Saturday, September 26, 2009
Ford Motor Company President and CEO Alan Mulally today revealed the much-anticipated new car to be produced in India. Called the new Ford Figo, the car was unveiled at a press event in Delhi as a major addition to the Ford India brand portfolio.The Ford Figo, a new nameplate and a fresh face on the Indian market, signals Ford’s intention to compete in India’s largest and most important small car market segment.The Figo will come with a 1.2 petrol and a 1.5 diesel engine. Three variants Ambiente, Trend and Titanium. No word on pricing yet. That will only be known at the launch in March 2010. It is expected to be in the 5-6 lakh bracket
Ford Figo is the result of a significant Ford investment commitment to expand its plant near Chennai for volume production as a small-car centre of excellence regionally. Ford’s $500 million investment has doubled the plant’s production capacity to 200,000 units per year and introduces major advances in high-quality automation and innovative, eco-friendly production techniques.
Design-conscious Italy inspired the new Ford Figo’s name. Figo is colloquial Italian for “cool.”
From its modern headlamps, grille shapes and sculpted bonnet of its distinctive face to the subtle integrated spoiler and chamfered window shape at the rear, Ford Figo is filled with kinetic design touches. These also include sculpted shapes to the body side – chiseled front fenders, a “comet tail” undercut in the doors and additional light-catching sculpting in the lower bodyside – which combine to communicate the solidity, substance and protective safety of its design.With its wheels positioned at the four corners of the vehicle with minimal overhang, Ford Figo’s bold wheel arches self-assuredly signal its agility and solidity.
With more automation and high-tech new facilities, the new site reflects the latest Ford manufacturing processes globally and pioneers new technologies for Ford and India. Created with a “best of the best” approach, it has been benchmarked against other competitive facilities globally, as well as the current volume manufacturers in the Indian market, for quality and production efficiency.
The transformed plant introduces eco-friendly production techniques like its new Three-Wet High-Solids paint process. This approach produces beautifully painted vehicles with three wet coats – primer, base coat and clear coat – of high solids-content paint applied one after the other without oven curing between coats. A first for India, it produces fewer carbon dioxide emissions and reduces volatile organic compounds emissions by about 20 percent compared to current medium-solids solvent-borne paints. Use of high-solids content results in a paint finish with high levels of gloss and depth of colour which is more resistant to scratches and stone chips.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
The new Yamaha VMAX is equipped with a 1679cc, 4-stroke, 4-valve, liquid-cooled, V-type, DOHC engine with a 6 speed gearbox. The 1679cc engine of Yamaha VMAX produces 200 PS power at 9000rpm and 166.8 Nm torque at 6500rpm. The 1679cc power plant of this bike offers great acceleration to cross the mark of 60 Mph(96 Kmph) speed in just 3.0 seconds and make it able to touch the top speed mark of 310 Kmph, with an electronic cut off at 220kmph. Yamaha VMAX will have a true super speed bike image and features.
Yamaha V-Max India specifications
Top Speed: 220kmph
Seat Height: 77.5cm
Ground clearance: 140mm
Engine: Liquid Colled, dohc, 4 stroke, 4 valve, V4 cylinder, 1687cc
Max Power: 200bhp at 9000rpm
Max Torque: 17kg at 6500rpm
Engine Management: Fuel Injection
Transmission: 5 speed gears
Fuel Tank: 15 liters
Clutch: Wet, multiple disc hydraulic slipper clutch with diaphragm spring
Suspension: FRONT – Soqi telescopic forks, 52mm; REAR: Soqui Shock link type suspension
Brakes: FRONT – Dual Discs 320mm, REAR – Single Disc 292mm
Tyres: FRONT – 120/70 R18M/C Bridgestone; REAR – 200/50 R18M/C Bridgestone
The new V Max will be imported as a CBU and will make your wallet lighter by Rs. 20 lakhs (Ex-showroom, New Delhi).
