Good Things Come in Small Packages – Ford’s EcoBoost Engine

Sometimes, it’s good to let go of old ideas about how the world works – like how fire is made out of magic, or how there’s a giant cliff at the edge of the world – or that you have to have a smaller, less powerful engine (or an expensive hybrid engine) in order to get better fuel economy. Well, no longer! It’s time again to turn upside down your ideas of the world and of how to build a better engine, and let Ford lead you into … t h e F u t u r e (insert echoing vocal effect)!

English: 3.5 Ford Ecoboost demo engine.

English: 3.5 Ford Ecoboost demo engine. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With Ford’s EcoBoost engines, available on most Ford models (see the list below), a combination of direct fuel injection and single or twin turbochargers increases horsepower and torque while decreasing fuel consumption. For a quick (and British!) explanation of how it works, check out this Youtube video from WorldCarFans.com:

“But really?” you may say, “Does it really work that well? I’m sure you can feel a difference.”

Well, I didn’t believe it either. So, I did what any skeptic would – I tested it out. I took two 2013 Ford Edges out on the road – one with the 2.0L EcoBoost engine, and one with the 3.5L DOHC Ti-VCT V6 (in laymans terms, a normal engine). In normal use, I really couldn’t feel a difference. Even in accelerating on the interstate to pass people (or for fun), there was barely any noticeable difference in get-up-and-go power until I really put the pedal to the metal, and at that point, I was already 10 over the speed limit, and I really didn’t feel like getting a ticket on company time. That’s not to say there wasn’t a difference, but since I don’t participate in any extra-legal street racing, for my purposes, I wouldn’t notice any difference except in how much heavier my wallet feels.

One thing that’s nice about the EcoBoost engine is that they have a separate oil cooler inside the engine that cools the oil that lubricates the turbochargers. This lets you simply turn the car off when you’re done driving (like any normal person would), instead of having to let it idle and to cool the turbochargers down. It’s a huge leap forward from the way turbochargers used to work, you know, way back in the 1980s. Another thing to note: the 3.5L V6 EcoBoost actually has twin turbochargers, so that the very slight lag between pressing the pedal and feeling the turbocharger kick in is virtually eliminated.

There are three different sizes of EcoBoost engine: a 1.6L I-4, a 2.0L 1-4, and a 3.5L V-6. The two I-4 EcoBoost engines both perform at (normal engine) V-6 levels, and the V-6 EcoBoost engine performs at the same level as a normal V-8. The size that is available depends on the vehicle you’re looking at, so here’s a handy chart:

 

Vehicle Model (2013)

Standard Engine

Available EcoBoost Engine

Fusion

2.5L iVCT I-4

1.6L I-4 EcoBoost or
2.0L I-4 EcoBoost

Focus ST

2.0L DOHC I-4

2.0L I-4 EcoBoost

Taurus

3.5L DOHC V-6

2.0L I-4 EcoBoost or
3.5L V-6 EcoBoost

Edge

3.5L DOHC V-6

2.0L I-4 EcoBoost

Flex

3.5L DOHC V-6

3.5L V-6 EcoBoost

Escape

2.5L DOHC I-4

1.6L I-4 EcoBoost or
2.0L I-4 EcoBoost

Explorer

3.5L 4V DOHC V-6

2.0L I-4 EcoBoost

F-150

3.7L 4V DOHC V-6

3.5L 4V DOHC V6 EcoBoost

 

In 2014, Ford is introducing another size of EcoBoost engine as well – the 1.0L I-3 EcoBoost that will be in the 2014 Ford Fiesta. Yes, you read that correctly. The engine only has 3 cylinders, with a capacity of only one liter, but it performs even better than the standard engine that comes in a Fiesta. This engine is already in use in Europe as an engine option in the Focus, and gets 123 hp and 148 lb-ft of torque, all while getting gas mileage in the mid-40s MPG. This engine is so small it can actually fit in a carry-on suitcase! This picture was featured in an article in the New York Times Autos section – check it out here:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/10/automobiles/packing-123-horsepower.html?smid=pl-share

For more information about the 2014 Fiesta, check out this advance review from AutoGuide:

For a more detailed look at the EcoBoost engine, check out this video:

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