There have recently been intriguing hints that the Ford Motor Company are going to reveal a new concept vehicle at the Shanghai Motor Show to further their aims of producing truly ‘global’ vehicles of which the Focus is currently pre-eminent. They have been especially tight-lipped about this but have no problem in talking up their EcoBoost engine technology.
To this end they have announced that production of a new 1.5L engine will commence at their state-of-the-art plant in Romania. Later, it will be built elsewhere around the world. This is the fifth of the super-economical engines in the EcoBoost range and will appear first in the exciting new Mondeo (pictured) when it goes on sale, first, in China. Subsequently it will appear in the USA (where the Mondeo is known as the Fusion) and then Europe.
As with the other engines in the range the 1.5L is a four-cylinder aluminium block turbocharged twin-cam with direct fuel injection and variable valve timing. The end result is a motor that delivers refinement, quietness and even greater fuel efficiency. The Company state that this engine, being even more advanced, will provide the same torque and horsepower of the existing 1.6L EcoBoost. It’s a clever ploy because Ford are aware that many countries offer tax breaks to drivers who choose engines of 1.5 litres or less for their new cars.
The EcoBoost revolution started in 2009 with a 3.5L V6. This was followed by a 2.0L the next year and a 1.6L the year after that. 2012 sure the arrival of the award winning one litre. By the end of this year eighty percent of the company’s products will be available with this technology which now incorporates a computer controlled clutch on the belt-drive water pump. The idea of this is to encourage speedy warm-up.
With all the changes in automobile manufacture required in these days of global warming Ford are changing the way the public looks at engine technology. When this engine arrives with the European launch of the Mondeo in 2014 it is certain to be a sure fire hit. The company also offer the latest hybrid technology so customers keen to flex their green credentials will be given a choice of routes into even more economical motoring.
All this demonstrates that Ford are being as good as their word when they promote the revolutionary (their word) approach they have to designing and building their vehicles. Apparently this is called the Product Sustainability Index, and it addresses all manner of green issues including CO² and other emissions, sustainable materials, noise impact and safety amongst other things. It looks as if the internal combustion engine is going to be with us for a good while yet.