Sunday, September 13, 2009
General Motors is planning to launch Chevrolet Cruze in C-segment in Indian car market. It is expected that the price of this model came in the range of Rs 10 to 12 lacs to compete with other C-segment cars. Chevrolet Cruze is the first global vehicle that General Motors will launch. Chevrolet Cruze is developed by global designers and engineers team of General Motors and will be manufactured at multiple locations around the world. Chevrolet Cruze is a mid-sized sedan and it is expected that it might replace Chevrolet Optra and Daewoo Lacetti globally in year 2009. General Motors plans to launch Chevrolet Cruze with both petrol and diesel engine options in Indian market. The company official indicates that this luxurious sedan will hit the Indian road by the end of August this year.
Chevrolet Cruze is the first vehicle by General Motors that produced at a revamped Delta 2 platform, an architecture which will be used for all small cars of General Motors around the globe. General Motors has scheduled to launch Chevrolet Cruze in India in the month of August this year. The Chevrolet Cruze price would be around in the range of Rs 11 to 13 lacs. This price range is set to compete with the other C-segment sedans like Toyota Corolla Altis, Skoda Octavia and Honda Civic.
The petrol variants of Chevrolet Cruze will be launched with two different powered engines option – its 1.6L, 1598cc, DOHC petrol engine with 5-Speed manual transmission that produces 113bhp power at 6400rpm makes it able to break the barrier of 100kmph in just 11.8 seconds and to achieve the top speed mark of 184kmph. While other variant of Chevrolet Cruze that will also be powered by the same engine but packed with 6-Speed automatic transmission gearbox offers bit less acceleration but it is also able to cross the mark of 100kmph in just 12.9 seconds and are able to touch the top speed mark of 179.2kmph.
The other petrol variants of Chevrolet Cruze that will be powered by more powerful engine are well known for delivering high performance and its excellent acceleration. It’s 1.8L, 1796cc, DOHC petrol engine with 5-speed manual transmission gearbox produce maximum power of 141bhp at 6200rpm and maximum torque of 176Nm at 3800rpm and makes Chevrolet Cruze able to cross the mark of 100kmph in just 10 seconds and to achieve the top speed mark of 198.4kmph. On the other hand it’s other variant that will be powered by same capacity engine but will be equipped with 6-speed automatic transmission gearbox, are able to break the barrier of 100kmph in just 11.5 seconds and to touch the top speed mark of 188.8kmph
The diesel variants of Chevrolet Cruze will be equipped with a more powerful engine that delivers excellent performance and power. Its 2.0L, 1991cc, SOHC diesel engine with 5-Speed manual transmission gearbox that delivers 150bhp of maximum power at 4000rpm and 320Nm of maximum torque at 2000rpm, offers great acceleration so that it can cross 100kmph mark in just 8.7 seconds and can achieve the top speed mark of 108kmph.
As we stated earlier, Chevrolet Cruze will be launched with both petrol and diesel engine option – its petrol variants will be launched with two different powered engines while its diesel variants will be powered by 2.0L VCDi engine. Its petrol variants that will be powered by a 1.6L, 1598cc, DOHC petrol engine with MPFI (Multi Point Fuel Injection System) offers mileage 11kmpl in city roads and 16kmpl on highway on the other hand the variants that will be powered by the same engine but will be packed with 6-speed automatic transmission gearbox offers mileage 9kmpl in city roads and 15kmpl on highway.
The other petrol variants of Chevrolet Cruze that will be powered by 1.8L, 1796cc, DOHC petrol engine with MPFI (Multi Point Fuel Injection System) with 5-speed manual transmission gearbox offers mileage 10kmpl in city and 16kmpl on highway. While its variant that will be powered by same capacity engine but will be equipped with 6-speed automatic transmission gearbox offers mileage 9kmpl in city road conditions and 15kmpl on highway.
The diesel variants of Chevrolet Cruze that will be powered by a 2.0L, 1991cc, SOHC diesel engine with Direct Fuel Injection and with 5-Speed manual transmission gearbox, offers mileage 13kmpl in city traffic and 20kmpl on highway
Chevrolet Cruze is a spacious and much luxurious sedan model which packed with lots of advanced and luxurious features that offers higher level of comfort and work as a stress buster. The comfortable features that will be available with Chevrolet Cruze are Climate Control AC, Advanced Audio System, Height Adjustable Comfortable Driver and Front Passenger Seat, 60/40 Split Folding Rear Seats, Rear Seat Centre Armrest, Pocket Front Seat Back, Tilt-able and Adjustable Telescopic Power Steering, Windshield Tinted Shaded Upper, Tinted Glass, Electrically Operated Front and Rear Windows with one touch down facility for driver side, Rear Parking Distance Sensors, Trip Computer, Additional Power Socket, Cigarette Lighter, Ashtray Front, Electro-Chromatic Rear View Mirror, Automatic Lighting Control, Cruise Control, Rain Sensitive Windscreen Wipers, Sun visors with Passenger Side Vanity Mirror, Sunglass Holder, Digital Clock, Front and Rear Cup Holders, Center Armrest with Storage and Illuminated Glove box.
