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The Ford Fiesta and Focus are going hybrid

Britain's two best-selling cars get mild hybrid tech for MORE POWER. Yes

The Ford Fiesta and Focus are going hybrid. Well, kinda. Ford is giving them both the option of mild hybrid technology from 2020 as it aims to “bring the benefits of electrification to greater numbers of consumers”. Slapping it onto two of Britain’s best selling cars will certainly do that.

Ford’s adamant that while the system will cut fuel use (and thus save money), it won’t impact on how fun the Fiesta and Focus are to drive, the system also helping provide more power. Hurrah!

How much more? The output of the one-litre triple, with its its little electrical helper, is 155bhp.

Like the mild hybrid systems we’ve seen elsewhere, it sees a regular alternator replaced by a generator that’s able to recoup energy usually lost during braking, using it to charge a 48v battery pack.

This can then feed back to a motor that supplements the power delivery of Ford’s 1.0-litre three-cylinder EcoBoost engine during acceleration. The boost is able to fill the gap normally left by turbo lag, thus Ford has taken it as an opportunity to give the engine a bigger turbo for more power.

That’s how it climbs to 155 horses – at max power the electric motor isn’t adding anything. It’s the boostier petrol engine doing the work.

But at lower revs when you plant it, the electric assistance fills the lag for a vital couple of seconds. ‘Torque supplementation,’ the engineers call that.

And if you don’t floor it but just breathe gently on the throttle, the electric motor takes some of the load off the engine’s shoulders. That saves fuel. This goes by the name ‘torque substitution’.

Currently, the 1.0 produces anywhere between 85bhp and 140bhp depending on the model it sits in. So the figure of 155 is an idea we can get right behind. Especially with the cut in consumption. Ford says it’s aiming for CO2 emissions as low as 106g/km, though, which is what a 125bhp Focus currently produces.

Oh, and if you need more room, then you’ll be able to get similar tech in the diesel versions of the new Kuga and even the Transit.

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