This word/technology is arguably the definition of the top of Fords vehicles today. There seems to be a bit of confusion with how it works and why it is such a great idea. We will try and take some of the mystery out of the Ecoboost technology.
Ecoboost is a set of technologies that Ford has paired together to decrease fuel consumption by 20% and emissions by 20% while providing the same power of a larger engine and its availability.
The Ecoboost name has over 20 different patents of which the three most prominent technologies we require more detail. The first, is the turbo chargers which uses exhaust from the engine to force more cold air into the cylinders which in turn allows for a more complete burn of the fuel. As the air is forced into the engine the direct injectors spray a mist of fuel (like a diesel) so that the fuel is able to combust very efficiently and the precise amount of fuel can be added with every piston that fires. The final technology that makes the Ecoboost different from other engines is its twin independent variable camshaft timing (Ti-ViCT), it’s a fancy term for an engine that is able to control each cylinder’s air inputs and outputs making sure that each part of the engine runs at optimal conditions at all times.
The reason why we would recommend an Ecoboost Engine is its availability of power on demand at 2,500 rpm and its fuel efficiency. The turbo start turning at 1,700 rpm and at 2,500 rpm you get your max torque (the power to move you forward). Compared to a traditional engine you where you will not see this sort of max torque or power until the 4000-6000 rpm range.
It is this availability of power that makes the Ecoboost engines responsive and fun to drive. It DOES NOT TURN OFF CYLINDERS to make it more efficient it uses all of these technologies to deliver a smooth powerful ride at any speed or driver inputs.
Active Grill Shutters are a new technology from Ford. They allow for the vehicle’s engine to operate at the best temperature at all times .When the shutters are closed the active grill shutters allow the vehicle to be more aerodynamic on the road which translates into better fuel economy.
Currently active grill shutters are available (and is standard on most of these models) on the Focus, Edge, Explorer and the new 2013 Escape. Let it be said that active grill shutters alone is not going to save you thousands a year at the pump, however when it is paired to and Ecoboost engine and /or other fuel saving technologies like dual dry clutch transmission, aerodynamic rims, and direct injection active grill shutters can add that extra MPG. Another key benefit of the active grill shutters is their ability to reduce CO2 gasses, on the 2012 Focus they reduce gasses by 2%.
Great, it saves fuel and the environment! But I think that the major advancement for the active grill shutters come for those of us above the 49th parallel in Canada because the grill shutters will stay closed until the engine needs to cool down, so when its -30 Celsius your engine warms up quicker and so does your interior. That alone should be the reason why we recommend active grill shutters and why it’s important to make sure your next vehicle has them.
Today I drove an older model vehicle on the back lot and cringed at the sound the power steering made as I turned tightly. It’s one of those things that for most of my life its hasn’t been a problem however now that I have driven and Electronic Power Assisted Steering (EPAS) it’s night and day between the two systems. So how does EPAS make my driving experience better?
EPAS systems use electricity, to turn the tires which mean that it’s pulling power from the Alternator rather than the engine itself, so there is no parasitic power loss from the EPAS system… This means more horsepower to the tires for better fuel economy and more fun.
As well Ford’s EPAS has 2 key benefits, the first is its nibble control: When you’re driving down the road and you feel those minor road bumps the nibble control will put pulses into the steering column to counteract the discomfort. The Result is a smooth steering experience. With the Nibble control EPAS also changes how the steering feels at different speeds, the faster your speed the more firm the experience, and for cruising the mall parking lot the steering become smooth and free.
The assisted part of EPAS gives great driver comfort on windy days or on beveled highways, instead of having to steer at a 45 degree angle the EPAS will recognise the over steering and assist with turning the wheel which will lessen soreness and fatigue on even the shortest trip.
Currently Every Vehicles beside the Superdutys and Expedition all Fords come Standard with Electronic Power SteeringIf you would like to read more here is Ford's words on the matter Click Here