Ford has Big Plans For its EcoBoost Engines

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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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