Ford has unveiled its latest EcoBoost engine, a three-cylinder one-liter capable of delivering up to 118 bhp, in turbocharged form, and up to 147 lbs.-ft. of torque during transient overboost, while producing less than 120 g/kms in next year's Focus and, according to sources at Ford, below 100 g/kms in the 2012 B-max. A 98 bhp non –turbo version will also be available.
This is the smallest engine Ford produce and will be available in 2013 model year products for US customers.
The direct injection engine is unique in that Ford has done away with the balancer shaft normally demanded to smooth out the firing irregularities of a three-cylinder. In what Ford claim is a world first, the flywheel and front pulley are engineered to be precisely out of balance to counter vibrations; careful design of the engine mounts and driveline also enhance the engine's smooth running, claims Ford.
Measuring just 11.25 inches front to back the engine will easily sit on a sheet of A4 paper, while the turbocharger, alternator and air-conditioning compressor are all on the front face of the engine leaving the rear largely flat for maximum clearance to absorb frontal impact with minimal intrusion into the passenger cell.
The exhaust manifold is cast into the cylinder head and then feeds into a single port to the Continental turbocharger which runs at peak speed of 248,000 rpm, 15% higher than the 1.6. The cylinder head is split longitudinally with two separate cooling systems, one each for the intake and exhaust.
Ford has focused on delivering peak torque from 1300 rpm, no easy achievement for a small capacity engine but, because of the pulse separation from the three cylinders it has been possible to use a lot more scavenging at low speeds where they're able to overlap the cams to get true scavenging into the turbo.
Ford has also conceded that in a much less sophisticated form it would make an ideal range extender.