Ford EngineIt’s a great time to be an automotive engineer, says Ford’s chief engineer of powertrain development Andy Brumley.

 

“The pace of engine technology change is increasing and will improve performance, driveability and fuel economy,” he said unveiling some of the latest Ford engines in the EcoBoost family.

Despite the advance of alternative power units, Andy Brumley said there is still a future for the internal combustion engine, both as a petrol or diesel unit on its own in a vehicle or as part of the diverse powertrains we will see in future with hybrid electric vehicles alongside pure battery electric vehicles and even plug-in hybrids.

He joined Ford 22 years ago when the car to have was a Ford Fiesta XR2 and that teenage power kick has remained with him ever since and still drives his desire to make cars which people want to buy because they are fun to own and drive.

Now he has been chief engineer of powertrain development for a year and heads a team of 470 engineers at Dunton and Dagenham who have created the latest generation of Ford engines built in Wales, Essex and Germany for global models under the blue oval badge.

“The amount of technology we have in our engines is truly amazing,” he said. “A lot of this has been driven by emissions legislation but we wanted to make engines which not only met the increasingly tough CO2 limits but which when in vehicles produced an exciting feeling for the driver.”

He said the newest 1.0 EcoBoost engine is a good example of what is possible through good
design, with an output which would be equivalent to a 1.6 litre of a few years ago but with a fraction of the emissions and there is still more to come from this in future.

Using turbo-charging along with variable camshaft timing and direct injection, the EcoBoost design delivers high fuel economy and performance compared to a naturally aspirated petrol engine or modern complex diesel engine.

Currently, the 1.0 EcoBoost is available with 100PS and 125PS output but later this year it will be fitted as a 140PS engine in the new Focus and Mondeo while the 150PS and 182PS 1.5 L EcoBoost will replace the current 1.6 L is six mainstream Ford models. The use of the 250PS 2.0 EcoBoost will also be widened and underpinned as the performance engine in the Focus ST series.

Gradually tightening Euro 6 emission regulations will produce still more developments in future, he said.

Asked how small engines could go, Andy added that in his opinion they could be smaller petrol engines than 1.0 litre and he said Volkswagen already has variable displacement engines which run on some or all cylinders on demand, but refused to confirm if Ford would build similar engines. But he did not deny the possibility.
“The key driver to this is power to weight ratios,” he said, adding, “We are looking at ways to reduce the weight of our cars and this would mean we do not need such large engines to achieve the same performance but they also bring the benefit of lower fuel consumption and lower emissions as well. It sort of completes the circle from an engineer’s point of view.”

Ford has been building up its engineering base over the last few years and apart from recruiting more from university it is offering courses at a number of UK universities to develop engineers of the future through part time studies.

Ford in Britain has a small Focus battery electric vehicle range but sees greater potential for its Mondeo Hybrid using the 2.0 Atkinson cycle engine, electric motor and Li-ion batteries, and this will be introduced alongside the petrol and diesel powered models towards the end of 2014.

“It’s all about giving our customers the widest choice for any particular needs,” he added. By Robin Roberts Miles better news agency 

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