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Ford's EcoLPi Falcon To Go On Sale Mid-Year

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Ford G6E (FG series)

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4th April, 2011

  • Introduction of EcoLPi liquid phase injection LPG system to Australian market continues a year of technological innovation for Ford Australia
  • State-of-the-art EcoLPi engine utilises the most advanced LPG technology currently available to deliver across-the-board improvements
  • EcoLPi delivers no compromise engine performance compared to Falcon's petrol I6 engine
  • EcoLPi produces 27% more power and 10% more torque than previous E-Gas LPG system, while at the same time reducing fuel consumption by 12-15%

Ford Australia's next-generation EcoLPi liquid injection LPG system for Falcon will go on sale in mid-2011, providing customers with the most advanced LPG technology on the market.

The new EcoLPi in-line six-cylinder engine is a state-of-the-art, liquid phase injection, dedicated LPG powerplant that delivers impressive fuel efficiency and reduced CO2 emissions, as well as no compromise engine performance compared to Falcon's existing petrol I6 engine.

"The introduction of EcoLPi is the next step in Ford Australia's comprehensive new product offensive, which will see close to 85 per cent of our vehicle line-up all-new or significantly updated over the next 12 months," Bob Graziano, President & CEO, Ford Australia said.

"Improvements in fuel economy, CO2 emissions and cost of ownership have been achieved through a combination of engineering developments, the introduction of a new range of small and light cars, and the expanded availability of alternative fuel vehicles such as diesel and LPG."

Liquid injection LPG is the most advanced LPG technology currently available and delivers significant driveability and operating improvements compared to the previous E-Gas venturi-style vapour system offered by Ford, including better fuel economy and substantial increases in both power and torque outputs.

"LPG is an alternative fuel that is readily available almost anywhere in Australia and provides real benefits for Australian consumers, with reduced fuel costs contributing to a significant improvement in cost of ownership," Graziano added.

"Falcon EcoLPi offers customers the power, torque and overall engine performance they expect from a traditional Aussie six, coupled with all the space, comfort and towing capability of a family sedan, while at the same time delivering the fuel costs of a smaller car."

The cornerstone of the EcoLPi engine is the new injection system, which follows a similar fuel induction configuration to the petrol I6 engine courtesy of a new injector-based, high-pressure fuel rail that delivers liquid-state LPG fuel directly into the intake port.

Whereas traditional vapour LPG systems turn liquefied gas into vapour form before feeding it into the engine via a venturi in the throttle body, the liquid phase injection system takes the gas in liquid state all the way to the injectors.

Injecting the LPG fuel in a liquid state directly into the intake port in a more precise and controlled manner generates improved engine volumetric efficiency, which delivers better fuel economy, reduced CO2 emissions and greater engine performance.

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As the LPG fuel is no longer under pressure once it is released from the injector, its sudden expansion and rapid cooling of the incoming air charge makes the ideal conditions for maximum fuel burning efficiency.

This enables the engine to produce more power and torque, economically, and with fewer emissions.

The new EcoLPi engine develops 198 kW of power at 5,000 rpm and 409 Nm of torque at 3,250 rpm, which is identical to the petrol I6 engine when operating on high octane 95 RON unleaded fuel (versus regular 91 RON unleaded).

For EcoLPi that represents a 27 per cent improvement in maximum power and a 10 per cent improvement in peak torque compared to the previous generation E-Gas LPG engine, which produced 156 kW and 371 Nm.

Despite the significant increases in power and torque, fuel efficiency has also improved, along with a corresponding reduction in CO2 emissions.

Official ADR 81/02 fuel consumption certification testing is yet to be completed, so final fuel economy data will be confirmed closer to EcoLPi vehicles going on sale mid-year.

However, preliminary testing on a Falcon EcoLPi sedan points towards an overall fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions improvement potential of 12-15 per cent for liquid phase injection technology, when compared to the previous E-Gas venturi-style vapour system.

Technical highlights of the new EcoLPi powertrain include:

  • New fuel rail, including injectors, designed and developed specifically for the Ford EcoLPi engine
  • New design lightweight pistons, including low-friction ring pack
  • Higher compression ratio (12.0:1) to improve engine thermal efficiency and fuel consumption
  • New polymer fuel lines with a low thermal mass to keep the LPG fuel liquefied
  • New fuel line filter and in-tank filter added to prevent system/component contamination
  • Significant modifications to the fuel tank, including all-new internals and sub-level components, as well as a new high-pressure fuel pump
  • New catalytic converter high density brick and new washcoat (common with I6 petrol engine)
  • Major calibration and engine management system modifications, including a new fuel priming strategy
  • Transmission upgrade to the acclaimed ZF six-speed automatic on all EcoLPi variants

The new EcoLPi powertrain will be available on both Falcon sedan and Falcon Ute, with both model line-ups featuring distinctive "EcoLPi" badging.

The sedan EcoLPi line-up includes Falcon XT, G6, G6E and XR6 variants, while EcoLPi on Falcon Ute extends to XL, R6 and XR6 variants, in both Cab Chassis and Styleside Box body configurations.

More than 100,000 LPG-powered Falcon vehicles have been produced since a dedicated LPG system was first introduced in mid-2000, cementing Ford's position as one of the leading alternative fuel vehicle suppliers in Australia.


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