Ford EcoBoost Challenge offers ‘hands-on’ driver experience

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Test driving the vehicles on a closed course.

Last month, Ford extended an invitation to media members to get a chance to get their hands on the wheel of some of its fleet featuring EcoBoost, Ford’s cutting-edge, sustainable, and green technology. At the test grounds in Arlington Heights, Ill., Mechanical Hub was part of this VIP preview of the EcoBoost Challenge — Ford Motor Co.’s national tour that put us in the driver’s seat of five of the most popular vehicles on the road to pit them against the competition.

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The 2015 F-150 offers four engine choices with two EcoBoost engines available. F-150 customers can select the EcoBoost engine that works best for them. The lineup includes: new 3.5L V6 Ti-VCT; New 2.7 L EcoBoost V6 with auto start/stop technology, tuned specifically for truck applications; 3.5L EcoBoost V6; and 5.0 V8 FFV.

It was an opportunity to see the latest in green, sustainable, and smart technology that Ford has to offer and to meet the executives that make it a reality.


The popular Transit Connect’s 2015 model features seating capacities from 2-passenger van to the 8-, 12- or 15-passenger wagons. Also, three roof heights are available: Low (82.5 inches), Medium (98.0 inches) and High (108.0 inches).

The 2014 EcoBoost Challenge featured:

• Professional drive instruction with the “ST Performance Academy” and the chance to drive the Fiesta ST on a timed track. Compete against fellow drivers to see who can lock up the fastest time of the day.

• An opportunity to drive the Ford Fusion, Escape and F-150 with EcoBoost against their toughest competitors.

• The chance to get behind the wheel of the C-MAX Hybrid and experience the greener side of advanced automotive technology against the competition.

I was most interested to test drive the F-150 with EcoBoost, and I wasn’t disappointed. The acceleration, handling, braking and comfort were very noticeable while cruising on the test course.

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Not available for a test drive, but still cool — the 2015 Ford Mustang features a 3.7 V6 and the 5.0 V6 engines and are joined by an all-new 2.3L EcoBoost with a twin-scroll turbocharger.

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CONTRACTOR magazine’s Candace Roulo gives the thumbs up before a test drive.

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The Hub’s John Mesenbrink readies for a different kind of test ride.



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