Ford has announced that its latest Focus Econetic, due on sale in early 2010, has CO2 emissions of just 99g/km.
First shown at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, the revised five-door aims to compete with the new Volkswagen Golf Bluemotion by offering a compact family hatchback that emits just 99g/km of CO2. Official average fuel economy for this greenest Focus is set to be an impressive 74.2mpg.
In order to help ‘explain’ how it’s done this, Ford has unleashed a whole raft of new technical terms, including: ‘Auto Start-Stop’, ‘Smart Regenerative Charging’, ‘Low Tension FEAD’, and ‘Ford Eco Mode’. Here’s what it all means:
Ford Econetic tech terms
Auto Start-Stop: this is exactly what is sounds like – an automatic stop-start system that switches off the Ford’s 1.6-litre TDCi turbodiesel engine whenever it’s at idle. This can apparently produce fuel savings of up to 10% in urban driving and 5% in mixed driving. The engine restarts in 0.3 seconds, and the alternator and battery have been upgraded to cope with the extra demand.
The Focus Econetic is the first European Ford to get Auto Start-Stop. However, it does not come as standard. Ford has decided to make the car more ‘affordable’ by only offering it as an option. Without Auto Start-Stop, the car’s CO2 emissions increase to 104g/km and claimed fuel economy drops to 70.6mpg
Smart Regenerative Charging: as with an increasing number of cars, the Focus Econetic uses brake energy regeneration to keep the battery charged by recovering energy that would otherwise be lost whenever the car is slowing down.
Low Tension FEAD: slightly more technical, Ford has redesigned under-bonnet components in order to loosen the tension of the Front End Accessory Drive (FEAD) – the belt that drives things such as the air conditioning. Lower tension means lower friction, which means greater efficiency.
Ford Eco Mode: this is a new driver aid that gives real-time feedback on how you are driving. A visual aid involving petal graphics helps you on the move, and also builds up a picture of driver behaviour over time – allowing it to give you tips on how to drive more efficiently.
In addition to all this, the engine receives new injectors, the gear ratios for third, fourth and fifth are increased, there’s a particulate filter on the exhaust, low rolling resistance and Econetic aerodynamic modifications.
Focus Econetic prices
All this technology does not come cheap, however. The full works 99g/km Econetic five-door, including Auto Start-Stop, is available to order now for £19,995 – and will get even more expensive after the VAT increase in January.
You can buy a slightly less powerful Focus Econetic without Auto Start-Stop for £19,245, one with the same engine but no Auto Start-Stop for £19,495, or a non-Auto-Start-Stop Focus Econetic estate for £20,445.
Just to put that into perspective, the 99g/km VW Golf Bluemotion five-door hatchback costs £17,910 – £2,083 less than the equivalent Ford.
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