Ford’s new engine technology – dubbed EcoBoost – might be a bit misleading to some underestimating driving enthusiasts. “The power of a V-8 with the fuel economy of a six” may not have motoring maniacs lining up at Ford and Lincoln dealerships, but it should. My first experience with EcoBoost was in the new Taurus SHO, and more recently I received both a Ford Flex and Lincoln MKS sporting the twin-turbocharged V-6 powerplant, and in all of them I was most pleasantly surprised.
The driving experiences brought to mind a term I had not used in years – “street sleeper.” This was a phrase from my bench racing days used to describe a vehicle that by all outward appearances was mild and timid but stomping the accelerator brought out hidden demons lurking beneath a modest hood.
I liken that to the Flex and MKS outfitted with EcoBoost especially. The vehicles are outwardly attractive for their respective classes, but the drivetrain places them in much sportier company. We’re not talking Mustang or Camaro here but these models will be the “must-have” classics for future collectors.
Ford delivers a new generation of premium performance and fuel economy with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6. This engine truly offers V-8 levels of power (355 hp and 350 lb. ft. of torque) without compromising its V-6 fuel economy (17 mpg city/25 mpg highway for the MKS). EcoBoost engines are backed by an enhanced six-speed SelectShift Automatic transmission with control paddles mounted on the steering wheel, in combination with a sophisticated torque-sensing all-wheel-drive system.
EcoBoost technology will play a key role as Ford moves toward the tighter fuel economy restrictions being brought by the feds and soon we will see four-cylinder EcoBoost engines and perhaps some day even an EcoBoost three-banger.
Click here for a link to the EcoBoost Wikipedia page.
Personally I would love to see the V-6 version under the hood of a Mustang and backed by a slick six-speed manual gearbox – now that would be sweet.
For the 2010 model year, EcoBoost is about a five grand bump in price over the base V-6 and front wheel drive drivetrain combination in the Ford Flex and is not offered on entry-level models. On MKS it brings pricing up around $7,000.
Aside from the new EcoBoost powertrain option, little has changed from our first visit with both the Ford Flex and Lincoln MKS models (including our opinions). I am a huge fan of the Flex and wish it came from the factory with a pair of surfboards on the roof. Click here for our previous Ford Flex review and here for Lincoln MKS.
If you are in the market for a modern “street sleeper” check out something with the new EcoBoost technology under the hood: EcoBoost = “Ego”Boost.