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Fusion to be the first non-hybrid mid-size to offer start-stop

The amount of research and development automakers are put into saving even the smallest amounts of fuel are impressive. The research is also necessary if automakers are to meet much more stringent CAFE standards moving forward. One of the technologies that will help automakers meet those fuel economy standards is start-stop technology.
 
Originally, start-stop technology was used on hybrid vehicles to allow them to save fuel while stopped at red lights or in traffic. The technology is now spilling over into traditional vehicles to help them save fuel. Ford will offer start-start technology as an option on the 2013 Fusion when equipped with the 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine. The technology will be dirt cheap, meaning that it's likely to be ordered on many of the vehicles that hit streets. Ford has price the start-stop option at $295.
 
Ford says that the new fusion is the first midsize sedan available with automatic start-stop that isn't a hybrid. Just as the technology works on a hybrid vehicle, when the Fusion driver comes to a complete stop the engine will turn off automatically to cut fuel consumption and reduce emissions. When the driver releases the brake pedal, the engine will automatically restart and be ready to move by time the gas pedal is pressed. 
 
2013 Ford Fusion family [Source: Ford]

“We expect the average Fusion driver with the 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine and Auto Start-Stop will save about $1,100 more than other midsize sedan owners during five years of driving,” said Samantha Hoyt, Ford Fusion Marketing Manager. “That’s cash in their pocket and time saved with fewer trips to the pump.”
 
Ford says that drivers who operate the vehicle in heavy urban areas and in city traffic will see up to 10% savings on fuel consumption. The average driver will see an increase in fuel efficiency of about 3.5%. As long as the technology is truly seamless and there is no hesitation between the engine stop and engine start, the majority of drivers will never notice the technology in operation.

The new 2013 Ford Fusion will go on sale this fall and will offer two different EcoBoost all engines. The Fusion will also be offered in hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and naturally aspirated four-cylinder versions.

Source: Ford



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OK
By Dr of crap on 4/2/2012 10:16:42 AM , Rating: 2
While I think this has SOME merit, it really doesn't save all that much.

At 30mpg a 3.5% increase is 1 mpg more. Not helping reach that 54 mpg goal. What if it's really cold - say zero. I want my heat on if cabin temps are not warm yet. Some red light stops go up to 2 minutes.

I can do my own start stop by turning off the engine with the - KEY! And if I know the stop will be long I do do this now.

If $1100 over 5years is true, that is not bad.
$1100 is $220 year, $18 month and filling up every week, over $4 per fill.

Having not driven one I will not bad mouth it, but I don't see to much benefit unless those dollar figures are correct.




RE: OK
By Ristogod on 4/2/2012 10:33:02 AM , Rating: 2
Well, even if their cost estimates are inflated by 4 times, the technology pays for itself in a year. So I'd say its worthwhile in that way.

However, rarely is there ever not a trade off in these types of things. I'm uncertain how the technology is applied. But I wonder if this won't create added stress to the engine starter, where it could fail sooner over time.


RE: OK
By Ristogod on 4/2/2012 10:34:25 AM , Rating: 2
Ignore my math. It was done stupid. Pays for itself in 4 years I meant to say, which is less than 5 stated where people would expect to own it for at least that long.


RE: OK
By StanO360 on 4/2/2012 1:15:30 PM , Rating: 2
I don't see it. If you do mixed suburban type driving, let's say you save 5%. No need to do lengthy calculations, what is 5% of your gas bill? If you have a $200 bill it would be $10 a month, still maybe worth it, but not dramatic.

Of course the Fusion ecoboost would give me about 5mpg more already compared to my 23/30 Mazda6, so it's probably more like $8-$9 a month.


RE: OK
By FaaR on 4/2/2012 1:22:51 PM , Rating: 2
$10 a month, more, less... Who cares. Is dollars all you are capable of reasoning around?

When your car engine isn't running, it isn't polluting the air around you. You profit from having a cleaner, less poisoned environment that you and your kids may hopefully not develop cancer because of.

Pretty elementary stuffs, really.


RE: OK
By Spuke on 4/2/2012 3:26:03 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
When your car engine isn't running, it isn't polluting the air around you.
Except that pollution from newer cars is irrelevant. This isn't a 1967 Camaro. And, yes, I MOSTLY look at things in terms of dollars because I'm not Donald Trump.


