A New Era - The Art of EcoBoost

Mon, Apr 23, 2012

  • Ford’s new Falcon EcoBoost will deliver consumers a new standard in large car fuel efficiency, reduced CO2 emissions, outstanding performance and affordability
  • By 2013 more than 90 per cent of Ford’s global nameplates are expected to be available with an EcoBoost option
  • Ford EcoBoost’s global engine family features direct petrol injection, turbocharging and variable valve timing for maximum combustion efficiency

What is EcoBoost?

EcoBoost technology is a new family of engines designed and engineered by Ford globally for its range of passenger cars and trucks.

By 2013 more than 90 per cent of Ford’s global nameplates are expected to be available with an EcoBoost option.

These new engines combine direct injection, turbocharging and variable valve timing to maximise performance and torque while improving fuel economy and reducing CO2 emissions.

For Australia, the rollout of Ford’s high-tech EcoBoost technology in the FG Falcon MkII is will enhance customer options and supplement an already outstanding complement of engines available in the Falcon sedan and Ute.

The development of the EcoBoost engine for Falcon was a key element of Ford’s $232 million investment in a range of sustainability initiatives across all local vehicle lines, including a new diesel engine for Territory and the sophisticated EcoLPi for Falcon and Falcon Ute.

“We greatly appreciate the assistance of the Australian and Victorian State Governments towards the development of the Falcon EcoBoost,” said Ford Australia President & CEO Bob Graziano.

“The project was made possible with a $42 million Federal co-investment under the Green Car Innovation Fund, as well as co-investment provided by the Victorian Government.”

EcoBoost is now an important part of a suite of engine options available for customers in Ford Australia’s full-size family sedan, as well as the acclaimed Ford Mondeo.

Apart from the all-new Falcon EcoBoost, customers can choose between the proven 4.0-litre in-line six cylinder petrol engine or high-tech liquid-injection LPG system in the Falcon EcoLPi. The 4.0-litre six cylinder petrol engine is also available with turbocharging in the sporty XR and G6 series.

By adding EcoBoost technology, Ford Australia is able to offer a full-size family vehicle with improved fuel efficiency and a lower CO2 footprint, to meet the environmental demands expected by consumers.

EcoBoost is a keystone of the Ford Motor Company’s sustainability initiatives.

The key to the EcoBoost system is the harmony between the turbocharger and direct-injection fuel system.

The turbocharger recovers energy from the exhaust that otherwise would have been wasted and puts it back into the engine to gain efficiency.

Simply, the turbocharging system puts more air into the engine for more power. A compressor increases or “boosts” the pressure of the air entering the engine. An intercooler reduces the air temperature before it enters the engine.

Ford’s EcoBoost strategy can produce V8-like performance in a six cylinder and six cylinder like performance in an I-4.

The all-new EcoBoost 2.0-litre I-4 engine available in the FG Falcon MkII combines turbocharging and direct-injection technology to deliver significant fuel consumption and CO2 emission reductions compared to conventional, larger-displacement petrol engines with similar power outputs.

At the same time, EcoBoost engines will deliver the off-the-line power and performance characteristics familiar to diesel enthusiasts.

Globally, Ford engineers have looked at every available engine configuration, comparing power, price, fuel economy and CO2 emissions, determining the best way to power Ford vehicles in the future.

The result is the company’s EcoBoost strategy, which is now an integrated part of Ford’s global mid- and long-term sustainability strategy.

Combined with advanced multi-speed transmissions, electric power steering, weight reductions and aerodynamic improvements, EcoBoost will help Ford address some of the world’s energy challenges without sacrificing the joy of driving.

Globally automotive manufacturers are increasingly turning to more efficient, smaller capacity engines in their vehicles. Known as ‘downsizing’, these engine strategies are designed to meet increasingly demanding fuel economy and CO2 emissions targets without sacrificing the power and torque attributes of larger-capacity petrol engines.

Automotive engines, like consumer electronics – mobile phones, laptops etc – have become smaller and more powerful and capable over the years. The EcoBoost family of engines is doing that too, enabling a smaller engine to replace a larger engine with improved fuel efficiency.

The rising popularity of four-cylinder powerplants around the world has been attributed to a host of technical improvements, such as direct injection, turbocharging and variable valve timing systems, all the things that are a feature of the EcoBoost four cylinder engine available in the FG Falcon MkII.

These technology improvements have transformed some four-cylinder engines into performers that can more than match their larger capacity counterparts.

Advanced engine designs

The 2.0-litre Ford EcoBoost unit is an advanced lightweight, high efficiency engine design that has been specially developed from Ford’s latest four-cylinder engine families.

It has all-aluminum construction, with 16-valve DOHC cylinder heads featuring twin independent variable cam timing.

The engine has been refined for maximum operating efficiency with optimised lubrication system design and application of low-friction coatings.

The advanced combustion system design allows it to meet the most stringent global CO2 emissions requirements.

What are the advantages of EcoBoost?

A key advantage of the Ford EcoBoost approach to engine technology is the ability to downsize engine capacity, so that larger naturally-aspirated engines can be replaced by much smaller units without sacrificing power output.

The performance boost offered by turbo-charging typically can result in significant gains in torque from low revs, so there is a significant opportunity to downsize capacity while still providing a potential performance benefit.

The advantages of downsizing include improved efficiency through reduced internal friction, lower pumping losses and lighter weight – which also makes the engine warm up more quickly.

This helps to ensure that the real-world fuel economy benefits of Ford EcoBoost engines are delivered in all driving conditions, including both city and highway driving.

