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2012 Ford Explorer

EcoBoost 2.0-liter four-cylinder  (Source: Dana60Cummins/Wikipedia)
The new EcoBoost engine option gives up 40 hp to the V6, but betters it in low-end torque and fuel efficiency

With rising gas prices and the government's keen eye on CAFE numbers, more and more fuel efficient vehicles are starting to flood the market. Turbocharging was once relegated to performance cars and diesels, but now manufacturers are starting to adopt the direct injection and turbocharging for their mainstream gasoline engine vehicles. Hyundai has found success by replacing its V6 engine on the Sonata with a 274 hp turbocharged inline-4. Likewise, Ford has found success with its EcoBoost V6 engines in the Taurus SHO, Flex, and F-150. 

Now, Ford is bringing a new 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder to the recently revamped Explorer crossover. While the Explorer is currently available with a naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V6 that produces 283 hp (@6,500 rpm) and 252 lb-ft of torque (@4,100 rpm), the new EcoBoost generated 240 hp (@5,500 rpm) and 272 lb-ft of torque (3,000 rpm). The new engine is paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission and is only available with front-wheel drive models. 

Many people would likely give up the 40 horses for the added low-end grunt and the fuel economy increase. The V6 is rated at 17/25/20 (city/highway/combined) while the new EcoBoost four-cylinder is rated at 20/28/25. Ford says that these numbers better segment rivals like the Toyota Highlander and the Honda Pilot.

Much like the EcoBoost V6 engine option (which is more expensive than the 5.0-liter V8), the EcoBoost four-cylinder in the Explorer will command a $995 price premium versus the V6.

"Today's SUV buyers place a high priority on miles per gallon, so Explorer has expanded its portfolio of fuel-efficient engines with an all-new EcoBoost offering," said Amy Marentic, Ford group marketing manager. "SUV buyers deserve efficiency with their capability, so Explorer now offers best-in-class V6 and four-cylinder fuel efficiency." 

Ford has seen the sales of its V6-equipped F-150s eclipse those of the larger V8 engines as buyers flock to power and fuel economy -- the company is hoping that that same formula works for the Explorer which has already sold more units in the first six months of 2011 than the old model did in all of 2010. 

Ford is also bringing an EcoBoost three-cylinder engine to its subcompact Fiesta.

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By Iaiken on 7/28/2011 10:58:16 AM , Rating: 1
Ford Drops All-Aluminum EcoBoost Four-cylinder into the Explorer, Tacks on $995 Premium

This is pretty much par for the course when you're moving to more advanced engines that are made from lighter/costlier materials. The V6's weigh 159lbs less than their 5l V8 equivalents and the i4's weigh 120lbs less than their V6 counterparts. This means a weight savings of anywhere up to 5% (depending on the car) and a semi-proportional increase to fuel economy. Meanwhile the aluminum being used is 6x as expensive as the cast iron used in fords older engine blocks and it is more difficult to machine.

Not sure why this is a story actually... :P

RE: Ahem...
By Mathos on 7/28/2011 1:29:34 PM , Rating: 2
Not to mention the other reasons for using all aluminum engine design. The main one being when the engine heats up, or starts to overheat, the whole engine is expanding and contracting at the same rate. Where as in older engines with a cast iron block and aluminum head setup, the iron block doesn't expand and contract at the same point as the aluminum head, which is what causes head warping, or block cracking during overheats.

RE: Ahem...
By jah1subs on 7/28/2011 4:06:34 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, it is interesting to see the differences in MPG and the five year fuel costs. This is the smallest ecoBoost engine that Ford is selling. I am sure that they are experiencing a new learning curve with each engine. This is part of the price difference.

That said, this engine could be put into most of Ford's line-up increasing gas mileage across the board. Remember that the Focus and Transit Connect currently both use the 2.0L 4 cylinder normally aspirated engine.

RE: Ahem...
By DanNeely on 7/28/2011 4:54:32 PM , Rating: 2
It might show up as a performance upgrade, more likely Ford will make a ~1.5L DI turbo to replace the 2.0 naturally aspirated engine in their lower end cars.

RE: Ahem...
By Spuke on 7/28/2011 5:31:35 PM , Rating: 2
The Fiesta is getting a 1.0L 3 cyl turbo (in the article). The NA DI 4cyl will more than likely be only in the Focus and the 2.0L DI turbo will be spread around in other vehicles (the Edge is supposed to get this engine too).

RE: Ahem...
By Jeffk464 on 7/29/2011 12:30:00 AM , Rating: 2
Screw that, the focus should get the 2L turbo with a 6 speed manual and sport suspension.

RE: Ahem...
By Spuke on 7/29/2011 12:12:05 PM , Rating: 2
Screw that, the focus should get the 2L turbo with a 6 speed manual and sport suspension.
The ST version of the Focus is supposed to get a higher hp 2.0L turbo.

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