RE: OK
By Keeir on 4/2/2012 3:32:08 PM , Rating: 2
Any tech isn't automatically less pollution. One of the requirements of this technology is a heavier/sturdier starter. This adds wieght to the car (increasing fuel burn) and requires more materials to be mined, refined, and formed.

Now, if only there was a way to estimate the pollution/waste caused by these features?

Oh wait, energy use is typically porportional to cost. If something costs less, it likely uses less energy and then likely pollutes less. If something costs more, it likely uses more energy and then likely pollutes more.

For example, if I bought a Prius and drove 3,000 miles a year, instead of being enviromental, I am being quite the reverse. I required significant pollution of the enviroment to create a fuel savings technology I am not taking advantage off... that's easy example.

For this start and stop, I personally don't idle very much. In a typical day I may hit 2 red lights for a total ~90 seconds idling. Do I save enough fuel to justify the extra pollution of the the technology? That's a legitimate question I think...


RE: OK
By 0ldman on 4/3/2012 10:55:56 AM , Rating: 2
Never mind the initial start up is *not* a clean, complete burn. It can't be. Stop and go traffic, this will actually make it worse. Less fuel consumed, a lot nastier exhaust.

If you care to argue, just go near your exhaust just after it starts up, hot or cold, and take a deep breath.

There will certainly be adjustments made to allow for this, but it will only help in perfect situations. I don't stop enough on the road for this to matter. Large city traffic will probably cause the emissions to be worse unless Ford makes the car run for a certain period of time before it shuts down again.

I am still waiting for lead/acid batteries to start being an issue. You will go through batteries faster with this technology.

I can see it on a hybrid. On a pure gas burner... doh...


RE: OK
By Dan Banana on 4/7/2012 9:20:05 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
For example, if I bought a Prius and drove 3,000 miles a year, instead of being enviromental, I am being quite the reverse. I required significant pollution of the enviroment to create a fuel savings technology I am not taking advantage off... that's easy example. For this start and stop, I personally don't idle very much. In a typical day I may hit 2 red lights for a total ~90 seconds idling. Do I save enough fuel to justify the extra pollution of the the technology? That's a legitimate question I think...


You really exhibit some bizarre situational logic to try to fit reality into your preconceived notions. Obviously if someone is driving 3000 miles per year versus 20,000 miles per year they are creating far less CO2.


RE: OK
By Samus on 4/3/2012 3:18:52 AM , Rating: 2
Your example focuses specifically on 'suburban' driving. The effect will be substantially opposite in the city, which is why Ford gives an average.

If you fight through a traffic jam rat race every morning with dozens of red lights, your returns on this will likely be double the Ford figures. And believe me, there are a LOT of people in those situations.


RE: OK
By 0ldman on 4/3/2012 10:59:52 AM , Rating: 2
The way most people drive, alternating both pedals completely on the floor, it won't matter anyway.

People complain that they can't get the mileage the cars are rated at so the feds change the numbers to a more realistic number...

I generally get better than my vehicle is rated at when I put forth even the slightest effort. Most folks don't know how to work a car properly so they complain that it doesn't meet their expectations.


RE: OK
By sigmatau on 4/2/2012 8:20:25 PM , Rating: 2
Europe has been using it for a few years in dozens of models if not most of their offerings. It works for them so it will work for us.

Besides, even 1/2 mpg extra for $300 is a deal.


RE: OK
By Arsynic on 4/2/2012 10:31:00 AM , Rating: 2
Will wait on this one. There will be bugs and recalls. What if the engine doesn't start back up automatically and you have to do it manually?


RE: OK
By Noritsu on 4/2/2012 11:02:12 AM , Rating: 2
I wouldn't be concerned. Ford has used Start-Stop on non hybrid cars in other parts of the world for a while now. It functions pretty seamlessly and there haven't been any widespread problems.


RE: OK
By Samus on 4/3/2012 3:15:20 AM , Rating: 2
Seriously. Bugs? Recalls? Ford (and a half dozen other European manufactures) been using this for the last decade. All hybrids use start-stop technology (except the CRZ with manual transmission) and your never hear about them not starting back up or chronic starter failures.

Proven technology, proven returns. You'd be amazed how much gas a vehicle uses idling, even a small 4-cylinder.

