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Ford sees a 4-cylinder future

Automotive News reports on Ford's plans to use its four-cylinder EcoBoost engine through more models.

2 min read

Automotive News

DETROIT--Four-cylinder engines will reign in Ford Motor's lineup.

In a bid to boost fuel efficiency, Ford intends to double four-cylinder engine volume and offer a four-cylinder option for each car and crossover by 2013.

"We're all about the smaller displacement as a way to drive significant fuel economy without sacrificing performance," said Derrick Kuzak, Ford group vice president of global product development.

Ford's EcoBoost engine technology, which combines turbocharging and gasoline direct injection, is a striking example. EcoBoost improves fuel efficiency and combustion, allowing a smaller engine to generate horsepower comparable to a larger conventional engine.

With EcoBoost, Ford says it can replace V-8s with V-6s, V-6s with four-cylinders, and large-displacement four-cylinders with small-displacement four-cylinders.

Ford hasn't released output for its EcoBoost four cylinders. But in the Lincoln MKS, the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 will produce 355 hp and 350 pounds-feet of torque--equivalent to the power of a normally aspirated 4.6-liter V-8, Ford says.

By 2013, Ford plans to sell 750,000 EcoBoost engine systems annually in North America. Four-cylinders will account for nearly two-thirds of the mix, a Ford official said.

EcoBoost debuts this summer with the sale of a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6 in the Ford Taurus and Flex and the MKS. Kuzak won't say when the first four-cylinder with EcoBoost goes on sale.

CSM Worldwide powertrain analyst Eric Fedewa expects it to arrive in 2010 beginning in the Ford Focus. Four-cylinder engines with EcoBoost are expected to quickly follow on other nameplates such as the Ford Fusion.

Going forward, V-8s will have a place in pickup trucks, large SUVs, and the Mustang sports coupe, Kuzak said. But the dominance of V-8s even in pickups will ebb. Ford has announced a 3.5-liter V-6 with EcoBoost for the F-150 beginning in 2010. Kuzak also says a four-cylinder with EcoBoost is possible for Ford's flagship pickup.

Quick deployment across a large number of nameplates is key to Ford's strategy.

(Source: Automotive News)