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Ford Fiesta
Ford continues to milk the benefits of turbocharging

The automotive industry is quickly embracing turbocharging technology for gasoline engines which was once relegated to sports cars and luxury vehicles in an effort to improve fuel efficiency. Now vehicles ranging from "lowly" Chevrolet Cruze compact sedans to Ford F-150s (as witnessed by our article earlier today) are jumping on the bandwagon. 

A little over a year ago, Ford debuted its Start concept car which featured a brand new three-cylinder EcoBoost engine. While the vehicle is (and likely will remain) a concept, the engine has now been approved for production

The tiny 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine is turbocharged (obviously) and features an offset crankshaft to help improve fuel economy. It also features a split cooling system to warm up the cylinder block before the cylinder heads. In addition, other EcoBoost staples like direct injection and twin independent variable camshaft timing are included. The engine also weighs less than the current 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine used in the Fiesta

All of this technology means that the tiny 1.0-liter engine puts out the same or better power as a normally aspirated 1.6-liter engine while achieving “much higher fuel economy and lower emissions”. 

“No one’s ever built a three-cylinder engine quite like this," said Joe Bakaj, Ford VP of Global Powertrain Engineering

“Consumers are telling us they want to buy affordable vehicles that get many more miles per gallon,” said Kuzak. “Our new 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine will give consumers looking for hybrid-like fuel economy a new, more affordable choice.” 

Ford isn't ready to provide EPA numbers for the 1.0-liter EcoBoost just yet, but the company said that it will get much better fuel economy than the already good 30 mpg city/40 mpg highway rating of the Fiesta with the 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine.

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Three cylinder Ford engine
By marvinlee on 6/2/2011 5:11:20 PM , Rating: 3
Ford has an uncommonly astute plan to create an advanced, boosted, three cylinder engine. The balance is good, and very good with a single counter-rotating balance shaft. The firing interval is evenly spaced, the crankshaft is simple without the need for split journals, and the engine block lends itself to low cost manufacturing.

Reliability can be as good as conventional larger engines, given Ford's engineering talent. Three cylinder engines benefit from adaptive hydraulic engine mounts, and transmissions with the ability to dampen the wider power intervals. Ford knows how to create the right packaging so that the driver perceives a smooth, refined, driving experience.

As a side comment, Kubota builds some of the world's most reliable small diesel engines, many of which are three cylinder designs. Mine has been working faithfully for ten years with only oil and filter changes.

RE: Three cylinder Ford engine
By JediJeb on 6/2/2011 5:54:21 PM , Rating: 2
John Deere has been making good 3 cylinder diesel engines for tractors since at least the early 70's so there is a lot of information out there to be drawn upon to make a good one for cars.

Does Mercedes still make the 5 cylinder engines it once produced? Maybe that is something to look into to bridge the performance gap on the 4 and 6 cylinder engines.

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