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