Ford’s Dave Pericak Talks The Future Of Performance Vehicles

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Dave Pericak is the guy at Ford who oversees icon cars like the Mustang GT, Bronco, and Ford GT. Recently Dave Pericak talked about the future at the Chicago Auto Show, where the upgraded 2020 Ford GT was unveiled. He talked about the future of icon vehicles with stricter fuel economy and emissions regulations around the world. Pericak says that a lot of countries are changing regulations so quickly and so heavily that they are almost forcing performance products out.

According to Pericak, Ford is working hard to prevent changing regulations from killing off fun cars. He says that Ford’s job is two-fold. One aspect is to figure out how to continue to make performance vehicles that will exist in some of the regulated countries, including the United States. Another challenge is how do you build the vehicles so they can be a global offering.

mustang gt

Pericak said something rather ominous during the conversation with the folks at CNET. He said that we shouldn’t expect a big V-8 only for America and an electrified turbo-four-cylinder for Europe in the same car. He pointed specifically at the Mustang’s future as an example of the exact discussions going on right now. That seems to indicate that the global need would win out over what Americans prefer, hinting that future Mustangs may not have a V-8 engine at all.

Pericak says “what we would never do is compromise.” He said if it’s a Mustang, it will be a Mustang and live up to the Mustang expectation. Remember that Ford feels the Mach-E lives up to Mustang expectation. We hate to think of the V-8 not being available in the Mustang in the future, but that seems to be the direction Pericak indicates things could be heading. He also noted that some of the changes go along with how the younger generation of car buyers looks at performance. Pericak indicates that younger buyers care less about quarter-mile times with the shift to a focus on the performance “experience,” where the focus is more on how the car feels than raw performance.

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Source: CNET

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Written by Shane McGlaun

Shane is a car guy with a fondness for Mustangs and off-roading.

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8 Comments

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  1. Honestly, this is not the most terrible thing in the world. Ford currently has a 3.5L Ecoboost V6 that is spec’d anywhere from 450hp/510tq in the Raptor to 660hp/550tq, Ford also has a 3.0L Ecoboost V6 that puts out 400hp/415tq in the explorer ST and a hybrid variant that puts out 494hp/630tq and a 350hp/350tq 2.3L Turbo-4 and that’s here in America. We live in a time where Mercedes has a 416hp/370tq 2.0L, BMW is getting ready to release a 500hp twin turbo I-6, In Europe and in Australia, Ford Performance is well known but in other engines such as the 2.5L 5-Cylinder engine from the MK2 Focus RS and the 4.0L Barra I-6 Turbo from the Aussie Ford Falcon XR6, which is capable of handling seriously high horsepower numbers, all with tech from several years ago and also two engines that can sound amazing with the right exhaust system. Taking what Ford has learned from not only the ecoboost platform, but also the Coyote, the Voodoo and the Predator V8, I see no reason why a engines like these can’t be a part of the new direction of Ford Performance, especially since they’ve already been a successful part of the Ford Performance family. This is just a thought, with the new mustang coming out on the CD6 chassis, what if, Ford had a base 2.3L Turbo pushing 350hp/350tq, an ST Mustang with a new Ecoboost 2.4L Inline-5 cylinder turbo pushing out lets say 420hp/430tq, a Mustang GT with a new 3.8L Ecoboost I-6 pushing 485hp/490tq, a Hybrid RS 3.0L Mustang that pushed out 502hp/630tq and the next gen Cobra mustang with the 3.5L Ecoboost pushing out 660hp/550tq. You have major power without a V8 in sight. With the Mustang moving to the new CD6 platform, it’s time for a few different variations of the mustang to appear along side the coupe and convertible. A 4-door variant, much like the BMW 8-Series should be available along with a crossover to compete with the BMW X6 series, the Mercedes GLE coupe and Porsche Cayenne Coupe with all the same trim levels as above. Give all of the cars the option of a 10-speed auto, a 7-speed DCT and obviously on the Hybrid the 10-speed hybrid transmission, performance all wheel drive with a longitudinal driveline, Brembo brakes, magnetic ride suspensions, and everything else. Another thing would be to offer some of this stuff in the Explorer as well since it will be on the CD6 platform. Another place to offer street performance would be with the Ranger and the F150. We already have a potent F150 Raptor for the off road, why not have a Ford F150 Lighting and a Ranger Lightning for the street? Give the F150 the 660hp 3.5L variant of the ecoboost on a lowered setup with IRS, magnetic ride, huge brembo brakes, 22×12″ front and 22×15″ rear wheels, quad side outlet exhaust before the rear wheels, crew cab and single cab/short bed configurations, aero upgrades, huge brembo brakes and everything else and turn it loose. Do a similar setup with the Ranger but with a 2.5L 5-cylinder Ecoboost setup with a 7-speed DCT, 20×10″ front 20×12″ rear wheels a single side dual outlet exhaust on the driver side, aero upgrades, lowered, big brembo brakes and several other things and go from there. Bring out a GT truck line with Hybrid engines such as the 3.0L Hybrid and a smaller 2.3L Hybrid. All of that would be super nice. Ford’s talking about bringing the Puma over, let it replace the Focus and give it an ST and RS model.
    Another thing would be to expand the Ford Performance “aftermarket” catalogs and Ford Accessories upgrades to truly give buyers the chance to have custom cars, backed by factory warranties. Offer multiple different Brands that are approved by Ford Performance such as AWE, HKS, Greddy, Cobb, Tein, AEM, Sparco, Bride, whiteline, ROH wheels, BBS wheels, Varex, Akrapovic, REMUS, Vossen, Voresteiner, Tanabe, etc.
    Off Roading Performance for vehicles like the F150 Raptor, the Ranger Raptor, and the Bronco should be more of the same thing, just set up for something different than tearing up the blacktop. Ford Performance Bead lock wheels, BFGoodrich and Mickey Thompson tires, Ford Performance skid plates, Ford Performance front guards, Ford Performance metal off road bumpers, rock slider running boards, rugged/comfortable interiors with wash and go flooring, Ford Performance snorkel kits, Ford Performance suspension and braking upgrades, Ford Performance universal legal off road exhaust systems, etc. If you want performance to continue on a universal scale, then you need to incorporate more than just the old fashion stuff that we’ve been doing for so long and embrace the rest of the world and put our own twists to it.

