Report: Four-cylinder EcoBoost to debut in Ford Fusion by 2010

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The first four-cylinder application of EcoBoost technology will be a 2.0L mill that will likely debut in the Fusion sedan

The first four-cylinder application of EcoBoost technology will be a 2.0L mill that will likely debut in the Fusion sedan

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Ford’s new EcoBoost engine technology is heralded by the company as the key to finding a balance between power and economy, but buyers will have to wait more than a year for the first application of the new engine design. EcoBoost will be available towards the middle of next year in the Lincoln MKS sedan and Ford Flex crossover, but the Blue Oval envisages the technology one day appearing across its entire lineup.

EcoBoost technology combines turbocharging and petrol direct injection. In initial testing Ford has found that a V6 with EcoBoost gets as much as 20% better fuel economy than a conventional V8 but with similar power and torque levels.

Ford has already confirmed that the first application of EcoBoost will be a 3.5L V6 engine, but an insider has revealed to the Detroit Free Press that engineers are finalizing development of a 2.0L four-cylinder engine that will likely debut in the facelifted Fusion sedan sometime in 2011.

Ford spokesman Said Deep confirmed that Ford is also developing a four-cylinder version, but said it was "too early to discuss displacements" or what vehicles might get the new engine. Back in October Ford also announced a $110 million investment program at its high-tech Bridgend engine plant in Wales to produce a new range of low-CO2 1.6L four-cylinder petrol engines with EcoBoost, however these are expected to be reserved for Europe.

There has also been talk of Ford developing a new ethanol-injection system that works by injecting a blast of ethanol directly into the cylinder chamber before combustion. The burning of ethanol has the positive side effect of cooling the combustion chambers, and when combined with the higher octane rating of the organic-derived fuel power efficiency can be boosted. The end result of this is diesel-like economy from a petrol engine, however Ford is yet to confirm any plans to implement the technology.

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