Ford officially took the wraps off its new EcoBoost V-6 today, which will first be found in the 2010 Ford Flex, Lincoln MKS and Lincoln MKT later this year. The twin-turbocharged 3.5L engine generates 355 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque while maintaining naturally-aspirated V-6 fuel economy.
"EcoBoost gives the driver a very linear torque response," said Corey Weaver, the EcoBoost project leader. "You get peak torque across a very wide engine speed range -- usable performance that's available to you when you pull away from a stoplight or pass someone on a secondary road. You don't need to wind the engine out to get performance out of it. It's there all the time."
Ford promises that precise computer control of the throttle and waste gates will make the EcoBoost engine's power delivery so smooth and linear that customers won't even notice that it's turbocharged. The noises that normally accompany traditional turbocharged engines will not be present, nor will the "turbo lag" that makes a turbocharged vehicle feel sluggish at low RPMs.
The primary goal of Ford's EcoBoost program has been to build engines that perform like large engines with the fuel-efficiency of small engines. Ford says that the first vehicle to receive the EcoBoost, the Lincoln MKS, will boast a claimed best-in-class 25 mpg highway. The MKS isn't the only vehicle Ford is boasting about, either. The company says that the 2010 Ford Flex and 2010 Lincoln MKT will both also feature best-in-class fuel economy, with the EcoBoost Flex achieving 22 mpg highway and 18 mpg combined and the EcoBoost MKT achieving 23 mpg highway.
To achieve V-8 power with V-6 fuel-economy, Ford combined direct fuel injection, precise cam phasing and twin turbochargers. The EcoBoost features two Honeywell GT15 turbochargers that spin at up to 170,000 RPM and produce up to 12 psi of boost. The turbos are water-cooled to prevent oil coking at, extreme operating temperatures of up to 1,740 degrees Fahrenheit and allow the engine to be shut down immediately, rather than waiting for it to cool. While the turbos force-feed the engine air, Bosch injectors squirt fuel directly into the combustion chamber at up to 2150 psi. The result is impressive power with even more impressive durability. Ford says that the EcoBoost will require no special treatment and will need oil changes at normal 7200 mile intervals. The turbochargers are rated for a 10-year, 150,000-mile lifespan.
The Lincoln MKS will be the first to receive the EcoBoost V-6 engine later this year, followed by the 2010 Lincoln MKT and 2010 Ford Flex. Ford says that by 2013, more than 90% of its North American lineup will offer some form of EcoBoost technology.