Ford to offer 4 vehicles in 2011 with certified EPA ratings of 40 mpg

By JAMIE LAREAU, AUTOMOTIVE NEWS on 11/16/2010
Ford Motor Co. expects the 2012 Focus compact to earn 40 mpg, giving the automaker four vehicles that produce 40 mpg or more in 2011.

Three of the 2011s–the Fiesta subcompact SE with SFE package, Fusion Hybrid and Lincoln MKZ Hybrid sedans–have certified 2011 EPA ratings of 40 mpg highway/41 city.

Early next year Ford will launch the redesigned 2012 Focus compact, which offers a 2.0-liter gasoline direct-injection engine and six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

No other full-line automaker offers four nameplates with ratings of 40 mpg or more, according to the 2011 EPA Fuel Economy Guide.

“A few years ago, Ford committed to making fuel economy a top priority companywide,” Barb Samardzich, Ford’s vice president of powertrain engineering, said in a statement. “Our hybrid vehicles led the way, and this new wave of powerful, refined gasoline engines is reasserting the company’s leadership position.”

Ford has spent heavily to re-engineer the engines across its model lineup. Recent examples include engines used in the F-150 and Super Duty pickups and the Mustang sports car.

The 2011 F-150 has a 302-hp, 3.7-liter V-6 delivering 17 mpg city/23 highway. The 2011 Super Duty has a 6.7-liter diesel engine that offers as much as 20 percent better fuel economy than the 6.4-liter engine it replaced. It is rated at 400 hp and 800 lb-ft of torque.

Ford put a re-engineered, 3.7-liter V-6 with 305 hp and a six-speed automatic transmission in the 2011 Mustang, which gets 31 mpg on the highway.

Ford also has invested in developing direct-injected, turbocharged engines–dubbed EcoBoost–to enhance the automaker’s average fuel economy.

“EcoBoost remains a cornerstone of our commitment to lead or be among the leaders in fuel economy in every segment in which we compete,” Derrick Kuzak, Ford’s group vice president of global product development, said in a statement. “EcoBoost can make a difference because it’s affordable, scalable–it can be applied to everything from small cars to large trucks–and the technology is available right now.”

EcoBoost engines deliver fuel economy gains of up to 20 percent and reduce carbon dioxide emissions up to 15 percent compared with larger, less-efficient engines.

Ford plans to begin offering EcoBoost in 2011 on the F-150 and the Explorer and Edge crossovers.

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