powertrain spokesperson Alan Hall says Ford hasn't officially
confirmed EcoBoost engines will carry a $700 premium, as reported
only official comment about ethanol boost technology comes
from Dan Kapp, director, Ford powertrain research and advanced
engineering. Kapp says, "EBS has the potential to be a technology
that could deliver diesel-type performance at a more affordable
Ford says its new line of turbocharged EcoBoost direct-injection gasoline
engines will deliver up to 20 percent better fuel economy in its cars
and trucks than conventional engines, but it isn't expected to stop looking
for efficiency gains there.
sources tell PickupTrucks.com that Ford is already developing the next
iteration of EcoBoost motors with suppliers under the code name
will feature ethanol
boost technology, developed by Ethanol Boosting
Systems, LLC of Cambridge, Mass., that promises 5 to 10 percent greater
fuel economy than EcoBoost engines.
Ethanol boosting starts with a small turbocharged engine with separate
gasoline and ethanol fuel injectors for each cylinder. The gasoline system
mixes fuel and air in the motor's intake manifold using port injection.
The second system injects small amounts of ethanol directly into the
combustion chamber to control premature detonation, or knock, that results
from the high temperature and pressure of a turbocharged engine. The
ethanol prevents knock by cooling the air/fuel mixture until the engine
is ready for combustion.
to EBS, so little ethanol is used in the knock suppression process
that the ethanol tank would only need to be refilled every few months
While an ethanol-boosted engine's small displacement saves fuel, operating
at higher compression ratios is said to enable higher power. A 5.0-liter
turbo V-8 with ethanol boost could be rated at 500 horsepower and 700
pounds-feet of torque.
News reports Ford will
charge EcoBoost buyers a premium of approximately $700 when the engines
go on sale in 2009, and quotes Ford's advanced engine design manager,
Brett Hinds, that most consumers will recoup the extra cost, through
improved fuel economy, within two years. EBS says adding ethanol-boost
technology to an EcoBoost-style engine would cost about $400 more.
expectation is that Bobcat engines, carrying an approximately $1,100
premium, could become viable alternatives to diesel engines in full-size
pickups. Diesels offer about the same fuel economy and power ratings
promised in ethanol-boosted engines, but diesel hardware costs have
soared since new federal emissions regulations were enacted in 2007.
Diesel engines can carry up to a $5,000 premium over gasoline engines.
The first Bobcat test engines may be built before the end of the year,
but they have not received final approval for production, sources said.