Smallest Ford Engine Ever! Three-Cylinder EcoBoost (and Two New Transmissions)

By Ford Social Member

We’ve got details on the smallest engine Ford has ever built, a new 1.0-liter EcoBoost™ three-cylinder. It’s not just efficient; it’s super efficient. Seriously – that displacement is the same as a cruiser motorcycle’s! Now, this engine wasn’t designed in response to current fuel prices, mind you; Ford has been aggressively creating a range of fuel-efficient powertrains as part of its mission to strengthen its array of fuel-efficient vehicles. How’s that working out so far? Ford currently has 12 vehicles that lead their sales segments in fuel economy and four vehicles that deliver at least 40 mpg, something no other automaker can match.

And Ford bested itself here, too, having never before built a regular production car engine with fewer than four cylinders. The story behind the new EcoBoost 1.0-liter began at the Ford Dunton Technical Centre in the U.K., which is the Ford epicenter for small-capacity engines. The goal here was to design a technically advanced three-cylinder that would deliver the same performance as a four-cylinder but with higher fuel economy and lower emissions. Talk about setting the bar high.

So, the Dunton engineers got to work, focusing on improving thermal efficiency and reducing friction of the engine’s internal moving parts, particularly during warm-up. That’s when an engine emits higher levels of CO2 and other pollutants. Advanced technology includes a Ford-designed split cooling system that allows the cylinder block to warm up before the cylinder head; faster cylinder block warm-ups save fuel (especially in cold weather). Also, an exhaust manifold has been cast into the cylinder head. The one-piece assembly lowers the temperature of the exhaust gases, enabling the engine to run in a wider rpm band with the optimum fuel-to-air ratio, not to mention it saves weight and allows the engine to operate more smoothly.

And EcoBoost technologies also make an appearance, such as turbocharging, direct injection and twin independent variable camshaft timing.

“No one’s ever built a three-cylinder engine quite like this. Not only is it one of the most technically advanced and efficient engines we’ve ever designed, but it will introduce a number of new technologies to the Ford engine lineup,” said Joe Bakaj, Ford Vice President of Global Powertrain Engineering.

You sharp-eyed readers might recognize the engine from the Ford Start concept car that debuted at Beijing in 2010, and more recently had its European debut in the Ford B-MAX at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show.

Ford is on track to deliver on its promise in 2006 of offering EcoBoost on 90 percent of its North American lineup by 2013 and to be producing 1.5 million EcoBoost engines globally. The next vehicles to get EcoBoost engines, the Edge and Explorer, arrive late this summer.

But wait, there’s more new news: As with the 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine, advanced technology will be a key feature of a Ford-designed, Ford-engineered and Ford-built eight-speed automatic transmission currently under development. It will utilize Ford next-generation clutch controls; an input torque sensor, which measures torque coming into the transmission and enables faster selection of the proper gear, thereby reducing hunting and helping smooth out shifts; and actuators built into the case for tighter, more precise control of hydraulic pressure.

Another new Ford transmission, to be installed in hybrid vehicles, starts production late this year at Van Dyke Transmission Plant in suburban Detroit. Full volume production is slated for the first quarter of 2012. It’s an e-CVT, or electronic continuously variable transmission, and will offer improved performance over the current unit. The current Ford Fusion Hybrid can reach a top speed of 47 mph on electricity and go as far as one mile. By next spring, Ford expects to be manufacturing more hybrid transmissions in North America than any other automaker or supplier. The new transmission replaces a unit currently made in Japan that is used today in Ford and Lincoln hybrids.

