Car Culture & Entertainment

The Top 10 American Performance Engines of the Last 30 Years (#8): Ford EcoBoost

Editor’s note: The 1980s was a transition period for engine technology in America. The iconic carburetor gave way to fuel injection. Cubic inches were out, and liter designations marked a new era for engines — one when power and fuel economy were no longer mutually exclusive. This modern engine age has featured some of the best innovation, technology, and performance yet.

So what have been the best powerplants of these last 30 years? We asked you to help us answer that very question via Facebook and Instagram. Factoring in your votes and comments, we’ll unveil the Top 10 over the next couple of weeks.

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#8 – Ford EcoBoost

Ford forced American performance enthusiasts to at least reconsider the old “there’s no replacement for displacement” adage when it introduced the EcoBoost engine family.

Introduced for the 2011 model year, EcoBoost engines come in a variety of four- and six-cylinder sizes (and even three-cylinder) and are available on everything from the compact Focus to the workhorse F-150. Popular sizes include the 3.5L V6, 2.7L V6, 1.6L I4, and a 2.3L offered in the S550 Mustang. Each one of these engines incorporates a common set of characteristics: turbocharging and direct injection.

The combination of turbocharging and direct injection results in more airflow and pin-point fuel delivery. Using the greater air volume from the turbocharger and increased fuel efficiency from direct injection, the compact EcoBoost engine creates power on par with larger, naturally aspirated engines while achieving much better fuel economy in most applications. Plus, the pin-point fuel delivery of the direct injection design fosters a reduced amount of “greenhouse emissions.”

You want to do more with less?

Enter the twin-turbo 3.5L EcoBoost V6 which will make more than 600 horsepower on the new Ford GT supercar, more torque than the 5.0L V8 on the F-150, and will reportedly help the 2017 Raptor make more power than the current model’s 411-horsepower 6.2L V8.

Or how about the EcoBoost Mustang? In case you missed it, the spunky 2.3L, outfitted with only a subframe kit, half-shaft kit, driveshaft loops, custom exhaust, roll cage, bucket seat, and Ford Racing engine calibration, registered a 12.56-second pass in testing.

When six-cylinder engines make more power than eight-cylinder engines, and four-cylinder engines make more power than six-cylinder engines, everything we think we know changes.

Which is why the EcoBoost finds itself on this list.

Because with it, Ford changed everything.

Top Modifications

If you own an EcoBoost engine, there are aftermarket parts available to add even more giddy up to your Ford. According to Summit Racing, here are some of the more popular items for the 3.5L version:

And here are some for the 2.3L version:

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4 Comments

  1. You ALL should read the book “The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels and stop this silliness about “advantages” in reducing greenhouse gasses. There is NO science that supports claims of man made global warming and your magazine using those terms is admitting that your “industry” needed “reform”. It didn’t as far as greenhouse gasses is concerned. YOU will be controlled by government completely one day if you don’t stop admitting to wrong doing where there is none. Instead of fighting the progressive attack on our freedom and prosperity you forward it by regurgitating the lefts greenhouse gas propaganda.

    We are feeding engines corn instead of the starving millions. Corn product prices are continually going up because of fuels like E85 and you guys brag on it. CO2 feeds plants, Plants give us oxygen. In reality the “green movement” is actually the “brown movement” because with less CO2, the less Green we have.

    Moral Case for Fossil Fuels AND Climate Change, The Facts are two must read books.

    Now all we need is an “Ecoboost” Coyote 5.0 and 5.2FP(Flat Plane) GT350R or at the very least a twin turbo 5.2FP test.

    • “There is NO science that supports claims of man made global warming” Aaaaand that’s where I stopped reading.

    • 95% of scientists agree on the fact that CO2 (and humans) cause global warming. And you poorly informed ignorant guys disagree? Looks like your brains need some more oxygen, instead of your engines, to help you think straight.

  2. Zeppo Jaworski says:

    The guy is being rather hard on you guys but he does have a valid point.. Man made global warming is not supported by facts, just opinions. That is a fact and can thousands be wrong? They have been many times. Just read your history books.

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