As for technicalities, it doesn't stop an engine while its in closed-loop (warmup stage) and many implementations use a heater-core bypass pump to keep the heat working when the engine cuts off by circulating coolant. The Fiat Panda and Citroen C3 to this.


RE: OK
By michal1980 on 4/2/2012 11:20:02 AM , Rating: 2
that 54 MPG Goal is before adjustments.

Start stop on the unadjusted side, might add 5mpg.

What else do you want to control by yourself? The spark timing? headlight brightness.

I would venture to say that some engineers have thought about when the start stop system runs. For example, only turn on after engine is at operating temperature.


RE: OK
By Iaiken on 4/2/2012 12:11:21 PM , Rating: 1
Start stop also relies on other technologies that bring fuel saving benefits to the table. The biggest one is the digitally controlled throttle body. These can be profiled so that the engine responds in different ways to throttle input.

My current car has this and I actually really like it. A 1" peddle traverse can have two drastically different results based on how you press the peddle. A slow input is smoothed off to produce a steady and efficient take off (30% throttle) while a sudden input will give me around 80% throttle with the remaining 4" traverse making up the remaining 20%. This is especially welcome in winter where even slightly too much peddle input can lead to wheel spin.


RE: OK
By Alexstarfire on 4/2/2012 2:55:48 PM , Rating: 2
Having driven a Honda Civic Hybrid I can say that I hate start-stop technology with a passion. It's annoying as hell because if you even need to move up like one car length in traffic it turns on for .2 seconds then turns back off. I drive a Prius and much prefer the way it drives. Yes, it's more expensive but it also has a very noticeable improvement in fuel consumption whereas my father has to struggle to even get 40 MPG in his HCH.

If it really comes in at just under $300 then I can at least say that could be a saving grace money wise. I'd rather not have that just so I won't be annoyed by the technology though.


RE: OK
By name99 on 4/2/2012 3:17:27 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
I can do my own start stop by turning off the engine with the - KEY! And if I know the stop will be long I do do this now.


Oh give me a break. When someone starts suggesting such patently stupid ideas, you know they have nothing useful to say.
The number of people who switch their cars off at red lights can be counted on the fingers of one hand. Don't pretend otherwise.

And if this tech can do something that people do not otherwise do, then WTF is your problem with it? Why do some people feel a need to complain, no matter what? Ford isn't claiming it will solve the world's problems. They are not charging a fortune for it. It's a small improvement in efficiency that only costs a small amount of money --- what's not to like? You yourself basically admit it pays for itself in 18 months or so.


RE: OK
By jRaskell on 4/2/2012 4:49:34 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
What if it's really cold - say zero. I want my heat on if cabin temps are not warm yet. Some red light stops go up to 2 minutes.


Due to the adverse affects a cold running engine has on a variety of things other than your comfort (ie performance, efficiency, and wear), I'd be surprised if this start-stop tech didn't have a conditional check that only engaged it when the engine was up to operating temps.


RE: OK
By waynet2 on 4/3/2012 11:33:33 PM , Rating: 2
This "Start/Stop" idea is *VERY* old news. During the ""Gas Crisis" of the late 1970's, a company was marketing this sort of device to retro-fit onto your existing car. It wasn't brake-release activated though, but rather a double-tap of the accelerator. If you came to a stop, for 3-4 seconds, the engine would stop. Tap the accelerator twice and the engine would start again. It didn't go over very well during that time due to wear and tear on the starter, cars weren't as easily started (took more revolutions before the engine would catch), and it actually produced excess emissions due to longer startup times.


Start-Stop is good tech.
By Noritsu on 4/2/2012 10:53:14 AM , Rating: 4
Don't concern yourselves with the claimed MPG increase. Start-Stop technology does not display significant gains on the US fuel mileage test cycle. It has been around in Europe and other parts of the world for years, but due to its low impact on EPA MPG ratings it has been ignored as the cost to include it was too high to justify for the "stated" fuel mileage gains.

In addition, the US version of the 2012 BMW 3 Series comes standard with Start-Stop technology. With the size of the new 3 Series, I would be boggled if it wasn't classified as a mid-size vehicle. Ford's claim seems questionable here.

Regardless of being first or not, it's good to see this as a low cost option on what seems to be a very promising car.




