Ford to sell improved EcoBoost engine


DEARBORN, Mich. – Ford Motor Co. said Tuesday that it will offer a four-cylinder EcoBoost engine for some of its vehicles starting next year, an effort to provide greater fuel economy to consumers without compromising on horsepower.

At a showcase of the company's 2010 model lineup, Barb Samardzich, Ford's vice president for global powertrain engineering, said the I-4 EcoBoost two-liter, four-cylinder engine will make a vehicle perform like one carrying a six-cylinder engine.

Ford executives did not say which vehicles will carry the I-4 EcoBoost. Ford developed the EcoBoost engines as way to achieve 20 percent better fuel economy, and currently offers a six-cylinder version in some cars — such as the Ford Flex — which allows for eight-cylinder performance. A vehicle with an EcoBoost engine costs a few thousand dollars more than the traditional engine vehicle, with prices varying based on the model.

The company is targeting having the improved engines in 90 percent of its product lineup by 2013.

"Today we see it as a premium engine," said Derrick Kuzak, Ford's vice president for global product development, regarding availability of EcoBoost. "As we expand it will be the volume engine."

Company CEO Alan Mulally said that Ford's "transformation" plan, which includes bringing the new engine to market, among other manufacturing and product improvements, is fully financed. He said Ford has sufficient liquidity to bring other new vehicles to market in a challenging auto sales climate.

"We're following our plan exactly," he said.

Ford is scheduled to report second-quarter results Thursday.

Shares of Ford gained a penny to close at $6.20.