The system would seamlessly shut off a vehicle’s engine at a stop and turn it back on once the driver puts his/her foot back on the accelerator.
A lot of the technology is already in use on the 170,000 hybrid sedans and crossovers, including the Ford Escape Hybrid, Ford has on roads here already.
What makes the start-stop technology different from a full hybrid system is that these vehicles won’t be getting regenerative braking or large battery packs. The new patented system uses a beefier 12-volt battery and more robust 12-volt starter motor to achieve the seamless start-stop functions.
The system will also include a light on the dash that alerts drivers when the engine is off and a special tachometer that moves to a not-running zone, which will be similar to what’s featured on other hybrids.
According to Ford, the system will start showing up on its sedans, crossovers and SUVs in 2012. The system has already been launched on the European versions of the Ford Focus and C-Max. We wouldn’t be surprised if U.S. models got the feature, too.
Overall, the system will improve fuel economy by 4% to 10%, according to the automaker. Ford will have more information when it officially unveils the system at the 2011 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.