When Ford originally announced its Ecoboost engine strategy in early 2008, officials talked about getting fuel efficiency improvements of 15-20 percent over larger displacement, normally aspirated powerplants. However, they also said that as new vehicles were developed that took advantage of the new engines with lighter structures, the fuel consumption reductions would get even better.
We're still about a month or more away from seeing the new 2011 Ford Explorer devoid of camouflage, but the automaker is continuing to trickle out information. The latest news is that the new unibody SUV will use soy-foam seat cushions like the ones that debuted in the Mustang in 2008.
Last summer, during a preview of what was coming from Ford in 2010, the company officially announced that a 2.0-liter inline-four-cylinder Ecoboost engine would debut this year. Unfortunately, that's about all we were told at that time. Like the 3.5-liter V6 Ecoboost, the four will be direct injected and turbocharged. We expect it will be rated somewhere in the 230-250 horsepower range, similar to a 3.0-liter naturally aspirated V6.