Friday Video – Shocking New Ford F-150 Raptor

Ford Performance is quite proud of the shock absorbers fitted to the new Ford F-150 Raptor. So much so that they’ve made a video to celebrate. For us, it’s just an excuse to see the forthcoming pick-up truck looking awesome in the desert. 2017 Ford F-150 RaptorWhat’s so special about these shock absorbers? Having been jointly developed with Fox, the shockers are purpose-built to make the Raptor even better off-road and on.

At 3 inches in diameter, the special internals allow for lower pressure that makes the Raptor more comfortable on tarmac. There’s also an addition of 2 inches more suspension travel, with the fronts having 13 inches and the rears 13.9 inches. That’s quite a lot of movement!

More importantly, just enjoy the F-150 Raptor storming across sand dunes and rocks:

Friday Photo – Design your very own Ford GT

Wanting your own slice of the Ford GT’s American pie? A new online configurator lets you live the dream.

2017 Ford GT ESMBe warned – just because you can now pick out the colours and trim you desire, doesn’t mean you can have one though. In a move that sounds more Maranello than Dearborn, those who want the EcoBoost-powered GT have to submit an application to Ford online. There’s no detail on just what criteria you’ll need to meet, but presumably being able to demonstrate you’re a longterm fan of the Blue Oval will help. We do suspect owning a string of Escorts and Fiestas might not be enough on this occasion, however. As Ford wants GT owners to be ambassadors for the brand, your social media worth is perhaps just as valuable as your money in these circumstances.

With an expected starting price of over $400,000 in the USA – UK prices haven’t even been confirmed yet – you’ll certainly need a bank balance as substantial as your number of Twitter followers. Those fortunate to snag one of the 500 cars will have it tailored to their exacting specifications by Ford’s very own concierge service. The experience won’t be the same as popping down to your local dealership we imagine, and this obviously fits with the aim of Ford to push products further upmarket. Something demonstrated by the recent ‘Vignale’ range of models.

For those of us unable to consider buying a GT, the online configurator is at least the chance to dream of what might appear on your drive following a substantial lottery win. Liquid Grey with Competition Orange stripes is, of course, the most ESM way to go. Although we do quite like Frozen White with Lightening Blue, or Triple Yellow with Shadow Black, or…

Friday Photo | The madness of SEMA 2015

EngageSportMode has featured the SEMA show, and the quite literally mental creations it throws up, before. This year seems to have been just as crazy, so we’ve pulled together a gallery featuring some of the wildest offerings. Just remember beauty is in the eye of the beholder, or something like that.

2015 SEMA Car modification in the UK seems to have come a long way from the Max Power glory days. Gone are the bodykitted Corsas and Saxos with huge exhausts and deafening subwoofers. Today, aside from bigger wheels or a vinyl wrap, everything just seems pretty standard looking. But, over in America, the modification industry still seems to be alive and well.

However, it isn’t just aftermarket companies that use the annual Speciality Equipment Market Association event to show off. Car manufacturers are also using SEMA to display their creativity with concepts inspired by celebrities, or just the minds of designers running wild. We’ve picked a handful of our favourites from the show, but there’s a bigger gallery of the slightly crazier stuff further down. Enjoy.


The big Detroit manufacturer rolled out a huge twenty concepts at SEMA, covering the range from Corvette Stingray to classic Camaro and a whole host of pickup truck offerings. With the all-new 2016 model year Camaro about to hit the streets, Chevy has clearly paid some attention to its latest offering, with four concepts based upon it.

2015 SEMA ChevroletHowever, our personal favourite is probably the 1970 Camaro RS with a thoroughly modern LT4 engine.  (more…)

UPDATED – Ford GT Inspired Design Objects – Gallery

Although it has a turbocharged engine in place of a huge V8, and also comes fitted with a two-spoke steering wheel, ESM can’t help but like the new Ford GT. It’s a seriously good-looking car. So the idea of objects inspired by it sounds like a great one.

