Another snazzy new car we won’t get to buy in North America

With the cost of fuel hitting family budgets harder and harder, Ford of Europe has commenced production of its most fuel efficient (and lowest CO2 emissions) passenger car ever. The company’s new Fiesta ECOnetic Technology is powered by a 1.6-liter Duratorq TDCi diesel engine providing 205 Nm of torque that offers fuel economy figures of 71 mpg US…with CO2 emissions of 87 g/km.

In addition to the diesel engine that features bespoke calibration and optimized gear ratios, the car’s fuel-sipping specs come courtesy of a variety of ECOnetic technologies. These include Auto-Start-Stop, which shuts down the engine when the vehicle is at idle, Smart Regenerative Charging, which feeds back energy captured when braking to the vehicle’s battery, Eco mode, which provides the driver with feedback about their driving style, and a gear shift indicator in the instrument cluster that signals the optimum time to change gear…The company says half of all Ford cars sold in Europe will be ECOnetic Technology models by the end of the year, increasing to two-thirds in 2013.

North American motorists hoping ECOnetic Technology models will be showing up in showrooms across the pond seem to be out of luck with a 2009 article in Business Week saying Ford wouldn’t be able to sell enough of the vehicles at a cheap enough price, due to exchange rates. Additionally, upgrading its Mexico plant to produce diesel engines would cost more than US$350 million. The company doesn’t believe there is a sufficient market for diesel cars in North and South America to justify such an outlay.

Which is baloney – if they looked at what the Germans are doing. You can buy cars sized from the VW Golf to the Audi A8 and Mercedes E-class. Plus the Ultimo crowd at BMW. They all have waiting lists for diesel-power. That includes cars starting at under $23K with diesel engines.

These ain’t your father’s oil-burner Oldsmobile – and neither is the ECOnetic Ford Fiesta. Mullaley needs to get on board.

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