Despite the fact that current EPA testing methods fail to demonstrate the advantages of “stop-start” systems, which shut down engines at idle, Ford will begin rolling out the technology on 2012 model-year vehicles. Automotive News [sub] reports that “some” four-cylinder models will go idle-free starting with next year’s rollout of 2012 models, and that
Based on the European rollout, the most likely initial vehicles include the 2012 Ford Fiesta and Focus cars, Escape crossover, C-Max minivan and Transit Connect delivery vehicle.
By 2015, Ford will have joined Mazda as one of the manufacturers offering start-stop across its lineup (on manual and automatic models). There was, however, no cooperation between the two firms on their respective stop-start systems. Ford’s newest system can reportedly improve efficiency by ten percent in the city and five percent overall.
With so much focus being put on electric, full-hybrid, and plug-in cars, it’s easy to forget that these kinds of lower-cost and widely-applicable (but less-sexy) methods of improving fleet-wide efficiency will have a much larger incremental effect on overall fuel consumption. Along with its commitment to technologies like gasoline direct-injection, downsized, turbocharged engines and dual-clutch transmissions, Ford’s introduction of start-stop systems should help America’s healthiest automotive manufacturer maintain a technological and environmental advantage over the competition for the foreseeable future.