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Ford's EcoBoost Getting More Boost from Ethanol?

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2009 Lincoln MKS

2009 Lincoln MKS

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Ford will pair its new EcoBoost engines with an ethanol-injection system that will increase fuel economy by another 5 to 10 percent, PickupTruck.com reports.

In the Bobcat scenario, the EcoBoost engines will get a blast of ethanol to their already efficient direct-injection, turbocharged setup. Instead of injecting gas right into the cylinders, the new "Bobcat" engines will use tradition fuel injectors and will use the direct-injection ports to spray ethanol into the cylinder, which will cool the mixture for better efficiency and to prevent the pre-detonation (pinging) inherent in an efficient high-compression gasoline engine.

Ford's EcoBoost engines will make their debut soon in a range of Ford vehicles like the 2009 Lincoln MKS and trucks like the Ford F-150. The EcoBoost series is a direct response to the need for greater power from smaller, more efficient engines.

The Bobcat's additional efficiency could put the engines within striking range of the ultra-efficient diesel. Additionally, so little ethanol is used, it's claimed, that the separate ethanol tank would only require refilling every few months depending upon usage.

Why not stick with gasoline direct injection as in its own EcoBoost engines, in VW/Audi 2.0T and 3.2 V-6 engines, in the new GM high-feature V-6 (CTS, Enclave, Outlook, Acadia, Traverse), and now also in Porsche's 911? This allows just one injector to do two jobs, both cylinder cooling and the injection of the fuel for combustion. Might extra complexity equal extra repair costs down the road? But if Ford really can achieve unheard-of diesel efficiency with a gasoline engine, they'd make headlines and potentially give the diesel engine mortal injuries.

Regardless, we strongly suggest FoMoCo consider a different name for their new high-tech gas miser; you don't want this new tech to share its name with the Mercury clone of the Ford Pinto.--Colin Mathews

Source: PickupTrucks.com
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Comments (4)
  1. Um, how will that work? You'll have to fill up with both ethanol and gasoline?
    While I can see how it might add power, how does it improve economy? It sounds sort of like an odd take on water/methanol intercooling.
     
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  2. Hey Bob - yeah, pretty strange twist on fuel injection huh? From what we understand, traditional port fuel injection (gas injected into the intake manifold just prior to the intake valve) delivers the stoichiometric mist of gas/air into the combustion chamber, and then as pressures and heat rise due to the crazy-high compression ratio (12:1? 13:1? We don't know yet), the ethanol direct-injector blasts a cooling mist of just the tiniest amount. This ethanol mists's sole purpose is to cool the gas/air charge just enough to keep it from exploding until the spark plug fires. So little ethanol is used, Ford says, that the ethanol reservoir would only need to be filled every couple of months.
     
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  3. If the system is reliable, it shows that not everybody at Ford is as dead as the people in their styling department.
     
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  4. Ethanol (and methanol) also reduces charge temperature when it vaporizes, which helps prevent knock also. You can increase the compression ratio further.
    Honestly, I don't like the idea of another consumable in my car, even if I can go to the hardware store to get it (denatured alcohol). I'm not a huge fan of urea injection either, instead preferring the regenerative-type cats.
     
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