Ford Reflex

The 2006 Detroit Auto Show launched several new small cars into the U.S. market, including the Honda Fit and Nissan Versa. And despite a truly gigantic Ford truck concept vehicle called the Super Chief—named after the historic locomotive, and almost as large—Ford’s most interesting concept was actually a small two-seater (with a third seat in the rear meant for a child).

The Ford Reflex—a silver sports coupe—also held by far the most unexpected variation in a hybrid electric powertrain. This one married a small 1.4-liter turbo-diesel engine, borrowed from the European Fiesta model, to a prototype new-generation of Ford’s hybrid drive. The result is both swift performance—0 to 60 mph in less than 7 seconds—and remarkable fuel economy, estimated at 40 to 65 mpg in real-world use. Both the engine and the electric motor drive the front wheels through a six-speed automatic. In addition, like the Lexus RX400h, the Reflex has a second electric motor (20 hp, or 15 kW) to drive the rear wheels and provide all-wheel-drive.

With peak power (55 hp, or 41 kW) and torque (129 foot-pounds) at 6000 rpm and 4000 rpm respectively, this high-revving diesel complements electric drive’s low-end torque much better than do older, lower-revving diesels. Plus, the electric motor can be wound for the high torque needed to start the diesel on cold days, when the oil thickens; and the electric drive can smooth out extremes in power demand, cutting the diesel’s nitrous oxides (NOx) emissions substantially. If public response to a sporty high-mileage hybrid coupe is good, Ford says, “Perhaps the stigma of diesels in North America can be overcome by the hybrid’s image.”

Other features of the Reflex include an interior quieted by recycled scrap Nike athletic shoes, and seat belts with mini-airbags that inflate to broaden the restraint area during an accident. It also has photovoltaic panels on its surface that power a fan that vents hot air from the interior when the car is parked, as well as helping to power lights and other systems when the car is running solely on electric power.

In an interview, hybrid systems propulsion manager Tom Watson sketched out three new iterations of Ford’s hybrid drive. The goals are to increase regenerative braking efficiency; cut the heat generated by the electronics to eliminate the Escape Hybrid’s costly and complex battery-cooling system; reduce the number of technologies Ford must license from others; and finally, to standardize the components so more of them can be built by Ford’s existing supply chain.


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  • ZimWolfe

    This is absolutely the right direction. I Ford can pull off a commuter sports car Hybrid. Its also important to get the best possible mileage at normal highways speeds of 75MPH.

    The battle cry should be:

    Not 55 MPH 55 MPG!

  • sergal

    I love the idea, but I think that Ford could make better profit if go with European 4 door Fiesta on US market, model should come with the same Reflex hybrid system.


    I agree it’s cool, but I couldnt take a big dog to the vet in it.

  • Jim Bishop

    Wow! Nice to see such clean aero designs from a U.S. company.
    One can tell that the vehicle was not designed to take the kids to soccer or the animals to the vet, but simply a nice ride back and forth to the office.
    Good job FORD designers!

  • smitty

    Fantastic-J Mays must have had a hand in it, but like so many great ideas that ford has done lately on paper, nothing ever comes of it.
    Their Dealers killed the T-Bird with GREED
    The Mustang is great but lacking inside quality.
    Build this properly, put a fair price on it, and you will keep the assembly line busy like in the old days of the mustang.

  • mp3 download

    Infinity is very similar to FX35

  • Richard S Myes

    Built it and they will come. I want one today – let get off the oil train today !!!

  • Judi

    I love it! I like a small car, and not old fuddy duddy looking. This car is hot! I want one!

  • Anonymous

    i love this car.. its so hot.. i am absolutely in love with it.. i would tie to drive this to my girl friends house.. please, please i beg u let me have it…..

  • Anonymous

    i love this car.. its so hot.. i am absolutely in love with it.. i would tie to drive this to my girl friends house.. please, please i beg u let me have it…..

  • Anonymous

    this car looks crappy i think its a piece….

  • dayna aguiliar

    i hate this car.. it boring …

  • M. Hefner

    now this is sexy =]

    sporty and nice on gas.


  • Nick Harmelin

    I think this is absolutely ridiculous. Here is a concept that can be made a reality for under 30K if you get rid of a few of the unnecessary features. But who out there actually think Ford will pull there head out of there rear and actually build this and put it on the open market. This car will never be available, and the shear fact that they even allow it to be advertised is a kick in the face to the consumer that wants to save money on gas and/or save the environment. I beg you to dispute me.

  • Mister Mike

    If this were flex fuel instead of diesel it would be absolutely perfect. I’d buy one today.

