• Jul 24, 2009
After Ford VP Barb Samardzich officially announced the 2.0-liter four-cylinder EcoBoost engine for next year, a correspondent for the Examiner.com postulated that this engine was in fact nothing more than a re-badged, smaller version of the 2.3-liter engine from the MazdaSpeed3. Certainly there are similarities in the specs: four cylinders, direct fuel injection, turbocharging, etc. and there has been plenty of collaboration between the two companies. The Mazda CX-9 even uses a version of Ford's 3.7-liter V6.

We checked with Ford and while they have not released many details about the new engine, they did provide some explanation. The EcoBoost, like other recent DuraTec-badged Ford fours, shares a block design with Mazda's similar displacement units. In fact, the EcoBoost block is the same as the Mazda L3T used in the MazdaSpeed3. However, the entire top end of the engine has been redesigned. Like the V6 EcoBoost, the four uses a new direct injection system that is presumably less expensive, allowing Ford to use these engines much more widely than Mazda does.

The Mazda engine also does not have variable valve timing and requires premium fuel. All of the EcoBoost engines are designed to run on regular, although they will get a bit more power with extra octane. The EcoBoost also gets independent variable timing for each of the intake and exhaust cams.

So the two engines are built on the same foundations, but they are not the same engine.

Update: I mis-read the spec table on the MS3 engine and it does indeed have variable valve timing. However, the Ford engine exclusively uses the cam torque actuated system introduced on the revised 3.0-liter V6 last year.

[Sources: Ford, Examiner.com]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 38 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      The historical facts are these: The first two companies to offer direct injection engines on US market were Mazda and VW.

      It means that what we have here is either DISI 2.0 (like someone mentioned earlier) or a FORDified version of original DISI. Take your pick.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Jim, this whole article that we all are commenting on did not have a point. Why should I be any better.
        • 5 Years Ago
        do you have a point?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Funny image. Hopefully they're not injecting fuel at TDC :-)
        • 5 Years Ago
        No, it doesn't appear to be at TDC yet, since the intake valves are lower than the exhaust valves (intake open). Actually, the piston could be going "down*.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Fuel is injected during the intake stroke, for evaporative cooling.
        Basically all the direct injection systems work that way.

        If you want to look at slide 56: cold start 70% of fuel injected at 90 degree ATDC, 30% at 40 degree BTDC
        http://media.ford.com/images/10031/Flex_EcoBoost_Media_Pres.ppt

        • 5 Years Ago
        Actually, that is how one of the Direct Injection modes (Ultra Lean Burn) works. You inject an ultra lean mixture just after TDC while under light load (aka highway cruising).
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gasoline_direct_injection
      • 5 Years Ago
      Oh...

      So ecoboost isn't CURRENT mazda DISI turbo...

      Ecoboost is Version 2.0 of Mazda DISI turbo.

      If the engine's top end is more advanced, with a lower fuel requirement, and cheaper injection parts... do you really think Mazda won't get the tech, too?

      Technically, it is advancement. Good on 'em. But why would Ford get it, and not Mazda, or Volvo, if they are still in the family.

      Now, if they just re-locate the high pressure cam-driven fuel pump so that the engine can fit in the Miata/RX-style RWD chassis (with said engine, it would spawn MX versions along side RX 16X rotary versions), and then port that chassis to a slick coupe bodystyle, and ditch the joker-grin, Mazda will be all set. :D
        • 5 Years Ago
        @boxerfanatic: Try the "go fast" variants of the Falcon here in Australia
        • 5 Years Ago
        Mazda is a lot less involved with Ford than it used to be. And the implication with these "It's a Mazda engine" comments I think is that Ford isn't smart enough to make it themselves. The Ecoboost 6 proves this wrong.

        I'm sure the Ecoboost 4 will be tuned for more economy than the Mazda engine as well.
        • 5 Years Ago
        My other half is a former Ford employee, with roots back in Dearborn. Having many years dealing with import operations and product development, I can attest to the fact that there was a lot of shared development with Mazda. That said it was a two way street (where do you think Mazda V-6 engines came from). Even with that being the case, each company would take a core product and re-engineer it to conform to their specs.

