An EcoBoost in the V8 Supercars series? That may be no more than a sponsorship opportunity, but this is Ford Performance Vehicles' "Car of the Future".
Ford's EcoBoost program is all about downsizing engines like big V8s to six, four or even three-cylinder engines with turbochargers to make up for the missing cylinders. It's been implemented on everything from the F-150 to the Mondeo, but could Ford's Australian division be looking to do the same in the V8 Supercars series? Hardly, because as the name suggests, V8 Supercars are all about V8 power. The series is, however, switching for a friendlier format called the Car of the Future.
The idea is similar to initiatives undertaken in NASCAR and the British Touring Car Championship, the idea being to reduce costs with a new type of car. The Australian series is preparing to introduce a similar approach, and this is Ford's answer. Built by Ford Performance Racing - the racing outfit which Ford of Australia recently took over again from motorsport consultancy Prodrive - the new Ford racing car is ostensibly "based" on the Ford Falcon, a sedan which the Blue Oval automaker produces primarily for the Australian market, but like other stock and touring cars, the resemblance is barely more than skin deep.
While it may not have a four-cylinder EcoBoost engine, its V8 has presumably reduced its displacement from 5.6 liters to 5.0, while incorporating new differential, brakes and fuel and cooling systems aimed at reducing costs.
The new Falcon V8 Supercar will compete against the Holden Commodore and a new V8-powered Nissan Altima racer that will mark the Japanese automaker's return to the series after leaving in 1993, adding a new dimension to the GM vs Ford wars being waged on racetracks Down Under.