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Ford Introduces New, More Efficient V6 Engine Platform Designed for Upgrades

Ford’s new 3.5-liter V6.

Ford has unveiled its new 3.5-liter V6 engine platform, a more powerful and cleaner engine that eventually will be under the hood of one in five Ford products in North America.

An all-new architecture provides significant flexibility to incorporate additional engine technologies. The 3.5-liter engineering team included extra provisions to make upgrades relatively simple. These upgrades include such potential features as hybrid capability, gasoline direct injection and direct-injection turbocharging.

The new engine will be mated to a new 6-speed automatic transaxle in the upcoming Ford Edge and Lincoln Aviator crossovers, which debut next year. The combination will deliver improved fuel economy of up to 7% and improved sustained acceleration compared with a typical 4-speed automatic.

The new V6 produces 250 hp (187 kW) and 325 Nm of torque with a 3.5-liter displacement unit the same height and width as the smaller Duratec 30 V6. This more compact form factor enables Ford to install the engine in a wide variety of current and future products.

The 3.5-liter V6’s upper-end was designed as a system, all the way from the throttle body to the exhaust manifolds, to create the optimum flow for peak power and a broad torque curve. Finely-tuned design delivers the required airflow without the need for intake flaps or butterfly valves in the system. Advanced throttle-control software enables precise tuning of engine response to fit the character of each vehicle application while setting the engine to run at its peak efficiency for optimal fuel economy.

The 3.5-liter V6 uses a compact, lightweight dual-overhead cam valvetrain. The engine also incorporates intake variable cam timing (iVCT) to optimize valve timing for a smooth idle, optimal part-load driving and a broad torque curve with good power. The iVCT system uses a hydraulically actuated spool valve that can rotate the intake camshafts up to 40 degrees within a half-second. A low-friction, roller-chain cam drive contributes to fuel efficiency.

The aluminum cylinder heads in the new V6 are designed for high airflow and optimized combustion to support performance, fuel economy and low emissions. The efficient combustion is enhanced by incorporating a centrally located spark plug and a high 10.3:1 compression ratio. The cylinder heads also were designed to accommodate fuel-efficient technology upgrades such as gasoline direct injection.

The new engine is PZEV capable right out of the box. Careful design consideration for the combustion system and catalysts create an engine that can meet stringent emissions standards without the need for expensive add-on technology.

The 3.5-liter V6 is capable of achieving PZEV certification by delivering low cold-start emissions and enabling rapid catalyst light-off, which is a significant accomplishment for a larger displacement V6 engine. This is accomplished with low heat-loss exhaust manifolds and close-coupled catalysts for fast light off during cold start. Optimized fuel injector targeting minimizes cold-start emissions before the catalysts reach operating temperature.

—Tom McCarthy, engine systems manager for the 3.5-liter V6 engine program



Hmm, what about cylinder deactivation? Seems to me that's a feature that ought to be standard on all new V-type engines from here on out. Disappointing that it's not even mentioned as a future possibility.

little shop

I agree. Cylinder deactivation should be in every 6cyl or greater engine from now on. Its a no brainer, more economy, very little cost and zero loss of power. I really hope that is one of the 'upgrades'.

That engine with cylinder deactivation dropped into the Mustang would probobly bring it from 19/28mpg to 21/31 no mods and have more power then the standard V8's of just 8 years ago. Since the current V6 weighs more and is only 210hp that would be a VERY NICE upgrade. Funny, the balance of the car would be better then the V8, making better handling.

Lance Funston

With all the excitement about hybrids, what is getting missed in most environmental press is that there is suddenly a flurry of innovation around the basics of ICE technology going on: Honda's HCCI, H2 injection engines, VCM, and now Ford is stepping into the game with what appears to be just a very well-designed orchestration of differnt elements of tuning and VVT to make a better mousetrap.

But the really interesting thing about this new design is the idea of building the engine with upgradability in mind. That's the killer app.

If you could add a start-stop or hybrid motor, tune it for flex-fuel, or even conversion to NG or H2 right at the dealership... Now you've got something. If gas goes to $6/gal, you might want to take it down to your local Ford dealer and see what they can do to squeeze more miles out of a gallon. Better mpg, more consumer choice, and a new profit center for dealerships without selling a whole new car.


Where are the BioDiesels? This is where we will eventually have to go.

little shop

Biodiesel and dino diesel are the same engine. The auto maker do need far more diesel engines but only VW seems to sell any real # here in the USA.


