When it comes to automotive engine options, many racers and off-roading enthusiasts alike will favor a V8 motor for their specific vehicles. Why not? A V8 produces a power stroke every 90 degrees, which puts far less stress on the motor than four-cylinder and V6 options, and in turn, leads to greater engine performance. The incredible balance of torque and power output has made the V8 a popular engine option for performance drivers, including Ford Mustang aficionados for generations.
The V8 has always been and will always be popular, but ever since 2009, the Ford Motor Company has produced a turbocharged alternative that has helped turn the established order upside down. Long before turbochargers became commonplace throughout the automotive industry, Ford launched an all-new line of engines with the goal of delivering power and torque that remained consistent with larger motors while also significantly lowering fuel consumption.
In an effort to build on the success of Honda’s innovative “VTEC” motor from the 1990s, in 2009, Ford introduced the all-new EcoBoost engine to its dedicated followers across the globe. The name “EcoBoost” represents a happy marriage between being both “Eco” friendly and the “Boost” provided by the turbo. Having an EcoBoost under the hood allows a Ford owner to engage in any type of performance driving that they please while putting an emphasis on the vehicle’s fuel economy at the same time.
Before we get into the different types of EcoBoost engines, let’s first take a closer look at where this one-of-a-kind motor derives its power from!
How it Works
In developing the EcoBoost engine, the Ford Motor Company wanted to create a driving experience that was so exciting that the driver would forget that they were being environmentally-sound at the same time. In an effort to squeeze every bit of efficiency out of the undersized motor, each EcoBoost engine shares three definitive attributes: Direct-injection, variable timing, and exhaust-driven power.
EcoBoost engines range in size from three to six cylinders for F-150s, but all Ford EcoBoost engines are direct-injection motors. As its name implies, direct fuel injection means that fuel from the fuel tanks gets sent directly into the cylinder. By doing this, the vehicle can inject a precise amount of fuel into each cylinder. This allows the EcoBoost engine to produce the maximum amount of power while using as little fuel as possible.
Direct injection enables multiple injections per combustion cycle, which improves the vehicle’s fuel economy, particularly when starting the engine. The efficiency at the point of combustion leads to less fuel consumption and fewer CO2 emissions. Not only is it better for the environment, but it will also cause you less pain at the pump!
In an effort to maintain efficiency across the board, EcoBoost engines feature variable camshaft timing. The groundbreaking EcoBoost technology ensures that your engine always has enough air to deliver peak performance, without wasting any air.
Additionally, unlike many belt-driven engines, EcoBoost motors are exhaust-driven, which allows you to use exhaust gases that would otherwise simply exit the vehicle without being used. The exhaust gases are converted into mechanical energy, which is later translated into more horsepower and torque. By recycling the exhaust fumes, your turbocharged system forces more air into the EcoBoost engine, which when mixed with fuel, will create even more power.
With the smaller engine size and all of the fuel-efficient activity happening, you are probably wondering how a four-cylinder can keep up with a V6 or V8. That's where the turbocharger comes into play!
Because efficiency is the name of the game, the turbo present in an EcoBoost engine increases the strength of each power stroke, which more than compensates for the reduced displacement.
This quality-over-quantity approach permits the EcoBoost engine to offer a great deal of torque, even at low engine speeds, while remaining powerful and responsive at higher RPM.
2018 Mustang EcoBoost in Race Red
Through much of the Mustangs’ history, Ford fans could choose between V6 and V8 engine options for their pony cars. For the dawn of the S550 era, however, the all-new, four-cylinder EcoBoost engine arrived and immediately made a name for itself within the Mustang community.
The introduction of the EcoBoost motor marked the return of a four-cylinder engine to the Mustang’s lineup for the first time since the closing days of the Fox Body Generation. Four-cylinder motors were common in vehicles produced from 1974-1993, including the SVO pony cars, which enjoyed a three-year reign from 1984-1986.
As cool as the SVO was back in the 1980s, Mustang fans had not seen anything quite like the EcoBoost yet. The 2.3L I-4 EcoBoost engine found in the early S550 models sported 314 PS (231 kW; 310 bhp) at 5,500 rpm and produced 320 lb⋅ft of torque. With such impressive numbers straight from the factory, Mustang fans quickly began to compare and contrast the EcoBoost with the long-standing V6 engine option.
The EcoBoost and the V6 are relatively similar on paper, but once the driver puts his or her foot on the gas pedal, the turbocharged I-4 is noticeably different than its six-cylinder counterpart. The EcoBoost boasts a faster quarter-mile time at 102 MPH (13.9 seconds compared to 14.1 for the V6) and has a clear advantage in both skidpad g-forces and braking from 70-0 MPH.
