While Ford’s 1.6-liter EcoBoost four is only three years old, a new EcoBoost four that’s just 0.1-liter smaller will be added to the Fusion lineup in calendar year 2014. The new engine is a 1.5-liter EcoBoost I-4 based on Ford’s 1.0-liter EcoBoost I-3, already on sale in Europe. The 1.0-liter comes to the U.S. in the ’14 Fiesta later this year.
Like the 1.0-liter, the 1.5-liter four’s exhaust manifold is integrated into the cylinder head for quicker engine warm-up and a more compact design. It will be built in Romania for use in the North American Fusion and in the Chinese- and European-market Mondeo. Rumors circulating on the Internet indicate the 1.5 EcoBoost’s horsepower and torque will be just slightly lower than the 1.6’s specs.
Ford will not replace the current, 178-horsepower, 184 pound-foot 1.6-liter EcoBoost four with the 1.5, but will supplement it with the new engine to boost Fusion/Mondeo production output. Ford has indicated in recent monthly sales reports that it believes it could better compete with the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord and Nissan Altima in the midsize sales race if it had better production capacity for the Fusion.
What’s more, 1.5 liters represents a car tax/tariff threshold in China and in other countries. The 1.6-liter EcoBoost is 1595 cubic centimeters, to be precise. The 1.5 is just under 1500cc and therefore under that threshold in several major markets.
Ford announced the new engine in Beijing, China earlier this month in a preview of its Shanghai motor show news. That show begins April 20. Ford promises details on the Fusion 1.5 for Thursday.