Using the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance as a backdrop, Ford Motor Corporation President for the Americas, Mark Fields, confirmed that the Lincoln MKT luxury crossover will go on sale sometime next year -- and that it will offer mileage-maxing/emission-lowering EcoBoost engine technology on its premium powertrain. While the MKT's base engine will be a naturally aspirated 3.7-liter V6 with outputs in the 270-plus range, the sportiest version is set to carry a twin-turbo, direct-injected 3.5-liter V6 that's slated to make a very V8-like 340 horsepower and 340 lb.-ft. of torque.

A near clone of the MKT concept presented at this year's North American International Auto Show, the production MKT shares its platform and seating for seven with the new 2009 Ford Flex. Ford's slick people mover also will add EcoBoost technology to its lineup next year, as will the new Lincoln MKS sedan and the 2010 Ford F-150 pickup. In truck trim, the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 package will be tuned to deliver even more power and significantly greater torque.

Ford estimates that adding EcoBoost hardware to a V6 will likely incur about a $500-700 price premium while generating up to a 20-percent increase in fuel efficiency compared to a conventional alternative. However, they also calculate that anyone driving 15,000 miles/year and paying $3.25/gallon of gas will recover virtually all of the extra investment in a 24-36 month period in a vehicle that produces about 15 percent lower overall emissions.

Where EcoBoost technology on V6 engines uses twin-turbochargers, four-cylinder engines with this system will be fitted with a single turbo setup. Ford is banking heavily on EcoBoost's ability to make small engines act like larger ones to help it meet rising fuel-economy bogeys. Within the next five years, the company has confirmed plans to produce at least 750,000 EcoBoost vehicles annually, as part of its worldwide product mix that will encompass everything from small cars to full-size pickups.

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