Ford Announces 3-Cylinder EcoBoost Engine

By Harrison Card

Small engine seems likely for North American market.

DEARBORN, MICH. – Riding the recent success of its line of EcoBoost engines, Ford is expanding the lineup to include a 3-cylinder, 1.0-liter engine. Ford says, that its newest EcoBoost design will feature comparable power numbers to a 1.6-liter four cylinder while improving fuel economy. [1]

EcoBoost Engine Success

Ford’s EcoBoost line has seen success in a number of vehicles, most remarkably in the full-size F-150 pickup. That 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 engine provides greatly improved fuel economy while still offering comparable power to a traditional V-8. If the engine is selling in a full size pickup, a very traditional market, its potential elsewhere seems unlimited. [2]

The EcoBoost engine family incorporates two important technologies to improve fuel economy and make power. Turbocharging, a method of forcing more air into the engine, allows a smaller sized engine to produce power levels on par with a larger one. Each EcoBoost engine uses this technology to make power.

The other main piece of technology present in the engine family is direct injection. Fuel injection has been the standard of fuel delivery for over 20 years and with good reason. Fuel injection offers a much more efficient path of fuel delivery than the traditional carburetor. Direct injection pressurizes the fuel and injects it directly into the combustion chamber. Injection into the combustion chamber of the engine allows for much greater efficiency. Direct injection provides greater control over the amount of fuel injected into each cylinder. The injectors also have an advantageous spray pattern that breaks the gasoline into very small droplets. This allows nearly all of the gasoline to be burned, providing increased power while significantly reducing emissions. [3]

Split Cooling System

In the new 3-cylinder EcoBoost, Ford has employed a number of other advancements to improve efficiency. A split cooling system heats the cylinder block before the cylinder head, a feature designed to save fuel during start up. The engine also features an offset crankshaft which improves the balance of the engine. Another feature is the casting of the exhaust manifold onto the cylinder head, a move that Ford claims will allow the engine to run a wider rpm band and optimize the fuel-air ratio. It will also save weight, though not very much. Lastly, the engine will feature variable camshaft timing, another fuel saving technique.

Ford has invested heavily in its EcoBoost line, and the project that started in 2006 seems to be paying off. While the timing of this new engine seems good, given the recent increase in fuel prices, the engine has been in development long before the recent hike.

Potential Vehicles

As for the vehicles the engine will appear in, the only confirmed model so far is the B-Max. This small, wagon-like model is based on the platform underpinning the Fiesta, but offers more cargo space. However, the B-Max will not be sold in America. Because the B-Max is based on the Fiesta makes the Fiesta a natural fit for the engine. The Ford Focus is another potential candidate although a 4-cylinder EcoBoost will be powering the high performance ST model.

References

[1] Ford Motor Company; Ford Adds New Fuel-Saving 1.0-Liter EcoBoost Engine and Eight-Speed Transmission to Powertrain Lineup; June 2, 2011

[2] Autoweek; Ford Says Optional EcoBoost V6 Engine Popular with F-150 Buyers; Rick Kranz; April 28, 2011

[3] Jalopnik; Going In-Depth With Ford’s Twin-Turbocharged V6 EcoBoost Engine; Ben Wojdyla; August 27, 2008

To view and/or print out a larger version of the “More With Less” picture, right click it with your mouse and then enlarge. Photo copyright the Ford Motor Company.

To understand EcoBoost, what it is and how it works, Ford has supplied the above chart to educate consumers about its proprietary engine technology.

To understand EcoBoost, what it is and how it works, Ford has supplied the above chart to educate consumers about its proprietary engine technology.