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Ford to crank up EcoBoost engine production

Thu, 26 Jan 2012

Ford Motor Co. plans to offer EcoBoost engines in 11 vehicles in 2012, up from seven in 2011, and triple the production capacity of EcoBoost-equipped vehicles.

Ford is betting big on its family of turbocharged EcoBoost engines to drive fuel economy gains without sacrificing performance. EcoBoost is Ford's marketing label for engines that use turbocharging and direct fuel injection technologies. Ford makes four-cylinder and V6 EcoBoost engines.

The company built 127,883 vehicles with an EcoBoost engine in North America last year.

If it triples that production, Ford would make more than 383,000 vehicles equipped with the engines in 2012.

The EcoBoost engine option has already become popular on some Ford models. On the F-150 pickup, the 3.5-liter V6 EcoBoost engine accounts for 42 percent of the engine mix.

The automaker said Thursday it will introduce EcoBoost engines in the redesigned 2013 Escape crossover and 2013 Fusion sedan, the Focus and the Interceptor, a Taurus-based model used by law enforcement agencies.

Ford will offer the new Escape in May, the new Fusion in late summer or early fall, and the Focus and Inceptor in the second half of the year.

"EcoBoost expansion and availability in high-volume nameplates such as the all-new Ford Escape and Fusion will take this affordable, fuel-saving technology to the heart of the market," Sue Cischke, Ford's group vice president of sustainability, environment and safety engineering, said in a statement.

Ford said it will offer a 1.6-liter or 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine for both the Fusion and Escape, a 2.0-liter four for the Focus and a 3.5-liter V6 for the Inceptor.

Ford says the 2.0-liter four will pump out 237 hp and get 25 percent better fuel economy than the outgoing 3.5-liter V6 but did not discuss specific mpg numbers for the engine. The 1.6-liter engine, which Ford expects to be the volume leader, will get 26 mpg city/37 highway.

By Ellen Mitchell- Automotive News