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Ford's Start Concept, the showcase for the company's upcoming three-cylinder EcoBoost engine
New EcoBoost engine is expected to replace Ford's naturally aspirated 1.6-liter inline-4 engine

When we've talked about Ford's EcoBoost turbocharged engines in the past, it pertained to four-cylinder and six cylinder engines. Ford claims that its four-cylinder EcoBoost engines give the power and performance of a six-cylinder, while the six-cylinder EcoBoost engines give the power and performance of an eight-cylinder engine.

So we're assuming that Ford's new three-cylinder EcoBoost will give the performance of a small four-cylinder engine. The new 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine is expected to have CO2 emissions of less than 100g/km -- it is also said to generate around 120 hp.

According to Ford, the EcoBoost three-cylinder engine would be a prime candidate to replace the naturally aspirated 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine in the upcoming Fiesta. The 1.6-liter engine in the Fiesta generates 119 hp and delivers fuel economy ratings of 30 mpg city and 40 mpg highway.

The numbers generated by the 1.6-liter engine are already quite good compared to its competition, but with the added cost and complexity of using turbocharging technology, we'd hope that the EcoBoost three-cylinder would be able to net at least another 5+ mpg in both the city and on highway.

“Ford engineers have experimented with the idea of a three-cylinder engine for the past twenty years, but felt the power that could be achieved from such an engine configuration couldn't be made substantial enough to offer a practical solution for smaller vehicles,” said Ford in a press release. “That's all changed with the advanced yet affordable Ford EcoBoost technology.”

While the EcoBoost three-cylinder engine is the main news here, the engine is featured with a futuristic design study from Ford: the Start Concept. The Start Concept is merely a design exercise and has no chance of seeing future production.

"As a team, we engaged in a philosophical discussion that yielded a common vision. To create a beautiful object that spoke to us emotionally as well as intellectually", explains Freeman Thomas, design director. "The exterior design is simple with purposeful proportions and refined surface language normally found on vehicles in premium segments."

The exterior of the Start Concept is definitely interesting, but hopefully this design language won't filter down to future Ford vehicles.

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By mgilbert on 4/22/2010 1:14:27 PM , Rating: 3
Sounds good, but how about a 4 cylinder Diesel hybrid???

And why is it that concept cars never make it production, especially considering how much the public likes them?

RE: Diesel
By Motoman on 4/22/2010 1:32:43 PM , Rating: 5
...because most concept cars are totally impractical for mass production.

RE: Diesel
By mgilbert on 4/22/2010 1:47:18 PM , Rating: 3
I'd think they could at least make a car that looks like a concept car, even if the technology inside and under the hood is the same as what we have today.

RE: Diesel
By mdogs444 on 4/23/2010 8:49:50 AM , Rating: 3
They tried that...Isuzu Vehicross, Toyota MR2 Spyder, Subaru Baja truck, etc.

The physical appearance is obviously to each persons own liking or disliking. But the fact is they just don't sell enough to make them profitable after investing in R&D and producing on a small scale...especially when not attempting to sell at luxury prices.

RE: Diesel
By gregoryvg on 4/23/2010 11:15:54 AM , Rating: 2
I hope they bring the MR2 back someday. I couldn't afford to buy one back in the day, but could probably swing one nowadays.

RE: Diesel
By ksherman on 4/22/2010 1:47:47 PM , Rating: 4
And also many don't comply with NHTSB regulations (such as mirror/headlight/tail light sizes, crash ratings etc.).

RE: Diesel
By porkpie on 4/22/2010 1:58:40 PM , Rating: 5
You think all those voluptuous curves come cheap? The looks of most cars are predetermined by what can be stamped out easily in sheet metal. Also, some concepts have visibility or safety issues with the design.

RE: Diesel
By Phoque on 4/22/2010 6:23:32 PM , Rating: 1
"The looks of most cars are predetermined by what can be stamped out easily in sheet metal".

I doubted what you wrote, but then I concur:

RE: Diesel
By jjmcubed on 4/22/2010 1:46:08 PM , Rating: 2
Diesels are always a premium, as are hybrids. Add the two together and you have great gas mileage at a not so great price.

