Touted as a means to give V8-like horsepower with V6 fuel economy, the TwinForce V6 at this year's Detroit Auto Show stands as one of Ford's biggest announcements so far. Started with the Duratec 35 as a foundation, the engine's combination of turbocharging and direct injection yields a claimed 415 HP and 400 ft-lb of torque - more than enough to smoke any naturally-aspirated V8 currently offered by the Blue Oval here in the United States.
The engine also offers flex-fuel capabilities, with operation possible on either premium gasoline or E85. Ford also claims 15% better fuel economy than a 6.0L V8 of similar performance, so the tire-smoking can commence with reduced guilt. There's no word yet as to whether the new motor can take advantage of the superior knock resistance of ethanol to provide a horsepower bump, but this seems like an ideal platform on which to roll out such a feature. The horsepower junkies among us might also want to consider that an injector sized to flow enough E85 for 400+ HP will probably support at least 600 HP on gasoline, so the aftermarket should have a field day with turning up the wick on the TwinForce.
What do you say - should Ford put this thing into a Mustang, stuff a bulletproof drivetrain behind it, and continue in the V8-terrorizing tradition of the Buick GN and Toyota Supra? Just the thought of such a monster sends chills up our spine.
Click past the jump for the full press release and a general overview of the plumbing; meanwhile, we'll try to snap some live shots of the motor on the show floor.
Check out all the debuts and galleries from the Detroit Auto Show here.
The Lincoln MKR concept introduces a new engine technology that delivers V-8 power and performance with V-6 fuel economy.
The new technology, named TwinForce™, will appear on future Lincoln and Ford vehicles.
TwinForce uses direct injection technology and turbocharging. These technologies are common in diesel engines, but have only recently been combined for use in gasoline engines.
"Everything we do is driven by our customers," said Derrick Kuzak, group vice president, Global Product Development. "Our TwinForce engine technology is a key element of how we're going after fuel economy gains without asking anyone to give up performance."
TwinForce's direct-injection fuel system is different than conventional port fuel-injected gasoline engines. Instead of squirting gasoline into the engine cylinder head, it directly injects gasoline into the engine's cylinders at high pressures.
Direct-injection fuel systems can more precisely control when and how much fuel is injected into the engine cylinders, allowing for more efficient burn and improved combustion control that delivers optimal performance and fuel economy.
Ford's new Duratec 35 all-aluminum V-6, named a 10 Best Engine by Ward's, is the foundation for the TwinForce technology found in the Lincoln MKR concept.
The Lincoln MKR's engine is flex-fuel capable, providing the driver with the flexibility to switch back and forth between gasoline and E-85 ethanol. At Ford, flexible fuel is an important step toward development of more efficient, renewable biofuels that can provide energy security as well as environmental benefits.
Combining the high octane found in E-85 or premium gasoline with TwinForce technology allows the Lincoln MKR's V-6 to deliver 415 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque – an impressive 118 horsepower per liter.
To achieve this type of performance from a V-8 would require an engine displacement of 6.0-liters or larger. As a result of the smaller V-6, the Lincoln MKR concept delivers 15 percent better fuel economy than a V-8 with similar performance.
In North America, the market is growing for the new TwinForce technology. Ford Motor Company already has several direct-injection equipped 4-cylinder engines in production, including a 1.8-liter launched in the 2003 Ford Mondeo and the 2.3-liter turbocharged engine developed by Mazda for the 2006 MazdaSpeed6. The TwinForce technology used in the Lincoln MKR represents Ford's first application of direct injection on a V-6 engine. Its development was led by Ford Powertrain Research and Advanced Engineering, the same group leading the production design and development of this technology in a pilot program intended to speed the time to market with the new engine.