The Ford Start Concept Shows the Newest EcoBoost™ Engine

The Ford Start Concept is the first concept car created by Ford in more than three years. The car made its debut April 23, 2010, at the Beijing International Auto Show, also marking the first time Ford has unveiled an all-new concept vehicle a China show. The Start Concept is more than simply a design study. It previews a fuel-efficient three-cylinder EcoBoost™ engine with 1.0 liter of displacement and the power of a larger I-4 engine.

The Ford Start Concept was inspired in part by a growing global trend toward mass urbanization. The world’s top 20 mega-cities are home to consumers whose needs, attitudes and expectations may have more in common with mega-city dwellers in other nations than with their own countrymen. While these consumers share the challenges of living in an urban society, they also increasingly seek out product solutions that bring the best the world has to offer.

Today, more than 50 percent of the world’s population lives in an urban area. By 2050, that number is expected to skyrocket to more than 70 percent. Already, congested highways, space for parking, concerns over fuel efficiency as well as the availability and price of fuel are driving automakers to look at vehicles and personal transportation more differently than ever before.

“Our ambition with the Ford Start Concept was to design a car that goes beyond the practical realities of commuting in these mega cities, to go beyond just dressing the technology. We wanted to design a car you would also love,” explained Freeman Thomas, Design Director, Ford Motor Company.

Living in a mega city poses unique challenges and inspires unique lifestyles and attitudes. Just as traffic congestion issues are common in these geographic areas, the answers to solve the issues of a new generation of future small cars for these urban markets may also be found in the Ford Start Concept.


Ford powertrain engineers previewed something very real and close to being reality under the hood of the Ford Start Concept car. It’s an all-new and compact addition to the advanced Ford EcoBoost engine family. Consistent with Ford’s long-range goals to provide more power though sophisticated turbocharging and spark-ignited, direct-injection fuel management systems, the 1.0-liter Ford EcoBoost engine delivers power and torque comparable to a normally-aspirated I-4 powerplant. It is expected to have CO2 emissions under the 100 gm/km threshold.

This engine is coupled with a six-speed manual transmission which permits gear spacing to deliver performance without sacrificing fuel economy. The transmission easily handles the higher torque levels of the 1.0-liter Ford EcoBoost engine and together with the sporty handling of the Ford Start Concept, delivers the fun-to-drive characteristics that are at the core of the Ford brand DNA.


Located at the top of the console is a port to connect to the MyFord Mobile concept technology, which provides a seamless driver interface conducive to safe driving practices with personal handheld devices.

Without a smart phone, car-related functions including heating, ventilation and air conditioning, engine diagnostics and passenger airbag on/off function can be easily viewed and adjusted while driving through either voice activation or toggle and scroll controls located on the console. A wide, six-inch screen provides visuals.

As an added feature, when the driver inserts a smart phone in the docking station when the vehicle is in motion, access is available via the MyFord Mobile Concept to phone contacts and navigation tools through voice activation, as are all messaging, direction and communication features.

If the smart phone device is docked and the vehicle is parked and powered off, both the vehicle functions and icons from the user’s device are available via the MyFord Mobile Concept. Icons are displayed on the large screen through Bluetooth transfer. Car functions and the speaker system also are controlled through voice activation.

MyFord Mobile Concept restricts certain functions, such as texting, while driving.


“With the Ford Start Concept, we didn’t set out to design some sort of utilitarian concept to save the world, nor were we interested in following the competitive trend toward an overly noisy design language. What we did set out to do was design a personality driven car that exudes warmth, charm and aspiration…to design a car worth bonding with,” said J Mays, Group Vice President Design and Chief Creative Officer, Ford Motor Company.

Crisp highlights are incorporated into a smooth exterior shell constructed with lightweight composite body panels that snap-fit on an aluminum structure.

Ford’s trademark kinetic trapezoidal grill moves upward onto the rounded, sleek form, reducing the number of prominent openings from two to one and creating a face that’s both sporting and efficient.  The entire exterior surface of the Ford Start Concept has been designed with flush-mounted aerodynamic features designed to cheat the wind – providing a minimal amount of drag while achieving maximum fuel efficiency.

The innovative hybrid aluminum, high-strength steel body construction features a lightweight aluminum safety cell that provides a rigid attachment structure for the glass and roof, as well as housing side curtain air bags. All exterior body panels are made from deformable, pre-colored recyclable composites.

Slim, laser-cut LED headlamps provide high-intensity light through trapezoid tubes. Two sets of running lamps, including a pair located in the headlamp design and a pair of lower running lamps, provide nighttime illumination.

