Ford broadens its diesel strategy

Ford Motor Co. will outfit a variety of pickups, vans and SUVs with a diesel engine the company is developing.

Details about the 4.4-liter, turbocharged V-8 were leaked to the Internet after being revealed at a dealer show this month in Las Vegas.

Ford had confirmed that a new diesel would be installed in the F-150 pickup truck and Expedition SUV starting in 2010. But Ford and Lincoln-Mercury dealers at the show learned that the engine also will be used in the Lincoln Navigator SUV and Ford E-series vans and in the Super Duty version of the F-series pickup. Ford's new diesel, designed in-house, likely will be made at Ford's Chihuahua, Mexico, engine plant.

At the dealer show, held at the Bellagio Hotel, dealers saw a placard comparing the engine's performance with that of the current 5.4-liter gasoline engine.

The new diesel, which is closely related to the 3.6-liter turbodiesel used in European Land Rovers and Jag-uars, delivers 9 percent more power than the 5.4-liter gasoline engine and 15 percent more torque. The new diesel has about the same 0 to 60 mph acceleration but gets 20 percent better fuel economy.

Ford also plans to use a urea injection system to control emissions, as Mercedes-Benz does. Those details as well as a photo of the engine appeared on several Web sites, including www.pickuptruck.com.

Ford spokesman Alan Hall said: "We shared a lot with our dealers out in Vegas, and future powertrains were part of that." 

You can reach Richard Truett at rtruett@crain.com

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