Thursday, April 24, 2014

2012 Ford Edge with EcoBoost EPA-rated 30 mpg highway, 21 city

2012 Ford Edge with EcoBoost EPA-rated 30 mpg highway, 21 city

The 2012 Ford Edge, equipped with the 2.0-liter four-cylinder EcoBoost engine, officially returns some fairly impressive fuel economy numbers. Now that the Environmental Protection Agency has concluded its formal testing, we can see that earlier reports were spot on and the Edge 2.0 EcoBoost indeed carries an official EPA rating of 21 miles per gallon in the city and 30 mpg out on the open highway. The EcoBoost engine bumps up the Edge’s fuel economy by three miles per gallon on the highway compared to the 3.5-liter V6-equipped 2011 Edge.

Ford says the turbocharged 2.0-liter will churn out 240 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque when tucked into the Edge. That’s 45 horsepower fewer than the 3.5-liter V6. However, the EcoBoost engine does manage to crank out an extra 22 pound-feet of torque. In addition, Ford says the 2012 Edge with EcoBoost introduces category-exclusive active grille shutters, which close as vehicle speed increases to improve aerodynamics and fuel efficiency. Just one little way to get a crossover to that 30-mpg mark.

Consumer Reports: F-150 EcoBoost beats V8 for towing, not efficiency

Consumer Reports: F-150 EcoBoost beats V8 for towing, not efficiency

With early returns showing that truck buyers are really into boosted V6 engines, it appears that Ford hit the ball out of the park when it comes to the F-150 packing an EcoBoost V6. Truck buyers seem to like the fact that the V6 is as powerful as most V8 engines, and the improved fuel economy is the real deal maker.

The EcoBoost V6 boasts 22 miles-per-gallon on the highway, and 16 mpg in the city. Ford’s 5.0-liter V6, which is down on torque versus the turbo six, can only muster 21 mpg highway and 15 mpg city. That’s all well and good, but what happens in real-life driving conditions?

Consumer Reports put rubber to the road to find out, and the consumer advocacy institution found that the fuel economy numbers were about the same for both engines, though one certainly has a bit more punch than the other.

CR pitted a pair of otherwise identical 2011 F-150 XLT 4×4 Supercrew models against each other in towing and non-towing tests. The non-towing test returned identical fuel economy numbers of 15 mpg, but the EcoBoost Model was a bit faster at passing speeds of 45 mph to 65 mph. CR then put 7,500 pounds on the hitch of each truck, and again both models returned an identical 10 mpg. The EcoBoost was quite a bit more sprightly with a load in tow, taking 1.6 fewer seconds to hit 60 mph, and 1.2 fewer seconds to travel from 45 mph to 65 mph.

So what does this little test tell us? CR says that the 5.0-liter engine is likely a simpler engine than the EcoBoost mill, and it costs $750 less. But if towing is in your future, we’re thinking the EcoBoost engine is still the way to go. Plus, we can say that our experience behind the wheel of both engines was rather pleasant. Hit the jump to watch the video review from Consumer Reports.

2012 Ford Explorer 2.0-liter EcoBoost to net 20 mpg city, 28 highway

2012 Ford Explorer 2.0-liter EcoBoost to net 20 mpg city, 28 highway

Ford’s reborn Explorer has been selling at a brisk clip since being introduced for the 2011 model year, with some 65,823 units finding homes through June. While that’s a far cry from the line’s salad days back in the ’90s, that total already pips the previous generation’s 2010 sales figures for the entire year. And that’s with just one engine, the 3.5-liter V6.

The Explorer’s naturally aspirated six is about to get a more frugal companion, with Ford finally announcing that it will deliver the promised 2.0-liter four-cylinder EcoBoost soon. The new model will arrive toting some handsome fuel economy numbers, too – 20 miles per gallon in the city and 28 mpg on the highway (23 combined).

Ford is quick to note that those EPA figures mean that the 240 horsepower (at 5,500 rpm) and 270 pound-feet (at 3,000 rpm) EcoBoost engine will garner best-in-class highway economy ratings for the Explorer – some 12 percent better than the Toyota Highlander and a whopping 20 percent better than the Honda Pilot(though the latter is slated to get a new six-speed gearbox and improved mpg for 2012). Like most newer turbo DI engines, the 2.0-liter will run happily on regular 87-octane fuel.

For comparison’s sake, the standard TiVCT V6 generates more horsepower – 283 ponies at 6,500 rpm– but less torque (252 lb-ft at 4,100 rpm), with commensurately lower economy figures of 17 city and 25 hwy (20 combined). That means EcoBoost intenders can expect to save about three miles per gallon across the board. Click through the jump to continue reading.

We spoke with Scott Makowski, Ford’s North American I-4 manager, and he notes that great efforts have been made to deliver a quiet and efficient engine, something that can be a particular challenge with direct-injection powerplants. Special measures to reduce noise and increase efficiency include isolated injectors to reduce ‘tick,’ polished tappets and lightweight, low friction pistons. Ford has not published what sort of weight-savings (if any) can be expected from this new, smaller engine versus the 3.5-liter model, but Makowski did note that the new engine is about 100 pounds lighter than the last Explorer’s less powerful 4.0-liter V6.

