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.
The EcoBoost family of 4-cylinder and 6-cylinder engines features 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.
Ford will introduce EcoBoost on the new Lincoln MKS flagship in 2009, followed by the Ford Flex and other vehicles. By 2013, Ford will have more than half a 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. It 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 will 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.
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, can 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 part of 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.”
Explorer America – A Sustainable Showcase
To help explain its vehicle sustainability strategy, Ford has created the Explorer America concept for the 2008 North American International Auto Show.
The Explorer America concept delivers an approximately 20 to 30 percent fuel-economy improvement – depending on engine selection – while providing room for six and their gear, along with moderate towing and off-roading capabilities.
The concept aims to highlight for customers and auto show attendees a number of innovations tied to Ford’s systems approach, including:
- A powertrain lineup that includes a 4-cylinder 2-liter engine with EcoBoost technology delivering 275 hp and 280 lb.-ft. of torque or, as a premium engine, a 3.5-liter V-6 delivering about 340 hp. Depending on engine selection, fuel-efficiency will improve by 20 to 30 percent versus today’s V-6 Explorer
- Migration from current body-on-frame to unibody construction, reducing weight and delivering superior driving dynamics
- A fuel-efficient 6-speed transmission with auto shift control, allowing the driver to select and hold a lower gear with just the turn of a dial when conditions warrant it
- A weight reduction of 150 pounds for the V-6 version thanks to its downsized – yet superior performing – engine, as well as more lightweight materials, suspension and chassis components
- Fuel-saving electric power assisted steering (EPAS) and other engine actions that deliver a fuel savings benefit of about 5 percent. Between 80 to 90 percent of Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles will have EPAS by 2012
- Aerodynamic and other parasitic improvements that add up to a 5 percent fuel economy gain
The production model of the Explorer changed the landscape when it arrived on the scene in 1990 as a 1991 model, delivering an experience as unique as the owners who would eventually shape the design of the Explorer America concept.
Today’s Explorer leads the mid-size SUV segment in sales. Since its introduction 18 years ago, Explorer has sold more than 6.5 million vehicles.
For 2008, Explorer adds several new features, including Ford’s award-winning SYNC system that it developed with Microsoft. SYNC connects people and their favorite portable devices while in the vehicle, including media players and Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones. In addition, Explorer receives Ford’s EasyFuel capless refueling system, which is fitted as standard and new available 20-inch polished aluminum wheels.
Ford Explorer received 5-star ratings in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s frontal and side-impact crash tests for the second year in a row. Explorer comes standard with six air bags, including front seat and side-curtain air bags and AdvanceTrac with class-exclusive Roll Stability Control, an electronic stability enhancement system that actually measures what other manufacturers’ systems ignore or can only estimate.