Ford Authority

Ford Exploring Carbon Fiber Engine Parts, Electric Turbocharging

Being familiar with the low weight and high relative strength of carbon fiber, one might have come to the conclusion that the material would be ripe for use in manufacturing engine components.

That notion might prove correct in the coming years, as Ford announced at the Detroit Auto Show its plans to explore the possibility of using carbon fiber components, cylinder-deactivation, and variable-geometry, electric turbocharging on some of its EcoBoost engine family, reports Auto Express. Ford Motor Company has a new concept version of its award-winning 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine with injection-molded carbon fiber making up components like the sump and oil pan, contributing to a weight loss of some 29 pounds (nearly 16 percent) compared to the production unit.

The concept engine also benefits from an extensive use of aluminum, notably in the cylinder head and engine block. All told, the engine’s lighter weight could improve overall vehicle fuel economy by up to 4.5 percent.

Meanwhile, according to Auto Express, Ford Motor Company bosses have said that they are not currently looking into producing a smaller two-cylinder engine on account of the unwanted vibrations that would result, but cylinder-deactivation remains a distinct possibility. That could improve cruising fuel economy by 4 to 6 percent.

Given the relatively high cost of carbon fiber production, we’re unsure whether to look for the material in any near-term future EcoBoost engines. Ford Motor Company has said that it plans to introduce four new EcoBoost units by 2020.

Aaron Brzozowski is a writer and motoring enthusiast from Detroit with an affinity for '80s German steel. He is not active on the Twitter these days, but you may send him a courier pigeon.

Subscribe to Ford Authority

For around-the-clock Ford news coverage

We'll send you one email per day with the latest Ford updates. It's totally free.

No Comments yet

Leave a comment