Ford Claims 17% Fuel Saving on Focus Mild Hybrid

Ford’s mild hybrid version of its new Focus claims a 17% fuel saving while delivering more power than the out-going gasoline equivalent.

Employing the automaker’s 48-volt mild hybrid technology allows the Focus 1.0-liter EcoBoost Hybrid to boast 151bhp of power alongside 116 g/km CO2 emissions on the WLTP rating compared with the outgoing equivalent combination of 146bhp 1.5-liter EcoBoost gasoline engine and six-speed manual transmission. To put it into an even clearer perspective, that’s more than twice the power density of a 141bhp 2.0‑liter gasoline engine available for the Focus just 10 years ago.

While also available in 121bhp power output, Focus EcoBoost Hybrid models replace the 1.0‑liter EcoBoost petrol engine’s standard alternator with a belt-driven integrated starter/generator (BISG), enabling recovery of energy usually lost during braking and coasting to charge a 48-volt lithium-ion air-cooled battery pack. Locating the 48-volt battery beneath the front passenger seats has allowed the mild hybrid powertrain to be integrated with no loss of cargo or passenger space.

The BISG also acts as a motor, integrating with the engine and using the stored energy to provide torque assistance during normal driving and acceleration, as well as running the vehicle’s electrical ancillaries. The system enables the engine’s Start-Stop technology to operate in a wider range of scenarios for greater fuel savings. Able to restart the engine in just 350 milliseconds, Stop-in-Gear functionality can switch off the engine when coasting to a stop even when the vehicle is in gear with the clutch pedal depressed and can be adjusted to activate from 9 mph, 12 mph, or 16 mph.

Roelant de Waard, vice-president, marketing, sales and service, Ford of Europe, said: “Our electrified powertrains are designed not just to save drivers money on fuel but also to boost the fun-to-drive character of our vehicles. The Focus EcoBoost Hybrid seamlessly integrates electric and petrol power for efficiency and performance that would have seemed the stuff of dreams just a few years ago.”

Customers can also continue to choose from 1.5-liter EcoBlue and 2.0-liter EcoBlue diesel engines with eight-speed automatic and six-speed manual transmissions available.

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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