As for the engine, I know Ford has been improving a lot, especially with the new ecoboost four cylinder engine. Wouldn't be surprised if Mazda or some other company they partnered up with in the past helped them on this. Plus their european counterparts probably had some part in the new engines.
These new engines are ford's more desirable engines. They have been proven to do well for fuel efficiency and shares some of the same guidelines as the hybrid and diesel engines. I see these engines being used in the future for being so versatile and reliable.