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Ford Mustang Hybrid may give pony-purists two big shocks

Ford’s Mustang Hybrid is still on track to shake up the muscle car segment, it’s reported, with the next-generation two-door following on from the Mustang Mach-E. While an all-electric Mustang coupe or convertible still isn’t expected – despite Ford teasing us with a 900hp plug-in Mustang “Lithium” last year – the hybrid is still likely to be enough of a departure from tradition to divide enthusiasts.

Ford’s original plan had been to launch a hybrid Mustang in 2023 it’s believed. Back in 2023, the automaker revealed its big electrification goals for the next few years, including a gas-electric version of the best-selling F-150 truck. That wasn’t to be the only storied nameplate getting some extra voltage, though.

To be built at Ford’s Flat Rock plant, the Mustang Hybrid played it close to the chest with specifications. All Ford would say at the time was that it would pair a gas engine with an electric drivetrain of some sort, for similar performance to a regular V8 gas-only Mustang. There’d also be a bump in low-end torque.

Instead of that car, however, what we’re getting this year is the Mustang Mach-E. Ford’s decision to borrow the Mustang name for its all-electric crossover SUV was a controversial one, easily on a par with the vehicle’s styling. Still, it seems to have done the trick for early demand, with reservations for the 2023 Mustang Mach-E First Edition selling out in short order.

Down the line, though, there’s still a hybrid Mustang to look forward to. In fact, it could end up being more of a game-changer for the pony car than just electrification alone.

In fact, Ford is considering an all-wheel drive Mustang Hybrid, sources tell Autocar UK. That would be a stark departure from the current car, which has always been offered in rear-wheel drive. A Ford patent filing from 2023, meanwhile, gives one possible explanation for how the automaker’s new drivetrain might work.

Granted by the USPTO in late 2023, the patent – “Twin motor drive system for hybrid electric vehicle” – describes a setup where two electric motors flank a traditional gas engine. The latter is responsible for driving the rear wheels, much in the same way that the V8 in the current Mustang GT drives its rear wheels. The two electric motors, however, would independently drive the front wheels.

As with most patents, there’s a whole lot of flexibility built into the language. The combustion engine, for example, could be a V8, and indeed Ford’s graphics show an eight-cylinder engine being involved for the rear wheels. However, the document also makes clear that different gas engines could be implemented.

What such a setup would allow is true torque vectoring. That is, the front wheels on one side of the car could be spun faster than those on the other side, improving turning performance in corners. Alternatively, the Mustang Hybrid could potentially drive on electric power alone, though range in that situation would depend on the size of the batteries onboard.

That’s one big mystery among several still surrounding the car, which isn’t expected to be revealed until 2023. That would put it at the tail-end of Ford’s original “five year” promise for its electrification roadmap, during which time we’ve seen a number of significant shake-ups. In January of this year, for example, Ford confirmed it would be using Rivian’s electric platform as the basis for an upcoming Lincoln EV.

While there’s no word on non-electrified Mustang models, it seems highly unlikely that Ford would opt to do away with gas-only options in such an iconic car. The new Mustang is believed to use the CD6 platform that the Explorer does, its scalable vehicle architecture for midsize and full-size vehicles.

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2024 Ford Escape First Drive

2024 Ford Escape First Drive – Turbocharging Evolution

When the Ford Escape first hit the scene in 2001 it was an instant success, helping to launch a compact SUV segment that was still in its infancy. Flash forward a decade and a half later and the pond is increasingly crowded with an ichthyologist’s nightmare of competing crossovers and sport-utility vehicles, each trying to snatch family buyers out of each other’s jaws in a feeding frenzy that would terrify even the staunchest piranha.

There must be a few evolutionary biologists lurking amongst the Blue Oval’s engineering team, because the same concept that brought the fishes out of the sea and gave them legs has been steadily employed by Ford’s people mover program. Evolution gave the ocean’s most slippery citizens the genetic urge to expand their talents and better compete for survival in a changing world millions of years ago. This same concept is what the automaker has had to master with the 2023 Ford Escape in order to keep surfing the rising wave of interest in small SUVs.

