The year was 2009 when the first Ford powered by the then-new line of EcoBoost engines debuted, promising big engine power but small engine fuel economy. It all began with the 3.5 liter V6 in the Ford Taurus, but EcoBoost engines rocking three and four-cylinders can be had in just about every available Ford and Lincoln vehicle, and consumers can’t get enough of them.
Last week, the five millionth vehicle equipped with an EcoBoost engine came off the assembly line at Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan. That car was a 2015 Ford Focus with the three-time award-winning 1.0 liter three-cylinder EcoBoost under the hood, which is appropriate given the growing popularity of the small-displacement powerplant. The 1.0 liter EcoBoost has demonstrated incredible flexibility, equally capable delivering hybrid-rivaling fuel economy and high-thrills Formula Ford racing action, though it’s just one of a growing number of small-displacement turbo engines at the Blue Oval’s disposal. It’s a welcome alternative from Ford’s frugal-but-less-fun line of hybrids to be sure.
In addition to the 1.0 liter three-banger and 3.5 liter V6, four-cylinder EcoBoost engines range from 1.6 to 2.3 liters in displacement, and the new 2.7 liter “Nano” EcoBoost V6 delivers a healthy 325 horsepower, as much as some competitor’s V8 motors. Like the 1.0 liter engine, Ford has made it so it can easily tune its EcoBoost engines for either fuel economy or performance, which allows cars like the 40 MPG Focus SFE to share a platform with the 320 horsepower Focus RS, both powered by EcoBoost engines. Even the Ford Mustang can be had with a four-cylinder turbo again.
Production has rapidly increased over the past three years, as it took until 2012 for Ford to build the first half-million EcoBoost motors, though there are those who say you get far more “Boost” than “Eco” for your money. But for Ford, EcoBoost has been a huge success that has allowed the automaker to bounce back in a big, big way.
Something tells me it won’t be long before we hit the 10 million motor milestone next.