Ford's EcoBoost technology looks to do more with less
With the wrapper finally removed from the sugarcoated exterior of the 2010 Ford Taurus SHO earlier this week at a national media preview, Ford's EcoBoost movement is unofficially in full swing. Basically, be prepared to hear a whole truckload of EcoBoost-centric news coming out of the Blue Oval's Dearborn, Mich., headquarters over the next few years.
Ford is really excited about its fancy but not-so-new EcoBoost technology, a new engine-building methodology that blends forced induction and direct injection into a high-powered yet efficient mechanical cocktail. For the rest of us that don't yammer on purely in marketing lingo, that would mean new, turbocharged powerplants.
With all the modern day concerns surrounding fuel economy, CO2 emissions, the end of the world and Simon Cowell, turbochargers are going to become much more prevalent. Basically they use exhaust gasses that would otherwise be wasted to spin a tiny turbine, which in turn spins a tiny impeller that compresses air into the intake. Blah blah blah. Bottom line? More power with less fuel, reduced CO2 emissions and (hopefully) fewer complaints from the Green Party, Leo Dicaprio and Cameron Diaz. But don’t hold your breath on that last one.
Having been launched last month in the Lincoln MKS, the current iteration of the EcoBoost mill is a 3.5-liter V6 with twin turbochargers (or a bi-turbo if you want to be all European about it). More accurately, rather tiny twin turbochargers. Colloquially described as being "about the size of an orange, the two turbos can each deliver up to 12 psi of boost. In the new Ford Taurus SHO, that means 365 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque, an improvement of 102 hp and 101 lb-ft over the standard 3.5-liter V6, with identical fuel economy to the lighter (but still fairly chunky) all-wheel drive Taurus.
Ford offers the 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine in the Lincoln MKS, MKT and Taurus SHO, and it will soon see service in the Flex as well. However by 2013, Ford has committed to offering an EcoBoost engine on over 90% of its North American vehicles. In the works is a four-cylinder turbo engine, which should bring with it some seriously impressive fuel economy numbers. And preferably some serious performance figures as well.
-- Brian Alexander
Photo: EcoBoost Engine. Credit: Ford Motor Company
Brian Alexander is a staff writer for Driverside.com