Ford gears up for downsizing engines
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.
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