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Ford grows EcoBoost engine range with 1.5-litre

Tax haven: Ford developed the 1.5-litre EcoBoost engine to exploit displacement and emissions tax breaks available in Europe and Asia.

Latest hi-tech 1.5-litre Ford EcoBoost engine to debut in Chinese market Mondeo

Ford logo15 Apr 2013

By HAITHAM RAZAGUI

FORD has announced a 1.5-litre, four-cylinder addition to its hi-tech EcoBoost petrol engine range, which will debut under the bonnet of the Chinese market Mondeo mid-sizer.

But the fifth member of the EcoBoost family, which Ford expects to deliver similar power and torque output to the existing 1.6-litre unit while being more efficient, is not destined for Australia at this stage.

Its low CO2 output and 1.5-litre displacement are designed to exploit emissions and engine capacity related vehicle tax incentives in various European and Asian markets – none of which apply to Australia.

In addition to the usual EcoBoost ingredients of turbocharging, direct fuel injection and variable valve timing, the 1.5-litre is the first Ford engine to use a computer controlled clutch for the water pump belt drive.

The clutch improves efficiency by reducing the engine’s warm-up time, while pressurised air from the turbo goes through a water-cooled charge-cooler to increase the efficiency of air intake.

Like the award-winning 1.0-litre, three-cylinder EcoBoost that will debut Down Under in the facelifted Fiesta light car later this year, the 1.5 has an exhaust manifold integrated with the cylinder head.

Ford Powertrain Engineering vice president Joe Bakaj said the company’s EcoBoost technology has “changed the way people look at petrol engines and has enjoyed huge success with customers”.

“The new 1.5-litre unit further extends our EcoBoost promise of economical motoring in terms of both fuel efficiency and, in some markets, tax-savings.”

Ford claims the new engine will offer high levels of engine refinement and quietness.

After debuting in the Chinese Mondeo it will be used in the North American Fusion (a renamed Mondeo) and European Mondeo.

Manufacturing will start at Ford’s Craiova facility in Romania, which opened in May last year to produce three-cylinder EcoBoost engines.

Six plants across Europe, Asia and North America will be producing EcoBoost engines by the end of this year, a tripling compared with 2010.

The first EcoBoost engine produced was a 3.5-litre V6, launched in 2009 and aimed at the North American market.

Since then more than 600,000 vehicles powered by EcoBoost engines have been sold world-wide, and Ford is aiming for almost 80 per cent of its global nameplates to be available with an EcoBoost engine option.

The EcoBoost V6 was followed in 2010 by the 2.0-litre four-cylinder now doing service in vehicles like the Australian Ford Falcon and global Focus ST hot hatch, while the 1.6-litre that will debut here in the Kuga SUV this week arrived on the scene in 2011.

Ford’s three-cylinder 1.0-litre EcoBoost was introduced last year and in addition to the Fiesta, will be used in the Australian-designed EcoSport mini-SUV, European B-Max compact people-mover, the Focus and even the Mondeo.

The first Ford to get EcoBoost in Australia was the Mondeo, equipped from mid-2001 with a less powerful version of the 2.0-litre four-cylinder version than the Falcon and Focus ST.

Ex-Ford Premier Automotive Group brands Volvo, Jaguar and Land Rover all use Ford EcoBoost engines in their line-up.

In November 2010 the Volvo S60 became the first car to feature an EcoBoost engine in this country.

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