Ford’s EcoBoost turbocharged engines had a good year in 2011, and it looks like the forced-induction motors will have an excellent 2012 as well: we hear that Ford’s new three-cylinder turbocharged engine could theoretically crank out an amazing 177 horsepower.
The engine in question is the Ford EcoBoost 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine, which uses a single turbo, variable valve timing, and direct injection. Overseas, the engine has just gone into service under the hood of the Focus, where it produces either 98 or 123 horsepower, depending on the model.
It would appear Ford isn’t going to stop there, however. Autocar reports that Ford is working on another version of the engine that features sequential turbochargers, the larger of which will be pulled from the 1.6-liter, four-cylinder EcoBoost engine. Those modifications could push output up to a whopping 177 horsepower.
With an output like that, Autocar predicts that European markets could get some sort of sporty Focus that slots below the 247-horsepower Focus ST and well below the rumored 300-plus-hp Focus RS. We think it’d also make for an interesting engine option for the Fiesta ST, although prototypes have used a turbocharged I-4. There’s another option, however: considering that the American Focus' base 2.0-liter I-4 engine produces 160 horsepower, the new EcoBoost I-3 could match that engine’s power, despite having one fewer cylinder and half the displacement.
If that were the case, fuel economy could potentially increase. The new Focus 1.0-liter with 123 horsepower is rated at 47.1 mpg on the EU combined cycle, 20 percent better than the naturally aspirated engine it replaces. There’s no word on if a pumped-up version would deliver as big of a fuel economy improvement.
Autocar reports that Ford managers predict the 1.0-liter I-3 will completely supplant the 1.6-liter I-4 over the next three years. Considering that initial reviews of the engine have been positive, it should be interesting to see the reception it will receive with the public.