Ford announced today that the company is working on its smallest ever engine: a one-litre, three-cylinder turbocharged unit.
This tiny turbocharged engine made its conceptual debut at the 2010 Beijing Motor Show in the futuristic Ford Start Concept and as was the case when that engine first saw the light of day in China, we still don’t know much about the engine.
What is clear is that: like the large V-6 engines built in Brook Park, it will be an EcoBoost model, featuring turbochargers to beef up its performance.
“Some people would say that it’s more suited to a motorcycle than a passenger vehicle,” said Joe Bakaj, vice president of Ford’s global powertrain division.
The last time we remember three-cylinder engines being sold in the U.S. was on some Suzuki Swifts and a sister version from General Motors, the Chevrolet Metro, in the ’90s. They got such astounding mileage ratings that even beaters were selling for top dollar when gas prices hit all-time highs in 2008.
“Consumers are telling us they want to buy affordable vehicles that get many more miles per gallon,” said Derrick Kuzak, global product development chief. “Our new 1-liter EcoBoost engine will give consumers looking for hybrid-like fuel economy a new, more affordable choice.”
The 1.0-liter Ford engine features:
• An offset crankshaft that helps improve fuel economy
• An advanced, Ford-designed split cooling system that allows the cylinder block to warm up before the cylinder head. Faster cylinder block warm-ups save fuel, especially in cold weather
• An exhaust manifold cast into the cylinder head. The one-piece assembly lowers the temperature of the exhaust gases. This enables the engine to run in a wider rpm band with the optimum fuel-to-air ratio. The new design also saves weight and allows the engine to operate more smoothly
• EcoBoost technologies, such as turbocharging, direct injection and twin independent variable camshaft timing (Ti-VCT)