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Ford unveils three-cylinder engine for North American market

Car engines are getting smaller. Ford Motor Co. plans to add a three-cylinder engine to the lineup of vehicles it sells in North America.

The automaker on Thursday unveiled details for the new power plant but did not say which models will have it, noting only that it will be in small cars. More specific information on what cars will have the engine is expected later this year.

The new 1.0-liter EcoBoost three-cylinder — the smallest engine Ford has ever built — is patterned on the same technology used in much bigger vehicles, including Ford’s F-150 pickup truck.

Ford said the EcoBoost is a “technically advanced, super-efficient three-cylinder engine that delivers the same performance as a four-cylinder, but with much higher fuel economy and lower emissions.”

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“Consumers are telling us they want to buy affordable vehicles that get many more miles per gallon,” said Derrick Kuzak, Ford group vice president of global product development. “Our new 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine will give consumers looking for hybrid-like fuel economy a new, more affordable choice.”

Ford is still working on calibrating the engine, but Kuzak said its horsepower and torque outputs will be equivalent to or better than most 1.6-liter four-cylinder engines. The 1.6-liter engine Ford uses in its Fiesta subcompact puts out 120 horsepower.

Downsizing engines is part of an automotive-industry strategy to meet federal fuel-economy standards that will require the combined industrywide fleet to average 34.1 mpg by the 2016 model year.

More than a third of the cars U.S. consumers have bought from Ford and General Motors Co. so far this year were powered by four-cylinder engines. That’s almost double what people bought from GM in 2008, and more than a 70% gain among Ford customers.

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Within five years, about half the vehicles sold in the United States will be powered by four-cylinder engines, said Joe Bakaj, Ford’s global powertrain chief.

jerry.hirsch@latimes.com


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