Most of the engines on the road today mix the fuel and air before introducing them to the combustion chamber. In a direct-injected engine, highly pressurized fuel is squirted directly into the combustion chamber at the top of the piston's stroke, near the spark plug.
Since this creates quite a bit of pressure in the combustion chamber, direct injection can cause knocking, too, just like higher compression ratios. Ford Motor Company has solved this problem by combining direct injection with turbo charging, which uses exhaust gases to boost performance.
By bringing these two proven technologies together, Ford has built engines that are more powerful than their predecessors, even though they're smaller and use less fuel. Ford calls these engines EcoBoost.
The 2011 Ford F-Series shows how EcoBoost keeps driving from being dull. You could buy the Super Duty with its optional 6.8-liter V-10 with 362 horsepower and 457 lb-ft of torque -- plenty for work or play. Or you could buy the F-150 with the EcoBoost 3.5-liter engine with 365 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque -- and that's in a smaller, lighter truck. That kind of horsepower per pound ratio is going to deliver lots of fun with fewer fill-ups.