How To Maximize The Performance And Feel Of Your EcoBoost Ride

Ford developed the EcoBoost engine with intentions to create the perfect commuter engine, aiming for a smaller carbon footprint and improved fuel economy. However, for the enthusiast market, it represented the opportunity to acquire a factory-boosted Ford, something we had not seen since the Mustang SVO and Thunderbird Turbo Coupe days. While Its low-end torque outshines its larger cubic-inch counterpart, it was the term “boost” that caught our attention and removed any notion of it being eco-friendly, on or off the track

Since its introduction to the performance market we’ve witnessed a surge in modifying Ford’s turbocharged EcoBoost engine across numerous platforms. These engines have undergone modifications ranging from simple bolt-ons to maximum-effort builds, particularly with models bearing the ST or RS suffix. Even the truck and SUV market have embraced these engines, with vehicles such as the Explorer ST, Expedition, F-150 and Raptor utilizing twin-turbo V6 versions.

What Makes The EcoBoost Special

What did Ford do to make the EcoBoost so special? Well, for starters, Ford established an EcoBoost ecosystem that extends past just one vehicle. While this might seem like a straightforward streamline approach, akin to how the F-150 and Mustang share the Coyote architecture, for many, the array of vehicles utilizing the EcoBoost platform has enabled a seamless transition within the Ford lineup. Individuals may start their journey with Ford at a younger age, perhaps beginning with a Focus or Mustang, before progressing to models like the Explorer ST or F-150 Raptor

COBB Tuning has an Accessport for a variety of EcoBoost-powered Fords including the Fiesta, Focus, Mustang, Raptor, and Explorer!

Unlike Ford’s other engines that lack forced induction, the EcoBoost platform exhibits exceptional responsiveness to modifications, particularly in tuning. While this responsiveness could stem from various factors, such as being intentionally detuned from the factory for smoother driving dynamics, the reality is that tuning an EcoBoost engine yields significant enhancements in both performance and overall driving experience. 

Importance Of Tuning An EcoBoost Engine

To learn more about the reasons for tuning an EcoBoost engine, we talked with Sam Parker who heads the R&D Calibration for Ford vehicles at COBB Tuning.

“If you’re simply adding bolt-on parts to the car — such as intake, intercooler, or exhaust — the EcoBoost is a favorable platform because it is not Mass Air Flow (MAF) based,” explains Parker. “This means there won’t be any issues with fueling or load calculation. However, since it operates on torque-based principles, when targeting a specific torque level, adjustments are made to accommodate the increased airflow resulting from bolt-on upgrades. This greater flow into the engine prompts the Engine Control Unit (ECU) to calculate a reduced pressure request, thereby cutting back on wastegate duty cycle, as it’s already achieved the targeted torque.”


Through the use of the COBB Accessport and the Stage 1 OTS pre-loaded tune we saw horsepower jump from 336 to 385. Torque also went up from 401 to 452. 

“The importance of tuning an EcoBoost extends beyond just achieving impressive power gains on a stock vehicle. Ensuring that you’re increasing torque and airflow appropriately is crucial when installing physical modifications on your car to optimize their performance,” Parker explains. “With the COBB Tuning Accessport, we provide an excellent solution. Whether you have a mechanically stock car or one with minor bolt-on upgrades, our Stage 1 off-the-shelf (OTS) map can safely enhance your vehicle’s performance. If you’ve made further modifications or seek to increase power or customize the driving experience, our pro tuner network is an excellent option. They utilize the same software used in-house at COBB to develop a custom calibration tailored to your car, your fuel, and your specific modifications.”

The Accessport Advantage

While the Accessport plays a crucial role in facilitating proper torque and airflow requests to the ECU for horsepower enhancement, its functionalities transcend those of a typical performance programmer. COBB Tuning’s Ford Product Owner, Nick Mostowfi, provided insight into the functions and controls of the Accessport, underscoring key features that distinguish this handheld device from its competitors.

“Beyond engine and transmission control, the Accessport has the capability to natively disable auto start-stop functionality, which persists through key cycles,” Mostowfi explains. “Additionally, it offers dynamic pedal control, allowing adjustment of sensitivity. This feature operates on a software level, building upon Ford’s existing systems and is not limited to what the ECU dictates, but rather multiplies the factory settings.”


“For those who are wary of entrusting their vehicle to others, the Accessport offers a valet mode that limits speed to 45-50 mph, restricts boost pressure, and moderates throttle response, safeguarding both tires and vehicle from potential harm. Setting it up is incredibly straightforward, as well,” Mostowfi says.

Linchpin To EcoBoost Performance And More

The significance of tuning an EcoBoost engine reaches far beyond the Explorer ST model seen in the video and is relevant to all EcoBoost owners aiming for peak engine health, maximum performance gains, or even the driveability they wish Ford had equipped it with regardless of whether their vehicle is in its original state or has been modified. In essence, a performance programmer acts as the linchpin for unleashing the utmost performance potential from your modern turbocharged Ford, and COBB Tuning offers the ideal product for this task. Best of all, you can do it yourself at home with ease!

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About the author

James Elkins

Born into a household of motorsport lovers, James learned that wrenching takes priority over broken skin and damaged nerves. Passions include fixing previous owners’ mistakes, writing, and driving.
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