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Ford details EcoBlue diesel engine

True blue: Ford's new EcoBlue diesel engine is likely to replace the 2.2-litre unit that powers the most affordable Ranger ute.

New EcoBlue commercial diesel could power updated Ford Ranger, base Everest

27 Apr 2016

FORD has announced a new 2.0-litre diesel engine to replace the 2.2-litre unit doing service in the Transit and Transit Custom light-commercial vans, but the EcoBlue four-cylinder is likely to be rolled out to other models, including the Ranger ute and a possible new entry-level Everest SUV.

While Ford is yet to confirm the new engine for either model, the announcement from Ford Europe says a range of EcoBlue engines will “power the company's future passenger cars and commercial vehicles,” making the platform-sharing pair two obvious candidates.

In its current form, the Ranger is offered with the 2.2-litre TDCi diesel and in other markets the Everest large SUV is available with the same engine, but with improved economy and torque figures, the 2.0-litre would make for a more attractive variant in each model range.

Speaking to GoAuto, Ford Australia communications and public affairs director Wes Sherwood was not able to detail which models would be given the new engine after the Transit, but he did not rule out the Ranger when questioned.

“You can expect that we are going to keep building and bringing out more efficient vehicles and powertrains but it's just too early to get into specific products or local actions,” he said.

“It's rolling out in a commercial vehicle and we can't really say anything more beyond that other than across our range, whether commercial or retail market, we are progressively expanding our range of fuel-efficient powertrains.

“This is just part of our bigger push. Even with relatively low petrol prices it's one of the top things customers demand.”

Beyond the one-tonne ute, the Everest is also another model that could be offered with the 2.0-litre EcoBlue engine and, as GoAuto has previously reported, the two-wheel-drive version sold in other markets is under consideration to maintain “incremental growth” here.

Ford's soon to be superseded 2.2-litre unit produces up to 118kW and 385Nm when powering the Ranger, or 92kW and 350Nm for the Transit, but despite the downsizing of 0.2 litres, the new EcoBlue 2.0-litre pumps out up to 125kW and 405Nm.

As well, the smaller engine has cut fuel consumption by up to 13 per cent.

While the car-maker has not specified which models that improvement applies to, in the case of the Ranger, its current appetite for diesel would be reduced to between 5.7 litres per 100km and 6.5L/100km, depending on the variant.

In the case of the Transit, its consumption will fall to between 6.2L/100km and 6.4L/100km.

A range of technological advances have made the power, torque and efficiency improvements possible, including a smaller but more efficient turbocharger, revised cylinder head combustion chamber and port design, and timing and crankshaft design innovations.

The single turbo has a smaller turbine by 15 per cent and is now manufactured from Inconel – a nickel-chromium alloy that is lighter than stainless – can withstand higher temperatures and was used as the material for the mighty McLaren F1's exhaust manifolds.

On the cool side, the compressor is now machined from a single billet rather than cast and has been reduced in diameter by 10 per cent. The net result is reduced rotating mass, a maximum rpm of 240,000 and reduced lag.

At the top end a new cylinder head design has “mirror-image inlet” ports and 2000 bar piezo injection for more consistent combustion and a noise reduction of 4Db – half the noise of the outgoing 2.2-litre says Ford.

At the bottom end, the crankshaft is not situated directly below the cylinders but has been offset by 10mm to reduce piston-to-cylinder friction when on the power stroke, while an oil-immersed timing belt reduces valve gear noise and increases service life.

The net result is an engine that can be tuned to produce from 77kW up to 125kW, with a torque range of between 360Nm and 405Nm that peaks at 1250rpm.

It is unlikely Ford will upgrade any recent diesel-adopting models such as the Mondeo as its Duratorq 2.0-litre already out-performs the new more commercial vehicle-focused engine with 132kW and 400Nm.

A new 1.5-litre EcoBlue engine will join its 2.0-litre cousin in the near future and it will be applied to smaller Ford models, with the Fiesta, Focus and Kuga all possibilities.

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