Ford Offers Second-Generation PZEV Focus
By: John Fossen | Ford Communications Network
In addition to meeing super low -- SULEV -- tailpipe emissions, the 2005 PZEV Focus is designed to virtually eliminate any fuel evaporation.
DEARBORN -- How clean is the 2005 PZEV (Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle) Ford Focus? It would have to be driven 6,700 miles to produce tailpipe emissions equivalent to a new, low-emitting 5.4-horsepower lawnmower used for one hour. Furthermore, Ford’s specially equipped small car does not compromise performance, offering a spirited 130 horsepower.
The 2005 model, due to hit the market in mid-May, primarily will be sold in California, New York, Massachusetts, Vermont and Maine, so-called “green states” that require a certain percentage of vehicles an automaker sells there each year to meet stringent emissions standards.
Actually, the new PZEV Focus is the second iteration of the company’s exceptionally clean-burning small car. Introduced in mid-2003 as a 2004 model, the original PZEV Focus was designed to meet California’s Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle (SULEV) tailpipe standard and produce zero fuel system evaporative emissions to qualify as a PZEV.
“Some of our competitors first chose to pursue litigation against California’s rigorous emissions standards, but Ford made the decision to get right to work and develop a vehicle that would meet the requirements,” said John Rich, site manager, Ford North American I-4 engine. “It was extremely challenging work over more than three years, but the team did an outstanding job.”
The second-generation Focus PZEV engine is a key element of the 2005 Focus fleet that is estimated to produce 32 percent fewer smog-forming emissions than its 2004 fleet, which already was exceptionally clean. But at the same time, base horsepower will rise 24 percent and fuel economy is expected to improve slightly.
Since its introduction in the 2003 model Ford Focus, the company has produced 94,000 2.3L PZEV engines.
“With this advanced drivetrain, the car has reached near perfection as economy cars go, especially if you like your green machines with a healthy dose of Blue Oval performance,” wrote the editors of Edmunds.com.
When development was completed, the 2004 PZEV Focus had many new components in the fuel, air-induction, and exhaust systems. And the 2.3-liter engine was practically all new. In contrast, the difference between the 2005 2.0-liter I-4 and its PZEV brother is a mere two components.
“There were many lessons learned from the 2.3-liter program that we carried over into the new PZEV and non-PZEV 2.0-liter engines,” said Rich. “In fact, we will be integrating many of the new components and manufacturing techniques into other I-4 engines without incurring significant cost penalties. As a result, we’ve improved the durability and emissions performance of our whole North American I-4 family.”
Furthermore, the PZEV effort is even yielding benefits throughout the company’s global engine operations. For example, Mazda’s Hiroshima engine plant will be using a new cylinder-bore honing, or intricate machining, technique that was validated at the Dearborn Engine Plant. The new process allows for greatly improved oil control that is critical to reducing emissions. Oil contains phosphates, which, if allowed to escape the combustion chamber, can build up on catalysts and render them ineffective.
“This Manufacturing-led initiative hones bores to specifications previously achieved with the labor and cycle-time restrictive deck-plate process,” said Dan Badger, Engine Systems supervisor, North American I-4. “It's now done for a fraction of the current tooling cost at cycle times that support the plant's desired operating pattern. Gregg Schober and Steve Betts did a wonderful job in a pressure situation.”
The team also discovered that coolant temperature significantly impacted oil economy. As a result, a new thermostat start-to-open temperature strategy will be carried across all of the company’s I-4 engines.
“There are many things that we have learned that can be utilized throughout our power plants, and not just I-4 engines,” said Rich.