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Ford Revamps An Old Favorite - The 1.0-Liter

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On: Mon, Aug 22, 2011 at 4:17PM | By: Chris Salamone

Ford Revamps An Old Favorite - The 1.0-Liter

The Big Three hasn’t graced the US auto market with a 1.0-liter engine since the early 1990s. But, rising gas prices combined with a sudden consumer appetite for small cars has captured the attention of at least one US automaker: Ford.

At the upcoming Frankfurt Auto Show, in September, Ford intends to showcase a 1.0-liter inline 3-cylinder engine which includes all the bells and whistles of modern technology. Their latest 3-cylinder looks to mark significant improvements over engines of yesterday, offering both efficiency and some modicum of fun-factor. In total, the latest 1.0-liter hopes to offer the same or better power as Ford’s current 1.6-liter normally aspirated engine while delivering better fuel economy and reduced emissions.

“No one’s ever built a three-cylinder engine quite like this,” stated Joe Bakaj, Ford Vice President of Global Powertrain Engineering. A bold claim indeed.

In large part, Ford’s confidence relies on EcoBoost technology which delivers a turbocharged experience with reasonable fuel economy. Based on Ford’s success using EcoBoost powertrains on the Taurus, Flex, and F-150, we can hope the latest 1.0-Liter 3-cylinder will live up to the hype.

Although more details are coming soon, Ford has announced that the 1.0-liter 3-cylinder fits in only three Ford vehicles internationally: the Ka, Figo, and Fiesta. Since the Ka, a Fiat-based vehicle from Poland, is too small and the India-manufactured Figo is basically a Fiesta for ‘developing markets’, we can expect Ford to offer their latest engine in the US version of the Fiesta.

Although Ford has not officially announced what the new Fiesta’s powertrain will produce for output or gas efficiency, Bakaj offered a small window into the automaker’s goals. Fuel economy improvements should be similar in proportion to the Ford’s previous shift from the naturally aspirated V8 to their 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6.

In addition to news of the 1.0-Liter, we can look forward to a 2.0-Liter inline four-cylinder coming to the Ford Edge and Explorer. And perhaps more exciting, Bakaj also noted that Ford is in development on an eight-speed automatic that should offer enhanced smoothness and efficiency.

Since Ford’s current naturally aspirated 1.6-liter 4-cylinder, found in the Fiesta, offers 120 hp, the latest Fiesta 1.0-liter should approach similar numbers. Production is slotted to begin in Europe starting Spring of 2012. Look to the Frankfurt 64th International Motor Show on September 13-25 for more info.

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dwalter | 4:20PM (Mon, Aug 22, 2011)

Seems like a great idea. I wonder how durable a turbocharged 3-cylinder will be over time.

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