• 46
Click above for high-res image gallery of the 2010 Ford EcoBoost Flex

Ford will finally bring the first of its EcoBoost engines to market in 2009, and one of the first few vehicles to get it will be the Flex. The 2010 Ford Flex will be offered with a 3.5L EcoBoost V6 that employs twin turbochargers and direction injection to achieve 355 horsepower (@ 5,700 rpm) and 350 lb-ft of torque (@ 3,500 rpm). Not only is the EcoBoost V6 powerful, but it's also relatively fuel efficient with MPG ratings of 22 on the highway and 18 combined in the Flex. Take note, however, as AWD is a requirement when ordering the EcoBoost engine on either the SEL or Limited models. And Ford's crossover isn't the only vehicle that will offer the EcoBoost V6, as the Lincoln MKS and new MKT full-size, three-row crossover will also offer the motor in 2009.

[Source: Ford]



The 2010 Ford Flex will offer an available 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6, the first gasoline direct-injection twin-turbocharged engine produced in North America

EcoBoost is a key Ford Motor Company initiative to deliver significant advancements in fuel economy – up to 20 percent – without sacrificing the performance customers want. The 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine delivers an impressive 355 horsepower and a responsive 350 lb.-ft. of torque across a broad rpm range, simultaneously giving Ford Flex the power of a normally aspirated 4.6-liter V-8 while enjoying V-6 fuel efficiency

The 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 is the first in a wave of EcoBoost engines coming from Ford as part of a strategy to bring major fuel-efficiency improvements to millions. By 2013, more than 90 percent of Ford's North American lineup will be available with EcoBoost

DETROIT, Jan. 11, 2009 – Ford Flex turns heads with its distinctive design – and in 2009, the unique full-size crossover becomes even more noteworthy, thanks to an available twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 engine.

This all-new engine gives Flex V-8 power and performance feel with the fuel economy of a V-6.
The twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 produces an estimated 355 horsepower at 5,700 rpm and 350 foot-pounds of torque at 3,500 rpm. In addition to the power upgrade, the 2010 EcoBoost Flex boasts segment-leading fuel economy among full-size performance crossover vehicles with 22 mpg highway and 18 mpg combined.
The 2010 Flex has unsurpassed fuel economy in the full-size crossover segment with 24 mpg highway and 19 mpg combined, one of a number of new Ford products delivering the best or among the best fuel economy.

"We are committed to delivering fuel economy leadership in every new vehicle," said Derrick Kuzak, Ford's group president of Global Product Development. "We do this with affordable technology that can be applied to the widest number of vehicles. EcoBoost is an important component of that goal.

"The beauty of EcoBoost is that it enables us to downsize for fuel efficiency, yet boost for power. We're able to decrease the size of the available engine – such as installing a V-6 versus a V-8 – yet boost the power using turbocharging to deliver similar power and torque of that larger engine."

The twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 engine requires all-wheel drive and will be available on well-equipped SEL and Limited models of the 2010 Flex, packaged with several high-demand customer features.

"People who drive the Flex want to make a statement, and the new twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 is very much in keeping with that attitude," said Ron Heiser, chief engineer of the Ford Flex. "We're proud and excited to add Ford's most advanced engine, which is the first V-6 direct-injection twin turbocharged engine produced in North America, to the Flex line."

The addition of the EcoBoost engine builds on what already is a strong package for Flex.

"We know that there are customers who are looking for the power and performance of a traditional V-8 but are not willing to sacrifice this for fuel economy," said Kate Pearce, Flex marketing manager. "No one else in this segment offers this level of performance and versatility, and when you wrap it up in Flex's unique package, we believe that it will offer a compelling buy in the crossover segment."

The EcoBoost program is part of Ford's ongoing and wide-ranging initiative to deliver fuel-efficient powertrain systems with power and performance found in larger-displacement engines.

"EcoBoost engines offer more power and better fuel economy," said Brett Hinds, EcoBoost design manager. "It's all part of Ford's strategy to bring adaptable powertrain technology to all kinds of vehicles and all kinds of lifestyles. This technology is affordable and applicable to all gasoline engines."

Hinds said the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 will handle any tasks Ford Flex drivers ask of it. "The drivability of EcoBoost engines is superior and it just generates a lot more confidence in your Flex – it goes where you want it to go," he said. "You're rewarding yourself as a driver."

The twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 also will arrive in the Lincoln MKS and MKT in 2009. Although these are three very different vehicles that serve different needs for customers, the EcoBoost engine can handle the roles seamlessly and effectively. The 2010 EcoBoost V-6 MKT, for example, provides segment-leading fuel economy, exceeding the V-8-powered Audi Q7 by 4 mpg on the highway.