A good way to keep ahead of the competition is to simply out-run them, and the redesigned Ford Escape continues to demonstrate a willingness to school rivals in a straight line thanks to a pair of fresh EcoBoost turbo motors in the line-up. Slotting in at the top of the Escape’s options sheet is a revised version of its 2.0-liter, four-cylinder turbo that now pushes out 245 horsepower and 275 lb-ft of torque, with that second number making it the class-leader when it comes to twist. This certainly stands out amongst performance-seeking shoppers when examining also-popular SUVs like the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V that make do with a single, naturally-aspirated four-cylinder mill pushing out 100 lb-ft less torque.

I had the chance to sample the efforts of both of Ford engine designs on the lung-bursting climb that is the Trans-Canada highway running up from Calgary, Alberta, through the Rocky Mountain passes that lead past glaciers, ice fields, and rockslides to the town of Jasper. It’s the kind of road where they hand you a satellite phone ‘just in case,’ because Mother Nature herself has dictated that you won’t be texting or tweeting your way out of a bad situation should the unpredictable come to pass.

The 2.0-liter suffered from no such shyness with the pedal to the floor, and I enjoyed tapping into its torque reserves as I sling-shotted around the mining trucks and lesser SUVs that dotted the ribbon of asphalt that wound its way through some of the most exceptional scenery I’ve ever had the pleasure to witness. A six-speed automatic remains the only gearbox available with either motor, and I made regular use of the vehicle’s paddle shifters when holding gears down long declines.

The 2023 Ford Escape has seen host of styling tweaks inside and out, and while the vehicle’s front fascia and back bumper come across as a bit more butch than they did the year before, behind the new angles you’ll still be able to spot the compact SUV’s familiar DNA. Open the driver’s door and the real story is the introduction of the SYNC 3 infotainment system, now available on most versions of the Escape.

It took some time, but the simpler graphics and streamlined menu systems grew on me during the course of the trip, and it’s so unlike the less-popular version of SYNC that was previously offered with the vehicle that it comes across as a clean break. Ford has paired SYNC 3 with the FordPass suite of app-enabled features that offers control over various vehicle functions – such as scheduled remote starts and vehicle tracking – using a mobile device.

Also important when considering the tech improvements available in the 2023 Escape is the bounty of active safety equipment that is now available with the SUV. I’m always happy when a manufacturer is able to leverage the fruits of its R&D across not just high-end luxury models but also more affordable fare like the Ford Escape, which now delivers features like adaptive cruise control, a driver attentiveness monitor, lane keeping assistance and a lane departure warning system, and forward collision alert.

Whenever a creature’s changing environment calls on it to evolve, it doesn’t leave behind any characteristics or capabilities that have served it well – rather, it sharpens what works and adds what was missing in a bid to survive. The 2023 Ford Escape is still just as roomy inside, as pleasant to drive, and as affordable as ever before (with a starting MSRP of $23,600) – it just also happens to be quicker, smarter, and safer, too. Darwin would be proud.

The Ford Ranger Raptor Is Real

The Ford Ranger Raptor is real

We wanted a Ford Ranger Raptor, and now it’s here, but those wanting just a smaller version of the beastly F-150 Raptor truck will find a few surprises. The new sports pick-up takes the midsize Ranger and gives it a performance makeover, borrowing styling cues from the larger Raptor for the promise of just as much fun in a slightly smaller footprint.

At the front, that means a big new grille with an oversized “FORD” logo, together with a frame mounted front bumper with new LED fog lamps and functional air-curtain ducts. These keep the air resistance of the body down. The front fenders use a composite materials for better resilience against grit and rocks kicked up while off-roading, and are flared to cover the oversized tires at the end of their lengthened suspension.

