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Ford to extend Auto Start-Stop system to gasoline and diesel vehicles

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December 27, 2010

Ford's Auto Start-Stop system will be added to conventional cars, crossovers and SUVs in N...

Ford's Auto Start-Stop system will be added to conventional cars, crossovers and SUVs in North America from 2012

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Auto Stop-Start technology that shuts off a vehicle’s engine when it comes to a stop to save fuel is a standard feature on many hybrid and electric-vehicles (EVs), including Ford’s Fusion Hybrid and Escape Hybrid. Ford has now announced its Auto Start-Stop system will be added to conventional cars, crossovers and SUVs in North America from 2012.

The system, which uses an enhanced 12-volt car battery and upgraded starter motor, requires no changes in driver behavior. The engine restarts the instant the driver’s foot leaves the brake pedal and when the engine is off, all the vehicle’s accessories, such as the stereo, will function normally. The system includes a light on the dash that alerts the driver when the engine is off and a special tachometer that moves the needle to a green zone when the engine is not running.

Ford claims its patented new Auto Start-Stop system for gasoline engines will improve fuel economy for most drivers by at least four percent, with the gain being as high as 10 percent for some drivers. It can also reduce tailpipe emissions to zero while the vehicle is stationary at a stoplight or in a traffic jam.

The global rollout of the system, which is designed to work on both gasoline and diesel engines, is already underway in Europe where it is standard on the ECOnetic models of the Ford Ka and Mondeo. It is also launching now on the Focus, C-MAX and Grand C-MAX.

The Auto Start-Stop system will debut in North America in 2012 and will be available on gasoline-powered cars and utilities with either a manual or automatic transmission as well as vehicles that use Ford’s patented dual-clutch six-speed automatic transmission. The system will eventually be offered in all markets.

Ford isn’t the first automaker to bring Auto Start-Stop technology to conventional vehicles. Over the last few years similar systems have been introduced on the Mini Cooper D, the Citroën C3, various Audi models, the Mazda3 2.0 Sport, Mercedes-Benz C-Class models and BMW’s M3 models, just to name a few.

About the Author
Darren Quick Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag.   All articles by Darren Quick
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6 Comments

How does one warm up such an engine in cold weather?

TheRogue1000
28th December, 2010 @ 05:00 am PST

Most environmentalists will tell you not to warm your car up in the winter. Additionally, if the cars cooling system is too efficient it will take a long time to warm up.

As for the comfort part, (I use auto-start on the van in the winter - especially when the baby is with us) I suppose we can go back to having a plug on the front of the car and instead of just an oil-pan heater have it also run an electric heater in the cabin?

CeridianMN
28th December, 2010 @ 08:12 am PST

It's an improvement - but it's the same big box, same 4 seats and the same 2000 Kg of vehicle to take 100Kg of single passenger - in a giant "freedom machine", doing mostly stop start traffic in suburbia.

A band aid to a festering elephant.

Mr Stiffy
28th December, 2010 @ 06:14 pm PST

Oh great. So they will start to offer something, what european, japan and korean cars got 5-10 years.

P.S.: this start/stop is not so stupid - it knows the temperature and do not start a completely cold car. But it works then on road - if you drive and warm up your car and engine, there is no problem to stop and quick start again even in -10°C.

P.S.: trying to save few percent of gasoil on an average american car, which is 2× bigger/havier ... than average european/asian car is like being eco by cutting the tree and ecologicaly humify the leaves.

Tomáš Kapler
29th December, 2010 @ 03:59 am PST

I notice a lot of you guys keep going on and on about how big and heavy "American" cars are and isn't that the point! I WANT my car big and heavy! That's why we survive in a wreck more often and are more stable in a heavy cross wind, and so what if it's just me in my big old tank of a car? The earth will die because of it nor will you! It's called freedom of choice and we don't have to pick what you put up with. Please don't tell me we're ruining the planet, some of us didn't drink the cool-aid of environmental correctness like the rest of you.

mrhuckfin
29th December, 2010 @ 04:29 am PST

Crash a yank tank in a brick wall side on at 50 mph and front impact at 50mph, compare the vehicle results to European models, and see if steel is safer than mostly aluminium european models. If you crashed an Escalade in Europe it'd be lucky to get 3 stars on an N-Cap test. The jeep liberty got 2 stars.

Facebook User
31st December, 2010 @ 03:35 am PST
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