buying The Aerodynamic 1981 Ford Probe III Concept Changed American Cars Forever

05:00  22 may  2021
05:00  22 may  2021 Source:   thedrive.com

The 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor’s Easter Eggs Cracked Open, Unscrambled

  The 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor’s Easter Eggs Cracked Open, Unscrambled Childhood is full of scavenger hunts, and car enthusiasts never really grow up all the way, so automakers love to add little details in their products for the kid in all of us to find over the course of ownership. These are usually reserved for a brand’s most special lifestyle products, which makes the 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor a ripe target for including cheeky nods to its namesake and heritage. Your browser does not support this video Here are the four hidden Easter Eggs to be found on the third-generation high-performance pickup truck.A Link to the F-22 RaptorThis is the most high-tech Raptor Easter Egg Ford included on the truck.

Significantly, its drag coefficient was an impressive 0.25 at a time when the average American saloon was producing a figure of 0.50! This in turn paved the way for Probe II, a four-door, family sized saloon which incorporated many of the disciplines learnt on Probe I. In the meantime the company had It appeared in 1982 as the Sierra and was significant for incorporating new aerodynamic disciplines learnt on Probes I and II. To prepare the public for what was a radically visual departure from previous principles, with some trepidation Ford unveiled Probe III at the 1981 Frankfurt Motor Show.

Ford Probe III Concept ( 1981 ) of petrol prices had a profound influence on the world’s car Ford unveiled Probe III at the 1981 Frankfurt. Buy new and used Ford parts from with aerodynamic styling taken from the 1981 Ford Probe III concept car . Ford on Pinterest Granada, Ford Sierra and Ford Ranger.

For most automakers, the 1980s represented a clean break from the chunky, rectangular styling cues that had dominated during the energy crisis of the previous decade as designers began to let aerodynamics guide their hands.

a car parked in a parking lot © Provided by The Drive

Suddenly, how slippery a vehicle looked did more than just whet the appetites of wedge-seeking sports car buyers--it also had an impact on fuel efficiency, without requiring any of the dreaded computerized engine controls that many companies (but more specifically, those in Detroit) were having great difficulty adapting to the real world. But the line between gas prices and the aerodynamic designs that popped up everywhere by the end of the Eighties is more dotted than you might think.

Audi to Sell New A6 EV Hotness Alongside Old, Different A6 Gas Model

  Audi to Sell New A6 EV Hotness Alongside Old, Different A6 Gas Model The electrification of the auto industry presents a conundrum for automakers transitioning legacy models from gas- and diesel-powered internal combustion engines to electric motors: what if the industry is ready before the customer is? In the case of the Audi A6, the brand says it’s planning on selling two versions: one gas and one electric, the latter of which is set to arrive for 2024 and bear the name A6 E-Tron. © Manufacturer Audi A6 E Tron Concept front Why Two Audi A6s?Audi thinks some customers may not be ready (or able) to make the leap from gas to electric powertrains by the time the A6 E-Tron hits dealers.

Ford Probe III , 1981 . Images: Concept Car Central; www.fahrzeugbilder.de.

Blog Concepts Studios Milestones Archive. Ford Probe III , 1981 - Design Sketch. Images: Concept Car Central; www.fahrzeugbilder.de.

a car parked on the side of a road © Ford

Of the Big Three, Ford was the most willing to look beyond the right angle when planning its next generation of coupes and sedans. While General Motors and Chrysler continued to churn out Caprices, Diplomats, and a slew of square-ish A-body and K-car derivatives, in the early 1980s Ford launched an internal aero revolution that began in Europe and quickly spread to its North American operations.

