Ford EcoLPi Falcon goes on sale in Australia; new liquid injection LPG engine delivers more performance, lower fuel consumption
Ford’s EcoLPi Falcon has gone on sale in Australia and is making its debut at the 2011 Australian International Motor Show in Melbourne. The new EcoLPi in-line six-cylinder engine is an advanced liquid phase injection, dedicated LPG powerplant that produces 27% more power and 10% more torque than previous E-Gas LPG system, while at the same time reducing fuel consumption by 12-15%. Engine performance is equivalent to that of the existing gasoline-fueled I6.
Liquid injection LPG delivers significant driveability and operating improvements compared to the previous E-Gas venturi-style vapor system offered by Ford, including better fuel economy and substantial increases in both power and torque outputs.
The introduction of EcoLPi...represents another key pillar in Ford’s plan to bring a range of sustainability initiatives to market, following the launch of Australia’s first locally-produced diesel vehicle with the new SZ Territory, as well as the introduction of Ford’s patented EcoBoost engine technology on Mondeo.
Awareness of the climate change issue and its importance to consumers has seen Ford deliver a range of product actions in recent years, which have introduced sustainable technologies that are conscious of both the environment and our customers. Improvements in fuel economy, CO2 emissions and cost of ownership have been achieved through a combination of engineering developments, the introduction of a new range of small and light cars, and the expanded availability of alternative fuel vehicles such as diesel and LPG.—Bob Graziano, President & CEO, Ford Australia
The new injection system follows a similar fuel induction configuration to the gasoline I6 engine courtesy of a new injector-based, high-pressure fuel rail that delivers liquid-state LPG fuel directly into the intake port.
Whereas conventional vapor LPG systems turn liquefied gas into vapor form before feeding it into the engine via a venturi in the throttle body, the liquid phase injection system takes the gas in liquid state all the way to the injectors.
Injecting the LPG fuel in a liquid state directly into the intake port in a more precise and controlled manner generates improved engine volumetric efficiency, which delivers better fuel economy, reduced CO2 emissions and greater engine performance.
As the LPG fuel is no longer under pressure once it is released from the injector, its sudden expansion and rapid cooling of the incoming air charge creates conditions for maximum fuel burning efficiency. This enables the engine to produce more power and torque, economically, and with fewer emissions.
The new EcoLPi engine develops 198 kW (131 hp) of power at 5000 rpm and 409 N·m (302 lb-ft) of torque at 3250 rpm, which is identical to the gasoline I6 engine when operating on high octane 95 RON unleaded fuel (versus regular 91 RON unleaded). For EcoLPi that represents a 27% improvement in maximum power and a 10% improvement in peak torque compared to the previous generation E-Gas LPG engine, which produced 156 kW and 371 Nm.
Fuel efficiency has also improved, along with a corresponding reduction in CO2 emissions. Fuel consumption for the EcoLPI engine is listed at 12.5 L/100km for the Falcon XT, and 12.6 L/100km for the G6, G6E and XR6 models—improvements of 16.1% and 15.4% respectively.
Technical highlights of the new EcoLPi powertrain include:
New fuel rail, including injectors, designed and developed specifically for the Ford EcoLPi engine;>
New design lightweight pistons, including low-friction ring pack;
Higher compression ratio (12.0:1) to improve engine thermal efficiency and fuel consumption;
New polymer fuel lines with a low thermal mass to keep the LPG fuel liquefied;
New fuel line filter and in-tank filter added to prevent system/component contamination;
Significant modifications to the fuel tank, including all-new internals and sub-level components, as well as a new high-pressure fuel pump;
New catalytic converter – high density brick and new washcoat (common with I6 gasoline engine);
Major calibration and engine management system modifications, including a new fuel priming strategy; and
Transmission upgrade to the ZF six-speed automatic on all EcoLPi variants.
The new EcoLPi powertrain will be available on both Falcon sedan and Falcon Ute. The sedan EcoLPi line-up includes Falcon XT, G6, G6E and XR6 variants, while EcoLPi on Falcon Ute extends to XL, R6 and XR6 variants, in both Cab Chassis and Styleside Box body configurations.
More than 100,000 LPG-powered Falcon vehicles have been produced since a dedicated LPG system was first introduced in mid-2000. Ford is the only manufacturer to offer dedicated LPG technology to the Australian market.