Although Ford Motor Co. continues to endure a rough ride through the U.S.'s faltering economy and is absorbing ongoing upheaval in its European operations, the two continents' long hot summer brought plenty of action for the company's Powertrain Operations.

In North America, Ford formally announced production of an all-new V-6 engine family, the Duratec 35. And in Europe, Ford launched its first gasoline direct-injection (DGI) engine, not to mention the first diesel for its premium Jaguar Cars.

Ford joins mega-rival Volkswagen AG and others in launching its first-ever production DGI engine: Duratec SCi (Smart Charge injection). The DGI technology now is sweeping Europe as auto makers attempt, ironically, to create gasoline engines that behave more like a diesel.

Compared with the port-injected 1.8L Duratec HE family on which the Duratec SCi is based, the new DGI 4-cyl. delivers up to 8% lower fuel consumption in normal driving, Ford claims, along with greater power output, reduced emissions and quieter operation.

Recent development has concentrated on extending the typical DGI engine's range of consumption-reducing “lean-burn,” stratified-charge operation, and Ford engineers used several new techniques to stabilize these beneficial characteristics over a widened engine-operating “map” area.

A special common-rail injection system was developed for the Duratec SCi by Ford, in close cooperation with Robert Bosch GmbH. A high-pressure fuel pump, camshaft-driven off the rear of the inlet camshaft, delivers fuel at up to 1,740 psi (120 bar), with the injection nozzles in the cylinder head set at 36 degrees above horizontal, with a 50-degree spray-cone angle.

The Duratec SCi leverages a high compression ratio of 11.3:1 and displaces 1,798 cc in developing 130 hp at 6,000 rpm and 130 lb.-ft. (175 Nm) of torque at 4,250 rpm. A 6-speed manual transmission specifically designed for the engine was part of the project from the start. The Duratec SCi was designed by Ford in Cologne, Germany, and is built in Valencia, Spain.

And Ford finally blesses its Jaguar brand with its first-ever diesel, now a must-have for premium-brand vehicles in diesel-ravenous Europe.

Jaguar enters the diesel market with its entry level X-Type powered by a mildly modified 4-cyl. made by parent Ford for its Mondeo. It produces 128 hp, but more importantly, 243 lb.-ft. (330 Nm) of torque.

The joint Ford-PSA Peugeot Citroen engineering program for the 4-cyl. diesel X-Type began just two years ago — long after Ford/Jaguar began designing its own 2.7L V-6 diesel — when it became increasingly apparent diesels were emerging as the engines of choice in this class. To simplify development, and therefore get the much-needed diesel into European showrooms as quickly as possible, Jaguar decided to launch the X-Type diesel only in a single specification.

That means, for the moment, no automatic transmission, nor the 6-speed manual recently introduced for the Mondeo. Even so, this diesel is predicted to account for two-thirds of all 2004 X-Type sales in Europe.

For the U.S., the new, all-aluminum 3.5L V-6 began life under the codename Cyclone (see WAW — Aug. '03, p.11). But Dave Szczupak, vice president, Ford powertrain operations, says the new engine will be known as Duratec 35, continuing Ford's longstanding Duratec name for five individual engine lines. All 4- and 6-cyl. Ford gasoline-powered engines — a 2L DOHC I-4, pair of 2.3L I-4s, a 3L V-6 and the new 3.5L V-6 — henceforth will carry the Duratec name.

The new Duratec 35 is earmarked to eventually power several vehicles when production begins in 2005, although Szczupak will not delineate the line of succession. But insiders say the new V-6 will be available for the future Five Hundred sedan and the based-on-Five Hundred Freestyle CUV; a Ford source, meanwhile, says a new Mazda Motor Corp. application is at the top of the list for the new V-6.
with Eric Mayne and Peter Robinson