"A key element in our EcoBoost strategy is the efficiency we gain by employing a common control unit across a wide variety of vehicle applications," said Craig Stephens, EcoBoost powertrain control system manager. "All the driver should notice is the seamless power delivery and terrific fuel economy."

The key to the EcoBoost system is the harmony between the twin turbochargers and the direct injection fuel system. The turbochargers recover energy from the exhaust that otherwise would've been wasted and put it back in the engine to gain efficiency. Simply, the turbocharging system puts more air into the engine for more power. A compressor increases or "boosts" the pressure of the air entering the engine. An intercooler reduces the air temperature before it enters the engine.

The twin parallel turbochargers, which are water cooled and operate simultaneously, combine with a direct-injection fuel system to produce power when the driver pushes down on the gas pedal. The high-pressure fuel pump operates up to 2,175 psi – more than 35 times the norm seen in a conventional V-6 engine. The high-pressure pump is a cam-driven mechanical pump with a single piston and an electronic valve that controls how much fuel is routed into the fuel rails to the injectors.

As demands on the twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 engine are increased, the control system responds to maintain optimal combustion, timing and injection duration.

On each stroke, six individual jets spray fuel directly into the combustion chamber, mixing with the incoming air. "By bringing the fuel injector right into the combustion chamber, there's no delay from the time you inject the fuel to when it's used by the engine," Hinds said.

The fuel injectors are located on the side of the combustion chamber. When the fuel is injected into the cylinder, it evaporates and cools the air that's been inducted into the cylinder. "Another benefit of our direct injection method is that it cools the air right where you're going to burn it," Hinds said. "This action both improves the breathing of the engine and minimizes knocking."

The direct injection of fuel into the cylinder also helps provide a well-mixed air-fuel charge, increasing engine efficiency. Direct injection provides several benefits in terms of fuel burn and lower emissions.

"Because the fuel is directly introduced into the combustion chamber, you don't get fuel wetting the combustion wall like with port fuel injection, you don't saturate the ports and you don't get droplets that might recombine and add to saturation," Hinds said. "By injecting fuel directly into the combustion chamber and under high pressure, the fuel can be directed to exactly where we want it to be for a given combustion cycle."

The spray pattern for the fuel was optimized after extensive modeling work, with the angle of how the fuel is sprayed key to the process.

"The better combustion process is a big advantage of direct injection," Hinds said. "In a port fuel system, at key off it's possible to have fuel on the walls of the intake port, which migrates to the top of the valve and puddles. So when you key on, you get that emissions spike. Direct injection is much cleaner from that standpoint."

Turbo lag virtually eliminated
The simultaneous turbocharger operation paired with the direct-injection system help to virtually eliminate turbo lag, one of the main reasons turbocharger technology was not previously more widely used.

The dual-turbocharger setup has several advantages over previous turbocharging systems, including:

  • The turbochargers are smaller, resulting in more-compact exhaust manifolds, which don't generate as much heat
  • Turbochargers are packaged adjacent to the cylinder block and have improved mounting providing NVH (noise, vibration, harshness) improvements
  • The dual turbochargers spool up quicker, allowing the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 engine to reach peak torque faster. The turbochargers spin at approximately 170,000 rpm. By comparison, the redline for the engine is approximately 6,500 rpm

"Our two turbochargers both operate identically over the speed range of the engine – one is responsible for the left bank of the engine and the other is responsible for the right bank," Hinds said. "Both spin immediately and produce boost, even at low engine speeds."

The turbochargers are designed for a life cycle of 150,000 miles or 10 years.

"Our testing is far, far more harsh than could be achieved in the real world," Hinds said. "In an extreme situation, a customer might be able to hit peak power for about 10 seconds – probably not even that much. We test at peak power for hundreds of hours to ensure we can reach our durability and reliability goals."

The turbochargers are only about the size of an orange, but help provide a big performance advantage to customers. Hinds describes the torque response in terms of linear acceleration – power whenever you need it.

"You get peak torque across a very wide engine speed range," he said. "It's available when you pull away from a stoplight or pass someone on a secondary road at a comparatively low speed. You don't need to wind up the engine to get performance out of it. It's there all the time."

Turbocharger "whoosh" is mitigated by electronically controlled anti-surge valves, which proactively relieve the boost in the intake, which can range up to 12 PSI. Precise software calibrations manage the pressures in the intake manifold.

