The age of economy may be upon us, but being frugal with fuel doesn’t mean that there should be any sacrifice in power output delivery, certainly not when you can have the best of both worlds. Today’s engines deliver more, for less, with a bit of help from technology.

These days, the likes of turbocharging and direct-injection offer a smaller engine the performance equal to a larger displacement one – it’s not surprising to see a 2.0 litre DI turbocharged four-cylinder mill more than matching the power output and torque of a normally-aspirated V6, and the numbers add up in performance too.

Ford’s version of this is called EcoBoost. First seen on its 3.5 litre EcoBoost V6 engines, turbocharging and direct fuel injection are the two main items at the heart of EcoBoost’s workings. The turbocharger increases airflow in the engine to boost power and direct injection helps enable more efficient fuel burn for better fuel economy.

How a turbocharger works, if you didn’t already know, is by recovering energy from the exhaust that otherwise would be wasted and putting it back in the engine to gain efficiency. Simply put, the turbocharging system puts more air into the engine, creating more power. A compressor increases or boosts the pressure of the air entering the engine, and an air-to-air intercooler reduces the air temperature before it enters the engine.

Meanwhile, direct injection uses high-pressure fuel injectors to spray a fine mist of fuel directly into each cylinder – the fine mist generated by each solenoid-controlled Bosch injector’s tiny outlet holes helps to create a well-mixed air-fuel mixture, and also cools the incoming air, helping to reduce the potential for engine knock. Unlike port-fuel-injection (PFI) engines that spray fuel in the intake system, the direct injection system puts the fuel exactly where it needs to be for combustion.

A high-pressure injector is positioned to the side of each cylinder, aiming the fuel directly into the cylinder adjacent to a high-intensity spark plug and alongside the intake and exhaust valves.

Fuel from the vehicle tank is pumped at normal pressure to the engine compartment, where a special, cam-driven, high-pressure fuel pump increases the fuel pressure – the fuel is then sprayed into the cylinders at pressures of up to 2,200 pounds per square inch (PSI), which is about 35 times more intense than PFI injection. Electronic control system varies the timing and intensity of the fuel delivery, according to engine operating conditions.

This precisely controlled fuel delivery improves the engine’s transient response, contributes to improved fuel economy and enables improved emissions, particularly at cold start, and an EcoBoost engine can reduce CO2 emissions by 15% and improve fuel efficiency by 20%.

The 2.0 litre EcoBoost I-4 four-cylinder engine, which will debut in the upcoming Ford Mondeo Titanium and S-Max models due to arrive in Malaysia soon, employs many of the basic principles of the first generation EcoBoost engines.

Combining a single turbocharger with a direct injection fuel delivery system, the high-pressure fuel pump – which is a cam-driven mechanical pump with a single piston and an electronic control valve – on this mill operates at 2,200 psi, more than 50 times the norm as seen in a conventional NA four-cylinder engine.

Elsewhere, the turbocharger – which is paired with the direct-injection system to virtually eliminate turbo lag – spins at up to 200,000 rpm and is designed for a life cycle of 150,000 miles or 10 years. It spools up quickly to maximum torque and maintains it across a broad range, estimated from 2,000 rpm to 5,500 rpm according to the company.


Click for enlarged image – learn more at ecoboost.com.my

The 2.0 litre EcoBoost I-4 engine also adds Ti-VCT (Twin Independent Variable Camshaft Timing) technology, as seen in the Fiesta.

Working on a ‘More Power, Less Fuel’ tagline, the EcoBoost engine promises to deliver power and performance in a smaller, more efficient package, with lower emissions. No surprise to find then that Ford is targetting to offer the EcoBoost engine – in various displacements – in up to 80% of its vehicle nameplates and aim for global sales of 1.5 million EcoBoost-powered vehicles per year in the near future .

You can find out more about EcoBoost at ecoboost.com.my, a microsite that features explanations on the unique engine technology through detailed articles and video clips. In addition, the website will give consumers an opportunity to sign up and get invited to exclusive test drive sessions.