Created by a global team of designers working at Ford’s Irvine (Calif.) Strategic Concepts Group Studios, this sporty, futuristic concept combines near-production Ford EcoBoost engine technology, slick aerodynamics and low weight in an environmentally friendly package with reduced greenhouse emissions, all wrapped in an exciting design.

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Simon L looks like the Ka concept from ages ago... I like it.. I miss my ka
8 months(s) ago via
jerry i like it very very much.way ahead of the competition.the ka inferior to this car and it will sell well.well enginered and very futuristicly sure it will deliver 50 mpg.this car could do what the 65 mustang did.scramble the competition. japanese are trembling.they will copy for sure.go for it FMCo.
4 year(s) ago via
Dave Beautiful car; obviously garnered from the VW. However, if the vlaue in the tank is there I personally think the audiance will buy (as long as the price is right). I own a 5.0 GT and love it, but it's all about money to upgrade and keep the thing running. Don't get me wrong, the 5.0 is a wonderful car and I wouldn't trade it for anything. I would hope that in the near future Ford would go past the petrol based engine concept. Yes, in the near term it makes money (to go with oil burning), but can you imagine the FIRST company that produces an alternative fuel car? Hydrogen is really achievable, it just takes a company that is willing to take the risk and partner with suppliers (or create the supply) to develop the industry. Why keep after something (oil) that is clearly going "out of style and accessibility." Electricity...who has the money truly to keep paying for batteries and upkeep (and the waste by-product)? Ford! You are truly American, make something we really need...even if we can only have "any color as long as it is black." We need visionairy, not profit. The profits will come; take a risk. Grandfather Ford did.
4 year(s) ago via
Chuck I love the car! I love the colors! Sounds like you have incorporated a lot of forward thinking technology like the safety shell and composite panels. Pick the right price point and it's a winner. I am looking forward to buying a V6 mustang later this year now that it's got such a fantastic engine. In the meantime I will continue to drive my 83 GLX 5 speed 5.0 Notchback Mustang.
4 year(s) ago via
Jozef This Car is horible. Go to back 20ears desing in world.
4 year(s) ago via
Gerald Karnowski Seriously, This is not a car for everyone. Lets face facts , The environment is changing as far as peoples needs . Most of the time there is one or two people in the car . Who needs a pick up in an urban setting . If people look at their needs , and already have a family car , This could be the niche car they want on their drive from the suburbs to their job in the city , from their home to the mall , or grocery store. Nice to be looking forward to a new Start .
4 year(s) ago via
Dave I like it, and although I have a relatively short drive to work, I would like to see how this would handle as an all around driver (highway road trips, etc.). I don't want the feeling of being blown around the highway in a tin can. Any word on the interior noise and handling at highway speeds, etc.? Also something this small would have to be priced in the $10K-$12K range or else I'd rather ride a motorcycle.
4 year(s) ago via
ereilad Looks like a nice second car. Gotta keep the price down though. Should get close to 50 miles per gallon if they make it light enough.
4 year(s) ago via
whatmorecanyousay Be careful not to overprice this car. I see this as a summer car for americans or a third family car. Price it wrong and it will not sell to any demographic. I would buy this car for local transport vs the Electric Golf carts showing up at beach towns in NJ. Oh and the electric beach cars are registered and street legal, some can hold 6 people or more and move at 30mph. And yes priced right. Even a custom strech HUMMER facad is less than 9k and has a range of 45 miles at full capacity of 8 people and package goods for BYO resturants. Yes they have tags and are legal within the town limits.
4 year(s) ago via
Denny A jelly Bean on wheels! That is funny, but you hit the nail right on the head. Did you see the shift throw? Wow looks pretty long to me considering my Pony only has under a 1.0" throw (modified with a MGW shifter). To me another death trap, I'll stick to my GT Mustang and full size Silverado.
4 year(s) ago via
Suzanne Beauty's in the eye of the beholder! No kidding---I think this is really sharp looking!
4 year(s) ago via
craig shulman Do not miss the "Barchetta" on this one. BUILD IT AND THEY WILL COME!
4 year(s) ago via
Schendel Nice looking ride, impossible to mass produce... Who in the UsA wants a turbo 3cly..... I sell for a Ford dealership, and if this motor cannot surpass a focus 2.0 acceleration, why produce it.
4 year(s) ago via
Hamilton Aro Pereira I dream to see this car on the streets soon. I believe it will be the next FORD's best seller.
4 year(s) ago via
