New Ford hybrid electric car tops 70 MPG
To Debut at the North American International Auto Show DETROIT, Dec. 29, 1999 - The new Ford Prodigy is a hybrid electric family car prototype able to achieve more than 70 miles per gallon fuel economy. The lightweight, aerodynamic and fuel-efficient Prodigy - which will be unveiled at the North American International Auto Show - demonstrates Ford's progress in developing a hybrid electric family vehicle with mass appeal. 'Prodigy goes a long way toward meeting our goal of an extremely fuel-efficient family vehicle,' says Neil Ressler, vice-president - Research and Vehicle Technology and the company's chief technical officer. 'The vehicle represents an interim stage between our P2000 research programs and our plans for an affordable, production hybrid.' The stylish, roomy Prodigy is designed to be stingy on fuel without sacrificing customer appeal in areas such as performance, affordability and roominess. The sedan is built on a lightweight platform, features a modern, aerodynamic design and is powered by a low storage requirement (LSR) hybrid electric powertrain. The Ford Prodigy features an aerodynamic design that enhances vehicle aesthetics while reducing air resistance. Prodigy's 0.199 coefficient of drag - a measure of air resistance - is a 33-percent improvement compared with prior versions of the vehicle. Such a major improvement helps improve the vehicle's fuel economy by 4 miles per gallon. To enhance the vehicle's aerodynamics, side-mounted cameras and onboard monitors are used in place of conventional side-view mirrors. The cameras provide a needed side view for the driver while not hindering air-flow around the vehicle. Variable ride height, grille shutters and shields under the car also add to the vehicle's aerodynamic improvement. Prodigy's platform is based on Ford's extensive lightweight materials research. Prodigy's total weight is 2,387 pounds, which is about 1,000 pounds lighter today's family sedan. (concept carz) The significant weight reduction was achieved without sacrificing package efficiency. Prodigy is 30-percent lighter than today's Taurus sedan, but - thanks to creative packaging and lightweight materials - passenger space and luggage capacity are the same. Prodigy's low storage requirement hybrid electric propulsion system uses an aluminum DIATA (Direct Injection, Aluminum Through Bolt Assembly) engine, starter/alternator, automatically shifted manual transmission and high-power battery.Source - Ford
The Ford Prodigy Concept was introduced to the world at the 2000 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan. The car had an aerodynamic design with a drag coefficient of just 0.199. It was lightweight due to its extensive use of aluminum and could achieve 78 mpg projected fuel economy. The DIATA engine is around 35 percent more efficient than conventional gasoline engines. The four-cylinder, 1.2-liter compression-ignition unit generated 74 horsepower at 4100 RPM.
In October of 1999, Ford became the first automaker to deliver a fully-functional hybrid electric family sedan research vehicle to the United States Department of Energy, as part of the Partnership for a New generation of Vehicles (PNGV) initiative. It was called the Ford P2000 LSR and it demonstrated many production-feasible technologies for a family sedan with very high fuel economy. The Prodigy Concept capitalizes on the P2000 LSR's small, energy-efficient diesel engine. Prodigy's low-storage-requirement hybrid electric propulsion system includes an aluminum DIATA (Direct Injection, Aluminum Through Bolt Assembly) engine, starter/alternator, automatically shifted manual transmission and high-power battery.
In 2010, this vehicle was offered for sale at the 'Sports & Classics of Monterey' presented by RM Auctions. The car was estimated to sell for $40,000 - $60,000 and offered without reserve. As bidding came to a close, the car had been sold for the sum of $15,400 inclusive of buyer's premium.By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2010