DEARBORN, MI – Ford Motor Co. will launch a 2.0L 4-cyl. version of its turbocharged, direct-injected EcoBoost engine next year.

The mill, which will feature one turbo vs. the twin setup found in the soon-to-be-released 3.5L 6-cyl. EcoBoost, is expected to produce “at least” 230 hp and 240 lb.-ft. (325 Nm) of torque, says Barb Samardzich, vice president, Ford Global Powertrain Engineering.

Samardzich declines to reveal what product will host the first 2.0L EcoBoost, but says it’s unlikely to wind up in the base Focus C-car.

“A 2.0L EcoBoost in a Focus would be quite a performance engine, maybe (it could be used) if you wanted a RS version,” she tells Ward’s at a recent product event here. “You have to think about our EcoBoost strategies where it’s substituting for a V-6, and that’s what we really have to get people’s mindset around,” she adds.

“Just like this V-6 EcoBoost now, where it’s an alternative for a V-8, that I-4 is an alternative to a V-6. It’s just a continuation of our EcoBoost strategy.”

The engine, based on Ford’s current 2.0L 4-cyl. architecture, will feature twin-independent variable cam timing (Ti-VCT) and deliver a 10%-20% fuel economy improvement, compared with larger V-6 engines, without sacrificing performance, Ford says.

The 2.0L EcoBoost was a good fit for the Ti-VCT technology, says Brett Hinds, Ford's advance engineering design and development manager.

“The combination of (EcoBoost) and Ti-VCT helps improve the torque and deliver the fuel economy,” Hinds tells Ward’s. “We’ll see (Ti-VCT) migrating across nearly all Ford engines by 2013.”

Hinds, too, declines to reveal what products are slated to get the 2.0L EcoBoost but hints it could replace Ford’s current 3.0L V-6 engine.

He also notes work is being conducted to ensure the 2.0L EcoBoost maintains the same characteristics as the 3.5L version, despite having one less turbocharger.

“Although (the 2.0L) will be a single turbocharger, it will be sized appropriately to eliminate turbo lag,” he says.

In addition to the 2.0L EcoBoost engine, Ford plans to debut next year a new PowerShift 6-speed dual-clutch transmission, which is slated for light-duty applications, Samardzich says without revealing specifics.

“There’s no hydraulic fluid in there, so it has limitations on how high you can go with respect to the total loads,” she says, noting it would be incompatible with either the I-4 or V-6 EcoBoost. “Versus a step-shift 4-speed., it delivers as much as 7%-9% fuel economy improvement.”

The transmission was developed by Getrag Ford Transmissions, a joint-venture between Ford and German supplier Getrag GmbH & Cie KG.