Dealerships

Ford partners with Cox Automotive to launch new certified used vehicle digital marketplace

Ford's new certification program brings a new level of scrutiny to used vehicles.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company, its dealers, and Cox Automotive are partnering to create a new, digital used car marketplace. Ford Blue Advantage allows dealers to list and sell certified used vehicles on a single platform, backed by a Ford warranty. Cox Automotive's Autotrader and Kelley Blue Book brands had hands in developing and populating content on the site.

The online marketplace, which features familiar Autotrader styling, allows users to filter vehicles by location, Ford Vehicle Exchange Program eligibility, dealer home services (including test drive at home), price, vehicle history (no accidents, single owner), year, mileage, make, body style, drive type, fuel type, fuel economy, transmission, cylinders, exterior color, interior color, features, doors, and price rating.

The new online marketplace features technology by Autotrader and a familiar design.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

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"We can now connect the right shopper to the right pre-owned Ford vehicle faster than ever," said Andrew Frick, vice president, U.S. marketing. "Providing a great digital experience is paramount today, but we know customers still want to touch, smell and feel a vehicle before they buy it. Ford Blue Advantage offers the best of both worlds, enabling customers to shop online or come into a dealership, or a combination of both."

The Ford Blue Advantage site features Kelley Blue Book Price Advisor to signify if a vehicle has a Good or Great price. Visitors are also able to see a vehicle's original window sticker.

"At Cox Automotive, we believe that the automotive industry thrives when dealers, consumers and manufacturers are completely connected," said Jessica Stafford, senior vice president, Autotrader and Kelley Blue Book. "This philosophy drove us to engineer a uniquely integrated platform for Ford dealers to help simplify, streamline and personalize the car-buying experience for consumers and drive more value."

More than half of Ford's dealerships are currently enrolled in the program.

All vehicles listed on the platform have undergone an inspection by Ford factory-trained technicians. Participating dealers are able to certify vehicles under two different levels, Gold Certified and Blue Certified, covering up to 90 percent of their used-vehicle inventory.

Gold Certified vehicles have passed a 172-point inspection and come with a 12-month/12,000-mile Comprehensive Limited Warranty and a seven-year/100,000-mile Powertrain Limited Warranty. Dealers can certify Ford vehicles up to six years old that have less than 80,000 miles on the odometer as Gold Certified.

Older, Blue Certified vehicles pass a 139-point inspection and come with 90-day/4,000-mile Comprehensive Limited Warranty coverage. Blue Certified models are less than 10 years old and have fewer than 120,000 miles on them. Ford and non-Ford vehicles are eligible for this certification.

Ford promises to run a Carfax Vehicle History Report on every Blue and Gold Certified used vehicle to identify any issues that might not be detected during the inspection.

Gold and Blue Certified vehicles are sold with 24/7 roadside assistance and complimentary FordPass Rewards Points (11,000 points for Blue Certified and 22,000 for Gold Certified) that can be used for future service visits at Ford dealerships. FordPass is the automaker's mobile app. The Rewards Points program allows users to earn rewards by visiting their dealership for service, purchasing a vehicle, and other purchases.

Ford isn't the only automaker making an online sales shift for certified used cars. Honda and Acura recently launched similar sites.

Ford Blue Advantage can be found at FordBlueAdvantage.com.

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Ford just announced specs for the new hardcore off-roader.

Ford

After years of speculation over the Bronco's return, Ford finally pushed the revived SUV to market last year. The rumor mill immediately kicked back into action with speculation of a higher-powered Raptor version of the Bronco to match Ford's F-150 Raptor here in the U.S. We've seen teases and a short film on the SUV, but today, The Blue Oval announced specs for what will surely be a highly desirable new vehicle in 2022 and beyond.

