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Ford Packaging Turbocharging, Gasoline Direct Injection and Downsizing as “EcoBoost” Engine Technology; Targeting Deployment on 500K Vehicles Annually

5 January 2008

Ecoboost_02
EcoBoost's direct injection system delivers fuel directly into the combustion chamber in small, precise amounts yielding a cooler, denser in-cylinder charge, allowing for more efficient combustion (shown in yellow) and higher compression.

Ford Motor Company is introducing a new 4-cylinder and 6-cylinder engine family it calls EcoBoost that features turbocharging and gasoline direct injection technology. The EcoBoost technology—and the downsized engine applications it enables—will deliver approximately 20% better fuel economy, 15% fewer CO2 emissions and better driving performance versus larger displacement engines, according to Ford.

The company will introduce EcoBoost on the new Lincoln MKS flagship in 2009, followed by the Ford Flex and other vehicles. By 2013, Ford plans to sell more than 500,000 EcoBoost-powered vehicles annually in North America. In 2007, Ford sold 2.6 million vehicles in total.

Ford is positioning the EcoBoost engines as a more cost-effective fuel-efficient alternative to hybrids and diesels.

EcoBoost is meaningful because it can be applied across a wide variety of engine types in a range of vehicles, from small cars to large trucks— and it’s affordable. Compared with the current cost of diesel and hybrid technologies, customers in North America can expect to recoup their initial investment in a 4-cylinder EcoBoost engine through fuel savings in approximately 30 months. A diesel in North America will take an average of seven and one-half years, while the cost of a hybrid will take nearly 12 years to recoup—given equivalent miles driven per year and fuel costs.

—Derrick Kuzak, Ford’s group vice president of Global Product Development

The EcoBoost application on the on the Lincoln MKS will be a 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V-6. This engine will deliver 254 kW (340 hp) and more than 461 Nm (340 lb-ft) of torque across a wide engine range: 2,000 to 5,000 rpm. A conventional naturally aspirated 4.6-liter V-8 over the same speed range will deliver 270-310 lb-ft of torque, according to Ford. At the same time, the EcoBoost V-6 provides an approximate 2 mpg improvement and emits up to 15% fewer CO2 emissions.

A small 4-cylinder EcoBoost engine has the capability of producing more torque than a larger 4-cylinder engine—nearly an entire liter larger in displacement—with better fuel efficiency.

Ford will combine EcoBoost with multi-speed transmissions, advanced electric power steering, weight reductions and aerodynamic improvements to further reduce fuel consumption and emissions.

The company says that it still is planning additional hybrid offerings and diesel engines for light-duty vehicles. Longer term, Ford says it plans to remain aggressive in the development of plug-in hybrids and hydrogen fuel cell-powered vehicles.

Exploreramercon_45
The Explorer America concept.

Explorer America Concept. To demonstrate EcoBoost and other technologies, Ford created the Explorer America concept SUV for the 2008 North American International Auto Show.

The Explorer America concept delivers an approximately 20 to 30% fuel-economy improvement—depending on engine selection—while providing room for six and their gear, along with moderate towing and off-roading capabilities.

The concept aims to highlight a number of technologies tied to Ford’s approach, including:

  • A powertrain lineup that includes a 4-cylinder 2-liter engine with EcoBoost technology delivering 205 kW (275 hp) and 380 Nm (280 lb-ft) of torque or, as a premium engine, a 3.5-liter V-6 delivering about 254 kW (340 hp). Depending on engine selection, fuel-efficiency will improve by 20 to 30% versus today’s V-6 Explorer.

  • Migration from current body-on-frame to unibody construction, reducing weight and delivering superior driving dynamics.

  • A fuel-efficient 6-speed transmission with auto shift control, allowing the driver to select and hold a lower gear with just the turn of a dial when conditions warrant it.

  • A weight reduction of 68 kg (150 pounds) for the V-6 version thanks to its downsized engine, as well as more lightweight materials, suspension and chassis components.

  • Fuel-saving electric power assisted steering (EPAS) and other engine actions that deliver a fuel savings benefit of about 5%. Between 80 to 90% of Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles will have EPAS by 2012.

  • Aerodynamic and other parasitic improvements that add up to a 5% fuel economy gain.

January 5, 2008 in Engines, Fuel Efficiency | Permalink | Comments (32) | TrackBack (0)

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Ford is coming rather late to the downsizing party, but better late than never. The displacement targets are still very high, though. The objective should be inline threes and fours in the majority of passenger vehicles, not V6s and definitely not V8s or larger.

That implies dual boosting and/or substantial size and weight reductions of the whole vehicle.

