SEMA Show: 1934 Ford Hot Rod receives twin-turbo EcoBoost engine

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 29, 2010

Ford's project car that will be shown at the upcoming SEMA Show is a custom 1934 Ford Coupe. Instead of a traditional flathead V-8, it will have the new twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6.

Ford is building this car along with Detroit Street Rods. Robert Smith, president of Detroit Street Rods, said that the decision to use the EcoBoost engine as the powertrain was easy to make.

He called the result as the perfect hot rod marriage of advanced technology for power and legendary automobile design. For now, the specific figures for the 3.5-liter in this particular application are not available. However, we do know that the engine is largely stock. The biggest change lies with the turbochargers.

They're actually stock parts, but engineers had to modify the engine's intake, exhaust, and intercooler in order to position them within the confines of the narrow engine bay.

The EcoBoost motor is attached to a Tremec five-speed manual transmission, which sends power to the rear wheels. It's rare that the motor is seen to be used in a longitudinal configuration. The only other time we´ve seen this is in the 2011 F-150.

The EcoBoost technology provides a solution that proves that displacement can have a feasible replacement for displacement, shared Dan Kapp. Kapp is a director at Ford Powertrain Research and Advanced Engineering and is expected to be a member of the briefing panel that will discuss the SEMA "Driving Green" technology during the auto show.

With the increasing demand from consumers for fuel efficient cars, the company remains committed to making new ones that have the best fuel economy, Kapp added. It is important though that performance should always be ensured, he continued. Meanwhile SEMA vice president of Vehicle Technology John Waraniak shared that SEMA is currently in a position to show that a car can have power and be environment-friendly but not at the expense of performance or the wow factor.

Waraniak added that hot rods offer a good blank canvas especially for SEMA-member companies and a good example of this is the '34 EcoBoost hot which has green technology utilized in a way that even performance buffs would appreciate it.

Compared to the larger displacement engines, engines that use EcoBoost have fuel economy that is better by 20% while CO2 emissions have dropped by as much as 15%. This is due to its use of direct injection technology and turbocharging technology.

Kapp said that the advantage of the EcoBoost is that it allows downsizing to get better fuel efficiency but at the same time it increases the power. The company can lower the size of the engine like putting a V-6 against a V-8, he added, but power is higher since the use of a turbocharger can provide power and torque similar to a larger engine.

Press Release

1934 Ford Hot Rod EcoBoost

Hot rodders have always lived by the motto "There's no replacement for displacement," indicating that the more cubic inches an engine has, the better the resulting performance. Ford Powertrain and Detroit Street Rods are out to prove that thinking out-of-date with their EcoBoost™-powered '34 Ford hot rod.

To be introduced at this year's Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show, the Ford hot rod will be the "first" rear-wheel-drive application of the 3.5-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost V-6 delivering an estimated 400 horsepower and 400 ft.-lb. of torque – power numbers that easily rival a typical hot rod's 302-cubic-inch V-8 or even a modern-day V-8 of similar size.

"EcoBoost technology shows that there is a viable replacement for displacement," said Dan Kapp, director of Ford Powertrain Research and Advanced Engineering, who will be part of a SEMA "Driving Green" technology briefing panel discussion during the show. "As consumers' demand for fuel efficiency continues to grow, and our commitment to delivering best-in-class fuel economy remains steadfast, it's important to show that performance does not need to suffer as a result."

"Hot rod builds provide blank canvases for SEMA member companies and SEMA is uniquely positioned to demonstrate that horsepower and green power can coexist without sacrificing performance or the cool factor," said John Waraniak, SEMA vice president of Vehicle Technology. "This '34 EcoBoost hot rod is a fantastic example of modern green technology being applied in a manner that any performance enthusiast would love."

The EcoBoost family of engines uses turbocharging and direct injection technology to deliver up to 20 percent better fuel economy and up to 15 percent fewer CO2 emissions versus larger-displacement engines.

"The beauty of EcoBoost is that it enables us to downsize for fuel efficiency, yet boost for power," said Kapp. "We're able to decrease the size of the available engine – such as installing a V-6 versus a V-8 – yet boost the power using turbocharging to deliver similar power and torque to that larger engine."

The first EcoBoost engine, a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6, launched this year on the 2010 Ford Taurus SHO and Flex and on the Lincoln MKS and Lincoln MKT. The EcoBoost V-6 produces 355 horsepower (365 hp in the Taurus SHO) and 350 ft.-lb. of torque.

Ford has recently announced the first four-cylinder EcoBoost engines, launching in global applications beginning next year. The 1.6-liter EcoBoost I-4 first arrives in Europe, followed by the 2.0-liter EcoBoost I-4 launching on products in both Europe and North America.

Going forward, Ford will shift its powertrain strategy to be built around EcoBoost technology. Under the new system:

* A 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 would replace naturally aspirated V-8 engines
* A 2.0-liter EcoBoost I-4 would replace naturally aspirated V-6 engines
* A 1.6-liter EcoBoost I-4 would replace naturally aspirated large I-4 engines

Following the launches of the new EcoBoost I-4s will be the extension of the 3.5-liter V-6 to the first rear-wheel-drive configuration in the F-150 pickup truck late next year. Another global application, the Ford Falcon sedan in Australia, will receive a rear-wheel-drive version of the 2.0-liter EcoBoost I-4 in 2011.

The fun-to-drive nature of EcoBoost engines is leading Ford to introduce these fuel-saving powertrains in large volumes virtually across its lineup. For example, by 2013 more than 90 percent of Ford's North American lineup will be available with EcoBoost technology, and nearly 80 percent of Ford's global nameplates will have an available EcoBoost option.

By 2013, global EcoBoost volume throughout the Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicle family is expected to be 1.3 million units, with up to 750,000 sales coming from North America alone.

'34 Ford EcoBoost hot rod project
Detroit Street Rods' latest build is a 1934 Ford and is a joint venture with Ford Motor Company and Experi-metal. In this '34 application, the EcoBoost engine is configured for rear-wheel drive and is coupled with a Tremec five-speed manual transmission.

"The decision to use the EcoBoost engine for our powertrain on this project was an easy one in that it gave us the opportunity to combine the iconic '34 Ford sculpted body lines with the advanced technology of the EcoBoost powerplant," stated Robert Smith, president of Detroit Street Rods. "The result is the perfect hot rod marriage of advanced technology for power and legendary automobile design."

While the stock Honeywell turbochargers that drive the EcoBoost engine are used, they were repackaged to fit the engine bay of this all-steel replica body. The engine configuration and turbocharger packaging was dynamometer tested by Ford Powertrain for proper calibration of the engine electronic control module (ECM). In addition to the all-stock engine, other components including the fuel pump, ECM, fuel pump module, fuel pump processor and drive-by-wire throttle were utilized in their original production configuration.

The body is from Steve's Auto Restoration and is the recently released 1934 Ford 3-Window coupe. The complete body and fenders are from brand-new tooling, and are designed, stamped and manufactured by Experi-metal in Sterling Heights, Mich. This "replica" '34 features all-steel construction, full fenders, running boards, electronic power windows, air conditioning and custom bumpers.

The engine was repackaged and fitted with an engine plate adapter to mate with an aluminum flywheel, performance clutch and a Tremec TKO five-speed transmission. The turbochargers were repositioned to the front of the cylinder heads and custom aluminum tubing was used to route the air from the custom air cleaner through the air-to-air intercooler. The exhaust gases are routed from the cylinder heads through coated headers, through the stock wastegates, and pass through large custom exhaust cones located outside the engine bay and just above the front fenders.

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