Chevrolet Cruze is a dynamic styling sedan model that comes with stylish front with aggressive front grille with chrome affected surround and strong bonnet with chrome affected belt line that gives it muscular and aggressive front look. Other exterior feature that makes Chevrolet Cruze appearance more stylish includes Body Colored Bumpers, Front Fog Lamps, Body Colored Door Handles, Body Colored outside Rear View Mirror, 17 inch Alloy Wheels and Stylish Rear Combination Lamps.
Chevrolet Cruze will be packed with lots of advanced active and passive safety features for both driver and pedestrians. The active safety features that will be available with Chevrolet Cruze includes Dual Front Airbags, front Seat Side Airbags and Roof Curtain Airbags that offers safety in case of collision, ABS (Antilock Brake System) with EBD (Electronic Brake-Force Distribution) that enables the driver to maneuver the vehicle even during emergency braking, Front Ventilated Disc Brakes that de-accelerate the vehicle instantly, Traction Control and Electronic Stability Control. The other passive safety features that will be available with Chevrolet Cruze are Side Impact Beams, Height Adjustable Front Seatbelts, Front Seatbelts with Pretensioner, 3x3 Point Rear Seatbelts, Warning Lamp for Driver Seatbelt, Front Seatbelt Reminder, Height Adjustable Headrest with Tilting Function, Knee Protector, ISOFIX Child Seat Restraint System (2nd row outer rear), Child Locks and Central Locking.
Friday, September 11, 2009
Under the SLS AMG's long hood is a version of the V-8 that we've seen powering every Merc of this generation with an AMG badge--although, this time the engine actually displaces 6.3-liters. Output has been tuned to 563 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque. The extra power comes partially from all-new intake and exhaust systems and a rejiggered valve train.
Power flows through a SpeedShift 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox and down an exotic carbon fiber driveshaft before meeting the road at the rear wheels. The gearbox features three driving modes for Comfort, Sport, and Sport plus, as well as an automated manual mode. Sixty miles per hour happens in a blistering 3.7 seconds with a top speed of 197 mph.
Of course, the SLS' real draw is it's design homage to the 300SL Gullwing. In addition to the wingdoors that hinge upward from the roof, the also SLS features the classic long-hood, short overhang design of the sports cars of old, with a small passenger compartment mounted just ahead of the rear axle.
The Reventón Roadster's made its pictorial debut ahead of Frankfurt.
Perhaps looks modeled after an F117A stealth fighter, the 650HP, 6.5 liter V12, 211 MPH top speed and strictly limited production of 21 units weren't quite enough to urge you to buy one for the trifling $1.3 million asking price. It just didn't come with an open top, and that was inexcusable. Your prayers have been answered as the Reventón Roadster addresses the issue with a lift-off targa top and even greater exclusivity — only 20 units for this model. We'd consider one ourselves, but you can't get it in chrome. Oh, the price? Still a lark at a mere $1.75 million.Still 20 oil sheikh's from Dubai have already ordered it to become the unique lucky owners of the Reventon Roadster.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
he Mahindra Marksman Armoured Vehicle is Mahindra’s attempt at making India’s first armoured capsule based light bullet proof vehicle.The Marksman is developed by Mahindra Defense Systems and will be launched soon (not for purchase by civilians yet, though there might be a civil version later on). The Marksman very much resembles German bullet proof vehicles from 1940s which we get to see in the latest World War 2 games.