This is exactly the type of environmentally-oriented moves that Detroit needs to make to survive.

While hybrids are a very good solution, there are other ways to enhance fuel economy that can be embraced by automakers who are behind Toyota/Honda.

Help me understand why it will take 5 years to deliver 500K (or roughly 20% of 2007 total production) of these engines? Is it because of time and money to retool the manufacturing floors or is it because they need to redesign the vehicle to support the engine dimensions?

It seems the efficiency gap between a diesel- and a gasoline engine is getting tighter.
But even though it uses the same technology I don’t think it can take on a Diesel when it comes to fuel efficiency.

What's wrong with Ford using Mazda's 2.3L DISI Turbo engine? They could use that today in place of the V6 in many vehicles (It makes 260-300hp depending on state of tune). Not Invented Here syndrome?

I like to compare fuel efficiency relative to output. A 2.0L I4 turbo charged gasoline engine may very well produce as much power as a 3.0L I6 Turbo Diesel. The reduced size of the gasoline I4, along with its corresponding reduction in moving parts and frictional losses, allow it to NEARLY match the fuel efficiency of the turbo diesel.

Now if we had only started down this path ten years ago....

OK...it took too long but one needs to consider the Big 2.5 can do very little to change without the blessing of the UAW, particularly engine plants...

GreenPlease
Saab did and had to fight the insurance companies who would put all such cars into a high group thinking "turbo = boy racer car", thus negating the lower running costs through fuel efficiency improvements that Saab were aiming for.

Rafael:
The normal uptake path for more complicated technology is to apply first on bigger (more expensive) models and then trickle down. So why not start with a V6 to replace V8s?

@ DavidJ -

because Ford is losing money so fast they need to leapfrog the competition to get back in the black.

"Compared with the current cost of diesel and hybrid technologies, customers in North America can expect to recoup their initial investment in a 4-cylinder EcoBoost engine through fuel savings in approximately 30 months. A diesel in North America will take an average of seven and one-half years, while the cost of a hybrid will take nearly 12 years to recoup—given equivalent miles driven per year and fuel costs."
—Derrick Kuzak, Ford’s group vice president of Global Product Development
--------------

I'm having a hard time duplicating this little fiscalo-mental lab experiment of Mr. Kuzak's. Anyone else gagging on the financial analysis the VP makes???

A 3.5L V6 and 2L I4 are still BIG engines. Even a 25% reduction(and/or another turbo) would result in quite adequate power/torque. And it is very hard to compare petrol & diesel side-by-side. Diesel will always excel in constant-use, commercial vehicles, but are not ideal for short trips and many cold starts.

Isn't it more a question of attitude? The Big three dictated what we bought for decades and losing market share it what will make them change.

It takes years to change deeply enmbedded attitudes. It has to hurt badly first, at the rate of $10 billion deficits for a few years before those gentlemen will start thinking about it.

Why were they not fired years ago?

At the current rate they may become small players (in 7th + place) within one or two more decades.

150 pounds weight reduction on a 5000 pounds vehicle, pfff...who are they trying to convince that they are taking weight reduction seriously ? one more useless vehicle on the road that will probably not prevent Ford from sinking next year with soaring gaz prices and america heading toward a recession, people are going to buy more fuel efficient cars, and Ford doesn't have a single vehicle that return better than 35MPG...good luck to them.

(The Mazda Cx-7) "is equipped with a standard 2.3-liter, I4, 244-horsepower, turbo engine that achieves 17-mpg in the city and 23-mpg on the highway."

Powerful engine but not great mileage in the city. The U.S. car makers may not want to be the biggest, just the most profitable. So, if they can get rid of workers and sell plants they can return to high margins. If not here, then in Asia or elsewhere. It is the viability of their corporation and not the well being of the country that is their interest.

Kelly O'Brien - what are you having trouble figuring out? I didn't see any numbers in his statement, and what he said didn't qualify as financial analysis. He didn't give production or sales costs, so are you just making them up as you go along? Do us a favor, tell us what numbers you are using in your calculation, because apparantly you have access to financial data that isn't in the article. Oh, and reread your Acct 101 book.....

I fail to see the downsizing.

Doesn't Ford already use a 2.0-liter, 4-banger, naturally-aspired gas engine. And doesn't Ford already make a 3.0-liter V-6. So now they will replace this 2.0-liter, for a smaller 2.0, and a 3.0-liter with a smaller 3.5-liter that gets the same fuel economy; both require premium fuel; and achieve more horsepower for our "can't get enough power" society. Ford sure is scoring one for the environment [sarcasm].

