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2006 Ford Futura will offer optional hybrid gas-electric powertrain

2006 Ford Futura
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New York, New York - Ford unveiled a new mid-size sedan which will go into production in 2005. The 2006 Ford Futura will offer four cylinder and six cylinder engines and will come with a manual, automatic and a continuously variable transmission (CVT) says the company. It will also be available with an optional hybrid gas-electric powertrain now being developed for the Escape Hybrid.

"We�re applying every lesson we have learned about vehicle interior design, packaging, driving dynamics and powertrain performance while adding a dose of design edge from the Ford 427 concept to create the new Ford Futura," said Steve Lyons, president of Ford Division.

An all-aluminum 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine based on Ford�s new global I-4 engine architecture will be standard. It will be fitted with a counter-rotating balance shaft for smoothness, and it will feature four valves per cylinder and variable intake valve timing (VVT) for good low-end torque, strong high-end power, improved fuel economy and low emissions. This engine weighs approximately 40 pounds less than Ford�s current Zetec 2.0-liter I-4 engine.

A 3.0 litre Duratec V-6 engine will be optional.

As well, an additional powerplant - which will be introduced after the 4- and 6-cylinder models enter production - will be the hybrid electric powertrain developed first for the Ford Escape Hybrid.

The Futura Hybrid, like the Escape Hybrid, mates a 2.3-litre I-4 gasoline engine with a 65-kilowatt electric motor. As a full hybrid, it will have the capability to run on full-battery power, the gas engine alone or gas and battery together. Full hybrids dramatically improve fuel economy and reduce emissions in city driving - particularly in "stop and go" traffic by shutting down the gasoline engine and running on battery power alone.

The gasoline engine starts on demand when the driver requires more acceleration. The gas engine also is used for steady-state highway cruising. The battery is recharged using regenerative braking. Performance will approach the level of the Duratec V-6, but with fuel economy better than a similarly sized four-cylinder car, says Ford.
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