The body of the car is very tough, you can feel its bullet proof. Everything from the exterior to the interior has been designed with utmost detail. There is even a fire extinguisher, just in case. The pilot of the vehicle can make announcements via the speaker on the front bumper. The Marksman uses a 2.5L CRDE engine which is BS3 compliant. With 105bhp of power on tap at 3800rpm and 228Nm of torque between 1800-2200rpm the engine is good enough to haul the 3200kg (2600kgs unladen + 600kgs of payload) vehicle. The car can seat 6 [2 (driver, co–driver) + 4 (rear)]. The car has a 5 speed manual gearbox and 4 wheel drive along with power steering. Air conditioning is available as an option.
The front use discs & calliper whereas the rear uses drum brakes. The independent suspension (front) and rigid leaf spring along with shock absorber (rear) ensure this heavy vehicle will stay put on the road on any conditions. Though tires are not tubeless, Mahindra offer run flat system as an optional. Tire size is a good 245/75/16 of triangle make. The alloys seem to have been lifted straight from the Scorpio. Turning radius is a decent 5.8m for a vehicle of this size. The Marksman will hit a top speed of 100kmph, if need be.
The Mahindra Marksman provides a host of safety features and protection : -
- Sides – Can withstand three direct hits of 7.62 X 51mm NATO Ball M80, 7.62 X 39mm Ball PS and 5.56 X 45mm Ball M 193 at a distance of 10m at 90º angle attack.
- Top – Can withstand three direct hits of above ammunition at a distance of 10m at 45º angle attack.
- Floor – Protection against two DM 51(German norm) hand grenades detonated under the vehicle simultaneously.
- Additional protection – All joints and welding have overlap. The rear stowage boxes provide protection to crew when using the rear door.
- Cuppola has an machine gun mount with 270º traverse and protection.
- Seven crew firing ports.
- Outward facing configured rear seat and wide bulletproof windows allows total operational orientation of the crew sitting at the rear.
- Search light mounted on top of the vehicle controlled from inside the vehicle by the driver/co driver.
- Rear view camera and a TV screen for the driver and co driver to see the dead zone behind the vehicle.
- Military/user specified stowage and fittings can be catered for.
OPERATIONAL ROLES : -
Counter Terrorist Operations
- Patrolling in high intensity areas
- Special Forces operations
- Quick Reaction Teams
- Mobile Check Points
- Convoy protection and escort
Monday, August 31, 2009
Mini is likely to add a sportier, two-seat hatchback to its lineup, based on a concept car to be shown at the Frankfurt auto show in Germany next month.
The British-based Mini brand is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. German parent BMW revived the Mini brand in the United States in 2002.
Assuming it goes into mass production, the two-seater Mini Coupe would be the fourth body style of Mini’s basic model, the Mini Cooper. The other three, all with four seats, are a two-door hardtop, a two-door convertible, and a three-door hatchback, the Mini Clubman. Mini has also shown what it calls a crossover concept car, with SUV-like styling.
The Mini Coupe Concept does away with the back seats. A lower roof for the coupe replaces the high, squared-off roofline of the four-seater models, especially at the trailing edge. With no rear seats, rear-seat headroom is not an issue for the coupe concept. Nevertheless, the coupe has a decent amount of space for cargo.
The main cause for concern with the Mini Coupe is the exterior styling. The rear roof spoiler seems a bit over the top, and a small spoiler mounted at the bottom of the rear window would probably look a lot more innocuous. Perhaps as a result of this spoiler, the roof itself just looks out of place. The downswell of the roofline after the front door stops your eye from sweeping back, which reinforces the short length of this car. The big plus side on the Coupe’s styling is the windshield, which is swept back and is a welcome change from the vertical windshield of the Cooper. Everything below the windshield and roof is essentially the same as a Mini Cooper.
In addition, the roof in the concept car is made of aluminum, which saves weight and lowers the car’s center of gravity. That’s an advantage for sportier handling.Mini stuffed its most powerful engine under the hood, er, bonnet — a 1.6-liter turbocharged mill. It’s the same engine you’ll find in the John Cooper Works model. It puts down 211 horsepower and 192 pound-feet of torque, although Mini says that can rise to 206 pound-feet if you hit the “overboost function,” whatever that is. No word on what the car weighs, but Mini says it will offer “perfect axle load distribution and low center of gravity.” In other words, it oughtta handle nicely.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
The all-new Chevrolet Spark, makes its world premiere at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show, is a small car designed to make a big statement. It's big on style, big on fuel economy and, like all products carrying the gold bowtie, big on value.
