Aerodynamics: Ford Vehicles Cheat the Wind, Helping Drivers to Beat the Pump

Pain at the pump is not getting any better anytime soon, we recently came across this info on how Ford is designing cars to obtain better fuel mileage, pretty interesting.
Fuel economy improvements can result from reducing friction and drag – not only within engines and transmissions, but as air flows over and around the vehicle as it efficiently skims through the atmosphere at cruising speeds.
“Aerodynamic development has yielded significant improvements in fuel efficiency across the full line of Ford vehicles,” said Derrick Kuzak, Ford group vice president of Global Product Development. “Full-size trucks, family-friendly utilities, and cars in each segment add fuel economy from careful attention to aerodynamic details.”
The all-new Ford Explorer SUV, 2011 North American Truck of the Year, and the stylish Ford Flex crossover both enjoy improved fuel efficiency from painstaking detail work by designers and aerodynamicists collaborating in the wind tunnel.
Explorer delivers class-leading fuel economy of 17 mpg city and 25 mpg highway, when equipped with front-wheel drive and the standard 290-horsepower V6 engine.   Carefully balancing aerodynamic details such as the front air dam, sideview mirrors and rear liftgate spoiler adds nearly 1 mpg as Explorer quietly cruises the highway.    Ford’s distinctively styled Flex crossover has a boxy shape that turns heads on the street, yet it requires only 8.90 horsepower to maintain a 55 mph cruising speed; its crossover competitors GMC Acadia and Toyota Highlander require 9.30 horsepower to move at the same velocity. Using less power to carve through the atmosphere saves fuel, lowering the cost of ownership for Flex drivers.
Built Ford Tough F-Series pickups achieve class-leading fuel economy, aided by careful aerodynamic development. F-150 trucks feature a chamfered shape to the rear of the cab that helps direct aerodynamic wake over the pickup box in an efficient manner. The top of the tailgate angles outward to create a lip, which in turn does its part to direct airflow over the cargo box. The front bumper valance and spoiler have been configured to properly manage airflow beneath the truck, with no compromise to off-road capability.
Cars see aerodynamic benefit, too
Optimized airflow over, under and around Ford Fusion and Fusion Hybrid sedans help these popular offerings deliver class-leading fuel efficiency. Revised front and rear fascias, front and rear tire shields, an underbody shield and optimized cooling air flow into the engine compartment to help Fusion travel farther on a gallon of gas.
The subcompact Ford Fiesta is available with a Super Fuel Economy (SFE) package that enables the car to achieve 40 mpg highway. This package features cruise control, low rolling-resistance tires and several additions to enhance vehicle aerodynamics, such as underbody shields, side air deflectors and lower grille blockers.
The all-new Ford Focus four-door sedan is also available with an SFE package, ideal for customers placing the highest priority on fuel efficiency. Low rolling-resistance tires combine with a rear decklid spoiler and aerodynamically optimized wheel covers to help Focus with SFE package deliver up to 40 mpg highway.
A unique feature shared by Fiesta and Focus SFE models is that both vehicles rely on aerodynamic optimizations and an advanced six-speed automatic transmission to deliver superior fuel efficiency, whereas competitive models often force a driver to choose a manual transmission to achieve the highest fuel economy.
Active grille shutters
Focus four-door models feature an innovative system to improve vehicle aerodynamics – and fuel efficiency – at cruising speeds. The active grille shutter system will open grille slats when extra engine cooling air is required, such as low-speed stop-and-go driving. When cruising on the highway at steady speeds, the grille slats automatically close to improve aerodynamics and fuel efficiency.

Portobello Pasta Bowls

lets get grilling!!
Makes: 6 servings
Prep: 20 minutes
Grill: 6 minutes
• 6 4-inch diameter fresh portobello mushrooms (about 1-1/4 lbs.), stems removed
•2 medium yellow or red tomatoes
•3 tablespoons olive oil
•Freshly ground black pepper
•6 ounces dried spinach fettuccine or spaghetti
•1/4 cup olive oil
•2 tablespoons lemon juice
•1 teaspoon snipped fresh oregano
•1/2 teaspoon salt
•1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
•2 tablespoons snipped fresh oregano or 1/4 cup snipped fresh basil
1.  Using a teaspoon, gently scrape gills out of the bottom of the mushroom caps. Lightly rinse mushroom caps. Pat dry with paper towels. Cut tomatoes in half; remove seeds and stem.
2.  Brush top and underside of the mushrooms and all sides of tomatoes with the 3 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle the mushrooms and tomatoes lightly with salt and pepper.
3. For a charcoal grill, grill mushroom caps and tomato halves, cut sides up, on the rack of an uncovered grill directly over medium coals for 6 to 8 minutes or until tender, turning once halfway through grilling. (For a gas grill, preheat grill. Reduce heat to medium. Place mushroom caps and tomato halves on the grill rack over heat. Cover and grill as above.) Remove from grill.
4. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain; return to pot.
5. For dressing, coarsely chop the grilled tomatoes. In a blender or food processor combine the tomatoes, the 1/4 cup olive oil, lemon juice, the 1 teaspoon oregano, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Cover and blend or process until smooth. Drizzle pasta with 2 tablespoons of the dressing. Keep warm.
6. To serve, place mushroom caps on serving plates. Divide pasta among mushrooms. Drizzle with remaining dressing. Sprinkle with additional snipped fresh herbs. Makes 6 servings.
nutrition facts
Servings Per Recipe 6 servings Calories284 Total Fat (g)18 Saturated Fat (g)2, Monounsaturated Fat (g)12, Polyunsaturated Fat (g)2, Cholesterol (mg)0, Sodium (mg)324, Carbohydrate (g)26, Total Sugar (g)3, Fiber (g)2, Protein (g)7, Vitamin C (DV%)15, Calcium (DV%)4, Iron (DV%)11, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

The Elegance At Hershey

IF you like vintage race cars, this is an event your not going to want to miss.
The Elegance At Hershey is a celebration of a bygone era when the automobile stirred our imaginations and quickened our hearts.
Today people both young and old marvel at the extravagances of the cars of the past. From the race cars to the street cars that were not about pure performance or conveyance but also incoporated artistic design, a symphony of sound and sensory overload worthy of the finest wines. Cars were not just about transportation they were a statement.
The Elegance At Hershey will bring the finest of race cars and show quality collector cars of the pre-World War II and immediate post-World War II period together for a weekend celebrating the automobile. But, this is so much more than a celebration, it is also about causes. Raising money for charity is the ultimate point of this event and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the AACA Museum and AACA Library & Research Center will benefit.
Amateur sports car racing was booming in post World-War II America and a form of racing called the hill climb was a very integral part of this scene. The idea was simple; one car at a time would storm-up a preset course laid out on a mountain road. The drivers test their skill and nerve while taxing the ability of the car in a race against the clock and the times posted by all the other drivers in the event.
The Hershey Hill Climb began innocently enough in 1958. Founded by the Appalachian Sports Car Club, it was one of many hill climbs in Pennsylvania. In this era Pennsylvania was a hot bed of this kind of racing. Hershey would grow to be the crown jewel of the Pennsylvania Hill Climb Association (PHA) yearly circuit. By the mid-1960’s the race was being held at the beginning of each season and again at the end of the season, often as the definitive race for final standings. The event was so big, it often drew in excess of 200 cars, it was deemed the largest hill climb in the world.