EcoBoost Falcon - clipped wings or a flyer?

PETER LOUISSON
Last updated 09:45 08/11/2011

Falcon fans, you could be in for a rather pleasant surprise next year. The large car's new engine, part of the EcoBoost family, may be pint-sized compared with the aging 4.0-litre in-line six, but it should be far from feeble.

It uses direct fuel injection and turbocharging, and should generate almost as much power and torque as the long-lived six (177kW/360Nm to the current car's 195kW/391Nm tally). However, it promises to use around 20 per cent less fuel overall (8.0L/100km compared with 10.0L/100km from the existing 4.0L engine). That's largely because its full helping of torque is on tap from around 2000rpm, whereas peak torque with the current engine arrives at 3250rpm.

Displacement downsizing helps too: improved efficiency results from reduced internal friction, lower pumping losses, and lighter weight. With less mass over the front axle, the new Falcon should also change direction more readily. In essence, you can probably expect similar on-road performance from this Mighty Mouse mill, and economy around one-fifth better.

EcoBoost badge 2

EcoBoost should give Falcon a proper leg up against rival Commodore, even if its vastly reduced engine size suddenly robs it of pub bragging rights. The prospect of driving a 2.0L four-cylinder Falcon probably scares many, if not most, existing Falcon owners. Is this a case of displacement downsizing gone doolally?

After spending a week driving the top Mondeo, the Titanium, which is powered by a low-pressure version of the 2L EcoBoost that the Falcon will get, I think there's every indication that Falcon's new mill will be at least the equal of the outgoing engine. With a new six-speed twin-clutch transmission, it could even outperform it.

The base 149kW 2.0L EcoBoost in Mondeo easily bests the normally aspirated 2.3L engine by a difference that's a gulf. Compare a mis-hit off the tee that costs you a whisky at the 19th with the best drive you've nailed on the round; it's the same here, and it is also a drive that puts a smile on your face and has you coming back for more.

Despite the loss of 300cc in displacement, Mondeo's new 2.0L turbowhizz produces 44 per more torque, up from 208 to 300Nm. With the normally aspirated 2.3L engine, peak pulling power arrives at 4200rpm but with the EcoBoost mill, all that torque is on tap from 1750-4500rpm. That means that for well over 90 per cent of all driving situations, full force torque is available without exceeding middling revs. Performance is boosted hugely, and from being one of the lamest middleweights, it's now one of the hastiest. This make it much safer for risky manoeuvres, like overtaking.

EcoBoost 2.0L engine

Ford quotes overall lab test fuel economy figures of 8.0L/100km and CO2 emissions of 187g/km. That depends largely on how you drive it; we recorded about 9.5L/100km on a trip and 11.0L/100km in town with no real concession to economy.

The point here is don't prejudge on engine size alone; modern small engines can be wicked good, and the Falcon's four might just be the little engine that could. We bet that when it arrives in the first quarter, the EcoBoost Falcon won't be some flightless lame duck with clipped wings, but a proper flyer.

20 comments
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DB Cooper   #1   10:59 am Nov 08 2011

Skeptical, but hopeful. Would be interested towing wise what it could pull.

Jacob Leaker   #2   11:24 am Nov 08 2011

Congratulations! Finally, the Australian auto industry moves into the 1980's... There have always been "substitutes for cubes" - technology, superior engineering & efficiency. At this rate the archaic falco-dores might catch up to the japanese/germans/koreans some time around 2030/2040!

Gdh   #3   11:26 am Nov 08 2011

I drove an Explorer with this engine in the states, went really well so i would expect this to be even better in a smaller lighter falcon.

Robert   #4   12:03 pm Nov 08 2011

That engine sounds like a delight. I currently have a Mk4 mondeo wagon with the 2.3l that goes nicely with the 6 speed auto. Fuel economy has always been good but sometimes a little more poke at lower RPM was needed to overtake people who daudle along 10-20km/h under the speed limit. I can see where my next purchase is leaning

Ford4eva   #5   01:38 pm Nov 08 2011

Yawn! Everyone knows that only milk and juice come in two litres. Don't get me wrong, hybrids and small displacement engines have their place; it just isn't in my driveway! Give me an XR6 turbo any day - it has to be one of the best bang for buck machines of the market. 270kW of circle-work goodness, now that is a car that is fun to drive. Bugger the fuel economy, it's all about the size of the smile on ya dial after a good strop - I'll bet the bum dragging Mondeo doesn't even come close!

Sam   #6   02:20 pm Nov 08 2011

Great little engine that could, that one.

Though i have to be honest and critique your blog... The ecoboost IS NOT replacing the fantastic I6. It is a _Supplementary_ engine to the I6.

In Summary - I6 faithful and diehards - do not despair!

Rod   #7   08:57 pm Nov 08 2011

Thanks for that Sam #6 I am sure quite a few were worried by the way the article was written.

Glen   #8   10:30 am Nov 09 2011

I agree with Sam's comments above, but Falcon is no longer a Falcon without that legendary six cylinder...

Alfonso Delgardeo   #9   11:41 am Nov 09 2011

I think that it will be great. Power to weight will probably be quite similar and as the torque is produced from lower in the rev-range, it should feel quite sprightly.

No sensible person would consider this as a replacement for the turbo-six, but for the 95% of Falcs that roll out of the factory with the standard engine they will enjoy a better drive (once they can get over their prejudices).

I've just looked over the specs for the Mondeo Titaniums with this engine and the diesel. Pretty awesome looking specs. Really don't know which one of the two I'd choose.

Tain   #10   12:04 pm Nov 09 2011

ha ha carn't wait to see how long it is till these new engines are on the sidew of the road parked up broken from having to push all the extra weight !! But hay worth a try ford just like the taurus :)


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