DEARBORN – For decades, size meant everything when it came to engines – bigger was better and there was no replacement for displacement. But volatile gasoline prices and growing consumer interest in clean technologies are turning that notion on its head.
Today, buyers are snapping up cars and trucks powered by smaller engines that offer better fuel efficiency without sacrificing performance.
When the EcoBoost®-equipped 2013 Fusion, Escape and 2.0-liter Taurus arrive on dealer lots this spring and summer, Ford will offer an industry-leading seven vehicles with the smallest engines in their segments – more than any competitor.
Ford’s new global family of EcoBoost engines offer customers more affordable, high-efficiency powertrain choices, along with Ford’s growing lineup of hybrid and electric models. On average, an EcoBoost engine can improve fuel economy by as much as 20 percent, yet it costs around $1,000 on most vehicles.
Available now in displacements of 1.6, 2.0 and 3.5 liters, Ford’s EcoBoost engines are designed to offer drivers outstanding performance in everything from economy cars to trucks.
Most of the Ford vehicles with the smallest engines in their segments – 2013 Escape and 2013 Fusion (1.6 liters); Explorer, Edge and Taurus (2.0 liters); and Interceptor and F-150 (3.5 liters) – deliver the same or greater power than the larger, heavier engines in competitive vehicles, along with higher fuel economy.
Replacing large engines with smaller-displacement EcoBoost engines is one way Ford is delivering on its promise to lead or be among the leaders in fuel economy in every segment in which it competes.
As with cell phones, laptops and other consumer electronics, Ford’s engines will continue to shrink – yet become more powerful – in the coming years.
The next new EcoBoost engine scheduled for launch in North America, a 1.0-liter three-cylinder coming in 2013, will be Ford’s smallest yet. This compact, innovative engine – which is the same length as the average laptop computer – is rated at 125 horsepower, making it one of the highest output-per-liter regular production engines Ford has ever made.
This year, Ford Motor Company will offer EcoBoost engines in 12 Ford and Lincoln nameplates – Focus ST, 2013 Fusion and Escape, Taurus, Interceptor, Flex, Edge, Explorer and F-150, as well as the latest Lincoln MKT and MKS models and the all-new Lincoln MKZ.. By 2015, the company plans to offer an EcoBoost engine on 90 percent of its North American nameplates. Light + small + power = better
In addition to developing more horsepower per liter than the larger engines they are replacing, EcoBoost motors are helping Ford reduce vehicle weight, which improves handling and braking and helps increase fuel economy.
The 2013 Escape and Fusion models provide a graphic example of why Ford’s new generation of smaller, lighter and more powerful engines are better. In the 2012 Escape and Fusion, the 3.0-liter V6 engine is rated at 240 horsepower and 223 lb.-ft. of torque. That engine weighs 340 pounds.
The new 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine that is optional in the 2013 Escape and Fusion is rated at 240 horsepower and 270 lb.-ft. of torque and it weighs 295 pounds, 45 pounds less than the old 3.0-liter. The 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine available in both vehicles delivers 178 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft of torque and weighs just 223 pounds.
Since launching EcoBoost in summer 2009, Ford has sold more than 180,000 EcoBoost-equipped vehicles in North America, making it the most rapidly adopted fuel-saving technology in recent automotive history.
According to Ward’s sales data, it took Toyota 50 months, for example, to sell 100,000 gasoline-electric hybrids in North America. And Ford’s EcoBoost lineup outsells all competitors’ diesel, compressed natural gas and battery-electric cars combined.
EcoBoost is a suite of technologies that combines turbocharging with direct injection, variable valve timing and precise engine controls to increase the power output and efficiency of the gasoline internal combustion engine. The increased power output enables Ford to replace a V8 engine with a V6, a V6 with a four-cylinder and a four-cylinder with a three-cylinder – with no loss of performance.
“The F-150 is a great example of how EcoBoost is changing the way customers think of our engines,” said Joe Bakaj, Ford vice president of Powertrain Engineering. “Before we launched the 3.5-liter EcoBoost, few people would have believed a V6 was tough enough to get the job done in a full-size truck. The last time a six-cylinder engine outsold a V8 in the F-150 was in the late 1980s.
“But with 365 horsepower and 420 lb.-ft. of torque, towing capacity as much as 11,300 pounds and EPA highway fuel economy of 22 mpg, the EcoBoost V6 has quickly become the top-selling engine in the F-150,” said Bakaj. Just over 40 percent of F-150s are sold with an EcoBoost engine, he added.
EcoBoost Edge is another small-engine success story. With a nearly 20 percent take rate, the 2.0-liter EcoBoost-powered Edge is exceeding sales projections.
Ford EcoBoost engines are also proving popular in Europe, where the 1.6-liter and 2.0-liter four-cylinder units are offered across several nameplates, and the all-new 1.0-liter three-cylinder EcoBoost has met with unanimous acclaim.
At next week’s Society of Automotive Engineers World Congress at Cobo Center in Detroit, Ford executives will be giving presentations that outline Ford Motor Company’s powertrain strategy.