This 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine will only be available on front-drive models, and despite similar power figures and superior torque, towing capacity suffers, dropping from 5,000 pounds to just 2,000 pounds (both when properly equipped with the Class III towing package).

The 2012 Explorer 2.0 will roll into showrooms beginning late August carrying a $995 premium versus comparable V6 models. Is the EcoBoost’s improved fuel economy worth the cost premium and diminished tow rating? We’ll soon find out…

New York 2011: 2013 Ford Taurus and Taurus SHO bow in the Big Apple

The current Ford Taurus may only be two years old, but the Blue Oval folks haven’t wasted any time enhancing its design, powertrains and levels of content. The 2013 model year mid-cycle refresh encompasses more aggressive styling tweaks for both the base Taurus and high-end SHO, and Ford’s executives aren’t afraid to admit that they’ve used the Audi A6 as the benchmark car in the Taurus’ segment.

Under the hood, a new 2.0-liter EcoBoost inline-four is available in the non-SHO Taurus, and the powertrain is estimated to achieve up to 31 miles per gallon on the highway. The standard 3.5-liter V6 now has bigger stones as well, ringing up at 290 hp (+27). The disappointing news in all of this, however, is that the SHO’s 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 has not been enhanced in any way – it still produces 365 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque. Sorry, folks – no 400-horsepower SHO for now.

Ford says it has fitted an upsized master cylinder to the brake system for improved response and feel, and the brake pads are new as well. From our vantage point, the SHO’s brakes have been its weak link, so we’re hoping these alterations result in a meaningful bump in performance.

The updated 2013 Taurus range is making its official debut here at the New York Auto Show, and we’ve just returned from seeing the cars live in the metal. Click through our high-res image galleries below to see Ford’s refreshed flagship for yourself.

For image galleries and full article please visit Autoblog.

Ford Taurus Police Interceptor to hit streets with 2013 updates

The Ford Crown Victoria has been such a valuable asset to police agencies around the U.S. that some municipalities have gone as far as to order extras. The reason? The Crown Vic will be retired at the end of 2011, with a replacement coming in the form of the Taurus Police Interceptor. But with the new 2013 Taurus being shown at the New York Auto Show and Ford already having shown a version of the cruiser based on the 2011 model, which version will the cops get?

Ford’s EcoBoost V6 accounts for 36% of all F-150 sales

Ford's EcoBoost V6 accounts for 36% of all F-150 sales

When gas prices hit $4 per gallon in the past, pickup sales suffered as a result. We have to wait until April sales are released to know how much truck sales have been hurt by the latest spike at the pump, but it’s clear that the Ford F-150 is getting a big boost from its turbocharged V6.

Automotive News reports that 36 percent of all F-150s are equipped with the optional EcoBoost V6, which costs between $750 and $1,750 depending on the model. What’s more, the EcoBoost model is reportedly accounting for 40 percent of all F-150 orders, and there is currently a scant 13-day supply of the boosted trucks.

Traditionally, full-size truck buyers have been more inclined to opt for larger V8 engines, but the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 appears to have changed some minds. The mill’s V8-like 365 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque means that capability won’t be compromised, while fuel economy rises by up to 20 percent. The Environmental Protection Agency gave the boosted F-150 a 16 mile per gallon city rating and a 22 mpg rating in highway driving.

At the same time, Ford claims a maximum tow rating of 11,300 pounds with an EcoBoost-equipped F-150, depending on the model configuration. For comparison’s sake, F-150s that come with the 411-hp, 6.2-liter V8 can also tow 11,300 pounds, but fuel economy tops out at only 18 mpg in highway driving.

With the EcoBoost F-150 off to a rousing start, the next big question is whether the boosted V6 has staying power in the event gas prices drop back down to more normal levels. We’ll have to wait and see, but with power and capability that matches other trucks in the F-150 lineup and a significant fuel economy savings, we can’t see why not.

2013 Ford Taurus gets 2.0L EcoBoost four, styling tweaks [w/video]



Upon taking the wraps off of the 2013 Ford Taurus, Derrick Kuzak, the automaker’s group vice president of global product development, said the styling tweaks were wholly influenced by the new Audi A6. Sure, the new front fascia and LED square around the taillamps are total Audi knock-offs, but what’s important to learn from this is that Ford is using the A6 as its target for the Taurus, and with a host of updates for the 2013 model year, Ford’s flagship gets one step closer to being an Audi alternative.

 All in, the design tweaks give the Taurus an added sense of aggressiveness, though the car is still immediately recognizable as a successor to the all-new flagship that debuted for the 2010 model year. The trapezoidal grille has been tweaked, and now features active air shutters to improve overall fuel economy. The hood has been fully resculpted, and out back, tweaked taillamps with LED running lights blend into a slightly revised rear fascia. Dual exhaust tips are now standard across the board, as are new 20-inch wheel options.

