New Ford Hybrid System Expected To Deliver Class-Leading Fuel Economy, Improved Drivability


WEBWIRE – Thursday, October 30, 2008

* Ford’s next-generation hybrid system debuts in the new 2010 Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan. The more efficient system delivers a more seamless driving experience and is expected to achieve class-leading fuel economy, besting the Toyota Camry hybrid by at least 5 mpg on in the city
* Fusion and Milan Hybrids can operate in electric mode at speeds of up to 47 mph with a range of more than 700 miles of city driving on a single tank of gas; a smaller, lighter high-volt battery has greater charge capacity and range than the previous generation battery
* Fusion and Milan Hybrids will arrive in dealer showrooms in the first quarter of 2009. With these new models, the Escape Hybrid – now in its fifth year of production – and the Mariner Hybrid, Ford has doubled the size and volume of its hybrid lineup, making Ford the largest domestic producer of full hybrid vehicles in North America

DEARBORN, Mich. – Ford’s next-generation hybrid propulsion system builds upon the proven success of the Escape and Mariner Hybrids, delivering class-leading fuel economy for the all-new 2010 Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan Hybrids that debut later this year.

“Offering consumers more fuel-efficient vehicle choices, including improving and increasing our hybrid vehicle offerings, is part of Ford’s broad plan to deliver technology solutions for affordable fuel economy for millions,” said Derrick Kuzak, Ford’s group vice president for Global Product Development.

“With the new Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan hybrids, we are now able to offer even better range of travel on battery power at a greater speed, thanks to a more efficient, seamless transition between the battery-powered motor and gasoline-driven engine,” he said. “These new hybrids will exceed expectations on all fronts – fuel efficiency, comfort, convenience and overall drivability.”

With the new arrivals, Ford will be the producer of the most fuel-efficient mid-size sedans and SUVs on the planet – and the Fusion Hybrid is expected to be at least 5 mpg better in the city than the Toyota Camry hybrid.

The Ford Hybrid team has developed a powertrain system that combines the best attributes of the gasoline engine and electric battery-driven motors to deliver the optimal experience for the customer in terms of driving performance and fuel economy. Additionally, the propulsion system for the Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan hybrids transitions between gas and electric power and back more efficiently and seamlessly.

The overall system upgrade allows the Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan hybrids to operate longer at higher speeds in electric mode. The hybrid vehicles can operate up to 47 mph in pure electric mode, about twice as fast as some competitors. Plus, the city driving range on a single tank of gas is expected to be more than 700 miles.

“The challenge is to harness the power sources to make it transparent to the customer and operate each in their most-efficient power bands,” said Praveen Cherian, Hybrid program management team leader. “We’ve taken these two power sources and harmoniously blended them where the system will run the engine at its most-efficient points more often and maximize battery usage over a customer drive cycle. The end result is optimum fuel economy without compromising performance.”

The next-generation hybrid system features:

* 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine (155 horsepower/136 lb.-ft. of torque) running the proven Atkinson cycle mated to an electronically-controlled continuously variable transmission or e-CVT.
* Intake Variable Cam Timing (iVCT), which allows the vehicle to more seamlessly transition from gas to electric mode and vice-versa. The spark and cam timing are varied according to the engine load to optimize efficiency and emissions.
* Enhanced electronic throttle control reduces airflow on shutdowns, reducing fueling needs on restarts.
* Wide-band lambda sensor analyzes the air-fuel ratio and adjusts the lean/rich mixture accordingly to keep the system in balance and to minimize emissions.
* A smaller, lighter nickel-metal hydride battery has been optimized to produce 20 percent more power. Improved chemistry allows the battery to be run at a higher temperature and it is cooled using cabin air.
* An added variable voltage converter boosts the voltage to the traction battery to operate the motor and generator more efficiently.
* A new high-efficiency converter provides 14 percent increased output to accommodate a wider array of vehicle features.
* Smarter climate control system monitors cabin temperature and only runs the gas engine as needed to heat the cabin; it also includes an electric air conditioning compressor to further minimize engine use.
* The regenerative brake system captures the energy normally lost through friction in braking and stores it. Nearly 94 percent energy recovery is achieved by first delivering full regenerative braking followed by friction brakes during city driving.
* A simulator brake actuation system dictates brake actuation and delivers improved brake pedal feel compared to the previous generation braking system.

“Because our hybrid can run at a much higher speed in electric mode, you can do so much more in city-driving situations,” said Gil Portalatin, Hybrid Applications Manager. “You can drive in your subdivision or mall parking lots without using a drop of gasoline.”

Four Hybrids

The Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan hybrids join the already successful Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner hybrids – the most fuel-efficient SUVs on the planet. With the addition of the two new hybrid sedans, Ford will be the largest domestic producer of full hybrid vehicles in North America.

The Fusion and Milan Hybrids will be built at Ford’s Hermosillo (Mexico) Stamping and Assembly Plant.

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About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 229,000 employees and about 90 plants worldwide, the company’s core and affiliated automotive brands include Ford, Lincoln, Mercury, Volvo and Mazda. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford’s products, please visit our website at www.ford.com.



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