Automotive

Fastidiously engineered Ford EcoBlue diesel promises big fuel savings

Fastidiously engineered Ford E...
Ford's EcoBlue diesel has been designed to save fuel and deliver more power from the top down
Ford's EcoBlue diesel has been designed to save fuel and deliver more power from the top down
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Ford's EcoBlue diesel has been designed to save fuel and deliver more power from the top down
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Ford's EcoBlue diesel has been designed to save fuel and deliver more power from the top down
EcoBlue joins the EcoBoost range of engines in Ford's lineup
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EcoBlue joins the EcoBoost range of engines in Ford's lineup

Ford's EcoBoost gasoline engines have found favor in everything from Fiesta hatchbacks to the almighty Mustang, but the fuel-saving tech is yet to make its way into the brand's diesel engines. Until now, that is, because Ford has launched a new EcoBlue diesel engine promising a 13 percent improvement in fuel economy to go with its improved refinement and performance.

Just as it has done in the EcoBoost motors, Ford has attempted to cut down on friction in its 2.0-liter EcoBlue diesel. There's a 10 mm (0.39 in) offset crank designed to reduce piston side-load and minimize rubbing against the walls of the cylinder block, while an optimized valvetrain and single piece camshaft module also contribute to EcoBlue's improved fuel efficiency.

Ford has also debuted a new mirror-image porting design in the inlet manifold. Aimed at creating uniform fuel/air mixtures in all four cylinders, the system uses clockwise airflow to feed cylinders one and two, before reversing it for cylinders three and four.

According to Dr. Werner Willems, combustion systems specialist, this helps "turn fuel into energy more effectively than any diesel engine [Ford has] ever produced."

Working with the new inlet manifold design are new fuel injectors, capable of delivering six 0.8 mg injections of diesel per combustion event. The fuel is injected through eight conical holes just 120 microns in diameter.

EcoBlue joins the EcoBoost range of engines in Ford's lineup
EcoBlue joins the EcoBoost range of engines in Ford's lineup

Thanks in part to their piezoelectric design, Ford says the injectors cut down on unwanted noise, minimize energy wastage from the fuel pump, allow for more refined auto start-stop systems and real-time recalibration for ideal fuel efficiency.

As useful as these efficiency improvements are, drivers are more likely to worry about how the engine performs. After collecting feedback from people behind the wheel of its 2.2-liter TDCi Transit, Ford's engineers have liberated 20 percent more torque from the new EcoBlue engine at low revs. That means there's 340 Nm (251 lb.ft) on tap from just 1,250 rpm, which should make for effortless creeping in traffic, or punchy high-gear overtaking on the highway.

Key to this improvement is a redesigned turbocharger, which uses an Inconel turbine wheel capable of spinning at 240,000 rpm for sharp pickup. The turbo turbine has also been milled from solid, reducing tolerances to three microns from improved durability, less noise and smoother response.

Performance aside, the other characteristic drivers are likely to care about is refinement. After all, sitting in traffic makes up a huge percentage of our time, so a rattly idle and uncomfortable vibrations can be a major annoyance.

According to Ford's engineers, the new EcoBlue engine uses a noise-optimized cylinder head, stiff ladder frame and the oil pan to isolate vibrations from the cabin. There are also tight seals throughout the engine to ensure no noise can sneak out and ruin the refinement. The motor is apparently so smooth, although it is designed for use in commercial vehicles, it meets the stringent noise, vibration and harshness standards for Ford's passenger cars.

Initially, the motor will be offered in 77 kW (104 hp), 96 kW (128 hp) and 125 kW (168 hp) variants for Transit buyers, but it is capable of achieving over 149 kW (200 hp). There will also be a 1.5-liter version to do service in passenger cars.

Source: Ford

13 comments
13 comments
BradyStump
Sounds nearly as good as the Korean 2.2 crdi used in the Santa fe and Sorrento
GordJames
No such thing as clean diesel. Too bad Ford did not invest the money in an EV. Ford is falling further and further behind. "You snooze you lose"
CAVUMark
So what about a California approved model?
Lewis M. Dickens III
Fastidious is a powerful word. Rarely used in engineering and how I would love to see it used in comments... Rarely do they give us real data for the real world... like how many miles per per gallon of fuel would this represent and how many bucks per mile of travel. Engineers love the words "increase in efficiency" but what does that represent in the real world??
Who knows... "Only the Shadow Doo".
And look at those hilarious 3 bladed wind engines... they will never talk about efficiency of them which seems to be less than 20% if you can get them to turn at all. Yet the magnificent engineer who created the Packard Torsion ride Created wind engines that hit the Betz limit of 59% and no one will look at them. Beaufort Pickens created a wind farm of the idiotic 3 bladed fans and then declared them too costly... meaning too inefficient. If he had not been a lemming perhaps he would have discovered that he could have pulled lots of power. But the fact is that the lemmings are alive and healthy in the wind engine world.
bfearn
Yooo Hooo, internal combustion engines are now a dumb idea.
How many peer-reviewed climate scientists does it take to make that clear??
unklmurray
Just because electrical vehicles are getting better doesn't mean we can totally use them......Combustion engines are still going 2 B used, I just want 2 know How well this new diesel engine will run on veggie oil, I ran it in all of my diesel vehicles,My 40 ft school bus,and my VW Rabbit.....it took a little more work but it was FREE FUEL, I will have to check this out........LOL :-)
Tim Jonson
@bfearn, Combustion engines work far, far better than anything else out there, and they will be around for a very long time. Passenger cars, light diesels in particular, cause tiny- miniscule- percentage of pollution. You still have power equipement like lawn mowers, construction equipment, cement making, buses, trains, ships (a very huge source) coal plants, oil furnaces, etc. ICE engines are not nearly the primary source of pollution and ghg and are still the only options for long trips and heavy loads.
Tanstar
The article is about the new engine being more fuel efficient, so it would be nice to show actual MPG in various vehicles (current diesel and what it should be with the new engine).
noteugene
I agree, I read the article just to find out the mpg and which is the most tantalizing fact of this engine and it's not even mentioned. In other words - a non-article. Highest hp capacity size 125? That's a joke right?
Martin Leitner
@Tim Johnson You are absolutely wrong. Combustion engines are far inferior to an electric motor in every relevant aspect. The only advantage of the ICE is the cheap energy storage system it relies on. But that advantage is vanishing now. "a very long time" may be less than ten years. "tiny- miniscule- percentage of pollution"? Well, being responsible for over 15% of CO2 emissions is not tiny in my eyes. Not to speak of the other ugly things coming out of the tail pipe. And if you don't see options for long range travelling: Have a look at Tesla. Heavy transports: How about electric trains? And for the future I just would bet on Hyperloop.
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