Ford to Add Auto Start-Stop to More Cars

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 will improve fuel economy for most drivers by at least four percent, says the company. The gain can be as high as 10 percent for some drivers, depending on vehicle size and usage.

It can also reduce tailpipe emissions to zero while the vehicle is stationary or waiting at a stop light. 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.

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Auto Start-Stop is the latest example of Ford moving aggressively to bring affordable advanced fuel-saving technologies to all customers. The company has already introduced electric power steering, dual-clutch PowerShift six-speed transmissions and other fuel-saving features as part of the company’s commitment to lead or be among the leaders in fuel economy in every segment, says the company.

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Ford’s global Auto Start-Stop technology requires no changes to the driver’s behavior. In city driving when the vehicle is stopped, the engine restarts the instant the driver’s foot leaves the brake pedal. When the engine is off, all of the vehicle’s accessories function normally.

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“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 (pictured above) 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.

The announcement was made today, Dec. 27.

Photo courtesy: Ford Motor Company

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Rakesh Raman