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Ford shows new Vertrek compact concept SUV; stop/start and regen braking

Ford introduced a new compact sport utility vehicle concept—Vertrek—at the 2011 North American International Auto Show. Vertrek is engineered as a global vehicle, and is designed for use with EcoBoost or diesel engines. In addition, the Vertrek incorporates a stop/start system and regenerative braking to lower its fuel consumption.

The Vertrek concept. Click to enlarge.

The Vertrek concept previews a next-generation product with a sleek design while maintaining the cargo volume offered by the current Ford Escape in North America, a traditional compact SUV with 66.3 cubic feet (1,879 liters) behind the first row and 29.2 cubic feet (828 liters) behind the second row.

The concept is also created to show how an all-new Ford compact SUV could offer substantially more cargo volume than the current Ford Kuga sold in Europe, yet still retain design leadership in its segment. In production, a vehicle based on the Vertrek concept could offer about 15% more cargo volume behind the first row than the Kuga and around 20% more cargo volume behind the second row.

The powertrain in the concept shown in Detroit uses the 1.6-liter direct injection turbocharged EcoBoost gasoline engine. By 2013, 80% of Ford’s global nameplates and 90% of Ford’s North American nameplates will have an EcoBoost option.



Smart looking not so compact vehicle. Will it replace the Ford Escape? Will HEV and PHEV versions be available?


I would like to know how they intend to do regenerative braking energy capture without it being a hybrid.

Nick Lyons

@SJC: Smart alternator, as per BMW and others. Engage alternator when coasting or braking, disengage when accelerating, etc.


How much energy do you hope to recapture with an alternator? If you have a fully charged battery, there is no place to put the energy. If it is not a BAS+ design then there is no place to use the energy. Calling it E-assist or Smart Alternator rather than hybrid is just semantics.

I guess they use it for start/stop, so why not just call it BAS Lite and be done with it. Cute marketing names just confuse the issue. Just say you are doing what everyone else is doing and be done with it.



Yes, yes, and yes. And likely an EV down the line too, since the Focus, its sister, just had an EV model introduced.

This is built on the same platform as the new Focus, so Ford has a wide variety of powertrains at its disposal.


The system does not maintain a fully charged battery - instead of constant charging by the alternator when driving, it only engages during deceleration, unless the battery become depleted. So it doesn't sap energy during acceleration and steady state cruising - it uses energy that otherwise would've been simply turned to heat by the braking system. Mild regenerative braking, but regen nonetheless.

Henry Gibson

The start stop system with weak regenerative braking is perhaps the best value for the investment. The versions with the integrated starter generator built into the flywheel and has no belts for pump, AC, fan or steering because they are electrified will be highly reliable. They are very efficient in traffic jams. The AC is even available with the engine stopped and can be implemented with very efficient electric compressors.

A version of the Artemis hydraulic system that provides only regeneration and start stop might be even more effective at lower cost.

Diesel, with converters and filters, should eventually be the only automobile fuel. And in the US, China and Australia is should be made from coal.


jookes you are probably correct. Ford will have many HEV/PHEV/BEV in the not too distant future. Will GM and Chrysler try to catch up?


I understand the concept, it is the word games that don't help. Mild hybrid, BAS, E-Assist, Smart Alternator..doing similar obvious things and making a 20 mpg car get 21 mpg. We are going to need MUCH more than an additional mile per gallon to even begin to make a dent in imported oil.


SJC is correct. Much more has to be done to reduce imported crude by 10+M barrels/day. We could start with 50 mpg vehicles now and move to 60 mpg by 2015 and 70 mpg by 2020 and 80 mpg by 2025 etc. Updated CAFE may be the only way to do it. Somebody must put the pressure on manufacturers, otherwise we will be back to 15 mpg monsters.


We won't have 15 MPG guzzlers at $3.50/gallon gas, but we won't have the bulk of sales being the future-proofed vehicles we really need, either.


People in the U.S. have to see imported oil as an important issue, or we will not make much progress. When it is seen as patriotic to use less gasoline then we might make some head way. When people drive large SUVs with "support the troops" bumper stickers, we will see more of the same.

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