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By Shay Bapple on Mar 19, 2010 with no responses

Ford EcoBoost Technology to Power New Fleet of Police Vehicles

Ford has unveiled its police car of the future-will it save energy?

In an attempt to revamp the squad car image, Ford is putting to bed the Crown Victoria as the standard issue police car and replacing it with the new Taurus. Among the selling points for the new fleet of vehicles is EcoBoost technology; time will tell if the reductions of emissions and fuel economy will pay off.

Ford recently announced that the 2011 Taurus will be the vehicle of choice for police departments all over the United States. Ford claims that the police interceptors will feature two new engines that will champion the 4.6-liter V8 engine that the current Crown Victoria squad car employs. The base 3.5-liter V6 will put out 265 horsepower and be E85 fuel compatible. Ford claims that the engine will be 25 percent more fuel efficient than the V8.

More interestingly, it comes with an option for a stronger twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 EcoBoost engine. EcoBoost, first unveiled by Ford in the 2007 Lincoln MKS, features a direct fuel injection system and higher horsepower capability over what the current V8 squad car engine puts out. Ford claims a 15 percent reduction in fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emission compared to the V8, while producing 365 horsepower.

Scott Tobin, Ford vehicle line director for cars and crossovers, says that the new squad cars will bring municipalities an ultra-high performance, yet environmentally friendly vehicle.

“We will have an extremely powerful standard engine, and to top that off, we also offer our exclusive EcoBoost technology,” said Tobin in a press release. “Both are designed for the severe-duty cycle that police engage in on a daily basis.”

However, turbocharged gasoline engine technology is nothing new. Car manufacturers have been installing turbochargers on smaller displaced engines for decades now. One popular example of this was in the 1980’s when Buick built their rear-wheel driven Regal lineup with an optional 3.8 liter turbocharged V6. These cars made the same if not more horsepower than there V8 sports car counterparts and used an equal or lesser amount fuel.

The Ford V6 EcoBoost engine is a more powerful option over their current squad cars, with a modest one mile per gallon increase compared to the current Crown Victoria. Ford rates the EcoBoost powered Taurus at 17 mpg city and 25 highway, while the current 4.6 liter Crown Victoria is rated at 16 mpg city and 24 highway.

A turbocharged engine provides more air than the typical naturally-aspirated engine’s 14.7 to 1 pounds per square inch, air to fuel ratio. Typically these engines, while using around 25 percent more air, will demand more fuel to burn the overstuffed oxygen charge that a turbocharger creates.

With today’s technology, an equally powerful, smaller naturally aspirated V6 engine can be greener in comparison to their larger V8 counterparts. However, the performance that comes with newer turbocharger technology might not provide the reduction in fuel usage that comes from switching from a larger engine to a smaller one.