Thursday, April 28, 2011

Ford EcoBoost Engines: Conserving Fuel, Adding Sales, Attracting New Customers

  • The Ford 3.5-liter EcoBoost™ V6 engine represents 35 percent of 2011 F-150 pickup truck sales in April; incoming F-150 EcoBoost orders tracking at over 40 percent reflect strong consumer demand
  • The Taurus SHO – featuring Ford EcoBoost power – enjoys the highest conquest rate in the large sedan segment, attracting new customers defecting from other brands
  • EcoBoost engine availability is drawing new upscale customers to Ford brand showrooms, proving especially attractive to 35- to 55-year-old males, a key segment less likely to shop Ford in recent past
  • Ford just announced at the New York International Auto Show that the new 2013 Taurus will offer consumers two EcoBoost engines – the all-new 2.0-liter four-cylinder and the award-winning 3.5-liter V6 for new Taurus SHO

DEARBORN, Mich., April 28, 2011 – The EcoBoost™ engine family isn’t just giving some Ford vehicles a bump in fuel economy. The engines also are giving Ford sales a boost by attracting customers who had not previously considered a Ford brand product.

“EcoBoost is like having your cake and eating it, too,” said Derrick Kuzak, Ford group vice president for Global Product Development. “The unmatched combination of responsive power with responsible fuel efficiency is attracting new customers to Ford showrooms.”

EcoBoost pickup sales

Demand for the EcoBoost engine in the F-150 has increased each month since launch. One in every four Ford F-150 pickups sold during March was powered by a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6. In April, EcoBoost F-150 sales are running at about 35 percent. In the F-150, the EcoBoost engine with its 365 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque provides best-in-class towing capability of 11,300 lbs combined with up to 20 percent fuel economy savings. The 2011 F-150 EcoBoost carries an EPA rating of 16 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway, making it the best combination of capability and efficiency among light duty full-sized pickups.

In addition, incoming F-150 orders reflect strong customer demand – currently running at over 40 percent mix – for the EcoBoost engine option.

Later this year, the first North American four-cylinder EcoBoost engine, a 237-horsepower 2.0-liter, will make its debut in the Explorer SUV and Edge CUV. Next year, the 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine will be available in the high-performance Focus ST. Ford is currently rolling out EcoBoost engines globally. EcoBoost is available in Europe for Mondeo, Galaxy, S-MAX and C-MAX, for example, and has just launched in Australia in Mondeo.

EcoBoost engines are fundamental to the Ford strategy of providing technologically advanced, high-output, smaller-displacement powertrains that deliver exceptional fuel economy and uncompromised performance for millions of drivers around the world. By 2013, Ford plans to produce up to 1.5 million EcoBoost engines globally in a wide variety of vehicles from small cars to trucks.

Flex expands reach with EcoBoost

The stylish Ford Flex three-row utility vehicle has generated a similar yet more pronounced effect. After just two years on the market, Flex with EcoBoost is bringing new customers to the Ford brand at a market-leading rate of 65 percent.

Flex with EcoBoost is a unique offering in the industry, combining seven-passenger capability, 355 horsepower, intelligent all-wheel drive, more than 83 cubic feet of cargo space behind the first row and up to 21 mpg on the highway – all in a distinctive design.

In the instances of both Flex with EcoBoost and Taurus SHO, Ford is seeing many 35- to 55-year-old male customers with disproportionately higher incomes, a demographic profile that has not actively shopped the Ford showroom for some time.

Taurus adds second EcoBoost engine

The new 2013 Taurus – recently revealed at the New York International Auto Show – will offer the next level in EcoBoost fuel efficiency. This full-size sedan will be available with an advanced 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine expected to deliver best-in-class highway fuel efficiency of at least 31 mpg. Responsive performance is assured, as gasoline direct injection and a turbocharger enable this engine to deliver a projected 237 horsepower across a broad rpm range.

The 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 powering Taurus SHO generates 365 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and produces peak torque of 350 lb.-ft. across a wide plateau, from 1,500 to 5,250 rpm. This results in a smooth stream of responsive power at any speed. Mated to a six-speed SelectShift Automatic™ transmission and intelligent torque-sensing all-wheel drive, the high-performance SHO delivers an EPA-rated 17 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway.

The Taurus SHO now enjoys the highest conquest rate in its segment – currently running above 57 percent after two years on sale. This means Taurus SHO with EcoBoost power has drawn new and different customers to the Ford showroom.

Ford is also seeing Taurus SHO being cross-shopped against BMW 5- and 3-Series models, Acura RL, and Cadillac STS and CTS variants. A full 57 percent of SHO buyers traded in non-Ford Motor Company vehicles, with 28 percent trading in a luxury brand vehicle.

Gasoline direct injection

A key contributor to EcoBoost fuel efficiency is direct injection of gasoline. This system precisely delivers a fine mist of fuel directly into each cylinder for optimal performance, economy and emissions. Unlike port-fuel-injection (PFI) engines that spray fuel in the intake system, the direct-injection system puts the fuel exactly where it needs to be for combustion.

A high-pressure injector is positioned to the side of each cylinder, aiming the fuel directly into the cylinder adjacent to a high-intensity spark plug and alongside the intake and exhaust valves. Fuel is sprayed into the cylinders at pressures of up to 2,150 pounds per square inch (psi), which is about 35 times more intense than PFI injection.

A powerful choice

Ford EcoBoost engines made their North American debut with the completely reinvented 2010 Ford Taurus SHO. Turbocharged EcoBoost power was the linchpin in the reincarnation of this iconic sport sedan.

EcoBoost is fundamental to Ford’s objective to provide the horsepower and torque of larger, normally aspirated engines while delivering the uncompromised fuel efficiency of a smaller engine. Key elements to enable this balance of responsive power and fuel economy include gasoline direct injection and turbocharging. EcoBoost is a key pillar of Ford’s plan to deliver affordable fuel economy for millions of drivers, while providing an engaging and responsive dynamic driving experience.

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