Ford’s 6-cylinder V engines for the European market

Considering that the American industry has always loved large displacements, one might think that multi-fraction engines and in particular those with V-shaped architecture more or less all of them were born there. This is substantially true for the V8s, which originated with Ford in the 1930s, while for the V6s that still saw the Dearborn House among the protagonists, one of the oldest and most important families is instead European.

We are talking about the Ford V6 known by the nickname of “Cologne” but initially also called Ford Taunus V6. Made of cast iron, with an angle between the banks of 60 ° and distribution by rods and rockers with camshaft in the crankcase, over time they have undergone various modifications and optimizations, declined in versions from 1.8 to 4 liters and with fuel systems carburettor or injection.

Global success

Originally produced for cars sold in Germany and Europe, with the exception of those for the UK market which were initially fitted with Ford Essex, the Ford V6 “Cologne” family quickly spread to all markets, reaching even the American one where it was also used on compact commercial vehicles.

Ford Capri 2.6 RS

The Cologne-made V6s shared many components with the smaller series of V4 Taunus produced in the same factory. Among the common features they had, for example, the pattern of the fixing bolts, the engine mounts and, in many versions, a cylinder head with a particular geometry of the exhaust holes that reduced the outputs for the manifolds from 3 to 2 on each side.

A solution, the latter, which increased the compatibility and the adaptability between the two engines but which at the same time severely limited the performance of the 6 cylinders. Precisely for this reason, the variants with larger displacements, namely those of 2.4, 2.8, 2.9 and 4 liters were designed with a slightly different exhaust scheme.

The variants under 3 liters

The first variants of the V6 “Cologne” appeared in 1964 and 1967: they were the 2 and 2.3 liter units of the Taunus 20M and 20M P7, which had 84 and 123 HP respectively. The smallest, the one from 1.8 liters with a power of 81 hp it arrived in 1968 and was used exclusively on the Ford 17M P7 from 1968 to 1971.

In 1969 and 1970 it was instead the turn of 2.6 and its 2.6 RS high-performance variant, the first to be equipped with an injection fuel system. Offered from 1970 to 1973 on the Ford Capri 2600 RS, this power unit was capable of developing 148 hp and 220 Nm of torque.

Ford V6 engines produced in Cologne

The scheme of the V6 Cologne from 2.4 to 4 liters with 3-outlet exhausts

The second series

The next generation of the Cologne-produced 6-cylinder V-engine family was introduced in 1974 with the 2.8 liters, derived strictly from the previous 2.6-liter, which was capable of producing power from 132 to 160 HP based on the type of system used for fueling (carburetor or injection).

This served on numerous models, also ending up in America on the Mustang II and the little Pinto in the 70s and 80s and in Europe on the Capri III e Scorpio until almost the end of the millennium. In addition, it was bought by the British TVR factory who used it in elaborate versions on some of its sports cars such as the Tasmin.

The Cosworth version

In 1991 Cosworth, the company specializing in the production of high-performance engines, developed a 24V version with double camshaft distribution and displacement with a large displacement of 2.9 liters.

Introduced on the Ford Scorpio Cosworth 24V, the engine with code BOA was paired with a automatic transmission A4LDe and brought with it interesting features such as a new reinforced engine block and an EDIS-6 electronic ignition system. It produced a power of 192 hp and a torque of 275 Nm.

Ford V6 engines produced in Cologne

Ford Capri III 2.8

Later an improved version was also introduced, code BOB, which included two simplex chains with hydraulic tensioners in the distribution system and the addition of an intake manifold. variable length called VIS. The power has thus risen up to 213 hp.

The “American” 4-liter

The largest of the engines of the “Cologne” V6 family was the 4-liter, produced up to early 2000s and intended exclusively for the American market, where it equipped models such as Ford Explorer, Ford Aerostar, Ford Ranger and Mazda B4000. The power was 162 hp while the torque reached 305 Nm.

In addition, in 1997 a version with overhead camshafts (SOHC) was introduced for the Ford Explorer. Among the main features of this engine stood out the variable length intake manifold. Ford subsequently phased out the engine in favor of the more powerful and efficient Duratec 37.

Motor Production Power Models
1.8 1968-1971 81 CV Ford 17M P7
2.0 1964-1985 84-89 CV Ford Taunus 20M, 20M, Capri, Granada, Sierra
2.3 1967-1985 112-123 CV Ford 20M P7, Capri, Taunus, Cortina, Granada, Sierra
2.6 1969-1977 123 CV Ford 20M RS, 26M, Capri, Granada
2.6 RS 1970-1973 148 CV Ford Capri 2600 RS
2.8 1974-1998 132-160 CV Ford Ranger, Bronco, Aerostar, Pinto, Granada, Mustang, Capri III, Scorpio, Mercury Bobcat, TVR S1, 280i, Tasmin
2.9 Cosworth 1991-1995 192-213 CV Ford Scorpio Cosworth 24V
4.0 1990-2000 157-213 CV Ford Ranger, Explorer (SOHC), Aerostar, Mazda B-Series, Navajo

Source: Motor1.com Italia – News by it.motor1.com.

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