Ford is developing a new family of petrol fueled twin-turbo engines with four-cylinder, V6 and V8 powerplants all in the pipeline. The move is a key element of the Blue Oval’s plans to improve fuel economy and bring its engines in line with the competition from Europe’s carmakers.

Known as "twin-force", the technology will debut in the upcoming Lincoln MKS flagship sedan due in 2008 and will eventually filter across most of Ford’s lineup. Derrick Kuzak, group vice president for global product development at Ford explained that twin-force will offer diesel-like fuel economy, reports Automotive News. Diesel motors currently offer 25 to 30% better fuel economy than their petrol counterparts.

In addition to the turbos, Ford will also be adding direct injection tech, which will increase output and improve fuel-economy further.

Kuzak revealed that there’s even more developments in the works. Ford will also be introducing V8 engines with cylinder deactivation, similar to GM’s displacement on demand and Chrysler’s upcoming Phoenix technology. Finally, they claim to be working on a new ‘power shift transmission’ that will be a six-speeder with the benefits of both a manual and auto gearbox, but considering the best automotive companies in the world haven't yet managed to achieve this feat, we're not holding much hope for Ford. Here's hoping their dual-clutch transmissions are not too far from production.