The progressive design of Chevrolet Spark's surprisingly spacious cabin has the flair to match its exterior looks. The use of quality materials and an uplevel execution were key interior design requirements, demonstrating that small cars offering big value need not look utilitarian or spartan inside.
Bright and engaging, the interior features an evolution of Chevrolet's signature 'dual cockpit' design. The textured front fascia moldings flow each side of the cabin into the doors, creating a feeling of space that belies Chevrolet Spark's diminutive size.
Exterior bodywork colors are carried through into the lower fascia and door panels. And the main controls are all highlighted in signature Chevy ice-blue, adding to the cabin's youthful looks.
The audio, heating, ventilation and navigation displays are all neatly presented in an integrated center stack. A small floor console includes twin cup-holders, ample storage cubbyholes and a gearshift molding finished in aluminum to match the spokes of the steering wheel.
Chevrolet Spark packs a generous 2,375 mm wheelbase into its 3,640 mm long body, which helps to deliver a cabin with class-leading passenger leg and hip room, front and rear. The seats are upholstered in a range of bright, contrasting fabrics, with top-of-line variants even including uplevel French seam stitching.
Despite its minimal rear overhang for ease of parking, Chevrolet Spark offers an above average 170-liter trunk volume, easily increased to 994 liters by lowering the 60/40 split-fold rear seat-back. All four door pockets are large enough to provide useful onboard storage for oddments. Chevrolet Spark's versatility can be taken a step further by specifying roof rails, a rare option in the segment.
The extensive equipment roster includes: a height-adjustable driver's seat, tilting steering wheel, electrically-powered front windows, heated front seats, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, electrically-powered and heated door mirrors, a trip computer and 'anti-freeze' windshield wipers.
On the move
Newly-developed, all-aluminum 1.0 and 1.2-liter gasoline engines, generating 66 hp/49 kW and 78 hp/58 kW respectively, are expected to offer combined cycle fuel economy of below 5.0L/100 km, together with CO2 emissions of less than 120 g. It is also being heard that GM is devoloping a one litre diesel power plant for this spark.If that happens, it will be a huge hit to Chevy in india and abroad and a blow for other players in this segment.
These efficient, Euro 5 compliant, 16-valve motors are mated to a five-speed manual gearbox. The 1.2-liter engine is expected to deliver zero to 100 km/h acceleration in a brisk 12.4 seconds.
Apart from fewer visits to the filling station, Chevrolet Spark also delivers a level of running refinement and NVH (noise, vibration, harshness) typical of a larger car. A three-level noise suppression program focused on effective insulation in the floor, the front bulkhead and inner body panels. The chassis is based on McPherson strut front suspension, with a space-saving torsion beam set-up at the rear. Electronic Stability Control (ESC) will be offered as an option.
Standard safety equipment includes driver, front passenger, side and curtain airbags. The front seatbelts are equipped with pre-tensioners and there are three, three-point belts for rear passengers. Chevrolet Spark is expected to achieve a high EuroNCAP crash test rating.
CANADIAN COMPANY UNVEILS THE KNIGHT XV -- THE WORLDS LARGEST, MOST LUXURIOUS, HANDCRAFTED, BIOFUEL POWERED FULLY ARMOURED SUV AT SEMA 2008 IN LAS VEGAS
Las Vegas, Nevada, November 4, 2008 Conquest Vehicles Inc., the Toronto-based company that specializes in the design and manufacturing of fully armoured, ultra-luxurious, handcrafted sport utility vehicles has unveiled its flagship vehicle, the KNIGHT XV at the 2008 SEMA show in Las Vegas, announced William Maizlin, President, Conquest Vehicles, Inc.
Inspired by the Gurkha military vehicle, the KNIGHT XV is an ultra-luxurious handcrafted, Bio-fuel powered fully armoured SUV. The KNIGHT XV is powered by a V10, 6.8-litre engine and sits on a super duty Ford modified platform chassis. It provides 400 hp and 498-ft lbs of torque.
The KNIGHT XV is priced at $310,000 USD. Only 100 will be made available as a limited first run. Each vehicle takes 1,500 hours to build by hand.
Our goal with the KNIGHT XV is to deliver an ownership experience that is unrivaled in todays marketplace. The KNIGHT XV offers the very best in security and luxury while ensuring that the environment is positively impacted when the vehicle is on the road, said Maizlin.
