In an effort to further improve its fuel economy ahead of impending average fuel economy requirements, Ford announced today that it will offer engine start-stop technology across 70 percent of its nameplates by 2017.
Ford announced its plan during a press event today, saying it expects the optional equipment – offered on the Fusion mid-size sedan for $295 – will yield drivers 3.5 percent better fuel economy on average. For some drivers, those savings could be as high as 10 percent depending on driving conditions. “If you’re in an urban environment with a lot of start-stop traffic, you’re obviously going to save a lot more,” Ford global product development boss Raj Nair said.
The 2013 Fusion equipped with a 1.6-liter EcoBoost four cylinder engine was the company’s first non-hybrid vehicle to feature such a system in the U.S. The 1.5-liter EcoBoost-equipped Fusion will also offer the technology.
SEE ALSO: 2013 Ford Fusion Review
But the “70 percent” promise is an ambiguous one. Ford won’t say which models will and won’t include the technology over the next four years. “It’s the core of our product,” said Ford spokesman Said Deep, refusing to explain further for competitive reasons.
EcoBoost vehicles sold both domestically and in other markets will all probably fall under that banner soon. That includes the Focus compact, Escape crossover and possibly the upcoming 2.3-liter Mustang. Start-stop systems are popular with European Ford owners. In fact, the brand expects to have sold 500,000 vehicles with the technology globally by year’s end.
However, start-stop systems supervisor Kirk Pebley said that for now, the company will restrict the option to EcoBoost engines. While integrating the system on other units is possible, he said the high compression ratio makes faster and smoother starts easier to achieve.
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