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Ford testing ethanol injection with Ecoboost

Ford is developing, under the Bobcat moniker, the next generation of Ecoboost engines featuring ethanol direct injection.

Ford's Bobcat
Ford's Bobcat engine includes standard port injected gasoline supplemented by ethanol direct injection.

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, 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.