40 miles per gallon seems to be the new magic number in the automotive industry and Ford could be considered heavy weight in the category. With the official 40-mpg rating of the 2012 Ford Focus by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Ford now has four vehicles with a 40-mpg or greater rating. As you might guess that is the most of any manufacturer currently. What is even more interesting is the research that backs up Ford’s strategy for superior fuel economy, their method and we quite like the technology as well.

Friday, Ford released a press release that educated the media on the fuel efficient model range and research that shows consumers leaning towards fuel efficiency. According to Derrick Kuzak, group vice president, Global Product Development, ““Our customers tell us that fuel economy is the top reason for purchasing a Focus. The all-new Focus meets that demand with great fuel economy, class-leading technologies and features, exceptional standards of craftsmanship and driving dynamics typically reserved for larger, more expensive vehicles.” What makes this achievement more significant is how Ford has chosen to execute their offering of mpg to the customer.

What sets the Ford Focus apart from some of the competition? Besides the 14 class leading features, ones that will have some 50 commercials to promote them to the public, the Focus also employs a six-speed automatic transmission that is used in the Super Fuel Economy (SFE) model. Think of the SFE model as similar to the Hyundai Elantra Blue and if you were going to place bets, then we would put our money on other companies following suite. In other words we believe we will start to see designated high efficiency models. One of the more interesting and unique features of the 2012 Ford Focus is the Active Grille Shutter System.

The system features a motorized shutter system that has horizontal vanes. These vanes can rotate some 90 degrees to block airflow and are controlled by the cars ECU. The shutter system can rotate the horizontal vanes in 15 different directions to control the amount of airflow into the radiator. When the vanes are completely close the system reduces the drag on the vehicle and therefore the CO2 emissions. How much? Two percent. The system also helps keep the driver more comfortable by keeping the vanes closed during cold start to allow the engine to warm up quicker.

Ford says, “Great looks, smart technology and true performance.” What will you say? If you are in the market for a new small car you owe yourself a close look at the 2012 Ford Focus so you can try it on for size—and technology. 


[Source: Ford]