Sunday, January 21, 2018

VROOM WITH A VIEW

Ford is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Mustang with a limited-edition model and a display atop the Empire State Building.

At the New York International Auto Show on Wednesday, the company revealed the 50 Year Limited Edition. The company will only build 1,964 special cars, honoring the year when the Mustang first went on sale.

"If you don't like this car, you don't like cars," said executive chairman Bill Ford, whose first car was an electricgreen 1975 Mustang.

Earlier, Bill Ford appeared with a bright yellow 2015 Mustang convertible on the 86th floor observation deck of the Empire State Building. It's the first time a car has been there since 1965, when Ford put a Mustang convertible there. The car had to be cut into five pieces for the ride up the elevators and reassembled late at night, when the deck is closed to visitors. It will be on display until Friday.

The 2015 Mustang, the first one designed to be sold worldwide, will go on sale this fall. Pricing has not been announced, but it could start under $25,000. Buyers will be able to choose from an entry-level V-6, a premium 4-cylinder EcoBoost engine or the performance V-8. The 2015 Mustang also has a new suspension and independent rear axle.

The 50 Year Limited Edition models will come in one of the two colors of Ford's logo: white or blue. Buyers can choose a manual or automatic.

There are special chrome highlights around the grille, windows and tail lights. The Limited Edition will also be the only 2015 Mustang GT with a faux gas cap badge on the rear, where the original cap sat.

Limited Edition cars will be among the first built when 2015 Mustang production begins later this year. Ford said it hasn't yet decided how to allocate them, or the price. In 1964, the Mustang's starting price was $2,300.

Ford chose to mark the anniversary in New York because the Mustang was unveiled April 17, 1964, at the New York World's Fair.

• • •

The New York event is one of the most important shows for the U.S. auto industry. Here are a few of the vehicles debuting this year. The show opens to the public Friday.

Acura TLX: Honda's luxury brand calls the new TLX midsize sedan a "red-carpet athlete" for its blend of elegance and sportiness. The TLX — which replaces the TL and the TSX for the 2015 model year — has two new engine options: A 2.4-liter four-cylinder with 206 horsepower mated to a new 8-speed transmission and a 3.5-liter V-6 with 290 horsepower that's paired with a 9-speed. The TLX goes on sale later this year.

Land Rover Discovery Concept: Land Rover confirmed it will bring a new family of vehicles, called Discovery, to market starting in 2015 with a small SUV called the Discovery Sport. In the meantime, it's showing the Discovery concept vehicle, which is full of advanced technology. A "transparent" hood uses cameras beneath the car to project the road surface onto the windshield, giving the impression that the driver can see right through the hood and down to the road below.

BMW X4: BMW has a new competitor in the small SUV segment. The X4 "sports activity coupe" sits slightly longer and lower than its sister vehicle, the X3, and has a slanted, coupe-like roof. New features include a standard power tailgate that lifts if the driver waves a foot under it. The X4, which goes on sale this spring, starts at $45,625 for the xDrive28i, which has a 2.0-liter, 240-horsepower four-cylinder engine. The top-of-the-line xDrive35i starts at $48,925 and has a 3.0-liter, 300-horsepower V-6.

Nissan Murano: Nissan has given the third generation of the midsize crossover a more modern design, nicer interior and better fuel economy than the previous version.

Hyundai Sonata: The 2011 Hyundai Sonata, with its curvy, creased sides and upscale interior, elevated Hyundai as a brand and prodded competitors to improve their own designs. Now, the 2015 Sonata ditches the curves in favor of clean, taut lines and a more premium look. Later this year, it gets Apple's CarPlay, which allows drivers to use their iPhones through the car. The new Sonata goes on sale this summer.

Contributing: Detroit Free Press

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