1.5L I3 EcoBoost Joining the Range
Ford Inside News
April 8, 2013
By: Austin Rutherford
Update: The new 1.5L EcoBoost is actually an inline-4. From what we have learned, Ford China presented the wrong picture during the Mondeo presentation earlier this month. This lead to reports the engine was an inline-3 from China. Hence the reason why it was originally reported on here as an inline-3.
As if the already wide ranging engine lineup weren't impressive enough, Ford is going to add another engine to the Fusion for the 2014 model year. Ford Inside News has learned through an internal document that the 1.5L 3 cylinder EcoBoost, which recently launched on the Fusion's alter ego - the Ford Mondeo in China - less than a week ago, will be available in North America. This engine will be the second inline-3 engine to be offered by Ford on the continent.
The 1.5L I3 EB is of the same engine family and is likely a bored version of the already announced 1.0L I3 EB. This engine will start sales in the Mexican-built Fiesta later this year after already being launched globally. The new bore will be available on the SE package, like the 1.6L I4 EB, of the Fusion. The 1.6L, however, will drop the automatic (and also the Stop-Start system) and will only be available with the manual leaving the 1.5L with only an automatic transmission and Stop-Start. This new engine will probably allow the Fusion to match or beat the 38 MPG highway seen in the Nissan Altima.
Ford will also launch a cheaper version on the 2014 Fusion Hybrid with the addition of the "S" package. Currently, the hybrid is only available with the SE and Titanium packages. This is likely a good sign of battery availability for Ford, which held back previous generation Ford systems. Allowing a cheaper hybrid should allow for more sales as Ford tries to pick away market share from Toyota. As of now, it is unclear if the cheaper package will make its way to C-Max Hybrid as well.
Other tech advances on the 2014 model will include available cooled seats on the Titanium and a heated steering wheel. Originally launched on the Explorer, the Fusion will also gain rear inflatable seat belts.
Visually wise, the Bordeaux Reserve and Gingerale exterior colors will be dropped and replaced with Sunset and Dark Side (perhaps to coincide with this summer's Man of Steel Movie?). A new interior package, Rid Brick Premium Leather, will be available for the interior for those tired of black or beige.
We suspect the 1.5L I3 EB will not see the end of availability with just the Fusion. Likely suspects for the addition of the small 4 pot include the Escape and Transit Connect. With these improvements and the addition of capacity at the Flat Rock Assembly Plant, Ford might perhaps gain enough sales to knock off the Toyota Camry from being the best selling car in the United States.
With six engines under its hood, the Ford Fusion will have an vast lineup of naturally aspirated and turbocharged gas, hybrid, and plug-in hybrid engines. One wonders if the competition between the engines will lead to the dropping of a mill. We for one, would like to see a Sport and/or ST added.