Not that it’s a light car. Even shorn of the all-wheel drive system, the big V6 motor, dual panel sunroof, and power-fold rear seats, the 2.0 EcoBoost version still weighs over 2 tons. That’s a lot of car for a puny two liter motor to push around. It’s a good thing it’s an EcoBoost motor. For those unfamiliar with the term, EcoBoost means Turbocharged. Yup. Turbo-fours have made the transition from rally cars to SUVs. The apocalypse is upon us.
The 2.0 Ecoboost motor’s 240 horsepower might not sound impressive compared to the 3.5 liter V6’s 290, but it makes 366 Nm of torque, significantly more than the V6’s 345 Nm. Better yet, it maintains this torque peak from 1,700 to 4,000 rpm. Matched to a six-speed automatic, it promises both better flexibility and better fuel economy than the V6. This is achieved through several key technologies, including a lighter valve train, variable valve timing, variable geometry turbocharging, and high pressure direct injection (at a heady 2,800 psi of fuel pressure).
Despite lacking some of the headline features of the V6 Limited, the XLT will premiere another class-first: inflatable rear seatbelts. Meant to protect young children and small passengers, these open in an amazing 40 milliseconds in the event of a crash. These cushion passengers against high shock loads that could stop their hearts or break their necks.
The 2.0 GTDi XLT is priced at an astoundingly low P2.25 million, and will be available in July. While that might not seem like much less than the V6, consider that the waiting list for the Limited Edition is over 200 customers long. Given that, it seems like a much better deal to get at the head of the list for a model that promises to be more economical and just as quick in real-world use. Of course, I won’t be surprised if the line for the 2.0 surpasses that of the V6 before official sales begin.