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Ford's 64 mpg Car---For Europe. Not U.S.

Posted by: David Kiley on July 25, 2008


Ford unveiled a road-ready car at the auto show in London this week that gets 64 mpg. That’s better than a Prius or Civic Hybrid and alamost twice the fuel economy of Ford’s best fuel sipper in the U.S. today—the Ford Focus. It will go on sale in Great Britain THIS year. That means it’s road ready, just not in the U.S. Oddsbodkins!!!

It shows that Ford has great technology it has been planning and deploying—just not in the U.S….yet anyway.

Ford yesterday announced it will now go forward with a plan to bring some of its European cars and technology to the U.S. between now and 2012. But I’m waiting to hear if THIS technology can be exported to the U.S.

This is what happens when a company drags out restructurings and net losses for years and years. When a company is losing money year after year after year, bold and risky business cases that might initially lose money (re: the Toyota Prius) but pay off big later don’t get done.

But don’t blame Ford entirely.

It also shows how we would benefit by aligning some air quality and fuel efficiency rules with Europe’s to make it easier for automakers to bring the very best technology to U.S. shores without costly Federalizing for a whole separate set of regulations and standards.

Part of the issue from the standpoint of Ford’s advanced planning is the screwed up approach to diesel fuel in the U.S. we have. We are way behind Europe in the adoption of clean diesel technology and distribution. It also reminds me of how far behind Europe we are in providing quality healthcare. The U.S. just doesn’t get it.

If this car were on sale in the U.S. now, Ford would be held up as a technology leader. But, then again, if the regulatory stage had been properly set, other automakers would have similar technology on sale as well. My God. Then, where would we be? Ummmmmmmm. A much better place? Healthier? Cleaner? Happier? Thriftier? Can’t have that.

Ford is launching the Fiesta in the U.S. in 2010. Here are the details on this version of the car: Powered by a specially-calibrated version of the 90 PS (66 kW, 89 hp) 1.6-liter Duratorq TDCi, combined with coated Diesel Particulate Filter, the Fiesta ECOnetic offers fuel consumption of 3.7 L/100km (63.6 mpg US) with CO2 emissions of 98 g/km. Extra-urban highway fuel consumption is 3.2 L/100km (73.5 mpg US). The Fiesta ECOnetic accelerates from 0-100 kph in 12.3 seconds and has a top speed of 178 kph (111 mph).

The Fiesta uses similar approaches to fuel efficiency as applied in earlier ECOnetic models, with improved aerodynamics, low rolling resistance tires and enhanced lubrication. Lowered ride height and aerodynamic details such as wheel covers and wheel deflectors build on Fiesta’s drag co-efficient (Cd) of 0.33.

The low rolling resistance tires in a 175/65 R14 profile, a longer final drive gear ratio and special lubricants support efficient powertrain performance, especially in highway cruising. In conjunction with BP, Ford has developed low-viscosity transmission and low-friction engine oils for ECOnetic models.

New Fiesta ECOnetic will be on sale across Europe later this year and completes an initial trilogy of models in the company’s European vehicle range that also includes a 139 g/km Ford Mondeo ECOnetic and a 115 g/km Ford Focus ECOnetic.

Reader Comments


July 25, 2008 9:52 PM

Someone has to stop the EPA. They have been given too much power. There is no good reason why this car and this technology is not available in the States. With $4/gal. gasoline, perhaps voters will let their representatives know that we want these cars, and that means re-writing the rules.

I've written my congressman telling him I expect action on drilling, not just talk. Earlier, I wrote to let him know the $.54/gal tariff on Brazilian ethanol should be scrapped (our farmers no longer need that 'protection'). Yes, we've become quite familiar with each other as fuel has become more expensive and government is increasingly the problem. This technology should be the subject of our next "talk".

Write your senators and congressmen - they can make this happen if pushed.


July 27, 2008 2:12 PM

David, don't forget that Americans have preferred large cars with big engines for at least 50 years. A business has to provide what its customers want.

From Kiley: And strong companaies anticipate what the market will want, and remains flexible to react fast to the market.

Kenneth Aaron

July 28, 2008 12:01 PM

Put the small three cylinder diesel in this car and it will do over 100mpg.
The 3 cylinder diahatsu with over drive did over 100mpg in 1991.
We need congressional hearings that are open to the public. This should be part of the discussion during this congressional and presidential election cycle.


July 28, 2008 12:19 PM

So finally an economic car from Ford...Waiting to put my hands on it.....


July 28, 2008 4:01 PM

Behind the Europe in healthcare??? Get out of your liberal think tank and get real. There is a reason why world leaders come to the United States for medical treatment! Just because Brad and Angie want to give birth to their babies in that socialist utopia does not mean a thing. If you like Europe's model for healthcare so much, get in line to have a routine procedure done.


