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By Jan Wagner - syndicated weekly columnist/photojournalist
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AutoMatters Online, Cross-Country Rally &
’07 Ford Sport Trac

 

AutoMatters is now online, at www.AutoMatters.net. Now you can catch up on past columns in the archives, enjoy photos in the photo gallery, learn about late breaking news and much more.

In the news section you’ll learn all about my cross country drive in a SMART car, starting here in California and ending in New York City, just in time for the Press Preview days of the New York International Automobile Show (which I’ll also be covering).

 
2007 Ford Sport Trac in San Diego

This past week Ford introduced members of the national press to their all-new, 2007 Sport Trac. We spent several hours driving it on a very scenic route between San Diego and Laguna Beach. In between we drove east to Lake Elsinore, where we experienced the formidable off-road capabilities of the Sport Trac on a steep, rocky, challenging course.


’07 Sport Trac by Lake Wohlford

I was very impressed with the Sport Trac. On paved roads, it rode like a luxury car. The seats were comfortable for long distances, no doubt due in part to Ford’s relationship with Volvo – a company well known for its comfortable, supportive seats. It features a new, fully independent suspension. This is a well mannered vehicle on road.

 
’07 Sport Trac goes where others cannot

 

Off-road it inspires confidence. It climbs like a mountain goat and descents were steady and controlled. This was an ATV course but the Sport Trac, with its new 4.6 liter, 3-valve V8 engine and 6-speed automatic transmission, powered through – with at least one novice offroad driver at the wheel.

Those of you who are familiar with the vehicle that it replaces may be interested to learn about some of the other changes that Ford has made. Its cargo bed is just over 25% larger, with a capacity of 37.5 cubic feet.

The 4.6 liter engine produces a whopping 300 lb.-ft. of torque and 292 horsepower, which represents a 42% increase.

Another huge gain comes in the vehicle’s stiffness. Its new, fully boxed frame has 427% more torsional stiffness than the previous Sport Trac. That’s over five times stiffer!

The projected maximum towing capacity of 4x2 models is 6,800 pounds. Electronic Roll Stability Control is standard on all models.

On paper and behind the wheel, on-road and off, the 2007 Ford Sport Trac is impressive. For more information, go to www.fordvehicles.com.


Marshmallow roast

Our drive eventually took us to the luxurious Montage Resort and Spa, where we had dinner – Sport Trac style, ending the evening roasting marshmallows over a fire pit.

  
Laguna Beach, from the Montage Resort & Spa

 

The next day it was farewell to beautiful Laguna Beach and back to work.

Be sure to visit www.AutoMatters.net and click on AutoMatters@gmail.com to send me your comments and suggestions. Now it’s off to New York in a SMART car! Until next time...

 

 

Copyright © 2006 Jan R. Wagner – #183 AutoMatters

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