  2. ” He said if it’s a Mustang, it will be a Mustang and live up to the Mustang expectation. Remember that Ford feels the Mach-E lives up to Mustang expectation.”
    In other words, the Mustang as we know it is doomed.

    • as we know, yeah probably it is. you kinda don’t need a V8 anymore. They’re nice but there are so many other engines out there that make the same and even more power than a V8. They just lack the same sound.

  3. Ford should produce an electric version of the GT. Electric power can exceed any gasoline engine power, and do it with much less noise and no emissions. The battery size just has to give out plenty of kilowatts in a few seconds, and not much range is needed since GT drivers never take long trips in their cars. Or they can have more according to controller settings:
    Pure sports mode, which gives the GT hundreds of kilowatts for minutes
    Standard mode, for normal day to day driving and quick acceleration
    Economy mode, for long range driving with speed and acceleration limits

    This is the future of sports cars, and Ford should be the front runner!

    • while i do agree that electric performance is credible and yes electric vehicles are fast the truth of the matter is that not everyone is going to want to own an electric vehicle. It is true they have their place however, making the switch to electric for everything is not really practical, nor is it ideal. Moving to ecoboost engines, ecoboost hybrid engines and a few electric vehicles would be a better idea because it give something for everyone. Honestly Ford can make insane performance and never exceed a 4.0L 6-cylinder twin turbo engine. The other issue with electric cars is that even customizing the car with wheels and other cosmetics, the electric cars lack the same kind of feeling of ownership that a gasoline powered vehicle does when you do things like customize exhausts and things like that. When it comes to performance vehicles, a connection with the car and the owner is key. The owner needs to connect and form that bond that makes performance cars so special. It’s not always about being the fastest. Having a blend of cars that are strictly gas powered, hybrid powered and electric would be the best move for Ford when it comes to the performance aspect. For people who are just looking to commute, sure, go electric with nearly everything. That’s fine. Those people don’t care and just want a mode of transportation to get where they’re going and that’s pretty much what they’re concerned about. Car enthusiasts are a different breed entirely. Sure, for most american car enthusiasts, moving away from the yesteryears of V8 supremacy may be difficult, if we don’t have something that we can connect with. Personally, I think the Ecoboost platform, and ecoboost hybrid platform can solve that issue and help with the transition. Especially with globalization of Ford Performance vehicles. The rest of the world has been way ahead of American when it comes to non-V8 Ford Performance and it’s time that we catch up. Why not have a 4-door mustang similar to the design of the 8-series gran-coupe along with the regular mustang coupe/convertible and a gas-powered performance crossover similar to the GLE-AMG coupe, the X6 crossover and the Porsche Cayenne Coupe crossover? Why not have a CD6 platform Focus 3 door “shooting brake” hatchback and a 5-door hatchback? Why not have a higher performance Ford Explorer RS, or a Puma ST/RS? add the Mondeo onto the CD6 platform as a full size sedan with similar styling to what we had with the fusion and give it an XR5 package and XR6 package with a longitudinal driveline with all wheel drive and right there you have a car that occupies the same