German suppliers should win big with Ford's small engine
Robert Bosch, Continental and other German suppliers are poised to benefit from Ford Motor Co.'s big plans for its small engine. The automaker plans to sell vehicles equipped with the new 1.0-liter EcoBoost gasoline engine in Europe, Asia and North America, and the volumes should be significant.
In May, Ford said that its engine plants in Cologne, Germany, and Craiova, Romania, will build an estimated 800,000 1.0-liter EcoBoost variants for vehicles to be sold in Europe through 2015.
By that time, Ford of Europe's production of 1.0-liter engines will have reached 300,000 units a year. Ford also has announced plans to produce the engine in India and China.
Roland Ernst, Ford's chief program engineer for the engine, noted some of the German parts makers that helped supply components to the powerplant that has been named 2012 International Engine of the Year.
Robert Bosch manufactures the direct-injection system, which improves fuel economy and makes possible the use of a stop-start system.
Eisenwerk Bruehl produces the cast-iron engine block, which provides more rigidity and strength than an aluminum block. During cold starts, a split cooling system immediately sends fluid to the cylinder head only, while coolant is temporarily shut off in the block.
SHW AG supplies the mechanical oil pump, which varies oil pressure according to the engine load. That permits lower oil pressure at low speeds, which improves fuel economy.
Continental supplies the turbocharger, a low-inertia unit that spools up quickly to deliver power at low rpm. The turbo was designed to withstand very high exhaust temperatures, which can reach up to 1,030 Celsius.
Continental is using the EcoBoost to gain entry into the fast-growing turbocharger market. Ford is Continental's first turbocharger customer, and now the supplier is adapting its design for 1.5- and 2.0-liter engines.
Ford unveiled its 1.0-liter EcoBoost in 2010 in the Ford Start, a subcompact concept that was shown at the Beijing auto show.
This spring, Ford introduced the production version of the engine in the European Focus while the C-Max and B-Max will get it in October. The new Mondeo will also get the engine, becoming the the first car in the mid-sized segment equipped with a 1.0-liter powertrain, Ford says.
Made in Europe
Two EcoBoost variants are available in the European Focus: A 100-hp unit with fuel economy of 4.8 liters per 100km while the fuel use for the 125-hp version is 5.0 liters per 100km. In China, the engine will be introduced in the Ford EcoSport crossover, and in North America it will debut next year in an as-yet-unnamed model. The engine, which Ford says is small enough to fit on an A4 sheet of paper, was developed by in England and Germany.
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