Ford Flex suspends fuel-consumption during slow-downs to save gas

We usually give the Ford Flex a hard time due to its skill of looking like an overgrown MINI Cooper, but we have to hand it to the new Ford crossover for having the best highway gas mileage of 24mpg in the full-size crossover segment.

FoMoCo says that the 2009 Ford Flex saves gas during a normal slowdown due to a new technology that temporarily halts fuel-consumption but still maintains engine operation. That gives the 2009 Flex the ability to achieve 17mpg in the city and 24mpg on the highway.

In showrooms now, the 2009 Ford Flex Crossover is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 262 horsepower 248 lb-ft of torque. The engine is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission.

Click through for the press release.

2009 Ford Flex:

2009 Ford Flex  2009 Ford Flex  2009 Ford Flex  

2009 Ford Flex  2009 Ford Flex  2009 Ford Flex  2009 Ford Flex  2009 Ford Flex  2009 Ford Flex  

Press Release:


With its daring and distinctive exterior and well-appointed interior, Flex makes a bold statement.

    – The 2009 Ford Flex saves gas during normal slowdowns through the use of a new fuel shut-off technology.
    – The Flex leverages Ford”s award winning powertrain to deliver optimal engine performance while saving fuel.
    – Fuel shut-off technology helps ensure that there is no vehicle in the full size crossover segment with better highway gas mileage than the Ford Flex at 24 mpg.

DEARBORN, Mich., Aug. 13, 2008 ““ The 2009 Ford Flex saves gas during normal slowdowns thanks to a new technology that temporarily interrupts fuel consumption while maintaining optimal engine operation and Ford”s best-in-class driveability. The Flex is the first Ford vehicle to use this fuel control system, which will be featured on most upcoming Ford Motor Company vehicles.

The Flex regulates its gas consumption by using aggressive deceleration fuel shut-off for an efficiency improvement of approximately 1 percent. This technology helps the Flex achieve 24 miles per gallon on the highway and 17 mpg in city driving, which means that there is no other vehicle in the full size crossover segment that gets better highway fuel economy.

The fuel shut-off”s operation is automatic and requires no unusual actions from the driver. When the driver releases the accelerator pedal to slow down, the system temporarily turns off the fuel. The flow of fuel seamlessly resumes when the vehicle reaches a low speed or when the driver accelerates again. This provides a significant fuel economy benefit while continuing to deliver Ford”s best-in-class driveability.

The deceleration fuel shut-off aggressively uses the transmission to keep the engine running at a low, more efficient operating point whenever possible. To prevent engine hesitation normally associated with fuel interruption, Ford”s Powertrain calibration team developed proprietary software to integrate the technology with Ford”s best-in-class powertrain.

“The Flex”s fuel management system is calibrated to operate imperceptibly to the driver,” said Kevin Layden, Ford Powertrain calibration chief engineer. “It saves fuel with no fluctuation in powertrain performance or compromise in driveability.”

The Flex is powered by Ford”s award-winning 3.5-liter V-6 engine delivering 262 horsepower at 6,250 rpm and 248 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,500 rpm, mated to an advanced 6-speed automatic transmission that uses a wide 6.04:1 gear ratio to achieve fuel efficiency that is 4 percent better than 4-speed automatic transmissions.

The crossover”s powerpack, which was introduced on the 2007 Ford Edge, achieved best-in-class driveability, outperforming a rival with identical hardware by a margin of four to one in categories including hard-start, rough idle, shift quality and hesitation surge due to calibration based on customer feedback.

“When we get customer feedback, we analyze every detail and link it to our objective metrics,” said Mazen Hammoud, Ford Powertrain calibration manager. “The Flex is built on the strength of Ford”s best-in-class powertrain and its driveability, which have been very well received by our customers.”

With its daring and distinctive exterior and well-appointed interior, Flex makes a bold statement. In addition, the seven-passenger Flex”s fuel economy of up to 24 mpg on the highway makes it a strong choice in these times of high gas prices. If you add the available SIRIUS Travel Link, Flex will even find you the cheapest gas and direct you straight to the location ““ another great way to save a few dollars every fill-up.