The two hatchbacks — which were the two top-selling cars in February — are set to be fitted with a 48-volt lithium-ion battery (known as a mild-hybrid), which offers sophisticated tech with the benefit of saving drivers money at the pumps. Models fitted with the system will be labelled ‘EcoBoost Hybrid’.
The engine’s alternator is replaced by a belt-driven integrated starter motor that enables energy that’s usually lost when braking and coasting to be recovered. This in turn charges the battery pack. The system will be paired to Ford’s popular 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine, which will also be fitted with a larger turbo and electric torque assistance for improved performance.
Hybrid versions of the Fiesta and Focus are going to be introduced next year.
Steven Armstrong, president of Ford Europe, said: “Our new Fiesta and Focus EcoBoost Hybrid models are examples of Ford’s commitment to deliver new, more environmentally sustainable vehicles, sophisticated technologies, and valued services for our customers.
“We’ve gone to every length to develop mild-hybrid powertrains for two of our most popular cars that will help keep cash in customers’ pockets while remaining true to the Ford ‘fun to drive’ philosophy.”
The announcement has come ahead of the firm’s ‘Go Ahead’ conference next week (April 2), which will outline the American manufacturer’s plans for future mobility, electrification and smart vehicles. Further electrified models are likely to be confirmed at the event.
Up until now, Ford has lagged behind other manufacturers when it comes to embracing EVs and hybrids. A couple of years ago, Ford offered the Focus as a pure EV, but poor sales led the firm to axe it from the UK. You can, however, buy the Mondeo with a hybrid powertrain.
A mild-hybrid version of the Transit has already been confirmed (known as EcoBlue Hybrid), while Ford has previously announced that all new models from the latest Focus onwards will be available with at least one electrified offering.