Indeed, all of the exterior dimensions – and the clearances – are up over the standard Ranger. It’s 74 inches tall, 86 inches wide, and 213 inches long, while the ground clearance has been increased to over 11 inches. The 32.5-degree approach angle, 24-degree ramp over angle, and 24-degree departure angle also comfortably best the regular truck.

Side-on, there are new high-strength aluminum alloy step boards which have been drilled through for draining sand, mud, and snow. They’re also intended to stop rock spray from hitting the truck’s rear. Ford powder-coats them, before applying a grit-paint to better survive the wild.

At the rear, finally, there’s a new rear bumper with an integrated tow bar and two recovery hooks; they’re rated a 3.8 tonnes. The sensor bezels have been redesigned so as to be flush – and thus less prone to damage – while the Ranger Raptor is rated for over 5,500 pounds of towing capacity.

Unusually, however, there’s no vast gas engine under the hood. Instead, Ford has opted for a 2.0-liter bi-turbo diesel, with 210 horsepower and 369 lb-ft. of torque. Its two turbos see a smaller, high-pressure unit connected in sequence to a larger, low-pressure version. Thanks to bypass valves in-between, the engine can use both at lower engine speeds for more torque and responsiveness, or bypass the small turbo at higher engine speeds for more power.

The 10-speed automatic transmission it’s hooked up to has been borrowed from the F-150 Raptor, and there’s all-new electronics for faster shifts. A “Live in Drive” function always allows the paddle-shifters to override the selected gear manually. The Terrain Management System, meanwhile, has a dedicated control on the steering wheel, and can be set to Normal and Sport mode for on-road driving, or Grass/Gravel/Snow, Mud/Sand, Rock, or the most epic Baja mode for off-roading. In Baja, the Ranger Raptor keeps the traction control at its most minimal, while the transmission sticks to lower gears.

Underneath it all, there’s a new frame with coiler rear suspension with a solid rear axle. Ford has used high-strength low-alloy (HSLA) steel for the side rails and frame, to absorb high-speed impacts while off-road. The brakes are twin-piston calipers at the front with 332 x 32 mm ventilated rotors. Disc brakes at the rear have a booster for extra power, along with 332 x 24 mm robots and a new 54 mm caliper.

Position Sensitive Damping shock absorbers promise higher damping at full jounce and rebound, meanwhile. However they can switch to lower damping forces in the mid-travel zone, for better road performance. Ford opted for BF Goodrich 285/70 R17 all-terrain tires, each over 11-inches wide, and there’s a new 2.3mm thick high-strength steel bash plate.

Inside, you’d never know you were in an off-road warrior. The upgraded seats promise extra support for bumpier terrain, with suede sections for more grip. Blue stitching and leather accents brighten things up, and there are magnesium paddle-shifters and a perforated leather-trimmed wheel. SYNC 3 is standard, and there’s a navigation system with off-roading “breadcrumb” feature for when you’re away from mapped asphalt.

Then comes the bad news. Though Ford has confirmed that the Ranger is coming to the US, for the moment that doesn’t include the Ranger Raptor. Ford isn’t saying “never” but, frustratingly, isn’t giving us any idea of what the roadmap for the smaller Raptor might be on North American shores. The sports truck we see here will be headed to Asia Pacific and other regions first, pricing yet to be confirmed.

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Hybrid Topology

Network Topology Hybrid Topology

Hybrid topology can be created by combining any two or more different topologies given above. They are implemented in Wide Area Networks where many nodes are connected within a network. It is widely used in organizations, hospitals, schools, the banking sector, etc. The choice of which different topologies to combine is based on the user factors like location, number of computers connected, reliable network performance, network traffic, error identification, troubleshooting, etc. Consider an example of the banking sector, where one branch of SBI bank uses Star topology and the other branch of SBI uses Bus topology, then these two can be combined to form a hybrid topology as result.

