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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: 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.

"Let's face it, we're not changing the world. We're building a product that helps people buy more crap - and watch porn." -- Seagate CEO Bill Watkins

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