(Editor's note: It's easy to dismiss concept cars as marketing gimmicks and dead-end design exercises. But every once in a while, a company gives away the secret to its future without anyone noticing. With ever-grander promises about electrification, autonomy and material advances being made by today's concepts, I thought it'd be useful to take a look through the archives to see how and when the major engineering and design trends that define the present were actually seeded. This recurring column by the great Ben Hunting is called The Most Important Concept Cars You Forgot All About, and its aim is to give you the tools to understand what's really coming next. — KC)

2011 Toyota Camry: What You Need to Know

  2011 Toyota Camry: What You Need to Know The 2011 Toyota Camry finishes near the top of our midsize car rankings thanks to its outstanding reliability rating, supple ride, and generous amount of cabin space. However, it has below-average safety scores, numb handling, and mundane interior styling. The 2011 Toyota Camry is ranked: #2 in 2011 Affordable Midsize Cars #10 in Used Midsize Cars under $15K Is the 2011 Toyota Camry a Good Used Car? Yes, the 2011 Toyota Camry is a good used car. It isn’t the most athletic or stylish choice in the midsize car class, but it’s a sensible one.

Ford Probe III , 1981 - Brochure. Images: Concept Car Central; www.fahrzeugbilder.de.

Check out this Italian concept as it attempts to Probe your bank account. Here’s our first entry, from a Hemmings listing, is a fantastic looking Ghia Probe I concept from all the way back I read about the Ford Probe series of aerodynamic research cars in working on my Ford Timeline, and even built

By the middle of the decade the effort would culminate in the triumph that was the first-generation Ford Taurus, perhaps the Blue Oval's most important car since the 1964 Mustang. Compared to its countrymen, the aggressively aerodynamic family sedan might as well have been a space ship. It was the tip of the spear for Ford's complete revamp of its passenger line-up, and by the early '90s even square stalwarts like the Crown Victoria featured swoops, curves, and sleek profiles that would dominate the brand's design language for the remainder of the decade. Not only that, but the Taurus represented a major point of departure for the Big Three, proving that an American automaker could finally compete head-to-head with Japan's family car insurgents, and forcing a complete re-think of nearly every automobile built by Ford's rivals.

a close up of a car © Ford a car parked in a parking lot © Ford

What gave Ford such a leg-up over GM and Chrysler? The roots of its dramatic lineup transformation--and the industry-wide pivot towards aerodynamic design that continues to this day--can be traced back to a single concept car: the 1981 Ford Probe III. Largely forgotten and more often than not confused with the unrelated sporty coupe that later borrowed its name, the Probe III was the most important member of a series of low-drag exercises that not only pushed Ford into the aero future, but helped transform American cars for good.

Alexa, Thanks For Embedding Yourself in My New Ford

  Alexa, Thanks For Embedding Yourself in My New Ford “Alexa, start my Ford and crank the air conditioning” is the kind of verbal command owners of Ford vehicles will be able to seamlessly make from the comfort of their home in the future. The automaker is planning a wireless software update to make Amazon’s Alexa virtual assistant a built-in feature for 700,000 Ford vehicles in the U.S. and Canada this year.

Recommended car throttle shop Worldwide Shipping In The CT Shop Car Throttle Submit Your Videos To Get Featured On Our Social Channels Car History That Time When A Tuner Created The First Mercedes Hot Hatch Car History From The Chrysler TC By Maserati To The MC20: Is The Brand Back To The Glory Days? Sign in to your Car Throttle account.

Probe is a significant name in the history of Rare Rides, as the series started off in early 2017 with the Ghia-designed Probe I. That design study was the kickoff of a series of Probe concepts from Ford ; a series which ultimately resulted in an aerodynamic liftback that entered production in the late Eighties. Probe ’s design was finalized by 1983. In 1985, Mazda took over Ford ’s old Flat Rock Assembly with the intent of producing three GD-platform cars : Mazda’s 626 and MX-6, and Ford ’s Probe ⁠— then known as the SN-16. Things were moving along just fine until April of 1987, when

Aero via Italy

The oil shocks of the 1970s had sent America's automakers reeling, and each reacted with a different set of future plans. General Motors would set in motion the development of twin financial disasters (the in-house X-body compact car and the ill-fated Oldsmobile diesel engine), while Chrysler, facing impending bankruptcy and limited development dollars, would execute a program of ruthless downsizing and consolidation across its versatile K platform.

