Following through on its promise to broaden the use of its fuel-saving/weight-saving/emission-cutting EcoBoost technology, Ford confirmed that it will add it to three more engine applications by the end of the year. EcoBoost, which matches turbocharging, direct fuel-injection and variable camshaft timing, also provides significant performance benefits, allowing the use of smaller-displacement engines in larger vehicles. It's currently used in the U.S. on the Ford Taurus SHO and Flex as well as the Lincoln MKT and MKS. The next in line to be fitted with this patented win-win upgrade package is a 1.6-liter four-cylinder that will be offered in the European C-MAX van, a 2.0-liter four that will be used in the next-gen Ford Explorer SUV and Edge crossover and a version of the 3.5-liter V6 that has been revised for rear-wheel-drive applications and will see its first duty in rear-drive F-150 pickups.

Ford says it remains on track to equip as much as 80 percent of its global nameplates and 90 percent of its total North American products with EcoBoost engines. That would help it deliver nearly 1.5 million units worldwide -- over 200,000 more than forecast in its original estimates. Ford also confirmed that 98 percent of its North American product line will be fitted with more efficient six-speed transmissions by the end of 2012 -- gearboxes that can help bump mpg numbers by 4-6 percent -- and that nearly 20 percent of its global nameplates will also use supplemental start-stop technology by 2014.

"We are focused on sustainable technology solutions that can be used not for hundreds or thousands of cars, but for millions of cars, because that's how Ford will truly make a difference," said Barb Samardzich, Ford's vice president of powertrain engineering. According to Samardzich, EcoBoost is a key technology that will enable Ford not only to fulfill the company's goal to be among the leaders in fuel economy in every segment, but also to meet the federal government's new 35.5 mpg fuel economy standard, which takes effect in 2016. She indicated that Ford is exploring the possibilities of applying EcoBoost to engines even smaller than 1.6-liters in displacement.

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