Ford Debuts Start/Stop Feature on 2013 Fusion
The $295 option will be offered on the most fuel-efficient trim of the all-new Fusion.
While auto start/stop systems are nothing new -- during stops, they shut down the engine and quickly restart it when the brakes or clutch is released -- they've yet to catch on among nonhybrid cars in America. Ford is hoping at least some buyers will spend an extra $295 for it on the SE trim, the company's most popular -- and soon to be the most fuel-efficient nonhybrid Fusion on sale, featuring an estimated 37 mpg highway rating.
The automaker estimates city fuel economy will increase by up to 10 percent and overall economy by 3.5 percent compared with a Fusion without the system. The SE features a turbocharged version of the 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine used in the subcompact Fiesta.
While official EPA numbers aren't out yet, we're betting the 2013 Fusion SE equipped with the auto start/stop feature will return 28 mpg city and a combined rating of 32 mpg, based on current ratings of the SE's 2.5-liter 4-cylinder and the Fiesta's naturally aspirated 1.6. Taking into account an average 15,000 miles per year, the EPA's standard weighting on combined fuel economy and Ford's own 3.5 percent estimate, the option should save most drivers just $66 per year in gas, at today's regular average of $3.93. That means that buying the almost $300 option will take about 4.5 years to pay you back at the pump.
However, that's just the average. If your commute involves more stop-and-go crawls, or you take plenty of city trips, the savings could be much greater -- and add up quicker. That's also not accounting for what this system could mean in savings when gas prices spike to the sky, as they last did in 2008.
But the relatively low cost and payback times aren't the real issue, Ford says. It's convincing nonhybrid buyers that their cars aren't stalling.
"Our biggest challenge will be getting costumers used to it. The idea of the engine stopping is a little uncomfortable to people," Ford spokesman Mark Schirmer says.
That's why so few automakers offer the feature on their regular U.S. models. Among those that do are the Porsche Panamera and Cayenne, the new BMW 3-Series and several Mercedes-Benz AMG models. On most of these cars, the start/stop system is off by default and has to be switched on by the driver -- a task that can be difficult to even notice, for example, on the Cayenne's button-crazy dashboard. Ford says that it will program the system to remain on at every engine start.
The company launched the auto start/stop system on European Focus models last year and will be adding the option to more 4-cylinder U.S. Fords such as the Fiesta and Focus soon, Schirmer says.
My concern would be the interrupted oil pressure with possible increased bearing wear.
Many turbocharged engines can suffer from this problem when the turbo's continue to run after stopping. Some of them lose lubrication and fail in this manner especially when "rode hard". Would be interesting to do a study on the hybrids since all of them have this feature.
GM`s eAssist is better.
It provides +26% MPG and adds minimal cost/weight
It`s small motor/generator starts the car via heavy duty belt on front of motor and provides propulsion forward whilst car is starting.
There is no noise from a conventional gear-reduction starter or ring gear.
We will never have decent mileage, and here we are paying $3.75 min a gallon. Therefore, in the last 36 years, mileage has actually gone down with the price of Fuel or around 50 cents a gallon in 1976, and around $3,75 in 2012.
If Hwy Mileage for a cheap junkie 2 door BMW was around 23 mph Hwy,, then we should have better mileage this day in age.
However, it was indicated when we have the Ridiculous 55 mph that we would save fuel,
Of course, they are young people here if they did not have their license by 1996, then they had no clue what it was like putting up with 55 mph.
However, a few states put up with 65 mph by 1986.
That being said, have we save fuel or burn more in the pass 26 years?
Ridiculous, Western Texas Speed Limit is 80 mph, does the coppers enforced at 81 mph or 90 mph? point being, one is burning more fuel at 90 mph vs; 65 mph.
Of course, note everyone will agree with my comments. my point being; building new cars with better mileage.
and are not going to push a button to shut down the engine every time we stop and then again to get moving
They don't have to push a button to start/stop the engine, the vehicle does it based on the brake/clutch position. It helps to read the article.
i wonder how long "starters" and 'flywheels" would last?
the lag time would be horrible?
how about battery life?
to think of the danger of taking your foot off the brake pedal while in gear and the car starts?
I also don't believe this technology has been in service long enough to see the differences in durability.
The technology has been around for over 30 years. It has been in many mainstream cars for over 10 years. Apparently the "thin film" (your words) is more then sufficient to reduce wear.
New to this country doesn't always mean new.
Put an oil pressure gauge (a real one) on an engine. Warm it up and take a reading. Then shut it down for 30 seconds. Then restart it and I guarantee you that it will take a few seconds to show a pressure reading again.
I remember seeing that on my Miata, that it would take maybe a second or two for the oil pressure to come back up to where it should be.
Mazda sports cars (Miata, RX-7, RX-8) have real oil pressure gauges on the dash. They aren't great, but they do OK when they are new. The oil pressure pick up for the gauge is at the base of the oil filter.
@insert: I have to disagree with your statement of no additional wear. Put an oil pressure gauge (a real one) on an engine. Warm it up and take a reading. Then shut it down for 30 seconds. Then restart it and I guarantee you that it will take a few seconds to show a pressure reading again. It is during this period that there is no oil FLOW to the bearings. FLOW (NOT pressure) which is necessary to keep the bearings off the crank journals. I don't believe the thin film left after shut-down is sufficient. I also don't believe this technology has been in service long enough to see the differences in durability. Of course the engine will last long enough for the warranty to expire!
In any case, they can keep it.
It's still an extra step or an extra few seconds to get your car to move.
I can't vouch for every system, but most models take less then half a second.
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