2009 is the beginning of Ford's EcoBoost era, with its spanking new twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 finding its way under the hood of the Lincoln MKS and MKT and the Ford Flex and Taurus. While the blown six is able to deliver V8 performance with V6 fuel economy, it hasn't exactly put up eye-popping city and highway mileage. Ford hopes to change that with the introduction of a four-cylinder version of the engine.

Ford has confirmed what we've known for some time: a new 2.0-liter four-cylinder EcoBoost variant is on the way, capable of at least 230 hp and 240 lb-ft of torque. The engine will reportedly give drivers V6 performance with four-pot fuel economy, with possible applications for both cars and trucks. According to Inside Line, Ford reps said the first application of the 2.0-liter EcoBoost won't necessarily be in a car, either. Since the Ford Explorer America concept was powered by a 2.0-liter EcoBoost, the 2011 Explorer is a likely candidate. We've heard rumors about a four-cylinder EcoBoost under the hood of F-150s, Fusions and Mustangs, too, and in order for Ford to make the new mill cost effective, it has to be fitted to as many models as possible.

Ford promised that EcoBoost technology would soon be available across its lineup, and four-cylinder variants are crucial to Ford's ability to hit 2016 EPA mileage standards of 35.5 mpg. We're looking forward to which vehicles will receive four cylinder EcoBoost engines first, and we've got a feeling we'll hear more when the auto show season starts in the fall.

[Source: Inside Line]