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GM bests Ford's EcoBoost V6 fuel efficiency without complex, expensive turbochargers

Ford has spent a great deal of time and money developing and marketing its EcoBoost family. The company makes a wide variety of EcoBoost engines (which is basically a fancy name for turbocharging plus direct injection) ranging from a 1.0-liter three-cylinder to a 3.5-liter V6.
 
Ford's efforts have paid off, as sales of the naturally aspirated V6- and EcoBoost V6-equipped F-150s have outpaced those of the V8 models. And all along the way, Ford has thumbed its nose at the Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra, stating how its EcoBoost V6 gets V8 performance and V6 fuel economy.
 
GM, however, is hitting back today with the announcement that its new 5.3-liter EcoTec3 V8 engines manages to produce 355 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque. While the horsepower number compares favorably with the EcoBoost V6 in the F-150, it's down quite a bit in torque. GM says that in 4x2 trim, the EcoTec3 will be good for 23 mpg highway; checking off the 4x4 option box will result in 22 mpg on the highway.


2014 Chevrolet Silverado
 
Both of these numbers are 1 mpg better than the EcoBoost F-150. In fact, it matches the fuel economy of Ford’s naturally aspirated, 3.7-liter V6.
 
“Silverado’s available 5.3-liter EcoTec3 V8 gives customers the best of both worlds,” bragged Jeff Luke, executive chief engineer for the Silverado. “Customers get the proven power and dependability of a V-8 truck engine, with better fuel economy than a leading competitor’s smaller turbocharged V-6.”


5.3-liter EcoTec3 V8 engine
 
GM's decision to go the "tried and true" route may pay off in the end. Recent reports have suggested that while many manufacturers seem to ace the EPA's tests with turbocharged gasoline engines, most consumers aren't able to match the sticker numbers in the real world.

The Ford Atlas Concept previews the nexxt generation F-150
 
GM’s fun in the mpg sun, however, likely won’t last long. Ford is reportedly looking to trim up to 700 pounds from the next generation F-150, which will go a long way towards improving fuel efficiency. Ford showcased the use of active aero technology on its Atlas truck concept (which no doubt is a precursor to the next generation F-150), which boost highway fuel efficiency by 2 mpg.

Sources: General Motors [1], [2]



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RE: GM.... bleh.
By retrospooty on 4/1/2013 10:12:23 PM , Rating: 1
That may be true about the engine's reliability... I was referring more to the rest of the GM automobile. Starter, alternator, and several other parts that are known for constant failures for decades now. Any one of them will leave you stranded. Resale value drops like a rock GM vehicles for a good reason. They fall apart. OF course not all of them, but a much larger percentage than it should be, thus the resale value sucks.


RE: GM.... bleh.
By Spuke on 4/1/2013 11:33:04 PM , Rating: 2
Indeed, GM knows how to make a reliable, fuel efficient, and powerful V8. But nevermind that. What perplexes me is why people think turbo's in diesel engines are cats meow but when that same turbo is moved to a gas engine, it's now crap?? LOL! This isn't 1980 folks, turbo tech is VASTLY improved. My turbo'd engined Solstice has 120K, daily driven miles on it (300 miles per week). Quite frankly, this is THE most reliable car I've ever owned. What I accepted before as great quality was actually sh!t compared to this car. See the other Solstice/Sky owners too. They don't complain about reliability, they complain mostly about lack of features (well there was the rear diff seal problem when the cars were new but was fixed with a recall).


RE: GM.... bleh.
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 4/2/2013 12:37:28 AM , Rating: 2
Your Solstice doesn't weigh 5,000+ pounds, tow a boat, or haul anything (it can't because you can barely fit anything in that "trunk").

In a non-stressed application, a turbo gasser is great. I'm just not completely sold on it in half-ton truck duty.


RE: GM.... bleh.
By Spuke on 4/2/2013 12:58:35 AM , Rating: 1
It ALREADY works in the 3/4 and 1 tons Brandon. MUCH heavier vehicles AND highly stressed applications. The exact same tech is used in gas engines (and sometimes the same turbo manufacturers). When I'm towing, my truck is in boost 90% of the time. If you see a 3/4 or 1 ton towing, they're probably in boost. Hours on end in boost. Seriously, this is old news. Back in the 80's when turbo's weren't oil/water cooled and didn't use ball bearings and didn't use charge coolers and didn't have direct injection (which provides cylinder cooling...it's why compression ratios are higher nowadays) and engines didn't have forged rods and crankshafts, yeah, a turbo motor was going to live a short life. Today is different, WAY different. Shit, it was different 15 years ago. It's even better now.


RE: GM.... bleh.
By Manch on 4/2/2013 4:18:17 AM , Rating: 2
There's a big diff between turbo diesels and gas turbos.

Turbos for diesels have a much much narrower rpm range to work under. They also experience lower temps, and less back pressure , less surging, and typically don't spin more than 50,000ish rpms and are relatively low boost.