"We control the boost to make sure that customers don't recognize when the boost is building," Hinds said. "As the turbochargers spool up, the electronic control system takes over. Our active wastegate control along with the throttle controls the boost and torque levels very precisely and the customer perceives a continuous delivery of torque."

Extensive durability tests on the twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 engine ensure it will excel in all conditions. Start-up tests, with a wide variety of fuels, were made in conditions ranging from minus 40 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Altitude testing up to 12,000 feet in Colorado also was performed.

"The direct-injection fuel system allows us some real opportunities in terms of optimizing cold start for both emissions and robustness," Hinds said. "We have multiple injections for each combustion event, and we can essentially tune where those injections should take place to deliver the strongest start possible with the lowest emissions."

Mated to the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 engine is the 6-speed 6F-55 SelectShift automatic transmission, which is dedicated to the twin-turbocharger engine.
The 6F-55 transmission was developed from the successful 6F-50 transmission to specifically respond to the increased torque demands of the EcoBoost V-6 engine. Upgrades were made to the transmission's friction material in response to the higher shift energies, and a new torque converter has been optimized for performance and fuel economy.

Additionally, the 6F-55 transmission operates more efficiently. The transmission team was able to reduce the fluid level in the transmission, which in turn reduced weight and drag torque on the system. Upgrades to the transmission's thermal valve mean the system warms up quicker, reducing gear-spin losses.

"We've upgraded the gear sets to handle the increased torque," said Joe Baum, powertrain team leader. "We've also adjusted the final drive ratio and matched the gear ratios to provide the optimum performance and fuel economy.

"Our final drive ratio is 2.73. With a lower final drive ratio, the engine spins lower at highway speeds, which helps save fuel. And with all the torque, the Ford Flex still delivers good low-speed launch performance."

One harmonious system
Careful powertrain system management ensures the engine, turbochargers and transmission work together harmoniously.

"The Flex is a hit with our customers, bringing new customers to Ford," Heiser said. "Adding the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 is just more great news."


DETROIT, Jan. 11, 2009 – The first in a wave of new Ford EcoBoost™ engines makes its debut in the Lincoln MKS, MKT and Ford Flex later this year as part of Ford Motor Company's global initiative to provide powertrains that deliver the fuel efficiency and power customers demand.

The twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V-6 EcoBoost engine delivers the performance found in a normally aspirated V-8 while maintaining the fuel economy found in a normally aspirated V-6 engine.

A look at the highlights of the EcoBoost story:
Power and fuel economy: The twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter Duratec V-6 EcoBoost engine produces 355 horsepower at 5,700 rpm and 350 ft.-lb. of torque at 3,500 rpm. A 10-15 percent fuel-economy benefit is expected versus normally aspirated 4.6-liter V-8 engines in the same competitive class.

"The beauty of EcoBoost is that it enables us to downsize for fuel efficiency, yet boost for power," said Derrick Kuzak, Ford's group vice president of Global Product Development. "We're able to decrease the size of the available engine – such as installing a V-6 versus a
V-8 – yet boost the power using turbocharging to deliver similar power and torque of that larger engine."

Engine: Base engine architecture comes from the proven Duratec 3.5-liter V-6. To handle the increased torque that EcoBoost delivers, some upgrades were made to some of the components, such as the cylinder block, crankshaft, connecting rods pistons and exhaust valves to ensure the EcoBoost V-6 engine is as robust as possible.

"The Duratec 3.5 family is a good example of Ford's forward planning in terms of powertrain technologies," said Brett Hinds, EcoBoost design manager. "The engine architecture itself was well protected for high-boost applications, so it didn't require an extensive durability program. It was in good shape to start with."

Turbochargers: Two Honeywell GT15 turbochargers with water-cooled bearings and operate in parallel, spinning at approximately 170,000 rpm up to 12 PSI. They are rated for a 150,000-mile, 10-year life.

"We've tested the turbochargers at a much-higher duty cycle than a customer would ever experience," said Keith Plagens, turbo systems engineer. "Our whole goal from the beginning was to make the operation of the turbochargers seamless, so the customer wouldn't even know they were there."

Direct fuel injection: A cam-driven high-pressure fuel pump feeds the fuel injectors at pressures ranging from 200 to 2,175 PSI (pounds per square inch) depending on customer driving. A typical port fuel injection system operates at pressures of around 60 PSI. Six sprayers in each injector target fuel into the cylinder, resulting in a cleaner and more-efficient fuel burn and better cold-start emissions.

