Ford Unveils Next-Generation V-6 Engine To Power One In Five Vehicles By End Of Decade
- New 250 hp 3.5-liter V-6 key to Ford’s future, powering one in five of the company’s North American products by the end of the decade
- New engine offers better performance, fuel economy and emissions
- New V-6 debuts next year on the Ford Edge and Lincoln Aviator crossover utility vehicles
- Mated to new 6-speed automatic for up to a 7 percent improvement in highway fuel economy
- Engine designed with the future in mind ““ capable of super-clean PZEV emissions, hybrids, direct-injection and turbocharging
DEARBORN, Mich. Nov. 9, 2005 ““ Ford today unveiled its new 3.5-liter V-6 engine, a more powerful and cleaner engine that eventually will be under the hood of one in five Ford products in North America, including the new Ford Edge and Lincoln Aviator crossover utility vehicles (CUVs) debuting next year.
“Our new 3.5-liter V-6 is a key component in Ford’s global powertrain strategy, which is to provide what customers want, when they want it,” says Barb Samardzich, Ford vice president of Powertrain Operations. “This powertrain is an innovative solution to answering the call for better fuel efficiency, more refinement, more power and clean emissions, without any sacrifices.”
The new engine will be mated to a new 6-speed automatic transaxle in the Ford Edge and Lincoln Aviator. The combination will deliver improved fuel economy of up to 7 percent and improved sustained acceleration compared with a typical 4-speed automatic.
Power in a Compact, Modern Package
Ford’s new V-6 produces 250 horsepower and 240 pound-feet of torque with a 3.5-liter displacement unit with a height and width that is the same as Ford’s smaller Duratec 30 V-6. This enables Ford to install the engine in a wide variety of current and future products.
In developing the new engine, Ford engineers targeted excellent performance, fuel economy and low exhaust emissions. In addition, engineers designed the engine to work together in harmony with Ford’s new 6F 6-speed automatic. By analyzing the transaxle and engine together, noise, vibration and harshness characteristics of the powertrain were optimized to ensure a quiet, trouble-free driving experience.
The all-new 3.5-liter V-6 architecture provides significant flexibility to incorporate additional engine technologies. The 3.5-liter engineering team included extra provisions to make upgrades relatively simple. These upgrades include such potential features as hybrid capability, gasoline direct injection and direct-injection turbo charging.
A Solid Foundation ““ Durability and NVH
Every world-class engine starts with a solid foundation. To optimize the base engine structure to provide outstanding durability and NVH, the lower-end design of the 3.5-liter engine features a forged-steel, fully counterweighted crankshaft with induction-hardened journals, fractured-split, powder metal-forged connecting rods and high-temperature alloy, cast aluminum pistons. These components are housed in a High Pressure Diecast (HPDC) aluminum cylinder block featuring six-bolt mains with cast in cast-over iron liners.
The engine’s cylinder block design represents the first application of a high-pressure die-cast block for a V-configuration engine for Ford Motor Company. Ford chose HPDC over more conventional semi-permanent and sand casting processes because:
- Reduced raw material requirements (lower weight than if designed for conventional sand casting)
- Tighter casting process control capability
- Better and more consistent casting qualities
- Elimination of reliance on casting processes that have byproducts requiring strict environmental controls
- Reduction of expensive post-casting processing (cleaning, heat treating, machining and assembly) requirements
Ford deployed extensive CAE modeling to reduce lead-time, optimize die design and simulate critical process parameters to help ensure a consistent, robust casting.
High Airflow, Optimized Combustion ““ Performance, Fuel Economy and Emissions
The 3.5-liter V-6’s upper-end was designed as a system, all the way from the throttle body to the exhaust manifolds, to create the optimum flow for peak power and a broad torque curve. CAE analysis was used to fine-tune each component to deliver the required airflow without the need for intake flaps or butterfly valves in the system. Advanced throttle-control software enables precise tuning of engine response to fit the character of each vehicle application while setting the engine to run at its peak efficiency for optimal fuel economy.
The 3.5-liter V-6 uses a compact, lightweight dual-overhead cam valvetrain for peak power capability and smooth operation at high RPMs. The engine also incorporates intake variable cam timing (iVCT) to optimize valve timing for a smooth idle, optimal part-load driving and an impressively broad torque curve with good power. The iVCT system uses a hydraulically actuated spool valve that can rotate the intake camshafts up to 40 degrees within a half-second. A low-friction, roller-chain cam drive contributes to fuel efficiency.
Optimized Cylinder Head Produced with Flexible Machining
The aluminum cylinder heads in Ford’s new V-6 are designed for high airflow and optimized combustion to support performance, fuel economy and low emissions. CAE was used extensively to develop the airflow and combustion system performance for this cylinder head design. This efficient combustion is enhanced by incorporating a centrally located spark plug and a high 10.3:1 compression ratio. The cylinder heads also were designed to accommodate fuel-efficient technology upgrades such as gasoline direct injection.
Low Emissions Capability
Ford’s new 3.5-liter engine is PZEV capable right out of the box. Careful design consideration for the combustion system and catalysts create an engine that can meet stringent emissions standards without the need for expensive add-on technology.
“The 3.5-liter V-6 is capable of achieving PZEV certification by delivering low cold-start emissions and enabling rapid catalyst light-off, which is a significant accomplishment for a larger displacement V-6 engine,” says Tom McCarthy, engine systems manager for the 3.5-liter V-6 engine program. This is accomplished with low heat-loss exhaust manifolds and close-coupled catalysts for fast light off during cold start. Optimized fuel injector targeting minimizes cold-start emissions before the catalysts reach operating temperature.