2015 New Ford GT 001

Don’t be mislead into believing there’ll be a V6 powered alarm clock or turbocharged lampshade amongst this assortment of objects. No, the clue is very much in the ‘inspired by’ part of the tagline. How else could you end up with a collection that encompasses things as diverse as a boat to a chaise lounge?!

Inspired by Ford GT: Guitar

Performance Blue guitar does look cool.


Finally Here – The New 2015 Ford Focus RS

When Ford releases details and pictures of a new car wearing the RS badge, it’s a big deal. Does the third instalment of the Focus RS live up to the hype, and successfully carry on the ‘Rallye Sport’ lineage?

2015 Ford Focus RS 001The biggest news is the fact the third generation Focus RS comes with All-Wheel-Drive. After almost 15 years of Ford telling us that the hottest Focus was more than capable of handling big power with just front-wheel drive alone, the new RS goes back to the old ways of AWD. Why the change? According to Ford it’s that they’ve now found an AWD system capable of giving ‘a new level of handling capability and driver enjoyment’ whilst dispensing with ‘the rulebook which says that AWD hatchbacks cannot be fun to drive’.

2015 Ford Focus RS 002There’s a few manufacturers who would probably disagree with that last statement, especially makers of chief rivals such as Volkswagen with the Golf R, and Mercedes with the A45 AMG. Key to this new ‘fun’ approach is a special torque vectoring setup that allows up to 70% of the torque to be sent to the rear axle. The RS can also juggle 100% of that torque to a particular wheel, allowing tighter turn ins and the potential for controlled drifting action, apparently!

2015 Ford Focus RS 003Perhaps it’s because the new Focus RS will be one of Ford’s ‘world cars’ and offered in numerous new markets, including the USA, that AWD beckoned. This global approach also explains the presence of the now ubiquitous 2.3 litre EcoBoost four-cylinder engine, already making an appearance in the new Mustang. (more…)

New – Revised Ford Focus ST

In all the Goodwood Festival of Speed and British Touring Car Championship excitement, the full details of the revised Ford Focus ST were also announced. So here they are, with lots of Tangerine Scream paintwork action.

2014 Ford Focus ST 001

Did you know, ST stands for Sports Technologies. We’ll admit that we didn’t, until writing this, but consider us all now educated. But anyway, following the revised regular Focus earlier in the year, the ST gains updated styling, more upmarket interior trim and the addition of a diesel model.

2014 Ford Focus ST 002

You can’t blame Ford for adding the oil-burner to the lineup. The proven success of Volkswagen’s Golf GT TDI / GTD models have shown that the market very much exists for a diesel hot-hatch. In addition, Ford has the wonderful 2.0 TDCi to slot into place. It’s almost a surprise they didn’t do it from the off, but never mind; it’s here now.

2014 Ford Focus ST 003

With 185 PS (183 bhp) the 2.0 TDCi has a tiny power advantage over the VW GTD (184 PS / 181 bhp) along 295 lb-ft of torque – again 15 lb-ft more than the Golf. The best part of 300 lb-ft of torque, from just 2,000 rpm, means the ST TDCi hits 0-62 mph in 8.1 seconds with a top speed of 135 mph. In-gear acceleration is noted to be equally impressive, whilst official combined fuel economy is 64.2 mpg with COemissions of 114 g/km, aided by standard Stop-Start technology. Power to the front wheels is via a short-throw six-speed manual gearbox only – no flappy paddle affairs here. (more…)

New Ford Focus ST to debut at Goodwood Festival of Speed

You know it, we love the Ford Focus ST here at EngageSportMode. So much so that we awarded the ST Mountune Estate the prestigious ESM ‘best car driven in 2013‘ prize earlier this year. So news of a new one has got us understandably excited.


Excited, and in suspense, as so far Ford is keeping tight-lipped about the revised Focus ST. Obviously, the enhancements and changes from the recently facelifted regular Focus should all be present, but that’s about all we know so far. Oh, other than the fact there’s going to be a diesel ST for the first time!

