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Monday, September 19, 2011

The I3 Is The New I4?

Ford has unveiled a GTDI (gasoline turbocharged direct injection) 3 cylinder engine, which they brand Ecoboost.  The 1.0L inline 3 will power the Fiesta and Focus C-Max in Europe in 2012, and will be competitive in power to the 1.6L I4 Ford currently offers, according to Ford's PR.  That means HP and torque numbers around 100-120HP and 110-120 ft-lb of torque.   Due to reduced weight and the variable-displacement effect of turbo charging, fuel economy numbers will be big.

Getting 100+ HP out of 1.0L is impressive, and matches the power output of such high-end makers such as Audi, BMW, and Porsche.  

The only other automaker that I have heard was working on a 3-cylinder engine, potentially for North America, was BMW (Mini).

Ford hasn't announced North American plans for the 1.0L Ecoboost, but I expect it will show up here eventually in Fiesta and possibly as a base engine for the Focus.   People will have to get used to such a small engine, and only 3 cylinders, but thanks to CAFE, very small engines are the way of the future. 

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