DEARBORN, MI - Ford's fuel-saving technology that automatically shuts off the engine when the vehicle comes to a stop - a feature found today on the Ford Fusion Hybrid and Ford Escape Hybrid and some Ford cars in Europe - will soon be added to conventional cars, crossovers and SUVs in North America.
Ford's patented new Auto Start-Stop system for gasoline engines is expected to improve fuel economy for most drivers by at least 4 percent, the company said. The gain can be as high as 10 percent for some drivers, depending on vehicle size and usage. The system can also reduce tailpipe emissions to zero while the vehicle is stationary or waiting at a stoplight. Ford has more than 244 patents for its Auto Start-Stop technology and will showcase the feature on a concept in January at the North American International Auto Show.
"For the driver, Ford Auto Start-Stop provides extra fuel efficiency without inconvenience, as it works completely automatically," said Barb Samardzich, Ford vice president of powertrain engineering. "And, just like in our hybrid vehicles, the heater and air conditioner work as normal so drivers will not sacrifice comfort."
The global rollout of Auto Start-Stop is under way in Europe. The system, designed to work on both gasoline and diesel engines, is standard on the ECOnetic models of the Ford Ka and Mondeo, and is launching now on Focus, C-MAX and Grand C-MAX. The fuel-saving system debuts in North America in 2012 and eventually will be offered in all of Ford's global markets.
Many North American Ford customers are already familiar with Auto Start-Stop. A similar system has been installed on more than 170,000 gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles Ford has sold since 2004. In 2011, the version of Ford's Auto Start-Stop designed for gasoline-electric powertrains will be on the Escape Hybrid and Fusion Hybrid as well as the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid.