Ford has Big Plans For its EcoBoost Engines

Detroit Free Press

Ford Motor Co. plans to grow its Eco­Boost fam­i­ly of tur­bocharged gaso­line engines and use them in more vehi­cles, in the U.S. and over­seas, accord­ing to a Ford exec­u­tive.

Get the details on Ford’s strat­e­gy to boost fuel econ­o­my in its vehi­cles.

Ford plans to grow its Eco­Boost fam­i­ly of tur­bocharged gaso­line engines and use them in more vehi­cles, in the U.S. and over­seas, accord­ing to a Ford exec­u­tive.

The automak­er is design­ing new vehi­cles to be pow­ered with Eco­Boost engines, hybrids, plug-in hybrids, diesel and com­pressed nat­ur­al gas, said Joe Bakaj, Ford vice pres­i­dent of pow­er­train engi­neer­ing. The com­pa­ny marked the pro­duc­tion today of 2 mil­lion Eco­Boost engines.

To meet the fed­er­al­ly man­dat­ed cor­po­rate aver­age fuel econ­o­my of 54.5 miles per gal­lon by 2025, car com­pa­nies must upgrade engines every three years, rather than the once-a-decade pace of the past, Bakaj said.

Eco­Boost tech­nol­o­gy, which uses direct injec­tion and tur­bocharg­ers to achieve bet­ter fuel econ­o­my and greater per­for­mance in engines with small­er dis­place­ment, is an impor­tant tool for Ford to meet those 2025 stan­dards.

Ford now has five Eco­Boost engines with more to come.

The largest is the 3.5-liter V6 in full-size cars, crossovers and trucks. The 2-liter and 1.6-liter four-cylin­der engines pow­er small­er cars and crossovers glob­al­ly. The small­est is the 1-liter, three-cylin­der engine offered in Europe and com­ing this fall in the 2014 Fies­ta. The newest, announced in April, is a 1.5-liter on sale in Chi­na. It will go into the Fusion and Mon­deo for North Amer­i­ca and Europe.

Mike Omo­to­so, a fore­cast­er for LMC Auto­mo­tive in Troy, sees room for a small­er V6, maybe a 3-liter, in the line­up, as well as a tur­bocharged V8 for a per­for­mance Mus­tang to replace the super­charged V8 in the Shel­by Mus­tang.

“Five or six years ago we were look­ing at the engine on paper,” said Amy Mar­en­tic, Ford group mar­ket­ing man­ag­er. “Today we are cel­e­brat­ing the 2 mil­lionth.”

Ford put an Eco­Boost V6 into an F-150 in Feb­ru­ary 2011 and at one point it was half of the new trucks Ford sold. That has since dropped to 42% with more entry-lev­el buy­ers in the mar­ket; the Eco­Boost costs more than a con­ven­tion­al V6.

But the num­ber of Eco­Boost V6s sold is high­er because pick­up sales have risen, said Doug Scott, truck mar­ket­ing man­ag­er.

Bakaj said it was a “big risk for us as a com­pa­ny to go from a big V8 to a V6. We knew on paper it would be great, but until you launch and see con­sumers vote, you don’t know if the strat­e­gy will work.”

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