It’s well understood that Ford’s EcoBoost engines combine direct injection, variable valve timing, and turbocharging to achieve impressive power and high efficiency. While these advanced engines deliver the acceleration and high fuel economy desired in mainstream models, EcoBoost engines also power the automaker’s performance-oriented models like the Mustang and Fiesta ST. As die-hard enthusiasts always wonder…is there a way to eke even more performance from my car?
And the answer is ‘yes,’ with new hand-held programmers from Ford that adjust a multitude of engine parameters. Tuners often go the traditional route of replacing original equipment with aftermarket parts like performance camshafts, exhaust and intake manifolds, high-flow fueling systems, and even superchargers, sometimes with unwanted trade-offs in efficiency, durability, or comfort.
Ford points out that in an age of computer-controlled engines, a better answer is performance mods using Ford Racing’s programming handset. The $595 ProCal programmer for the Focus ST 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine and Fiesta ST 1.6-liter EcoBoost plugs into the car’s diagnostic link connector port, enabling performance tweaks to everything from throttle response characteristics and idle speed to turbo wastegate control, fuel curves, and spark timing.
In the hands of engine tuning experts, tweaking with the ProCal can bring impressive gains in horsepower and torque output. The Focus ST can gain up to a 90 lb-ft torque increase while maintaining the Ford-backed limited warranty. Custom engine calibrations for the all-new Mustang 2.3-liter EcoBoost are being developed by Ford Racing with a product expected by the end of 2015.