Ford Pushes Toyota Prius Out of the Top Spot ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: Ford Pushes Toyota Prius Out of the Top Spot

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Ford Pushes Toyota Prius Out of the Top Spot

An 'ultra efficient' Ford Fiesta ECOnetic has pushed the Toyota Prius out of the top spot in fuel efficiency ratings in Australia according to the GoAutoNews (via FreeP).

At 63 mpg combined, the Ford Fiesta beats out the 60 mpg for the Prius in the Australia rating system. For comparison purposes, the Prius is rated at 50 mpg in the US. The Ford Fiesta ECOnetic is a diesel. Ford has no plans on introducing the sub-brand or to sell the Fiesta ECOnetic in the States, for now.

The Fiesta uses a 1.6-liter turbodiesel with low resistance tires and uses low-viscosity oil.  The ECOnetic TDCi engine produces 66 kW of power and 200 Nm of torque.

Other efficiency focused changes include:
  • A specially-calibrated Duratorq TDCi common rail diesel engine
  • Longer final drive gear ratio
  • Addition of a green shift indicator light in the instrument cluster, which signals the optimal point to change gear to maximize fuel economy
  • Improved aerodynamics – lowered ride height, air deflectors, unique wheel covers
  • Weight reduction by removing the spare for a tire mobility kit

Press Release Follows:
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – October 16, 2009: Ford Australia today set a new fuel efficiency benchmark for the auto industry in this country by introducing Australia's most fuel efficient car – the Ford Fiesta ECOnetic.

With a combined fuel consumption rating of just 3.7 litres per 100 kilometres1, the fuel efficiency of Fiesta ECOnetic surpasses all other vehicles currently on sale in Australia, including petrol/electric hybrid models.

It also produces fewer CO2 emissions than any other conventional, internal combustion engine vehicle, with an official CO2 emission rating of 98 grams per kilometre – making it only the second vehicle in Australia to achieve CO2 emissions under 100g/km and the only non-hybrid vehicle to attain such an ultra-low CO2 standard.
PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

"Ford is fully committed to working towards fuel economy leadership in every segment in which we compete, across local and imported vehicles," said Ford Australia President and CEO Marin Burela.

"The Fiesta ECOnetic is evidence of how Ford is looking at a portfolio of technology solutions to meet the sustainability challenge and how we are intent on delivering affordable and accessible products to our customers,"

Fiesta ECOnetic will officially go on sale on December 1 with a recommended offer price of $24,990 driveaway, offering consumers one of the most affordable and fuel efficient vehicle packages ever presented for sale in Australia.

"Fiesta ECOnetic perfectly balances a stylish, affordable car that considers the environment and our future, without compromising the style or technology which has made the Fiesta one of Australia and the world’s most popular small cars," Mr Burela said.

"It brings together a whole range of clever thinking and technologies that are available right now, creating a 'greener' vehicle that delivers economy without compromise and genuine savings against the fuel cost of daily driving."

Fiesta ECOnetic looks and functions just like a conventional Fiesta, using conventional diesel powertrain technology, yet it delivers industry-leading fuel efficiency, as well as best-in-class CO2 emissions.

Using a combination of the latest generation common rail diesel powertrain, together with a carefully selected list of features specifically engineered to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, Fiesta ECOnetic achieves a combined fuel consumption rating of 3.7 L/100km1.

The detailed urban/extra urban results for Fiesta ECOnetic are also class- and industry-leading achievements, with urban cycle fuel consumption of 4.6 L/100km and an extra urban (highway) cycle figure of just 3.2 L/100km1 – the latter being 13.5 per cent more efficient than the leading hybrid model.

This efficiency is matched by impressive driving quality and performance, with the 1.6-litre Duratorq TDCi engine producing maximum power of 66 kW at 4000 rpm and peak torque of 200 Nm at a very accessible 1750 rpm.

"The challenge for our engineering team in developing the ECOnetic vehicle line was to deliver the maximum reduction in fuel economy and CO2 emissions using available and affordable technologies," Mr Burela said.

This reduction in fuel usage and CO2 emissions has been achieved through the use of:
# A specially-calibrated Duratorq 1.6-litre TDCi common rail diesel engine with coated Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF)
# Low rolling resistance tyres
# Unique transmission and final drive ratios
# Improved aerodynamics – lowered ride height, air deflectors, unique wheel covers
# Weight reduction through the provision of a tyre mobility kit in lieu of a traditional spare wheel/tyre
# Addition of a green shift indicator light in the instrument cluster, which signals the optimal point to change gear to maximise fuel economy

In addition to its industry-leading fuel efficiency, Fiesta ECOnetic also offers a comprehensive list of active and passive safety features, culminating in a 5-star safety rating from ANCAP.

Driver and front passenger airbags, head and thorax front side airbags, and a driver's knee airbag are all fitted as standard equipment, along with an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), and Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) with Traction Control and Emergency Brake Assist (EBA).

"In addition to its full complement of safety equipment, comfort and convenience features, Fiesta ECOnetic will provide the next step up for customers who prioritise fuel efficiency and low CO2 emission performance when it comes to choosing a new vehicle," Mr Burela said.

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