Flowers first! The fuel-saving Stop & Start technology will come later. Europe gets it the other way


Flowers, stripes, dots, bubbles, circles or arrows, on the sides or on the hood! There’s a choice of more than 200 unique vinyl wrap “tattoos” for the upcoming Ford Focus. They’re quality decals. So good, that Ford sells them with a 3-year warranty. A finishing touch to your car, they will not change anything to the car behavior or energy consumption. The Focus graphics will be available at launch of the 2012 model, which we expect in the coming weeks.

Later, much later, not before next year, there will be a new option, a much more useful feature because it makes you saves gas: a Stop & Start system that shuts off the engine at stop lights, or whenever the car is stopped, and restarts it instantly as soon as the driver takes his foot off the brake pedal. Those systems can make you save up to 10% in city driving. How do I know? Because a Stop & Start system has been available on the European Focus since 2009!

That’s on the European Focus, with a diesel engine, and a manual transmission. That car was launched at the Francfort motor show in September 2009. It had a Stop & Start system that would not work with an automatic transmission, but this is about to change. Ford’s newer Stop & Start system will be available with a manual or an automatic, as well as with the new dual-clutch PowerShift six-speed transmission. So I guess it’ll be better, but it won’t come before 2012 whereas in Europe, a Ford with a Stop & Start is available today.