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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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RE: Nice idea
By Samus on 6/3/2011 1:07:45 AM , Rating: 2
Ask any VW TDI owner about the reliability of their turbo system and they'll tell you it is solid well into 200,000 miles. It's actually all the simple stuff that breaks...

Modern turbo's rarely fail. Most failures are from improper maintenance, a repair that was done incorrectly, or a modification (ie performance chip, which can be quite safe if appropriate upgrades are done.)

Crystler, GM, and to some extent Mitsubishi all gave early turbocharged vehicles a bad rap back in the 80's by improperly engineering simple things like cooling systems, wastegates, and even exhaust manifolds. They were chronically unreliable (I'm thinking Lebaron and Syclone/Typhoon specifically, but the Starion and early Eclipse' had its shortcomings)

Modern turbocharging is super reliable. Turbo's are properly cooled with oil and liquid, negating the expansion of cooling lines when hot (turbo timers are not neccessary.) Transmissions are now built with larger overdrive bands or just use dual-clutch technology to handle more torque. Wastegates and blowoff valves are electronically controlled and sensored. Fuel injection has come a LONG way since the 80's, which was most of the implementation problem back then since fuel injection and turbocharging were both new technologies for American and Japanese manufactures (Porsche had fuel injection in the early 70's, more than a decade before Ford or GM had a production fuel injection vehicle.)

You can have peach of mind that if you buy a boosted vehicle, you'll still be maintaining just the annoying simple stuff like brakes, suspension, various sensors, and tires...and with Ford, those annoying squeeks and creeks that come along the way ;)

I've owned many Ford and Mercury vehicles, and currently own TWO Focii, so I know all about the squeeks and creeks!

RE: Nice idea
By dtgoodwin on 6/3/2011 11:19:08 AM , Rating: 4
Don't ask many 1999-2003 TDI owners. Many of them, including myself, experienced snapped turbo shafts that often hydro locked the engine due to oil intake. Fortunately, I knew of the potential and when mine happened, I shut it down before enough oil made it from the damaged turbo into the engine. I was also fortunate to avoid the problem of the engine destroying itself by starting to run off the oil coming in through the intake which has also happened to some. VW finally covered the $3500 repair on mine (turbo is integrated into the exhaust manifold), but only after 2 months of arguing. Mine happened around 60K of the 100K factory power train warranty.

I also had a bad injector pump from the factory. From day one I had horrible noise, and shortly thereafter the engine started misfiring. My shop didn't ever find anything wrong until I took them for a ride. In 65K miles, I had over $5k of work done, and 21 trips to the service center (many other small items as well).

Sorry to rant, but I am STILL angry over it.

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