Ford announced July 22 that when drivers of some 2004 Ford Explorers accelerate, the pedal will connect to a computer, which will control the engine. Ford claims the computer controls will save fuel and cut emissions. Other various advances that Ford has recently announced in addition to the electronic throttle control are three-valve cylinder heads, redesigned Powerstroke diesel, and continuously variable transmissions. According to Ford, the 5.4-liter V-8 engine in the 2004 Ford F-series trucks will have cylinder heads with two intake valves and one exhaust valve. The new design is expected to deliver a fuel economy gain of about 5 percent. Ford says the 6.0-liter Powerstroke diesel has a high-pressure fuel system, runs cleaner, and has more power than the larger, 7.3-liter unit. Ford also plans to use a continuously variable transmission in the front-wheel-drive Escape, boosting fuel economy by as much as 10 percent over current manual and automatic transmissions, according to Ford.

Originally posted on Fleet Financials