Ford, on the other hand, adopted a more nuanced approach, and a big part of that had to do with the resources at its disposal. With a controlling interest in Italian coachbuilders Ghia, the Dearborn brain trust was able to loop in some of the most adept sheet metal sculptors of the era to plot its next steps.

After making a series of small changes and tweaks to existing Ford products, Don Kopka, the executive director of the company's Advanced and International Design Studio, was impressed with the positive wind tunnel results and related real world fuel consumption improvements that even these modest alterations had to offer. Realizing that aerodynamic efficiency could be repurposed from high speed supercars to more pedestrian passenger vehicles, Kopka presented Ghia with the challenge of building a clean sheet, aero-first automobile for the masses.

Ford’s Electric Truck Is First F-150 With Independent Rear Suspension

  Ford’s Electric Truck Is First F-150 With Independent Rear Suspension The electric 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning fully ditches the full-size pickup’s internal combustion engine, leaving in its place a frunk—you know, a front trunk. The amazing frunk is perhaps the most obvious visual result of the F-150’s electric transformation, but it’s only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to wholescale changes that Ford had to incorporate underneath the bodywork. A change in the F-150's rear suspension was one of these monumental modifications necessitated by electrification.

a close up of a car © Ford

The first fruits of this collaboration were predictably over the top. The Probe I wowed audiences at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1979, but beneath its glamour there were elements of the elongated, Fox-platform coupe that proved prescient about Ford's aero future. Specifically, enclosed wheel openings, stretched rear glass, a gentle windshield angle, and a low profile silhouette, each of which conspired to give the vehicle a drag coefficient of 0.25--just barely above that of the modern day Toyota Prius, and half what most American cars had to offer at the time.

The Ford Probe III Debuts…

Impressed, Kopka's next challenge was to tone down the Ghia concept's more sci-fi elements into a production-ready shape that maintained the best parts of its aero-friendly package. After a transitional four-door Probe II that was largely kept under wraps in Detroit, Ford of Europe would finally bring forth the Ford Probe III in 1981 as a preview of the upcoming Sierra.

a car parked on the side of a road © Ford

What's most fascinating about the Probe III's presentation to the world is just how low-key it was. With Frankfurt once again serving as the stage, the 1981 concept was seen primarily as a thinly-disguised look at how the all-new Cortina replacement would look. In reality it was far more than that, representing the culmination of Ghia's experiments in aerodynamics stealthily stuffed into a shape that could conceivably be built as an affordable commuter car.

The F-150 Lightning Pro is Ford's commercial-grade electric truck

  The F-150 Lightning Pro is Ford's commercial-grade electric truck This battery-powered pickup features a low price tag and plenty of amenities vehicle fleet managers are sure to love.The Lightning Pro starts at $39,974, which gets you a SuperCrew body, standard full-time four-wheel drive and an estimated 230 miles of range. A larger battery is available as well, which should allow this truck to go 300 miles between charges. Examples fitted with the extended-range battery start at $49,974. Please note, neither of these listed prices include destination fees, which Ford has not shared yet.

Amazingly, the more upright Probe III bested the Star Wars stand-in Probe I in the wind tunnel with a 0.22 Cd. Part of this stemmed from borrowing some of the original Probe's good ideas (such rear fender skirts), but a host of new, production-ready innovations lead the way. These included a mail-slot grille opening, the use of composite headlights integrated into the forward body work, and glass plumbed flush against its frame and protected from rain not by protruding drip rails but instead integrated channels that wicked water away without spoiling air flow. Again, a four-door shape was used, and while its moon-dish wheel covers might look firmly in the realm of the concept car, there was little about the Probe III that felt too pie-in-the-sky.

