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EcoBoost to cut Ford Falcon thirst by 18 per cent

No premium: Ford has confirmed its 179kW Falcon EcoBoost four-cylinder will cost no more than current inline six-powered versions.

Ford Falcon to get thrifty and torquey EcoBoost four at no price premium over six

Ford logo1 Feb 2012

By RON HAMMERTON

FORD’S upcoming EcoBoost four-cylinder Falcon will deliver fuel economy improvements of up to 18 per cent over current six-cylinder Falcons, making it Australia’s most fuel-efficient locally made petrol large car.

The turbo-charged engine will also churn out a hairy-chested 353Nm of torque – more than the larger V6 engines offered in Holden’s Commodore and Toyota’s Aurion – while costing no more than Falcon models equipped with the Geelong-made 4.0-litre six-cylinder engine that will continue to run in parallel with the EcoBoost powerplant in the recently facelifted FG Mark II Falcon until 2016.

The engine boasts both direct injection and turbo-charging to deliver six-cylinder-like power and torque with four-cylinder-like efficiency.

While Ford says the high-tech 2.0-litre European-made engine can run in standard 91RON unleaded, the engine will achieve its best results on the more expensive 95RON, on which local testing is done.

In its latest drip-feed installment of pre-launch publicity for the new Falcon variant, Ford released preliminary fuel figures that show the EcoBoost-equipped Falcon can achieve a combined fuel consumption figure of 8.1 litres per 100km in base XT guise – a lift of 18 per cent over the Falcon six – and 8.5L/100k in the heavier G6 and G6E models (14 per cent better).

27 center imageThis compares with the 9.9L/100km of the six-cylinder Falcon, 8.9L/100km for the most fuel-efficient Holden Commodore – the 3.0-litre SIDI – and 9.9L/100km of the Toyota Aurion.

Carbon dioxide emissions for the EcoBoost Falcon XT are calculated at 192 grams per kilometre, and 201g/km for the G6 and G6E. These are superior to the 3.0-litre Commodore’s 210g/km and Toyota Aurion’s 233g/km.

Ford said the new engine would deliver 179kW of power at 5500rpm and 353Nm of torque at 2000rpm – slightly more on each count than similar 2.0-litre EcoBoost engine applications in other Ford, Volvo and Range Rover models built overseas to date.

While this makes it the least powerful of all the Australian large cars with their big-bore six-cylinder and V8 petrol engines, the EcoBoost Falcon will boast more torque than any of its local ‘big six’ rivals, including the Holden Commodore – in either 290Nm 3.0-litre or 350Nm 3.6-litre guise – and Toyota’s 336Nm 3.5-litre V6 Aurion.

Only Ford’s own home-grown inline six can boast more, with 391Nm in normally-aspirated form and a whopping 533Nm in turbo form.

With 179kW of power, the force-fed Falcon four is only 11kW short of the mass-selling 3.0-litre V6 Commodore, which comes in at 190kW.

To put 179kW in perspective, that is the same output as Holden’s 5.0-litre ‘308’ V8 of the 1980s.

The EcoBoost Falcon’s engine comfortably outperforms Toyota’s other local offering, the normally aspirated 2.5-litre four-cylinder Camry, with its 135kW of power and 235Nm, although the lighter and smaller Camry wins the fuel battle, returning a claimed 7.8L/100km.

The Hybrid Camry does even better in the petrol stakes, with the current run-out model sipping just 6.0L/100km. An all-new model due to be launched in March might do even better.

Ford Australia president and CEO Bob Graziano said EcoBoost technology was the best way to achieve improved fuel efficiency and reduced emissions at a price consumers can afford.

“Our goal has been to find the sweet spot for Australian consumers – to give them the fuel efficiency they need, combined with the power they want,” he said.

“Ford’s global EcoBoost technology does just that – without any price premium.”

Speculation to date has been that the imported four-cylinder engine would come at a price premium to the local six, but the high Australia dollar appears to have helped Ford to match the cost of the local unit, despite having to ship the EcoBoost engine half way around the world.

This means the most affordable EcoBoost Falcon should be priced equivalent to the existing $37,235 XT – which is mainly aimed at fleets – with the family friendly mid-range G6 priced at $40,835, and the luxury GSE at $46,735.

As with the six-cylinder engine, the EcoBoost four-cylinder is expected to be matched as standard to a six-speed automatic transmission.

The Falcon is the first rear-wheel drove application of the 2.0-litre EcoBoost engine, which is offered in a range of Ford vehicles such as the Mondeo, Fusion and Escape, as well as some Volvos and the Range Rover Evoque.

Ford announced last week that it is planning to triple production of EcoBoost engines, which also come in a range of other sizes, including a 1.0-litre three-cylinder, 1.6-litre four and 3.5-litre V6.

By next year, Ford aims to have EcoBoost engines in 80 per cent of its global models.

However, the engine technology is not scheduled to be offered any time soon in either the Falcon Ute or Territory, both of which are built alongside the Falcon sedan at Ford Australia’s Broadmeadows plant on Melbourne’s northern fringe.

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