Four at the door

Four-cylin­der Fal­con en­gines are get­ting ready to hit the road, writes NEIL McDON­ALD

Herald Sun - Motoring - - News -

AUS­TRALIA’S first lo­cally built Fal­con four-cylin­der is be­ing fast-tracked. Work has al­ready started on slid­ing the hi-tech 2.0-litre four un­der the Fal­con bon­net.

Pro­to­types will hit the road in as lit­tle as two weeks, though the car will not be in Ford show­rooms un­til March-April 2011.

The ar­rival of the Fal­con four does not mean the end of the ven­er­a­ble in-line Fal­con six.

The six will also ben­e­fit from Ford Aus­tralia’s $230 mil­lion ‘‘EcoBoost’’ in­vest­ment in three new en­gines to lift fuel econ­omy and lower emis­sions.

Ford Aus­tralia pres­i­dent Marin Burela says the most dif­fi­cult eco­nomic cli­mate ever fac­ing car­mak­ers is driv­ing the most eco­nom­i­cal Fal­con ever.

But he says more can be done with the six-cylin­der en­gine, adding: ‘‘We have a lot planned.’’

From next July 1, the big six be­comes Euro IV-com­pli­ant, which will mean bet­ter econ­omy and lower emis­sions.

In fu­ture, Ford could also add fuel de­cel­er­a­tion cut-off tech­nol­ogy and elec­tronic throt­tle con­trol.

Ford’s 2.0-litre four-cylin­der is one of three pow­er­trains be­ing de­vel­oped as part of the global ‘‘EcoBoost’’ en­gine strat­egy an­nounced last week.

The oth­ers are a ded­i­cated liq­uid-in­jec­tion hi-tech LPG in­line six for the Fal­con sedan and ute and an eco­nom­i­cal 2.7-litre V6 turbo-diesel for the Ter­ri­tory.

The EcoBoost four will use twin-in­de­pen­dent vari­able cam tim­ing, turbo-charg­ing and di­rect in­jec­tion.

Based on US fig­ures, it’s ex­pected to de­liver 205kW/380Nm com­pared with the lo­cal Fal­con six, which de­vel­ops 195kW/ 391Nm. Peak torque will be de­liv­ered low from 1500 revs right up to 5000 revs.

Ford Aus­tralia chief ve­hi­cle en­gi­neer Rob Con­nor says the EcoBoost four has real-world fuel econ­omy ben­e­fits around town or on the high­way.

He says per­for­mance will be com­pet­i­tive with other six­cylin­der en­gines in large cars.

The cost pay­back on the EcoBoost four will be bet­ter than a diesel four-cylin­der or a hy­brid four-cylin­der, he says.

Apart from bet­ter econ­omy, the lighter four is ex­pected to de­liver bet­ter han­dling and drive­abil­ity.

Burela says the EcoBoost four will de­liver fuel econ­omy gains of up to 20 per cent and 15 per cent fewer green­house gases than an equiv­a­lent six-cylin­der en­gine.

‘‘Get­ting the first ap­pli­ca­tion of a rear-wheel-drive EcoBoost four in Aus­tralia in a Fal­con sends an in­cred­i­ble mes­sage about the con­fi­dence Ford has in this car and this mar­ket,’’ Burela says.

He says the EcoBoost four will be avail­able in the base Fal­con XT, but Ford is ex­pected to roll it out in other mod­els.

‘‘It will cre­ate an op­por­tu­nity we’ve not had be­fore with gov­ern­ments and fleets,’’ Burela says.

He also ex­pects the hi-tech liq­uid-in­jec­tion LPG en­gine to be a firm fleet favourite.

The LPG en­gine will have more power and torque and de­liver 12 per cent bet­ter econ­omy than the cur­rent LPG EGas en­gine, as well as lower run­ning costs and lower CO2s.

Econ­omy drive: Fal­con’s four-cylin­der en­gine is ex­pected to de­liver bet­ter han­dling and drive­abil­ity.

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