2012 Ford Focus Gets Ford’s First Non-turbo Direct Injection Engine

For all the attention lavished on the 2012 Ford Focus, its 2.0-liter four-cylinder has gone relatively unnoticed. But as we learned today, it's a key achievement for Ford and will play a significant role in the company's lower-priced, mainstream offerings.

The new engine is Ford's first application of direct-injection technology independent of turbocharging. The normally aspirated four-cylinder is in some respects an evolution of Ford's seven-year-old Duratec engine, featuring the same layout and bore spacing, but most of the major components, including the block, cylinder heads, and pistons have been either redesigned or significantly revised. Like other new Ford engines, including the Mustang's 5.0-liter V-8, the new four-cylinder also features twin independent variable camshaft timing, whereby both the intake and exhaust can be advanced or retarded to improve power and emissions. As a result, the new 2.0-liter produces 20 more horsepower than its predecessor in the last-generation Focus.

All these bells and whistles belie the fact that the new engine is essentially Ford's new value offering, and is also something of a hedge against the company's big bet on Ecoboost. With the cleverly named and marketed technology, Ford has been a vocal leader in the shift toward downsized engines that make their power through turbocharging along with direct injection. Following this logic, Ford might have fitted the Focus with its new 1.6-liter Ecoboost four-cylinder, which will power the C-Max. However, when it comes to the notoriously slim-margin American compact segment, Ford is more reluctant to add the cost of a turbocharger and all its cooling components.

"It would be tough for the customer to afford," said Stephen Russ, one the engineers who worked on the direct-injection 2.0-liter.

Instead, Ford will reserve Ecoboost engines for high performance versions of the Focus, namely the forthcoming ST, which will use a 247-hp turbo 2.0-liter.

Paired with a six-speed dual-clutch automatic in the Focus, the 160-hp 2.0-liter achieves up to 40 mpg highway in EPA testing (36 mpg with a manual) while producing significantly more power than the similarly efficient Hyundai Elantra (148 hp) and Chevrolet Cruze (138 hp).

Ford has not yet announced any other applications for the engine, which will be built in Dearborn, but some obvious guesses include the Transit Connect and the new Escape. The new engine has a displacement range of 1.8- to 2.5-liters, meaning a larger version will also likely wind up in the four-cylinder Fusion, as well. One place you certainly won't see these new engines is in any Mazda. Though they jointly developed the Duratec, Ford's sale of most of its stake in the Japanese company limits that cooperation.

"These are Ford only motors," Russ said.

BOYD
Now If I could get my hands on only the engine, I would drop it into my Model A..
JAMES
LOVE IT ,LONG OVER DUE,,,TELL US ABOUT POST COMBUSTION,SHOULD BE VERY GOOD NEWS
Steve
160hp? thats all they could muster out of this engine. (FAIL) the torque sucks to! ps. SAD when FORD makes better cars and engines for Europe, and not their own fricken Country!\ ILL NEVER BUY A FORD FOR THAT FACT!
Robert Parker
It is fully chain drive. Cams are driven by one chain and the oil pump is driven by a second one.
Rudolf
It doesn't look like a chain drive; the photo looks like a toothed belt. A chain drive is more expensive and may not be in line with the economics of this engine design.
Keith
It's a chain drive. Both camshafts are actually driven by the same chain, which loops down to drive the oil pump as well, before going around the crank gear.
Richard Curtis
I can't tell from the photo, does it have a chain driven or belt driven valve train? The photo makes it look like it has a chain and a black belt for the second (outboard) camshaft.

New Car Research

our instagram

get Automobile Magazine

Subscribe to the magazine and save up to 84% off the newsstand price

subscribe

new cars

Read Related Articles

TO TOP