New engine is the cornerstone of Ford's drive for sustainability
Ford Australia has unveiled the new FG Falcon MkII range, the main feature of which is the first global application of the carmaker's 2-litre EcoBoost engine technology in a rear-wheel drive vehicle.
The new range is expected to go on sale in New Zealand before Christmas. The 4-litre straight-six engine continues unchanged in 195kW naturally-aspirated and 270kW turbo forms, as well as the newly released 198kW EcoLPI liquid-injected LPG guise.
The EcoBoost GTDi (petrol turbo direct injection) four-cylinder - Ford's first four-pot Falcon - will arrive in early 2012.
No power, torque or performance figures were confirmed for the EcoBoost model, although speculation suggests the imported 2-litre direct-injection engine will arrive in 176kW form.
It will be available in XT, G6 and G6E sedans, but not in the Ute. The announcement comes just a week after arch rival GM Holden disclosed revisions to its Commodore for the 2012 model year, including styling changes and minor fuel-consumption gains.
Ford says EcoBoost uses direct injection and turbocharging to deliver more power and performance from a lower displacement powerplant, yet with improved fuel economy and low CO2 emissions.
"EcoBoost technology gives what customers have said they want: a combination of the performance they expect and the fuel economy improvements they demand," said Chris Masterson, Ford NZ marketing manager.
"Falcon MkII builds on the success of the FG Falcon programme, as well as the recently released new Territory range, by offering New Zealanders more equipment and the latest technology innovations."
EcoBoost engines are already on sale in a number of Ford vehicles around the world and by 2013 will be available in 80 per cent of the company's global nameplates.
"Ford customers around the world have embraced EcoBoost technology because of its ability to deliver power and performance with uncompromised fuel economy," said Masterson.
"With its introduction to Falcon in New Zealand, we're expanding its reach to more customers so they can enjoy and appreciate its unique blend of power, performance and fuel economy."
Ford says its global EcoBoost engine family is the cornerstone of its near-term sustainability plan to deliver high-volume, affordable, fuel-efficient vehicles.
As expected, the Falcon Mk II gets a fresh look across the nose, with a new grille and bumper treatment that follows in the design footsteps of the new SZ Territory released in June.
A Territory-style eight-inch in-dash touch-control "command" screen has been introduced on all models as well as more noise deadening - also pioneered on the Territory - and reverse parking sensors on all sedans.
The evolutionary body design changes include new projector headlamps on the upper models, G6E and above.
New alloy wheel designs have also been employed on most models.
Inside, all models get a new instrument cluster with new graphics and improved functionality. As well, all audio systems have been upgraded, and now include a USB port inside the console storage bin that also includes a new holder for the iPod connector and relocated auxiliary input socket.
New Zealand will carry over the Falcon XT, G6E, G6E Turbo, XR6 and XR6 Turbo models. Pricing across the range, specification and feature fitment will be announced nearer the launch.
One-litre engine packs 1.6-litre punch
The tiny three-cylinder engine still gives Focus plenty of zip.
Ford has introduced a hi-tech turbocharged 1.0-litre three-cylinder EcoBoost engine to its line-up, and the Focus is the first car to benefit from it.
The direct-injection engine reportedly delivers the performance of a 1.6-litre engine but boasts only 115gr/km of CO2 emissions in the Focus.
It is initially available in Europe with 73kW and 88kW, mated to five- and six-speed manual gearboxes respectively.
The low emissions figure isn't achieved through the engine alone, though.
Ford has also fitted the Focus with stop-start, an active grille shutter and kinetic energy recovery.
Three-cylinder engines are known for their distinctive noise but aren't generally high on refinement.
Ford claims to have solved this by deliberately unbalancing the flywheel and pulley and optimising the engine mounts.