At the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show Ford of Europe is revealing the next step in its acclaimed low CO2 Ford ECOnetic strategy, the super-efficient new 2010 Focus ECOnetic.
Dedicated Ford ECOnetic Fiesta, Focus, Mondeo and Transit models have already established themselves as credible alternatives for customers prioritising low carbon motoring and high levels of fuel efficiency. The new model for 2010 takes this formula even further by combining new technology with clever details to produce the most efficient Focus ECOnetic to date.
The new Focus ECOnetic five-door is available with a new optional Ford Auto-Start-Stop system that was previewed on the Ford iosis MAX Concept at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show. Regardless of whether Auto-Start-Stop is specified, the Focus ECOnetic has Smart Regenerative Charging and Low Tension FEAD (Front End Accessory Drive) – technologies that are new to the Ford of Europe product line-up, and which combine to deliver lower emissions and better fuel efficiency and pave the way for future powertrains from the blue oval.
Power comes from Ford’s 109PS (80kW) 1.6-litre Duratorq TDCi engine with standard coated Diesel Particulate Filter (cDPF). Target average CO2 emissions for the Auto-Start-Stop equipped car are as low as 99g/km, with a combined fuel economy of 74.2mpg and 104g/km for the standard Focus ECOnetic.*
The new Focus ECOnetic is also the first vehicle to feature the new Ford Eco Mode system as standard. An all-new driver information system, Ford Eco Mode helps to educate the driver to achieve improved real-world fuel economy – thus benefitting the customer’s pocket as well as the environment.
“To achieve these impressive figures, we combined the proven approach of the original Focus ECOnetic model with even more detail improvements and all-new technologies,” said Dr. Thilo Seibert, Manager CO2 Technologies for Ford of Europe. “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.”
Ford Auto-Start-Stop system
The new Focus ECOnetic five-door is the first European Ford to offer a new Ford Auto-Start-Stop system, which combines automatic engine start-stop operation with the car’s smart regenerative charging and advanced battery management systems.
The 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.
The system can reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by up to five per cent in mixed driving conditions. In an urban environment and in heavy traffic with frequent stops the savings could increase to as much as 10 per cent.
The advanced new Ford Auto-Start-Stop system has been carefully designed with customer comfort in mind, and to provide consistent starting and stopping performance that is smooth, quiet and seamless, requiring no changes in driver behaviour.
When the engine shuts down, the electronic control unit immediately prepares the engine’s systems for an instant restart. An integrated system of sensors is then used to detect when the driver performs an action that signals the intent to drive off, such as pressing the accelerator or clutch pedal.
As soon as the driver prepares to move away, the engine starts quietly and almost instantly; it only takes the system around 0.3sec to fire up the engine. The process is near imperceptible, and happens before gear selection is completed.
To support the increased number of engine starts, the starter motor is upgraded with a high performance electric motor and a stronger pinion-engagement mechanism with reduced noise levels.
Smart Regenerative Charging
The new Focus ECOnetic also uses advanced technologies to ensure that the battery is kept charged in the most efficient way.
A Smart Regenerative Charging system 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. This could be when the engine is switched off during a stop-phase, but can also be when the generator is operating in a less efficient mode.
The battery has an advanced management system that continually monitors its status and communicates with the Ford Auto-Start-Stop system, so that the regenerative charging feature can charge the battery in the optimal way. The start-stop system knows 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.
Low Tension FEAD
It has always been an integral element of the Ford ECOnetic approach to monitor potential sources of friction and find innovative solutions to make everything work even more efficiently. The Low Tension FEAD (Front End Accessory Drive) technology is the latest example that reinforces this.
A newly designed alternator bracket and new belt pulley design enable the tension of the front end accessory drive belt to be lowered without causing issues that are normally related to drive belt slackness such as increased wear of the belt itself or the alternator bearings, as well as raised noise levels.
The benefit of these changes is clear: with the belt at a lower tension, friction in the entire system is reduced and less friction leads to reduced fuel consumption.
