Ford is to invest £1bn in its UK facilities to help develop greener cars.
At a press conference this morning, the company confirmed that it is embarking on a push towards more environmentally-friendly vehicles, and that 9500 engineers at three UK locations will lead the charge.
Ford's target is to build a Focus model within the next five years that can return 70mpg with less than 100g/km of CO2 emissions (the Toyota Prius is 109g/km). But Ford of Europe executive vice-president Lewis Booth said that over 100 models would be affected across Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover and Volvo.
Richard Parry-Jones, Ford's Chief Technical Officer, said the potential gains were huge. "When these actions take effect the annual net saving in CO2 emissions will be the same as a city the size of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne," he said.
Booth stated that diesel, petrol and flexifuel and hybrid vehicles will be considered, and that two-clutch, two-pedal transmissions will be used - but little mention was made of hydrogen-powered cars. Ford is also to introduce more devices that encourage an eco-friendly driving style, including an 'economy display' like the Prius and the ability for drivers to select more eco-friendly modes, much like the Terrain Response Control on Land Rovers.