Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Ford Out-Economizes the Competition

STONEHAM, Mass -- The cost of fuel is on the rise again, and drivers around the world are more interested than ever in models that will not only provide the performance they need but also help them save some money at the pumps. With efficiency eclipsing all other features as prospective buyers watch gas prices head for $4 a gallon, Ford has taken their customers’ needs to heart and released a lineup of cars, trucks and SUVs that greatly improve fuel economy without sacrificing performance.

“If this is anything like 2008, we’re about to see a major shift in what consumers look for when they’re shopping for new cars,” said Alan Melkonian, owner and general manager of Greater Boston Ford dealer Stoneham Ford. “The last time gas went over $4, fuel economy became the top priority among our customers. Then, as now, Ford is ready to meet that demand with some of the most efficient vehicles on the market.”

Not surprisingly, the 2011 Ford Fiesta is at the head of the fuel economy class for gas-powered cars, checking in at 40 mpg on the highway. What may surprise is the new 2012 Ford Focus SFE, short for “super fuel economy,” which was recently certified at 40 mpg on the highway, bringing a new standard of fuel economy to the compact class.

Mid-size sedan owners can opt for the Ford Fusion Hybrid, which offers 41 mpg in the city thanks to an electric engine powered in part by regenerative braking. Even the workhorse 2011 F-150 offers best-in-class fuel economy, with its 3.7 liter V6 providing 302 horsepower along with 23 mpg on the highway.

A variety of innovations contribute to these impressive numbers, including streamlined designs that improve aerodynamics. Also helping to propel the Fiesta, F-150 and other Ford models to the top in terms of fuel economy is the six-speed automatic dry-clutch Powershift transmission, which, with its high-efficiency design, contributes a 9% boost in efficiency. The new EcoBoost engine, available on some models, and Ford’s electric-power assisted steering do their part as well, not only launching fuel economy to new heights but also proving that Ford is committed and thorough in its effort to make its lineup one of the most fuel-efficient in the United States.

Ford’s successes in that area go beyond the models breaking the 40-mpg barrier. The lineup currently available at Ford dealerships boasts 12 vehicles that lead their respective segments in fuel efficiency. The Ford Mustang V6 is the first car ever to offer an engine that tops 300 horsepower and 30 miles per gallon, proving that Ford’s commitment to improving fuel efficiency across its fleet runs deeper than simply tossing out an economical subcompact to lure buyers.

“Car buyers should take a look at what’s in their driveways right now and ask themselves if they’re getting the best possible fuel economy,” Melkonian said. “The idea that an SUV, pickup truck or performance car needs to be a gas guzzler is outdated. Trade-in values for those old, thirsty models are likely to plummet if gas prices break the four-dollar mark in New England. This is the time to see the improvements that Ford has made, and to take ownership of a vehicle that will save money for years to come.”