Itâ€™s time for the â€˜good oilâ€™ on the engine that is set to replace the venerable â€˜Barraâ€™ in-line six-cylinder in Fordâ€™s Falcon and Territory range in 2010. While we lament the eventual departure of the excellent local built 4.0-litre there is plenty to look forward to in its replacement.
The replacement is expected to be the 3.5-litre â€˜Cycloneâ€™ Duratec V6 that went into production in the US late in 2006. The 3.5-litre Duratec is just one of the modular V6 engines available off-the-shelf from Ford with a range of sizes and specifications being available, including diesel.
The obvious concern of many die-hard Ford fans would be the loss of the locally built performance turbo engine that has received industry wide acclaim over recent years. The good news is that the Cyclone V6 has been developed in twin turbo form with advanced features such as direct injection, so anyone concerned that a Duratec V6 turbo wouldnâ€™t keep the challenge up to the V8â€™s need not be concerned. It pays to keep in mind that Noble manage to coax 317kW out of the twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre Duratec V6 that they fit to their M400 (pictured below) so don't feel too hard done byâ€¦
The big reason for the change to the Duratec V6 is that it is Euro IV emissions compliant and it partly achieves this by utilising an aluminium block. The aluminium block takes less time than the current in-line six cylinders cast iron block to heat up to operating temperature. Cold engines require more fuel and less air to ensure smooth operation and this increases emission levels. It is believed that the in-line sixes cast iron block was largely responsible for it not being Euro IV compliant.
Obviously, the switch to an all alloy engine will mean less weight over the front end for Falcon and Territory which will further benefit their already renowned handling ability.
The Duratec 3.5-litre Cyclone engine features 4-valves per cylinder, twin-overhead camshafts on each cylinder bank, variable intake timing, coil-on-plug ignition and multi-port fuel injection which puts it on par with the V6 engines on offer from main competitors Holden and Toyota. It produces 196kW and achieves 8.7L/100 km in the Ford Lincoln MKZ which is around 130kg lighter than the current model Falcon.
The one area where the current in-line six has the Duratec V6 beaten is in torque output. The Barra in-line six manages an impressive 383Nm at 2500rpm while the Duratec can only drum up 339Nm at a relatively high 4500rpm and this will be noticed by Ford die-hards moving from Barra to Cyclone power.
So there you goâ€¦ If you ask us, the move to Duratec V6 motorvation by Ford is a good one and will ensure that Falcon and Territory remain competitive. If your worried about the torque deficit hold out until the twin-turbo models become available. If you still donâ€™t like the idea at all, then be sure to snap up one of the last Barra equipped Falcons in 2009/10.
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Source : Drive.com.au