Ford Planning Four-Cylinder EcoBoost Engine for F-150
By: Mike Levine Posted: 07-14-08 00:01 ET
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Are you ready for a four-cylinder full-size pickup? Sources say Ford is planning to offer a version of the F-150 with a four-cylinder EcoBoost engine by 2013. The move is a response to rapidly rising gas prices and new federal standards that raise Corporate Average Fuel Economy for light trucks to 28.6 mpg by 2015. Lending credibility to what we’ve heard from our sources, Derrick Kuzak, Ford’s group vice president for Product Development, has told Automotive News that Ford is considering this option.

Ford EcoBoost engines use high-pressure direct gas injection and turbocharging to get better performance and up to 20 percent better fuel economy compared to larger displacement engines. V-6 engines are said to perform like V-8s, and four-cylinder engines are said to perform as if they had six cylinders.

In an appearance before the Motor Press Guild, Dan Kapp, Ford’s director of powertrain research and advanced engineering, told journalists that "in probably the most extreme cases (using EcoBoost engines), we’re going to be downsizing on the order of 40, 50 percent. That would take, for example, a three-liter V6 down to a two-liter 4-cylinder engine. A 2.5-liter 4-cylinder could be something on the order of 1.5-liters."

Kapp also said, "With these factors (smaller displacement and turbocharging) in the equation, an EcoBoost 6-cylinder engine can produce like an 8-cylinder and a 4-cylinder engine like a 6."

For 2009, Ford is offering only V-8 engines for the F-150. The company is eliminating its legacy 4.2-liter V-6 for the F-150, officially saying the 4.6-liter V-8 delivers more horsepower and torque with the same fuel economy numbers as the outgoing V-6. According to EPA estimates, a 2008 Ford F-150 4x2 with a 4.2-liter V-6 is rated at 14/20 mpg city/highway. Ford says a new EcoBoost V-6 will debut for the F-150 in 2010. It’s expected to have a 3.5-liter displacement and sources say it will be rated at more than 350 hp and 390 lbs.-feet of torque. Paired with the F-150’s new six-speed transmission, fuel economy ratings are expected to be better than 16/22 mpg city/highway.

Final displacement hasn’t been determined but the four-cylinder EcoBoost is expected to be around 2.5-liters with power ratings greater than 260 hp and 300 lbs.-feet of torque. It will likely be available only for the two-door Regular Cab F-150 4x2 and 4x4, where it would work best for light-duty commercial applications. The same engine is also expected as an option under the hood of the upcoming F-100.

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