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Ford Delivers Hybrid-Like Fuel Economy With Tiny 3-Cylinder Focus
By Huw Evans
With the proliferation of its EcoBoost technology and an ongoing battle to be a leader in the fuel economy segment one canít help but wonder how small of an engine Ford will be willing to offer in its North American lineup.
At present, the answer seems to be a 1.0-liter three-cylinder, incorporating direct injection and turbocharging. Developed by Fordís U.K. technical center in Dunton, Essex, this engine was conceived primarily for powering Fordís smaller volume vehicles in Europe, namely the Fiesta, Focus and its B-Max and C-Max derivatives.
This week in Dearborn, Ford reaffirmed plans that the EcoBoost 1.0 is definitely coming to North America, though declined to say exactly when (sometime next year was the best we could get), or which cars in its lineup will offer it.
Nevertheless, AutoGuide was given a chance to sample the motor in a Euro-spec Focus at the Dearborn Proving Grounds.
TWO POWER OUTPUTS
In Europe, the Ecoboost 1.0 is currently offered in two versions: one that develops 98 horsepower and the other, 123 horsepower. Availability is currently restricted to the Focus, though Ford says it will be offered in the B-Max and C-Max later this year.
Features of this engine, which is about the size of an A4 sheet of paper, include a low inertia turbocharger, designed to spin at low rpm for better throttle response, while an exhaust manifold cast into the cylinder head has been designed to lower exhaust temperatures and therefore optimize air/fuel ratios across a wider rpm spread.