Exterior Color: Red
Interior Color: Black
Number of Cylinders: 8
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States
I'll be honest; when Ford first unveiled its 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6, I was skeptical. Past attempts at building turbocharged American cars were almost universally awful, I reasoned, so why would Ford's latest effort be any different? This may seem foolish today, considering the success that the growing EcoBoost range has achieved - particularly the 2.0-liter and 1.6-liter mills. Yet I once again found myself questioning Ford.
It's the makeup of the 1.0-liter, turbocharged three-cylinder slotted into the compact engine bay of this Fiesta that has a way of breeding doubt. Three-cylinder engines remain an extreme rarity in the US. What's more, they earned a less-than-desirable reputation for applications in the 1980s and 1990s, and my trepidation about this latest three-pot as a result.
As I found out, though, history is a poor informant of modern technology. The thrust available in other cars with the EcoBoost badge on the back has not gone missing here; something the International Engine of the Year committee has lauded. That august body named the 1.0-liter Ecoboost the best engine of 2012 and 2013. After a week of driving, it didn't take long for my fear of threes to get turned into something like that line of thinking.
Just when you thought you'd figured the fullsize truck market out, Ford goes and throws us a massive curve ball with the 2015 F-150. The big headline news aren't tow or payload ratings, though we're sure those figures will be fully competitive if not class leading, they haven't yet been announced. Instead, the big headline news Ford is highlighting are the truck's new aluminum-intensive structure and 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 engine.
And with good reason - all that aluminum means that Ford was able to cut a massive 700 pounds from the truck's curb weight. That is going to cause all sorts of great things to happen to the 2015 F-150's driving dynamics, performance and fuel efficiency, not to mention its ability to haul heavy loads. For those customers worried about the strength of aluminum versus the more conventional steel, Ford is quick to point out that many military vehicles, such as the HMMWV and Bradley Fighting Vehicle, use a very similar sort of aluminum alloy in their construction.
It's also worth mentioning that the backbone, a fully boxed ladder frame, is hewn from high-strength steel. Ford says "2015 Ford F-150 is the strongest and most durable F-150 ever," for what it's worth, claiming that "torture tested" in labs and in the real world for more than 10 million miles. What's more, the truck, in disguised form, completed all 883 miles of the Baja 1000.
Happy Mustang Day. Are you tired of hearing about the 2015 Ford Mustang yet? No? Good, here's a bunch of mechanical data on Ford's sixth-gen muscle car, along with cutaways of the GT's 5.0-liter V8 and the new 2.3-liter, EcoBoost four-cylinder shown above. We also have a smattering of info on the Stang's updated transmissions and an exploded-parts-diagram view of its all-new independent rear suspension.
Ford is set to make waves offering the Mustang with a turbo for the firs time since the small-volume SVO of the 1980s. Displacing 2.3 liters, the engine's twin-scroll turbo should help the four-cylinder turn out a projected 305 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque, while also returning the best fuel economy in the Mustang's engine lineup. As we said in our Deep Dive, the EcoBoost will be slotted in as a premium engine, above the 3.7-liter V6 but below the 5.0-liter V8.
Speaking of that high-revving eight-cylinder, it's receiving a new cylinder head with high-flow ports. The intake and exhaust valves are larger and the cams have been replaced, among other tweaks. It should rev even higher thanks to a rebalanced crankshaft and forged connecting rods. Ford is still claiming a projected 420 hp and 390 lb-ft, although as many of the changes for the 2015's V8 come from the 2013 Boss 302, we're going to assume there's some sandbagging at work.