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Scheele: Ford needs diesel Focus for U.S.
Likely target for car is 2007 model year

By Amy Wilson
Automotive News / September 22, 2003


TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. - Ford Motor Co. is closer to introducing a diesel-powered Ford Focus in North America.

"We need to develop and bring to market a diesel in the Focus," Ford COO Nick Scheele said at a press event here. "It probably won't be a huge volume, but we just need to do it and get it out there."

Scheele said the diesel Focus, already sold in Europe, isn't locked into the North American product cycle yet. But his statements suggest that Ford is closer than ever to confirming a diesel-powered car for this market.

Ford has been studying the diesel Focus for applications in North America for a couple of years.

This year, Ford assigned more than 50 of its top diesel engineers to a new North American diesel team in Dearborn, Mich. In contrast to previous assignments involving only pickup engines, the task for this team is to work on diesel engines for cars, SUVs and pickups.

Ford sells a North American diesel only in its F-series Super Duty pickups, Excursion SUV and Econoline van.

A likely target date for the diesel Focus is the 2007 model, when low-sulfur diesel fuel is set to be available nationwide.

"We can't bring it before we've got low-sulfur fuel," Scheele said.

In the fall of 2006, the sulfur content in diesel will drop from its current 300 parts per million to about 15 ppm, which will reduce soot and other emissions.

But Ford could follow DaimlerChrysler's lead and roll out more diesel vehicles to test market acceptance. Jeep will introduce a diesel-powered Liberty SUV next year, while Mercedes-Benz will offer a diesel engine in the E-class sedan.

Both models are certified to meet emissions standards but will need significant emissions system modifications by 2007 if they are to remain on the market.

The EPA has certified four diesel engines - two from Volkswagen AG, one from Toyota Motor Corp. and one from DaimlerChrysler - as being able to meet tougher diesel regulations that go into effect in 2007.

A diesel-powered Focus likely would cost between $2,000 and $3,000 more than the gasoline-powered version, which starts at $13,385 including the destination charge.

The diesel powertrain adds sophisticated fuel injection and exhaust systems and a turbocharger.

Ford officials have said they wouldn't introduce a diesel car in North America unless they can make money on it.

Staff Reporter Richard Truett contributed to this report
 

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Nice....can't wait to see if they do it
 

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Bring it on! If you ever get a chance to drive one of these wonders you'll understand my enthusiasm.

Proven track record:
Heck, over 40% of all new cars sold in Europe are diesel-powered, yet less than 0.3% of US passenger vehicles sold are diesel-powered.

Performance AND economy:
Incredible low-end grunt, great passing power on the highway, all while returning +50mpg to boot! This is off-the-shelf tech, not pie-in-the-sky hydrogen fuel cells, nor mediocre gas-electric hybrids.

Further Potential:
You want +80mpg family-sized cars or +45mpg SUVs TODAY?
Read my lips: Diesel-Electric Hydbrids


What's the delay?
Low sulfur fuels required for ultra-clean diesels won't appear in the USA until 2007. However, it hasn't stopped VW/Audi and Daimler-Chrysler from one-upping us by getting their diesel engines to pass emissions with the aid of particulate traps.

Come on Ford- get off your collective arses!


The near future:
Clean-burning, common rail injection, Turbo Diesel-powered vehicles are THE way to lower our dependence on foreign oil TODAY without performance compromises.
 

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Further Potential:
You want +80mpg family-sized cars or +45mpg SUVs TODAY?
Read my lips: Diesel-Electric Hydbrids
It's difficult to make a case for this. To get the greatest efficiency, most have used a series hybrid strategy like a diesel train. A parallel hybrid doesn't necessarily take optimum advantage of both technologies. Maybe Ford’s new Hybrid system would be a good fit, but that is yet to be seen. Either way, these are expensive propositions with arguably marginal returns.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Why now? why Does ford need a focus Diesel now?

because there Aren't enough premium Focus models (Excl SVT).
In theory
1) the Focus TDCi would command a 3000$ surcharge and Sell without incentives.

2) Ford would gain CAFE credits and allow for the selling of fewer low profit Foci or more high profit Mustangs and Crown Vics. The TDCi would be a Cheaper CAFE credit than The Focus LX. Sell fewer LXs and more TDCis= more profitable Focus.

3) untapped Market. Halo car for the Focus and Ford.
 

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Is it possible to add propane injection and crank up the boost on a diesel car like you can on a diesel truck? With the propane anyway, fuel efficiency would go up, as well as power.
 

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Is it possible to add propane injection and crank up the boost on a diesel car like you can on a diesel truck? With the propane anyway, fuel efficiency would go up, as well as power.
ofcourse , their are alot of diesel tuner cars in europe and the ford foci diesel seems to be no exception afaik
 

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Pff...why not a bio-diesel vehicle? That would do wonders for EPA compliance, and most modern diesel engines would only require small modifications to run it.
 

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Look under the curve... UNDER THE CURVE!
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I sure hope this is true. I'd love to drive a diesel Focus, and I may well be in the market for a new car by 2007.
 

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Further Potential:
You want +80mpg family-sized cars or +45mpg SUVs TODAY?
Read my lips: Diesel-Electric Hydbrids


What's the delay?
Low sulfur fuels required for ultra-clean diesels won't appear in the USA until 2007. However, it hasn't stopped VW/Audi and Daimler-Chrysler from one-upping us by getting their diesel engines to pass emissions with the aid of particulate traps.


Well in California VW is getting OUT of the diesel business....and its public that Ford is working on a gas/hybrid in 3 vehicles, mated to 2.3ltr PZEV based motors....We have a VW store and even tho there is many reasons to build such a ride there needs to be a market...Fuel cell is what 8 or 10 yrs....I view hybrid as a bandaid...dont think Im alone eather
 

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i thougt biodiesel was a direct replacement for petroleum diesel. isn't it formulated to perform like perto diesel? if you wanted to run your diesel off cooking oil or something else, you would need modifications...

speaking of diesel, i think i saw on history channel that the army is developing/testing engines for bikes and small vehicles that can run on almost any fuel, w/o modifications. sounds kinda neat, not sure how it works exactly, but they want it so they can simplify fuel supply.

i'd drive a diesel focus, but i already have one, so it probably won't happen for me.
 
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