• Mar 31, 2008

Autoblog talks EcoBoost with Ford Powertrain Direc

Turbocharging has long been associated with performance, but the 103-year-old technology is also very efficient. A small displacement gasoline engine with a turbocharger can equal or out-perform similarly sized naturally aspirated motors while also saving fuel. Europe is all over turbo engines for everything from high-performance Porsches to family wagons, but here in the States, force-fed engines are mainly sold in low volume sports cars.

Ford intends to jump into the turbocharging arena in a big way with "EcoBoost", and is planning to move up to 500,000 vehicles in the U.S. annually with twin-spool technology. Ford claims its EcoBoost suite of engine technoloies will give customers fuel savings of up to 20% versus a like-powered naturally aspirated engine, and the first samples are scheduled to go on sale in about a year. We wanted to learn more about Ford's plan, so we accepted an invitation to speak with Ford's director of Advanced Powertrain, Dan Kapp. Click play on the video above to see what Dan has to say about EcoBoost.


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  • 45 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      direct injection + turbo charged. wow ford is finally catching up to nissan. SR20DET anyone?
        • 6 Years Ago
        nissan wasnt the first kid on the block with di and forced induction. ford has been turbocharging engines for a while, in europe. volvo also has a few turbo engine options, 4, 5 and 6 cyls.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The SR20DET isn't direct injected. It definitely never was so in any US version.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I currently own three turbocharged vehicles and am very happy with the balance of performance and fuel economy. I am looking forward to what Ford will bring to the automotive market.

      Hopefully Ford has considered the fact that most Americans do not take very good care of their vehicles. Turbocharged engines must be taken care of differently from N/A engines in that the oil must be changed religiously and the turbo should be cooled down before shutting off the engine to prevent coking of the bearings. Maybe these Ford vehicles will be equipped with turbo timers from the factory and oil change lights?
        • 6 Years Ago
        If turbo timers were necessary, Audi and BMW would ship them.

        It's good to treat your car well, but with liquid (not oil) cooling on turbos now, you don't have to be nearly as careful as you used to.
      • 6 Years Ago
      this was a cool post. are u interested in classic cars? i was searching for vintage autos when i saw this. pretty good. guy seems preachy though http://autovintage88.blogspot.com/
      • 6 Years Ago
      the way the taxes rise in my country...the best solution would be this car
      http://www.i-guide.ro
      • 6 Years Ago
      Well the entire point is, stay off of the boost for the best MPG, and get on the boost and run your MPG into the ground when you feel like it.
      • 6 Years Ago
      For all of you who are obsessed with "who did it first" be advised that direct injection was first pioneered in aircraft engines during world war 2. Turbocharging was developed for altitude compensation in aircraft 30 years before that. Direct injection was pushed aside by improved jet engines in the 1950's. Also Ford desigend and built DOHC 4 valve engines for use in Sherman tanks during WW2. As long as fuel is cheap it is more cost effective just to build a bigger engine which has been the case for most of the 20th century in the U.S. Europeans and Japanese manufacturers have been confronted with high fuel cost for most of their existence hence they developed small engine expertise. If our congress had passed a sensible (stable supply and price) energy policy back in the 70's American manufacurers would not be in panic mode now.
      • 6 Years Ago
      "force-fed engines are mainly sold in low volume sports cars. "

      ... and hatch backs, and sedans , and wagons , and suvs - as an option on damn near every product line out of Germany and most of Japan for the last few decades or so :).

      Seriously?

      If you're into FI grab a GTi, or a C30, or a Jetta, or a GLI, or a Passat, or the upcoming Tiguan, or the WRX, or the EVO, or the CX-7, or the MS3, or damn near all of Merc's lineup, or the 335i, or the forthcoming X6, or the 135i, or... I'd love to see just how those [mainly] "low volume sports cars" compare to the vast raft of FI models currently sold in the US ranging from hatchbacks to SUVs. I guess ‘mainly’ accounts for far less then the majority now?
      • 6 Years Ago
      The reason for the slow move is manufacturing costs associated with the turbo devices, this move should've been done at least 20 years back for all cars.
      • 6 Years Ago
      With Ford reopening their engine plant in Windsor, Ontario, and bringing in a "fuel-efficient v8", i wonder if they're planning on a ecoboost version for the 5.0L v8, or if it's just a DI version.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Newfangled direct injection nonsense, gimme a carburetor any day.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The "twin turbos" thing that keeps getting thrown around is a misnomer. It has DI and a (1)turbo. DI boosts power but it is not a turbo and has no weight penalty.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Actually, AFAIK these engines will have two turbos, one that spools at low RPMs and one that spools at high RPMs so that you get the effectiveness of a turbo as much as possible. DI is just icing on the cake.
        • 6 Years Ago
        "twin-scroll" (called twin-spool here) is another system that does the same as a dual-entry turbo. It does not actually have two turbos (as Nelly mentions), but one that has two modes.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Twin-Force was a vastly better name for this new V6 engine.

      Turbocharged engines may seem more efficient but nearly all of them use a lot of fuel in performance applications.

      If you drive a turbocharged car like a Grand National, STi, or 3000GT as it's meant to be driven they average in the teens for overall fuel consumption, which is not better than most modern V8s out there. Modern V8s will also sip fuel if you drive with a light foot just as a turbocharged engine will.

      Turbocharged engines aren't going to magically make performance vehicle money-saving, fuel-sipping green machines. If you really want an economy car, buy an economy car.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Twin Force is a name that implies adding two forces (DI & TT) to traditional engines to improve performance. The emphasis is on the performance. This is what GM and others are doing for performance reasons.
        Ecoboost on the other hand is a name that seems intended to support the new Ford philosophy of downsizing the majority of their engines for economy and green reasons and adding DI & TT in order to maintain an acceptable level of performance and improved greenest.
        It also uses DI & TT, but the emphasis is not on the performance, or on the technology, it is on the use of the available technology to improve economy.
        Ford doesn't claim to have invented anything new. It claims to be taking a new business strategy of applying this technology to everyday cars. Ford must do this while maintaining a high level of quality across many cars, so a careful pace would certainly seem appropriate.
        And, if they happen to build a few Mustang V8 TTDIs and call them EcoBoost, I could live with that.


        • 6 Years Ago
        But in an age of green marketing the term "EcoBoost" is more friendly on the ears. The name "Twin-Force" does sound better but the word "force" sounds bad to the greenies and by putting "twin" in front of it means its twice as bad.

        It's just more of the "green" marketing crap everyone seems to be buying into. Heck, alot of consumer products that have been on the market for years unchanged are now marketed as "green" and people are buying them now.
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