Earlier this week, Ford observed that its 2 millionth EcoBoost engine had just completed production.
How significant is that? “Five or six years ago we were looking at the engine on paper,” said Amy Marentic, Ford group marketing manager. “Today we are celebrating the 2 millionth.”
EcoBoost technology, which uses direct injection and turbochargers to achieve better fuel economy and greater performance in engines with smaller displacement, is an important tool for Ford to meet the mandated corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards: 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025.
Ford now has five EcoBoost engines available with more to come.
The largest is the 3.5-liter V6 in full-size cars, crossovers and trucks. The 2-liter and 1.6-liter four-cylinder engines power smaller cars and crossovers globally. The smallest is the 1-liter, three-cylinder engine offered in Europe and coming this fall in the 2014 Fiesta. The newest, announced in April, is a 1.5-liter on sale in China. It will go into the Fusion and Mondeo for North America and Europe.
Mike Omotoso, a forecaster for LMC Automotive in Troy, told the Detroit Free-Press that he sees room for a smaller V6, maybe a 3-liter, in the lineup, as well as a turbocharged V8 for a performance Mustang to replace the supercharged V8 in the Shelby Mustang.
Ford put an EcoBoost V6 into an F-150 in February 2011 and at one point it was half of the new trucks Ford sold. That has since dropped to 42% with more entry-level buyers in the market; the EcoBoost costs more than a conventional V6.
Alisa Priddle of the Free-Press reported that Ford is now building 100,000 EcoBoost engines a month, up from 70,000 in April, with added production of the 1-liter in Cologne, Germany, and a $200-million investment to expand output of 2-liter engines in Cleveland. The automaker expects to make 1.2 million EcoBoost engines this year, up 60% from 2012.
Sales are exceeding expectations, even in Europe. Diesel sales have not fallen off, but customers wanting a gasoline engine are opting for EcoBoost.
In North America, outside commercial trucks, consumers want gas engines in part because the payback period is four times faster for EcoBoost powertrains than for diesel engines, whose fuel is 10% more expensive.
While Ford is not yet at the point of making EcoBoost a base engine, it could be a consideration in the future to meet fuel economy regulations.
If you're driving a Ford vehicle running an EcoBoost engine, let us know what you think!