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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: 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.

"Well, there may be a reason why they call them 'Mac' trucks! Windows machines will not be trucks." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

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