RE: Diesel
By Blight AC on 4/22/2010 2:50:11 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. The Diesel + Hybrid seems like a win. However, the double premium would be rough. You either get a horrible econo-box type car that's no fun to drive, but it's affordable or it would be too expensive to be worth the fuel savings. However, it would probably come with a nice Tax Credit regardless. :D

RE: Diesel
By JediJeb on 4/22/2010 2:12:43 PM , Rating: 3
Better yet a turbocharged 3 cylinder Diesel for the Fiesta.

RE: Diesel
By ImSpartacus on 4/22/2010 2:43:14 PM , Rating: 2
Amen, I would totally snag one of those.

RE: Diesel
By YashBudini on 5/14/2010 9:03:53 PM , Rating: 2
The average American will refuse to service such a vehicle properly with synthetic oil at reasonable intervals.

Detroit is trying to get cars to end up on the scrap heap faster so that they can sell more cars.

RE: Diesel
By NullSubroutine on 4/22/2010 4:32:51 PM , Rating: 1
As much as many of us in the US would like to get some of the nice diesels like they have in Europe, but alas, our emission "standards" (led by California) make it impossible.

RE: Diesel
By knutjb on 4/22/2010 7:13:20 PM , Rating: 2
The lack of diesels in the US market have little to do with emissions. It is directly tied to the fuel user market. Trains, airplanes, and semi-trucks consume nearly all of the diesel in the US market. If Diesels were to flood the market fuel costs would skyrocket removing any long term fuel savings.

If it were only emissions the cars would be here.

RE: Diesel
By Alexvrb on 4/22/2010 9:23:35 PM , Rating: 2
Don't count emissions standards out. California (and the Federal government, to a lesser extent) constantly tighten up standards. It doesn't make it impossible, but it is an additional roadblock that turns off many manufacturers.

Sometimes they get around it with lots of diesel R&D, some delay/cancel their diesel efforts (Honda, as an example), others throw urea solutions in the vehicle and call it a day.

RE: Diesel
By porkpie on 4/22/2010 10:38:19 PM , Rating: 3
"The lack of diesels in the US market have little to do with emissions. "

This isn't true at all. Eemission standards are the reason Chrysler killed their popular diesel Jeeps (though they eventually brought some back with an engine redesigned to meet the higher standards), and several other automakers have said the amount of plumbing required to make a diesel meet CA standards makes them impractical for the US market.

Also, you have the economics a bit reversed. Diesel is more expensive than gas in the US because refineries produce less, due to the lower demand, which means it benefits less from economics of scale. In Europe diesel is very popular, and sells for the same or less than gasoline.

120 HP Vehicle
By lightfoot on 4/22/2010 2:16:44 PM , Rating: 2
When I'm looking at vehicles with 120 or less HP there is only one question I ask: Does it mow grass or plow sidewalks? If this does both, then I think Ford might have a real winner on their hands.

RE: 120 HP Vehicle
By Samus on 4/22/2010 3:10:18 PM , Rating: 3
I owned a 1.5L Mazda Protege with 96hp a decade ago, and it was one of the best cars I've ever owned.

It wasn't a rice burner like a Civic S, but it also got 35mpg hwy, 30mpg city, really good numbers for a car bigger than a Civic, and due to its low weight (2900lbs) for its class, was plenty powerful. It's top speed was around 95mph.

High HP engines are nice, but not completely neccessary. For a student or occasional driver, the 1.5L Protege was just fine.

Also keep in mind that for years the Mazda Miata had a 120HP 1.8L engine and could best a Mustang V8 in the slalom.

RE: 120 HP Vehicle
By AssBall on 4/22/2010 3:33:12 PM , Rating: 2
The Protege's were nice practical cars, they weren't "slow", and had well done transmissions imo.

RE: 120 HP Vehicle
By Spuke on 4/22/2010 5:12:45 PM , Rating: 2
What model year Protege was it? I don't remember them having only 96 hp. Was this a non-US model?

The Protege's were nice practical cars, they weren't "slow", and had well done transmissions imo.
I had a 1989 VW with 98 hp, was lighter than that Protege and it was slow as hell. It got the job done though but its purpose was to get me from point A to point B on the cheap. In hindsight, I should've bought the '89 Civic Si instead. That was a much more fun car. The VW was slow AND boring.

