The 2010 Ford Focus ECOnetic will become Ford of Europe’s first car equipped with start-stop engine technology, making it capable of achieving results better than 4 litres/100km and 100 g/km CO2.
The five-door only model debuted at September’s Frankfurt Motor Show will go on sale in selected European markets from early 2010.
The 80kW 1.6-litre Duratorq TDCi engine teamed with regenerative braking and automatic start-stop – which shuts the engine down at idle – produces a combined fuel economy of 3.81 litres/100km and CO2 emissions of 99 g/km on the EU test cycle.
Ford claims the engine’s start-stop function reduces fuel consumption and emissions by up to five per cent in mixed driving conditions and as much as 10 per cent in heavy traffic with frequent stops.
The engine takes 0.3 seconds to switch on from rest and is supported by an upgraded high performance starter motor and a stronger pinion-engagement mechanism with reduced noise levels.
Ford of Europe manager of CO2 technologies, Dr Thilo Seibert, said the Focus’ start-stop technology would stimulate the system’s wider application across the Ford range.
“To achieve these impressive figures, we combined the proven approach of the original Focus ECOnetic with even more detail improvements and all-new technologies.
“The new Focus ECOnetic is particularly significant as it paves the way for some of these technologies to be implemented into our core vehicle series in the near future,” he said.
The regenerative braking function – Ford calls it Smart Regenerative Charging – operates like similar systems from other manufacturers.
Kinetic energy lost during braking is stored in the battery, and the system communicates with the start-stop unit to determine how much battery charge is available so that it can leave the engine running if the battery does not have a sufficient level of charge.
A newly designed alternator bracket and new belt pulley design and revisions to the TDCi engine – including new injectors, upgraded intake system and exhaust system fitted with an oxygen sensor, and a standard coated Diesel Particulate Filter (cDPF) – add to the efficiency gains.
Longer ratios for third, fourth and fifth gears bring down engine revs and noise, while ride height is down (10mm at the front, 8mm at the rear) and new tyres have been fitted to lower wind and rolling resistance.
The new ‘Eco Mode’ system also aims to lower fuel consumption by monitoring driving behaviour parameters like gear shifting, smoothness and anticipation and highway speed, and educating the driver with “eco-driving advice”.
“We have been amazed by the positive feedback on the system by customers in early tests.
“Customers have told us that they actively enjoyed exploring a new and very contemporary discipline: saving fuel,” Seibert said.
But an Australian launch for the Focus ECOnetic is no certainty, with Ford’s Sinead McAlary confirming that there are currently no specific plans to import the model.
“We are just in the process of launching the Fiesta ECOnetic which is a new brand for us here in Australia.
“We’re off to a really good start with that and it is a brand of technology that we would like to spread across other vehicles within our range, but we won’t make any decisions on which would be the next until we see how the Fiesta ECOnetic goes in the market.
“We would like to extend the ECOnetic brand because we think it delivers real efficiency at a cost well priced for consumers.
“We’ll wait and see what happens in the new year,” she said.