Improved Duratorq TDCi engine technology
For the Ford Duratorq 1.6-litre TDCi engine, new injectors were specified, while the intake system was revised and the exhaust system fitted with an oxygen sensor. The engine management system was recalibrated and a standard coated Diesel Particulate Filter (cDPF) was added. No additives are required for the filtering process.
Additionally, the gear ratios of the Ford Durashift five-speed manual gearbox have been revised, offering a longer ratio for third, fourth and fifth gears – bringing down engine revs and engine noise.
New Ford Eco Mode
The new Focus ECOnetic also extends its attention to the human factor.
Drivers of the new Ford Focus ECOnetic will not only benefit from new technology hardware addressing lower fuel consumption, but also the introduction of smart, driver-focused software.
“At Ford we have a great deal of experience in the techniques of eco-driving used to achieve maximum real-world fuel economy,” Dr. Seibert explained. “The new Ford Eco Mode system is a software application that is added to the instrument cluster to give the driver useable and realistic eco-driving advice.”
This system monitors major parameters relevant for optimal fuel consumption that can actively be influenced by altering driving behaviour. These parameters include gear shifting, anticipation (driving as consistently and smoothly as possible) and motorway driving (driving with the most efficient speed on motorways and country roads). In addition the system considers the percentage of cold-engine short trips.
As a result of this monitoring process, Ford Eco Mode generates a driver profile with a scoring scheme for these driving parameters, and offers information on how to improve fuel economy over time. This ongoing process can be translated into driver advice that can help make the best of the vehicle’s technology.
“Ford Eco Mode really helps you to become an eco-driver,” Dr. Seibert noted. “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!”
The Ford ECOnetic experience
The new technologies added to the second generation Ford Focus ECOnetic complement and add to the original model’s fuel-saving features.
To improve aerodynamics, the Focus ECOnetic is lowered by 10mm at the front and 8mm at the rear, while the outer areas of the lower grille are fitted with blanking plates on the inside surface which contribute to the vehicle’s favourable cd (coefficient of drag) of 0.31. The car takes full advantage of latest generation Michelin Energy Saver 195/65R15 tyres to lower rolling resistance.
A further measure to reduce friction continued from the original Focus ECOnetic, is the use of low-viscosity transmission oil developed by Ford’s energy partner BP. The benefits of using this oil on Focus ECOnetic were immediately clear, so Ford subsequently introduced it as the standard transmission oil for all of the company’s core C- and CD-segment passenger cars fitted with manual transmission and dual-mass flywheel.
The reduction in energy consumption is combined with the efficiency of the Focus EHPAS (Electro-Hydraulic Power Assisted Steering) system and underlines the fact that seemingly minor changes can produce a major fuel consumption benefit.
By re-calibrating the no-load performance of the electric servo pump, energy consumption was reduced sufficiently to provide a noticeable reduction in fuel consumption.
The new 2010 Focus ECOnetic with Auto-Start-Stop will be available as a five-door model only in selected European markets from early 2010.
The versatile alternative: New 104g/km Focus ECOnetic
In order to offer even greater versatility to cost-conscious ECOnetic customers in many markets, Ford is also launching additional five-door and estate versions of the new Focus ECOnetic without the integrated Ford Auto-Start-Stop system.
Available with Ford’s 1.6-litre Duratorq TDCi engine with standard coated Diesel Particulate Filter (cDPF) in both 90PS and 109PS power ratings and in a choice of five-door and estate bodystyles, these versions offer the full range of the latest Focus ECOnetic technology, with the single exception of the start-stop functionality.
Even without Ford Auto-Start-Stop, average CO2 emissions are a low 104g/km and target average fuel consumption is 70.6mpg*.
“From the very beginning of Ford’s ECOnetic approach it has been our clear intention to offer customers affordable eco-technology, and to also pave the way for the possible integration of these technologies into the core vehicle programmes,” Dr. Seibert concluded. “With its new comprehensive set-up, the new Focus ECOnetic offers exactly what it takes: versatility, latest level technology and – regardless of version – excellent CO2 and fuel economy figures.”