We haven't been too excited about Ford's Ecoboost tech, simply because it's not really new tech. However, Ford's next evolution of Ecoboost, code-named Bobcat, might be worth getting worked up about.
According to sources at PickupTrucks.com, the Bobcat is essentially a turbocharged engine running at a high compression ratio. Typically, this combination results in disaster, but Ford's system has a trick up its sleeve in the form of ethanol injection.
The Bobcat builds on Ford's Ecoboost engines by including a direct injected ethanol nozzle that adds small amounts of ethanol to the standard port injected air/fuel mixture. The ethanol cools the combustion chamber to prevent premature detonation, allowing the turbocharged engine to run extreme compression ratios.
The system promises 5 to 10 percent greater fuel economy than EcoBoost engines, which already promise a 20 percent increase over Ford's traditional engines. Turbodiesel enthusiasts already know that high compression plus a turbo equals gobs of torque, which is why the Bobcat is speculated to be a potential replacement for the large diesel power plants that power Ford's heavy- and super-duty trucks. A 5.0-liter turbo V-8 with ethanol boost could be rated at 500 horsepower and 700 foot-pounds of torque.
With the system's lower entry cost combined with gasoline's consistently lower cost per gallon, this system could be a viable alternative to diesel engines in the big trucks of the future.