• Apr 14th 2010 at 12:01AM
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Over the course of 2010, Ford plans to aggressively ramp up its EcoBoost engine strategy with two new four-cylinder engines and the first rear-wheel-drive application of the boosted 3.5-liter V6. However, this is just the beginning as Ford is already hard at work on the next generation of EcoBoost engines. At the SAE World Congress on Wednesday, Dan Kapp, director of powertrain research and advanced engineering, and Bob Fascetti, director of large gas and diesel engine engineering, will be announcing that the next generation EcoBoost engines are adding cooled exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) systems.

Just like the direct injection and turbocharging used on the current EcoBoost mills, cooled EGR is derived from diesel engines. Exhaust gas is routed back into the combustion chamber to reduce the combustion temperatures. Controlling the combustion temperature has a number of benefits, primarily allowing the use of a leaner air/fuel mixture, which would normally burn hotter and thus produce more nitrogen oxide emissions. Running the exhaust gas through a heat exchanger before sending it into the intake stream improves the cooling effect further.

Using cooled EGR will also allow the use of even higher compression ratios without getting into knock situations. Engineers will be able to downsize engines even further without sacrificing power and torque. Overall, Ford estimates cooled EGR will improve EcoBoost efficiency by an additional five percent, further closing the gap between gasoline and diesel. More power, less fuel – it's a win/win scenario.

[Source: Ford]
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  • Ford's award-winning EcoBoost™ gasoline engines use many of the same technologies found in today's state-of-the-art diesels, including direct injection and turbocharging
  • The next generation of EcoBoost engines will move even closer to diesels as Ford introduces cooled EGR (exhaust gas recirculation), which helps enable higher compression ratios
  • Further refinements to EcoBoost engines expected to yield another 5 percent gain in fuel economy

DETROIT, April 14, 2010 – At the 2010 SAE World Congress this week, Dan Kapp, Ford's director of powertrain research and advanced engineering, and Bob Fascetti, director of large gas and diesel engine engineering, will detail how the next generation of the company's award-winning EcoBoost engines will further connect gasoline and diesel engine technology.

"The first generation of EcoBoost applied some of the key technologies found in powerful diesel engines – such as direct injection and turbocharging – and optimized them for the gasoline engine," said Fascetti. "The next generation of EcoBoost engines will continue that path to deliver more power and even better fuel economy with lower emissions, which are key customer benefits of EcoBoost technology."

Technologies being studied to further expand the potential of EcoBoost include cooled EGR and more advanced forms of turbocharging, which also have links to modern diesel engines. Cooled EGR as applied to an EcoBoost engine can improve efficiency and reduce the tendency for an engine to knock. Cooled EGR is exhaust gas that is cooled in a heat exchanger before being pumped back into the cylinders, where it lowers the combustion temperature.

The result: a cleaner-running engine that develops more power and delivers as much as a 5 percent gain in fuel economy over today's already efficient EcoBoost engines. Ford's current generation of 2.0-liter EcoBoost I-4 and 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 engines deliver between 10 and 20 percent better fuel economy than comparable normally aspirated V-6 and V-8 engines, respectively.

Ford holds more than 125 patents on its EcoBoost technology, which combines direct injection, turbocharging and variable valve timing to increase performance and reduce emissions. EcoBoost gasoline engines already use much of the same technology that is found in today's state-of-the-art turbo-diesels.

As with diesels, today's EcoBoost engines feature:

A high-pressure direct-injection fuel system fed by a common rail that delivers a precise amount of gasoline in the exact spot for fast and complete burn

Turbocharging to create a more dense mix of air and fuel in each cylinder

Special pistons with optimized bowls in the center to improve combustion efficiency. These pistons are also oil-cooled, which reduces in-cylinder temperatures

Reduced CO2 emissions and higher fuel economy

And just like diesels, Ford's EcoBoost engines deliver outstanding performance and driving enjoyment at all speeds. EcoBoost accomplishes this at less cost than a similar-displacement diesel engine.

"When it comes to smaller-displacement engines, EcoBoost is the perfect solution for most consumers," said Barb Samardzich, Ford's vice president for Powertrain Engineering. "EcoBoost delivers what customers need most – outstanding fuel economy and low-end torque."

Adapting diesel engine technology to a gasoline engine involves more than simply machining a few new parts and then just bolting them on, explained Brett Hinds, manager of Ford's advanced engine design.