John S. Dawson II I have always been a Ford fan, my first car was a 1972 Gran Torino Sport with a 351C 4V, ancient compared to today's standards. Ford has spent millions of dollars on new innovative designs and concepts, while the rest of the automakers have been content with what they have, Ford set their sights on the future and it has paid off. The new Ford Smart is another example of Ford leading the way into the future of automotive technology. I sincerely hope that Ford builds this vehicle, it has the lines of the new and also a little of the "old school" look, long hood, short rear. While it is impossible to design a car like this to have the looks of a Shelby GT500 or a Ford GT, Ford has done an excellent job with the design and functionality of the Smart. I still love the "old school" and the new Fords, but I would be very happy to have a Ford Smart parked in my driveway.
4 year(s) ago via
Paulo R Renner My candidate to "the car of the 21 century" congratulations to Ford and Freeman Thomas Paulo from Brazil
4 year(s) ago via
Kerri in San Diego I have to echo the above comments and say that this is a fun looking little car. If it hit the market, I'd definitely take it for a test drive with an eye to buy.
4 year(s) ago via
Michael in Texas This is great, and will be a solid addition to the portfolio. Looks god and is innovative, ignore the comments from folks who comment on style. This is an economical vehicle that focuses on specific attributes that many people want to see now. For folks who want other attributes of style and performance - Ford already has it, let's not duplicate everything from the high end in smaller form in this. The concept and design are grear. Please continue forward with development, Ford and the people will not be sorry.
4 year(s) ago via
Newton Terry Wow... 3 cylinder drive ... Led headlights ... I've gone green with my house ... These advances make it easier to go green with transportation ... When the cost is economical, i'll buy this car or one like it... Thanks Ford for going green...
4 year(s) ago via
Jean Carlo Amazing Style...Simplemente Espectacular!!
4 year(s) ago via
Russ of louisville Lets get with it, and put these new designs on the road. The day of the of the Granny car has past. This is 2010, with i phones, HD flat screen TV's, MP3 players, Netbooks, Segway's and parked in the drive is the 100 year old car designed automobile. Does this make sense? I am in my 60's and can't wait to see what is next. Let the one's that can not deal with the new designs discuss it on their i phones or Face book while watching their HD flat screen TVs.
4 year(s) ago via
jacqueline thomas amazing, amazing amazing,,,,,40 years ago who would ever know the technology of today........Again as your sister I am very proud that you are my brother......YOU GO FREEMAN
4 year(s) ago via
Don of Lexington Just Do It! Great design work matched with amazing EcoBoost engine -- what is not to like about this urban car? This is a winner... this is a really smart car.
4 year(s) ago via
Cal M Really, really nice! Please produce it for the environmentally-conscious, future-leaning public!
4 year(s) ago via
Ed I have been selling Fords for over 35 years. I think anything that has style whcih I think this vehicle has and economy and forward thinking in new concepts is very important to Ford and my ability to make a living and keeping jobs in the United States. I think you must take risk and explore all phases of this very important industry. I will always support industry that is moving forward and testing the market.
4 year(s) ago via
Carl W Looks great,. It is not easy to make micro cars looks stylish, but Ford design team makes it happen. Also very pleased to see some info on the upcoming 3 cylinder powerplant. Ford looks to be well prepared for the future tough co2 regs. Ford needs more International Auto SHO events with so much new product coming out!!
4 year(s) ago via
John Design cues are 10 years ahead of current gen B and C cars, and at first glance the structure looks easier to build. Interior is modern and simple. This should take 50% plus of the A/B segments. The power plant looks very promising as well. Ford should really look at building this... It's tough to think of reasons not to..
4 year(s) ago via
Alex K That car is amazing!! I love the thin LED lights, I would like to see more of these concept cars in the future and hopefully this one on the road!!
4 year(s) ago via
edvard I hate to be negative, but it seems that the trend these days in regards to small urban cars is to make them as ugly as possible. Seriously- this thing looks like a jellybean on wheels. The offerings from Ford, GM, Toyota, and Nissan are all of the same design language: rounded, generic, unoffensive and unmemorable. I think BMW proved you can make small sexy with their Mini Cooper. Honda's Fit shows that you can have tasteful styling. The rest of the small cars I've seen of late do nothing for me. Even if I'm only spending $10,000 I want a car that has personality and style. Not merely a wrapper. Ford has some nice designs these days with their F-150, Mustang, Taurus, Edge, and so forth. But I think you guys have clearly fallen into the generic design syndrome when it comes to small cars.
4 year(s) ago via
victor reid Your crazy if you don't build this. Even if we can't get it in the USA it is light years ahead of the current Ka.
4 year(s) ago via
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