RE: Start-Stop is good tech.
By bebimbap on 4/2/2012 12:12:18 PM , Rating: 2
Traditionally if you don't stop your engine for more than 30 seconds at a time, you waste fuel vs keeping it on for those 30 seconds. If you can just start and go and go and stop all the time without wasting fuel something is vastly different about this method than the traditional method.
Every little bit helps.


RE: Start-Stop is good tech.
By StanO360 on 4/2/2012 1:18:14 PM , Rating: 2
My guess is that the losses for short stops are greatly offset by long lights or traffic stops


RE: Start-Stop is good tech.
By iamezza on 4/3/2012 5:59:07 AM , Rating: 3
Interesting, I remember about 2 years ago on a car show on TV they said the 'break-even' point for turning off your engine vs leaving it running was around 3 seconds.

I guess it would depend a lot on the car in question.

Usually when engines are at full operating temp they don't take much effort to start again.


RE: Start-Stop is good tech.
By Boingo Twang on 4/2/2012 12:54:20 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Don't concern yourselves with the claimed MPG increase. Start-Stop technology does not display significant gains on the US fuel mileage test cycle.


Forget the EPA MPG cycle, this does produce large fuel economy gains in the real world like say when you're stuck idling in traffic for long periods.


RE: Start-Stop is good tech.
By NovoRei on 4/2/2012 10:44:15 PM , Rating: 2
Start-Stop was developed by Bosch Brazil in 2005/6(at least one variant). I tested it 4 years ago. At the time the only difference to a normal car was the ECU programming and a two times more reliable starter engine.

All in all, it is just good for someone who drives in the city, who gets 30min traffic jam everyday.

Ford implementation may have a more sophisticated setup.


Excess Engine Wear?
By Apone on 4/2/12, Rating: 0
RE: Excess Engine Wear?
By Icebain on 4/2/2012 12:34:29 PM , Rating: 2
My understanding is that they integrate in a more advanced lubrication system that prevents dry starts once the car is already in "operation". Something like an electric oil pump or whatever.


RE: Excess Engine Wear?
By Boingo Twang on 4/2/2012 1:00:04 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
however I'm concerned with one fundamental issue which could cause premature engine wear. When I first started learning about cars many moons ago, I learned that 70% of engine wear happens at start-up and that once an engine is operating at its normal temperature, its rate of wear & tear is minimized during steady conditions (such as freeway/highway cruising). Furthermore, I learned that you don't really waste a lot of gas idling at stop unless you're idling for several minutes (and that you idle for maybe 15-20 seconds on an average stop light). Anyone have any thoughts on this?


You're confusing cold starts with starts where the engine is already warm and oil hasn't drained back into the oil pan. As far as idling not wasting gasoline, apparently you have no kind of MPG metering device on your car and haven't directly observed how much fuel is wasted idling even with small modern direct-injected engines.

It never ceases to amaze me to see the kind of FUD that people dream up in response to anything new.


RE: Excess Engine Wear?
By Apone on 4/2/2012 1:16:59 PM , Rating: 2
@ Boingo Twang

- Relax there before you burst a blood vessel; I was honestly asking because you're correct, my archaic vehicle (by your standards) doesn't have a fuel monitoring device. I guess to rephrase my point/question, would you incur more/same/less engine wear & tear if you manually turned off and then manually started up your engine at every stop light?

- And regarding FUD, I'm all for technological advancements but I interpret each and every innovation with a jaundiced eye. Case in point:

http://www.dailytech.com/Direct+Injected+Engines+f...


RE: Excess Engine Wear?
By Spuke on 4/2/2012 3:46:09 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
- And regarding FUD, I'm all for technological advancements but I interpret each and every innovation with a jaundiced eye. Case in point:
I hang out on various car forums and I have to admit that was the first time hearing of power loss on DI engines. IMO, the article is a bit misleading in that it only has one case of a power loss problem on an Audi (which is junk anyways) and hints at some possible problems on GM's 3.6L V6. Not enough to get in an uproar over that.

As for being skeptical, I agree wholeheartedly.


RE: Excess Engine Wear?
By Boingo Twang on 4/2/2012 4:26:01 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
@ Boingo Twang - Relax there before you burst a blood vessel; I was honestly asking because you're correct, my archaic vehicle (by your standards) doesn't have a fuel monitoring device. I guess to rephrase my point/question, would you incur more/same/less engine wear & tear if you manually turned off and then manually started up your engine at every stop light?