 The big enhancements for 2013 are the Taurus’ powertrains. Ford’s trusty 3.5-liter V6 still serves as the base engine, though its output has been bumped up to 290 horsepower – a full 27 more horses than the outgoing car. New for 2013, though, is the addition of the automaker’s 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine, rated at 237 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque. With the EcoBoost engine underhood, the Taurus is estimated to achieve up to 31 miles per gallon on the highway.

 Inside, there’s a new steering wheel and more soft-touch materials have been added to the dash and center console, which now uses the automaker’s MyFord Touch infotainment system. Other new enhancements include the addition of Ford’s curve control system – first seen on the Explorer – that enhances cornering capability and braking control. Speaking of brakes, the Taurus also gets a larger brake master cylinder, meaning braking feel should be substantially better.

 Pricing will be announced closer to the car’s on-sale date in early 2012, and while the 2013 Taurus might not be a perfect competitor to Audi’s A6, it’s sure to offer similar content (and style) at a much lower price-point. Check out all the details for yourself in the press release after the jump, as well as some B-roll footage of the new car. We’ll have plenty of live photos and impressions from the car’s official New York Auto Show debut, as well.


Please visit Autoblog for the full article and high res photo gallery.

2013 Ford Taurus SHO looks better, but no bump in power [w/video]

Those of you hoping for a 400-horsepower Ford Taurus SHO are about to be severely disappointed. The 2013 Taurus SHO will continue to produce 365 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque from its 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6. Sure, that’s still plenty of oomph for the SHO, but with rumors of a higher-output version now dashed, all we can say is, “shucks.”

 Let’s not dwell on that, though. There are still plenty of improvements for the 2013 SHO to talk about.

 Much like the rest of the refreshed Taurus line, the SHO features styling tweaks at both the front and rear. Unlike the base model, the SHO uses a unique mesh grille pattern up front and adds a new rear spoiler out back, as well as chrome-tipped dual exhaust pipes. A new 20-inch dark wheel option is also part of the SHO package, matching the black finish found on the mirrors and body trim. We like what we see.

 There may not be a bump in power, but the 2013 Taurus SHO does get a new performance package option that is said to improve the car’s performance prowess. Most notably, a 3.16:1 final drive ratio means initial acceleration is enhanced, and revised suspension tuning features new dampers and springs specific to this package. Additionally, the electronic steering system has been tuned, the stability control now has a track mode with a true ‘off’ setting and performance brake pads are now available with unique, “track-tuned” calipers. Still, we’d love to see an additional 40-ish horsepower.


For full article and more photos please visit Autoblog.

Road Test Review: 2011 Ford F-150 FX2 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6, Part 1

By Mike Levine and Mark Williams

Watching Ford torture-test its all-new 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 in the lab, on the job and in the Baja 1000, we get it. This six appears to be as tough and capable as an eight, but durability and power are only part of an engine’s story.

What’s it like to live with the EcoBoost? We set out to find the answer during a 2,100-mile trip around the Western U.S.

For our road test, we asked Ford to provide two identical 2011 F-150 EcoBoost trucks that can tow a heavy trailer. Twin Flame Red FX2 SuperCrews were delivered with 3.55 rear axles, two-wheel drive and maximum tow ratings of 9,800 pounds. The trucks were well-broken in, with both having around 7,000 miles on their odometers.

Why duplicate trucks? So we could test performance and fuel economy with an unloaded EcoBoost F-150 and one pulling 9,000 pounds simultaneously in the same driving conditions.

EcoBoost is a gamble for Ford, but with tougher fuel economy regulations just around the corner, it’s the direction other manufacturers are headed, too. The EcoBoost is Ford’s top-of-the-line engine for the F-150. It’s positioned as the high-volume choice above the premium 6.2-liter V-8 even though that engine option costs $1,245 more and is moderately more powerful.

EcoBoost combines gasoline direct injection and twin turbos to shrink engine displacement for improved fuel economy while delivering tons of low-end boost-assisted power. The dual overhead cam 3.5 mill is rated at 365 horsepower and 420 pounds-feet of torque. In high-end configurations with the Max Trailer Tow Package, it can tow up to 11,300 pounds, the same as the single overhead cam 6.2.

Read the full article here:


Ford’s EcoBoost engine torture test gets TV broadcast, Web chat

Towing logs in Oregon and race cars in Florida, then running the Baja 1000 race. Ford did all that with one EcoBoost V6 built for truck duty. How did the engine fare? You can find out Saturday afternoon on NBC.

Ford has taken a series of Web videos, along with video of the engine being torn down during the Detroit auto show in January, to create a 30-minute show that NBC will broadcast at 4:30 p.m. Eastern on Saturday. The show is narrated by Ford commercial spokesman Mike Rowe.

At the same time, Ford will host an hour-long Web chat with Jim Mazuchowsi, manager of V6 engines for the automaker, at from 4:30-5:30 p.m. Eastern.

Source:  Autoweek

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