Ethanol-Boosted Gasoline Engines Could Get Higher Fuel Economy, Higher Torque Than Diesels...At Ford?S

Our friends at PickupTrucks.com tell us a company called Ethanol Boosting Systems (EBS) is developing turbocharged gasoline engines that can rival diesel torque output for a third of the price. By combining high compression, huge boost numbers, port fuel injection and the key component — direct ethanol injection, EBS has designed an engine that can take advantage of gasoline's lower price and better emissions characteristics while producing a Peterbilt-like torque curve. Sounds like a brilliant idea — but PUTC doesn't claim EBS is working with a Detroit automaker yet. We, on the other hand, happen to have heard somewhere down the line that they're working with Ford. Now that we've got that settled — how does it work?

The guys at PickupTrucks.com give you a full technical explanation, but in a nutshell, the ethanol boost works on-demand to cool the cylinders and bump octane up as high as 150 when needed. The result is a detonation-free engine even with ordinarily insane parameters like 13:1 compression plus 30 psi of boost. And, since the ethanol is only injected when needed, you won't be filling two tanks every 400 miles or disrupting the price of tortillas in Oaxaca with your newfound corn-juice thirst. Here's a handy diagram to explain it:

Ethanol-Boosted Gasoline Engines Could Get Higher Fuel Economy, Higher Torque Than Diesels...At Ford?S

Jalopnik Snap Judgment: This is a great example of a company applying a series of proven, existing technologies in a new way, resulting in a potential significant leap forward for the IC engine. We applaud EBS for thinking creatively. Now make it work well, do it fast, and put a four-cylinder version with about 350 lb-ft in our new-to-the-states 2010 Euro Ford Focus. [PickupTrucks.com]