"An EcoBoost engine has much higher operating temperatures than a diesel engine," said Hinds. "Many parts had to be upgraded to special metals and alloys that hold up to that environment. Our exhaust manifolds, for example, are made of stainless steel, and the turbochargers are made from high-temperature cast-iron alloy."

EcoBoost and diesel engines share higher pressures in the fuel system and higher compression ratios. For example, a regular port fuel-injected gasoline engine's fuel pressure is around 65 psi, while the pressure at which the fuel is delivered through the injectors in an EcoBoost engine can be as high as 2,250 psi.

State-of-the-art diesel engines, such as the new Ford-designed and Ford-built 6.7-liter Power Stroke® V-8, have fuel pressures that are even higher. But in both engines, the fuel is delivered to almost the exact same area. With EcoBoost, the fuel is introduced directly into the cylinder head, just like a diesel, and the fuel injection tip is right in the combustion, just like a diesel.

"We're introducing about 30 powertrains over the next couple of years to power everything from small cars to large pickup trucks," said Fascetti. "Our experience with a wide range of engines allows us to take the best solutions and apply them to many platforms to benefit the customer."

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      "the first rear-wheel-drive application of the boosted 3.5-liter V6"
      • 5 Years Ago

      Yeah, and all these things add cost. EGR coolers aren't free. Turbos and DI are pretty expensive, actually
      • 5 Years Ago
      Now if only they'd make a big RWD car to stick these in....

        • 5 Years Ago
        A 300+ HP Ecoboost mustang would be nice. :)
      • 5 Years Ago
      Ford is making cars/engines that make me proud to be an American again. I am tired of lusting after the European cars.
        • 5 Years Ago

        I'd ditch the BMW in a heartbeat for the right Ford car.... they are getting *so close*.
        Much like BMW and Hyundai, they are just charging ahead with new and awesome powertrains. Makes me proud!
        • 5 Years Ago
        I sold my 2007 BMW 335i and bought a 2010 Mustang GT and as good as the 335i was I am even happier with the Mustang. When they upgraded the interiors for 2010 and added Sync it was a no brainer. In fact Sync is better than the hands free set up I had in the BMW by a long shot. 0-60 for the 335i was 5.0 and the Mustang is 4.9 PLUS I get to buy American once again. Have you heard that V8 rumble, it is truely a sweet sound.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Wow.. that's inspiring. How many fuel pumps did you have to change before you sold the 335? hehehe..

        It's good to hear that nothing is lacking in the GT.. I am waiting for the 40+mpg DI + start 'n stop Focus powertrain myself.... since BMW won't sell a good 4 cylinder car other than the mini ( bleh )
      • 5 Years Ago
      It will drive up costs. All of this R&D costs money. The new fuel economy regulations will add substantial cost to each new car (can't remember the exact number, I think it was on the order of $1000-1500). It's just getting to the point where the EPA penalties are going to be higher than the cost to the manufacturer to comply.
      • 5 Years Ago
      No, it is not
      • 5 Years Ago
      Interesting how much technology these modern gas engines are starting to borrow from the diesel side of things. Maybe we should have just used more diesel engines from the start? ;-)

      On one hand, it really amazes me just how much power and efficiency we can get out of modern engines. On the other hand, the complicated nature of these new engine kind of scares me. I'm not sure if I want to give up my N/A V8's just yet.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yea, I hate the fact that we don't have smog anymore!
        • 5 Years Ago
        "Interesting how much technology these modern gas engines are starting to borrow from the diesel side of things. "

        When Ford first announced the TwinForce (now called EcoBoost) program, they flat out said it was their goal to make a gasoline motor behave like a diesel motor. It shouldn't be a surprise that much of the new tech is taken from the diesel world.

        Now, if they could just do something about those pesky spark plugs.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I agree 100%. The EcoBoost is a pretty good engine, but it would be utterly worthless if the EPA didn't make it virtually impossible for automakers to sell diesel cars in America at a reasonable cost.
      • 5 Years Ago
      All this technology has downsides.

