Biofuels Ford mystery car NAIAS

Published on January 11th, 2016 | by Tina Casey


Ford (Finally!) Unveils Mystery Car At Detroit Auto Show

January 11th, 2016 by  

During the Monday press preview at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, we were looking at this all day…

Ford mystery car NAIAS

…”this” being the sedan-shaped item that Ford was hiding under a tarp with little signs on top that said everybody had to wait until 4:45 for some “performance news.”

Now that 4:45 has come and gone, we can reveal what was behind the curtain:

Ford Fusion racing edition NAIAS


If you guessed Fusion, run right out and buy yourself a cigar. This is the new Ford NASCAR Fusion racing edition, which Ford will debut in its first points race at NASCAR’s Daytona 500 next month.

In terms of cleantech, while the absence of a long-range lithium-ion battery under the hood may disappoint some EV fans, biofuel fans can take a closer look at that green spot encircling the gas cap near the rear end of the car, which says “American Ethanol” around it.

Performance News From Ford

Without specifically mentioning the Fusion, Ford had already dropped some hints about its mystery vehicle on its website, in a 2015 article titled “Ford Performance Lineup Poised for a Big Year:”

…Ford is bringing more than 12 new performance vehicles from now through 2020!

That includes the all-new Ford GT shown for the first time at the 2015 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS)…

Here’s our shot of the pre-production GT from the 2015 show, btw:

2017 Ford GT

Where we we? Oh, right. The article continues:

…The Ford Focus RS will be among these new models, and they will join the existing lineup of Fiesta ST, Focus ST, Shelby® GT350R Mustang and F-150 Raptor.

For those of you who enjoy matching games, you could have found some clues by comparing the draped silhouette above the Ford’s “performance” lineup, as shown on the company’s website:

Ford Performance Lineup

Until recently, the moniker “performance” has usually been associated with high horsepower, low gas mileage, but in the article, Ford’s Raj Nair makes the point that the company’s “performance team” approach enables technology crossover between different models, including energy efficiency:

EcoBoost® is a strong example of how we are migrating technology and engineering across our lineup, ensuring our vehicles are fun to drive. From our most nimble Fiesta to our hard working full-size pickups and racing vehicles, our lineup benefits from the innovations we deliver at the track and at the limit.

In a hint of things to come, at the unveiling, Ford officials noted that the full motion simulator used to design the new NASCAR Fusion will be used on all Ford passenger vehicles in the future, so look for that ripple effect to hit Ford’s EV and hybrid EV models some time soon.

Image credits: all photos by Tina Casey except Ford Performance group, via Ford.

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About the Author

specializes in military and corporate sustainability, advanced technology, emerging materials, biofuels, and water and wastewater issues. Tina’s articles are reposted frequently on Reuters, Scientific American, and many other sites. Views expressed are her own. Follow her on Twitter @TinaMCasey and Google+.

  • Epicurus

    Is there a biofuel worth having from an environmental point of view?

    • Bob_Wallace

      Ethanol from waste and probably from some plants grown on land not suitable for food/fiber crops and which don’t use significant amounts of water or fertilizer.

    • neroden

      Landfill methane (“biogas”). Waste vegetable oil.

      There are actually several biofuel production methods which are decent environmentally but most of them can only be produced in very limited quantities. It’s fine for niche applications but it doesn’t scale up.

      There’s enough landfill methane to supply everyone with gas stoves for cooking, but not enough to heat everyone’s houses with.

  • Epicurus

    While not specifically about the ethanol boondoggle, see the documentary “King Corn” if you haven’t already done so. Bottom line: growing industrial corn is not profitable without government subsidy. Iowa is basically a welfare queen. Should it play the role it does in choosing the presidential candidates? Hell no.

    • Haha. Yes, had some great econ lessons about that in grad school. Pretty ridiculous how much of a socioeconomic harm those ag subsidies are.

      • Epicurus

        Is your graduate degree in economics?

  • Tim

    Take down these posts. They’re retarded.

  • ROBwithaB

    Can somebody please explain to me why this article is even on CleanTechnica?
    How is this “clean”?

    • Mike333

      Because it was teased here as a new plugin.

    • Brent Jatko

      It’s not, unless you consider ethanol from corn “clean.”

      (I consider it a sop to the farm lobby because Iowa shrewdly positioned itself as an early Presidential caucus state, making it difficult to call out the subsidies for the pork they are.)

      • Epicurus

        Right. Ethanol is a boondoggle, a welfare program for the corn industry.

