest Mustang ever built. That pedigree set the Cobra R apart from others in the crowded Mustang catalog, and this car's nearly $100,000 current auction price shows that the R is still quite desirable today.


2000 Ford Mustang SVT Cobra R A six-speed manual transmission was standard.Bring a Trailer


The Cobra R wasn't a common car to begin with. Ford only made 300 for the 2000 model year, so this car would be quite a find even with ten times the mileage. The R was SVT's only Mustang for 2000 and put down some impressive numbers for the time. The cars got a 5.4-liter V8 that produced 385 horsepower when new, but many outside performance tests showed that the R was capable of putting down more power than advertised. The engine was paired with a six-speed manual gearbox. Ford claimed the powertrain could propel the Cobra R to 60 mph from a standstill in just 4.7 seconds and noted that it could go on to reach a top speed of 170 mph.


2000 Ford Mustang SVT Cobra R The car is in nearly brand-new condition.Bring a Trailer


To the average person, the Cobra R could be written off as just run-of-the-mill Mustang with an aftermarket body kit, but there are subtle indicators that help identify it as the beast that it is. The Cobra R has a tall rear wing spoiler and an insanely long front lip spoiler. The hood has been bumped out with a large power bugle and there's a side-exit exhaust with chrome tips.


2000 Ford Mustang SVT Cobra R The 5.4-liter V8 was rated at 385 hp when new.Bring a Trailer


As cool and rare as this particular car is, it's hard to get too excited about it. With around 890 miles on the clock, the temptation to continue hiding it away in safe storage somewhere is strong. A large part of what makes this Cobra R special is its condition, so driving it might suck some of the fun out of ownership. That said, the R generated quite a bit of interest. There are just a few hours left for the car to crest the $100,000 mark, but regardless of its final selling price, we hope the next owner is willing to add some miles.

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