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Ford plan for Eco message: Power now, mpg in 2010

Automotive News reports on Ford's future powertrains.

Automotive News

DETROIT--Ford's new EcoBoost 3.5-liter V-6 engine, which goes on sale this summer, is being pitched as a performance story.

But next year, when the automaker launches a four-cylinder engine with EcoBoost, company marketers will be selling a different message: fuel economy.

"The I4s are going to be further solidifying our EcoBoost message, which is more about the fuel economy piece of it," said Brett Hinds, Ford's advanced engineering design and development manager.

EcoBoost combines turbocharging with gasoline direct injection, allowing significant shrinking of engine size--which saves fuel, according to Ford.

According to the automaker, EcoBoost will be available in 90 percent of its nameplates in 2013.

Ford hasn't disclosed vehicle applications and displacement for the I4 EcoBoost, which goes on sale in 2010.

The automaker has experimented with both 2-liter and 1.6-liter versions in concepts: a unibody Ford Explorer and a Lincoln compact. The I4 EcoBoost also has been mentioned as a possibility for the Ford Fusion mid-sized sedan.

For now, Ford is concentrating on launching the 3.5-liter EcoBoost this summer in the Lincoln MKS sedan and MKT crossover and the Ford Flex crossover and Taurus SHO sedan. It will be available in the F-150 pickup truck in 2010.

According to Ford, the V-6 EcoBoost will produce 355 horsepower and 350 pounds-feet of torque in the Lincolns, better than the V-8s in some competing nameplates. Ford expects highway fuel economy to be at least 22 mpg for the MKT and at least 24 mpg for the MKS.

Discerning the price of the EcoBoost is tricky. Ford has not said how it will package and price the I4 EcoBoost. On the Lincoln MKT, the EcoBoost is part of a $5,000 option package that includes all-wheel drive, an upgraded six-speed transmission, and other features.

(Source: Automotive News)