Over the next decade, Ford will be putting the focus (no pun intended) on fuel efficiency for all of its powertrains as fuel prices continue to climb. The EcoBoost engines that debut next spring with a 3.5L V6 are expected to become the workhorses of the fleet, but virtually all of Ford's engines will be downsized. When the new F-150 pickups arrive later this fall, they will feature gas V8 engines only. However, sometime in 2010 the 3.5L EcoBoost will likely become the standard engine in place of the 4.6L V8 that's been around since the early '90s. A 4.4L V8 diesel will also join the lineup, giving a 20 percent mileage boost over the current 5.4L V-8. Much like the long-gone 302 cu. in. V8 was once the staple of Ford's engine lineup, the 3.5 will power most of the company's larger cars and CUVs . Many of these will even feature a 2.0L EcoBoost four-cylinder in place of the existing normally-aspirated 3.0L and 3.5L V6es.

Among the smaller cars like the Focus, Fiesta, and Fusion (and the Mondeo when it arrives) even smaller four-cylinder engines will provide motivation. The new Fiesta has 1.25L and 1.4L gas engines in Europe and the 1.4L will probably be the base US engine at launch, though the 1.25L is possible as well. Ford product development chief Derrick Kuzak has said that a 1.0L EcoBoost is possible for the Focus in 2012. To help get the most of the engines, Ford is expanding 6 speed automatic transmission availability. A new 6F35 mid-sized unit is debuting now in the Escape and will be added to the refreshed Fusion at the end of this year. Another smaller 6-speed automatic will debut in the Focus next year, followed by a dual-clutch transmission in 2011.

Ford will also add an upgraded version of its hybrid system to the Fusion and Milan sedans when the refreshed versions debut at the end of this year, and Ford also has a field test program with Southern California Edison for plug-in hybrid Escapes.

[Source: Automotive News - sub. req'd]


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