JEREZ de la FRONTERA, Spain - Ford will offer its new 1.8-liter, 115hp Duratorq common-rail diesel only in the top-of-the-line Ghia version of its Focus.
Ford has two reasons for offering its first common-rail diesel only in Ghia versions for now. Ford's common-rail injector system supplier Delphi doesn't have enough injectors to satisfy customer demand for more models. And Ford believes the new engine is good enough to sell at a premium in Europe's fast-growing diesel market.
Ford has not set prices for common-rail Focus, and won't until nearer the summer launch. But a UK source said the diesel - to be badged TDCi - version would probably sell for about 500 (E556) above gasoline-engine versions of the Focus Ghia.
When enough Delphi injector systems are available, Ford will also offer a common-rail system in Mondeo, probably next autumn. Ford expects only 130,000 common-rail injector units from Delphi this year for both Focus and Mondeo, well below anticipated demand.
The Focus TDCi is the first of 30 new diesel engine 'product actions' Ford is taking in the next 36 months, said Phillip Lake, chief engineer of diesel engines at Ford's Dunton technical center in England.
'We're one of the few areas in the Ford empire that is actually expanding,' Lake said.
When Ford introduces the all-new Fiesta this autumn at the Frankfurt auto show, common-rail diesels will be available immediately. That's something Ford did not have with Focus and Mondeo.
Fiesta's engines will be supplied by PSA/Peugeot-Citroen through the diesel partnership the two companies signed last year. Under that agreement, PSA will supply small-displacement engines. Ford will supply larger four-cylinder V-6 and possibly V-8 diesels for cars and commercial vehicles.
Lake said Ford is operating its diesel business like an independent company. 'We've brought all the elements of purchasing, finance, supply logistics, business planning, manufacturing, engineering and design in parallel,' he said.
The Ford diesels will be designed and manufactured at Ford's new diesel center in Dagenham, England. PSA will make its engines in France.
Dagenham construction begins in May. The new facility will resemble a computer-chip factory as much as a car factory. Lake said that because microscopic particles of dust can foul up common-rail injectors, engines must be assembled in 'clean-room' conditions.