space as the S-Class and the Audi A8 but offers a better price point with comfort and performance and give it a vignale trim level. (Honestly, Ford should bring over the vignale trim and get rid of Lincoln completely. Just saying.) Why not have a 660hp F150 Ecoboost lightning and a 400hp Ranger Lightning Ecoboost? Why not bring out an electric performance line with the Mach E and the EVOS? Why not bring out the Ford Atlas all electric pickup truck to do battle with the new GMC Hummer (screw Tesla!) Why not give the Expedition a full 450hp/510tq 3.5L Ecoboost V6 in a Vignale trim? There are so many things that Ford could and really should be focusing on right now. Yes I’m glad the Bronco is returning and hopefully a new and improved Ranger with the 3.0L Ecoboost under the hood.

  4. Another thing I thought about with this whole “non-v8” world is the fact that for a long time, Ford had several amazing inline-6 engines, especially the 4.9L I-6 that was an amazing workhorse. Not to mention the Inline-6 in the original mustang was pretty decent as well. I also think about engines such as the RB26DETT from the R34 Skyline, the 2JZ-GTE from the Toyota Supra, the BMW M54 from the E46 M3, the Ford Barra 270T, 310T, and 325T from the Aussie Falcons. All of those engines were insane performers for their time with the technology from back then. Imagine what the Barra engines would be like now with the knowledge Ford has from the Ecoboost platform. Even the Duratec 2.5L 5-cylinder Turbo with current Ecoboost Technology would be absolutely impressive with new vehicles on the CD6 platform. A CD6 platform Focus with a Frond drive based setup in a 3-door hatchback and 5-door hatchback setup with a design similar to the Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Shooting brake (not a copy but something similar) would be an absolutely awesome vehicle. This CD6 Modular platform should open up several doors for the Ford lineup, giving birth to so many different vehicles both performance and non-performance.I gave examples above of other brands that should fall under the Ford performance umbrella. There are so many brands that offer quality equal or better to Borla for exhaust systems and especially with performance engines other than V8 powered vehicles. An MK2 Focus 2.5L with a Milltek exhaust sounds absolutely amazing so something like that would be a great addition to the Ford Performance lineup. Another thing would be to start producing Cross-plane crank 4-cylinder engines. Years ago, Ford partnered with Yamaha on the original SHO Taurus engines. Since then Yamaha has created a monster sports bike, the YZF-R1 with a 1.0L 4-cylinder cross plane crank engine that produces 200hp. Which makes me feel that adding an additional 1.3L on top of that plus adding a turbo, would produce an engine that make roughly 390hp/390tq along with having a fairly awesome, lopey exhaust note.
    Even with diesel engines, Cummins has the 6.7L I-6 in the Ram HD pickup trucks that makes 400hp and 1000lb-ft of torque. Yes the current powerstroke is a little more powerful but honestly I’m sure Ford can design a Powerstroke I-6 to equal what the current V8 puts out. You figure if even the 3.0L Powerstroke V6 can put out 440tq/250hp, If Ford decided to do a 3.2L I-6 Powerstroke, I’m sure 300hp/500tq isn’t out of the question. Another thing is that Ford needs to add a lot more diesel performance options to the Ford Performance catalog. People love performance pickup trucks and people love performance diesels so why not give people what they love? Getting rid of V8 engines is fine as long as we have something to replace them with that engages the soul.

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