by Patrick Rall
The 3.5L EcoBoost V6 in the 2011 Ford F150 has become one of the most popular engine options for the bestselling truck lineup and according to the folks from PickupTrucks.com , Ford is working on new, smaller EcoBoost engines for future models.
It is no secret that Ford Motor Company will have to do something in order to prepare themselves for the new CAFE laws set to take effect as the mileage requirements jump from 23.1 to 30mpg in 2016, but consumers should keep in mind that CAFE laws apply to an average numbers across a brand. For instance, saying that CAFE requires 30 miles per gallon by 2016 doesn’t mean that every vehicle has to reach that number ““ it just means that across Ford’s offering of trucks, vans, SUVs and crossovers, they will have to average out to 30mpg.
This means that Ford will have an easier job than some may expect when they make the move to push the average fuel economy of their non-cars up to 30mpg, and Ford could accelerate that effort by applying their EcoBoost technology to more vehicles as well as developing new, more fuel efficient engines. The F150 EcoBoost offers a whopping 420lb-ft of torque ““ making it one of Ford’s most powerful engine options – while still reaching 22 miles per gallon on the highway. Imagine that you apply that same fuel friendly technology to an engine NOT intended to be the most powerful engine in the lineup, and you have a far greater chance of great fuel economy numbers.
According to PickupTrucks.com, Ford is working on a pair of new V6 engines using the EcoBoost technology under the codename "Nano". One of the engines is reportedly 2.6 or 2.7 liters while the other is reportedly a 3.0L mill. These are all just rumors bolstered by insider information, it has been suggested that the EcoBoost 3.0L V6 would offer around 300-315 horsepower. That would make for a fine replacement for the current entry level, naturally aspirated V6. That engine, named the Duratec 37 and measuring 3.7L, makes 305 horsepower while yielding 23mpg on the open road, so the new EcoBoost engines don’t have far to go compared to the current EcoBoost option in the F150. Figure that the current EcoBoost makes 365hp, 420lb-ft of torque and yields 22mpg, so a small engine targeting the 300-315hp range should easily be able to improve on the fuel economy of the 3.7L base V6.
Also, in addition to the turbocharger setup used on the current EcoBoost F150, the new 2.6/2.7L and 3.0L EcoBoost engines could use Ford’s new dual stage turbocharging. This uses a pair of turbochargers with different sizes ““ with the smaller turbo offering quick boost for good low end torque while the other, larger turbo spools up at higher RPMs to add more top end power. This setup should avoid the concerns of the turbo lag often associated with small engines making big power, but with the second, larger turbocharger, the next generation EcoBoost can also provide gobs of top-end power.
What do you think? Is Ford moving in the right direction? Voice your opinion here!