For the 2009 model year, Ford is expanding flex-fuel capability on their big trucks. The humongous Expedition and Lincoln Navigator SUVs and the E-Series vans will all be capable of running E85 through the 5.4L V-8. Ford has already offered the same flex-fuel capability on the F-150 pickups for several years. The change probably won't make any real impact on to total fuel consumption but it will get Ford some mpg credits. The Ford press release is after the jump.

[Source: Ford]

FORD DELIVERS BETTER FUEL ECONOMY, MORE POWER
FOR ESCAPE, MERCURY MARINER; EXPANDS E85 FLEET

• 2009 Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner crossovers improve fuel efficiency with new, more powerful I-4 and V-6 engines and 6-speed transmissions.
• Ford's full-hybrid Escape and Mariner gain performance and refinement improvements for 2009.
• Ford adds three vehicles to its flexible fuel (FFV) line-up for the 2009 model year – Ford Expedition, Lincoln Navigator SUVs and Ford E-Series Econoline vans.
• Ford and Southern California Edison showcase 120-mpg Escape Plug-in Hybrid.

WASHINGTON, D.C., Jan. 22, 2008 – Today at the Washington Auto Show and Automotive News World Congress in Detroit, Ford Motor Company announced its hot-selling compact SUVs, the Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner, will become more fuel efficient, more powerful and more connected for the 2009 model year.

Ford also announced that it is expanding its commitment to biofuels by adding three additional vehicles to its E85-capable flexible fuel line-up for 2009 – the E-Series van, as well as the standard and extended-length models of the Expedition and Lincoln Navigator SUVs. These additional product actions are part of Ford's sustainability strategy, which also includes high-volume introductions of EcoBoost gas turbocharged direct injection engines.

Speaking today at Automotive News World Congress in Detroit, Ford Motor Company President and CEO Alan Mulally met with industry leaders and media to share today's announcement and discuss how Ford is accelerating the development of new products and technologies customers want and value. Mulally also reaffirmed that Ford will reach benchmark levels of new or significantly freshened products, delivering a showroom with 70 percent new or freshened vehicles by the end of 2008 and 100 percent by 2010.

"This year, we make good on our commitment to freshen our showrooms," Mulally said. "We just introduced the new 2009 Ford F-150 last week, and it was a hit. We also have Lincoln MKS and Ford Flex coming, as well as a new Mustang early next year."

At the Washington Auto Show, Sue Cischke, Ford senior vice president, Sustainability, Environment and Safety Engineering, outlined the company's high-volume customer-focused strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve fuel economy.

"Ford Motor Company is increasing fuel economy and cutting greenhouse gas emissions with affordable technologies for millions of customers," said Cischke. "In the near term, we will leverage existing technologies to achieve those goals, including advanced engines and multi-speed transmissions. The 2009 Escape and Mariner are great examples of how we're delivering today."



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