The KNIGHT XV offers interior appointments including Wilton Wool luxury carpeting; Andrew Muirhead leather; 6-way electric leather boardroom-style seating; Tandem sunroof glass with privacy shades; Personal side-mounted lap top stations; LED cabin lighting; Alpine AM, FM, CD, DVD navigation and Bluetooth equipment; TV Monitors; Night vision and rear op camera system and Playstation 3 (PS3). The cabins 283-cubic-foot interior is larger than the interior of most SUVs on the road today and can comfortably seat six professional basketball players.
We believe that the combination of the secure exterior appointments and ultra-luxurious interior will appeal to high-profile individuals with discriminate tastes that place security and luxury at the top of their list when it comes to acquiring a bespoke luxury vehicle, said Maizlin.
The KNIGHT-XV is built using ballistic hardened steel making it fully armoured including ballistic fiberglass fenders, bumper and up to 64 mm. (2.5 inches) transparent armor (glass).
The KNIGHT XV is 240 in length, 98 in width with a ground clearance of 14 and stands at 100. Its wheelbase is 141 and has an armoured curb weight of 10,000 pounds. The vehicle holds 40 gallons of fuel and sits on four, LT40X13.50R20 Mickey Thompson Baja Radial ATZ tires with ballistic run flats.
Additionally, the KNIGHT XV contains an E-85 Ethanol conversion system (Flex Fuel) with California emission certification, thereby making it certified in all 50 States.
We designed this vehicle with three goals in mind. To provide the ultimate in security and luxury while ensuring the vehicle is environmentally friendly, said Maizlin.
About Conquest Vehicles Inc
Conquest Vehicles Inc., specializes in the design and manufacturing of ultra-luxurious, fully armoured, handcrafted sport utility vehicles. The company, headquartered in Toronto, Canada, is comprised of the automotive industrys most respected talent whose award-winning experience in engineering, fabrication, design, armouring and customization combine to create one-of-a-kind SUVs unrivaled and unmatched in todays automotive marketplace. Conquest Vehicles Inc., also provides auto customization and after-market design for luxury vehicles.
For more information about the KNIGHT XV or Conquest Vehicles, please visit www.conquestvehicles.com
Just compare the sizes of the 2 monsters on road-The Hummer and Knight V.
-- The 2010 Ford Flex will offer an available 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6, the first gasoline direct-injection twin-turbocharged engine produced in North America
-- EcoBoost is a key Ford Motor Company initiative to deliver significant advancements in fuel economy – up to 20 percent – without sacrificing the performance customers want. The 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine delivers an impressive 355 horsepower and a responsive 350 lb.-ft. of torque across a broad rpm range, simultaneously giving Ford Flex the power of a normally aspirated 4.6-liter V-8 while enjoying V-6 fuel efficiency
-- The 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 is the first in a wave of EcoBoost engines coming from Ford as part of a strategy to bring major fuel-efficiency improvements to millions. By 2013, more than 90 percent of Ford’s North American lineup will be available with EcoBoost
DETROIT, Jan. 11, 2009 – Ford Flex turns heads with its distinctive design – and in 2009, the unique full-size crossover becomes even more noteworthy, thanks to an available twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 engine.
This all-new engine gives Flex V-8 power and performance feel with the fuel economy of a V-6.
The twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 produces an estimated 355 horsepower at 5,700 rpm and 350 foot-pounds of torque at 3,500 rpm. In addition to the power upgrade, the 2010 EcoBoost Flex boasts segment-leading fuel economy among full-size performance crossover vehicles with 22 mpg highway and 18 mpg combined.
The 2010 Flex has unsurpassed fuel economy in the full-size crossover segment with 24 mpg highway and 19 mpg combined, one of a number of new Ford products delivering the best or among the best fuel economy.
“We are committed to delivering fuel economy leadership in every new vehicle,” said Derrick Kuzak, Ford’s group president of Global Product Development. “We do this with affordable technology that can be applied to the widest number of vehicles. EcoBoost is an important component of that goal.
