Please Ford, Bring the Fiesta ECOnetic (71 MPG US) to North-America
Sadly, Ford continues to release its most fuel-efficient models - branded ECOnetic - in Europe only, with no current plans, as far as I know, to bring them over to North-America. Yet in many ways, N.A. needs these gas-sipping models more than anywhere else, and with recent fuel price increases, the market might be getting quite ripe.
In Europe, Ford already has the ECOnetic Fiesta Diesel (3.7 L/100km or 63.6 mpg US) from a few years ago and the more recent ECOnetic Focus diesel (3.5 liters/100km in the European cycle (that's 67 MPG in US gallons, though it would probably be a bit lower on the US testing cycle). Granted, diesels are more popular in Europe than in North-America, and while they tend to emit less CO2 than gasoline engines, they have their downsides too (despite recent advances, they still emit more smog-forming nasties than equivalent gas vehicles. But they do much better than a few years ago, and the nastiest diesel emissions come from large trucks, not modern passenger vehicles).
That's the previous generation of ECOnetic Fiesta.
So Ford is now launching a new ECOnetic model based on its Fiesta compact, and it does even better than the previous one: It should consume only 3.3l/100 km (71.2 mpg US, though that would be likely be lower on the EPA's testing cycle) and have CO2 emissions of 87 g/km, which is pretty impressive for a non-hybrid.
The car is powered by a 95PS 1.6-litre Duratorq TDCi diesel engine and provides 205Nm of torque; it will be available in three-door and five-door form and in a variety of trim levels, depending on market.
“Fiesta is already hugely successful across Europe and the ECOnetic Technology model takes its fuel efficiency and low-CO2 offering to another level,” said Stephen Odell, CEO and chairman, Ford of Europe. “Customers can be assured these significant gains have been achieved without compromising the great driving quality for which Ford is famous.”
The new model showcases Ford ECOnetic Technology innovations like Auto-Start-Stop, Smart Regenerative Charging, Eco Mode and shift indicator light. It also benefits from a bespoke engine calibration and optimised gear ratios. A lower suspension, undershield and wheel deflectors as well as low-rolling resistance tyres are used to further reduce driving resistances.
So please Ford, bring your most fuel-efficient models to this side of the Atlantic. I much prefer for people to walk, bike, or take transit, but if they're going to drive, they should have access to the best gas-sippers (and of course, the best electric cars and plug-in hybrids).