Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG.com
- June 18, 2006
Mercury’s MetaOne was an advanced research concept from the Ford Motor Company with emerging safety features, personal electronics, and most importantly, the world's first PZEV-capable diesel hybrid drivetrain.
Mercury MetaOne Design
The Mercury MetaOne concept provided a very personal experience for its occupants with interior themes that could be customized to individual preferences. Constructed from the Ford Freestyle CUV platform, it was by far the most advanced design in terms of safety features, interior and exterior function, and advanced drivetrain technology with the least environmental impact of anything Ford has fielded in their long and illustrious history.
Fully Independent Front and rear suspension
The MetaOne concept was built from Ford's D3 architecture, which shares lineage with the Ford Five Hundred, Mercury Montego, Ford Freestyle and a number of Volvo products. The D3 architecture is engineered as the basis of large sedans and crossover vehicles and supports front- and all-wheel-drive systems. The MetaOne featured a fully independent front and rear suspension set up for precise handling and a compliant ride.
The front suspension consisted of MacPherson struts with rearward-facing lower L-arms and a stabilizer bar, tuned for crisp handling and a comfortable ride. The rear suspension was a fully independent, multi-link arrangement featuring coil-over shocks and a stabilizer bar.
The MetaOne concept featured power-assisted, rack-and-pinion steering. Front brake rotors were vented, 12.5 inches in diameter and 28 millimeters wide. The front calipers were made of aluminum and featured dual pistons. The rear brakes were solid discs, 13 inches in diameter and 11 millimeters wide.
The braking system was vacuum operated and included the Collision Mitigation by Braking system, anti-locking braking system (ABS), electronic brake force distribution system (EBD), and Electronic Stability Control (ESC).
PZEV-Capable Diesel consumes Renewable Fuels
MetaOne's CI-ICE, the world's first PZEV capable diesel.
Designed as the world's first Advanced Technology - Partial Zero Emission Vehicle (AT-PZEV)-capable diesel hybrid powertrain, the Mercury MetaOne concept not only provided an astounding 431 foot-pounds of torque but was also 97 percent cleaner than the Tier 1 emissions standard for NOx. The MetaOne showed that diesels could potentially meet the strictest emissions standards when combined with modern hybrid and after-treatment exhaust technologies.
"As the world's first PZEV-capable diesel, the Mercury MetaOne concept showed that advanced technologies Ford is developing promise the potential to deliver diesels that can be as clean as the cleanest gasoline engines," says Schmidt. "The torque of this engine, when combined with the modular hybrid-electric transmission provides excellent driving performance." Back of the envelope estimates of its potential FE showed a low 30’s city/highway figure. 50 + for a hypermiler
The Mercury MetaOne concept drew its power from a 2.7 L - twin-turbocharged - V-6 diesel engine similar to that included in the TDVi based Jaguar XJ out of Europe. In addition to the main power plant, an electric motor built into the modular hybrid transmission would together produce as much torque as a large V-10 gasoline engine. The combination of the clean diesel engine along with the hybrid drivetrain resulted in much lower fuel consumption as expected. To reach PZEV emission standards, the engine was combined with the worlds most advanced diesel exhaust after-treatment system consisting of the following:
- Dual pre-turbo metallic oxidation catalysts for faster light-off and reduced cold-start emissions.
- Diesel oxidation catalysts to reduce hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide emissions.
- A selective catalytic reduction system that uses urea to control nitrogen oxide emissions.
- A catalyzed diesel particulate filter for soot reduction.
- Dual-wall, air-gap exhaust pipes to retain heat in the after-treatment system and improve after-treatment efficiency.
- A hands-free, capless fuel filler.
This powertrain and emissions control hardware and design provided an unprecedented combination of power and extremely low and well controlled emissions under all driving conditions. The Mercury MetaOne’s engine was also calibrated to run on a special renewable fuel (Shell Syn-B30 or Synthetic Biodiesel) that minimized the vehicle's overall production of carbon dioxide or CO2, a "greenhouse gas" that is a primary contributor to global warming.
Advanced Safety Technologies
With a focus on accident avoidance, Ford engineers are developing safety technologies that not only warn a driver when the vehicle wanders from its travel lane but can apply brakes in a variety of ways if an accident is imminent and/or control the vehicles dynamics when sensors deem the driver has lost control.
Much of the science of automobile safety has focused on passive systems, like air bags, safety belts and vehicle structure that protect occupants during a crash. Ford is researching and applying active safety measures in production vehicles and concepts designed to help prevent or lessen the severity of many accidents.
