Yesterday, I had the opportunity to spend the day at Ford headquarters in Dearborn, MI checking out the new technologies, green and otherwise, for their new 2009 model year.
One of the key green technologies that was on display was the EcoBoost engine.
By Ford claims, the EcoBoost engine reduces CO2 emissions by 15% while improving highway gas mileage by 2mpg without reducing power.
In fact, the Lincoln MKS will have a 340 horsepower engine behind it while using the new technology. Ford boasts v8 power and torque with V6 fuel efficiency.
From my conversations with hybrid owners, one of the main complaints is the sometimes atrocious power and mileage associated. As in software development, a great product is the kind of product that does its job and gets out of the way of its users. If you spend time dealing with the hybridness of a hybrid without enjoying your driving experience in the short and long term, then it’s a failure of product development.
Though Ford has taken significant steps to improve their Hybrid offering, EcoBoost provides a concept and solution that takes environmentally conscious and fun to the next level.
When I say fun, I really do mean fun.
As with almost all of the 2009 model year cars, I had the chance to drive the MKS out on the track. It is a luxury vehicle by all accounts as the successor to the famous Lincoln Towncar. Comfortable inside with seat coolers and a sleek luxury sedan appearance on the outside, I had no idea I was driving an environmentally friendly car while I was behind the wheel. The product got out of my way, and let me enjoy the experience.
Ford on the Environment
Ford has gone to great lengths in other areas to be more environmentally sound as well.
- Seats in the new Ford Flex and other vehicles made of all organic compounds,
- Four models of hybrids: Mercury Mariner, Ford Escape, Ford Focus and Ford Flex,
- Use of Coconut, sugar cane, soy and other organic resins and compounds in areas of vehicles, including radiator heat shields,
- Optimization of fuel systems to allow all Ford, Lincoln and Mercury to run on regular unleaded fuel, as opposed to premium octane,
- Ongoing R&D into hydrogen-powered fuel cells
Mustang Bullitt (or, some good things come in non-environmental packages)
With all that being said, my favorite vehicle at the track was the limited edition 2009 Ford Mustang Bullitt (yes, inspired by the movie) which has no trappings of being an environmentally conscious vehicle, but is oh so sexy with it’s brushed aluminum interior, and smooth 5-speed transmission. And I want. :)