For the 2018 model year, Ford put the “EcoBoost vs. V6” debate to rest for the foreseeable future, by discontinuing the six-cylinder option and thus making the EcoBoost the sole alternative to the V8. The Mustang EcoBoost can put down 310 horses and 350 lb.-ft. of torque, with a 0-60 MPH time of less than five seconds, while still achieving better fuel economy than the discontinued V6.
Between the Performance Pack options and the vast aftermarket support available, the EcoBoost Mustang is not going anywhere anytime soon, and will remain a popular entity for many years to come!
2017 Focus ST in Triple Yellow
Several years before the EcoBoost engine took the Mustang world by storm, Ford inserted its turbocharged, direct-injection technology inside one its new pet projects, the Focus ST. Debuting in the summer of 2012, the Focus ST featured a sporty exterior as well as a host of performance upgrades, which distinguished it from Focus models of the past.
Equipped with a six-speed manual transmission and a 2.0L EcoBoost engine under the hood, the Focus ST quickly established itself as a popular entity throughout the autocross landscape as well as in other performance driving circles. The turbocharged 2.0L EcoBoost engine found in the Focus ST is rated at 252 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque while delivering a 0-60 mph time of 6.2 seconds.
In the years that followed the release of the ST, Ford continued to test its EcoBoost technology on other hatchback vehicles. Less than one year after the Focus ST’s debut, Ford launched the Fiesta ST in the spring of 2013. The Ford Fiesta ST features a 1.6L EcoBoost inline four-cylinder engine that makes 197 horsepower and 202 lb-ft of torque. Thanks to the remarkable EcoBoost technology, the Fiesta ST packs a lot of power into a small package and offers a truly unique driving experience.
Speaking of power, in 2016, the Ford Motor Company unveiled its most physically imposing hot hatch ever, the Focus RS. The high-performance RS took everything that fans loved about the ST up a notch, including the addition of a 2.3L EcoBoost engine. Rivaling the underhood area of the EcoBoost Mustang, the 2.3L motor puts out 345 horsepower and 325 lb-ft of torque.
If you want to enjoy the full power and performance capabilities that an EcoBoost engine offers at a more reasonable price than a Mustang, you would be a great candidate for any of the hot hatch options!
In the 2011 model year, the Ford Motor Company took several strides to make their trucks more fuel-efficient, and many of those changes came as a result of the newly-introduced EcoBoost engine. Boasting a rare combination of both power and efficiency, the all-new 3.5L, six-cylinder EcoBoost engine allowed the versatile pickup to maintain optimal performance while on the road or the trail. The extraordinary 3.5L EcoBoost V6 was far more powerful than the premium V8 from the previous model year, and obviously, came with much better fuel efficiency.
The EcoBoost grew to be so prominent in the Ford F-Series that the twin-turbocharged 3.5L motor became the base engine for F-150s beginning in 2015. In addition to the famed 3.5L motor, the Ford Motor Company unveiled a 2.7L V6 EcoBoost as an option in 2015 as well. The 2.7L EcoBoost is able to achieve roughly 18 mpg through the city and an impressive 24 mpg on the highway.
By now you have certainly learned not to scoff at an engine simply because of its size, and the same should ring true for the 2.7L EcoBoost motor found in the F-150. Paired with the equally-dynamic six-speed automatic transmission, the 2.7L EcoBoost engine is capable of producing 325 horsepower and 375 lb-ft of torque. Whether you use your F-150 as a daily driver or as an active off-roader, you can't go wrong with either of the EcoBoost engine options!
Find the Best EcoBoost Parts at CJ’s
CJ Pony Parts is proud to be your one-stop-shop for everything that you need to help you take your EcoBoost to the next level! Whether you drive a Ford Mustang, hatchback, F-150, or F-150 Raptor, CJ’s has you covered.
For you Mustang owners, CJ’s carries a large selection of turbo kits that will allow you to tune your EcoBoost in one-fell-swoop. If your turbocharger is already in great shape, CJ Pony Parts sells a wide-variety of EcoBoost engine components, including blow-off valves/wastegates, fuel pumps, throttle body accessories, and much more.
If you own a Focus RS/ST or a Fiesta ST, CJ Pony Parts offers a number of new EcoBoost engine components, such as cold air intakes, intercoolers, turbochargers, and much more. These EcoBoost engine upgrades will turn your hatchback into a true autocross machine and will help separate your vehicle from the pack. Be sure to note your vehicle’s correct year as well as any fitment requirements before you purchase any EcoBoost modifications from CJ Pony Parts.
What are you waiting for? Head over to CJ’s for the best EcoBoost parts for Mustangs, hatchbacks, and F-150s on the market today!
Image Credit: Ford.com