  • ROBwithaB

    THAT’s their big technological leap towards sustainability?
    Oh dear.
    And Nascar?
    Audiences have been declining for years.

    Sure the F-series trucks make them a lot of money. But that big slush fund is giving them a false sense of security, and blinding them to the new reality. The world is changing. Quickly.

  • Ivor O’Connor

    Ford and Tina should have kept it hidden.

  • kallen


  • Kraylin

    Even being a performance enthusiast (not nascar but still performance) I did not expect to see this unveiling covered at Clean Technica.. Thanks… I think lol

    • We were expecting an exciting new plug-in. Had a story about it last month. This is what we ended up getting…

  • Benjamin Nead

    This was it? No EVs? Put the cloth back on the car!

    Next? . . .

    • Yeah, they beat Faraday Future in disappointing me. 😛

  • Adrian

    A NASCAR. Ugh. So 20th Century.

    As for the production performance models? Yay, turbochargers. Here’s to turbo lag. (Blah blah, twin-scroll, etc. You still have to step on the pedal and wait. And downshift two gears..)

    Hey Ford, the GM Bolt is nearly as quick to 60 as a Focus ST, and they didn’t even really have to try hard to make that happen, you put in a big battery and the rest is gravy.

  • Dan Hue

    The fact that the GT is not a plug-in hybrid is disappointing. Porsche, Ferrari and McLaren have shown that is the current state-of-the-art technology.

  • Tim

    Bored again Tina! Let’s forget Ford for a couple of years at least

  • jamesjm

    Dinosaur bound, shortsighted thinking. All flash and no substance. Obsolete fossil fuel burning combustion engine before it even hits the track. Attention getting because it’s noisy like a Harley – like a baby in the kitchen banging on pots and pans saying, look at me, notice me, I need attention! Ford disappoints with ADD type short attention span bean-counters along with short-range board member ambitions.

    • Jenny Sommer

      Ethanol…it burns food not fossils.

      • Tim

        Many fossils are burnt to make the food based gas. This is so retarded, it’s ridiculous. Please Jenny, read, read, read. Plus it gums up fuel systems. BUT, it puts money in the corn guys’ pockets, and helps politics go forward.

        Modern corn farming
        involves heavy inputs of nitrogen fertilizer (made with natural gas),
        applications of herbicides and other chemicals (made mostly from oil),
        heavy machinery (which runs on diesel) and transportation (diesel
        again). Converting the corn into fuel requires still more energy. The
        ratio of how much energy is used to make ethanol versus how much it
        delivers is known as the energy balance, and calculating it is
        surprisingly complex.
        National Renewable Energy Laboratory states that, “Today, 1 Btu of
        fossil energy consumed in producing and delivering corn ethanol results
        in 1.3 Btu of usable energy in your fuel tank.”

        There is debate about whether ethanol is even that good. More than likely, it probably takes about a gallon of gas to make a gallon of ethanol.

        • Bob_Wallace

          Would you please find another word to use in the place of retarded?

          • Tim

            Nice thing about using it in print is that you don’t offend the aforementioned sector, but I’ll take your suggestion to heart. Being uber politically correct is a nice goal.

          • Bob_Wallace

            I’ve watched someone close to me break out in tears because someone called her that name. Dealing with a handicap is hard enough without someone making an issue out of it.

            Being kind and considerate of others is a good thing. Those of us born ‘normal’, white and male sometimes just don’t get it.

          • Tim

            Focus, brother. Geez, I said it was a nice goal. And I’m not going to waste humor on you anymore.

            Back to the issue, ethanol is as bad for climate change as coal!!! Think about it. Discuss.

            Plus, like coal, it’s all about old white men making buckets of cash while poor people and the middle class get SCREWED! (Can I say screwed here? I don’t want to offend the light bulb community.)

    • Mike333

      What if the board is just old guys that watch Fox Idiots? That’s a scary thought.

      • James

        With age often comes wisdom. The ICE platform is still selling very well. The change will be slow. It will be the voice of the consumer that will dictate the change.

        • Tim

          And then it will be the voice of math that kills everybody on the planet for dragging their heels. First ICE, then heat, then death. Where’s Robert Frost when you need him?

  • So are further reveals planned? Can we expect to see the mystery plug-in vehicle this week?

    • hybridbear

      The mystery PHEV is the new Fusion body on the existing Energi powertrain. Ford announced no improvements to the Energi, still only 19 miles of EV range.

  • Mike333

    So not a plug-in vehicle.
    FORD marches us. rapidly toward Extinction.
    That’s Corporate Leadership, to failure

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