Ford to bring 20 new engines and transmissions to China and improve fleet fuel economy by more than 20% by 2015; producing the new 1.0L EcoBoost in China
Ford will upgrade its entire powertrain portfolio in China by bringing 20 advanced engines and transmissions to support its planned introduction of 15 new vehicles to China—the world’s largest auto market—by 2015.
Utilizing technologies such as turbocharging, direct injection, twin independent variable camshaft timing (Ti-VCT) and six-speed transmissions, the upgraded powertrain portfolio will deliver more than 20% in fuel economy improvement to Ford’s passenger vehicle fleet in China by 2015 while reducing tailpipe carbon dioxide emissions by 20%.
Ford also announced that it will produce its new 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine (earlier post), the smallest in the EcoBoost engine family, in China to equip its vehicles produced and sold in the market.
Ford is committed to be a fuel economy leader in every segment that we compete by utilizing advanced powertrain technologies. These technologies represent a core part of our near-term sustainability goals in China. Earlier this year at the Shanghai Auto Show, Ford announced a plan to introduce 15 new vehicles to China by 2015. All these new vehicles will launch with the latest Ford-developed powertrains which will improve fuel economy and lower carbon dioxide emissions, offering our customers a more environment-friendly ride without compromising vehicle performance.—Kumar Galhotra, vice president, Product Development, Ford Asia Pacific and Africa
Ford holds more than 125 patents for its high-performance and fuel-saving EcoBoost technology in the United States. The integration of three advanced technologies—turbocharging, direct injection and Ti-VCT—into the EcoBoost powertrain delivers significant customer benefits:
Optimized engine efficiency: delivers up to a 20% improvement in fuel economy, 15% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions compared with conventional gasoline engine.
Superior driving performance: strong low-end torque and responsive performance across the full rev range.
Advantages of small displacement: large-engine performance, but with the size, weight and fuel economy of a much smaller unit.
The EcoBoost approach enables the downsizing engine capacity—replacing naturally-aspirated engines with much smaller units without sacrificing power output. The performance boost offered by turbocharging typically results in a 50% increase in torque,Ford says, so there is a significant opportunity to downsize capacity while still providing a potential performance benefit.
The advantages of downsizing include improved efficiency through reduced internal friction, lower pumping losses, and lighter weight—which also makes the engine warm up more quickly.
The global EcoBoost engine family is the cornerstone of Ford’s near-term sustainability plan. By 2013, the company plans globally to produce 1.5 million EcoBoost engines annually. Also, by 2013, nearly 80% of Ford’s global nameplates will be available with EcoBoost.
EcoBoost in China. Ford launched the 2.0L EcoBoost-equipped Mondeo-Zhisheng in China earlier this year. According to the certification issued by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), the vehicle’s 7.9L/100km fuel consumption (29.8 mpg US) is one of the best in the segment.
Ford will offer the 1.0L EcoBoost engine on small-to-medium vehicles, and the engine will be built in China, with a plan to introduce more EcoBoost engines based on market demand. By 2015, EcoBoost engines will be available on most Ford branded passenger cars in China.
Upgrading conventional engines. Ford will also introduce an advanced non-turbocharged engine in China that combines the technology of gasoline direct injection technology (GDI) and Ti-VCT to offer vehicles with more dynamic performance and better fuel efficiency.
The direct injection system which injects fuel into each cylinder at a pressure of up to 200 bar; the droplet size is typically smaller than 0.02mm. Compared to conventional fuel injection, direct injection produces a cooler, denser charge, delivering improved fuel economy and performance.
The Ti-VCT technology allows extremely precise, variable control of “valve overlap,” or the window of time in which both the intake and exhaust valves in an engine are open at the same time. By adjusting overlap continuously, an engine can operate at optimum settings for peak fuel economy or peak power output as conditions demand. It could reach up to a 7% improvement in peak power and a 5% improvement in low-speed torque for better acceleration, passing and merging performance and up to a 4.5% improvement in fuel economy, according to Ford. Ti-VCT also facilitates an “internal EGR” effect, reducing NOx and hydrocarbon emissions throughout the engine’s operating range.
As part of its powertrain upgrade, Ford plans to replace the current four-speed automatic transmission with advanced six-speed transmissions which will not only provide smoother gear shifts but also improved fuel economy.
Ford’s PowerShift six-speed automatic transmission combines the efficiency and driving dynamics of a manual gearbox with the convenience of a conventional automatic transmission. Unlike regular hydraulically operated automatic transmissions, which use power-sapping torque converters, wet clutches and pumps, the PowerShift automatic consists of two manual transmissions (in the same case) working in parallel. The dual clutches engage and disengage in a way that provides seamless delivery of torque to the wheels, even during gear changes.
The transmission also features Hill Launch Assist that prevents the vehicle from rolling back by maintaining enough brake pressure until the engine delivers enough torque to move the vehicle up the hill.
Other than the PowerShift transmission, Ford also plans to introduce a full range of six-speed transmissions to satisfy market demand. Compared to the current four-speed automatic transmission, the new six-speeds will deliver smoother gear shifts, seamless torque delivery and superior fuel economy.
In line with Ford’s strategy to overhaul its powertrain lineup in China, most of these new powertrains will be manufactured in the country for use in future vehicles. Currently, Ford’s joint venture in China, Changan Ford Mazda Automobile Co., Ltd. (CFMA), is building a new engine plant and a new transmission plant, with initial annual capacity of up to 400,000 in each plant.