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Powertrain improvements net a 1 to 3-mpg increase for 2007 Ford Focus

Changes to the engine management software along with new low-rolling resistance tires nets a 3-mpg increase in highway mileage for the 2007 Ford Focus 2.0-litre with a manual transmission.Ford Motor Company reports it has made some dramatic improvements to the 2007 Ford Focus. Powertrain engineers concentrated on the 2.0-litre inline four-cylinder, improving fuel mileage across the board.

“The Focus engine was originally calibrated for emissions,” says Nicholas Schubeck, supervisor, Powertrain Calibration for Ford Motor Company. “We noticed during testing that we could get a lot better fuel mileage by making some adjustments to the calibration while still meeting emissions.”

The team increased the engine's spark and revised the exhaust-gas recirculation and intake manifold runner control (IMRC) schedules. The IMRC is a device on the intake manifold that increases the velocity of the air going into the cylinder at low speeds. Increasing air velocity helps in the proper air-fuel ratios.

“The issue is that the system also creates a lot of pumping losses, which reduce fuel mileage,” says Schubeck. “By opening up the IMRC a lot earlier to reduce pumping losses, fuel mileage was increased.”

This change, along with tire improvements, accounted for a 3-mile-per-gallon improvement on the EPA highway fuel economy label for five-speed manual models, which now see 27 mpg in the city, 37 mpg on the highway (8.7/6.3 L/100 km). The 2.0-litre automatic delivers 27 mpg in the city, 34 mpg on the highway (8.7/6.9 L/100 km). For 2007, the base Focus models come equipped with 14-in. Hankook tires that offer better rolling resistance than the 2006 model.

Schubeck says customers will also notice an enhancement in performance. The extra engine spark improves acceleration, and the refinements to the engine have eliminated the hesitation that normally occurs when the air conditioning is in operation.

Posted Sept. 4, 2006