Nine new or upgraded engines and six new transmissions will be introduced into Ford’s North American line-up this year, with quality improvements and emissions and fuel reductions among the manufacturer’s main objectives.
Of most interest to Australia are the 2.0-litre 4-cylinder EcoBoost – set for the Falcon in early 2011 – and the 5.0-litre Coyote V8 from the Mustang – expected to appear in the new Euro IV-compliant high-performance FPV sedans.
Other engines range in size from a 1.6-litre unit for the Fiesta right up to the 6.7-litre Power Stroke turbocharged V8 diesel for the Super Duty truck.
Breaking new ground for Ford North America is the 2.0-litre Ti-VCT (twin independent variable cam timing) naturally aspirated direct injection engine due in the new-generation Focus late in the year.
The new transmissions are all six-speed variants, including three automatics, one manual and two PowerShift dual clutch systems for the Fiesta and Focus.
Ford powertrain engineering vice president, Barb Samardzich, said the changes were all part of the company’s five-year effort to overhaul its entire global powertrain portfolio.
“Ford is delivering on our commitment to lower emissions, improve fuel economy and deliver the highest quality powertrains in the industry. We are making this happen with one of the most ambitious powertrain upgrades ever undertaken by Ford.
“By the end of 2010, nearly all of Ford’s North American engines will have been upgraded or replaced since 2008,” she said.
Between 2008 and 2013, 60 engines, transmissions and transaxles will be renewed or significantly upgraded, with the ambition to offer an EcoBoost engine in 90 percent of its product line-up with annual volume of vehicles with EcoBoost at 1.3 million globally.
And its efforts are not going unnoticed, with the US Environmental Protection Agency recently announcing that Ford US has recorded the largest fleet-wide fuel economy gains in the past five years.
Combined car and truck efficiency improved by almost 20 percent since 2004 – nearly double the next closest competitor – while Ford’s tailpipe CO2 emissions were also down by around 9 percent from 2008 across the range.