Ford’s ‘Top Ten’ For Memorial Day Weekend
More Americans will embark on family vacations and other getaways over this Memorial Day weekend than in 2006, according to a recent survey conducted by AAA. The travel authority also forecasts that more will travel by car over the holiday than a year ago. AAA predicts that 38.3 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more over the long weekend, a 1.7 percent increase from 2006. Of those, nearly 84 percent (32.1 million) will drive, up 1.8 percent from last year.
Below are a few reasons why Ford, Lincoln and Mercury products are the best bet if you’re hitting the highway, plus a few tips to help make travel a breeze.
Need to Tow Big? Go with F-Series Super Duty – Memorial Day weekend kicks off the travel season for more than 30 million recreational vehicle (RV) enthusiasts. The new 2008 Ford F-Series Super Duty is ready to get even the biggest ‘toys’ to their favorite campground, thanks to its purpose-built frame and 6.4-liter Power Stroke® clean diesel engine. The truck is now able to tow up to a whopping 24,500 pounds when properly equipped. According to a study by the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association, towable RV sales climbed 20 percent over the past two years to 334,600 units in 2006. Sales are expected to climb even higher this year, with towable RVs getting larger as customers load them with luxury features like tile floors, granite countertops and big-screen TVs. Almost 90 percent of fifth-wheel RVs now have at least one fold-out room.
You Can Tow Your Car and CUV with All Four Wheels On the Road – Many motorhome owners enjoy the practicality of having another vehicle along when they travel. Ford and Lincoln Mercury offer a number of products that can be towed without wheel dollies, including hot-selling new vehicles such as the Ford Edge, Escape and Fusion, Mercury Mariner and Milan and Lincoln MKX. Each vehicle has different restrictions and towing procedures. For safe operation, towed vehicles (or dollies or trailers carrying them) should be equipped with a separate functional brake system. Contact your Ford or Lincoln Mercury dealer for complete details.
Voice Recognition Offers Hands-Free Navigation – The 2007 Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator, 2008 Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable now offer voice recognition, a hands-free way of operating the radio and navigation system while driving. With this feature, one can control navigation, audio, display and voice settings by speaking specific commands. Drivers can cancel a route, zoom in all the way on the map, change to a certain track number on a CD in the CD/MP3 changer and make a detour around construction – all without taking their hands off the wheel.
Potholes: Take the Hit! – Road construction season is now in full bloom as workers on highways nationwide toil to repair roads and bridges. To give drivers a fighting chance against wheel and tire damage caused by less-than-perfect roads, Ford engineers have designed suspension parts to handle chuckholes as effectively as possible. Engineers tune shock rebound rates to keep wheels and tires suspended so they can glide over potholes instead of dropping down into them. To help steer clear of vehicle damage from potholes, remember the following: Be sure to keep your tire pressure at recommended levels. Try not to swerve, since you may end up doing more damage by impacting the edge of a pothole rather than hitting it squarely. Don’t slam on the brakes to avoid potholes. Heavy braking compresses the front suspension of a car and can force the tire and wheel down into the chuckhole instead of gliding over it.
Mustang Owners Ready For Top-Down Hair – Nothing says summer like driving with the top down in a Ford Mustang – America’s best-selling convertible. To keep your hair from suffering “road rage,” stylists offer a few options. If you choose not to hide your tresses under a scarf or baseball cap, you can easily tame your wind-blown mane by adding a multi-functional leave-in hair conditioner, brushed out with a natural bristle brush. You can also use your Mustang convertible as a styling tool to achieve the straight-from-the-beach look. Just add some product such as moisturizing anti-frizz treatment to your hair before you get in the car, and let the wind do the rest.
Ford Technology Helps You Cope With Severe Weather – If your weekend forecast is stormy, Ford technology can help you maintain confidence on the road. The intelligent AWD systems on the Ford Edge, Escape, Escape Hybrid and Fusion; Mercury Mariner, Mariner Hybrid and Milan; and Lincoln MKZ and Lincoln MKX continuously monitor vehicle speed, throttle input and steering angle to deliver torque to the appropriate wheel even before slippage occurs. One in three Lincoln MKZs is sold with all-wheel drive. The Ford Fusion is the only vehicle in its class that offers all-wheel drive.
Ford Engineers Offer Fuel-Saving Tips – Ford’s engineers offer the following tips to help you stretch your fuel economy:
Drive pickups with the tailgate up, not down, to save fuel. Keeping the tailgate up creates a swirling action behind the rear window that allows a low pressure spot to build in the bed, allowing the truck to move more efficiently through the air. You can also purchase a Genuine Ford Accessories Tonneau cover to further improve fuel economy.
Drive with the windows open if you keep your speed under 50 mph. Decreasing your usage of the air conditioner when temperatures are above 80 degrees can help you save 10-15 percent of fuel. Using the air conditioner requires more energy than the extra aerodynamic drag of driving with the windows down.
Avoid short trips. When the vehicle is cold, it uses significantly more fuel because the engine is not operating at its most efficient temperature. Try planning ahead and combining small trips into larger ones to conserve fuel.
9. Sport Trac is Ultimate Vehicle for Travel Adventures – The Ford Sport Trac offers a unique blend of SUV versatility and pickup capability, along with an innovative box design that’s perfect for picnics and camping. Inside Sport Trac’s box are three integrated cargo bins that are recessed into the bed floor, with two six-pack-sized bins in the right and left rear of the box and one large bin that runs the length of the box headboard. The bins are equipped with weather-resistant lids and removable drain plugs for storing wet gear or ice – great for long-weekend road trips to the beach, cabin or camp site.
10. Elliott’s Return Sparks Big Race Weekendfor Blue Oval Fans – Memorial Day weekend is synonymous with racing. On Sunday, May 27, fans from all 50 states will be in attendance at one of the longest, toughest races of the NASCAR Nextel Cup season – the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. The Coca-Cola 600 marks the return of former champion Bill Elliott to the racetrack. Earlier this month, Elliot agreed on a race-to-race deal to drive the No. 21 Wood Brothers Racing/JTG Ford Fusion. Elliott has more than 30 years of Cup racing experience, with 756 starts, 44 wins, 175 top-fives and 320 top-tens at the series’ top level. He also has 55 pole positions to his credit.
11. L incoln Seating Keeps You Cool – Three Lincoln vehicles – Lincoln MKX, Lincoln MKZ and Lincoln Navigator – offer front seats that can heat or cool, helping keep drivers and front seat passengers comfortable no matter what the temperature. The seats provide a gentle convective flow to almost immediately help ward off perspiration in hot climates and take the edge off cold winter temperatures. The secret is a tiny thermo-electric device mounted to the seat frame. It has no moving parts, but its temperature changes when supplied with an electrical current. A small electric fan inside the seat directs air over the device and channels it through perforated leather on the seat cushion and backrest. Electrical current in one direction provides a cooling effect; reverse the current and heat is produced.
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