Ford’s EcoBoost engine range is currently comrprised of six- and four-cylinder designs, but the automaker announced today a turbocharged, direct-injection 1.0-liter three-cylinder will be added to the range in the near future.
The new engine, developed by Ford’s Dunton Technical Center in England, abides by the same general principle used in other EcoBoost engines: to deliver the power output of larger engines yet delivering the lower fuel consumption and emissions of a smaller engine. In this instance, Ford says the 1.0-liter I-3 will produce power equivalent to a normally aspirated 1.6-liter I-4. Power figures have not yet been released and will likely vary depending on both the model and market it’s destined for.
At this point, Ford has only confirmed the new engine will be used in the Fiesta-based B-Max MPV shown at the Geneva motor show earlier this year, but seeing as the company claims this engine will replace most of its four-cylinder offerings, it’s likely to appear in other offerings (Fiesta, and perhaps even Focus or C-Max are all possibilities) around the world. If Ford’s existing 1.6-liter I-4 is the unofficial benchmark, expect the new motor to produce at least (if not more than) 120 hp and 112 lb-ft of torque.
Further details on the engine are expected to be unveiled at the Frankfurt motor show later this year, but Ford did announce the three-cylinder will be the first engine to be mated with an all-new eight-speed automatic transmission -- a first for the company. Details are fleeting, but the gearbox was designed and developed entirely in-house, uses advanced clutch controls and torque sensors to reduce gear hunting, and will reportedly deliver faster shifts than previous automatic transmission designs.
Ford also announced it has developed a new electrically continuously variable hybrid transmission (eCVT) for use in its current and upcoming hybrid models. Ford says that the new eCVT will allow the Ford Fusion Hybrid to travel up to 47 mph on electric power alone (up 5 mph from the current car), and theoretically increase both fuel economy and driving performance in future models. The eCVT will be produced at Ford’s Van Dyke Transmission Plant in Sterling Heights, Michigan, and will enter into full production by the end of the first quarter of next year.