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Vehicles don’t try to race around the course as quickly as possible at the Montreal Green Rally.
When you think of a hatchback with 252 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque, good gas milage is probably far from being in the list of top priorities, but would you complain if it came with the package anyway?
Would you entertain the idea of buying an old-model Ford Focus new from the manufacturer? In today’s throwaway culture it’s hard to imagine buying anything but the latest product, but that’s not the perspective everywhere. In other parts of the world, previous model cars remain for sale at a discount after a new lines debut.
With sky-high gas prices on the horizon and increasingly strict emissions standards for car manufacturers to live up to, consumers are constantly looking for more options when it comes to fuel economy, and automakers are equally eager to deliver. For those reasons manufacturers are continuing to downsize engines. It was a tough sell for car buyers to accept four-cylinder engines instead of six-cylinders, but will they have an easier time accepting three-cylinder engines?
Counterintuitive as it may be to think that demand for manual transmissions may be increasingly in demand among U.S. consumers, sales numbers are showing just that.
Powered by a 23kWh-capacity lithium ion battery, the Focus Electric has its battery temperature managed by a liquid-cooling system and is 25 to 30 percent smaller and 50 percent lighter than a standard nickel-metal hydride battery. Ford claims that the Focus Electric can be charged in four hours while connected to a 240-volt source.
The front-wheel drive EV has an electric motor with 141-hp and can get around 110-MPGe in the city and 99-MPGe on the highway. The EPA estimates that the Focus Electric will get up to 76 miles on a single charge, giving it a slight three mile advantage over the Nissan Leaf.
But the technology in the Focus Electric is what has people buzzing. It will come equipped with an updated version of the MyFord Touch instrument cluster that is easily paired to the MyFord Mobile app that is available for iOS, Android, and BlackBerry devices. Users will be able to remotely view their vehicle’s current battery state, percentage of capacity, and estimated driving range. In addition, the app will allow owners to schedule charging for later or even tell the system to immediately charge. Best yet, there is a fail safe built into the app to inform owners if the car isn’t charging when it’s supposed to be or is unplugged for some strange reason.
Think that’s cool enough? There’s more. The app will lock and unlock the Focus Electric’s doors, start the climate control system, and awards achievements based on how green-friendly the driver drives.
Future owners of the Focus Electric that want a 240-volt charging station in their home will have to shell out an additional $1,499 and can order one through their local Best Buy store.
Ford began production on its Focus Electric back in December 2011 and will begin appearing at dealerships in the first half of 2012 in select states (California, New York, and New Jersey). The American automaker hopes to have it in 19 markets across the U.S. before the end of 2012. The $39,200 MSRP does not include the $795 destination charge.
American automaker Ford has committed to increasing the fuel economy of its U.S. model lineup 20-percent by the year 2020. The Blue Oval is hoping to achieve this through electric vehicles, hybrids, and improvements to gasoline-powered vehicles.
The recently released Ford Focus EV is rated at 105-MPGe, making it the country’s most efficient five-passenger vehicle. And even though electric vehicle sales will just be a small portion of Ford’s overall sales in the year 2020, the technology from them will help improve Ford’s hybrid and gasoline-powered models.
Currently Ford is adding an automatic start/stop system to its Fusion models later this year and is contemplating a new hybrid system. In addition, Ford has already announced that it plans on expanding its EcoBoost engine lineup. But powertrain improvements won’t be the only thing on Ford’s plate to make fuel efficiency improvements, the American automaker is also looking to shave weight across their models – up to 700 lbs in some.
[Source: Detroit Free Press]
The 2012 Women’s World Car of the Year short list has just been announced, and women motoring writers from around the world will begin voting for their top picks.
Cutting a list of contenders from 300 down to 32, judges will now allocate points to the nominated cars that fall into four categories: Family Car, Luxury Car, Sports Car and Economy Car. Just one of the 10 criteria that cars are allotting points for is Child Friendliness, which is something vehicles aren’t usually judged on in a competition.
Winners of the 2012 Women’s World Car of the Year will be announced before the end of March, and awards will be presented at the Paris Motor Show in September. You can check out the complete short list after below.