  • Dave Pedersen

    This car is great. I’d buy one tomorrow if it were available. Hopefully you won’t ruin it by making cheap appointments. Time to build it and drop the trucks.

  • mark n

    Dont forget that the mass of society is getting older. Make it taller so we can get in and out of it confortably. VERY GOOD JOB FORD PLEASE MAKE IT HAPPEN FOR AMERICA….

  • Jeff

    ALL these companies kill me! Does anyone remember the 80’s? Well, a few years ago i got rid of a 1987 4cyl Mustang LX that got 40mpg on the highway! Yes…I said 40MPG! I swear! I know it’s not all about MPG’s but come on! Over twenty years later and we are still hanging around the same MPG’s! I should never have sold that Stang!

  • petty

    Reflex is kn0wn for its sporty, small and innovative feature. One cool feature that I love is the insulation made from recycled Nike shoes, giving the Reflex a direct connection to the running shoe it borrows its shape from. People just love the style. And its impressive BeltMinder reminds me of blog, this certain feature reduces the risks of secondary occupants.

  • me

    This is one HOT looking car and I could, as a 2-door coupe lover, be persuaded to make a purchase.

    BUT the story on this one probably ends there.

    The “Big Three” have forgotten how to make a decent looking, practical AND affordable 2-door coupe which is why I’m a fan of the Scion tC (

  • charlie

    Ford needs to get away from the gas only application they think the U.S. market wants. If they built a clean running diesel engined hybrid here in the U.S.A. I’d buy one. I don’t want to drive a 12 mpg utility vehicle. I need to get to work in a vehicle that will last and get over 60 mpg. Ford needs to support the U.S. economy like it’s founding father did and make quality fuel efficient cars in Detroit. Wake up… I can’t see the American public bailing out the U.S. auto makers unless the U.S. auto makers help the U.S. economy…

  • Aaron Silverman

    Looks great. A sharp hybrid and about time pairing it up with a turbo diesel. I’ll take one.

  • Ken Furra

    I like the car, want the car, and hope that Ford changes their way and starts building the car. It would be great if the third seat was big enough for a full grown person though, that way I can bring my kid along for fun drives for many years to come. Imagine; touring around again and seeing the great things this country has to offer. Bring on the diesel, bring on the smallness, bring on the quality…small and quality do make a fine pair. Americans are not pigs, and we are tired of marketers making our choices.

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  • hdhf

    You are right.Very good.

  • Waiting

    I know 2 people who work for ford and I have told them I would buy one if thry ever make it and I have the pic of it in my office and other realy like it but that all means nothing if it is never built or changed into an ugly version of its self. So for now I wait and the first company to build a cool green car will get my dollars!

  • I will buy it

    I LOVE this design, please make it like this for the sale!!!!!

  • BJ

    The is terrific looking! The prius looks like an ugly duck! and this really looks cool! Way to go FORD!

  • ron xxx

    well since this debuted at the 2006 detroit auto show ive heard nothing about it since. just another dick tease by these moronic car companies stuck in the past. typical. guess ill have to buy a stupid looking prius, ford.

  • tghjjhuf

    fords suck

  • spaceticket

    Nice aerodynamic design! I would buy a hybrid version to curse down the highway at 75mph from San Diego to LA and back. If priced right and built with good quality and comfortable interior and I would buy one to replace my old BMW.

  • Kristen

    you guys suck stfu

  • Zac Sidor

    Love the car. Ford should def start making this car. I’m only 17 but id buy one in the future. I have an 89 Mustang hatchback right now, ive had it since I was 14 and I love it! Ford all day everyday!

  • John David McLuckie

    The Ford Reflex concept car is the best design and performance that I have seen. I am retired and no longer have a big family to haul around. Stand on the corner and count the number of cars that go by with only the drive or with only one passenger. This car would be ideal for me and for many oither people. Half would be sold because they are a sports car and the other half because it get 65 MPG.

    If you build it you need to be ready for a rush of orders. This is the commuter car for America. If you need road testing I will volunteer!

    John McLuckie, Ph.D.

    PS: Also, look at the positive reviews that are listed above. They are better than I have seen for other cars.

  • Garry

    I think it crap. We should have been working on this and building them a long time ago. This car hit the mark and the needed market. I’d be glad to own and drive one, and pass up 4-5-6-dollars a gallon pumps. With as many people that drive cars, one with this good of MPG could curve gas use a long way. Come on FORD, I have never purchaed one of your products. THIS CAR AT A RESONABLE PRICE WOULD GET ME THERE AS FAST AS THE MONEY CLEAR.

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