Ford's been taking advantage of its EcoBoost forced-induction technology to downsize engines across its line. V-8s give way to turbocharged V-6s. V-6s give way to turbo four-bangers. Continuing the trend, Ford has just announced the smallest engine it's ever built: a 1.0-liter EcoBoost three-cylinder engine.
Besides the obvious fuel savings from its lower displacement, Ford's new tiny terror packs in all sorts of economy-boosting technologies. For example, Ford's split cooling system helps the cylinder block to warm faster which helps to save fuel during the least efficient warm-up phase, especially in cold weather. The three-cylinder's exhaust manifold is cast as one piece with the cylinder head which lowers the temperature of the exhaust gases allowing the engine to run in a wider rpm band with the optimum fuel-to-air ratio. There's also direct injection, variable camshaft timing, an offset crankshaft, and--of course--the turbocharger. The engine is also lighter, which should be good for efficiency, performance, and responsiveness.
Ford hasn't published any performance or economy numbers for its new EcoBoost 1.0-liter, as the kinks are still being worked out. Derrick Kuzak, Ford group vice president of Global Product Development said the new engine will deliver horsepower and torque outputs equivalent to or better than most normally aspirated 1.6-liter gasoline engines. Using the automaker's own 1.6-L Duratec as a benchmark, that means around 120hp and 112 pound-feet of torque and better than 40 mpg on the highway.
More technical and application details for the new 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine will be released in September at the Frankfurt auto show in Germany, but we can expect to see this engine under the hood of the Ford Fiesta sometime in the future.