Ford has been touting Ecoboost as an economical alternative to hybrid technology, and word from Automotive News is that the price tag could be $700 per vehicle. Ecoboost is said to deliver 20-30% fuel economy gains by combining turbochargers and direct injection technology with down-sized engines. The automaker also estimates that owners will pay off their Ecoboost premium in two year's time at $3.25 per gallon gasoline and 15,000 miles of driving per year. Since $3.25 is at the optimistic end of the gas equation, we're thinking Ecoboost could likely pay for itself before that. While hybrids might be able to post higher fuel economy numbers than vehicles equipped with this off-the-shelf technology, consumers should pay less for each mile per gallon they gain going with a similarly sized Ecoboost-equipped Ford.

Brett Hinds, Ford's advanced engine design manager, said the 3.5L V6 Ecoboost slated for F-150 duty in 2010 would produce "significantly more" than 340 hp and 340 lb-ft, which easily bests the 300 ponies delivered by the truck's current top shelf 5.4L V8. A similar story will unfold with boosted four-pots, as V6 power is attainable with small displacement fuel economy. We've also learned that Ecoboost engines with a V6 will receive two turbochargers, while four cylinder models will only get one. Throw that 3.5L V6 Ecoboost in a Mustang and hand us the keys, then we'll decide.

UPDATE: Ford has not officially announced Ecoboost pricing.

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

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