At 144 HP per liter and lower than the $35,000 base price, you can never go wrong with the Ford 2.3 EcoBoost engine.
In the light of choosing between a 4-cylinder and an 8-cylinder engine, which one would you prefer? Well, that might be a tricky and complicated question to ask due to a number of ‘reasonable’ reasons, but you will definitely consider the value of money for the car you will buy.
Not all 8-cylinders are powerful enough to compete against a 4-cylinder, but it is impressive that some four-cylinders will finish the competition in no time against 8-cylinders without running your bank dry.
Let’s start this story with the Ford Mustang 2.3 EcoBoost, and if you have no idea yet, read it here. Anyway, this engine is a high-performance package that delivers, even on holidays, just to make sure you get the value for that cash.
What are Ford 2.3L EcoBoost engines?
Barely recognized as one of Ford’s most powerful engines, the 2.3L EcoBoost engine, together with the second-generation 2.0L EcoBoost, completes the full circle of strong four-cylinder in the EcoBoost engine family. The engine was based on the Ford 2.0 EcoBoost second-gen and sometimes addressed as a ‘stroker engine.
The engine became available for the Lincoln 2015 MKC crossover initially, but after a year, it was placed under the hoods of Ford Explorer and 350 HP Ford Focus RS. The popularity of the 2.3L Ford continues to rise, especially when it powered the Ford Mustang EcoBoost, which has 310 HP and 320 lb-ft of torque.
The last time Ford used a four-cylinder turbo in Mustangs was way back 1980’s Mustang SVO.
These EcoBoost engines are built in two countries – India and America. In India, market demands from Asia usually come from that plant and within the proximity of the Asian Region. On the other hand, the Cleveland, Ohio plant covers the North American Markets. To add, Valencia, Spain plant produces 2.0 L and 2.3 L EcoBoost but in smaller volumes.
Engine Specifications and Design:
- Production Run: 2015 – Present
- Cylinder Head Material: Aluminum
- Cylinder Block Material: Aluminum
- Configuration: Inline-4
- Bore: 87.5 mm
- Stroke: 94.0 mm
- Valvetrain: DOHC four valves per cylinder
- Displacement: 2.3 L (2264 cc)
- Compression Ratio: 9.5
- Weight: 418 lbs.
- Maximum HP: 350 HP at 5,600 RPM
- Maximum Torque: 350 lb-ft at 2,750 RPM
The short-lived Ford Focus RS left a void for most of us, but Ford will never bring us down, so they released a 2.3 Liter version of the 2.0L with increased power output, stronger build, and can last for thousands of miles without major problems.
The engine is almost identical to the 2.0L EcoBoost engine, the bore size as well as the deck height. The cylinder block is made from high-pressure die-cast Aluminum with an open deck design. Its block has larger oil and cooling passages and a structural ladder frame with integrated main bearing caps to withstand larger power outputs.
The larger displacement was achieved through a new forged steel crankshaft with a 94mm stroke. The Ford 2.3 EcoBoost engine uses forged steel connecting rods shorter than those of 2.0L and high-strength lighter pistons with fully floating pins and piston ring carriers. These new pistons have low-friction coated skirts and fewer oil drainage holes for better lubrication and to reduce friction.
The piston underside is cooled constantly with oil sprayed by special oil jets inside the block. The bottom part of the engine consists of a balance shaft, chain-driven oil pump, and a die-cast deep-sump aluminum baffling oil pan that helps prevent oil slosh and regulate oil delivery during active driving.
On top of the engine block is an aluminum cylinder head with dual chain-driven camshafts. Each cylinder has four valves – two for the intake side as well as the exhaust side, a spark plug, and one GDI fuel injector. The new cylinder head design integrates an exhaust manifold with three high-flow ports for also a new twin-scroll IWG turbocharger.
