A Shock to the System
by Roger Garbow
Innovation and radical change usually come from the upstarts, not from storied, blue-chip companies. And yet, in less than 24 months, Ford has rocked the auto industry with exciting and revolutionary new models.
Ford’s F-150 has been America’s best-selling pickup for a record 44 straight years and for most of that time, America’s best-selling vehicle overall. Each redesign has brought thoughtful evolution to a winning pickup formula. In June 2020, Ford raised the truck bar even higher by introducing an F-150 hybrid — for increased fuel economy, torque, and range — and Pro Power Onboard, an electric generator built into the truck bed. In addition to being helpful at the worksite or campsite, the optional 7.2kW unit can power a house for up to three days in the event of a power outage!
Ford sent even bigger shockwaves through the automotive world in May of this year when they unveiled the F-150 Lightning. This all-electric pickup truck retains everything that has made the F-150 a world leader while adding a fully electric drivetrain. The most common term after the reveal was “game-changer” from both industry pros and consumers alike. Even folks who weren’t considering an electric vehicle (EV) were won over with over 100,000 pre-orders in just the first three weeks. If any vehicle can make EV’s mainstream, it’s America’s best-selling truck.
But the F-150 is not Ford’s first EV. The Mustang Mach-E, launched in November 2019 is the affordable yet fun electric family crossover you’ve been waiting for. The Mach-E is the first vehicle to truly challenge Tesla’s EV market dominance and after spending a week with a First Edition AWD Mach-E, it would unquestionably be my choice. First off, it’s wonderful to drive and looks great, with styling cues from the iconic Mustang, yet it’s big enough for your whole family. The interior is beautifully designed and the controls are clear and easy to use. Under the hood, where a gas engine would normally reside, is a spacious plastic-lined front trunk, “frunk” that can be used as a built-in cooler. It even has a drain plug.
For those who like adventure, and maybe a bit of off-roading, Ford has you covered as well. Ford’s two newest SUVs have been selling faster than ice cream on a hot summer day. The much-anticipated full-size Bronco is a reimagining of the classic Ford off-roader of yesteryear, yet this new version leapfrogs the off-road competition with much better handling and refinement on-road combined with massive capability off-road. The styling looks fantastic in either two or four doors. Plus, the doors and top are removable for the ultimate open-air adventures.
The Bronco Sport — aka “Baby Bronco” — is based upon the excellent Ford Escape. This tough-looking crossover can meet all of your daily driver
needs, and yet when the urge strikes, take you to places other crossovers wouldn’t even attempt. The Sport’s roomy interior is thoughtfully designed with versatility, functionality, and features lacking in most supposed active lifestyle vehicles.
Ford’s most recent introduction might be the most radical yet. The all-new Maverick small pickup hits dealerships this fall with a 40-mpg hybrid drivetrain and a starting price of only $20,000. For those who want a small pickup that will fit in their garage, and deliver fantastic fuel economy, the Maverick is going to be a hot ticket.
If you live locally and are considering a Ford, you’re in luck. Colonial Ford at 126 Federal Road in Danbury, is a family-owned business run by brothers David Beylouni of Newtown and Darren Beylouni of Ridgefield. Their father Raymond became an auto dealer in 1962 so the brothers grew up in the car business. In 1992 David, who was a practicing attorney, purchased Colonial Ford with Raymond, and Darren joined the team soon after. A year later they added a Subaru franchise next door and the Colonial Automobile group was born. Today, the brothers have six dealerships including their newest, Colonial Ford of Westchester. Visiting Colonial Ford, you immediately get a sense that this is not your typical car dealership. Their ethos is to treat both employees and customers like family, with zero pressure and honest communication. Considering how long-tenured their sales staff is and how many repeat customers they have, the brothers are clearly doing something right.