It’s hard to beat the “bigger is better” adage. If you want more horsepower and more torque, the time-honored solution is to build a bigger engine, often at the detriment of fuel economy. For the past five years, however, Ford has been engineering solutions to change that with new engine technology. The new big thing at Ford is decreasing the engine size while increasing both the fuel economy and the horsepower.
The Ford Mustang and Ford F-Series now provide the most dramatic examples of how new, smaller-displacement engines are delivering levels of performance that in the past could only be obtained with much larger engines:
These new engines are part of nine all-new or significantly revamped engines Ford began launching in 2010. And they are helping make the 2011 Ford and Lincoln lineup the most fuel efficient in the company’s 107-year history.
Ford and Lincoln showrooms today are filled with an industry-best dozen vehicles that lead or are among the leaders in their sales segments for fuel economy. Four vehicles carry an EPA-estimated fuel economy rating of 40 mpg or higher, also best in the industry.
“From Fiesta to Super Duty, Ford has invested a record amount in new engines, transmissions and cutting-edge technologies to meet our commitment to lead or be among the leaders in fuel economy in every segment in which we compete,” said Joe Bakaj, Ford Vice President of Powertrain Engineering. “Though we have made great strides, our work in improving fuel economy is not done and never will be. We have to deliver a fuel economy gain of about 10 percent every three years from now on. Expect further improvements to our EcoBoost system, three-cylinder engines and our Auto Start-Stop system launched now in Europe and soon to be installed in North American vehicles.”
The next smaller but more powerful engines coming from Ford are two new four-cylinder EcoBoost engines already proving popular in Europe. First up is the new 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder slated for later this year in Edge and the all-new Explorer. Then comes a frugal 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine for the C-MAX multi-activity vehicle.
In the 2010 Explorer, the smallest engine available was a 4.0-liter V6 rated at 210 horsepower and 250 lb.-ft. of torque. In the all-new Explorer, the 2.0-liter Ford EcoBoost engine will be the smallest engine, yet it delivers 237 horsepower – 27 more than the old engine – and about the same torque, 245 lb.-ft. The 2.0-liter Explorer is projected to deliver best-in-class fuel economy.
“The 2012 Ford Explorer with EcoBoost is going to mark a new era in smaller-displacement SUVs, offering more power than the previous 4.0-liter V6 with a really remarkable improvement in fuel economy,” said Greg Johnson, Manager of North American Power Packs. “Similarly, Edge with EcoBoost and C-MAX with the EcoBoost 1.6 will both serve to redefine customers’ opinions about smaller-displacement engines.”
Although the Ford EcoBoost 2.0-liter is the smallest engine ever offered in Explorer – and the first four-cylinder – drivers likely will not notice the two fewer cylinders.
“It’s got the efficiency of a small gasoline I-4 when cruising,” explains Greg, “because that’s fundamentally what it is. But when you need that extra muscle for passing or accelerating, the turbocharger provides a diesel-like reserve of torque without the drawbacks – like higher weight, slower engine speeds and, at least in the States, higher fuel cost – of a diesel engine.”