- The Washington Times - Friday, October 16, 2009

DETROIT | When performance is increased, it usually comes at the expense of fuel economy. But this isn’t the thinking behind Ford’s no-compromise approach to engineering. Excellent case in point: the new EcoBoost V-6 engine.

The twin-turbocharged, direct-injection 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 delivers the horsepower of a normally aspirated V-8 with the fuel efficiency of a normally aspirated V6.

This engine is not only an achievement in exceptional power and efficiency; it’s also a product of the high quality and durability consumers have come to expect from Ford Motor Co.

What is EcoBoost?

The power of a V-8 and the fuel economy of a V-6 - that’s what EcoBoost delivers. How is this achieved?

V-8 power: The 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 engine features the enhanced performance of twin turbochargers. Power ratings are 355 horsepower (2010 Ford Flex, Lincoln MKS and MKT), 365 horsepower (2010 Taurus SHO) and 350 lb.-ft. of torque (all models).

V-6 economy: The EcoBoost engine features the efficiency of direct-injection (DI) technology and is mated with a six-speed automatic transmission calibrated for high low-end torque plus increased fuel economy at the higher overdrive gear. Also, the power steering system uses efficient electric actuation rather than a conventional belt accessory drive that draws power from the engine, even when the steering system is not being used.

High quality and durability.

To ensure the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 engine delivers quality performance, a team of engineers subjected it to an extensive battery of tests as part of the company’s engine “boot camp.”

The extensive testing to prove out the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine was accomplished through three avenues - using computer-aided engineering (CAE) models, in the lab with dynamometers, and on actual roads. Between tests on the dynamometer and in the field, EcoBoost engines have racked up the equivalent of more than 1 million miles of customer driving.

The rigid testing includes 20 individual dynamometer-level tests designed to push the engine to its limits. The testing protocol verifies the reliability of the complete engine system under maximum engine speeds and loads, coolant and oil temperature and customer driving patterns.

The road cycle durability test, for example, is designed to replicate real-world customer driving and vehicle maintenance patterns. For this test, engines with EcoBoost technology were subjected to 1,000 cold starts, along with sustained operation at peak torque and peak power. During the course of the test, engine coolant temperatures ranged from about 53 degrees Fahrenheit to 203 degrees Fahrenheit. In total, this single test required 1,000 hours of extreme engine operation, representing more than 60,000 miles of extreme customer driving.

Individual components underwent rigorous proving as well. EcoBoost’s twin turbochargers, for example, are designed to run at a very high temperature - up to 1,740 degrees Fahrenheit. Ford engineers proved out the turbochargers by running them at 1,740 degrees at maximum boost for 10 minutes and then “shocking” the turbos by running them at room temperature for 10 minutes. The tests were repeated continuously for hundreds of hours, under far more severe conditions than customers are expected to dish out.

Designed for a life cycle of greater than 150,000 miles or 10 years, EcoBoost’s turbochargers feature water-cooled bearing jackets. This architecture is designed to prevent oil “coking” that could occur in previous-generation turbochargers. The new design means that EcoBoost drivers don’t need to observe special operating precautions, such as idling the engine before switching it off. EcoBoost also endured Ford’s standard engine durability test sign-off, running at maximum revs and turbo boost for the equivalent of 15 straight days or 360 hours.

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