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LA Auto Show: Ford Focus PZEV Unveiled

The Auto Channel

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 2, 2003 – The 2003 Ford Focus PZEV (partial zero emissions vehicle), introduced today at the 2003 Los Angeles Auto Show, meets California’s stringent partial zero emissions standard without requiring performance, fun-to-drive or economical sacrifices on the part of its owners.

“The new Focus PZEV is a technological breakthrough that delivers real-world environmental benefits without a single compromise for its owners,” says Dave Szczupak, Ford Motor Company vice president, Powertrain Operations. “This super-efficient engine meets California’s stringent partial zero emissions standard while delivering lively performance from a larger-displacement powertrain with enhanced torque.”

The Focus PZEV is powered by an all-new 2.3-liter I-4 engine generating 148 horsepower and 152 foot-pounds of torque. This PZEV powertrain will become the standard engine powering all California, New York, Vermont and Massachusetts Focus models beginning later in the first quarter. A year later, the all-new 2.3-liter I-4 engine will be introduced in all non-SVT Ford Focus models in the U.S.

Increased Performance and Efficiency

The Focus PZEV illustrates one of the inherent strengths of the I-4 engine design, its combustion efficiency. Through careful design of the combustion chamber, coupled with sophisticated electronic controls, Ford engineers were able to meet California’s stringent emissions standards in a no-compromise vehicle.

Specific emissions actions include close placement of the catalytic converters to the exhaust manifold to allow them to reach operating temperatures more quickly, and electrically controlled exhaust gas recirculation that recycles inert gas into the combustion chamber to reduce NOx emissions and improved fuel economy.

The 2.3-liter Focus PZEV is designed to provide dependable performance and high levels of driving quality throughout its useful service life. The objective of the Focus powertrain team was to give customers more of what they want – performance, drivability and smoothness – with reduced fuel costs, lower emissions and minimal maintenance requirements.

The new engine, part of Ford Motor Company’s new global family of four-cylinder engines, represents both the future of Ford’s small powertrain lineup and the future of engine manufacturing. The I-4 makes extensive use of lightweight aluminum components, which offer both a weight savings – approximately 40 pounds compared with the equivalent Zetec I-4 engine – and chassis dynamics benefits, such as improved weight distribution front-to-rear and higher power-to-weight ratio.

Cylinder head and valve train

The cylinder head’s dual overhead cam (DOHC) design uses direct acting mechanical bucket (DAMB) tappets and an aluminum alloy “high flow” cylinder head with press-fit valve seats that help to improve long-term sealing.

Valves and tappets are individually graded for consistency. This assures their ability to maintain proper valve clearances over the engine’s life, without the use of shims. Lobes on the chain-driven cast-iron double overhead camshafts are chilled during manufacture to harden them. These actions help eliminate valve adjustments throughout a useful life of 150,000 miles or 10 years in use. Each cam runs in five cam bearings, for smooth and quiet operation.

Intake valves are 35 millimeters, with 30-millimeter exhaust valves. They are mounted at an included angle of 29 degrees to each other in an asymmetric arrangement – the intake valves are 19 degrees from vertical and the exhaust valves are 10 degrees from vertical. This allows the spark plugs to be mounted near the center of the “pentroof” style combustion chamber, promoting circular flame propagation and improved fuel economy, especially under partial load.

The camshafts run directly in the aluminum cylinder head and are driven by a “silent” chain, which provides quieter operation. A spring arm maintains proper tension, and a hydraulically activated composite damper controls chain movement. The camshaft cover is made of cast aluminum alloy to contain valve train noise and assure warp-free sealing for life.

Along with durability and silent running, engineers worked to make engine components as fuel-efficient and lightweight as possible. A good example of this is the new, highly durable piston, ring and connecting rod assembly, which provides about 15 percent weight advantage vs. other modern engines, resulting in lower overall weight, superior NVH, lower friction (or parasitic losses) and a free-revving engine characteristic.

