Ford has done an admirable job of establishing the EcoBoost name in the market as shorthand for the maker’s latest fuel-saving powertrain technology. So, some folks might be excused for getting confused by the news that a Ford EcoBoost-powered racer has just set a new speed record at Florida’s legendary Daytona speedway.
A prototype race car using a specially modified 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 turned in a single lap speed record of 222.971 miles per hour on the big Daytona oval, besting a 26-year-old record set by NASCAR champ Bill Elliott while qualifying for the 1987 Daytona 500 – coincidentally in a Ford Thunderbird.
Ford recently announced plans to develop an EcoBoost-powered racer to demonstrate that the technology isn’t solely meant to deliver good mileage but can also be fun to drive.
And Ford isn’t alone. Mazda dominated the Grand Am GX series – after addressing some early problems – with a race car powered by a SkyActiv-D diesel, an engine the Japanese maker claims is only a modestly modified version of the “oil burner” that will appear in the Mazda6 sedan early next year.