Ford Focus ECOnetic• Most economical hatchback
• Will achieve 80mpg
• No car tax and London Congestion Charge exempt

The Ford Focus ECOnetic hatchback is expected to be capable of 80mpg when it arrives next year, putting it ahead of the 70.6mpg Toyota Prius Hybrid and 74.3 mpg Volkswagen Golf BlueMotion.

Ford Focus ECOnetic gallery:

Ford Focus ECOnetic gallery

Ford is also stating the Focus ECOnetic will emit less than 95g/km of CO2, placing it in the lowest tax band A, with no annual tax payment and exemption from the London Congestion Charge zone. The most efficient version of the new Ford Focus currently on sale manages 67mpg and 109g/km of CO2 emissions.

The Focus ECOnetic’s 1.6-litre TDCi diesel engine is fitted with a new fuel injection system and turbocharger and smoother internal components to reduce energy-wasting friction, while stop and start will cut the engine to save fuel in traffic. The six-speed manual gearbox will feature a long economical top gear, while low rolling resistance tyres help the Focus keep rolling with less energy.

There’s also an exhaust system which reduces harmful NOx pollution and the amount of particulates escaping into the atmosphere.

An Active Grille Shutter shared with the standard Focus closes air inlets at the front of the car at higher speeds to improve its aerodynamics. At slower speeds they open again to allow enough air in to cool the engine.

Available with three or five doors, the Ford Focus ECOnetic hatchback will be available in early 2012.

By Andy Goodwin, senior web journalist