Ford confirmed rumors a new Ecoboost four-cylinder will be the fuel economy offering for the new, more car-like 2011 Ford Explorer. More exciting, though, is they're not exactly being coy about dropping it into the 2011 Focus. Hurray!
In an Explorer a four-cylinder seems like it would be a dog no matter how you slice it, but the new Ecoboost will probably be putting down some serious grunt. The current high-water mark of the four-cylinder engines is in the 2.5-liter variant making a claimed 230 HP with torque around 240 lb-ft from about 1700 RPM all the way though a 6000 RPM plus red line. Those figures make an Explorer pretty reasonably powered, especially considering the current entry-level V6 delivers 210 HP and 254 lb-ft at much higher RPMs.
In a Focus though, those kinds of number make for a very exciting ride. The Ecoboost Focus wasn't officially confirmed last night, but with a wink and a nod we got the message. Now, the displacement hasn't been confirmed on either the Focus or the Explorer, but we'd love to see the 2.5-liter, but a 1.6 would be acceptable as well. It may or may not be an SVT product but it'll certainly be faster no matter the moniker. There will certainly be a manual transmission offered with the Ecoboost Focus, but the current Powershift dual clutch transmission in the Focus won't be able to handle that kind of power though it is capable of paddle shift control. We're assuming the solution for the Explorer won't have the sporting aspirations fitting a hot Focus, so only time will tell on how they put the power to the pavement.
Bottom line: Woo-hoo! Hot hatch!