Ford Introduces New EcoBlue 2.0L Diesel in Europe
New-Generation Diesel Debuts in Transit, Transit Custom
Volkswagen may have egg on its corporate face from its diesel emissions cheating scandal, and among passenger cars, consumer interest in diesel passenger cars is declining. However, for commercial vehicles, demand for diesel remains as strong as ever. Keeping the pedal down on innovation and development, Ford introduced its new 2.0L EcoBlue I-4 turbodiesel for the European market. The engine will effectively replace the current 2.2L “DuraTorq” I-4 diesel. The EcoBlue will initially be offered in the Transit and Transit Custom vans.
The different power ratings show the potential bandwidth of the engine, starting at 99 hp and going all the way up to 237 hp for high-output versions. The bread-and-butter configurations for the Transit will probably be the 128 hp and 168 hp versions. Torque output for installation in the Transit will range from 266 lb-ft to 299 lb-ft. For reference, torque output on the outgoing 2.2L DuraTorq ranges from 180 lb-ft to 270 lb-ft.
The engine borrows several innovations from Ford’s EcoBoost gasoline engines, including the belt-in-oil design from the 1.0L EcoBoost I-3. An offset crank reduces piston side-load, reducing friction and noise. Other innovations include a motorized, geared wastegate actuator for quicker response, a high-efficiency combustion chamber design, a high-strength, compact cast-iron block, and piezoelectric injectors capable of six injections per cycle. Like all new diesels, the EcoBlue comes standard with a urea-injection selective catalyst reduction system, and a close-coupled oxidation catalyst and particulate trap.
Considering Ford’s aggressive downsizing with its passenger car and light-truck engines, the introduction of the EcoBlue begs the question of whether or not this engine might eventually replace the 3.2L DuraTorq I-5 engine marketed in North America as the Power Stroke 3.2. The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, which used a 3.0L V-6 diesel for many years, recently started offering a 2.1L I-4 turbodiesel starting in 2014. Although less powerful on paper than the V-6, the use of a seven-speed automatic over the five-speed automatic with the V-6 made on-road performance very comparable, as well as more economical fuel consumption. For what it’s worth, we think this would be a dandy engine option on the North American–spec 2018 Ranger.