2010 Ford Focus ECOnetic shows up at the Frankfurt Motor Show

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 29, 2009

The new Focus Econetic is said to pave the way for some of Ford's technologies to be implemented into its core vehicle series in the near future, according to Dr Thilo Seibert, Manager CO2 Technologies for Ford of Europe. The new Focus Econetic boasts considerably improved CO2 emissions of 99g/km and 74.2mpg.

It is the first European Ford to benefit from a raft of new eco technologies including the Ford Auto-Start-Stop, Smart Regenerative Charging, and Ford Eco Mode.

The Focus Econetic uses the stop-start system, which was previewed on Iosis MAX Concept at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show. However, the car claims that without it, the Focus Econetic will manage 104g/km. The previous Focus Econetic model emits 114g/km of CO2. Powering the car is a 108bhp 1.6-litre Duratorq TDCi engine.

Ford has also given the Focus a slipperier shape; the Econetic is lowered by 10mm at the front and 8mm at the rear, with blanking plates at the front, helping to achieve a cd of 0.31. It also gets the latest generation Michelin Energy Saver 195/65R15 tires to lower rolling resistance.

Seibert added that to achieve these figures, Ford combined the proven approach of the original Focus Econetic model with even more detail improvements and all-new technologies.

The new 2010 Ford Focus ECOnetic features the new Ford Auto-Start-Stop system – making it the first Ford Europe model to do so. This new system combines automatic engine start-stop operation with Ford Focus ECOnetic's smart regenerative charging and advanced battery management systems.

It shuts down, albeit automatically, the car's engine when it is idle, such as when it is halted on a stop light. As soon as the driver takes action to move the vehicle, the system will restart the engine. This process saves the fuel that would have been wasted while the car is stationary.

Moreover, the new Ford Auto-Start-Stop system could reduce the car's fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions by up to five percent in mixed driving conditions, and by up to 10 percent in an urban setting and in heavy traffic situations.

Ford considered customer comfort in designing this advanced system, which is aimed at providing a consistent smooth and seamless starting and stopping performance that requires no changes in driver behavior. Once the new Ford Auto-Start-Stop system shuts down the engine, its electronic control unit will instantaneously ready the powerplant's systems for an immediate restart.

Ford has integrated a number of sensors that could detect when the driver initiates an action that would signify an intent to drive off once again, like pressing the clutch or accelerator pedal. Then, the system would quietly restart the engine almost instantly – at around 0.3 seconds.

Drivers would not be able to notice the entire stop-start process, which occurs even before they complete gear selection. Ford, of course, took action to support the increased number of engine starts.

Hence, the carmaker upgraded the starter motor with a high performance electric motor and installed a stronger pinion-engagement mechanism with lower noise levels. Moreover, Ford employed advanced battery technology to make sure that the main battery could handle the numerous charge-discharge cycles that come with stop-start operations.

Press Release

2010 Ford Focus ECOnetic

The new 2010 Ford Focus ECOnetic takes a successful formula to the next level by combining new technology with clever details, delivering the most fuel-efficient Ford Focus to date.

Dedicated Ford Fiesta, Focus, Mondeo and Transit ECOnetic models have already established themselves as credible alternatives for customers prioritising low carbon motoring and high levels of fuel efficiency. Now, the next-generation Ford Focus ECOnetic changes the rules again, and introduces Ford of Europe's first production application of the optional Ford Auto-Start-Stop system.

Efficient technology

The new Ford Focus ECOnetic, revealed at the 2009 IAA Frankfurt Motor Show, offers both increased fuel economy and lower emissions. Customers choosing to prioritise maximum efficiency can further enhance economy and emissions performance with the optional new Ford Auto-Start-Stop system for the five-door model. This technology was previewed first on the Ford iosis MAX Concept vehicle early in 2009.

Regardless of whether Auto-Start-Stop is specified, the new Ford 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 for the first time, and which combine to deliver lower emissions and better fuel efficiency and pave the way for future powertrains from the blue oval.

Power still comes from Ford's proven and durable 109 PS (80 kW) 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 99 g/km, with a combined fuel economy of 3.8 l/100 km (74.2 mpg) and 104 g/km for the standard Ford Focus ECOnetic.

The new Ford 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 Ford 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 Ford 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 stop 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 0.3 seconds 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.

Advanced battery technology is required to ensure the main vehicle battery copes with the frequent charge-discharge cycles common with stop-start operation.

Smart Regenerative Charging

The new Ford 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 5-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 Ford 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 new 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 Ford Focus ECOnetic is lowered by 10 mm at the front and 8 mm 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 Ford Focus ECOnetic, is the use of low-viscosity transmission oil developed by Ford's energy partner BP. The benefits of using this oil on Ford 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 Ford Focus electro-hydraulic EHPAS 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 Ford 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 104 g/km Ford Focus ECOnetic

In order to offer even greater versatility to cost-conscious ECOnetic customers in many markets to suit local taxation break points, Ford is also launching additional five-door and wagon versions of the new Ford 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 90 PS (66 kW) and 109 PS (80 kW) power ratings and in a choice of five-door and wagon bodystyles, these versions offer the full range of the latest Ford Focus ECOnetic technology, with the single exception of the start-stop functionality.

Even without Ford Auto-Start-Stop, average CO2 emissions are a low 104 g/km and target average fuel consumption is just 4.0 l/100 km (70.6 mpg).

"From the very beginning of Ford's ECOnetic approach it has been the clear intention to offer our customers affordable Eco-technology, and to also pave the way for those technologies to possibly get integrated into the core vehicle programmes," Dr. Seibert concludes. "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. Now it's the customers' choice, and it's a green one anyway."

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