Ford to Make 3-Cylinder Engine
Ford's 3-cylinder, 8-speed EcoBoost engine may be the smallest powerplant the company has ever made.
Ford is taking a look at the powertrain of its future, and in a nutshell, it's going to be small — at least under the hood. That's because the Blue Oval is preparing a 1.0-liter, three-cylinder EcoBoost engine, claimed to be the smallest engine the company has ever built.
Ford says this baby EcoBoost will offer output comparable to a normally aspirated 1.6-liter, four-cylinder powerplant. Horsepower and torque ratings were not immediately available, but Ford product boss Derrick Kuzak pegged it to be a "dynamo" in a news release.
For comparison purposes, the 1.6-liter engine in the Ford Fiesta is rated at 120 hp.
Look for this tiny engine to make its way into smaller Ford vehicles around the globe — including the United States — in the coming years, though a timeline for production was not immediately announced. Ford says 2012 or 2013 is the window for launch.
"Clearly, leadership in fuel economy depends on powertrain technology," Kuzak said at an event in Dearborn, Mich., on Thursday morning.
Ford showed the turbocharged three-cylinder on the B-Max at the Geneva motor show this spring and said it will elaborate on the mill this fall at the Frankfurt motor show. Engineers in the United Kingdom developed the engine, and it's likely to be marketed heavily in Europe, where fuel costs are considerably higher than in the United States.
The small unit dips into the EcoBoost technology bin and employs turbocharging, direct injection and twin-independent variable camshaft timing.
Ford on Thursday also announced plans to add an in-house-designed eight-speed automatic transmission, a move that allows it to keep pace with premium carmakers such as Mercedes-Benz and BMW, and Detroit rival Chrysler, which will bring an eight-speed gearbox to its flagship 300 sedan. Ford didn't specify what vehicles will get the transmission.
The company also announced plans to build its next transmission for hybrid vehicles in-house, and production will ramp up early next year. The gearbox is an electronic CVT and will be built in a factory in suburban Detroit.