With over 140,000 Focus ST models sold worldwide, it’s pretty big deal for Ford, especially on the back of the success of the mighty Fiesta ST. So expectations are high, and if you’re at the Goodwood Festival of Speed on Friday you’ll get the chance to see the new car in the flesh. Based on the teasing video Ford has released, it sounds pretty naughty:

Most important thing from that video? The fact Tangerine Scream paintwork is still there. Excellent! There’ll also be the chance to see the new Mustang for the first time at Goodwood, along with a real vs. digital challenge on Ford’s special Gran Turismo 6 simulators.

We’ll bring you all the news on the revised Focus ST as we get it, along with updates from Goodwood.

Ford Zetec S – Red / Black Special Editions

Special editions of Ford’s supermini get bold colours, distinctive styling and a 1.0 litre engine with 140 PS!

Ford Fiesta Red : Black Edition 001

Yes, you read that right. A 1.0 litre engine producing 138 brake horsepower. I know; the mind just truly boggles. Think back only a few years and the Fiesta ST, with its 2.0 litre engine, was making only 150 PS (148 bhp) despite a whole extra litre of displacement.

2014 Ford Fiesta Zetec S Black Edition 02

The crucial difference is, of course, whereas the Mk5 Fiesta ST was naturally aspirated, the 1.0 EcoBoost engine in the sixth generation Zetec S Fiesta features a turbocharger. As Ford points out, that means the Zetec S Red / Black editions have a higher specific output per litre than a Ferrari 458 (125 bhp per litre), or even a Bugatti Veyron (123 bhp per litre). Sure testimony to just how marvellous a piece of engineering the 1.0 EcoBoost engine is, given its cylinder block is small enough to fit onto an A4 sheet of paper – fact.

2014 Ford Fiesta Zetec S Black Edition 002

Power has been upped from the 125 PS (123 bhp) of the regular Zetec S especially for the Red / Black editions, with revised gear ratios to make the most of it.  The result is a 0-62 mph time of 9 seconds dead, along with a 125 mph top speed. But, the flip side of the downsized motor is an official combined fuel economy of 62.8 mpg and only 104 g/km of C02 emissions. Although we know the mile per gallon figure might not be completely achievable in the real world, it’s still an impressive benchmark for a fairly warm hatchback. (more…)

Facelifted Ford Focus – Kind of a Big Deal

It’s hard to ignore the importance of a car which sold 1.1 million units in 2013, with over 87,000 examples registered in the UK alone. The Focus is a perennial best-seller for Ford, and the revised version is likely to be no different. Ford also promises it’s even better to drive, which sounds hopeful for a potential RS version. So, what’s new?

2014 Ford Focus 001

First things first; this isn’t an all new car, it’s a restyled version of the Mk3 Focus first introduced in 2011. However, Ford is at pains to stress that it’s more than just cosmetic enhancements, and this revised version adds mechanical and interior changes too.

2014 Ford Focus 004


Friday Photo from the Archive #12

After an extended hiatus due to relocation, ESM returns with it’s regular Friday feature.

Ok, 24 hours probably doesn’t qualify as archived, but EngageSportMode finds it impossible not to feature the all new 2015 Ford Mustang. So here it is:

2015 Ford Mustang 001


Styled by Moray Callum, younger brother of Ian Callum, the new Mustang dispenses with a lot of the previous versions heavily-retro features. Familiar Pony car elements such as the triple-bar tail lights remain, they’re just modernised. Is it handsome? Yes. Is it unmistakably a Mustang? Hmm, probably, but not as we know it of late. The basic shape shares more design similarity with the fourth generation Mustang which existed from 1993 to 2004, than the outgoing model. Some have also pointed out that the front end has a whiff of Nissan about it, and there’s certainly some BMW 6-Series in the lines along the door. (more…)