New ECOBOOST V-6 endures engine ‘BOOT CAMP’
* Strict Ford Motor Company engine “boot camp” testing regimen ensures quality and durability as the 3.5-liter EcoBoost™ V-6 engine is introduced on the 2010 Lincoln MKS; Ford Flex, Taurus SHO and Lincoln MKT also will have EcoBoost availability this year
* EcoBoost is one of Ford’s key initiatives to deliver significant fuel economy advancements of up to 20 percent without sacrificing the performance feel customers want
* The new 3.5-liter engine is the first in a wave of EcoBoost engines coming as part of Ford’s strategy to bring affordable fuel efficiency improvements to millions. By 2013, more than 90 percent of Ford’s North American lineup will be available with EcoBoost technology
The arrival of the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 engine is eagerly anticipated by customers who want power without sacrificing fuel economy. Debuting in the 2010 Lincoln MKS this summer, the twin-turbocharged, direct-injection 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 engine delivers the horsepower of a normally aspirated V-8 with the fuel efficiency of a normally aspirated V-6.
To ensure the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 engine delivers quality performance, a team of engineers subjected it to an extensive battery of tests as part of the company’s engine “boot camp.”
“EcoBoost was engineered with a relentless, disciplined focus on quality that required a zero-defect mindset from engineers and our supplier partners,” said Derrick Kuzak, group vice president of Global Product Development. “The finished product will represent the best combination of production-ready engine technologies of today, poised and ready to deliver the performance, fuel efficiency and value that customers expect.”
The extensive testing to prove out the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 engine was accomplished through three avenues – using computer aided engineering models (CAE), in the lab with dynamometers and on roads in the real world. Between testing on the dyno and in the field, EcoBoost engines have racked up the equivalent of more than 1 million miles of customer driving.
EcoBoost System and Component Testing
The rigid testing includes 20 individual dynamometer-level tests designed to push the engine to its limits. The testing protocol verifies the reliability of the complete engine system under maximum engine speeds and loads, coolant and oil temperature and customer driving patterns.
The Road Cycle Durability test, for example, is designed to replicate real-world customer driving and vehicle maintenance patterns. For this test, engines with EcoBoost technology were subjected to 1,000 cold starts, followed by sustained operation at peak torque and peak power. During the course of the test, engine coolant temperatures ranged from 12 degrees Celsius (about 53 degrees Fahrenheit) to 95 degrees Celsius (203 degrees Fahrenheit).
In total, this single test required 1,000 hours of extreme engine operation, representing more than 60,000 miles of customer driving.
“This was a critical test for us, and the EcoBoost fleet passed with flying colors,” said Brett Hinds, Ford’s Advanced Engine Design and Development manager said. “We’re confident that EcoBoost is ready to provide consistent performance in varied conditions.”
Individual components undergo rigorous proving as well. EcoBoost’s twin turbochargers, for example, are designed to run at a very high temperature – up to 950 degrees Celsius (1,740 degrees Fahrenheit). Ford engineers proved out the turbochargers by running them at 950 degrees Celsius for 10 minutes and then “shocking” the turbos by running them at room temperature for 10 minutes. The tests were repeated at maximum boost continuously for hundreds of hours, under far more severe conditions than customers are expected to dish out.
Designed for a life cycle of 150,000 miles or 10 years, EcoBoost’s turbochargers feature water-cooled bearing jackets. This architecture is designed to prevent oil “coking” that could occur in previous-generation turbochargers. The new design means that EcoBoost drivers don’t need to observe special operating precautions, such as idling the engine before switching it off.
EcoBoost also endured Ford’s standard engine durability test signoff running at maximum revs and turbo boost for the equivalent of 15 straight days or 360 hours.
As the first Ford EcoBoost engine makes its production debut, it has earned its stripes in Ford’s engine boot camp. It uses that same grade of 5W20 engine oil specified by Ford for gasoline engines, and oil changes are scheduled at the same 7,500-mile intervals.
The EcoBoost system is part of Ford’s commitment to deliver the best fuel economy in each new vehicle. The new 3.5-liter engine is the first in a wave of EcoBoost engines coming as part of Ford’s strategy to bring affordable fuel efficiency improvements to millions. By 2013, more than 90 percent of Ford’s North American lineup will be available with EcoBoost technology.
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