09-05-08: Ford is in the final stretch of proving the new 3.5 liter twin-turbo “EcoBoost” engines. The direct-injected DOHC power plant will be coming next year first in the Lincoln MKS and Ford Flex. It will follow in other models from light trucks to passenger cars, and has even been said to be coming to the Mustang.
The engine was first seen in the Lincoln MK-R concept car in 2007 with a claimed 400hp. The production versions first examples will have about 340hp. Engineers have said that 400hp is an easy output for the engine but the existing transmissions in the FWD/AWD architecture cant deal with that power. Obviouslty if and when the engine comes to the Mustang, power output could be more.
Pictured is the EcoBoost V-6 engines undergoing dynamometer bench testing in which they accumulate thousands of hours of load testing. The simulators can put the engine through various load cycles that replicate every day driving to extreme driving conditions. During the punishing testing, engine performance is examined under maximum engine speeds and loads, coolant and oil temperatures and customer driving patterns.
While this type of testing does not completely replace real world driving conditions, they have been able to reduce the testing and proving time dramatically with the in-laboratory proving and testing. The pay off is that these engines are coming to market much sooner than they would have otherwise.
What makes EcoBoost special is that it uses direct injection which moves the fuel injector into the combustion chamber. By introducing the fuel straight into the cylinder instead of a port upstream of the intake valve, a better combustion mixture can be achieved. Combine this efficiency with turbo charging and you have a synergy than enables more power with less fuel. More technical information can be found in our previous story on the engines.
While exact numbers are not out yet, these engines should produce equal or more power than a larger V8 with better fuel efficiency. That is something that everyone can get happy about.