RE: 120 HP Vehicle
By Targon on 4/22/2010 6:54:20 PM , Rating: 2
By slow, I am guessing that you mean the acceleration sucked. In many cases, cars are tuned at the factory to perform a certain way, and that is where some misconceptions come from. It IS possible to adjust these settings to provide a bit better performance in a number of cases, but it is all about knowing how to perform the update without screwing something up.

RE: 120 HP Vehicle
By Spuke on 4/23/10, Rating: 0
RE: 120 HP Vehicle
By wired00 on 4/28/2010 2:49:32 AM , Rating: 2
[quote]So with some magical adjustments, you can make a 96hp car fast. Yeah right and yes I read what you posted. Sorry but a bit better performance from a 96 hp car still equals a slow car. I've owned a few slow cars, they are what they are. Not a big deal.[/quote]

Its called the final drive and other gear ratios in the gear box.

RE: 120 HP Vehicle
By MonkeyPaw on 4/22/2010 5:22:32 PM , Rating: 2
I had a 1997 Protege that was just replaced in 2009. It did a good job, getting about 30mpg regardless of driving condition. The MPG suddenly dropped into the teens, and we found that it needed about $1500 in repairs, so we traded it in on a Suzuki SX4. Our goal is to get a nice car and run it into the ground, but alas, our SX4 was totaled a month after we bought it!

RE: 120 HP Vehicle
By afkrotch on 4/22/2010 8:34:16 PM , Rating: 2
If they brought some of the other Japanese cars over, wonder how they'd do. I had a 92 Daihatsu Mira J Turbo before. 3 cyclinder, 0.6L, with 65 hp. Course the car was light enough for some amateur weightlifters to bench.

RE: 120 HP Vehicle
By Alexvrb on 4/22/2010 9:27:14 PM , Rating: 2
Modern safety standards (and expected modern "standard features"). You'd end up with something bigger, heavier, and with a more powerful engine to make up for the weight. In other words, back to where we stand now.

RE: 120 HP Vehicle
By afkrotch on 4/23/2010 1:23:05 AM , Rating: 2
Install a rollcage, viola. Good to go.

RE: 120 HP Vehicle
By Alexvrb on 4/24/2010 3:33:52 PM , Rating: 2
Great, then you've got another Mini Cooper, only minus airbags. Rollcage doesn't help with secondary impact. Hit something immobile, or of considerably greater mass, and you'll be wishing you had crumple zones, air bags, and more of both. I think even a Honda Fit gets better overall crash ratings than a Mini Cooper.

RE: 120 HP Vehicle
By Alexvrb on 4/22/2010 9:46:40 PM , Rating: 2
The only Protege motor I have been impressed by was a DOHC 1.8L I owned a long time ago. It was a considerably more powerful engine (IIRC about 125 ponies), which was a decent amount for a small naturally aspirated 4 cyl back in the early 90s. So in the lightweight Protege, it was pretty quick. Reliable car too, well except for its tendency to break CV axles and some niggling electrical issues involving the seatbelt motors and sunroof.

RE: 120 HP Vehicle
By Samus on 4/22/2010 10:45:54 PM , Rating: 1
I was referring to my 98 Protege. The last of the Gen2 platform. Gen 3 99-03.5 brought modern 1.6 and 2.0l engines with coilpack ignition, etc.

But Gen1 had a 1.8l SOHC with decent power. Gen2, however, had the 1.8l DOHC MX-5 Miata engine which had a turbo manifold (easy bolt-on turbo) which caused a lot of Protege folks to toast their transmission syncronizers. Having boost in a Protege was a joke anyway, there was no LSD to deal with the torque.

However, 95% of Gen 2 Protege's, 95-98, had 1.5l DOHC (code Z5) motors, which were exceptionally reliably and VERY fast reving due to very short stroke. The best part is they weren't interference motors (most Mazda motors aren't) like many cheaper motors at the time, especially Korean motors.

But, as I said, it has 96hp, 92 tq. It didn't feel slow because it reved quick and redlined high, and looking back on it was probably grossly misrated. The point is, it got over 30MPG regardless of how much you beat the shit out of it, and considering the size of the car (between a civic and accord) and the safety equipment and built quality, it was an exceptional vehicle and I STILL see lots of gen2's around...mostly automatic.