I will be impressed by efficiency improvements when they all go to better gas mileage and not better performance.

Gee, it's really too bad that the current V6 has only 210 hp.

little shop

My point is that the V6 has what the V8 had just a few years ago. That will have more people buying the more efficient V6. And the new V6 is more efficienct then the current one as well. Ford does seem to be leading the american brands with efficiency and hybrids. Ford will have thier second gen hybrid out before Dodge has any and before GM has a real one. I know Toyota and Honda are way ahead but its nice to see some movement from Ford.


Flexi-fuel hybrids would be way better than what we have right now and cheap to produce.


Apparently Ford also released a 4.4L V8 that will be an option in many of the cars that get the V6. It will be interesting to see what the difference in mileage is between the two, and/or between the old duratec and the new V8. There might not be an improvement overall if a significant amount of people opt for the 8.

Mikhail Capone

I just hope that they won't keep it at 3.5l by default. A 3 liters version would be quite enough power for most sedans and probably get decent mileage with a 6-speed.

I also wish that they would make it PZEV by default and not just in California & co.


Wow ford finaly discovered "upgradability"? HAHA They are only about 10 years behind Toyota and Nissan on this one. Go ford.


Why not drop the capacity?
Is there a mechanical reason why a 1.6l flat 6 does not exist? Or am I missing something here?

little shop

I have thought about a 1.98 liter 6 cyl engine based on Hondas 990cc engine in the Insight. Two of them stuck together of course set for perfect balance. With the hybrid system in the new Civic it would be an amazing engine. Honda seems to be the leader in TINY engines, the 990c engine has won many awards, has a super lean burn mode and has been quite reliable long term. That little engine would also be a near perfect engine for powering a larger vehicle with a SERIAL hybrid drive. The little engine just powering a generator making about 40hp in lean burn mode but able to burst higher if needed.


Yeah the daisy chain engine idea is not a bad one. The army would love the idea. Slot in units for more power to tow, and their favourite word "redundancy" if one of the engines gets a bullet in it


"Why not drop the capacity?
Is there a mechanical reason why a 1.6l flat 6 does not exist? Or am I missing something here?"

There is a 1520cc and a 1800cc flat-6 that Honda makes. It's primarily fitted in the GoldWing, Rune, etc. But rarely are you going to see a small displacement 6-cylinder engine in a car, since it's cheaper and easier to make a 4 cyclinder engine that is 1.6l that have a plethora of other fuel saving technologies that can be implemented for a lot cheaper.


Ford could easily have used a detuned version mazda's 2.3L direct injection turbo 4 cyl engine. This V6 to me is a waste of time and money.


It seems to me that some people dissing Ford are missing the point. The new Explorer V8 may not get as good as gas mileage as the Honda Accord, but it puts out less waste than one-impressive for a V8 SUV. As far as this new motor if it gets better gas mileage than the Honda, the torque alone will beat Honda with just 250 HP. And the Toyota and Nissan truck mentioned, I believe they are too late for the big truck impact, Nissan is having major problems with the Titan-check Consumer reports, Jd Powers-Nissan is down all across the board. As far as Toyota, they can claim better, but the numbers speak for themselves. Full size trucks will be dwindling in numbers over time tdue to fuel economy, and as long as Ford doesnt let up, they will be okay. American companies need to watch there backs-Honda and Toyota will stab it. Something to ponder why doesnt Japan let the American companies mass produce or import vehicles...Germany does-talk about free trade?


Japan has just as much free trade as the US, but Us carmakers donot understand the japanese carmarket at all and the japanese are a lot more patriotic than the open minded americans. if they were a bit more innovative they might have a chance, but we all know how innovative they are....don't we? The ford V6 might beat the honda in performance and possibly slightly in fuel economy, but I' not only against ford, I'm against all that choose not to break the mold. We need some innovaton ASAP.


Something to ponder why doesnt Japan let the American companies mass produce or import vehicles...Germany does-talk about free trade?

Both Japan and the US are members of the World Trade Organization and mutually allow auto imports/production in their countries. The answer is the US doesn't manufacture cars the Japanese are interested in buying, while the Japanese are masters at satisfying US auto buyer demands - small fuel efficient cars in the 70s and reliable, durable and high-tech cars today.


Would be nice to see more diesel options in Canada and the US, and on the subject of hybrids is any one building or looking into electric / diesel in the auto industry seems to be of intrest for locomotives and big equipment.

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