“The beauty of EcoBoost is that it enables us to downsize for fuel efficiency, yet boost for power. We’re able to decrease the size of the available engine – such as installing a V-6 versus a V-8 – yet boost the power using turbocharging to deliver similar power and torque of that larger engine.”
The twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 engine requires all-wheel drive and will be available on well-equipped SEL and Limited models of the 2010 Flex, packaged with several high-demand customer features.
“People who drive the Flex want to make a statement, and the new twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 is very much in keeping with that attitude,” said Ron Heiser, chief engineer of the Ford Flex. “We’re proud and excited to add Ford’s most advanced engine, which is the first V-6 direct-injection twin turbocharged engine produced in North America, to the Flex line.”
The addition of the EcoBoost engine builds on what already is a strong package for Flex.
“We know that there are customers who are looking for the power and performance of a traditional V-8 but are not willing to sacrifice this for fuel economy,” said Kate Pearce, Flex marketing manager. “No one else in this segment offers this level of performance and versatility, and when you wrap it up in Flex’s unique package, we believe that it will offer a compelling buy in the crossover segment.”
The EcoBoost program is part of Ford’s ongoing and wide-ranging initiative to deliver fuel-efficient powertrain systems with power and performance found in larger-displacement engines.
“EcoBoost engines offer more power and better fuel economy,” said Brett Hinds, EcoBoost design manager. “It’s all part of Ford’s strategy to bring adaptable powertrain technology to all kinds of vehicles and all kinds of lifestyles. This technology is affordable and applicable to all gasoline engines.”
Hinds said the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 will handle any tasks Ford Flex drivers ask of it. “The drivability of EcoBoost engines is superior and it just generates a lot more confidence in your Flex – it goes where you want it to go,” he said. “You’re rewarding yourself as a driver.”
The twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 also will arrive in the Lincoln MKS and MKT in 2009. Although these are three very different vehicles that serve different needs for customers, the EcoBoost engine can handle the roles seamlessly and effectively. The 2010 EcoBoost V-6 MKT, for example, provides segment-leading fuel economy, exceeding the V-8-powered Audi Q7 by 4 mpg on the highway.
“A key element in our EcoBoost strategy is the efficiency we gain by employing a common control unit across a wide variety of vehicle applications,” said Craig Stephens, EcoBoost powertrain control system manager. “All the driver should notice is the seamless power delivery and terrific fuel economy.”
The key to the EcoBoost system is the harmony between the twin turbochargers and the direct injection fuel system. The turbochargers recover energy from the exhaust that otherwise would’ve been wasted and put it back in the engine to gain efficiency. Simply, the turbocharging system puts more air into the engine for more power. A compressor increases or “boosts” the pressure of the air entering the engine. An intercooler reduces the air temperature before it enters the engine.
The twin parallel turbochargers, which are water cooled and operate simultaneously, combine with a direct-injection fuel system to produce power when the driver pushes down on the gas pedal. The high-pressure fuel pump operates up to 2,175 psi – more than 35 times the norm seen in a conventional V-6 engine. The high-pressure pump is a cam-driven mechanical pump with a single piston and an electronic valve that controls how much fuel is routed into the fuel rails to the injectors.
As demands on the twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 engine are increased, the control system responds to maintain optimal combustion, timing and injection duration.
On each stroke, six individual jets spray fuel directly into the combustion chamber, mixing with the incoming air. “By bringing the fuel injector right into the combustion chamber, there’s no delay from the time you inject the fuel to when it’s used by the engine,” Hinds said.
The fuel injectors are located on the side of the combustion chamber. When the fuel is injected into the cylinder, it evaporates and cools the air that’s been inducted into the cylinder. “Another benefit of our direct injection method is that it cools the air right where you’re going to burn it,” Hinds said. “This action both improves the breathing of the engine and minimizes knocking.”
The direct injection of fuel into the cylinder also helps provide a well-mixed air-fuel charge, increasing engine efficiency. Direct injection provides several benefits in terms of fuel burn and lower emissions.
“Because the fuel is directly introduced into the combustion chamber, you don’t get fuel wetting the combustion wall like with port fuel injection, you don’t saturate the ports and you don’t get droplets that might recombine and add to saturation,” Hinds said. “By injecting fuel directly into the combustion chamber and under high pressure, the fuel can be directed to exactly where we want it to be for a given combustion cycle.”
