Come on Ford, Bring It to North-AmericaThe Ford Focus ECOnetic (who makes up these awkward words?) officially makes its debut next week in Amsterdam, but Ford is giving us a little preview of what it calls "Europe's most fuel-efficient compact car". It's based on the regular Focus model, but it features a series of efficiency tweaks to push fuel consumption down to 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). Read on for more specs and photos.
Focus ECOnetic Diesel SpecsThe Focus ECOnetic is expected to emit less than 95g/km of CO2 (certification will be done later this year) thanks to a "completely new 105PS version of the 1.6-litre Ford Duratorq TDCi diesel, which has been optimised for enhanced fuel efficiency, with a new injection system and turbocharger, enhanced charge cooling and further friction reduction measures." This engine will produce 104-horsepower (77 kW).
The car's aerodynamic performance has always been tweaked. The coefficient of drag (CD) is 0.295, thanks in part to modifications to the underside, an Active Grille Shutter, low drag wheel covers, etc.
As for the transmission: "The 1.6-litre ECOnetic diesel is paired with Ford's 6-speed Durashift manual transmission, which is also used in other new Focus models with the 1.6-litre TDCi engine. This transmission is a totally new high-efficiency design which has been optimised to eliminate frictional losses, and utilises special low friction transmission oil.
A revised final drive ratio has been selected to raise the overall gearing, reducing engine speed and offering improved fuel economy when cruising in top gear. Economy is further enhanced by fitting the latest-generation dedicated low rolling resistance tyres."
The ECOnetic package also has a few more 'advanced' features:
Ford Auto-Start-Stop - Ford Auto-Start-Stop system automatically shuts down the engine when the vehicle is at idle - at a traffic light, for example - and restarts the engine when the driver wants to move off, saving the fuel wasted while the vehicle is stationary. This can reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by up to 10 per cent in urban driving.
Smart Regenerative Charging - Focus ECOnetic features an enhanced new version of this system, which increases the alternator output when the vehicle brakes or decelerates. This converts the kinetic energy of the vehicle into electric energy without having to use additional fuel. The 'free' electric current is used to recharge the battery, so that it can be used by the electrical systems at a later stage. An advanced battery management system continually monitors the charging status so that the regenerative charging feature can charge the battery in the optimal way.
Ford Eco Mode - Ford Eco Mode is a driver information system, which helps motorists to change their habits and adopt a more economical driving style, with potential fuel savings for many drivers of around 10 per cent. Sophisticated software - developed with the help of professional green driving tutors - monitors driving behaviour, and provides the driver with clear feedback about their eco-driving performance, along with simple tips about how to save more fuel. A simple flower graphic in the instrument cluster display allows drivers to track their progress in the three key areas of gear shifting, anticipation and speed.
Shift Indicator Light - Shift Indicator Light can be a major support for drivers prioritising economy. An indicator light, which is displayed in the instrument cluster, alerts drivers when they could reduce fuel consumption by shifting into a higher gear.
Things that should be on all cars, not just special "Eco" models.
It should be available in Europe in early 2012, either as a 5-door sedan or a hatch (pictured here). It'll be made in Germany.
As I always say, it's still better to walk, bike, or take transit. But if you're going to be driving a car (and let's face it, lots of people will for the foreseeable future), it should be the most efficient model that meets your needs.
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