Gas turbos have to operate in a wide rpm range, and they tend to spin anywhere from 50-125Krpms,are high boost, experience a significant change in volume, extremely hot exhaust temps(makes them prone to coking) and surges/back pressure.

That's why turbos diesels have been around for much much longer and are far more reliable. The work loads on them are much less severe and more consistent.


RE: GM.... bleh.
By Bad-Karma on 4/2/2013 5:45:06 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
They also experience lower temps, and less back pressure , .......and are relatively low boost.


That's strange, the Garret Turbos that came with both of my T444Es runs anywhere from 800F-1400F degrees, and it stays under 1400F only with water & methanol injection when under heavy loads. That measurement is taken from a pyrometer located just before the Turbo in the Up-pipe. Much more heat, and the steel impeller vanes tend to soften and fold over. I know this, as I went though two different impeller wheels before the water injection was installed.

And the Garrets ran anywhere from 5lbs of boost at no load cruising speed ;to 26+lbs if under load or you punch it.

I now have a H2E Turbo on my F550 T444E that pushes the boost to just under 60lbs. What's the numbers on your gassers?

So I find your statement a bit confounding.....


RE: GM.... bleh.
By Manch on 4/2/2013 6:15:05 AM , Rating: 2
I guess I could have been more clear. A typical diesel exhaust temps (500-800) compared to gas 1k-1.4k.

When you say 26+lbs are you talking about inches of manifold pressure? A lot of peple switch the two around but they arnt the same.


RE: GM.... bleh.
By Spuke on 4/2/2013 12:53:13 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I guess I could have been more clear. A typical diesel exhaust temps (500-800) compared to gas 1k-1.4k.
His measurements aren't typical? How so?


RE: GM.... bleh.
By Manch on 4/3/2013 2:17:34 AM , Rating: 2
His measurements are fine. I was referring to typical exhaust gas temps in my reply to you, not the temp of the turbos itself under load but I wasn't very clear.


RE: GM.... bleh.
By Bad-Karma on 4/2/2013 4:10:13 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
A typical diesel exhaust temps


My T444Es were originally the more well know 7.3PSD that came with the trucks. That is until I removed every piece of Ford equipment and reverted them over to the IH spec and tune. When I finished up I took her to a heavy wheel dyno in Tucson and now she'll turn just over 800Hp and 1080Ft/LBS of Torque with the flip chip all the way up.

quote:
When you say 26+lbs are you talking about inches of manifold pressure?


My pillar pre & post boost gauges are in PSI and max out at 60PSI. So you're right about manifold pressure. However, Ford original equipment used a "MAP" sensor that measured in LBS. That original sensor would alert the CCU which would automatically defuel the engine if the boost pressure reached 25LBS.

I have a by-pass element on there now that fools the CCU and lets higher levels pass. The gauge under my dash reads from that by-pass sensor and reads the actual pressure in lbs.

Oh and Spuke......Those powder forged rods(PFR) that Ford uses were one of the first things to go. Went with machined titanium. Too many of my friends cracked/broke/bent those PFR when they went over about 450+HP.


RE: GM.... bleh.
By Spuke on 4/2/2013 4:26:37 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Oh and Spuke......Those powder forged rods(PFR) that Ford uses were one of the first things to go. Went with machined titanium. Too many of my friends cracked/broke/bent those PFR when they went over about 450+HP.
Nice mods! Is that 800 at the wheels?


RE: GM.... bleh.
By Bad-Karma on 4/2/2013 4:45:55 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, that at the wheels. But I don't dare do that kind of power output for very long. Other things will start to fail...

Had to have a custom R4100 built by BTS down in Lead Hill AR to handle everything. According to the spec the new Trans will handle up to 2K HP.

But we have a 1/3-up-1/3-down gear splitter and a diff locker from US gear installed just to help protect that tranny from any damage.

Spuke, When I'm going through the Rockies with my cattle or horses you should see the look on the face of the trucker and camper crowd when I pass them at full speed on a incline. It's priceless! Of course downhill I still have brake over heating issues but the jake brake helps even things out.


RE: GM.... bleh.
By Spuke on 4/2/2013 6:19:37 PM , Rating: 2
VERY nice rig Karma. I can only imagine those looks LOL!!! I've thought about selling my truck in a few years but modding it would be soooo much fun although since CA started smogging diesels, I'm thinking twice about that. Maybe when I move to AZ.


RE: GM.... bleh.
By robertgu on 4/2/2013 5:57:18 PM , Rating: 3
Again stop it. Stop spreading inaccurate statements.

Gas engines run lower exhaust temps than diesels. You can find tons of resources on this but I link just one simple one: http://www.ehow.com/facts_7819560_exhaust-temperat...


RE: GM.... bleh.
By Manch on 4/3/2013 12:10:13 PM , Rating: 2
again Because the burned gases are expanded further in a diesel engine cylinder, the exhaust gas is cooler, meaning turbochargers require less cooling, and can be more reliable, than with spark-ignition engines.

