In its effort to improve the overall fuel economy of its cars without affecting performance, Ford Motor Company will begin offering its long-awaited EcoBoost engines for some 2010 model year vehicles. Ford announced today that the 3.5-liter EcoBoost engines will be built at the Cleveland Engine Plant No. 1 - a plant that has sat idle since 2007. After a $55 million investment for tooling and equipment upgrades, the Cleveland manufacturing facility will be Ford's first plant in the world to build the revolutionary new engine. Although the 250 workers required for the EcoBoost manufacturing are being shifted from existed production lines, Ford's decision to reopen the Cleveland plant bucks the recent trend that has seen automotive factories closing at an alarming rate.
Ford opened its Cleveland Engine Plant No. 1 in 1951 and the plant has manufactured more than 35 million engines to date including the legendary 5.0-liter V-8 made famous by the Mustang GT.
Despite the plant's age, the production line will offer an immense level of sophistication with the primary goal of improving quality. One of the advantages that the new EcoBoost production line will offer is the ability of flexible manufacturing, which means that machines can be retooled or reprogrammed to perform a new task quickly and easily with limited affect to overall production. Ford claims that by 2013, more than 90 percent of its vehicles in North America will offer EcoBoost technology, and recent industry buzz indicates that the powerful Ford Mustang and F-150 workhorse might eventually get some EcoBoost action as well.
The key selling aspects of the new EcoBoost engine is the impressive horsepower output similar to a V-8 but from a smaller, more fuel-efficient V-6. With state and federal fuel economy restrictions clamping down on automakers, the EcoBoost will give Ford the ability to continue offering impressive performance but without the disadvantages to the environment. When the all-new engine debuts in various Ford cars including Lincoln MKS, Lincoln MKT and Ford Flex, the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 will put out 355 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque using twin turbochargers and direct injection. The all-new 2010 Ford Taurus SHO feature a slightly more powerful EcoBoost, rated at 365 horsepower, to give the performance sedan added kick. Compared to other engines with that kind of power, the EcoBoost will be able to offer a reduction of up to 15 percent of harmful carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions while achieving a gain of up to 20 percent in fuel economy. No fuel economy estimates have been announced for 2010 Ford models equipped with the EcoBoost, but current Flex and MKS models switching over both get 17 miles per gallon city and 24 mpg highway - which should improve to at least 20 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway.