Dearborn, Michigan: Ford Motor Co., the second-largest US-based auto maker, plans to introduce a new, more fuel-efficient engine as the company tries to halt a sales slide in its home market.
Ford says the EcoBoost engine can improve mileage by as much as 20%. The new engine uses turbocharging, which forces air through it. The company says the EcoBoost engine can be smaller and lighter without sacrificing power.
“Customers do want better fuel economy,” Derrick Kuzak, Ford’s product development chief, told reporters during a 11 December briefing at a company facility in Dearborn, Michigan. “We need to do it to gain share and volume.”
Ford was passed by Toyota Motor Corp. in 2007 for the No. 2 spot in US sales. Ford had held the position since 1931 and hasn’t been third or smaller in US sales since 1905.
Ford said EcoBoost also will have what the company calls “direct injection,” where small, precise amounts of fuel are injected into each cylinder.
Ford plans to introduce a V-6 (six-cylinder) EcoBoost engine in 2009 for the Lincoln MKS sedan, the auto maker said in an e-mailed statement. The MKS will first go on sale in mid-2008 as a 2009 model. The V-6 EcoBoost engine will produce about 340 horsepower, or about as much power as a V-8 engine, the company said.
To promote EcoBoost, Ford also will show a prototype sport utility vehicle, called Explorer America, equipped with an EcoBoost engine at this month’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit.