Focus to have rivals fuming
Technology will cut emissions, writes NEIL McDONALD
THE next-generation Ford Focus promises to be a technological marvel when its goes into production at Ford’s Broadmeadows plant in 2011. The car, which will be sold locally and exported, could utilise ‘‘first-in-segment technology’’, according to Ford of Europe’s vehicle line director, Gunnar Herrmann.
This means things such as stop-start technology and Ford’s ECOboost engines, which utilise direct injection and turbocharging to deliver up to 20 per cent better fuel economy and lower emissions than vehicles with a similar engine capacity.
Herrmann says the Focus will slip under the 100g/km CO2 emission barrier, which will be important in European countries that tax high C02 emissions.
Less than 100g/km of CO2 is usually associated with cars smaller than the Focus.
Ford already sells a Focus model in Europe, called ECOnetic, which is powered by an 81kW 1.6-litre Duratorq TDCi engine with a particulate filter.
This car delivers an average fuel consumption of 4.3 litres/100km, which corresponds to an average CO2 emission of 115g/km.
Ford Australia plans to built 40,000 Focuses a year, including diesel and petrol variants.
Herrmann says the next-generation C-car platform architecture that will underpin the locally built Focus will be more flexible and cheaper to build.
It will pay more attention to noise, vibration, harshness and improved quality, Herrmann says.
Ford’s four-cylinder ECOboost engine can produce more torque than a larger fourcylinder engine, but with better fuel economy.
Herrmann cited the example of Volkswagen’s twin-charger 1.4-litre four-cylinder unit, which uses supercharging and turbocharging to deliver the power of a highercapacity engine with the economy of a small four-cylinder unit.
ECOboost technology could rival hybrids and diesels for real-world economy and emissions, he says.
In Europe, diesel has previously been cheaper than petrol, but rising prices have put it on a par with petrol.
Ford chief engineer of product development in Europe Andreas Ostendorf says many buyers are moving away from turbodiesels in Europe towards smaller-capacity turbopetrol engines. ‘‘That’s a big change in thinking,’’ he says. Turbodiesels dominate the European newcar market, representing up to 80 per cent of European sales of small and light cars.
It’s a big change: