With the cost of fuel hitting family budgets harder and harder, Ford of Europe has commenced production of its most fuel efficient (and lowest CO2 emissions) passenger car ever. The company’s new Fiesta ECOnetic Technology is powered by a 1.6-liter Duratorq TDCi diesel engine providing 205 Nm of torque that offers fuel economy figures of 3.3 l/100 km (71 mpg US / 86 mpg UK) with CO2 emissions of 87 g/km.

In addition to the diesel engine that features bespoke calibration and optimized gear ratios, the car’s fuel-sipping specs come courtesy of a variety of ECOnetic technologies. These include Auto-Start-Stop, which shuts down the engine when the vehicle is at idle, Smart Regenerative Charging, which feeds back energy captured when braking to the vehicle’s battery, Eco mode, which provides the driver with feedback about their driving style, and a gear shift indicator in the instrument cluster that signals the optimum time to change gear.

While the car’s engine is built in Britain, the new vehicle is now rolling off the production line at Ford’s Cologne Assembly plant in Germany, and will come in three- and five-door versions, with a variety of trim levels depending on the market. The company says half of all Ford cars sold in Europe will be ECOnetic Technology models by the end of the year, increasing to two-thirds in 2013.

North American motorists hoping ECOnetic Technology models will be showing up in showrooms across the pond seem to be out of luck with a 2009 article in Business Week saying Ford wouldn’t be able to sell enough of the vehicles at a cheap enough price, due to exchange rates. Additionally, upgrading its Mexico plant to produce diesel engines would cost more than US$350 million. The company doesn’t believe there is a sufficient market for diesel cars in North and South America to justify such an outlay.

But buyers in the U.K. should note that the car’s fuel economy and CO2 emission figures mean that it is exempt from road tax and avoids London’s Congestion Charge.

Source: Ford