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Ford now offering dual dry-clutch PowerShift and E85 options for new Focus in Europe

Ford is offering two additional, more fuel efficient, powertrain options for the Focus in Europe: the Ford PowerShift automatic with dual dry-clutch technology, and the Flexifuel derivative capable of utilizing E85 fuel.

Dual dry-clutch PowerShift. New Ford Focus models with the 125PS (123 hp, 92 kW) 1.6-liter Duratec Ti-VCT gasoline engine can now be specified with a 6-speed Ford PowerShift automatic transmission with dual dry-clutch technology. (Earlier post.) This is the first application of the advanced dry-clutch PowerShift transmission in Ford’s European product range, and replaces the conventional 4-speed torque-converter automatic which was available with gasoline engines in the previous Focus model.

The PowerShift transmission helps deliver reductions in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, while also providing a more responsive and refined driving experience. Compared to the 100PS (99 hp, 74 kW) 1.6-liter automatic model in the previous Focus, the new Focus 1.6 with PowerShift has cut CO2 emissions by 19% to 149g/km, and now achieves an average fuel consumption of 6.4 liters/100km (36.8 mpg US). At the same time, the 0—100km/h acceleration time is reduced from 13.6 to 11.7 seconds.

The transmission is significantly more efficient than traditional torque-converter automatics, resulting in fuel economy levels and CO2 emissions which are very close to those achieved with a manual gearbox.

—Graham Hoare, Executive Director Powertrain Development, Ford of Europe

The new gearbox uses the same state-of-the-art dual-clutch concept as the PowerShift transmission which is already available in European Ford vehicles with more powerful diesel and EcoBoost gasoline engines.

PowerShift transmissions are based on efficient manual transmission technology, eliminating the weight and complexity of a torque converter, planetary gears and the fluid pumps employed in traditional automatics. Electronically controlled, twin internal clutches shift gears quickly and smoothly, providing a seamless flow of torque to the wheels.

To suit the needs of smaller and less powerful models, the new transmission uses dry clutches to transmit the drive, rather than the wet clutch arrangement in the existing PowerShift unit which is designed to handle higher torque levels.

Adopting dry clutch technology enables the transmission to be lighter and even more efficient, with a simpler cooling system and energy-saving electro-mechanical actuation for clutches and gear shifts, further benefiting fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, Ford says.

In terms of performance, the new gearbox shares all of the benefits of the dual-clutch PowerShift concept, combining the efficiency, optimized gear ratios and driving enjoyment of a manual gearbox with the smoothness and ease-of-use of a conventional automatic.

The new PowerShift transmission enables Focus customers to select a fully automatic mode—with the choice of a standard setting or a more responsive sports shift schedule—or opting to make manual changes using a shift button located on the gear lever.

The transmission has been optimized to deliver the shift quality, launch feel and overall driving dynamics, and also incorporates a number of intelligent functions to help to maximize driving comfort and further improve fuel economy. These include:

  • Hill Start Assist. Prevents the vehicle from rolling back on a hill by maintaining brake pressure until the engine delivers enough torque to move the vehicle up the slope, providing improved driver confidence and safety.

  • Low-speed driving mode. Provides the typical creep function which drivers expect from an automatic transmission, allowing them to control the vehicle confidently using the brake during low-speed maneuvers.

  • Neutral idle. Allows the clutches to disengage when the engine is at idle or during deceleration, thus reducing friction and improving fuel economy and NVH.

  • Clutch micro slip. Helps to reduce fuel consumption by allowing lower engine speeds without unwanted NVH. Tiny amounts of clutch slippage help to damp engine vibration at low engine speeds, and make gear shifts smoother.

The Ford Focus 1.6 Ti-VCT will be available with the PowerShift transmission in most European markets from late summer 2011.

Flexifuel model. The Ford Focus is now available with a Flexifuel model which allows customers to take advantage of E85 (85% ethanol). Ford was the first vehicle manufacturer in Europe to offer production passenger vehicles with Flexifuel technology, and the Focus Flexifuel model was launched in Sweden in 2001. A full range of Ford Flexifuel vehicles is now available across a number of different European markets.

Using a modified version of the 1.6-liter Duratec Ti-VCT gasoline engine, the new 120PS Flexifuel Focus replaces the 1.8-liter model which was available in the previous Focus range.

The engine uses a state-of-the-art control module which detects the mix of fuel being supplied,

and automatically adapts to the optimum setting for those conditions.

To suit the particular characteristics of E85 fuel, the 1.6-liter Ti-VCT engine has been modified with an upgraded fuel system and revised fuel injectors, hardened valves and valve seats, and a revised exhaust system and catalyst.

The 120PS (118 hp, 88 kW) Flexifuel engine delivers virtually identical performance figures to the conventional 125PS version, while the Flexifuel model achieves CO2 emissions of 132 g/km (running on E85 fuel) compared to 136 g/km for the 125PS engine.

An engine block heater is incorporated to support starting in severe temperatures below -10 °C.

The Ford Focus Flexifuel will enter production this summer. The largest European market will be Sweden, where sales of the Focus Flexifuel totalled more than 10,000 units from 2008—2010. The model will also be available in a wide range of markets where E85 fuel is available, including Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Poland and Spain.



The E-85 leaves me cold. We have enough local crude for 100+ years.

Dual clutch could be slightly more efficient and acceptable for a dying breed.


Progress and technological improvement is slow and incremental but steady.


Both of these are good stuff.
The number of posts on new ways to create ethanol suggest that it may be around for a long time.

All petrol vehicles should become flex-fuel over the next 5-10 years so people (and governments) have more options.

Even if we end up with a 30% blend, it would be useful to have most cars able to run on it.

On the other hand, Europe is going diesel (70% in some markets), but it could work in the USA.

The clutch is good too - in Europe most cars are manual, but if we had auto transmissions like this (at little extra cost), we could have more auto cars - good for people in city traffic.


Where have you hidden this local crude? I thought you were net importers of crude since a long time ago.

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