Ford unites its performance brands and promises 12 new vehicles
By Steve Turner
Photos courtesy of Ford Motor Company
Ford just announced that it is bringing all of its performance and racing entitiesâ€” Ford SVT, Team RS, and Ford Racingâ€”under the Ford Performance umbrella. Director, Global Ford Performance, Dave Pericak, who most recently served as the Chief Engineer for the Mustang, leads this new group.
As part of the announcement, the company promises 12 new global performance vehicles by 2020â€”including the hotly anticipated Focus RS.
â€œFord remains committed to innovation through performance,â€ Raj Nair, Ford group vice president, Global Product Development, said. â€œOur new global Ford Performance team ties together racing, performance vehicles and parts. It will allow us to more quickly introduce products and accessories that meet the needs of customers around the world on-road and on the track.â€
That means the lust-worthy Focus RS will finally fly around corners in the United States and other lands outside of Europe.
â€œTo earn the RS badge, the vehicle has to be a no-compromise driverâ€™s car that can deliver exceptional performance on the track when required while providing excellent every day driving,â€ Raj said.
Driving this push for performance is the success of Fordâ€™s existing performance line-up, including the Fiesta ST, Focus ST, Shelby GT350, and F-150 Raptor. Ford Performance vehicles have shown sales increases of 70 percent in the United States and 14 percent in Europe since 2009.
That these cars are selling well is certainly good news for performance enthusiasts across the globe. Better news is that Ford plans to leverage the integration of is racing and production performance teams to bring vehicles and parts to market more swiftly. Some of this innovation will come from the companyâ€™s technical center that we showed to you earlier this year.
â€œFord still races for the same reasons Henry Ford did in 1901â€”to prove out our products and technologies against the very best in the world,â€ Raj said. â€œThe Ford Performance team will continue to pursue performance innovation, ensuring we can deliver even more coveted performance cars, utilities and trucks to customers around the world.â€
For U.S.-based performance enthusiasts it will be sad if the SVT name fades into the history books, but this announcement clearly shows that Ford is committed to a global push on all fronts, including performance.