      Electronic issues aside, mechanical valves like the EGR valve have a nasty habit
      of getting plugged with soot and seizing up in general because they are in the direct pathway of temperature curves and combustion debris. Just look up EGR failures if you don't believe me. The effect with a broken EGR.. or just somewhat plugged EGR.. will be that the engine runs way hotter than normal, causing a engine with limited margins to take more beating than a differently designed engine would. Also on a damaged EGR, the engine response will probably be nonexistent if the turbo hasn't spooled yet.
      Technology is nice.. and as much as I hate the "Big Block" type of engines (I'm from the other side of the pond).. they do have their merits indeed.
      Large simple engines are simple to fix and can take a hell of a lot of beating.
      Although EGR's are nothing new.. they are yet another thing on a modern engine that can break.
        • 5 Years Ago
        That reminds me of my 6.0 PSD. but I took that EGR out.
        • 5 Years Ago
        the higher temperatures of these new engines add a new variable to erg failure
        • 5 Years Ago
        Simple engines, huh? Sounds familiar....
        • 5 Years Ago
        Sure, but isn't an EGR standard emissions equipment as of OBD1/2?
        my '96 car has one.
      • 5 Years Ago

      I never thought I would ever consider looking at a Ford - but they have been on a roll.
        • 5 Years Ago

        ...EcoBoost Fiesta and a Mustang GT in my garage please!
      • 5 Years Ago
      I would be curious to find out what other companies are either already using EGR or have plans to in the not-to-distant future. Is this a first for a gasoline engine from Ford? If so, that is very impressive.

      Also what kind of actual numbers are we going to see from these new engines - hearing 5% more efficiency is great and all, but give us actual displacement/power/mileage numbers.
        • 5 Years Ago
        All engines use Exhaust Gas Recirculation. That's a pretty standard emissions feature on almost every, if not EVERY EPA controlled gasoline engine. What Ford has done is COOLED the EGR, to further reduce combustion temps.

        The thing that I don't get is that I remember for physics that engines that operated at higher temperatures, a la, diesels, were inherently more efficient. Why would they want to reduce combustion temps? Wouldn't that lower efficiency?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Most engines, far from all, use EGR either internally via variable valve timing (phaser on intake works, but exhaust phaser works better. Best if you have both :) or VCT
        As a lower tech option externally via feedback tube.
        internal EGR is better for emissions & mileage. (especially see page 7)
        • 5 Years Ago
        EGR is used to reduce emissions by slowing the rate of combustion. Faster combustion produces higher temperatures. Higher temperatures cause nitrogen to react with oxygen producing nitrogen oxides which are a significant pollutant, they were the original emissions that brought about emissions controls since they cause acid rain and smog.

        EGR doesn't increase efficiency by itself (not sure it hurts either), but by decreasing combustion speed, it works like higher octane fuel does and thus allows higher compression ratios to be used which increases efficiency.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Good stuff Ford, keep it coming.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Cooled EGR is a maintenance nightmare, worse than hot EGR. Figure about 50K miles or whenever warranty runs out you have to ream out a ridiculously small head passage and/or replace the head.

        Ima just sayin'.....
        • 5 Years Ago
        Just more good news from Ford and it shows how the "EcoBoost" brand name is a very smart marketing idea to focus engine efficiencies around. EcoBoost is more than just an add-on turbo... its a growing combination of advanced technologies to achieve higher efficiency, both MPG and lower emissions, something you can NOT get from a simple big block V8... they are emission pigs!

        Some additional Ford engine tech thats in R&D:
        - Laser-based ignition
        - Ethanol injection (code name "Bobcat")
        - AC-based intercooler for performance boost (Ref. Ford GT R&D)
        - Advanced integrated turbo-manifolds (Ref. Ford's 6.7L PS Diesel)
        - More patented electronic controlls - this is the real "heart" of EcoBoost...!!!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Aaron, EGR does not reduce emissions by 'burning it off' again. EGR is used primarily to combat NOx, which forms at high combustion temperatures. By reducing the combustion temps, you reduce NOx. The way that EGR works is the EGR gas acts as an inert thermal mass mixed in with the burned mixture. Because it is inert, it does not burn itself. So all it does is absorb the heat bringing down the overall combustion temperature. Think of pouring warm water into a pot of boiling water; the warm water will bring down the overall average temperature of the pot.

        By cooling the EGR before it goes back into the cylinder, it brings down the average temp even more. By doing so, it enables you to run leaner A/F and/or increased timing which increases your efficiency.
        • 5 Years Ago
        How about Ford just add variable exhaust valve timing to the 3.5 EB V6?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Best part of all...no hybrid needed.
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