Three-pot scream­ers

Ford gears up for down­siz­ing en­gines

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Car News - PAUL GOVER paul.gover@cars­

AS IF a four-cylin­der Fal­con is not fright­en­ing enough, Ford is now work­ing on a tiny three­cylin­der en­gine for its Fo­cus and Fi­esta.

A 2.0-litre Eco­Boost four is al­ready con­firmed for the Fal­con next year and is likely to be fol­lowed soon af­ter by a ma­jor down­sized en­gine for the Blue Oval small cars.

The tech­nol­ogy be­hind the 1.0-litre triple has just been con­firmed in the US.

It was pre­viewed in a Fo­cus­based B-Max con­cept car at the Geneva Mo­tor Show ear­lier this year.

Ford is also work­ing on baby-car gear­boxes with up to eight speeds.

‘‘ Our new 1.0-litre Eco­Boost en­gine will give con­sumers look­ing for hy­brid-like fuel econ­omy a new, more affordable choice,’’ says Ford global prod­uct boss Der­rick Kuzak, a reg­u­lar visi­tor to Aus­tralia. ‘‘ The 1.0-litre en­gine is a lit­tle dy­namo.’’

No one is talk­ing power or torque yet but de­tails are ex­pected in Septem­ber at the Frank­furt Mo­tor Show where BMW­could also pre­view its com­ing three-cylin­der en­gine. The Ger­man pow­er­plant is set for a range of fu­ture cars, prob­a­bly even in­clud­ing a de­vel­op­ment of the 3 Se­ries.

Ford andBMWare trekking a road that will be well­trav­elled in com­ing years.

Fiat has al­ready pro­duced a two-cylin­der TwinAir en­gine that is just 875cc in ca­pac­ity yet in tur­bocharged form makes 63kW in the 500 mini car.

Down­siz­ing, cu­ri­ously, is a ma­jor growth op­por­tu­nity out­lined by Kuzak, al­though com­pa­nies such as Suzuki— in its Alto— have had 1.0-litre triples for some time to help achieve fuel econ­omy of just 4.7 litres/100km.

The small­est en­gine cur­rently fit­ted to a Ford in Aus­tralia is the 1.6-litre four in the Fi­esta, and there is no con­fir­ma­tion yet from Broad­mead­ows of any changes in­volv­ing the Eco­Boost three.

‘‘ It’s far too early to say what’s go­ing to hap­pen in Aus­tralia. It’s more global at the mo­ment,’’ says Sinead McAlary of Ford Aus­tralia.

‘‘ They have re­leased the tech­nol­ogy in the US but no one is talk­ing yet about which ve­hi­cles or when.’’

The new triple uses sev­eral cool­ing and fuel-sav­ing tech­nolo­gies such as an off­set crankshaft, split cool­ing sys­tem and sin­gle-piece man­i­fold-cylin­der-head assem­bly that widens the rev band and saves weight.

The en­gine also has the tur­bocharg­ing, di­rect fuel in­jec­tion and vari­able twin­camshaft tim­ing al­ready seen in the rest of the Eco­Boost line.

Change of Fo­cus: Down­siz­ing is all the rage at Ford

Power of one litre: Thenew en­gine will give the Fi­esta and Fo­cus hy­brid­like econ­omy

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