“In the last five years, we have made a record investment in new powertrains and fuel-saving technologies,” said Derrick Kuzak, Ford Group Vice President of Global Product Development. “Today, we have the freshest powertrain lineup in the industry. And there is plenty more coming.”
Brad B 08/30/2014
Hey Ford !  As a C-Max Hybrid owner I could see this engine being used on the hydrid engine package, 1 cylinder less would likely get about 7 to 9 more mpg ... and with no loss in performance !
T Craig-P71CV 09/23/2011
What car would this engine go into? Fiesta? Focus? I remember the Chevy Sprint with its three banger and it was averaging 50mpg highway, but it had a gutless 60 hp engine. But it was a great city car for the commuter. So how many ponies is Ford's three banger going to pump out? Will it be over 100 hp? over 200hp? and how many mpg does Ford expect to get out of it? I do like the concept of the split cooling system to warm the block before the heads, and the exhaust manifolds cast into the cylinder heads. I wonder if Ford will design 4 cylinder, V6 and V8 engines with this technology to make them more efficient as well?
Barrett Ward 08/15/2011
Another reason I want this engine is I have an 07' mtx 3 door ses focus and I get 31 city. A friend has a 12' focus and is getting 33-34 and he is not even trying. I would love to drive sensibly and creep up on 40 city and thank ford for allowing me to keep my gas money and save up to replace my wifes 08' edge with an '13 explorer :)
Barrett Ward 08/15/2011
I want this for a focus. Now. BTW, I will never buy any of the current trucks out there. Give me an F150 with the 2.0 ecoboost and a proper 6sp MANUAL and I will donate organs to get it. Chevy still sells the ancient 4.3 V6 that is significantly less powerful than the 2.0- So why not?
Karl Jacobs 06/04/2011
how much is an extended warranty?
Rahul Munna 06/04/2011
i want to know more about 3 cylinder boost mechanism!
Tim C 06/03/2011
ecoboost delivers impressive torque down low- if marketing would quit advertising useless horsepowerand compare torque available in actual everyday useage, I really think they might rethink some engine designs...there will always be a market for high horsepower engines, and bragging rights, but reality is we typically exceed 4000 rpm maybe .5% of a engines lifetime- yet being able to achieve 6000-7000 rpm means stroke limitations that reduce torque the other 99.5% of the time. if they would consider a 4500 redline, I bet off idle torque needed to accelerate from every stoplight could be increased substantially, without increasing boost(boost makes power, but it also burns more fuel). anyone thats ever driven a old bigblock knows how great it feels to have 450-500 ft-lb of torque off idle plant your butt in the seat effortlessly at every stoplight. horsepower rules at the races, but in everyday driving, off-idle torque is all youll feel 99% of the time.
my 06 mustang has ran a best of 13.78 @ 103 bone stock, but in everyday driving it dont have much bottom old 429 galaxie was probably a mid-16 second car, but to this day was the most powerful FEELING car I ever owned. with todays technology, that 429s 380 ft-lb @ 2300 rpm could probably be achieved with half the displacement- long as marketing would allow for less impressive peak hp and 1/4 mile times. let folks drive a old 2 ton galaxie with a 4000 rpm rev limiter, and a new 5.0 with a 4000 rev limiter and see what opinions are regarding which feels stronger. if a torque monster option was available, I bet every single test drive would sell it over a higher rpm/higher hp engine- except for the few that might want to take it to the track occasionally. I'd trade my 13.78 @ 103 mustang engine for one that ran 15.0 if it would give me another 100 ft/lb off idle and the same mileage(possibly better). I think its entirely possible that a long stroke ecoboost variant could do this, possibly even gaining a little mpg...engines need built to deliver torque peak closer to 60mph cruise rpm, but most peak much higher these days.
Low RPM diesel-like torque is fun to drive, gas is expensive...give us peak torque at REAL world cruise RPM, we'll have a more powerful feeling car that gets better mpg- even if its a little slower at the racetrack :)
Donald Morris 06/03/2011
wow! how do they do it? must have some smart guys workin' for 'em!
Tom Cottage 06/03/2011
Chris Schaaf, it's not Mazda's engine. This is an all-new Ford EcoBoost engine from the Ford Dunton Technical Centre in the U.K. which is the Ford epicenter for small-capacity engines!!!!
Liony Leftwich 06/03/2011
How about About making the frame of the car where the wheels go bigger so ppl like me that like there car to look nicer can put rims on it the size of 22 and 24 on them?They don't make those size rims for nothing.-__-
Larry Jackson 06/03/2011
Wake me up when you put the 7.5 liter, 460cu" V8 back in production. That was the best engine ever!
Joe 06/03/2011
Jeez, some of you nay-saying muscle-car fans are stuck in the large-displacement past. There are normally-aspirated 6-pots today that make more power than the big-block iron you're so nostalgic about. It ain't 1968 or 1988 anymore.

With the advances since then in fuel delivery and transmissions, there's no reason a turbo-3 couldn't provide adequate, even spirited performance in a small car like the Start. Ford's not trying to replace your Boss Mustang or Hemi 'Cuda with this thing. It's for grown-ups who have interests other than drag racing from one light to the next and want to spend their money on something other than gasoline. If the Start makes it to these shores with the concept's personality intact, it could be the next Mini Cooper.

Sal Undy 06/03/2011
3 cyl, seriously, just stop it
Richard Truett 06/03/2011
Please allow me set the record straight here: This is a Ford engine, designed 100 percent by Ford engineers in our global center of excellence for small displacement engines in Dunton, England. The new 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine DOES NOT use any Mazda parts, designs or technologies. There is no Mazda influence at all. The new engine will be built by Ford. Hope that clears up any question of the origin of the new 1.0-liter EcoBoost.