July 29, 2008 9:42 AM

"My God. Then, where would we be? Ummmmmmmm. A much better place? Healthier? Cleaner? Happier? Thriftier? Can’t have that."

I work in the heavy duty truck industry. The US has by far, has the strictest standards for car and truck emissions. This is also true for our fuel formulations for gas and diesel.

The reason the car can not sell in the US (without modification), is because the car is too dirty from the tailpipe.

From Kiley: With clean diesel fuel and known trap technology in Mercedes-Benz, BMW and VW cars this year, it would be 50-state legal.

You have it completely wrong...


July 29, 2008 11:54 AM

Why are you blaming Ford at all? Hardly anyone was interested in buying a high-efficiency auto until early this year, and those who were certainly were not willing to pay a premium for them. There was no low-sulphur diesel available for them until about two years ago, and now that there is, it's priced itself out of the market due to scarcity. The Euro market wanted them, but as you point out, this vehicle needs to be brought up to US emissions and safety standards. That will likely add weight, and cut the average MPG further.

From Kiley: All good points.


August 3, 2008 11:52 PM

All the bluster and talk about emmissions, "carbon footprints", mpg, supply and demand. The core problem in my view is the number of "carbon footprints" (growing demand) that will drive all those cars in our developing brave "new world order"


August 6, 2008 2:50 PM

most americans are still blinded by the corrupt leadership of this country. i have been serving in parts of the mid east since 2001. and i can tell you that we are not here to help the people but to steal their oil. yes americans want big trucks but that doesnt mean that they cant have better mpg. the marines got plenty of hefty trucks that get 40 to 50 mpg. most of them are hybred. there are cars and trucks in the states that can go fast and drive far on just electric. gm had the ev1 way back when i was a kid what happened to that (turned into scrap) because oil runs our country. dont push your congress men and women for better mpg and fuel costs push them into electric. then maybe one day i wont have to see any more buddies fall for americas oil greed.

Curt Schulze

September 9, 2008 9:13 PM

A diesel car that gets 65 to 100 MPG would be great for this country.
Personal feaeling though is that you would have to keep it off the interstate.
Running around town for errands and work would be super, Heck I'd buy one.
Putting ultra light weight cars on the interstate that don't have the GO to get out of the way is a bad mix.


September 10, 2008 8:07 PM

BMW is planning to bring its turbo diesels to the US next year, averaging from 33 to 50 mpg depending on engine size, why not Ford, they need to get out of the box soon.
Yes we may have the best healthcare here but only a few can afford it and the insurance companies are raking it in how else could you give the CEO of United Healthcare a 1 billion retirement package, the rich get richer and can get what they want and middle class americans pay the bills, get real and stop using the word liberal to excuse our backwards healthcare system.


September 11, 2008 12:20 AM

all for it...yet with all the toys we pull behind, it cant produce. america needs suv's as well...where and when will automakers find the happy medium?


September 28, 2008 5:12 PM

Let look At THE OIL companys!, and do not forget BUSH!!!!


February 8, 2009 1:40 PM

"Putting ultra light weight cars on the interstate that don't have the GO to get out of the way is a bad mix. "


Maybe you should NOT accelerate as fast as possible and try to go 20MPH over the limit. I've driven these type of cars and other highly efficient European cars on the Autobahn and it doesn't matter it takes you a while to speed up, there is no sudden needing to 'get out of the way', people there drive SANE. Every trip I got a BMW 5 series, full size station wagon with a 4L diesel, I averaged 40MPG at 100-110MPH every trip and had tons of room (full size wagon). I'd take this over a smaller 65MPG car any day... if they'd sell it here.

norris hall

May 13, 2010 9:59 PM

Republicans joined the auto industry in opposing any increase in CAFE standards for US cars.
In Europe and Japan the average fleet gets almost twice the mileage we get in the US.
So our problem isn't that we don't have enough oil.
Our problem is that we are wasting too much oil on gas guzzling hummers, trucks and SUVs.
In 2008 I got a big fat tax deduction from the federal government for buying a honking SUV. In order to qualify for the deduction my SUV had to be over 6000 lbs.


It's time we adopted Japan and Europe's standards. If the Japanese and Europeans can do can we.

Footnote: Because American auto manufacturers refused to increase fleet milage beyond 27 mpg, Americans refused to buy their big trucks and SUVs when gas hit 4 dollars a gallon.
Instead they turned to Toyota...sending American GM into bankruptsy and catapulting Toyota into first place as the biggest car manufacturer in the world.

Republican free market econoomic theory was put to the test...and failed miserably for their American car manufacturers.

They both deserve to fail.

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