The Ford 2.3L EcoBoost has larger intake and exhaust valves to make up for higher demand and fit the engine’s high-performance profile. On top of that, the valve seats and camshafts were made to have a higher lift and longer duration to operate with Ford’s Twin Independent Variable Cam Timing System (Ti-VCT). The exhaust camshaft drives the high-pressure fuel pump.
Larger displacement requires an increased volume and a larger diameter throttle body. Ford revised the plastic intake manifold to cater to such needs of the engine. The twin-scroll turbocharger delivers an immediate boost when needed; since it has a flatter torque curve that is easier to reach than the conventional turbos.
Which, in turn, these redesigned intake components give you more power, boost, quicker acceleration response with lower emissions, reduced turbo lag, and improved turbine efficiency.
Applications of Ford 2.3 EcoBoost engine:
269 HP at 5,500 RPM and 310 lb-ft at 3,000 RPM
- 2019 Ford Ranger
- 2020 Ford Everest
276 HP at 5,500 RPM and 310 lb-ft at 3,000 – 4,000 RPM
- 2019 Ford Focus ST
280 HP at 5,600 RPM and 310 lb-ft at 3,000 RPM
- 2016 – 2019 Ford Explorer
285 – 295 HP at 5,500 RPM and 310 lb-ft at 2,750 RPM
- 2015 – 2019 Lincoln MKC
- 2020 Lincoln Corsair
300 HP at 5,500 RPM and 310 lb-ft at 3,500 RPM
- 2020 Ford Explorer
- 2021 Ford Bronco
310 HP at 5,500 RPM and 350 lb-ft at 3,000 RPM
- 2015 Ford Mustang EcoBoost
345 HP at 6,000 RPM and 350 lb-ft at 3,200 RPM
- 2016 – 2018 Ford Focus RS
- 2016 Zenos E10 R
- 2017 Elemental RP1
325 – 405 HP at 6,000 RPM and 317-369 lb-ft at 3,200 RPM
- 2016 VUHL 05 RR
395 HP at 6,200 RPM and 369 lb-ft at 3,000 – 3,500 RPM
- 2017 Dallara Stradale
Engine Tuning, Modifications, and Upgrades
You can increase the power output of your 2.3L EcoBoost by tuning the ECU. Even though you replaced the exhaust with a cat-back exhaust system, it will not reflect if you don’t calibrate the ECU right; very little power will be added.
Another option is to upgrade your stock turbo, specifically the compressor wheel, for more airflow. Not only it will push the turbo to its safe limits, but the compressor wheel upgrade also increases the full-throttle shift points between 6,100 to 6,200 RPM.
Problems Surrounding Ford 2.3 EcoBoost Engine:
The Ford 2.3L is a high-performance engine, so it is built with a sporty outlook and high speed in mind. And because of that, some components are pushed to their backs and are really close to their limits, causing some problems that may arrive either prematurely or at the tail-end of their lives.
Early 2.3L EcoBoost engines in Ford Focus RS had an issue regarding head gaskets. The reports sent to show a leak on the head gasket and produce white exhaust smoke; some complications include misfiring under load, engine overheating, loss of cabin heating, and coolant smell in the exhaust.
The primary reason is the wrong head gasket placed in the Focus ST; instead of using unique ones with different coolant passages, the ST used the one from the Mustangs.
Another issue is the carbon build-up due to direct injection. This is not a problem, though, but let’s put it here as a precaution. Ford 2.3L: EcoBoost uses direct injection. With that, the direct-injection system directs the fuel right through the cylinder, and without natural oil blow-by, this causes carbon build-up to clog the air and fuel flow.
The high-performance Ford 2.3L EcoBoost engine is worth the value of more money. It has impressive power and torque numbers cramped into a smaller engine with lower cost as well as emissions. If you want to experience a high-speed, sporty look and have the courage to try such ambitions, maybe you can opt for this engine.
It does not have major problems, which is also the main driver that this engine lasts longer.
Ford 2.3L EcoBoost has exceeded its expectations since its released. Though modeled from the 2.0L engine, it stands on its own and proves that they are here as a mainstay.