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Ford's first three cylinder EcoBoost makes for a viable four-cylinder replacement.
www.FordInsideNews.com
June 28, 2012
By: Nick Saporito


In the quest for increasing fuel economy, shrinking displacement has become an industry-wide trend, particularly at Ford. Since launching the EcoBoost nameplate in 2010 model year the company has continually downsized displacement and slapped a turbocharger on the side to keep the power up and the fuel to a sipping. But Ford has taken an even more drastic move – cutting the number of cylinders down to three. Right now the 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine is exclusively in Europe, but Ford is bringing to the U.S. next year, so we took the tiny mill for a test.

At a recent Ford media event the company had a few German-spec Foci on hand equipped for the U.S. media to take for a quick spin. This was the first chance anyone in the U.S. has had to drive Ford’s revolutionary three-cylinder, making it the undisputed headliner of the event. Despite America’s love for displacement, the 1.0-liter will arrive in the U.S. next year in an unannounced small car, but will it live up to the hype?

Having an odd number of cylinders makes the 1.0-liter naturally unbalanced, but Ford has managed to keep the engine’s refinement within the parameters of today’s expectations by taking an unconventional approach. Instead of a traditional balance shaft, engineers leveraged the flywheel and engine mounts to keep refinement in check and to cancel out as much of the imbalance as possible. Overall, their measures were quite successful.

At idle the 1.0-liter sounds like a small displacement four-cylinder, which is almost disappointing as one expects the revolutionary mill to have a unique noise. At rev the engine does take on a more unusual tone – having a diesel-like note to it with a throaty, but weak rumble.

Noises aside, at no point does the 1.0-liter exhibit any unrefined qualities. Regardless of the gear selection, the car is quiet and devoid of shaking and other NVH mishaps that would immediately disqualify it from todays market.

Putting the 1.0-liter in motion also fails to generate any major pitfalls. In Europe the engine is rated at 125 PS—about 123 horsepower— and proves to be enough to move the Focus at a respectable pace. Launching from a complete stop, the 1.0-liter manages to feel much like a four-cylinder thanks to the turbo. Throughout the majority of the rev range the power is adequate, except it does exhibit weakness at the top end, particularly during passing maneuvers.

The manual gearbox undoubtedly plays a role in keeping the 1.0-liter within acceptable means. Keeping the gearbox in second gear on Ford’s winding stretch of test track was almost fun by allowing the engine to maintain the 2000-3500 rpm level; it’s sweet spot.

All 1.0-liter vehicles are also equipped with auto start/stop. The system shuts off the engine at stops and automatically restarts it when the clutch is let up; all in an effort to save a little fuel. Start/stop technology is not new, so unsurprisingly it worked as expected on the European Focus.

Collectively, the engine is rated near the lofty equivalent of 56 mpg in Europe. If the U.S. variant of this engine can achieve similar results, the 1.0-liter immediately becomes a very compelling replacement for the naturally aspirated four-cylinder here in North America.

For some odd reason Ford is not confirming which U.S. small car will get the 1.0-liter EcoBoost, but they only have two, the Focus and Fiesta. We have a pretty strong hunch that the Fiesta will be the car to get it first. If our prediction holds true, the three cylinders EcoBoost may actually end up being a more compelling performance option than Fiesta’s current 1.6-liter, which has only 120 horsepower.

Today most automakers are downsizing their engines, but in the case of Ford, they just took it to a revolutionary level by downsizing cylinder count to a new low. The 1.0-liter EcoBoost is revolutionary for the engineering that created it, but it’s more revolutionary for the fact that it manages to be a worthy replacement to the naturally aspirated four-cylinder.
 

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...For some odd reason Ford is not confirming which U.S. small car will get the 1.0-liter EcoBoost, but they only have two, the Focus and Fiesta. We have a pretty strong hunch that the Fiesta will be the car to get it first. If our prediction holds true, the three cylinders EcoBoost may actually end up being a more compelling performance option than Fiesta’s current 1.6-liter, which has only 120 horsepower...
- I wonder if Ford could be considering a U.S. B-Max as the signature vehicle for the 1.0EB?
(or as I'd prefer, a B-Max/EcoSport crossbreed:
B-Max pillarless doors + 'mostly' ESport styling)

- wondering2 about the cost of EcoBoostage VS marketing EB only as a plus-1 option just to appear special

- and off-topic
wonder3 what a pair of 1.0EBs stuck together would be like as a 2.0 Straight-Six for Lincolnettes
(iirc there's a test 1.0EB making 180hp... )
 

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Your report looks like you were able to get more seat time then some of the other reports I have read from this event.
Most said the drive was so short they never got past 3rd gear.

I had one (Focus 1.0L EB 125hp) for a couple hour test drive this past week. And found there was still lots of pull in 5th gear for passing. What really got me excited is the available torque overboost , it is higher then the 2.0 160hp.
In comparison to my Focus 1.6 Ti-VCT, the 1.0 EB blows it out of the water throughout the range, and the 6th gear is icing on the cake for hwy cruising.
I found around town in 5th gear as long as I was above 1500 rpms it never felt like I was lugging the engine.
It took me a few take offs from 1st to 2nd to stop chirping the tires, but once used to the clutch and how this engine works with the Focus all was good and smooth. I just loved this combo in the Focus. The wife had her turn as well and is adamant she now wants the new Focus with this engine and 6spd manual. She really liked the Active City Stop feature, and how well the Auto Start/Stop works so seamlessly.
 

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Thanks 2b2, I took a couple of phone pics, very bad quality as you can see :facepalm:
View attachment 3245

I should add the instant fuel read out I recorded
The mileage on this engine was 1,850km on the clock:
90km h = just over 3 liters
100km h = approx 4 liters
120km h = approximately 5 liters
130km h = more than 6 liters
140km h = more than 7 liters
 

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Nice, but, a Tut needs a more powerful chariot than this
 

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Put it in the 2wd Escape too.
 
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