        I doubt this will end up in any Mazda product in the near future. They can't even get hybrid powertrains from Ford.
        • 5 Years Ago
        First off, an engine family is an engine family, and is worked on by a pool of engineers at a corporate level. The engineers don't wear giant ford-script badges, and giant Mazda flying-M bird logos, and duke it out.

        Advancement in the tech is good. I welcome it, I happen to like mazda's product line, or at least potential for a product line, based on their Miata/RX8 chassis, more than Ford, which has only the Mustang for RWD chassis right now.

        But if the new top end is being developed, it will probably be used corporate-wide, not lorded by one brand over the other, especially if the DFI components are less expensive, and it can save Mazda some money over the current hardware.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It's another attempt to discount Ford's engineering capabilities, like the claim that Ford had merely licensed Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive for the Escape, when in fact they had developed their system independently, then signed cross-licensing agreements with Toyota. Just another lazy journalist who couldn't be bothered to do the proper research.

        And John Neff, the posting engine still sucks. I had to post this one twice.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm pretty sure the MS3 engine does have variable valve timing.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "What I really hate when British motoring journalists, most of whom treat Ford Focus as a British car...., write sentences like this: Mazda 3 will be built on "future" Ford Focus platform, "

        well, uh, they happen to be right, more or less. The 3 is on the C1 platform, the design of which was led by Ford of Europe with significant collaboration from Mazda and Volvo.

        "instead of simply telling ye olde Blighty that Focus will drive on what Mazda built."

        They don't tell them that because it would be wrong.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Oh, and as for the premium fuel requirement, that is only on the Mazdaspeed3. That same engine in the CX-7 can be run on regular unleaded, the MS3 is a performance application so they tune it as such.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "...for each of the intake and exhaust cams"?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Shame on Autoblog :-)

        The 2.3 liter engine uses Sequential Valve Timing, which is Mazda's moniker for the variable valve timing. My 1.6 liter Mazda 3, has SVT as well and the variable length intake manifold on top of that, as other Mazda's engines do.

        For the record, most of four-pots Duratecs are essentially rebadged Mazda MZRs, such as the 2.5 liter engine in the Fusion, 1.4, 1.6 and a 2.0 liter in the Euro Focus and other models. What I really hate when British motoring journalists, most of whom treat Ford Focus as a British car...., write sentences like this: Mazda 3 will be built on "future" Ford Focus platform, or Mazda 2 will utilize "future" Ford Fiesta platform, instead of simply telling ye olde Blighty that Focus will drive on what Mazda built.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Does it really matter?

      I think only those who want to argue whether or not Americans can make a good motor or not give a crap about this.

      If I buy the car and the engine is a good one, do I care who designed it?
        • 5 Years Ago
        "You shouldn't, but it is Amercan engineering vs. Japanese engineering after all. People like to talk crap about how Americans don't know how to do anything right. "

        that's just it. The problems that the Detroit 3 have had aren't generally engineering failures; they're failures on the part of management. We have plenty of top-notch engineering talent in the domestic auto industry, but that is all for naught once some air-head middle manager orders an ill-advised cost reduction just to pad profit by 50 cents a car- 'course the resulting warranty disaster won't be his problem, it'll be the next guy's problem.

        the only reason the general public thinks that this is a problem with american engineers is because the general public doesn't have clue #1 what engineering actually is.
        • 5 Years Ago
        You shouldn't, but it is Amercan engineering vs. Japanese engineering after all. People like to talk crap about how Americans don't know how to do anything right. The same thing is going on to some extent with the World Engines from Hyundai, Mitsubishi and Chrysler. All three companies have worked together since the 70's, so it doesn't really matter who gets credit for taking the lead in the design role, which was Hyundai this time around. Ford and Mazda go back a long way too.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Rumor has it that Ford looked at using the Mazda 3 turbo engine in a Focus variant, but that it didn't pass Ford's more rigorous durability requirements.


      Also, the Ecoboost engines are largely having their engineering done by Bosch with oversight by Ford engineers. At one point I read a good technical writeup on the Mazda turbo engine and it wasn't particularlly flattering. None of the design was really optimized for use with direct injection and a turbo. It makes decent power, but it isn't a very efficient design.