RE: 120 HP Vehicle
By Alexvrb on 4/24/2010 3:40:51 PM , Rating: 2
I didn't say the gen 2 1.5L DOHC was garbage, far from it. I am saying it never impressed me in terms of performance, not like their older 1.8 DOHC did back in '92.

RE: 120 HP Vehicle
By piroroadkill on 4/23/2010 4:27:05 AM , Rating: 2
I drive a van with 59hp when it was new, and it's now 13 years old, and it feels fine (it's not particularly light). 120hp in a light vehicle is more than fast enough

RE: 120 HP Vehicle
By mrzed on 4/23/2010 1:50:11 PM , Rating: 2

The rest of the world uses cars mainly for transportation. Up here in Canuckistan, I drive a 1993 passat diesel that makes 90hp in a mid-sized car. In Europe and Asia, normal family cars commonly make under or around 100hp.

If my 90hp can move my biggish sedan comfortably at 110kph, then 120 in a smaller car should be just fine. But it won't do much for the size of your member. For that, you need at least 200hp, preferably 300.

RE: 120 HP Vehicle
By Spuke on 4/23/2010 6:48:10 PM , Rating: 2
The rest of the world uses cars mainly for transportation.
No different here in the US for the most part BUT we do have a cultural affinity for cars that most of the world does not. So we have expectations that others may not have. No big deal, we're not all exactly the same you know.

By Etern205 on 4/22/2010 1:10:53 PM , Rating: 2
I'm more interested as to when they are going to add a reverse to this?

RE: @
By Aloonatic on 4/22/2010 1:19:06 PM , Rating: 4
As seen in of the funniest Top Gear features. There must be a youtube clip of it.

RE: @
By Blight AC on 4/22/2010 3:16:13 PM , Rating: 2
That clip is epic!

RE: @
By wiz220 on 4/22/2010 4:09:16 PM , Rating: 2
LOL! "...especially when your knees are the crumple zone". Awesome.

RE: @
By gilboa on 4/22/2010 5:49:11 PM , Rating: 2
I was literally rolling on the floor laughing when he entered the "ethnicity multi-cultural-something". Thanks!

- Gilboa

By AssBall on 4/22/2010 3:29:39 PM , Rating: 3
Screw that noise, Jack. I want a 12 cylinder eco-boost motor, damnnit. Vroom...

By JediJeb on 4/22/2010 5:01:17 PM , Rating: 2
Put that V12 Ecoboost in a GT90 and I will drool.

By lightfoot on 4/22/2010 5:32:00 PM , Rating: 2
How about a modular array of four of these engines? That would put you at 480 HP not to mention that maintenance would be a snap, you'd just pull out one of the engines and drop in a new one. 480 HP really isn't too bad for only 4.0 liters of displacement.

Sorry, I can't race you today. I'm down to only nine cylinders - one of my engines is in the shop.

Given the economies of scale it might even be cost effective.

By Lazarus Dark on 4/22/2010 7:15:21 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think that's really practical, but I seriously would love a performance-oriented all-electric vehicle with an electric motor on each wheel. Then give independant control... You could engage one side in forward, then the other side in reverse and do 360's!

By bobsmith1492 on 4/22/2010 9:39:07 PM , Rating: 2
Drive it like a tank with two control levers; you wouldn't even need the wheels to turn.

I want...(to see)
By Anoxanmore on 4/22/2010 1:19:05 PM , Rating: 2
That fiesta turbo four cylinder...

RE: I want...(to see)
By MonkeyPaw on 4/22/2010 2:26:12 PM , Rating: 2
Buy one in Forza 3, I think you can bolt on a turbo for a few CR. ;)

RE: I want...(to see)
By Anoxanmore on 4/22/2010 2:56:20 PM , Rating: 2
Meanie :P

RE: I want...(to see)
By ImSpartacus on 4/22/2010 3:47:41 PM , Rating: 2
That'd be a neat concept, but I would think the cost of an "ecoboost" engine would offset the decreased engine cost.

Therefore, An ecoboost 4 cylinder would cost more than a regular 4 cynlinder.

However, that is a complete conjecture. If anyone has solid details on the subject, please share.

