Ford Wants Green Creds, Too
Not content to stand on the sidelines and watch GM and Toyota grab all the planet saving glory, Ford is jumping onto the green bandwagon. Again. According to Bloomberg, FoMoCo's CEO Al Mulally says The Blue Oval Boyz will make a "significant investment" into "more fuel-efficient vehicles that emit fewer greenhouse gases." They'll concentrate on smaller, turbocharged engines, lighter vehicles, diesels, hybrids, hydrogen and hamster wheels (just kidding). Big Al better be careful. A lot of people still remember Billy Ford's promise in 2000 to increase the fuel mileage of Ford's SUVs by 25 percent by 2005; a noble goal that remains resolutely out of reach. But SUV's won't be Ford's primary focus this time. The first model to receive the benefits of their greenification will be the Lincoln MKS. Changes to the drivetrain will be made "less than year" after it's introduced. Mulally didn't explain why Ford doesn't make the changes before the big Lincoln's showroom debut.
So the MKS is a good 9 months away, and the GDI engine is less than a year after that. That's a good year and a half to two years away.
I hear mention of using small engines with turbos to get better mileage. Outside of the diesel world, does this ever actually work in reality? "Power of a 6 with fuel efficiency of a 4" never seems to make it past the brochure. Take the Acura MDX vs RDX. I looked up some examples on TrueDelta.com. MDX received 18.0 mpg on average while the RDX got 18.8. The RDX is a smaller car (by 500 pounds) with a smaller 4 cylinder engine. That advantage nets .8 mpg. Seems like a massive con to me.
To me its always been "Marginal fuel economy of a 6 with the lack of power of a 4" I know people who have switched from V8 to V6 SUVs and still complain about bad fuel economy. Well, no kidding. It's still a heavy vehicle, and now you have a smaller engine trying to push the thing down the road. Ford couldn't even put an IRS in the new Mustang, I'll believe these small efficient when they actually come out. Until then, I'm not holding my breath.