2022 Ford Bronco Raptor The Bronco Raptor gets upgraded cooling and engine tuning to handle high-temperature operation.Ford

The Bronco Raptor gets an exclusive twin-turbo 3.0-liter EcoBoost V6 that makes 400 horsepower, which is a big improvement over the standard SUV's V6 that makes an already healthy 330 horsepower. Four-wheel drive and a ten-speed automatic gearbox are standard. Ford says the Raptor also comes with a new towing mode that allows a max tow rating of 4,500 pounds - a 1,000-pound improvement over the base Bronco. Trail Control, trail Turn Assist, and Trail One-Pedal driving are also present here.

The Raptor gets seven of the standard Bronco's G.O.A.T. (Goes Over Any Type of Terrain) driving modes, including a new Baja Mode that works with the engine's turbo system to reduce lag and improve performance during high-speed runs in desert temperatures. An active exhaust allows four selectable sound modes, including normal, sport, quiet, and Baja, and the Raptor's intercooler helps keep operating temperatures at reasonable levels when running in hot weather.

Using the Bronco's modular design, Ford gave the Raptor unique front and rear quarter panels, fender flares, and door appliqués. The new body components add 9.8 inches to the Raptor's width, and removable running boards help improve rock crawling abilities. Model-exclusive amber LED running lights accent the Raptor's front end, and Raptor logos set the hardcore model apart from its "lesser" counterpart.

2022 Ford Bronco Raptor Amber LEDs and special badging designate the much-upgraded Raptor model.Ford

Inside, the Bronco Raptor gets a 12-inch digital gauge cluster with configurable view for vehicle performance and other information. Black marine-grade vinyl seats and rubberized flooring are standard. Orange accents on the dash vents, door netting, and steering wheel help break up the all-black interior, and Ford offers a synthetic suede upholstery upgrade for buyers wanting a little more comfort with their capable off-roader. A 12-inch infotainment touchscreen and 360-degree camera system are also standard.

Bronco Raptor hopefuls can start placing orders in March, but be aware that there will be a wait involved for everyone. Ford says that the majority of 2022 Bronco Raptors will go to existing reservation holders based on their reservation timestamp. It's worth noting that many 2021 Bronco buyers are still waiting for the SUVs, which are being converted into 2022 orders, so the wait time for the Raptor could be severe for anyone without a standing reservation.

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Off-road performance truck

Shelby American announces new Ford F-150 Raptor

Shelby just announced the new truck, which has a starting price of more than $124,000.

Shelby American

The third-generation Ford F-150 Raptor is a true off-road menace, with a strong turbocharged V6, beefy tires and shocks, and a luxury-level interior. Most people would consider the truck overkill for all but the hardest-core off-road enthusiasts, but the wizards at Shelby American have other ideas. As it has done with Ford vehicles for years, Shelby gave the new Raptor a performance makeover, and the finished product is quite impressive.

Shelby F-150 Raptor There's no mistaking a Shelby-tuned Raptor. Shelby American

The F-150 Raptor is already a capable beast, but Shelby turns things up a few notches. Performance upgrades include a performance intake and high-flow filter, an aluminum intercooler, a tune that pushes power to more than 525 ponies and 610 pound-feet of torque, a Shelby exhaust, and a BDS lift kit. The Shelby Raptor rides on 18-inch wheels with 37-inch BFG KM3 Mud Terrain tires.

If you’re thinking Shelby slaps a few go-fast parts on the Raptor and calls it good, think again. The truck’s interior features embroidered custom leather upholstery and exclusive floor mats. A unique serial number plate is mounted in the dash. Shelby also fits billet racing pedals, carbon fiber accents, and deep tinted windows.

Outside, the Raptor gest several touches to let everyone know it’s not a standard Ford. A special Shelby hood with intake and extraction vents is standard, along with power side steps with rock sliders. A bevy of Shelby logos and badging grace the truck’s body, and both bumpers have been replaced with steel units to accommodate light bars and additional tow points.

Shelby F-150 Raptor Shelby fits performance parts and gives the truck a tune.Shelby American

If you’re hoping to be one of the insane few to own a Shelby Raptor, get your wallet ready. The truck’s base price starts at $124,820, which includes the MSRP of the truck itself. That said, it’s unclear how extreme demand and supply chain issues will impact Shelby’s ability to get new trucks to modify.

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