RE: I want...(to see)
By Alexvrb on 4/22/2010 9:58:35 PM , Rating: 2
Ecoboost is just a marketing name for their engine designs employing various advanced (but pre-existing) technologies. However, every advanced feature you add can add cost, to the point that an "ecoboost" 1.0L 3 cylinder can cost more than Ford's current less-complicated naturally aspirated 1.6L 4 cylinder. So it has to be good enough to justify the extra cost.

Obviously Ford feels they can build them at a price where the extra efficiencies outweigh the cost differences. Not only does the increases mileage attract buyers, it also helps bring their fleet average up to meet the Feds upcoming aggressive new CAFE standards.

But why?
By omgwtf8888 on 4/22/2010 5:03:28 PM , Rating: 2
Why do we always see these awesome looking cars that get great mileage. Something that looks like this with a fairly robust engine would sell a ton....

So why do we always abandon the looks.

The Volt was the same thing.. awesome looking design sold out for a box...

Wake up American car makers, our love affair with our cars is skin deep... we want sexy!

RE: But why?
By Spuke on 4/22/2010 5:24:46 PM , Rating: 2
So why do we always abandon the looks.
Because, for the 6 billionth time, sexy sheetmetal costs more money to manufacture. And the market for sexy looking economy cars in the US does not exist outside of the two DT posters asking for that. The market for eco-cars are people looking for reliable, fuel efficient transportation. If those people want sexy, they buy something else!!

RE: But why?
By Targon on 4/22/2010 6:57:38 PM , Rating: 2
I think you are wrong here, people want both looks and economy in one package, but are normally forced to go one way or the other. Now, the Focus RS...that is something that would shock people here in North America, because people don't associate the Focus with a car that could POSSIBLY have 300+ horsepower.

RE: But why?
By Spuke on 4/23/2010 10:01:13 AM , Rating: 2
that is something that would shock people here in North America, because people don't associate the Focus with a car that could POSSIBLY have 300+ horsepower.
We have people here in the US that are shocked (STILL) that ANY 4 cyl car has more than 100 hp. When you point out the Evo's and STi's and etc, they are literally in disbelief. Some even call you a liar until you show them the manufacturers website with said car. LOL!

I think you are wrong here, people want both looks and economy in one package
I'm exactly right. See this link for cars that sell the best in the US.

Pretty cars are polarizing and Americans don't like polarizing designs in their everyday cars. They want practicality and reliability foremost with economy coming in second.

By kjboughton on 4/22/2010 2:21:41 PM , Rating: 1
This vehicle looks like it would crunch good against just about any surface. Chances of walking away without serious injury: slim.

RE: Awesome
By boogle on 4/23/2010 6:37:55 AM , Rating: 3
This vehicle looks like it would crunch good against just about any surface. Chances of walking away without serious injury: slim.

I sure hope it does crunch good. People don't walk away from serious crashes where the car didn't absorb the impact.

VW Polo BlueMotion
By Emma on 4/23/2010 5:59:56 AM , Rating: 1
The new Polo BlueMotion is powered by a new 1.2-litre TDI three-cylinder common rail diesel engine that produces 75HP and 133 lbs ft (180 Nm) of torque. It is mated to a five-speed manual gearbox that has longer gearing. Helping maximize fuel-efficiency are regenerative braking, an automatic Start/Stop system, low rolling resistance tires, bespoke bumpers, side skirts and an extended roof spoiler.

With a fuel-economy rating of 85.6 mpg by UK metrics, the new Polo BlueMotion has a theoretical range of over 800 miles (1,286 km) on a full tank. It’s also very clean to drive, emitting just 87 g/km of CO2.

RE: VW Polo BlueMotion
By cherrycoke on 4/24/2010 5:53:34 PM , Rating: 2
I'm real proud of them.

Small Correction to Caption
By Goty on 4/22/2010 2:06:26 PM , Rating: 2
The caption for the pictures reads, "Ford's Smart Concept...," and I'm guessing that it should say "Start" instead.

Looks like a good canidate...
By VoodooChicken on 4/22/2010 4:09:10 PM , Rating: 2
to play Cliffjumper in a future Transformer movie. I never liked Bumblebee much anyway, and definitely don't like the Mike Bay version.

Not a bad engine, but...
By silverblue on 4/22/10, Rating: 0
"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007

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