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Ford at the L.A. Auto Show

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Lesley Wimbush
LOS ANGELES, California – Although the scene-stealing 650 hp Shelby Mustang captured most of the spotlight, there were several other new Fords on stage at the L.A. Auto Show.

Ford at the L.A. Auto Show
Photo: Lesley Wimbush/

Before a packed media audience, polished spokesman Mark Fields, executive vice-president, Ford Motor Company and president, The Americas, introduced eight new models - The 2013 Ford Escape, 2013 Ford Shelby GT500, 2013 Ford Mustang Boss 302, 2013 Ford Mustang GT, 2013 Ford Flex, Ford Focus ST, Ford Focus ST-R and Ford Fiesta ST concept.

The Ford Focus ST, at 250 hp, holds the title of the fastest Focus ever in North America. Likewise, the Fiesta receives a potency upgrade, albeit on a somewhat smaller scale. We'd already seen the 3-door Fiesta ST concept at the Frankfurt Auto Show and today it returns with two extra doors.

Although created mainly as a design exercise illustrating the possibilities of a more potent version of the popular hatchback, Fields hinted that the Ford Fiesta ST could see production in the future. Good news for fans of smokin’ hot hatches as the ST looks plenty aggressive with its WRC rally car-inspired air dam, chunky wheel arches and duck-tail spoiler. Underhood is a 180 hp, turbocharged 1.6L EcoBoost engine that powers the front wheels through a 6-speed manual transmission.

Quirky though it may be, the Flex boasts the highest number of loyal repeat customers in the Ford lineup. While still retaining its characteristic boxiness, the Flex returns with a stylish, almost Land Rover-esque new face and tucked up rear end.

Underhood, the Flex gains 20 more horsepower from its base 3.5L V6, for an output of 285 horsepower – yet fuel economy is improved slightly. Also available is the 3.5L EcoBoost, producing 355 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque. Both engines are mated to the 6-speed SelectShift automatic transmission. Technology-wise, the 2013 Flex boasts the streamlined MyFord Touch 2.0 and inflatable rear seat belts.

Ford has sold 1.9 million Escapes since 2001, and the boxy little SUV was long overdue for a little attention. When the sheet was swept away at the L.A. auto show, it revealed a sleek new Escape that hunkers down over stylish, split-spoke wheels. The all-new CUV is a global vehicle, intended to replace Europe's Kuga, and to battle Honda's CR-V in North America as the Escape.

2013 Ford Flex front 3/4 view
2013 Ford Flex (Photo: Lesley Wimbush/
Lesley Wimbush
Lesley Wimbush
Automotive expert