Ford holds more than 125 patents on its EcoBoost technology, which combines direct injection, turbocharging and variable valve timing to maximise performance, torque and fuel economy as well as reduce CO2 emissions.

EcoBoost petrol engines already use much of the same technology that is found in today’s state-of-the-art turbo-diesels.

The success of Ford’s EcoBoost system lies in a combination of advanced hardware and a complex control system using hundreds of thousands of lines of computer code and related parameters.

Through extensive research and testing, engineers have developed these proprietary software strategies integrating the engine, transmission and fuel management for dynamic driving.

As with many diesels, today’s EcoBoost engines feature:

  • A high-pressure, direct-injection fuel system fed by a common rail that delivers a precise amount of petrol in the exact spot for fast and complete burn.
  • Turbocharging to create a more dense mix of air and fuel in each cylinder.
  • Special pistons with optimised bowls in the centre to improve combustion efficiency.
  • Reduced CO2 emissions and high fuel economy.

The Falcon EcoBoost 2.0-litre four cylinder is also lighter than Falcon 4.0-litre in-line six cylinder, helping maintain the Falcon’s reputation as an agile driver’s car.

The EcoBoost I-4 will spool up quickly to maximum torque and maintain it across a broad rev range, delivering power when needed.

Simply, the turbocharging system puts more air into the engine, creating more power across a wider rev range. However, the turbocharger in the I-4 EcoBoost is also designed to deliver greater refinement and lower CO2 emissions.

The 2.0-litre EcoBoost I-4 engine also adds Twin Independent Variable Camshaft Timing (Ti-VCT) technology to the recipe for success.

Compared with expensive hybrid and diesel engines, EcoBoost builds upon today’s affordable petrol engines and as such can be priced competitively.

Additionally, EcoBoost boasts consistent real-world fuel economy benefits not matter what the drive cycle - city or highway.

Fuel efficiency Australians need with performance they want

Ford’s new Falcon EcoBoost will deliver consumers a new standard in large car fuel efficiency, reduced CO2 emissions, outstanding performance and affordability.

Falcon EcoBoost is part of a suite of engine options for Australian customers - from the hightech EcoLPi to performance turbocharged engines available in the company’s sporty XR range.

The first rear-wheel drive application of Ford’s global EcoBoost technology delivers an 18 per cent improvement in fuel efficiency for the Falcon XT, compared to the standard in-line six-cylinder engine.

Achieving just 8.1L/100km1, the Falcon XT delivers just 192g/km of CO2.

The G6 and G6E also receive significant fuel economy and CO2 emissions improvements with the introduction of the EcoBoost engine. Fuel economy improves to 8.5L/100km1 – a 14 per cent improvement; while CO2 emissions improves by 14.8 per cent to just 201g/km compared to the six-cylinder.

Despite achieving such impressive new fuel efficiency and emissions targets, the Falcon EcoBoost engine continues to provide drivers with the performance they expect and appreciate in a large car.

Official power and torque figures return 179kW @ 5500 rpm and 353Nm @ 2000 rpm.

“Given the rising fuel costs impacting many Australians, Ford’s EcoBoost technology really is the best way to achieve improved fuel efficiency and reduced CO2 emissions, at a price consumers can afford,” said Ford Australia President & CEO Bob Graziano.

“Our goal has been to find the sweet spot for Australian consumers – to give them the fuel efficiency they need, combined with the power they want.

“The Falcon EcoBoost is also a welcome addition to our widely respected family of Ford Falcon engines – the normally aspirated and turbocharged in-line six cylinder as well as the liquid-phase injection EcoLPi engine.”

What is Ti-VCT technology?

Ti-VCT technology creates precise, variable timing control of both the intake and exhaust camshafts, which control the valve opening and closing events. Each of the two camshafts is controlled independently.

Ti-VCT uses the intake camshaft phasing to advance the intake valve opening and closing events and the exhaust camshaft phasing to retard the exhaust valve events from their base “engine off” positions.

How does it help?

The ability to vary the overlap between the intake and exhaust valves helps eliminate compromises in the two processes: fresh charge induction and exhaust gas discharge.

The result is greater efficiency through reduced gas exchange pumping work, which leads to improved fuel efficiency from this strategy alone compared with non-VCT engines.

Another benefit of Ti-VCT technology is a broadened torque curve. Because the Ti-VCT strategy allows the intake valve to be advanced, instant power is delivered when the customer demands it at low speeds.

At high speeds, the intake cam is retarded and higher airflows are available, which results in approximately a 10 per cent power improvement over non-VCT engines.

How important is EcoBoost?

EcoBoost technology is part of a global engine strategy that underpins the One Ford vision to develop and accelerate new products Ford customers want and value.

Currently EcoBoost technology is available in I-4 and six cylinder engines. Ford has also recently launched a 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine, which will power a range of global vehicles, including the EcoSport Sports Utility Vehicle. The EcoSport is expected to arrive in Australia in 2013.

By 2013 Ford expects to be producing 1.5 million EcoBoost engines globally, about 200,000 more than originally expected.

Apart from Ford’s 2.0-litre direct-injection four cylinder and 1.0-litre three-cylinder, the EcoBoost family also includes a 1.6-litre I-4 and 3.5-litre V6.

Plans call for an EcoBoost engine to be available in more than 90 per cent of the company’s global nameplates by 2013.

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.

Where is it manufactured?

The 2.0-litre EcoBoost engine is the company’s first global EcoBoost engine and is manufactured to Australian specifications at the Valencia engine plant in Spain.

1 Figures obtained from controlled tests using ADR 81/02 (combined). Actual fuel consumption will depend on many factors including driving habits, prevailing conditions and the vehicles equipment, condition and use.