Greetings from Boulder, Colorado! A couple of weeks ago, I got an email from Ford inviting me to get to know the EcoBoost engine a little better by driving an EcoBoost-equipped Ford Flex from Colorado back home to Los Angeles.
For those unfamiliar, EcoBoost is Ford's name for a new lineup of engines with turbochargers and direct fuel injection. The EcoBoost in the Flex is the same engine used in the 2010 Taurus SHO: A 355 horsepower 3.5 liter V6. The chief advantage, according to Ford, is that it offers V8 power with V6 fuel economy. (Sure enough, the EcoBoost Flex has the same EPA-rated fuel economy figures as a standard Flex.) Ford plans to add more EcoBoost engines (including four-cylinders), and most of their products will offer an EcoBoost option by 2013.
So now I have about 1,500 miles to see what this engine can do. My wife Robin has come along with me, and we plan to stick to the back roads -- but we also have to hustle, as I have to be back in Los Angeles in time to catch a 7:00 am flight on Monday morning. In keeping with our standard modus operandi, we don't really have a plan in mind -- we've taken a quick glance at the atlas and we're just going to wing it. I should add that I've never driven a Flex before; everything I know about this CUV comes from SUVs guide Jason Fogelson's test drive, which you can read here. Should be an interesting trip! We're hitting the road this morning, and I'll let you know tomorrow how our first day goes. -- Aaron Gold