A New V8 from Ford?

By Igor Holas

01.17.2008

Recently, a set of articles from Canada have been detailing Ford’s attempt to get federal and provincial support in re-opening its Essex Engine Plant. Ultimately, the province of Ontario promised to support this $600 million investment with $30 million, but the federal government refused to add another $30 million to the package, making the whole idea of re-opening Essex shaky. Ford has not yet commented on its next steps.

All of the above is mighty interesting, but not as much as the reason why Ford wants to re-open the engine plant. According to the articles, Ford wants to use the plant to build a new, more fuel-efficient V8 engine. Initially one might think this would be the new BOSS V8 program, but this program has been assigned a long time ago to another plant in Michigan and there are no plans for adding a second manufacturing site. Moreover, the focus of the BOSS engine is not economy, but performance, finally pushing Ford well above the 300 and even 400 horsepower boundary.

This leads to the only logical answer left – a new smaller V8 family. The currently-used MOD/Triton engine family is still going strong, but it is getting a little old, and in some areas showing its weaknesses. Most notably, the engines cannot match the efficiency of GM’s V8 engines, especially in trucks. This is despite Ford’s engine making more torque per liter, and having the advantage of two extra forward gears in most applications.

Ford has some more development ready for the MOD family in the near term, but its possible medium-term plans call for a new architecture. While Ford does not plan any V8 engines in front-drive applications, and is going to rely on V6 and turbocharged V6 engines for the majority of the volume, they will continue to need V8 engines. For one, their truck program will not go away, and will probably be the most resistant to the new EcoBoost V6 engines. Moreover, Ford is moving forward to introduce new large rear-wheel-drive cars into its North American lineup, sharing a global architecture with a new Mustang, and Australian Falcon. All these programs could use a more efficient, more powerful, smoother, and, generally better V8 than the MOD family. It would be nice to see Ford once again with a V8 that puts other manufacturers’ V8s to shame.

Regardless of the full story, it is exciting to see domestic automakers re-opening manufacturing sites and otherwise expanding after the long period of slow decline. We will follow this story, and find out what Ford is cooking.

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Author: Brendan Moore

Brendan Moore is a Principal Consultant with Cedar Point Consulting , a management consulting practice based in the Washington, DC area. He also manages Autosavant Consulting, a separate practice within Cedar Point Consulting. where he advises businesses connected to the auto industry. Cedar Point Consulting can be found at http://www.cedarpointconsulting.com.

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7 Comments

  1. It would be nice to see Ford bring a wonderful new V8 to market but CAFE, high gas prices and Ford’s lack of money will probably not allow that.

  2. An EcoBoost V8, maybe? Small, powerful, and of course, great fuel economy (for a V8)? That might be a winning formula.

  3. Long term, the future of the F-150 is the diesel engine. Ford could sell it today if it were an option.

    Short term, a direct injection version of the MOD engine would be pretty sweet. Ford could probably reuse the lower block and just redesign the heads and intake.

    Full ecoboost V-8 for the Crown Vic replacement, and as an optional engine on the Mustang and Falcon.

    Note to Ford: a 4-door Falcon convertible with a 6-speed manual and ecoboost V-8 would be sweet beyond belief.

  4. Man would I like something on the Falcon platform, with a powerful V6 or a V8. And maybe a shortened version of the same RWD platform with the 275 HP EcoBosst 4-cylinder in it – GO, GO, GO!

  5. Mark H

    The MOD block has less than ideal bore*stroke – the bore is too tiny and stroke too long – this has been a big criticism of the engine – the BOSS engine uses similar block to the MOD engine, but with larger bore and shorter stroke.

    Ultimately, Ford has played around with a lot of technology on the MOD enbgine – DOHC, 4V, VCT etc .. but ultimately they axed anything past the well tuned 3v SOHC engines. The 4.6l is at its peak, the 5.4l will show its peak in the 2009 F150. Ford will also debut a 5.0l MOD in the 2010 Mustang.

    But that is about it .. anything beyond that has proven too expensive, and probably delivering sub-par results because of the small bore (and the resulting sub-ideal burning pattern).

    Ford needs a new block to design a world-beater V8 engine – there is no way around it.

    Igor

  6. REDROUGE:

    You just described the 2012 Mustang, 2012 MKR, and some other vehicles coming.

    😉

    Igor

  7. All clear with Canada. Release at Monday the 31

    http://www.theobserver.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=963895

    We’re hearing it’s a 5-litre bored from the former 4.6L with a new CGI block. Wondering what products that would go into. Any tips you might have would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

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