What’s the easiest and most efficient way to save fuel? Simple. Turn the engine off.
It can be a pain to shut the engine down at each stoplight, then re-crank the motor and shift into drive when the traffic gets moving again. So, automakers developed a way for the car to do it for you. This is the strategy that hybrid manufacturers implemented a while ago, as they were able to lean on the electric motors to get the car moving again once the motor cuts out. But as start-stop tech got better, it began to find its way into larger, non-hybrid cars as engines were able to restart in the time it takes to move one’s foot from the brake to the gas.
You know how we know we’ve come full circle? Ford is installing start-stop on its trucks in a bid to improve mileage, if only slightly. It’s no longer only for small, buzzy four-cylinders anymore — the Jaguar F-Type R that we drove in September had it too. Chevrolet also offers start-stop on its V8-equipped Silverados.
In a small departure from Chevy’s approach, Ford will be equipping its line of turbocharged V6 engines — branded EcoBoost — with the function. This includes the new 2017 F-150 Raptor and its rumored 450 horsepower. Given the growth that Ford’s EcoBoost trucks have seen in the last few years, the company contends that “more than 60% of the truck lineup” could boast stop-start.
“Auto Start-Stop shuts off the engine when the vehicle is at a stop – except when towing or in four-wheel-drive mode – to give drivers power on demand when they need it most. When the brake is released, the engine restarts quickly,” Ford said in its release.
Ford also admitted that realized fuel savings will “vary depending on driving patterns,” but noted that “the technology also contributes to a reduction in CO2emissions due to decreased idle times.” The people who will argue that that’s a bad thing are few and far between, we think.
The F-150’s 2.7-liter EcoBoost, 3.5-liter EcoBoost, and high-output 3.5-liter EcoBoost engines will all come standard with start-stop, joining the Focus 1.0-liter EcoBoost, the Fusion 1.5-liter EcoBoost, the Edge 2.0-liter twin-scroll EcoBoost, and the 2017 Escape 1.5- and 2.0-liter twin-scroll EcoBoost models.
If you don’t want the constant on-off if you’re stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic, Ford has your back; the system can be deactivated with the push of a button. Everything inside the cabin stays in operation once the engine shuts down, thankfully — can you imagine re-syncing your phone’s Bluetooth every 20 feet?