• Apr 20th 2010 at 4:01PM
  • 77
In the automotive realm, marketing can sometimes prove just as important as the actual product. Take, for instance, Ford's well regarded EcoBoost technology, which couples turbocharging with direct injection to produce more horsepower and reduce fuel consumption. Would it surprise you to hear that General Motors has had similar technology on the market for over three years?

It's true. GM's first turbocharged, direct injected powerplants hit the market for the 2007 model. The 2.0-liter Ecotec mills put down an impressive 260 horsepower and a matching 260 pound-feet of torque, and they were lauded by the press in the engine bays of the Pontiac Solstice, Saturn Sky, Chevrolet Cobalt SS and Chevrolet HHR SS. But few people outside a core group of enthusiasts actually remember this fact.

Says Uwe Grebe, executive director of GM's global advanced engineering, "We didn't have a badge and say, 'This is the most important thing we will put on all our brochures.'" Ford, however, did just that, and it's EcoBoost engines are right at the tips of all our tongues when we discuss today's most advanced powerplants. So, how does The General fix its mistake?

Well, that's a tad complicated. "It would not be good to say, 'This is EcoBoost, only better,'" explains Grebe. "People need to know what it is," but "people don't want to know every detail of the technology."

[Source: Automotive News – Sub. Req'd]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Agreed, GM just hasn't done a good job with their marketing of turbo technology. Also they haven't employed it well. The 2.0T (LNF) is a great motor. But it's too expensive. As long as the Ecotecs are only used in more expensive vehicles, they won't really make a big dent in the marketplace. This is the same for Ecoboost, BTW.

      GM needs to make more affordable turbos, and they need to figure out how to market them. The Cruze should help a lot with both. Don't screw this up, GM.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Ummm...SAAB developed this 2.0t and had been using it since the '03 9-3 came out...GM just borrowed it into these models.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Not the same engine. They shared technology and know-how I'm sure, but Saab's 2.0T and the LNF 2.0T are different engines. In this case, the story isn't so much talking aobut turbo engines in general, but Turbocharged, DI engines of which the Saab 2.0t is not DI.


        If you scroll up just above the LNF section is the LK9 section which talks about the Saab turbo 2.0t.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Alot of you guys are still missing the point for the Ecoboost. The reason why you may see relatively the same fuel consumption with other engines, just like one post HEMI vs SHO, well one is RWD (HEMI) and other is AWD. If you HEMI would have AWD then i would think the MPG rating for the SHO would be at least 2mpg better. So bottom line is you cant just compare two cars just because you want to compare them. IF you really want to see the benefits of having EcoBoost, compare the same class, power ratings and drivetrain (AWD vs AWD) and you'll see the Ecoboost is superior. Plus the torque for for the Ecoboost is really good.
        • 5 Years Ago
        There is nothing special about the V6 EcoBoost's torque band. BMW has it too. My 2000 Audi had it too. The GM 2.0T Ecotec has a wide torque band too.


        As to the MPG, the 2.0T Ecotec Solstice/Sky got BETTER mpg than the normally aspirated equivalents, despite a ton more power.

        Ford's marketing is what is superior. They've taken the ball and run with it. Good for them.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Ford is putting them on mainstreams cars vs GM putting them in niche cars. The solstice, and sky are two seat roadsters. The cobalt is compact, people who want cheap will buy base model. People who want a cheap fast car will buy SS. The HHR has retro stylin which is not for most, and it's only the top model.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Yes and No.

      Marketing does play a big part in people's perceptions.
      They might not actively be seeking an "EcoBoost" engine, but in their minds fuel economy+power=Ford.... even if the EcoBoost engines are no better than GM's offerings.

      Branding a technology is very important - and even more so for complex assemblies that the average person doesn't fully understand. They might not get what Direct Injection does (or even know the term at all), and they might not know what turbocharging is, but you tell them that a car with this little badge gets good fuel economy while still being powerful and people tend to remember that. It might not be the biggest factor in their buying decision, but it's still something that people can relate to.

