Ford to replace 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine after just 4 model years

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In an unusual move, Ford Motor Co. is phasing out its current 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine after just four model years.

Ford said today it is replacing the engine with a new 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder early next year beginning with the redesigned 2015 Edge. The current engine, which debuted in the 2011 Edge, will be gradually replaced in other vehicles.

The last engine in a Ford vehicle with such a short life was the 3.9-liter V-8 in the retro-styled 2002-05 Thunderbird.

Most engines have a life span of at least 10 years.

Scott Makowski, chief engineer for Ford’s large inline four-cylinder engines, said rapid improvements in engine technology led to the demise of the current 2.0, which has the highest production of Ford’s EcoBoost engine family.

The current 2.0 is offered in at least a dozen vehicles globally, such as Fusion, Focus ST, Edge, Escape, Explorer, Taurus, Lincoln MKZ and MKC in the North America, the Ford Falcon in Australia, and European cars such as the Mondeo and S-Max people mover.

The new 2.0 shares almost no parts with the current engine. It will deliver a better combination of fuel economy and power, Makowski said.

EcoBoost engines -- which feature direct fuel injection, turbocharging and variable cam timing -- have been criticized for delivering either power or fuel economy, but not both, in larger vehicles such as the Explorer and Edge.

Makowski said the new 2.0 has a new block, redesigned cylinder head, Borg-Warner twin scroll turbocharger, revised fuel injectors and higher compression ratio. It weighs about 10 pounds less than the current engine.

The new head has three exhaust ports routed into a manifold that channels exhaust gas pulses from cylinders 2 and 3, and 1 and 4, separately into each scroll of the turbocharger. This reduces the time needed for the turbocharger to reach full speed. The result, Makowski said, is a more responsive vehicle.

“We don’t go backwards,” Ford's Makowski says of the company's newest 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine.

Photo credit: RICHARD TRUETT

Ford officials would not comment on the new 2.0’s power output, which will be rated higher than the current engine’s 240 hp and 270 pounds-feet of torque. “We don’t go backwards,” Makowski said.

The 2.0-liter EcoBoost is part of a three-engine North American lineup for the redesigned Edge. The Edge Sport will also be available with an EcoBoost engine, the new 2.7-liter V-6 that will debut this fall in the redesigned aluminum-bodied F-150, and a nonturbo 3.5-liter V-6. European versions will be offered with a diesel engine.

All engines will be combined with six-speed automatic transmissions. The new 2.0 will be available with all-wheel drive, which was not offered with the current 2.0.

Makowski said the new engine makes that powertrain combination possible because the new engine has a broader torque curve.

You can reach Richard Truett at rtruett@crain.com.


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