Fast and furious Ford Yaris hatch hots up
FORD has detailed the Mustang’s mid-life update – featuring styling changes, drivetrain upgrades and new technology ahead of its 2018 release in Australia.
The new performance coupe was first shown in California this week with the revised exterior styling including newlook LED headlights, redesigned LED tail-lights, a fresh lower bonnet and grille design, blacked out rear diffuser, quad-tip exhaust for V8 GT models and an optional performance spoiler.
Orange Fury debuts as a new exterior paint colour option, as well as a dozen unique alloy wheel designs for customers to choose from.
Powertrain updates include an increase of torque for the 2.3litre four-cylinder EcoBoost engine, according to Ford, but output figures for the “thoroughly reworked” 5.0-litre V8 have not been divulged as yet.
The V8 engine will have a higher rev limit and offer more power courtesy of new dualfuel, high-pressure direct injection and low-pressure port fuel injection, which also increases fuel efficiency and low-end torque, says the manufacturer.
Prior to the facelift the V8 GT churned out 303kW of power and 525Nm of torque, whereas EcoBoost variants had 233kW/432Nm.
Ford has confirmed a new 10-speed automatic transmission will replace the old six-speed unit with faster shift times, offer higher average power for quicker acceleration, lower frictional losses and various unique driving modes.
The six-speed manual gearbox also receives an update for both engine options, with V8 versions receiving a dual-mass flywheel and twin-disc clutch that improves torque capability and clutch modulation.
All Mustang variants have suspension improvements with new shock absorbers, upgraded anti-roll bars and a new crossaxis joint in the rear suspension.
A magnetic damper system dubbed ‘MagneRide’ will be offered as an option, as well as a system for GT owners that allows the exhaust note and volume to be altered. TOYOTA has announced its facelifted Yaris light car will go on sale in Australia in March after revealing the new-look model this week.
The Japanese maker has unveiled a three-door hot hatch to be shown at Geneva that would go head-to-head with the likes of the Volkswagen Polo GTI and Renault Clio RS.
Despite local details being scarce, the new Yaris will get visual tweaks including a restyled front bumper, new LED headlights, and new lower grille and fog light cover designs.
Other visual changes include new-look wheels, sculpted rear bumper and refreshed LED tail-lights to give the new model a lower, wider and more aggressive look.
The new Yaris is expected to remain relatively unchanged inside and under the bonnet, retaining the 63kW/121Nm 1.3litre normally aspirated fourcylinder in the base-level Ascent, while an 80kW/141Nm 1.5-litre atmo four-pot powers the mid- and top-spec SX and ZR.
In Japan, the new Yaris range gets the Safety Sense package as standard, which includes autonomous emergency braking (AEB) and hill-start assist.
However, for Australia it appears that the safety package will only be offered as standard in the top-spec ZR, with Safety Sense offered as an option on other variants.
While Toyota is offering a Yaris Hybrid for the first time in Japan, the car-making giant’s local arm has confirmed the petrol-assisted electric version will not land in local showrooms as the already onsale Prius C shares an identical powertrain and similar dimensions.
At the other end of the performance spectrum, a range-topping, rally-inspired Yaris could be introduced to take up the fight to the likes of the Ford Fiesta ST, Renault Clio RS, Peugeot 208 GTi and Volkswagen Polo GTI.
Securing the new firecracker for the local market could prove to be a difficult proposition. The new model will be fully revealed at the Geneva motor show.