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

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.

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