An interesting Press Release from Ford today. Encouraging in the sense that Ford engines are moving forward and several world-class examples are reaching production.
However, we would take issue with the explanation of the Explorer 2 liter EcoBoost compared to the previous 4 liter V-6. The 4 liter was one of the least competitive and oldest engines still produced by Ford. The basic architecture dated back to the sixties. It was only offered in the Explorer and Mustang for cost reasons, where it provided a very dull and unsatisfying experience.
In terms of the competition, Nissan’s state-of-the-art 4 liter V-6 currently produces 266 horsepower and 288 lb-ft of torque. The EcoBoost 2 liter cannot produce that kind of power in its current form while maintaining the required emissions and mileage.
Keep in mind the other half of the challenge: despite all the press spin on this topic, the bottom line is that the new Explorer has lost only 100 pounds pounds in weight from the previous generation Explorer. That’s meaningless in terms of fuel economy. And over the history of the Explorer from the beginning, it has gained in seize and added several hundred pounds in weight. While the 2 liter EcoBoost is a fine engine – we’d take one – it has to haul far more weight than it should. And the only reason the new Explorer carries this size and weight is because of the Volvo-originated suspension it is based on. Same problem with the new Taurus (which in SHO form at a minimum of 4368 pounds is grotesquely obese, especially when compared to the original SHO at 1000 pounds less!). The weight problem is going to be the next challenge for Ford to overcome, but given the investment costs and model cycles, it may be another 6 to 8 years before we see the kind of Explorer Ford is capable of building, rather than the one they were forced to build.
Ford Press Release follows:
Ford Engines Are Getting Smaller, While Fuel Economy and Horsepower Are Growing
- Ford engineers are creating a new generation of global engines that use advanced technology – not more cylinders – to enhance performance
- Ford’s new engines are the most fuel efficient and powerful in the company’s 107-year history
- The optional 6.8-liter V10 engine in the 2011 F-Series Super Duty is rated at 305 horsepower and 420 lb.-ft. of torque. F-150’s EcoBoost 3.5-liter engine – with about half the displacement – delivers 365 horsepower and the same 420 lb.-ft. of torque. The horsepower per liter of the V10 is 38.125 compared with more than 127 for the 3.5-liter
- The 2011 Mustang coupe has a 3.7-liter V6 engine rated at 305 horsepower and delivers as much as 31 mpg highway, according to the 2011 EPA Fuel Economy Guide. The 3.7-liter replaced a 210-horsepower 4.0-liter V6 that was EPA-rated at 26 mpg highway. The 2011 Mustang Coupe is the first car in history to have a 300-plus-horsepower engine rated at 30 mpg or more. It also delivers 0-to-60 times of around six seconds