Ford Motor Company has targeted $500-million worth of new production equipment and other improvements at its Lima Engine Plant in Ohio as it prepares to manufacture a new six-cylinder engine. The new, 2.7-liter EcoBoost® engine will become an option for the Ford F-150 pickup, starting in 2015.
The Lima Engine Plant produces 3.5-liter and 3.7-liter Duratec® V6 engines for several Ford vehicles including Edge and Explorer utilities, as well as the Lincoln MKX crossover, MKT utility and MKZ sedan. The improvements now planned there will add a flexible engine assembly system and renovate machining and assembly operations covering about 700,000 square feet of the plant.
“Lima Engine has kept Ford and Lincoln vehicles running for nearly 60 years,” stated Bruce Hettle, Ford v.p. - North America manufacturing. “Bringing production of the new 2.7-liter EcoBoost to Lima Engine Plant helps build a solid future both for Ford and the dedicated workers in Ohio.”
Currently the plant has over 900 workers, and Ford now estimates the new engine series will add about 300 new positions there.
The new twin-turbo 2.7-liter V6 EcoBoost is promoted as “a strong and smart package for the 2015 Ford F-150.” It will be assembled in a compacted graphite iron block, which Ford related to the various other materials (high-strength steel frame, high-strength aluminum alloy body) contributing durability and up to 700 lbs. of weight savings in its high-volume pickup truck series.
Ford introduced the EcoBoost engine series in 2011, incorporating turbocharging and gasoline direct-injection to achieve the power rating of larger engines but in smaller, more fuel-efficient designs. It indicated it has sold more than 2 million vehicles with the EcoBoost engines in three years.
Among the four engine options now available to F-150 buyers, the V6 EcoBoost engine accounted for approximately 46% of F-150 sales during the first two months of 2014.
Ford will have four engine options for the 2015 F-150 pickup, as it does now, but the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 will replace a 6.2-liter V8. The automaker contends its smaller engines are more efficient than the larger versions, with better fuel economy and comparable power ratings.
The 2015 F-150 pickup trucks will be available with a 3.5-liter V6, the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6, a 5-liter V8 and a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6.
“Our truck customers have spoken, and we continue to meet their evolving needs by providing another V6 option in the all-new 2015 F-150,” according to Joe Hinrichs, Ford president of The Americas. “The hardworking team at Lima Engine is thrilled to begin building one of the most technologically advanced engines ever designed for America’s No. 1 truck.”