On the 2013 Ford Taurus 2.0-liter EcoBoost

A quick additional word about the 2013 Ford Taurus written about yesterday.

A quick additional word about the 2013 Ford Taurus written about yesterday. Specifically, about the new EcoBoost 2.0-liter four cylinder engine that’s being offered as an option. There is another EcoBoost available for the SHO model—a 3.5-liter V6 that produces 365 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque. And the standard engine is a 3.5-liter V6 with twin independent variable cam shaft timing (Ti-VCT) that is estimated to provide 290 hp and 255 lb-ft of torque.

What’s interesting is that the smaller EcoBoost, which is estimated to provide 237 hp and 250 lb-ft of torque—with peak torque generated in a band from 1,750 to 4,000 rpm, a place where most driving tends to be done—will deliver an estimated 31 mpg on the highway.

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So in terms of horsepower and torque, the engine is in the vicinity of what’s expected of V6s, yet this is a four that provides a highly respectable miles per gallon figure (“The new Taurus pays off on our promise to deliver new vehicles with the best or among the best fuel economy in every segment where Ford competes,” said Derrick Kuzak, group vice president, Ford Global Product Development. According to Kuzak, the estimated 31 mpg would be best-in-class: remember, we’re talking a full-size sedan.).

Ford is positioning the engine as one for “full-size sedan buyers seeking maximum fuel efficiency without the additional cost or complexity of a hybrid powertrain.” Which is sort of pushing things a bit, inasmuch as the fact that the engine is an option means it is a price-up, and so far as consumers ought to be concerned, the “complexity” of a modern hybrid powertain is something completely transparent to them—and Ford ought to know, as it offers hybrids in the Fusion and the Escape.

What’s more, the EcoBoost isn’t exactly a simple powertrain.

It, too, features, Ti-VCT (this provides precise control of the valve overlap variability), four valves per cylinder with direct-acting mechanical bucket (DAMB) valve lifters, direct gasoline injection, and a sophisticated turbocharger system. There is a six-speed 6F35 automatic transmission with active transmission warm-up and a “dot nozzle” internal clutch friction material configuration, both of which contribute to reduced internal friction of better fuel efficiency.

All of which goes to say that (1) improved fuel efficiency is an ongoing concern to Ford and everyone else in the industry and (2) getting it isn’t going to be simple. Some means may be more complex, but none are simple.