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Auto blogSun, 30 Mar 2014 13:09:00 EST
Ohio is a hot area for Ford at the moment with the announcement just a few weeks ago that production of the next-generation F-650/F-750 medium-duty trucks would move from Mexico to the Ohio Assembly Plant in Avon Lake, Ohio. Now, Ford is investing $500 million to hire 300 workers at its Lima Engine Plant in Lima, Ohio, to add production of the twin-turbo 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 for the 2015 F-150.
The latest investment will be used to add a new flexible engine assembly system and renovate 700,000 square feet of the plant for machining and assembly areas. The Lima factory already builds Ford's 3.5-liter and 3.7-liter Duratec V6 engines. The plant opened in 1957, and it's on track to build its 40 millionth engine later this year.
Ford claims that the 2.7-liter EcoBoost will offer V8 performance with better efficiency in the F-150. It comes standard with intelligent stop/start that doesn't activate when the truck is towing or in four-wheel drive, and it's made from a combination of compacted graphite iron and aluminum for low weight and high strength. The company says that V6 engines have already proven popular in the F-150 with 57 percent of trucks in 2014 being equipped with either the naturally aspirated 3.7-liter or turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost engines.
"Now before you turn away, this is not another boring hybrid car thing..." Despite the slightly defensive introduction from Jay, the latest episode of Jay Leno's Garage is actually pretty fascinating. The Ricardo HyBoost is a 2009 Ford Focus that has had a 1.1-liter engine swapped in for the stock 2.0-liter four. That might not get you performance enthusiasts out there fired up, until, that is, you hear that the 1.1L is also fed by both a turbocharger and an electrically driven supercharger for an instant-on "torque-fill" effect. Sounds about right, considering that Ricardo engineering is part of the genius behind the McLaren P1.
Perhaps most exciting of all, the Ricardo folks say that the package should run somewhere in the neighborhood of $1,100. A sort of performance-hybrid that makes sense for the frugal driver and the enthusiast one, then. There's a lot more to the HyBoost, all of which can be seen in the video below.
Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) announced yesterday at Ford's SEMA press conference that it will field a Ford-Riley Daytona Prototype with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 in the 2014 United SportsCar Championship (USCC). CGRFS is the second team to commit to the new Ford-Riley car, behind Michael Shank Racing (which has already used the racecar to break a 26-year-old top-speed record at Daytona International Speedway).
"Over the last 10 seasons we have been able to experience a great deal of success in Grand-Am," Chip Ganassi says, "and now with the dawn of the new United SportsCar Championship we feel that Ford power will be a key ingredient to writing the next chapter of our sports car program."
In the last Grand-Am season, CGRFS raced a BMW-Riley Daytona Prototype. The team has won seven Daytona Prototype championships, all in the past ten years. Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas return as the team's prototype co-drivers, and will attend their maiden race in the Ford-Riley at the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January.