Muscle Mustangs & Fast FordsNews & Views
Ford launches 1.5-Liter EcoBoost Engine, Plans 9, 10-Speed Transmissions with GM
Ford has hit a homerun with its award-winning 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine -- a small displacement turbocharged three-cylinder unit with roughly 123 horsepower that will debut later this year in the 2014 Ford Fiesta. Joining that engine soon in Ford’s growing EcoBoost lineup will be a twin-cam, 1.5-liter aluminum direct-injection, four-cylinder engine that uses some of the same tech as the 1.0-liter.
According to Ford, the new engine will be similar to the existing 1.6-liter EcoBoost in power, but with lower carbon dioxide emissions and better fuel economy. Other features will include the first ever computer-controlled clutch on a belt-drivewater pump and a water-cooled charged air cooler for more efficient air flow. In China, 1.5-liter and smaller engines are big, as cars featuring engines at that displacement or smaller are eligible for bigger tax savings. Expect to see the 1.5-liter replace the 1.6 in the 2014 Ford Fusion here in the U.S.
"Ford EcoBoost technology has changed the way people look at gas engines and has enjoyed huge success with customers,” said Joe Bakaj, vice president, powertrain engineering for Ford, in a statement announcing the new engine. “The new 1.5-liter unit further extends our EcoBoost promise of economical driving in terms of both fuel efficiency and – in some markets – tax savings.”
Also, for the third time in history, Ford is teaming up with GM on a brand new transmission project. This time around, they plan to develop all-new advanced-technology nine- and ten-speed automatic transmissions, which will be installed into future cars, crossovers, SUVs, and trucks. The initial design is already developed and the engineering work is underway.
These brand new transmissions will be featured in both the front-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive vehicles and will help improve fuel economy while enhancing the performance for both of Detroit’s American rivals. The idea behind the collaboration is to help both GM and Ford lower costs for design, development, engineering, and testing faster than each could do individually.
"Engineering teams from GM and Ford have already started initial design work on these new transmissions,” said Jim Lanzon, GM vice president of global transmission engineering in a statement announcing the partnership. “We expect these new transmissions to raise the standard of technology, performance and quality for our customers while helping drive fuel economy improvements into both companies’ future product portfolios.”
Already, both companies use their own six-speed transmissions with the Ford Fusion lineup and GM’s popular Chevrolet vehicles such as the Traverse, Malibu, Equinox, and Cruze. With the past transmission projects, it has been proven that both Ford and GM are capable of working closely together when it comes to producing transmissions.
"The goal is to keep hardware identical in the Ford and GM transmissions. This will maximize parts commonality and give both companies economy of scale,” said Craig Renneker, Ford’s chief engineer for transmission and driveline component and pre-program engineering in the statement. “However, we will each use our own control software to ensure that each transmission is carefully matched to the individual brand-specific vehicle DNA for each company.”
When the project is further along, more technical details will be announced by each company before the launch when they feel like the time is right. Stay tuned!