"By injecting the fuel directly into the combustion chamber and under high pressure, the fuel is sent exactly where we want it to be for a given combustion cycle," said Joseph Basmaji, direct injection fuel system technical specialist. "This aids burning of fuel more efficiently and effectively."

I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      This is sweet. I love the Flex already. Nice performance numbers. It is not a cramped up little coupe (no offense to the Mustang), and it is not an oversized performance SUV. It is perfect for someone like me, except for the "not-a-truck" part.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Wait, 22 highway and 18 combined, so... 14 mpg city?? And this is their attempt a revamped fuel efficient engine lineup?
        • 6 Years Ago
        All right Compy386, I'll make a deal with you.

        Ford said the EcoBoost was designed to improve the fuel economy of their fleet. My point was that the Flex's fuel economy wasn't improved by this engine, and I somehow doubt it needed an extra 100 HP anyway. But I'm still hoping for improved fuel economy.

        So here's the deal: The current Ford F-150 gets 16 MPG. That's 14 city, 19 highway. Not bad for a truck that could tow a house, but of course not that great either. It's due for Ecoboost either this year or next (I'm hoping this year, of course.) If that F-150 model, with 2wd, gets 18 MPG or better, I'll take back everything I said about EcoBoost.

        Got it? I don't care about more power, the current models in Ford's lineup have more than enough power for my tastes. But if this EcoBoost V6 can make the F-150 get 18 or 19 MPG, I'll call it a success.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Chiming in once more to say one last thing.

        Some here said that the vehicle must get 14 or 15 mpg city to achieve 18 mpg.

        That's not true. The Flex AWD with Ecoboost will get the same mileage as it currently gets in AWD sans Ecoboost. That means 16 city/22highway.

        Not bad, but I wish it were available with FWD. I hope when it comes over to the F-150 it'll be available with RWD so one can get better mileage.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I'm not bitching about the vehicle, I'm bitching that it isn't Eco. Apparently Ford is a little nervous about that too since they don't even give the city mpg figure.

        Call it a Twin Force if you want, because it's very powerful. But it isn't delivering mpg that a V8 couldn't deliver in a similar vehicle with a six speed.

        For example, check the Pontiac G8. With a 6-cyl and a 5-speed it gets 20/25 (17 city). With a 8-cyl and a 6-speed (auto) it gets 18/24 (15 city). And the G8 delivers even more power than the engine in this vehicle. And the G8 doesn't even have displacement on demand.

        It's a very powerful motor, that's no lie. However, it isn't delivering economy that a v8 couldn't deliver.
        • 6 Years Ago
        According to the EPA, "combined" fuel economy is 55% city and 45% highway.

        So with 18 mpg combined and 22 mpg highway, that's 15 mpg city.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The G8 6.0 does have cylinder idling.
        and the V6 should get 1mpg better city/highway (window sticker) with the 6L50 & 3.27 axle ratio.

        Hey this engine isn't going to sell in big volume, so any place Ford can stick it helps amortize the costs.

        Will the real ecoboost please stand up?
        • 6 Years Ago
        You guys are insane. This thing gets the same fuel economy as the regular AWD flex with 100+ more HP and you guys are complaining about the fuel economy? SERIOUSLY? This means that in the future we can probably get a 2.5L turbo fusion with AWD that gets 250 HP and probably 30 MPG (estimate based on 34 for the non AWD) on the highway. My Focus is only rated 29 and it's only got 128 HP and no AWD.

        Here's a small sample of 4WD Crossovers and minivans:
        Toyota Sienna 266 HP 21 Highway 18 Combined
        Saturn Outlook 275 HP 23 Highway 19 Combined
        Mazda CX-9 273 HP 21 Highway 17 Combined
        • 6 Years Ago
        Depending on the actual numbers it will either be 15 or 16 city (basically, probably the same as the current AWD Flex that has 90 fewer horses and more than 100 less lb-ft of torque).

        The real magic with the eco side of it actually starts in 2010/11 with the launch of the 2.0L version of the engine. The Edge, Flex, Taurus and I believe Fusion are all slated to get a copy. The 2.0L will produce about 260/260 in the Flex and deliver close to 30 mpg hwy in FWD config. We'll see some really good results from the 1.6L in 2011/2012 timeframe when a Fusion equipped version will probably deliver around 40 mpg hwy while still cranking 180/180 (or so).

        On the small side, it's quite possible that the 1.0L (~100/100) version of the Fiesta with DSG could be rated around 40/50.
        • 6 Years Ago
        There are no V8 Flex(s)
        This little mantra that V8=power, I4=economy, and V6=compromise is f-ing stupid.
        Crossplane crank V8s are the least efficient engine configuration. (okay they are better than inline8 engines)

        First pick your displacement, then pick how many cylinders you want to divide it among.
        You can make a 3 liter V12, 6 liter V12, or a 9 liter V12.