The spray pattern for the fuel was optimized after extensive modeling work, with the angle of how the fuel is sprayed key to the process.
“The better combustion process is a big advantage of direct injection,” Hinds said. “In a port fuel system, at key off it’s possible to have fuel on the walls of the intake port, which migrates to the top of the valve and puddles. So when you key on, you get that emissions spike. Direct injection is much cleaner from that standpoint.”
Turbo lag virtually eliminated
The simultaneous turbocharger operation paired with the direct-injection system help to virtually eliminate turbo lag, one of the main reasons turbocharger technology was not previously more widely used.
The dual-turbocharger setup has several advantages over previous turbocharging systems, including:
-- The turbochargers are smaller, resulting in more-compact exhaust manifolds, which don’t generate as much heat
-- Turbochargers are packaged adjacent to the cylinder block and have improved mounting providing NVH (noise, vibration, harshness) improvements
-- The dual turbochargers spool up quicker, allowing the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 engine to reach peak torque faster. The turbochargers spin at approximately 170,000 rpm. By comparison, the redline for the engine is approximately 6,500 rpm
“Our two turbochargers both operate identically over the speed range of the engine – one is responsible for the left bank of the engine and the other is responsible for the right bank,” Hinds said. “Both spin immediately and produce boost, even at low engine speeds.”
The turbochargers are designed for a life cycle of 150,000 miles or 10 years.
“Our testing is far, far more harsh than could be achieved in the real world,” Hinds said. “In an extreme situation, a customer might be able to hit peak power for about 10 seconds – probably not even that much. We test at peak power for hundreds of hours to ensure we can reach our durability and reliability goals.”
The turbochargers are only about the size of an orange, but help provide a big performance advantage to customers. Hinds describes the torque response in terms of linear acceleration – power whenever you need it.
“You get peak torque across a very wide engine speed range,” he said. “It’s available when you pull away from a stoplight or pass someone on a secondary road at a comparatively low speed. You don’t need to wind up the engine to get performance out of it. It’s there all the time.”
Turbocharger “whoosh” is mitigated by electronically controlled anti-surge valves, which proactively relieve the boost in the intake, which can range up to 12 PSI. Precise software calibrations manage the pressures in the intake manifold.
“We control the boost to make sure that customers don’t recognize when the boost is building,” Hinds said. “As the turbochargers spool up, the electronic control system takes over. Our active wastegate control along with the throttle controls the boost and torque levels very precisely and the customer perceives a continuous delivery of torque.”
Extensive durability tests on the twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 engine ensure it will excel in all conditions. Start-up tests, with a wide variety of fuels, were made in conditions ranging from minus 40 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Altitude testing up to 12,000 feet in Colorado also was performed.
“The direct-injection fuel system allows us some real opportunities in terms of optimizing cold start for both emissions and robustness,” Hinds said. “We have multiple injections for each combustion event, and we can essentially tune where those injections should take place to deliver the strongest start possible with the lowest emissions.”
Mated to the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 engine is the 6-speed 6F-55 SelectShift automatic transmission, which is dedicated to the twin-turbocharger engine.
The 6F-55 transmission was developed from the successful 6F-50 transmission to specifically respond to the increased torque demands of the EcoBoost V-6 engine. Upgrades were made to the transmission’s friction material in response to the higher shift energies, and a new torque converter has been optimized for performance and fuel economy.
Additionally, the 6F-55 transmission operates more efficiently. The transmission team was able to reduce the fluid level in the transmission, which in turn reduced weight and drag torque on the system. Upgrades to the transmission’s thermal valve mean the system warms up quicker, reducing gear-spin losses.
“We’ve upgraded the gear sets to handle the increased torque,” said Joe Baum, powertrain team leader. “We’ve also adjusted the final drive ratio and matched the gear ratios to provide the optimum performance and fuel economy.
“Our final drive ratio is 2.73. With a lower final drive ratio, the engine spins lower at highway speeds, which helps save fuel. And with all the torque, the Ford Flex still delivers good low-speed launch performance.”
One harmonious system
Careful powertrain system management ensures the engine, turbochargers and transmission work together harmoniously.
“The Flex is a hit with our customers, bringing new customers to Ford,” Heiser said. “Adding the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 is just more great news.”