This week at the North American International Auto Show, Ford Motor
Company is introducing a new engine technology called EcoBoost that
will deliver up to 20 percent better fuel economy on half a million
Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury vehicles annually in North America during
the next five years. This technology introduces a fuel-efficient engine
platform that doesn't require plugging in or special fuels to promote
sustainability in Ford's line. Woo Hoo!
The EcoBoost family of four-cylinder and six-cylinder gasoline engines features a combination of turbocharging and direct injection technology. Compared with more expensive hybrids and diesel engines, EcoBoost builds upon today's affordable gasoline engine and improves it, providing more customers with a way to improve fuel economy and emissions without compromising driving performance.
"EcoBoost is meaningful because it can be applied across a wide variety of engine types in a range of vehicles, from small cars to large trucks - and it's affordable," said Derrick Kuzak, Ford's group vice president of Global Product Development.
"Compared with the current cost of diesel and hybrid technologies, customers in North America can expect to recoup their initial investment in a 4-cylinder EcoBoost engine through fuel savings in approximately 30 months. A diesel in North America will take an average of seven and one-half years, while the cost of a hybrid will take nearly 12 years to recoup - given equivalent miles driven per year and fuel costs," he said.
improved engine technology is just around the corner: Ford says it will
introduce the first EcoBoost engine on the new Lincoln MKS flagship in
2009, followed by the Ford Flex, and other vehicles. By 2013, Ford
hopes to have more than a half-million EcoBoost-powered vehicles on the
road annually in North America.
In 2009, Ford first will introduce EcoBoost on the Lincoln MKS featuring a 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V-6. Ford says the engine will produce the power and torque of a V-8 engine with the fuel efficiency of a V-6. In fact, with an estimated 340 horsepower and more than 340 lb-ft of torque, the Lincoln MKS promises to be the most powerful and fuel-efficient all-wheel-drive luxury sedan in the market.
More With Less
EcoBoost's combination of direct injection and turbocharging mitigates the traditional disadvantages of downsizing and boosting 4- and 6-cylinder engines, giving customers both superior performance as well as fuel economy.
With direct injection, fuel is injected into each cylinder of an engine in small, precise amounts. Compared to conventional port injection, direct injection produces a cooler, denser charge, delivering higher fuel economy and performance.
How Ford EcoBoost Technology Works
When combined with modern-day turbocharging - which uses waste energy from the exhaust gas to drive the turbine - direct injection provides the best of both worlds: the responsiveness of a larger-displacement engine with fewer trips to the gas pump.
Ford's 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6, for example, promises to deliver upwards of 340-plus lb.-ft. of torque across a wide engine range - 2,000 to 5,000 rpm versus 270 to 310 lb.-ft of torque for a conventional naturally aspirated 4.6-liter V-8 over the same speed range. At the same time, this V-6 gives customers an approximate 2 mpg improvement and emits up to 15 percent fewer CO2 emissions to the environment.
Direct injection coupled with turbocharging allows for the downsizing of engines that deliver improved torque and performance. A small 4-cylinder EcoBoost engine has the capability of producing more torque than a larger 4-cylinder engine - nearly an entire liter larger in displacement - with better fuel efficiency.
The real-world fuel economy benefit is consistent no matter the drive cycle, meaning the engine is efficient in the city as well as on the highway - unlike hybrids, which are most efficient in stop-and-go traffic. In addition, customers who tow and haul - and have long turned to more expensive diesel powertrains for their superior towing capabilities - can find the engine performance they need from an EcoBoost powertrain.
EcoBoost -- combined with multi-speed transmissions, advanced electric power steering, weight reductions, and aerodynamic improvements - is one of the first steps in Ford Motor Company's strategy to deliver sustainable, quality vehicles that customers want and value. Additional hybrid offerings and diesel engines are planned for light-duty vehicles.
Longer term, Ford plans to remain aggressive in the development of plug-in hybrids and hydrogen fuel cell-powered vehicles.
"We know that what will make the biggest difference is applying the right technology on volume vehicles that customers really want and value and can afford," said Kuzak. "EcoBoost puts an affordable technology within reach for millions of customers, and Ford's systems approach adds up to a big idea that differentiates Ford's sustainability strategy in the market."
By Brandy Schaffels