      GM should step up their marketing, but I would suggest they don't use the same term for all their divisions. Chevy should get one term that is different than Buick which should be different than Cadillac. GM sometimes has a hard enough time separating all their brands that the last thing they need is for people to realize that the engine in their luxury Cadillac is also shared by some lowly Chevy.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Eco Boost 2: Electric Boogaloo
      • 5 Years Ago
      Never mind GM, the poor bastards at Saab must be bashing their heads against the wall - "We've been building turbos for years that no one wanted! Now Ford comes along with its greenwashed name and that damn Sync, and suddenly everyone wants a freakin' Taurus!"
        • 5 Years Ago

        If you look up this 2.0T (LNF) engine, you'll probably see that it has "SAAB" stamped on the engine block etc. SAAB designed and built this DI engine with 260 hp/260 lbft way back. To bad GM didn't tap more into their experience then to come out with DI on a broad baseline for their engines. Marketing yourself as a market leader in engine technology does wonders for your sales. SAAB even had variable compression engines (Saab Variable Compression) back in late 1990 to early 2000. I think they won awards for technical excellence for that engine. But the project was shelved by GM when it accquired SAAB.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Ford's secret is the "EcoBoost" name. It sounds like you're getting something (a 'boost', which you are) for the money.

      GM's "Ecotec" sounds too green and tame; nobody cares.

      If GM resurrected the "Grand National" name, for instance, it would garner attention.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Remember the EcoTec found its way into the Ariel Atom as well. (But was then changed to a Honda to standardize to the UK build specifications.)
        • 5 Years Ago
        The Atom that Jay Leno owns is turbo Ecotec-powered (it was featured on My Classic Car).
        • 5 Years Ago
        Leno's is a supercharged Ecotec.
        • 5 Years Ago
        i am as big a fan of the forced induction ecotec as anyone but even i know that the k20 is the much better choice for that car
      • 5 Years Ago
      they need to put together some commercials of some of the 1000+ hp ecotec drag racers using stock blocks
        • 5 Years Ago
        You said stock block, not stock bottom end.

        A stock 4cyl block withstanding 1000whp is nothing new, Mitsubishis have been doing it for years.

        If you meant stock bottom end, which would include block, crank, rods, pistons, rings - then you'd have something. I very seriously doubt there is any stock bottom end 4 cyl Ecotec (or any other 4cylinder) handling 1000whp for even one drag pass.
        • 5 Years Ago
        An engine's use in a drag race vehicle proves nothing about reliability, or much else. That 1000HP engine has to last a handful of seconds without shooting a piston thru the hood, a consumer vehicle has to last 10+ years.
        • 5 Years Ago
        if the most important parts of an engine are capable surviving a 6 sec 1/4 mile it means at least those parts will not fail in the production 150 hp application
      • 5 Years Ago
      As many previously stated, it's unfortunate that the 2.0 turbo mill never went into anything that I'd want to drive. The Cobolt SS had a fungly front end and the HHR, well, some people love the styling, I fall on the other end of the spectrum. The Sky/Solstice were cool looking cars but I need something more than a weekend toy. I was hoping that they would to put it into an AWD application that looks half-way decent and would compete with the STI & EVO.

      I'm still hoping for a hot-rod Cruze with DSG but I've given up hope for AWD. Seems like none of the US manufacturers are willing to compete against those two Japanese rockets.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I would like to see someone test the fuel mileage of these "eco-boost engines" and regular engines. Then compare real world with EPA numbers. I guess in theory, at low RPMs the Turbo and non turbo engine would have relatively similar power and fuel mileage. At higher RPMS, the turbo would have more HP but the fuel mileage would decrease. So did Ford specifically design this Turbo system to beat the EPA test? This would give the turbo relatively similar fuel mileage numbers. However the Horsepower number that is advertised is the HP at the redline, thus giving the eco boost a much bigger HP number.

      And Jordan is right about the little leaf logo. It sells. If GM would have put little green leafs on all their products instead of the stupid GM chicklets they would never have been in trouble.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Surely the mileage drops like a stone if you put the foot to the floorboard, compared to a NA motor of similar displacement.

        I think the idea is that under normal conditions, these motors get the same or +/- 2mpg of non-turbo motors, but provide the power of a motor with 2 more cylinders.

        I think that's the marketing Ford was going for. The 3.5 effectively replaces a v8 motor... it's not meant to be a hypermiler's dream ride.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The 3.5L Ecoboost isn't really all that fuel efficient. In the real world an Ecoboost SHO gets almost identical mileage as the Chrysler Hemi sedans in both city and highway driving.

        As many people are saying, it's all marketing.
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