I'm quite relaxed thanks. I don't know about engine wear by manually turning off at stop lights but it seems like quite a pain in the rear compared to having it done automatically.

quote:
- And regarding FUD, I'm all for technological advancements but I interpret each and every innovation with a jaundiced eye. Case in point:


My mistake, I actually mentioned "something new" as regards FUD but there is actually nothing new or innovative here. It's old technology and a good example of technology that the automakers would not implement in the USA unless forced to by law to save fuel. Had any problems with your newfangled seat belts or safety glass lately? Automakers raised a fuss about those too and I'm sure that many a suspicious consumer eye was raised in regards to this "crazy new technology" when it came out. :-)


RE: Excess Engine Wear?
By FaaR on 4/2/2012 1:18:36 PM , Rating: 2
Any worries you might have about possible drawbacks with this tech, you can be sure that 1000+ automotive engineers have thought of that already - and much more besides. It's not as if these designers are as dumb as a pile of rocks, you know.

That said however, even if what you say is true, the engine is never going to be the first thing that wears out in a car, so I wouldn't worry about it.


RE: Excess Engine Wear?
By Ramtech on 4/2/2012 3:32:32 PM , Rating: 2
If everything that corporations said was true then we wouldn't need the reviewers guess what we still need them


More commie lib green success!
By Boingo Twang on 4/2/2012 12:49:50 PM , Rating: 2
This would not be happening without the new MPG rules in place. As for the people that think this is some kind of new gee-whiz space age technology, it's not. It's been in use for a long time. It's easier to implement in a hybrid because the electric motor used to power the vehicle can do it but it just needs a starter motor spec-ed for the job and a larger battery to keep electrical accessories running when used with a conventional engine.




RE: More commie lib green success!
By Targon on 4/2/2012 1:01:43 PM , Rating: 2
I suspect the big thing is the low cost of the "option". In the same way that a LCD display used to be a high end luxury feature that is at the point of being common, and soon standard in most cars, start/stop has never been a feature that has shown up in lower cost vehicles(under $40,000).


By StanO360 on 4/2/2012 1:21:11 PM , Rating: 2
It wouldn't be happening without a recession and $4 a gallon gas. But, still probably would. If you can give a customer more for the same price it's always a better Unique Selling Proposition. Same HP with better mileage, same price/better handling etc.


RE: More commie lib green success!
By Spuke on 4/2/2012 5:22:58 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
This would not be happening without the new MPG rules in place.
This tech has been in the works long before the new CAFE. The results of the new CAFE haven't been seen yet. To make it simpler, the cars of today were conceived/designed a few years ago or longer. Cars aren't designed overnight. What's interesting is that improvements to fuel efficiency were happening anyways because of consumer demand not government regulation but the government went ahead and updated CAFE anyways and got people like you thinking it was their idea.


First Midsize?
By apc31981 on 4/2/2012 10:37:21 AM , Rating: 2
My 2013 Malibu has it.
It isn't technically a hybrid either (although does have some hybrid features).




RE: First Midsize?
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 4/2/2012 11:05:29 AM , Rating: 2
I thought that the only 2013 Malibus available currently are the Eco model? If you do indeed have an Eco, it's "technically" a hybrid... albeit a pretty crappy one.


RE: First Midsize?
By jemix on 4/2/2012 12:24:40 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed.. I'm very much interested in the Ford Fusion and may purchase one, but it definitely is NOT "the first non-hybrid mid-size to offer start-stop" as this article states.


Start Stop
By JAY963 on 4/3/2012 8:07:55 PM , Rating: 2
An example of government intrusion into the marketplace. Start stop is one more complex system that can break down. How much will consumers spend dealing with it? How often will the stop part work at a lonely intersection in the middle of the night but the start part will fail? As a consumer who would buy this if it were an option? CAFE standards should be dropped. Free people get to buy the cars they want. Not the cars the government imposes on us.




so what abou the A/C
By ericnottelin on 4/7/2012 9:28:51 AM , Rating: 2
For those of us living in southern regions, what happens to the cabin temps when I'm stuck at a red light for 2 minutes. Does the A/C compressor still run by the crank pulley which is now not spinning? I can tell you I have turned my truck off at long lights in the heat but left the a/c fan running. It gets warm quick. Any thoughts on this concern?




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