Ford Focus-sized family hatchbacks returning 97.5mpg will be commonplace within three years, predicts Bosch board member Peter Tyroller – fuel economy 40 per cent better than today’s cars.
This will be achieved through a combination of powertrain improvements and other measures such as low rolling resistance tyres and engine stop-start – but unlike today, such ‘other measures’ will be a far smaller part of the improvements.
Petrol will not be left behind either: Tyroller, speaking at the SMMT International Automotive Summit at Canary Wharf, predicts a family-sized car averaging 64.2mpg on the official cycle will become common.
Next generation powertrains, such as Ford’s 1.0-litre three-cylinder Ecoboost engine (which has replaced the older 1.6-litre four-cylinder and now accounts for one in four UK Focus sales), will reduce fuel consumption by 30 per cent compared to today’s engines. Add-on measures will reduce it by a further 10 per cent, predicts Tyroller.
Up to now, it is the widespread adoption of technology such as stop-start and longer gear ratios to existing powertrains that have led fuel economy improvements. Many argue these are more effective for reducing official fuel consumption figures than actual real-world economy.