Lane Departure Warning System
Front driver seat vibrates via signals from the Lane Departure Warning system.
Ford's Lane Departure Warning System is a vision system designed to recognize lane markings and a vehicle's lateral position relative to those markings. It can provide a visual, audible and/or vibrating warning to the driver if the vehicle departs from a distinguishable lane without activation of the appropriate turn signal. A right lane departure triggers a vibration to the right side of the driver's seat and a left lane departure vibrates of the left side of the driver's seat. The Lane Departure Warning Systems vehicle position is evaluated by a camera system mounted behind the windshield that measures the lateral distance from the camera's center line to the left and right lane markings. The system works during the day or night while headlights are in use.
Personal Electronic Integration
The Mercury MetaOne concept incorporated three technologies designed specifically to address the ever-increasing pace of change in our lives.
- SmartNav: Using next-generation technology to offer real-time traffic data and route guidance.
- KeyDA: Bringing the almost unlimited personal data of a PDA - from seat position presets to emergency contact lists – in the form of the MetaOne's ignition key.
- Reconfigurable Displays: Allowing the driver to size and place instruments to suit preferences and needs.
SmartNav is a next-generation navigation technology that receives - and generates - real-time traffic data. Vehicles with SmartNav not only receive up-to-the-minute traffic and weather information automatically, but it functions as a sensor system as well. Working with the Minnesota Department of Transportation, Ford is testing an intelligent transportation system in which cars will talk to the highway and to each other to keep passengers out of traffic jams and bad weather. When a SmartNav-equipped vehicle slows down on a section of highway, for example, it will communicate anonymously with roadside sensors, providing data to a central computer system. As more vehicles exhibit similar behavior on that road, the central computer system informs all SmartNav-equipped vehicles in the region to suggest an alternative route to the driver.
KeyDA allows a driver to bring almost unlimited personal data including seat position presets, telephone contact information, and even emergency medical records to the vehicle in an easily accessible format. The system uses an industry-standard USB connection to transfer data between the vehicle and other applications. A driver might, for example, use a home computer to plan a road trip, entering all the destinations by keyboard, then bring the trip to the vehicle with the KeyDA fob. In addition, the KeyDA could potentially learn your daily routine well enough to seek alternate routes when it detects a traffic jam on the way to or from work. With more than one driver in the family, each KeyDA can learn and cater to its individual user.
The MetaOne allowed drivers to personalize the instrument panel display for size and
location of the gauges, navigation, and outward looking video camera screen.
A reconfigurable digital instrument display replaced the traditional mechanical gauge cluster. Much like a personal computer desktop, the reconfigurable display could be adapted to suit each individual driver's preferences for look and feel. Options at a driver's fingertips included placing and sizing of instrumentation such as the speedometer, tachometer, fuel consumption, and temperature gauges, as well as navigation and entertainment. While on a long highway trip with the cruise control activated, the navigation screen might be more prominent than the tachometer or even the speedometer. The driver could place the most vital information where it was wanted, while the passenger may be watching a DVD movie. In addition to letting the driver choose the most intuitive and attractive interface, the digital display provided the opportunity to present the most relevant information for a given driving situation including a blind-spot camera.
Powertrain and Chassis
|Type||Compacted Graphite Iron block, aluminum heads|
| ||Twin electrically actuated, variable-vane|
| ||Turbochargers, intercooler, cooled EGR|
|Valvetrain||DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder|
|Bore x stroke||81 mm x 88 mm|
|Horsepower||248 HP @ 4,000 rpm|
|Torque||431 Ft.-Lbs@ 1,900 rpm|
|Fuel injection||Piezo-injector common rail, 1,650 bar|
|Emission control||Pre-turbo oxidation catalysts|
| ||Post-turbo oxidation catalysts|
| ||Urea Selective Catalytic reduction|
| ||Diesel Particulate Filter|
|Emissions (tailpipe/evaporation)||Advanced Technology Partial Zero-Emissions Vehicle (AT-PZEV)|
|Electric motor||35kW, three-phase|
|Traction battery||325V, 6Ah air-cooled NiMH|
|Front||Independent, MacPherson strut, rearward-facing lower L-arms|
|Rear||Independent, multi-link coil-over shocks|
|Front||12.5-in x 28 mm vented disc, dual-piston aluminum caliper|
|Rear||13-in x 11 mm solid disc|
|Tires and Wheels|| |
| || |
|Track width, front/rear||64.6”/64.6”|
|Base Curb Weight||4,250 Lb’s|
|Power-to-weight ratio||.06 horsepower per pound/17.1 pounds per horsepower|