Diesel engine technology — direct injection, advanced turbocharging methods, and specially shaped oil-cooled piston — was responsible for many of the benefits that Ford’s EcoBoost engines have. Now the automaker says that even more advanced diesel tech will be introduced into the EcoBoost family in the future.
Bob Fascetti, director of large gas and diesel engine engineering, will be providing more details of the next generation of EcoBoost engines at the upcoming 2010 SAE World Congress this week in Detroit, Michigan.
“The first generation of EcoBoost applied some of the key technologies found in powerful diesel engines – such as direct injection and turbocharging – and optimized them for the gasoline engine,” states Fascetti. “The next generation of EcoBoost engines will continue that path to deliver more power and even better fuel economy with lower emissions, which are key customer benefits of EcoBoost technology.”
One technology Ford is examining is the use of cooled Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) with EcoBoost. The process adds a cooling step to the normal convention of adding exhaust gasses to the combustion cycle. The result lowers the combustion temperature and reduces engine knock. Ford says cooled EGR can improve current EcoBoost systems by another 5 percent. Still, diesel tech takes a large amount of re-engineering to be viable for use in an EcoBoost unit.
According to Brett Hinds, manager of Ford’s advanced engine design, “An EcoBoost engine has much higher operating temperatures than a diesel engine. Many parts had to be upgraded to special metals and alloys that hold up to that environment. Our exhaust manifolds, for example, are made of stainless steel, and the turbochargers are made from high-temperature cast-iron alloy.”
The automaker has more than 125 patents on its engine.
Fascetti says Ford plans to introduce around 30 powertrains for its cars, trucks, crossovers, and trucks over the next couple of years. The current 2.0-liter EcoBoost inline-four, for example, offers 10- to 20-percent better fuel economy than a normally aspirated V-6, while a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 engine offers similar performance versus V-8 engines. By the end of 2010, Ford will introduce three new EcoBoost engines for the Edge, F-150, European C-Max, and the upcoming Explorer.