Pickuptrucks.com has been doing some digging in the U.S. Department of Energy's document treasure trove and uncovered some information on Ford's new Bobcat (no, not the Mercury). It turns out "Bobcat" is the code name for a new boosted and ethanol-powered engine being developed in Dearborn.
The Bobcat engine is a new 5.0-liter V8 with gasoline port injection and turbocharging. A second set of direct injectors is used to feed a small amount of ethanol directly to the cylinders. The ethanol is used primarily for charge cooling, allowing the engine to run at higher boost and compression levels. It also allows the engine to run much leaner. Normally, running lean causes higher combustion temperatures, thus increasing production of NOx. However, the ethanol helps to alleviate the NOx by reducing combustion temperatures, and according to the data, Ford has been able to increase the brake mean effective pressure (BMEP) of a prototype E85 DI V6 engine from the standard 17 BAR to about 27 BAR.

BMEP is a measure of specific output of an engine independent of displacement. That BMEP of 27 BAR in a 3.5-liter V6 translates to a torque output of 553 lb-ft. Compare this to 350 lb-ft from a standard 3.5-liter Ecoboost and you know good things are on the way. Specifically, the 5.0-liter Bobcat can produce over 500 hp and 750 lb-ft of torque. That's the kind of torque number typically associated with big diesel engines and handily beats the 650 lb-ft of the 6.4-liter diesel currently offered in the Super Duty pickups.

The beauty of this particular ethanol boosting is that it can potentially offer better-than-diesel performance and efficiency without the expensive particulate filter and urea injection systems. If the concept can be scaled down effectively to smaller displacement engines, it could be the next step beyond the Ecoboost engines coming over the next couple of years.

[Source: PickupTrucks]

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