SEARCH BLOG: AUTOMOBILES
In The Detroit News:
Ford EcoBoost: Small to mightyWhy focus on a gasoline-powered vehicle? Isn't the future electric plug-in or natural gas or something else besides oil-based power?
Automaker's president touts performance of new turbocharged and fuel-injected engines.
"People think environmentally friendly cars are boring," says Ford Americas President Mark Fields. "Watch this."
He punches the accelerator on a Lincoln MKS sedan equipped with a prototype of Ford's new EcoBoost engine. The vineyards of the Old Mission Peninsula become a blur.
"This will put a smile on your face," Fields says. "But you get 20 percent better fuel economy with 15 percent less CO2. I call it the great taste, less filling school of powertrain technology."
Even Toyota is looking at using a similar approach in some of its new engines.
"I suspect everybody's looking at it," said analyst Jim Hall [not related] of 2953 Analytics LLP in Birmingham. "The question is where they are in deployment. Ford has outlined the most aggressive strategy. But it will be operating costs and reliability that make one better ."
Hall is one of the few people outside Ford who has driven an EcoBoost-equipped vehicle. He was impressed with it, but said it is important to continue to develop hybrids, too.
"The only viable strategy is deploying both strategies where they are needed," Hall said. "The only way you can build a 40-mile-per-gallon mid-sized sedan is with hybrid technology. The only way you can get real performance without sacrificing fuel economy is with something like EcoBoost."
Fair enough, but my only question is this: if Ford is about to bring over its next generation car from Europe, why not bring over the engine that goes along with it... a 1.6L turbocharged diesel?