Ford Investing $145 Million in Cleveland Engine Plant
Ramp-up includes 150 jobs added for new EcoBoost productionby Mark McNabb, on
Ford announced its investment of $145 million into upgrades at the Cleveland Engine Plant, while simultaneously creating or retaining 150 jobs that support engine production. The investment is in preparation for the debut of the second-generation 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6, set to arrive inside F-150 pickups for the 2017 model year. Cleveland will also built a high-output version of the 3.5-liter EcoBoost for the upcoming 2017 F-150 Raptor.
“Ford customers have embraced EcoBoost’s unbeatable combination of power and efficiency, with more than 60 percent of F-150 customers choosing trucks powered by EcoBoost,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford president of The Americas. “This second-generation 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine is another great example of Ford continuously improving and innovating to give these hardworking customers the best engines and trucks we can.”
Ford hasn’t official debuted the second-gen EcoBoost, though it has said the high-output version will outperform the 6.2-liter V-8 in the outgoing Raptor – an engine that produced 411 horsepower and 434 pound-feet of torque. Not only will that be groundbreaking territory for a production V-6 from Ford, it will also be mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission – a first for the light-duty pickup segment.
The addition of the high-output EcoBoost is likely why Ford will add the 150 job positions. The Cleveland Engine Plant already builds a slew of engines, including the 2.0-liter EcoBoost for the Edge; the 2.3-liter EcoBoost for the Explorer, Mustang, and Lincoln MKC; and the 3.7-liter V-6 for the Mustang – not to mention the 3.5-liter EcoBoost for the F-150.
The Cleveland Engine Plant has been an major arm of Ford’s vehicle production process, having been in operation since 1951. To date, the plant has built more than 1 million EcoBoost engines since its 2009 introduction.
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Why It Matters
Ford’s concentration on turbocharging smaller-displacement engine seems to be paying off. The automaker is expanding production, putting more EcoBoost engines in more vehicles, and is receiving good reports from customers. From our testing experiences with EcoBoost engines, they do return respectable fuel economy when driven conservatively. When pushed, fuel economy does drop, but the resulting performance is surprising, considering the engines’ relatively small displacement numbers. That’s true across the entire EcoBoost lineup.
We’re more than excited to see what horsepower and torque ratings will result from the high-output version of the 3.5-liter EcoBoost. Ford has done a great job marketing the EcoBoost name, and this high-horse version will surely help convert the naysayers – especially when fitted within the Raptor. What’s more, it’s hard to imagine Ford keeping such a powerplant tied to one vehicle. Perhaps a new performance version of the Mustang will debut, touting a light curb weight (thanks to two fewer cylinders than the V-8) and horsepower that rivals the competition at Chevy and Dodge.
The old saying of “There’s no replacement for displacement” might actually find its death in the second-generation 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine. And while we’re big fans of V-8s around here, seeing a high-tech engine package success is always satisfying.
Source: Ford Motor Company