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Frankfurt show: Ford’s EcoBoost future revealed

Blue future: Ford's EcoBoost four-cylinder engine will be dropped into the Australian Falcon from 2011.

Falcon’s 2011 four-cylinder engine to have at least 147kW of power and low-end mumbo

18 Sep 2009

FORD has pulled the wraps from its EcoBoost four-cylinder engine – the powerplant that will carry Ford Australia’s hopes for the eco-version of its Falcon from 2011.

FoMoCo promised at this week’s Frankfurt motor show that the 2.0-litre variant of the direct-injected, turbo-charged engine would generate ‘147kW and above’ of power and strong low-end torque.

But Ford Australia communications manager Sinead McAlary told GoAuto that the engine would be “very different in our car”, presumably meaning that the engine would be boosted well past the minimum 147kW for the Aussie large car – the first rear-drive application of the four-pot EcoBoost powerplant.

Ford’s existing Geelong-made, mainstream 4.0-litre inline six-cylinder engine for Falcon produces 195kW of power in its current, normally aspirated guise, and might generate even more in its next, Euro 4 configuration in 2010.

But torque will be the EcoBoost key rather than peak power figures, with Ford’s announcement emphasising the low-end performance of the new family of high-tech engines that will enter service in Europe and the US from next year in the new Focus-based C-MAX small people mover and an unnamed Ford large car family, providing fuel savings of up to 20 per cent.

As reported in GoAuto last week, Ford Australia has already started local testing of the rear-drive application of the 2.0-litre engine for Falcon.

27 center imageWhile Ford’s Frankfurt announcement said the 2.0-litre version of the engine would be made in Spain, in Valencia, Ms McAlary indicated that Ford Australia would not necessarily source its 2.0-litre engine from there.

“The Spanish plant will produce the engine for Europe,” she said. “It will be one plant making the 2.0-litre engine.” Announcing details of the EcoBoost powerplant, Ford of Europe chairman and CEO John Fleming said the EcoBoost family of engines would be a key element of Ford Motor Company's global blueprint for sustainability.

“We believe that these engines will provide customers with a genuinely attractive alternative to diesel or hybrid power units, delivering highly competitive fuel economy and cost-of-ownership, along with the responsive performance and wide rev range which have made petrol engines the favoured choice for so many drivers,” he said.

EcoBoost four-cylinder engines will cover a wide range of sizes and performance levels. Apart from 2.0-litre, a 1.6-litre variant is coming with power quoted at between 110kW and 132kW.

As well, Ford foreshadowed an “additional advanced, small-capacity Ford EcoBoost engine” to come on stream in future to power Ford’s small and medium car line-up.

These smaller EcoBoost engines will almost certainly surface in Ford Australia’s four-cylinder range, if only to counter Holden’s similar 1.4-litre direct-injected low-boost turbo-turbo four-cylinder engine that will be the powertrain highlight of its new, locally-made Cruze sedan and hatch from the third quarter of next year.

In spelling out the detail of the EcoBoost technology, Ford said the heart of EcoBoost was a high-pressure 200-bar direct-injection system that injects fuel into each cylinder in small, precise amounts in droplets one-fifth the size of a human hair.

Compared with conventional fuel injection, direct injection produces a cooler, denser charge, delivering improved fuel economy and performance, Ford said.

“Like in a modern diesel engine, multiple injections are also possible per combustion cycle, which further enhances economy and emissions." The charge-cooling benefit of direct injection plays an additional part in boosting performance at low engine speeds.

As well, variable valve timing on both intake and exhaust camshafts helps to optimise gas flow through the combustion chamber at all engine speeds, improving efficiency and performance, particularly at part load.

Variable valve timing also enhances torque through a ‘scavenging’ effect.

Ford says EcoBoost uses advanced turbocharger technology, with small, low inertia rotors spinning at more than 200,000rpm.

“The turbines are carefully selected to ensure that maximum torque can be achieved at 1500rpm or lower, with the absolute minimum of delay when the driver wants quick acceleration in traffic,” Ford says.

Careful matching of the turbo ensures that Ford EcoBoost engines remain powerful and responsive at more than 5000rpm, providing a wider spread of power.

By 2012, Ford plans to produce 1.3 million EcoBoost engines a year globally, 750,000 of them in the US.

By 2013, Ford expects to offer EcoBoost engines in 90 per cent of its global product lineup.

Ford recently started production of a 3.5-litre EcoBoost V6 in the US for the new Ford Taurus SHO, Ford Flex and Lincoln MKS and MKT.

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