To enhance fuel efficiency, the engine uses 5W20 SAE (ILSAC GF-3) grade oil for reduced resistance to flow, and operates at a relatively low idle speed of 700 rpm. Maximum engine speed is 7,000 rpm.

Engine noise, vibration and harshness

A host of low-noise features enhance engine refinement. These include a single, service-free poly-V accessory-drive belt made of composite rubber, an automatic belt-tensioner, an alternator with low noise, dual internal cooling fans and a fully length-symmetrical intake manifold.

The deep-skirted, closed-deck sand casting of the block features cast-in-place, cast-iron bore liners with tightly controlled geometry. A die-cast aluminum bearing beam and cast structural aluminum oil pan provide a strong and stable bottom end.

Engine assembly contributes to quiet operation, as components are select-fit to more exacting tolerances. In an example of attention to detail during construction, all 10 bolts that secure the lower bearing beam are tightened simultaneously, to assure even torque over the entire structure every time. This assures that the bearing beam isn’t warped during assembly.

The electronic distributorless coil-on-plug ignition includes an optimized cylinder knock-control system that continuously adapts the engine’s operating parameters in real time to optimize performance and economy.

New intake manifold

The computer-designed intake manifold is a prime example of the attention to detail that went into engineering the new engine. It is fully symmetrical, lightweight and made of friction-welded plastic to reduce flow friction and stay cooler than cast metal. This design allowed engineers to “sculpt” the sound of the 16-valve engines to be sporty yet refined.

Within each of the intake manifold’s four runners is a butterfly valve that restricts the air passage at low speed. This improves low-speed efficiency through inducing a “tumble” or turbulence by accelerating the air/fuel mixture into the combustion chambers. At higher speeds, the butterfly valves open fully, to meet the engine’s requirement for air flow. At these higher flow rates, the port shape itself ensures proper “tumble” of the air/fuel mixture for best combustion.

The intake system also features a new, solid-state temperature and pressure sensor, which makes more precise air mass measurements. These are constantly relayed to the electronic engine management module for efficient engine operation.

Fuel-injection system

A new four-hole fuel injector design delivers a highly atomized-spray pattern directly toward the twin inlet ports of each cylinder, for more spray penetration, better atomization and less cylinder wall wetting than a single-hole injector. This in turn translates into good drivability and lower emissions. Sequential electronic fuel injection control injects precisely measured quantities of fuel into each cylinder individually, at the optimum point in each combustion cycle.

Global Development, Production

Ford Motor Company’s new global family of inline four-cylinder engines, developed with Mazda Motor Corp., represents both the future of Ford’s small powertrain lineup and the future of engine manufacturing.

The I-4 represents Ford’s first truly global engine development program, which drew on the company’s engineering, design and manufacturing skills worldwide. In a measure of its global significance, the new I-4 engine will be built in four plants on three continents.

Wide-range of cars and trucks

As an example of the new engine’s flexibility, a variety of Ford and Mazda brand vehicles currently offer or will offer the new engine in both “east-west” and “north-south” configurations for front- and rear-drive applications. In addition to the new Ford Focus PZEV, they include:

The Ford Mondeo in Europe with 1.8- and 2.0-liter versions, built at Ford’s Chihuahua Engine Plant in Mexico. The Ford Ranger pickup with a 135-horsepower 2.3-liter variant built at the Dearborn (Mich.) Engine Plant in the U.S. The restyled Mazda MPV minivan – introduced in April and built at Mazda’s Hiroshima plant. The all-new Mazda6 midsize sedan, sold in North America, Europe and Asia (as Atenza), offering three displacements: 1.8-liter, 2.0-liter and an advanced 2.3-liter with Mazda’s Sequential Valve Timing (S-VT) for performance efficiency. Many more products set to be introduced around the world over the next few years, such as Ford Escape hybrid-electric vehicle (HEV) to debut in late 2003.

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My first car was a 67 Mustang Coupe, 2nd one was a 67 Cougar XR-7, 3rd one was a 66 Mustang Coupe. Why did I get rid of these cars for ? I know why, because I'm stupid, stupid, stupid.

My next Ford.....
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