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Roadshow Video Reviews
Ford eco-boost technologyIs this gas engine smarter than a hybrid? We take a first look from the 2008 Detroit auto show.
[ music ] ^M00:00:08 [ background music ] >> So here's Ford's concept for a future Explorer. They call it the Ford Explorer America. To me that's because America's gonna be facing six, eight, ten dollar a gallon gas a few years down the road, and Ford is cognizant of that. So this car is also a showcase for what they call the eco boost engine. Simple idea. Let's say it's an inline four, two liter turbo charged with direct fuel injection. Not a new idea, it's being done by several car makers already, but not on the scale that Ford envisions. They want to push out a half a million engines a year this way within a few years, and that would be far and away the biggest mass deployment of gas TDI technology. Why would you do that? Because they get about twenty, twenty plus percent better mileage, and fifteen or so percent lower emissions. Also Ford says this kind of a green engine pays itself off, its additional cost, much faster than a hybrid, or even a diesel. They claim you'll pay off this car ten years faster than a hybrid. That could be a little optimistic, but we do know that cars like a Prius take at least a handful of years for you to earn back the additional money of the initial cost. Inside the car it's more than just an engine story. Some really interesting configurability with the seats, notice how the seats are all hung off a central column and float in mid-air above the floor. 3D compass is kind of cool, and that whole big super wide screen navigation text display is strictly Jules Verne twenty first century, but it's typical car show stuff. Out back, kinda like my eighty eight Country Squire this has a little different take. Dual facing car bench planks pull out to a little working table, in case you want to have a sales meeting in the field. One more key trick, when you've got a really small engine pushing a pretty big vehicle, you'll want to get rid o parasitic losses. So this car also showcases electric power steering, as opposed to a belt-driven mechanical pump that sucks power away from the motor. [ background music ] In fact Ford says that's not futuristic at all. They say most of their cars will have electric power steering by 2012. ^M00:02:08 [ music ]