Ford today confirmed details on the fifth and latest member of its EcoBoost family of engines, including that this new 1.5-liter/4-cylinder version will make its first U.S. appearance this summer under the hood of the 2014 Fusion. The engine will debut in the all-new Ford Mondeo, which will be unveiled at the upcoming Shanghai Auto Show. Production of the newest EcoBoost engine is set to commence later this month at the automaker's state-of-the-art plant in Craiova, Romania, but Ford indicated that other build locations will be added in the future.

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Along with introducing several efficiency-enhancing tech innovations, this new 1.5-liter is seen as a strategic addition to Ford's global powertrain lineup. It allows the automaker to better meet increasing worldwide demands for its EcoBoost engines -- particularly in places where vehicles with 1.5-liter or smaller engines qualify for tax breaks. In 2010, there were only two facilities capable of building super-efficient EcoBoost powerplants. With this latest rollout, Ford now will have six source points and be capable of turning out some 1.6 million EcoBoost engines annually.

While final output figures on the new 1.5-liter were not released, Ford indicated both its horsepower and torque figures will be nearly identical to the 178/184 ratings of the current 1.6-liter EcoBoost. The new engine also will offer even better fuel economy and lower CO2 emissions, plus greater refinement and quieter operation. During the 2014 model year, the 1.5-liter in the Fusion will be exclusively teamed with the 6-speed automatic transmission. Cars fitted with a 6-speed manual would still carry on with the existing 1.6-liter, although at some point, the 1.5 also will replace it in that application and likely see duty in other Ford models.

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In addition to the signature turbocharging, direct-injection and variable valve timing that constitute the basics of all EcoBoost engines, this new 1.5-liter also features an integrated exhaust manifold and several other features also found on its recently introduced 1.0-liter/3-cylinder cousin. Innovative enhancements that further bolster efficiency include a new water-cooled intercooler as well as a computer-controlled clutch on the belt-driven water pump that reduces warm-up time.

"Ford EcoBoost technology has changed the way people look at gas engines and has enjoyed huge success with customers," said Joe Bakaj, vice president, powertrain engineering for Ford. "The new 1.5-liter unit further extends our EcoBoost promise of economical driving in terms of both fuel efficiency and - in some markets - tax savings."


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