A Cyclone Hits Ford Powertrain

Ford’s 3.5-liter V6 will debut in the 2006 Lincoln Aviator and Ford Edge crossovers.

Ford’s 3.5-liter V6 will debut in the 2006 Lincoln Aviator and Ford Edge crossovers. From there, use will expand until one-in-five North American Ford vehicles use this powertrain—codenamed “Cyclone”—by 2010. The all-aluminum engine has the same package size as the smaller displacement Duratec 30, but produces an estimated 250 hp @ 6,250 rpm and 240 lb-ft @ 4,500 rpm on regular gas. It has a 10.3:1 compression ratio, rev limit of 6,700 rpm, and produces 71.5 hp/liter.

“The 3.5-liter engine has been designed to accept either transverse or longitudinal mounting,” says Barb Samardzich, v.p. of Powertrain Operations, “and the architecture has been put in place for upgrades like hybrid capability, and gasoline direct injection with or without turbocharging.” The engine has a fully counterweighted forged-steel crank with induction-hardened journals and six-bolt mains, fracture-split powder metal-forged connecting rods, and cast-aluminum pistons. High-pressure die casting is used in making the block, and features cast-in iron liners. This process was chosen due to its tighter process control, more consistent results, reduced raw material requirements when compared to conventional sand casting, and a reduction in post-processing and hazardous byproducts. In addition, the base Cyclone V6 has variable timing on the intake cams that uses a hydraulically activated spool valve to rotate the cams up to 40? within half a second. “The engine is PZEV-capable,” says Samardzich, and has an electronic throttle, low heat transfer exhaust manifold and close-couple catalyst, and direct-acting shimless bucket tappets. At the start of production, the engine—which is produced at Ford’s Lima, OH, engine plant—will be ULEV2 rated.

In transverse applications, the Cyclone will be mated to the 6F six-speed automatic transmission developed jointly by Ford and GM. Designed to handle 300 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque, the transaxle has a maximum shift limit of 7,000 rpm and a 6.04:1 spread between first and sixth gears. It is the first automatic transmission from Ford to use a chain-driven off-axis pump with optimized porting. This design reduces package size and improves NVH levels.—CAS