Turbocharged engines have been around for a long time–even at Ford. Direct-injection, a newer, more sophisticated way of distributing fuel to a car’s cylinders, is a bit newer. But both have served in cars you can buy for a while. Yet, most have never received the marketing push–and success–enjoyed by Ford’s EcoBoost engine lineup. Ford happily reported that 500,000 EcoBoost engines have been installed into cars and trucks worldwide.
The 500,000th was put into a 2013 Ford Escape, which has two EcoBoost options: a 1.6-liter four-cylinder that makes 188 horsepower and a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that allows the engine to produce 237 horsepower. By having smaller displacement, the engines run more efficiently than larger engines with similar power figures when not being pushed. However, putting one’s foot down on the accelerator can still yield the performance of a larger engine with the help of turbocharging. Fuel economy will suffer, though.
Ford started building its first EcoBoost engine, a 3.5-liter V-6 with 365 horsepower, for the Ford Taurus SHO in 2009. Since then, it has expanded offerings to four- and six-cylinder engines, available in nearly every vehicle it makes. Ford says that 90 percent of the cars and trucks in its portfolio will have EcoBoost engine options with the coming of the 2014 Ford Fiesta that will have a 1.0-liter, turbocharged three-cylinder engine that should be capable of making 123 horsepower.
In 2009, Ford saw 9,946 takers for the EcoBoost-equipped Ford Taurus SHO. That number has grown to as many as 127,683 EcoBoost vehicles last year with the addition of the Ford F-150 that shares a similar engine. The automaker simply cannot build its turbocharged engines quickly enough, not when gas hovers over $3 per gallon nationally.
Ford says that it expects its 2013 Escape crossover to have EcoBoost engines account for 90 percent of its sales. It expects 60 percent of 2013 Fusion buyers to select one of its two EcoBoost engines, too. That bodes well for Ford, whose big bet into turbocharging has paid off remarkably well. By 2015, Ford expects to be producing 480,000 EcoBoost engines per year, worldwide, with 300,000 of them being the new 1.0-liter engine that will be making its U.S. debut next week at the Los Angeles Auto Show in the Ford Fiesta.