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Ford Motor Co. this year is on track to sell more than a million cars with EcoBoost engines in the United States for the first time in a single year.

The turbocharged engine debuted as a 3.5-liter V-6 on the 2009 Taurus SHO. Since then, it’s grown to include seven different engine sizes that can be found on every Ford light-duty passenger vehicle except for the C-Max hybrid.

Savvy marketing, government fuel economy regulations and customer desire for more efficient engines have driven its popularity, analysts say.

Through October, EcoBoost sales have risen 46 percent to 819,683 compared to 2014.

“One of the reasons it’s been so well-received is that is works so darn well,” said Jack Nerad, executive editorial director and executive marketing analyst at Kelley Blue Book. “It just seems to be a great combination of seamless power and torque.”

This year marked the first full year of sales for EcoBoost-equipped Transit vans and Mustangs. A 3.5-liter V6 EcoBoost will also power the much-hyped GT super car when it makes its return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans next year.

As of the end of 2014, six plants across Europe, Asia and North America were producing EcoBoost engines, triple the number from 2010.

“Ford EcoBoost delivers great performance along with the capability of impressive fuel efficiency,” Erich Merkle, Ford sales analyst, said. “Ford leadership in clean gasoline turbocharged engine technology is paying dividends as evidenced by EcoBoost sales growth.”

So far this year, EcoBoost engines account for 78 percent of Escape sales, 64 percent of F-150 sales and 43 percent of Fusion sales.

The new 2.3-liter EcoBoost that powers the Mustang has helped Ford’s popular pony car speed to the front of the muscle car sales race. It delivers 310 horsepower while getting 32 miles per gallon on the highway, and is responsible for nearly all of Mustang’s sales growth this year.

Ford’s global EcoBoost engine family now includes the 1-liter three-cylinder; 1.5-liter, 1.6-liter, 2-liter and 2.3-liter four-cylinder engines; and 2.7-liter and 3.5-liter V6 engines. A Lincoln-exclusive 3-liter V-6 will debut on the Continental in 2016.

The automaker has continued to invest in its engine plants which make EcoBoosts.

Ford recently invested nearly $200 million at its Cleveland engine plant, which makes the 2.0-liter twin-scroll EcoBoost now available on the Edge. Production of that engine began earlier this year.

In March 2014 Ford announced a $500 million investment in its Lima, Ohio, engine plant to support production of a new, small six-cylinder EcoBoost engine for its 2015 F-150. The money went toward renovating 700,000-square feet at the plant and for the installation of a flexible engine assembly system.

And in 2013, Ford doubled production capacity at its Cologne, Germany, plant to more than 1,000 EcoBoost engines a day to meet high demand for the 1.0-liter now powering one in five Ford vehicles sold in Europe.

“One million is a lot of engines,” Nerad said. “It used to be that turbocharging was just for specialty and high-performance vehicles. EcoBoost has shown the versatility of that technology.”

mmartinez@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2401

Twitter.com/MikeMartinez_DN

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