Richard Truett
Ford Powertrain Communications Manager
Victor Gojcaj 06/03/2011
make some more jobs ford.......
Eric Duckman 06/03/2011
Small car engines have about doubled in HP since my 85 Corolla was made. About time we took a step down in displacement to get the MPG up. Always liked the idea of smaller supercharged engines.
Gabriele Abyss Niccolini 06/03/2011
3 cyl more wear...
Tom Shuart 06/03/2011
Well if you can put this engine in a Fusion and still get to 60 in 9 seconds I will call it good. If it does it faster than it would be win. If it does it faster while getting more mpg then i call it epic win.
David Hays 06/03/2011
Ford owns mazda or part yes?
David Hays 06/03/2011
Pat flinn check out the hp and tourqe ratings on the 6cly eco-boost
Gavin Allan 06/03/2011
Who wants a 2 or 3 cylinder car? BARF!
Tim Foster 06/03/2011
Try to get a plug in Hybrid Voritrek. Really like the work Ford is doing on fuel economy and emissions. Thanks. Love my Mariner.
Kenneth Gutierrez 06/03/2011
American Ingenuity at it's best !!!!
Paul Langridge 06/03/2011
i bet the line they built on is bloody fast too
Chris Schaaf 06/03/2011
I'd be more impressed save for one fact - it's not your engine.
Mazda had some press releases (MotorTrend was the source I saw) showing this same engine about a month ago.
Pat Flinn 06/03/2011
as a muscle car gear head. and owner of a 68 mustang... in my opinion. when they make bigger engines more fuel efficient with the same amount of horsepower or more... instead of making smaller engines and less horsepower... then i will be impressed
Jeff Lines 06/03/2011
Keep going Ford!
Rick Carson Sr. 06/03/2011
Its about time I suggested that to Ford engineers 20 years ago. Now let's put that 8 speed behind a 2 or 3 cylinder turbo diesel. 100 mpg and electric company wont get the chance to screw us next.
Richard Davila 06/03/2011
How cute,,1.0
Nader Zigby 06/03/2011
Its about time that turbo direct injection technology be used as an option to hybrid technology. Manufacturers have been using this configuration as a performance option instead of one to increase mpg rating. Good move!
Michael 06/03/2011
Wow. This is incredible. I'm hoping this development makes it a little cheaper on vehicle price. Assuming one cylinder less would bring the vehicle price down, I hope the advancement in this ecoboost technology does not add to the price. Just to also throw out there, the more electrical being put into a vehicle, the more likely there will be problems. That's just my personal opinion based off my engineering projects and analysis.
Danny Gardner 06/03/2011
Hunt the powerband gearbox! The only thing that keeps springing into my head, and i think others from the UK and Europe with know what i mean, is the 1.0 3pot Vauxhall/Opel/GM Engine found in Corsa's! That was a god aweful engine, I hope this is better!
Chris Gill 06/03/2011
And I don't think it will be that bad on power actually. Motorcycle engines nowadays push 180 horses. I'd be somewhat disappointed if they don't at least match that.
Dave Higgins 06/03/2011
toot toot!
Dany Hernandez 06/03/2011
Can I put one of those in my 06' expedition
Kewa Native 06/03/2011
Can one be installed in my F-150 Supercrew 4x4?? Hahahah. juskidn.
Justin Stutzman 06/03/2011
Geo metro style... lol
Scott Phillips 06/03/2011
Al Gore who?
Charles Thomas Hall 06/03/2011
When can I buy one?
Buck N. Rut 06/03/2011
Put it in a Ranger, and bring those back?
Tom Cottage 06/03/2011
Great! Now, we just need more AWD versions of Ford cars.
Wayne Tucker 06/03/2011
What kind of mileage, horsepower and availability are you talking about. If it gets great fuel economy but is not available in the U.S., please don't torture us.
Joey McClary 06/03/2011
Okay, wait a minute. Just stop. A turbocharged 1.0 liter 3-banger. Do you people not realize this is the same engine that was in the 1988 Chevy Sprint Turbo? So it's technology that is 25 years old. COME ON FORD! YOU CAN DO BETTER THAN THIS!!!
James H Cofield, Jr 06/03/2011
That would be great. Ford is the leader in technology since the late '80s and I don't expect less of them.
Oscar A. Jimenez 06/03/2011
Lets do it :D
Herman Campbell 06/03/2011
Cant wait to drive a Fiesta with this combo. How about a 3-door with 180hp 1.6 Ecoboost
Ken Fietz 06/03/2011
Asad Bashir 06/03/2011
Jeff McCormack 06/03/2011
Windsor, Ontario would be a great place to build those!
Wyatt Brenda Wayne 06/03/2011
You go Ford.
Eric Obloy 06/03/2011
I'm investing every dime I have in your stocks.
Richard Wentz 06/03/2011
Yes! An even smaller carbon footprint! #fordgetsit!
Chris Dull 06/03/2011
Ronald Duke Gillingham 06/03/2011
Eco-Boost the new REVOLUTION!
Tehleel Khan 06/03/2011
Smallest Ford Engine Ever! Three-Cylinder EcoBoost (and the Scoop on Two New Transmissions)
Related articles