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Ford first gave the world the EcoBoost engine in its world renowned F-150 Truck and it
has been a major hit for the Detroit based car manufacturer. The goal behind the EcoBoost engine is quite simple – create smaller engines that use less fuel and produce fewer emissions while maintaining the power outputs that drivers need. This was especially important in the F-150. Truck owners know that horsepower and torque are the life blood of a truck. If Ford wasn’t able to maintain the power output of the larger engines, truck buyers would immediately turn away. Rather than being a practical work truck, it would have been called the “Look at Me” package. But as it turns out buyers are flocking to the EcoBoost engine, which is why Ford has been expanding its implementation.
What is EcoBoost Anyway?
EcoBoost isn’t necessarily an entirely new engine, it is a treatment that Ford adds to certain engines. Take a look at the 2012 Ford Explorer as an example. The base model Explorer offers a 3.5-liter V6 engine that puts out 290 horsepower and 255 lb-ft of torque. This model gets around 18 mpg city and 25 highway. Now take a look at the EcoBoost option. In the 2012 Explorer, Ford offers a 2.0-liter EcoBoost 4-cylinder, almost half the displacement of the other engine. This smaller engine provides a respectable 240 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque while upping the fuel economy to 20 mpg city and 28 mpg highway. In the Explorer, the EcoBoost engine drops 50 horsepower but gains 15 lb-ft of torque and increases fuel economy 15%. Out here in Stockton this will save the average driver a few hundred dollars a year.* With the 2012 F-150 the goal was slightly different. In the truck, Ford wanted to find a way to offer another engine in the lineup that stepped up the horsepower and torque while keeping the fuel economy relatively stable. In the F-150 the EcoBoost engine provides 365 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque, making it the second most powerful engine available (even beating out Ford’s 5.0-liter V8) but provides class-leading fuel economy of 16 mpg city and 22 mpg highway.
Sounds Great! What Cars is EcoBoost Available on?
Currently Ford has two different EcoBoost engines available in its lineup – the 2.0-liter I4 and the 3.5-liter V6. These two engines seem to have separate but similar goals in mind. The smaller 2.0-liter model which is available in the Ford Edge and the previously mentioned Explorer, is built to preserve horsepower and torque while increasing fuel economy. A similar, but slightly different view is held for the larger 3.5-liter version. This engine is available in the Taurus SHO, Flex, and F-150 models. In these cars, the point of the EcoBoost engine is to maintain fuel economy while increasing horsepower and torque for greater performance without having to sacrifice fuel consumption. Ford has plans to expand the use of the Ecoboost engine and is expected to add two different EcoBoost models to the newest Ford Escape (which will debut next month at the LA Auto Show) which will replace the hybrid model. Ford is also rumored to be working on an even smaller 1.6-liter version that could be seen in either the Ford Focus or the Ford Fiesta. Looking further into the future, experts think that Ford could be in the early stages of developing a top end 5.0-liter version that would most likely be seen in the F-150 Harley-Davidson or the Shelby GT500. The future looks quite bright for the already popular EcoBoost engine, and given the staggering success Ford is seeing with this engine treatment it is possible we will see an EcoBoost version available on all Ford models in the future. Or that we could see Ford being to scrap most of the non-EcoBoost engine except in limited circumstances. And why not? What is the downside of the engine? It can be adapted to any size and power output that would be acceptable for all drivers.
*Given 20 mpg combine for non-EcoBoost, 23 mpg combined for EcoBoost, Average of 15,000 miles driven per year and current gas price of $3.59.