      Also, since Ford now only owns 10% of Mazda, the word is that the Mazda engineers that used to sit in on projects in Dearborn are no longer in attendance.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Not too surprising, it seems in line with what they've previously done. For example, the 2.0 liter Duratec used in the Focus is quite similar to the MZR, but without some of the bells and whistles, and it's clearly been optimized for fuel economy. Even without any VVT, the Focus always got better mileage than the equivalent 2.0 Mazda3, which I'm guessing is due to tuning with an emphasis on economy instead of performance.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Simple facts:

      1) MZR23 has terrible mileage compared to the competition the Duratec25 (Fusion, Escape, Mondeo) was developed by Ford NA and Ford of E to fix this. It still uses the MZR block (Mazda), but Mazda now buys Ford heads for even their applications.

      2) DISI23 was always heralded in niche performance applications (MS6, MS3) and panned in mainstream applications (CX7) - guess what EcoBoost will be mainly in Mainstream applications (Fusion/Mondeo, Escape/Kuga, etc)

      3) DISI gets poor power and FE compared to the modern competition AND has quirks. This is (again) fine for niche performance applications where the owners LOVE the car. A mainstream application a Camry fighter requires NO - i repeat NO quirks associated with the design.

      4) EcoBoost is a Bosch design lead by Ford of E (they actually pushed it over to Ford Global). The head is all new an developed for optimized performance with forced induction and direct injection. The 2 main goals did not include power, but rather Fuel economy, and durability/reliability/tgw. Very different from Mazda's thinking

      5) Yes, Ford and Mazda collaboration is done with. The current crop of sharing will not be renewed next time around.

      Igor
      • 5 Years Ago
      Actually most of Fords can be considered Germano-japanese cars, and definitely not American. the most ridiculous thing ,of course, is to consider them british. British have almost nothint to do with it. Americans simply can`t manage complex engineering, more precisely- they can`t manage precision engineering. most of Fords are Mazda based, . by the way ford hasn`t developed a single her own new car platform since 90ies, wait, 80ies.And if you think that they have developed a tnew truck platform, lean down and have a look, and try to compare, say, Nissan Gt-r platform with a 2 train -rail -based-leaf-spring- equipped atavism from Ford, like F series trucks. And, of course, most Ford engines are MZR based. It is quiet simple guys, the more complex a part is, the less likely it will be engineered by a US based company. The same goes for consumer electronics, trains, bikes, you name it. Kitko, you rule!!!! By the way I am a car designer, and my last project was Pontiac G9 entry-level coupe, before it got axed.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Turbo + low octane = fail
        • 5 Years Ago
        yeah, except the 3.5 liter Ecoboost only needs regular unleaded.

        • 5 Years Ago
        "Any low octane will put you in limp mode or retard your timing so much you might as well go n/a"

        yeah, except the 3.5 liter Ecoboost only needs regular unleaded.

        how many times do you want to do this? I'll say it again, just in case you missed it: The 3.5 liter Ecoboost runs at full rated power on regular unleaded.

        Direct injection changes the rules a bit.
        • 5 Years Ago
        No it does not make full power at 87 octane. Go do your research. Just because it has direct injection does not make it a miracle engine.

        Let me put it very blunt so you will understand, it CAN use 87 octane does not mean it WILL produce that power at 87octane. Using 87 will just retard the timing and produce lower hp numbers. Like I said, go do your research or email Ford.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "No it does not make full power at 87 octane. Go do your research."

        I work for a Ford supplier and I'm rather familiar with the Ecoboost engines. I don't expect you to believe that out-of-hand but I don't feel I need to do any research.

        "Let me put it very blunt so you will understand, it CAN use 87 octane does not mean it WILL produce that power at 87octane."

        sure it does. On the Taurus SHO specs, it says 91 octane is "recommended." If the engine needed premium fuel to perform as rated, then it would say "Premium Fuel *Required.*" My (Neon) SRT-4 requires premium fuel and is clearly labeled as such.

        The "91 Octane Recommended" is strictly Ford covering their own ass.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Any low octane will put you in limp mode or retard your timing so much you might as well go n/a
        • 5 Years Ago
        turbo + low octane = winnar

        how can it be a bad thing to have the option to use cheaper fuel to run through the engine?
        • 5 Years Ago
        GM's LNF 2.0L Ecotec makes 261HP on regular gas.

        Stop spreading nonsense.
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