While Chevy and Nissan and Toyota are looking to electric and hybrid technology to boost fuel mileage in anticipation of increased CAFE standards, Ford has taken a different approach: small, lightweight engines and turbochargers. It’s what Ford did with the Explorer (28 mpg highway), F-150 (22 mpg highway), and the forthcoming sporty Focus ST (not yet rated, expected 30+ mpg highway).
Those engines range in displacement from 1.6 liter four-cylinders to 3.5 liter V-6′s, and each pumps out the power of a disproportionately larger engine while maintaining the fuel efficiency of a small engine.
As announced this morning at the Frankfurt Auto Show, Ford of Europe is at it again.
The European-spec Ford Focus will be getting a new 1.0 liter three-cylinder EcoBoost engine. The new three-cylinder turbo will come in two variations, either a 99-horsepower version with a 5-speed manual transmission, or a 120-hp engine with a 6-speed manual transmission.
“By offering the Focus with an advanced small-displacement petrol engine Ford is not only making a major statement on how serious we are about engine downsizing – it also shows the strength of our development and engineering capabilities. To produce a 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine with such impressive performance and fuel economy is a clear example of our commitment to be class-leading in fuel economy,” said Graham Hoare, Executive Director, Powertrain, Ford of Europe.
The new engine won’t be the track star that the upcoming Focus ST promises to be, but it does have other advantages, such as expected fuel mileage that could get close to, or surpass, 40 mpg highway. And, Ford says the new engine defies the typical turbocharger shortcoming of “turbo lag,” making usable power as low as 1300 rpm’s.
Of course, this engine is slated for Europe only, and while it probably wouldn’t satisfy Americans’ thirst for size and power, it would go a long way toward satisfying Ford’s requirement to get a 54.5 mpg fleet average by 2025.