Advantages of Hybrid Topology

Hybrid Topology is used in large network areas (Wide Area Networks). When a single node fails in the single topology used then this may lead to network failure but this is rectified in the hybrid model.

The addition of new nodes and deletion of nodes in the network is easier which yields scalability of the resources.

This topology can handle huge traffic that occurs during data transmission. No traffic issue will be faced by the user on adding or removing the resources.

It provides more flexibility to the user, to design as per requirements needed for data communication within the network

It is an effective type of topology with higher speed since two or more topologies are combined in a network.

Reliability is provided when any one node fails, it does not affect the whole network. Replacement of the failed node with a new active node and the process resumes sooner without affecting the functioning of other connected nodes.

The troubleshooting process is made at a faster rate, when a fault occurs at smaller networks then it can be isolated and replaced as earliest.

Data can be securely transferred between different networks.

Installation of hubs is costlier because they should be connected between different networks. These hubs should be more intelligent than normal ones, as they should provide the same functionality even when one part of the network gets failed.

Implementation and Configuration are complex in hybrid topology as two or more topologies are combined, design of the process gets tough for the designers.

Costlier as it requires huge resources to build and this expensive method cannot be suitable for smaller to medium-sized networks.

Requirements of hardware and software are higher, which requires a lot of physical cabling connections between networks and network devices.

Even though it detects fault occurrence at multiple nodes, each time multi-station access is required to recover the damaged devices.

Cable wires can get damaged which may not be known until there is a major failure in multiple nodes.

If the backbone of any topology is damaged then the performance of the total network is affected.

Network experts and professionals are required to modify parts of the network.

Applications/Uses

Used in financial domains, the banking sector, business organizations, research institutes, educational institutions, automotive or manufacturing industries, corporate buildings, hospital networks, etc.

It is applicable for large buildings with multiple floors where multiple networks are implemented.

Diversity within networks is obtained along with reliability and efficiency during data transmission.

Choosing between different topologies to form a hybrid topology relies on cost, bandwidth, user requirements, the organization’s needs, number of customers, installation and configuration setup time, network expert knowledge towards fault or failure occurrence, handling network traffic, troubleshooting factors, etc.

During this process, organizations involved should be able to contribute towards all these factors in common and manage the resources to make the hybrid topology work efficiently on all the nodes connected within the network.

4 Ways To Give Desktop Linux A Test

The good news is, there are multiple ways you can take Linux for a test-drive without actually installing it. Everything else on your computer will stay the same, and if you decide you don’t want to keep Linux after all, there’s no harm done.

Ready to meet Linux on your desktop? Then just pick an approach and give it a whirl.

1. LiveCD

Probably the most common way to try out Linux is to boot it off of a LiveCD. Such CDs let you run Linux right from the CD, so nothing changes on the rest of your computer. Most major Linux distributions now have LiveCDs available–sometimes by mail, if you don’t mind waiting, and always by download.

If you have a slow Internet connection, you may want to order a LiveCD via snail mail. One place to find many Linux LiveCDs for sale is chúng tôi which currently offers discs for Ubuntu 10.04.1, Fedora 13, openSUSE 11.3, Knoppix 6.2.1 and Linux Mint 9. Pricing is about $2.

Once you’ve got the .iso file, you just burn it to a CD using a CD burner program. If you don’t already have one, Active ISO 2.0 is a good free option, and there’s also PowerISO 4.5, which costs $29.95.

Keep in mind that most Linux LiveCDs make Linux seem slower than it really is, since the CD must be accessed to run it. Installed versions of Linux are much faster. In any case, when you’re done exploring Linux, you simply remove the CD and restart, and you’ll be back to Windows as usual.

Much like a LiveCD, a Live USB is a USB flash drive that contains a full, bootable copy of Linux.

LinuxCD.org offers some distros for sale by USB as well as CD. Alternatively, as with a LiveCD, you can download the .iso file and put it on a USB drive yourself, booting from there as above.

