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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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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:

"The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak." -- Robert Heinlein

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