SAE 2010: Ford confirms Explorer, F150 Ecoboost, ups production target to 1.5M

On Tuesday, Ford's VP of global powertrain development Barb Samardzich will be addressing the Society of Automotive Engineers World Congress in Detroit and Ecoboost will again be at the top of her agenda. Samardzich will confirm that before the end of this year, three more Ecoboost engines will be in production at Ford. The 1.6-liter inline-four Ecoboost will be built at the Bridgend plant in Wales and debut in the new C-Max people mover.

At the Chicago Auto Show, it was announced that the new 2.0-liter inline-four will go into the 2011 Edge and Samardzich will confirm Tuesday that it will be installed in the new unibody Explorer as well. That installation should come as no surprise, since just such a combination was listed as a powertrain for the Explorer America concept that debuted at the 2008 Detroit Auto Show when Ecoboost was originally announced.

The final worst-kept secret in the industry will be the confirmation that the 2011 F150 will be available with a 3.5-liter V6 Ecoboost. This will be the first rear-drive Ecoboost application. That brings the number of announced Ecoboost applications to eight (nine if you count C-Max and Grand C-Max) but Ford is saying there will be 11 this year. The Lincoln MKX is one likely candidate for the 2.0 and the Mondeo may get one of the four-cylinder units as well.

Samardzich will also announce that Ford has upped its Ecoboost production target from 1.3 million to 1.5 million by 2013. When Ecoboost was first announced, the target was 750,000. Onward and upward.

[Source: Ford]


  • Ford to launch three more EcoBoost™ engines by the end of 2010
  • The company remains on track to equip as much as 90 percent of its North American nameplates with EcoBoost, which would deliver worldwide sales of about 1.5 million units – 200,000 more than earlier estimates
  • By 2014, nearly 20 percent of Ford's global vehicle nameplates will be available with a fuel-saving stop/start system
DETROIT, April 12, 2010 – Ford Motor Company announced today that three more engines with the company's patented EcoBoost fuel-saving technology are scheduled to be launched by the end of the year. By 2013 Ford expects to be producing approximately 1.5 million EcoBoost engines globally, about 200,000 more than originally expected.

Plans call for an EcoBoost engine to be available in 80 percent of the company's global nameplates and 90 percent of North American nameplates. About half of the 1.5 million EcoBoost engines are expected to be sold in North America, while the rest are to be sold in Europe, South America and Asia Pacific regions.

"We are focused on sustainable technology solutions that can be used not for hundreds or thousands of cars, but for millions of cars, because that's how Ford will truly make a difference," said Barb Samardzich, Ford's vice president of powertrain engineering.

Samardzich is expected to detail EcoBoost production plans as well as the next three EcoBoost engines scheduled for launch by the end of the year during remarks Tuesday at the SAE World Congress.

The next three EcoBoost engines include:
  • 1.6-liter four-cylinder that will be offered in the European C-Max people mover.
  • The 1.6-liter EcoBoost will deliver quick acceleration and class-leading fuel economy.
  • 2.0-liter four-cylinder for the next-generation Ford Explorer SUV and Edge CUV.
This new engine will deliver best-in-class fuel economy and V-6 performance.

3.5-liter V-6 for the F-150. Ford engineers have upgraded the 3.5-liter V-6 for rear-wheel-drive applications. The EcoBoost F-150 is expected to deliver best-in-class fuel economy along with the power and towing capability of a V-8.

The three new engines will increase the number of global nameplates available with EcoBoost
to 11. EcoBoost is available now in the Ford Flex and Taurus and Lincoln MKS and MKT.

EcoBoost technology combines direct fuel injection, variable cam timing and turbocharging to reduce fuel consumption, CO2 emissions and cut vehicle weight, while giving drivers the performance of a bigger engine.

While Ford is rolling out the first generation of EcoBoost engines, researchers are studying ways to further downsize future EcoBoost engines, while preserving performance and raising fuel economy. More efficient turbochargers, super-precise control of the direct-injection fuel system, optimum gearing of the transmission and final drive will enable a smaller engine to run in what engineers call its "sweet spot" more often, said Dan Kapp, Ford's director of powertrain research and advanced engineering.

When an engine is in its sweet spot, it is running at its most efficient. That, combined with dramatic reductions in vehicle weight, will improve performance and fuel economy. Ford has committed to reducing vehicle weight by between 250 and 750 pounds per vehicle.

"We are trying to get in front of the pack in leveraging EcoBoost for fuel economy," Kapp said. "It's going to be a trend in the industry, and we can't rest on our laurels for one minute. We are going to keep wringing more efficiency out of EcoBoost."

EcoBoost is a key technology that will enable Ford not only to fulfill the company's goal to be among the leaders in fuel economy in every segment, but also to meet the federal government's new 35.5 mpg fuel economy standard, which takes effect in 2016. Samardzich said Ford could develop EcoBoost engines smaller than 1.6-liter.

In addition to high volume, affordability will be another key attribute of not just EcoBoost, but Ford's other fuel-saving powertrain technologies.

The new Fiesta, for example, is available with an optional fuel-saving six-speed dual-clutch PowerShift automatic transmission. When equipped with PowerShift, Fiesta is expected to get an EPA-rated 40 mpg on the highway. The PowerShift transmission also will be used in the next-generation Focus due in early 2011. PowerShift improves fuel economy as much as 9 percent over a four-speed automatic.

In addition to EcoBoost, other near-term powertrain technologies Samardzich outlined include:

Electrification: Ford has committed $1 billion to build plug-in, hybrid and battery electric vehicles and a plant that will assemble battery packs for these vehicles. The Transit Connect Electric is being launched later this year, while the Focus Electric is due next year. A hybrid and a plug-in hybrid will be built off Ford's global C platform, which underpins the Focus. Ford also plans to move battery pack production from Mexico to Michigan to support the production of electric and hybrid vehicles.

Six-speed transmissions: By the end of 2012, 98 percent of Ford North American vehicles will be equipped with fuel-efficient six-speed transmissions. A six-speed transmission can improve fuel economy between 4 and 6 percent. The latest vehicles to get six-speed transmissions are Mustang, which gets a new six-speed manual and a new six-speed automatic; Super Duty, which gets a new six-speed automatic; and Fiesta, which will introduce the segment's first dual-clutch six-speed automatic transmission.

Stop/Start systems: By 2014, as many as 20 percent of Ford's global nameplates could be equipped with stop/start systems, which turn off the gasoline or diesel engine when the vehicle comes to a stop and quickly restarts the engine when the driver's foot leaves the brake pedal. A stop/start system can reduce fuel consumption and emissions by around 5 percent, depending on conditions.

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