67-MPG Ford Focus ECOnetic Debuts

Just the Facts:
• The 67-mpg Ford Focus ECOnetic debuted on Wednesday, with a European introduction date set for early 2012, but the Dearborn automaker told Inside Line there are no plans to sell this fuel-squeezing diesel version of the Focus here.
• The ECOnetic gets a turbocharged 1.6-liter Ford Duratorq TDCi turbodiesel engine that delivers 103 horsepower.
• An aerodynamic package includes an Active Grille Shutter, ultra-low-rolling-resistance tires and a revised final drive ratio.

BRENTWOOD, England — The 67-mpg Ford Focus ECOnetic debuted here on Wednesday, with a European introduction date set for early 2012, but the Dearborn automaker told Inside Line there are no plans to sell this fuel-squeezing diesel version of the Focus here.
“No, it isn’t coming,” wrote Said Deep, a Ford spokesman, in response to a e-mailed query from Inside Line.
The European Focus ECOnetic was introduced on a day when the national average price for a gallon of unleaded gasoline in the U.S. hit $3.70. Gas prices have already topped $4 a gallon in California, Alaska and Hawaii, according to the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report. With the ongoing turmoil in the Middle East and the increased demand for fuel due to the economic recovery, many analysts are predicting that gas prices will hit a national average of $4 per gallon in short order.
The Focus ECOnetic features a turbocharged 1.6-liter Duratorq TDCi turbodiesel engine that delivers 103 horsepower. The engine is linked to a six-speed manual transmission. The 1.6 TDCi is rated on the European driving cycle at the U.S. equivalent of 67 mpg.
An aerodynamic package includes an Active Grille Shutter, ultra-low-rolling-resistance tires and a revised final drive ratio. Ford said in a statement that the Active Grille Shutter is a new system that optimizes aerodynamics by “using vents to control air flow through the grille to the cooling system and engine compartment.” If air is required to cool the engine, the vents are opened; but if no air flow is needed, the vents are shut, reducing aerodynamic drag.
The Focus ECOnetic will be available in five-door and wagon variants.
Inside Line says: With $4-a-gallon gas looming across the country, why wouldn’t this be a good option for U.S. buyers? — Anita Lienert, Correspondent

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