In 2009, Ford launched the label Econetic in Europe. It’s not a sub-brand, but it’s close. The Econetic label aims to distinguish the Ford models that have been optimized to get better fuel economy. The first one available was a Focus. It had low resistance tires, a deeper spoiler to get better airflow, a Stop & Start system: little things. This 2012 model will get much more: a specific engine. Of course, it’s a diesel. The 1.6-liter is the most popular in the Focus. It comes in 2 versions, 95 and 115-hp, but the Econetic will get a new, specific and unexpected 105-hp version.
It will differ from its siblings with different eight-hole injectors (which can operate at pressures of up to 1,600-bar), a specific turbocharger with variable geometry, and a water-cooled intercooler in place of the standard air-to-air system. This is very impressive. It’s a complete engine overhaul. There are also little things like a variable flow oil pump, or low-friction piston ring coatings and, last but not the least, a more powerful engine management system to control the whole thing. But all that adds up to show that Ford really do care about making its Focus Econetic more fuel-efficient. And that it succeeded.
Official certification isn’t complete yet, but Ford expects a 67-mpg combined rating in the European test. I shall add that European tests figures are not very realistic, they’re always 10% off, but a 60-mpg rating remains hugely impressive to me! And it’s 15% better than the standard Focus diesel, which unfortunately for American drivers is sold only in Europe. Like that new Econetic model, which should be available early next year.