I pull that straight from wiki.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diesel_engine


RE: GM.... bleh.
By robertgu on 4/2/2013 5:54:43 PM , Rating: 3
Wow, this post is so full of misinformation it is almost stunning. Please stop spread FUD on a subject you clearly know nothing about.

For one gas engines run lower exhaust temps than diesels. You can find tons of resources on this but I link just one simple one: http://www.ehow.com/facts_7819560_exhaust-temperat...

Additionally, Gas engine turbo typically do NOT experience higher lbs of boost compared to diesels. A typical gas turbo application has max lbs of boost numbers ranging from 5lb to 15lb due to denotation potential with pump gas. Compare that to diesel engines experiencing 25 to 32 max lbs of boost as typical applications.

As for RPM ranges, how is my diesel truck’s RPM range from 0 to 6k RPM red line, and I easily can get close to red line when I need to punch it to pass on hills (same use scenario as gassers).

The main reason why diesel turbo historically were more reliable than gas turbos isn’t because it was diesel over gas, both industries had similar turbo technology, the main reason is because of user use case. Back when turbos were more “delicate” diesel operators knew they had to take “care” of the turbo. You can’t go WOT then park the rig and shutdown the engine as it would greatly harm the turbo, you had to do cool downs first. Similarly you can’t start up a rig and go balls out as it would cause premature failure on the turbo and engine. Meanwhile the typical gas users did not educate themselves in these and other things you need to know if you own a turbo vehicle and thus the Urban Legend that gas turbo are terrible quality while diesel turbos are great was born. Today, as mentioned by another person on this thread, the turbos of today are built with new technology designed to deal with people that do not properly do cool downs, warm ups, frequent oil changes, etc.


RE: GM.... bleh.
By Manch on 4/3/2013 10:12:10 AM , Rating: 1
oi...Because the burned gases are expanded further in a diesel engine cylinder, the exhaust gas is cooler, meaning turbochargers require less cooling, and can be more reliable, than with spark-ignition engines.

I pull that straight from wiki.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diesel_engine

You're confusing inches of manifold pressure with PSI, but this is a common misconception.

That's great if your truck revs to 6k. Typical diesels do not have a high rpm range and that is why the turbos do not have to spin as fast as one for a gas engine. As your rpms go up, the amount of air required to keep the combustion chamber "under boost" climbs as well. An engine at 7000rpm needs double that of one at 3500. A typical diesel with a narrow rpm range means the turbo will operate in a very narrow range as well.

I never said gas turbos are horrible or of low quality, but they are subject to higher rpms, higher temps, surging/back pressure, and all of that affects there reliability.

Instead of arguing with me using e-how, and urban legends, you may want to stop skipping your science classes, pick up a good tech manual, or maybe enroll in a vocational school if you're so inclined.


RE: GM.... bleh.
By mike8675309 on 4/2/2013 3:49:32 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
direct injection (which provides cylinder cooling...it's why compression ratios are higher nowadays)


Compression ratios are higher with direct injection not specifically due to cylinder cooling. The primary reason for higher compression is to leverage the ability to inject fuel much later in the compression cycle. Air does not detonate, fuel does. And injected late enough the fuel air mixture has insufficient time for detonation to form.

Thus a big benefit from direct fuel injection and good engine management is much higher engine efficiency.


RE: GM.... bleh.
By Spuke on 4/2/2013 6:22:29 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Compression ratios are higher with direct injection not specifically due to cylinder cooling.
Thanks for the info. Always thought it was due to cylinder cooling.


RE: GM.... bleh.
By Manch on 4/3/2013 12:23:10 PM , Rating: 2
I know some engines are using oil squirters now and applying heat treatments to the pistons


RE: GM.... bleh.
By piroroadkill on 4/2/2013 3:54:28 AM , Rating: 2
Uh, what about giant trucks. Semis.

Everything is turbo diesel and goes for a million miles...


RE: GM.... bleh.
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 4/2/2013 7:12:02 AM , Rating: 2
I said turbo gasser, not turbo diesel for a reason :)


RE: GM.... bleh.
By Therealcold187 on 4/2/2013 3:15:05 PM , Rating: 2
I've had multiple GM and never had a problem. I own a 2006 Pontiac GTO and it's never once have any issue and I have over 100,000 miles on it. The only car I've ever owned that had a issue is a Ford Taurus. Had the transmision replaced to only have it throw a rod bearing a week later. So I spent over 2g just to end up throwing the car away as I wasn't about to pay more to get a new engine. I was able to sell the new transmision for what I paid for it but lost all the money for having it installed. GM and Ford both have made good and bad cars over the years. I buy what I like best at the time I'm buying a car or truck. I don't care the brand as long as long as I get the most bang for my buck.


RE: GM.... bleh.
By Richard875yh5 on 4/2/2013 4:15:20 PM , Rating: 2
These failures you mention is a bunch of crap. GM does not have a reputation for those parts you mention.


RE: GM.... bleh.
By retrospooty on 4/2/2013 10:45:39 PM , Rating: 2
What planet have you been on for the past 30 years?


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