Kelly, I note your comment and also wonder what the basis of the claims made are.
It is common practice in promotion to selectively quote meaningless figures to impress the punters or consumers. Those with just a little more familiarity will realize that (in this instance and given that at least in this hypothetical so incalculatable model ) the chances are that the real world metrices will likely give all three versions a superior position.
The unknown variable will be the number and type of kilometers travelled. City or highway, cost of fuel and vehicle, maintainence frequency and charges incluing spare parts pricing local service options battery life etc. This will determine the payback time. So If you were trying to understand what the VP is saying, forget it it's meaningless.
I hope the previous terse reply doesnt put you off, some people are very sensitive about the state of the American car industry and probably misread your comment as "ford (or any other home grown) bashing"

Doesn't gasoline based turbo-charging require premium fuel? My current car uses premium fuel, and I was hoping that my next car would be able to use regular grade fuel...

Ford will not be able to recover from their disadvantaged position by these feeble attempts. If anything the gap will become wider, since the price differential of a hybrid drive train will drop with mass production.

What's puzzling is that Ford has a cross patent arrangement with Toyota so they should be able to access Prius drive train tech, like what they did for Hybrid Escape.

Doesn't gasoline based turbo-charging require premium fuel? My current car uses premium fuel, and I was hoping that my next car would be able to use regular grade fuel...

Ford will not be able to recover from their disadvantaged position by these feeble attempts. If anything the gap will become wider, since the price differential of a hybrid drive train will drop with mass production.

What's puzzling is that Ford has a cross patent arrangement with Toyota so they should be able to access Prius drive train tech, like what they did for Hybrid Escape.

Mike L: Given lead-times for validating all of the engineering, then designing, building, and commissioning the tooling, scheduling the engine change-over along with a regularly scheduled model change in the vehicle, getting through all the emission and safety hurdles, 5 years is not out of line for bringing entirely new powerplants into production. New powertrains aren't always drop-in replacements for old models, and if changes in other vehicle systems are necessary to accommodate, often one has to wait with the new technology until a scheduled major model change. (I'm guessing you don't work in the automotive industry.)

rob: Mazda's existing 2.3 litre direct-injection turbocharged engine is not particularly economical. The Mazda CX7 (and Mazdaspeed 3 and 6) have terrible real-world fuel consumption. Direct-injection and turbocharging are not a magic bullet; the efficiency has to be designed in from the outset.

VW already has direct-injection turbo engines in production. Only the 1.4 TSI engine (which we don't get in North America) is particularly economical, and still isn't a match for a TDI, not even close.

Lulu,

With all do respect, DI gives you a it of quenching for a lack of a better term and works well with turbos. DO not quote me on this, but the DI may negate the use of higher octane fuel.

I disagree with you reference to Toyota, some shared patents yes, but Ford had something like over 200 patents on the Escape Drivetrain, It is their baby period. They had an internal memo to dis-spell all those canards, do you homework on this.

DO NOT bet against Allan Mulally, if you follow his career like I did, Failure is not an option for this man , and by extension the Ford Organization.

Some seemed to gloss over that they were talking about the 2.0L turbo 4 for a SUV...I doubt they would be using that 275hp engine in a Focus.

It would be beautiful if they developed a 1.5L 4 cylinder engine with similar specs (200hp and 205ft-lbs torque ??) for a Fusion and then a 3 cylinder 1.2L engine with similar specs (160hp and 165ft-lbs torque??) for the Focus. Plenty of power for those respective vehicles with potential for great economy and space saving.

Thanks Brian for the information. I had assumed it was something that basic and obvious, but wanted to validate. I appreciate the insight.

Until we see thermal efficiency numbers there's no way to tell if these engines are more efficient or just more powerful.

Interesting. By 2013, most of Toyota's vehicles should have Valvematic, most Nissans should have VVEL, and most Hondas should have A-VTEC. All of these valve lift systems from the Japanese provide at least 10% fuel economy improvement as well as at least 10% power improvement. The engines from Toyota, Honda, (and partially Nissan) are more fuel efficient than equivalent Ford engines.

Toyota even has electric intake VVT on some Lexus engines.

I'm very curious about the price penalty for these "EcoBoost" engines. Adding DI *and* turbocharging isn't that cheap.

Nissan and Toyota have also committed to 10-15% weight reduction on their cars.

It will be interesting to see who has a fuel economy/power advantage in 2013. My guess is that the Japanese will still hold the advantage.

We don't know what the Japanese are planning to bring to market in the next 6 years.

Typical Ford, they are revealing details about their future plans for all the competition to see. GM has done the same thing with revealing it's plans for the Volt and the E-Flex vehicle architecture.

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