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Fuel efficiency, Ford style

The F150 has held pride of place at the top of the truck sales for 31 consecutive years in America, and Ford kicked off its show celebrations with the reveal of the new Effy. The bigger, but slightly lighter new F150 comes in 35 different spec and body variations, yet will be sold as a V8 petrol only until the diesel arrives in 2010.

To sedate the greenies, Ford has embarked on a green drive with two of its other show concepts.
Ford’s next affordable small-car entry for America, seen here in concept form as the Verve, features the euro-faced Kinetic Design Language familiar from the Fiesta, Focus and more recently the Mondeo.

The three-door concept, originally unveiled last year in Frankfurt, is on show to gauge the American interest. But the sedan version, which dropped its covers for an international audience today, is production-ready and scheduled for sale.

It is more than just a small car for the American market - this is the next Fiesta, and we should see it here a year before the Americans in 2009.

While the Blue Oval acknowledges the need for fuel efficient vehicles like the Verve concept, it still will not readily relinquish its top spot in trucks. To address the outstanding issues of fuel use and CO2 emissions in their larger cars, Ford has developed a new engine system called EcoBoost.

At Detroit, EcoBoost featured at the core of one of Ford’s largest passenger SUVs, the Explorer. A new direct-injection fuel delivery system, combined with twin-turbo charging technology, offers large dollops of progressive power from smaller-capacity four- and six-cylinder blocks, dropping fuel use in the latter by up to 30 per cent.

It’s ironic really, as turbocharging an engine is usually anything but eco-friendly.
But running a hulking Explorer efficiently with a 179kW four-cylinder under its bonnet certainly seems like a forward step for the Ford Motor Company.

And that technology will come here. The same V6 Duratec engine that features in our next Ford Falcon will be Eco-Boosted by 2010.

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The CarsGuide team of car experts is made up of a diverse array of journalists, with combined experience that well and truly exceeds a century.  We live with the cars we test, weaving them into our family lives to highlight any strenghts and weaknesses to help you make the right choice when buying a new or used car.  We also specialise in adventure to help you get off the beaten track and into the great outdoors, along with utes and commercial vehicles, performance cars and motorsport to cover all ends of the automotive spectrum.  Tune in for our weekly podcast to get to know the personalities behind the team, or click on a byline to learn more about any of our authors. 
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