…and Then the Taurus Changes Everything

Even cut down to a two-door, the concept's shape was clearly on display when the Ford Sierra hit dealerships the following year. The car featured the same sleek lines, flowing glass, miniaturized grille, and angled side mirrors, and while its coefficient of drag checked in at a higher 0.34, it was a massive improvement over the 0.44 posted by the Cortina. Initially, the Sierra was minus one of the Probe III's most extroverted elements--the double-decker spoiler perched on its hatch glass--but in a few years time even that would rear-appear on the sporty XR4i trim and serve as the car's most enduring visual identifier.

a car parked on the side of a mountain © Ford

The Sierra was controversial even among Europe's more forward-thinking car buyers, but Ford wasn't yet done mining the Probe III for potential aero impact on future designs. Following sleeker shapes for the revised two-door Thunderbird and the new Ford Tempo compact car, the 1984 model year saw the Lincoln Mark VII coupe introduce the first composite headlights offered by an American product in decades. Integrated flush into the luxury coupe's front end, the lights, along with the car's sloped rear glass, helped cut the car's drag by 25 percent compared to the bloated Mark VI.

How the Ford F-150 Lightning Electric Truck Is so Darn Cheap

  How the Ford F-150 Lightning Electric Truck Is so Darn Cheap The 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning caught our attention for two reasons: it is an electric full-size pickup, and it’s set to wear a starting price of $41,669 when it goes on sale in May 2022. Weeks after the electric Lightning was unveiled to the public, people are still talking about it, thanks to its relatively affordable pricing and solid performance. In fact, the Lightning is set to take the title as the quickest F-150 model thanks to its estimated 4.4-second 0-60-mph time. Credit the truck's two electric motors, which provide 563 hp and 775 lb-ft of torque.

With the stage set by both the Sierra and the Mark VII, Ford could breathe a little easier knowing that it had avoided a full-scale revolt against the aero improvements now baked into its company-wide design language. Although it would continue to build Probe concept cars (with a IV and V rounding out the set), the III's influence was already set in stone for Ford's most crucial debut of the decade: the 1986 Taurus.

a car parked on the side of a road © Ford

Originally the Taurus had been conceived as a hatchback, like the Sierra (which didn't receive a true sedan model until 1987), but even once the decision to go the more traditional three-box route was made every effort was made to drop the roofline as much as possible while incorporating all the lessons learned from the Probe III (which had debuted the year Taurus design began).

The Taurus embodied everything that had been foreshadowed by the Sierra and the Mark VII (flush glass and composite headlights, small grille, shrunken rear wheel openings, flat wheel cover dishes), with the added benefit of roof-slicing doors that obviated the need for rain gutters, further slicking the sedan's shape. Every corner was rounded, and each greenhouse and roof angle carefully considered to balance the ability to slice through the air with the need to keep passengers comfy.

a car parked in a parking lot © Ford

Still Echoing Through The Decades

The motoring press and the general public alike threw around terms like 'jelly bean' to describe the Taurus' shape, which was radically out of step with the Detroit norm, but that didn't prevent it from becoming a stunning sales success that would lead the industry for several years even in the face of hardcore Japanese competition like the Honda Accord and the Toyota Camry. The Taurus was a harbinger not just for Ford's own future looks, but also Detroit's inevitable embrace of aerodynamics.

The Probe III's impact went far beyond proof-of-concept for the Sierra, exemplifying new concepts in automotive design that served as the source code for Ford's most successful sedan ever, forcing the rest of the industry to play catch-up and finally question the straight lined, sharp cornered, and overall boxy hegemony that had dominated traditional American car design for decades. There's no doubt that the original Taurus was a gutsy move for Ford to counter the massive inertia impeding progress on that front. It never would have happened, however, had Kopka and Ghia not embarked on their 70s aero project and proved that the path towards the future lead directly through a wind tunnel.

Got a tip, or a concept car you're interested in hearing more about? Send us a note: tips@thedrive.com

Ford Moving toward Build-to-Order, Away from Packed Dealer Lots .
'I know we're wasting money on incentives,' says CEO Jim Farley, acknowledging the way people buy cars and trucks is changing. The pandemic and the resulting chip shortage have changed how Americans buy cars, and Ford thinks that a build-to-order process is the right way to go moving forward.To help sell cars online, Ford recently introduced Ford Express Buy for the Mustang Mach-E and Ford Blue Advantage for used cars and other digital options.

usr: 1
This is interesting!