        Sure this would be a nice engine to replace the 5.4 V8 in the F-150, if it could develop 325hp 375ft-lb on regular fuel. (350hp 400ft-lbs on E50 fuel)
        But adding the ZF 8hp70 8 speed auto would save just as much fuel.
        • 6 Years Ago
        quote from The Luigiian: -
        "So here's the deal: The current Ford F-150 gets 16 MPG. That's 14 city, 19 highway..................If that F-150 model, with 2wd, gets 18 MPG or better, I'll take back everything I said about EcoBoost." -

        So, you compared it to the F-150 with the antiquated 4spd auto?? fueleconomy.gov shows the '09 F-150 4.6L 6spd 2wd to be at 15/20/17. That's with the 292hp 3valve 4.6L as well, not the 248hp 2valve 4.6L you compared it to. So, it's already proven that you can get more mpg's with more power as well, but you doubt that the EcoBoost can deliever the same? Granted, the new 6spd tranny helps a lot.

        If the Flex tells me anything, it's that the EcoBoost in the F-150 will likely return very similar mileage to the 4.6L V-8 with the 6spd(while delivering about 60 more HP). So, not only will it definitely be higher than 18mpg, I bet 20 or 21mpg wouldn't be out of the question.

        • 6 Years Ago
        It *is* Eco when you compare it to the upgrade engines of yore- big thirsty V8s. Find me an old V8 SUV with 22mpg highway and 18mpg combined and I will be mighty impressed. And you simply would astound me if you could find one that also has 350+ hp.

        No, this system is not a magic bullet. But every little bit helps. I'm still excited for the 4cyl EcoBoost, which will likely be calibrated for MPG instead of HP
      • 6 Years Ago
      I really don't wanna sound like I'm hating on Ford, but 18/22mpg in a crossover doesn't sound very "Eco". Love the hp figure though... too bad I never caught on to the whole box on wheels concept.
        • 6 Years Ago
        It's not, but when you consider this is a large SUV/minivan, compare it to the competition. Hell, compare it to the Expedition. Then compare to some large minivans from Honda, Nissan. Then look at the weight of the vehicle and look at the crash tests on youtube. You'll be surprised at how well this thing runs. You get the safety and power of a large SUV. With the mileage and space of a minivan. If I had a family with more than 2 teenage kids, I'd buy this. Unless if I were broke, then everyone's taking the bus...
        • 6 Years Ago
        It's about the mileage per the horsepower in a larger vehicle. It's very good.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Mr Saleen,


      -Bigger turbo
      -Built internals

      Thank you
        • 6 Years Ago
        How about a torque sensitive rear differential if the Haldex 'eLSD' isn't standard/optional
        & about 5% shorter gearing for the 6F55 transmission.
      • 6 Years Ago
      So what is the mpg for city? Why would they only show combined and highway?
      • 6 Years Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      all I can say are boost leaks and turbo rebuilds
      • 6 Years Ago
      So..............................Can it tow any more than 4500 pounds? If not...then it is pointless.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I think the Towing Limitations are based on the frame and the fact that it's a crossover, not so much the engine. I would say that 4500-5000 is probably max for any CUV. 4500 is already plenty for families that wanted something bigger than an edge/escape/ranger sized vehicle, but don't want to get a true SUV. If this had come out in 2005/06 my parents would've bought this instead of our V8 Explorer for use in towing our camping trailer.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I work with ardent Ford fans and owners who constantly tell me how good their F-150 or Fusion is but hate the Flex which is the only Ford I actually would consider. It seem that Ford may have to market this vehicle to the import crowd as well as the new Fiesta. Ford loyal customers are not ready or want quirky styling and since I haven't seeing many Flex on the road I wonder for how long can Ford sustain selling the Flex. The Freestyle/Taurus X was a decent vehicle but Ford pulled out within a few years. This vehicle seems more appealing now with this new engine but can anyone tell me how is the Flex holding up against the competition?
      • 6 Years Ago
      This is an amazing engine for its superb power and excellent fuel economy. Now Ford, can you PLEASE put the EcoBoost on the 2.5 L I4 (for the Fusion)? Pretty please? With a cherry on top?
      • 6 Years Ago

      The Lambdas might face more stronger competition now.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Put it in the AWD Fusion. And the Mustang.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Hell yeah! Eco boost Mustang!
    • Load More Comments