Another way to test out Linux is to run it as if it were simply another Windows application. One way to do this is with Wubi, which is basically just a special version of Ubuntu that leaves Windows entirely intact.

Wubi does not require you to modify the partitions of your PC or to use a different bootloader; it also does not install any special drivers. Rather, it works just like any other application and keeps most of the Linux files in one folder. If you decide you don’t want it anymore, you can simply uninstall it as you would any other application.

4. Virtualization

Though more involved than any of the above options, virtualization can be another nice way to test out Linux, again by running it much as if it were a Windows application.

To use this approach, you’ll need some desktop virtualization software; VMware is probably the leading commercial version, while a nice freeware package is VirtualBox.

The result, once again, is that you can run Linux alongside Windows without affecting your Windows installation at all.

Of course, another relatively commitment-free option is to install Linux on an old computer you may have sitting around. One of the operating system’s greatest virtues is that–unlike Windows–it doesn’t need the latest and greatest hardware, so you can play around with it on older machines to your heart’s content.

Whichever approach you choose, my bet is that you’ll be so impressed with Linux, you’ll want to install it for real. Now, more than ever, Linux is a good business choice.

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Watch Ford And Bosch’S Garage Where The Cars Park Themselves

Watch Ford and Bosch’s garage where the cars park themselves

Ford is testing an automated parking garage that would allow vehicles to be sent off to park themselves, potentially paving the way to ease self-driving technologies into the mainstream. The system, which Ford co-developed with Bosch, allows Escape SUVs to navigate themselves through a specially-equipped parking structure, and then be remotely summoned again via an app.

It’s not the first time we’ve seen the technology. Back in 2023, Mercedes and Bosch began installing a similar system in a parking structure in Stuttgart, Germany. Located at the Mercedes-Benz museum, it was used for demonstrations of the automaker’s take on automated driving and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications.

Come mid-2024, Mercedes was ready to offer automated valet parking vehicles for hire, though again still only really as a proof of concept more than a commercial service.

Ford’s approach is similar. It outfitted the Bedrock Assembly Garage in Detroit, MI, with the Bosch smart infrastructure system, which communicates via V2I with the Escape SUVs. The sensors built into the garage recognize and localize the vehicle, and help navigate it to an empty space.

However they also track the location of pedestrians and other potential hazards, such as cars being manually parked by human drivers. If something is in in the Escape’s way when the automated parking system is active, it stops the car.

Actually using the system is fairly straightforward, at least as Bosch and Ford envisage it. The driver leaves their vehicle in the designated area at the entrance of the parking structure, and then uses the app to dispatch it to an available space. When they return, they use the app to request it back, and the car and garage work together to navigate the vehicle back to the collection point.

While autonomous vehicles aren’t uncommon, at least in pre-production and research states, today, what this automated valet parking system illustrates is how useful V2I could be. For a start, much of the technology is embedded in the parking garage and not the vehicle. Ford can use existing driver assistance systems, many of which fall under its Ford Co-Pilot360 umbrella which typically includes adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping, to handle things like steering, braking, the transmission, and even the indicators, and leave the primary modifications to the building.

Those modifications can be retrofitted, as was the case here, or embedded in the structure from the point of construction. To sweeten the deal, there’s the promise of much more efficient use of space. Since parking areas for automated valets wouldn’t need room for pedestrians to navigate through them, they could occupy up to 20-percent more vehicles in the same amount of space.

Meanwhile, Ford and Bosch are also looking at how the same technology could be used for other convenience features. One possibility is that the vehicle could drive itself to other areas in the garage for specific needs, such as washing or electric car charging.

Clearly this is all a long way from vehicles being able to drive themselves on every road, in every condition. There, Ford’s ambitions are much more conservative, kicking off with the Level 2 hands-free Active Drive Assist which will be offered on the new Mustang Mach-E EV crossover and the new F-150 pickup truck.

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