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Ford to triple EcoBoost output in 2012

Big Blue Oval plans: Ford plans to triple production of its EcoBoost engine line in 2012.

Over 383,000 EcoBoost engines on Ford’s agenda this year as local Falcon four nears

27 Jan 2012

AS FORD Australia puts the finishing touches on the world-first rear-wheel-drive application of its EcoBoost 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine debuting in Falcon from April, its US parent has this week announced plans to significantly broaden EcoBoost availability and triple global production in 2012.

After selling more than 127,000 EcoBoost-equipped vehicles in 2011, Ford Motor Co now has its sights on producing more than 383,000 units across at least 11 vehicles, up from seven last year.

Currently available in a variety of four-cylinder and V6 applications – and coming soon in 1.0-litre three-cylinder form in the European Focus – the downsized, turbocharged, direct-injection EcoBoost petrol engines are claimed to deliver up to 20 per cent better fuel economy than conventional engines.

Among the new models confirmed to feature 1.6-litre four-cylinder EcoBoost power – either for the first time or as part of a broader range – are the forthcoming new-generation Kuga compact SUV (known as the Escape in the US) and the redesigned Mondeo (aka Fusion) , both of which are due in Australia in 2013.

A 2.0-litre version – carrying over in Mondeo and replacing the Volvo-developed 2.5-litre Duratec five-cylinder in the current Kuga (a model which replaces the outdated Escape here in March) – will also feature in these two model lines, as well as in the previously confirmed Focus ST hot hatch.

 center imageLeft: EcoBoost production in Cologne. Below: Ford Falcon EcoBoost in testing at You Yangs.

However, Ford has also now revealed that the full-size Taurus sedan will take on 2.0-litre EcoBoost power at the lower end of the range, adding to the 365hp (272kW) 3.5-litre EcoBoost V6 currently available with the range-topping SHO.

EcoBoost will also become available this year on the Taurus-based Police Interceptor law enforcement vehicle.

The broader EcoBoost rollout will complement Ford’s other main environmental initiatives this year: the introduction of five new electrified vehicles – hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions of the C-Max and Fusion, and a full-electric Focus – and the introduction of engine idle-stop technology paired with an automatic transmission.

Ford group vice-president of sustainability, environment and safety engineering Sue Cischke said that by the end of 2012, nine Ford models in the US would deliver an EPA-certified 40mpg highway or higher (5.88L/100km), “with still more fuel-efficient vehicles on the way”.

“EcoBoost expansion and availability in high-volume nameplates such as the all-new Ford Escape and Fusion will take this affordable, fuel-saving technology to the heart of the market,” Ms Cischke said.

“Ford is committed to delivering class-leading fuel economy for our customers, which benefits the environment and helps the US move toward greater energy independence.”

Official power, performance and fuel economy figures are still to be revealed for the first four-cylinder Falcon in the nameplate’s five decades of local production.

However, as GoAuto has reported, Ford Australia insiders have described “almost unbelievable” real-world fuel consumption from the (expected 177kW/340Nm) imported 2.0-litre EcoBoost engine, which will be 60kg lighter than the 1700kg-plus six-cylinder models that continue with the venerable inline 4.0-litre engine made in Geelong.

Engineers also expect the four-cylinder engine to propel the Aussie Falcon from zero to 100km/h in just 7.5 seconds – about one second quicker than Holden’s rival 3.0-litre V6 Commodore.

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