Days after announcing that it would be expanding the use of its EcoBoost engines by the end of the year, Ford used this week's 2010 SAE World Congress to outline a number of tech tweaks that will endow the next generation of its award-winning motivators with even greater overall efficiency than the current incarnation.
According to Bob Fascetti, Ford's director of large gas and diesel engine engineering, the modifications will create an even closer connection between gasoline and diesel engine design. "The first generation of EcoBoost applied some of the key technologies found in powerful diesel engines -- such as direct injection and turbocharging -- and optimized them for the gasoline engine. The next generation of EcoBoost engines will continue that path to deliver more power and even better fuel economy with lower emissions, which are key customer benefits of EcoBoost technology."
Enhanced EcoBoost - Turbocharging and EGR Cooling are the Keys
Specifically, the technologies Ford plans to incorporate into future EcoBoost engines include more advanced forms of turbocharging and the introduction of cooled EGR (exhaust gas recirculation), both of which have their roots in diesels. Using a heat exchanger to cool exhaust gases before pumping them back into the cylinders helps reduce temperatures in the combustion chambers, which in turn diminishes the potential for "knock" to occur. According to Ford, the upcoming improvements also yield a cleaner engine and up to a five-percent gain in fuel efficiency over the existing EcoBoost system -- which already generates a 10-20 percent improvement in mpg and a commensurate drop in CO2 emissions compared to a normally-aspirated engine.