Ford’s newest crate engine is less than half the size of most of its other offerings, has half the cylinders, and will soon go by a recognizable name--EcoBoost. Yes, Ford Racing announced its line of crate engines for 2012 today, and in doing so opened the door for a future of turbocharged, direct injection four-cylinder crate engines.
We’ll pause for a second to remind the public that Ford Racing’s bread and butter--a cadre of hulking, powerful V-8 engines--isn’t going anywhere. Ford announced two new V-8s for its already stout line: first, a bored version of its previous 347 pushrod motor, itself based on the historic Boss 302 block. The new engine, now coded the Z363, displaces 363 cubic inches, and makes 500 horsepower and 450 lb-ft of torque.
There’s also the X427, a 427 cubic inch engine that positions itself as a modern version of the Boss motor, and is based on Ford’s Boss 351 engine block. With Ford Racing’s X-Heads system, it makes 520 pound-feet of torque and around 500 horsepower.
But the big news here doesn’t have eight cylinders, but rather four: Ford Racing will now offer a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with direct injection in its lineup of crate engines. Pulled from the 2012 Ford Focus, the engine makes about 160 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque, thanks mostly to its Ti-VCT twin independent variable camshaft timing and direct injection. The naturally aspirated engine will be available in the spring of 2012, and will formally kick off a line of small crate engines.
That Ford will sell an I-4 crate engine isn’t news--it currently offers a different 2.0-liter four from its old Focus, for use in midget racers, but Ford says it intends to offer this engine at some point in the future in EcoBoost guise, which means adding a turbocharger.
Under the hood of the current Explorer crossover, the 2.0-liter EcoBoost makes 240 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque, so the crate engine should make a great motor for anything from small race cars to mid-size boats, according to Ford.
Considering that the motor is also going under the hood of the upcoming Focus ST hot hatch, we can also imagine the tuning scene for this car is going to grow quickly, so we wouldn’t be surprised if 240 horses turns out to be just a baseline figured.
Ford hasn’t announced availability of the EcoBoost crate engine yet, so stay tuned.