Far be it from Ford to be innovative

“Ford Plans to Introduce More Fuel-Efficient Engine in 2009 “:http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aKwlFGBIrLNk&refer=home

I was intrigued; new engine technology that improves fuel economy is always of interest to me.

this was the money quote, for me:

bq. “Turbocharging isn’t a new technology. Some types of race cars have used turbochargers because they increase power by forcing more air through the engine. Ford, in its statement, said EcoBoost also will have what the company calls “direct injection,” where small, precise amounts of fuel are injected into each cylinder.”

Also, some types of non-race cars use turbocharging and direct injection. Let me spell this out for you:

Turbo Direct Injection = TDI.

Sound familiar? Yes, I’ve been driving a VW TDI since 1999, and VW has been selling TDI vehicles in the U.S. for a lot longer than that. Because my TDI is also a diesel, I can get fuel mileage into the 50’s under good conditions, and typically get around 45mpg in normal conditions.

I’m glad market pressures are finally forcing Ford to put out something more efficient, but it makes me crazy when companies act like they’re doing something really new and great when they aren’t.

If the Ford TDI vehicles (oh, excuse me, “EcoBoost” vehicles) are gas-powered, not diesel, I have my doubts as to how much of a “boost” they’ll get. The convertible was a gas-powered turbo, and it was quick but the fuel economy was kind of sucktastic, with 30mpg being the best it was capable of. That’s in a small car; now picture that scenario in a heavy Ford truck or SUV. Yeah.