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Ford adds 3-cylinder, 1.0L EcoBoost engine and 8-speed transmission to lineup; new hybrid transmission in 2012

Ford is adding a 1.0-liter EcoBoost three-cylinder engine—the first three-cylinder engine Ford has built for a regular production car—and an new eight-speed automatic transmission to its line-up. Ford had previewed the small EcoBoost turbocharged gasoline direct injection unit, and had confirmed it for production, at Auto China 2010 in Beijing. (Earlier post.)

Ford also said that its next generation of hybrid vehicles, including a new plug-in hybrid that will launch next year, will have a Ford-engineered transmission that will be built in Michigan.

“The 1.0-liter engine is a little dynamo.”
—Derrick Kuzak, Ford group vice president, Global Product Development

The new 1.0L 3-cylinder EcoBoost was designed at Ford’s Dunton Technical Centre in the US, the company’s global center of excellence for small-capacity engines. Engineers focused on improving thermal efficiency and reducing friction of the engine’s internal moving parts, especially during warm-up—the time when an engine emits higher levels of CO2 and other pollutants.

The new engine introduces many new technologies that could someday be part of the DNA of future Ford engines, said Joe Bakaj, Ford vice president of Global Powertrain Engineering. The 1.0L unit features:

  • An offset crankshaft that helps improve fuel economy.

  • An advanced, 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.

  • An exhaust manifold cast into the cylinder head. The one-piece assembly lowers the temperature of the exhaust gases. This enables the engine to run in a wider rpm band with the optimum fuel-to-air ratio. The new design also saves weight and allows the engine to operate more smoothly.

  • EcoBoost technologies, such as turbocharging, direct injection and twin independent variable camshaft timing (Ti-VCT).

Final calibrations of the new EcoBoost 1.0-liter are under way. Derrick Kuzak, Ford group vice president of Global Product Development, said the new engine will deliver horsepower and torque outputs equivalent to or better than most normally aspirated 1.6-liter gasoline engines.

A study by Delphi Powertrain presented at the SAE 2010 World Congress in Detroit concluded that a 3-cylinder turbocharged gasoline direct injection (GDI) engine—such as the 1.0L EcoBoost—offers an optimal combination of cost, lower emissions and reductions in fuel consumption for the most cost-sensitive vehicle segments. (Earlier post.)

The new three-cylinder engine will be available globally in the company’s small cars. It will also play an important role in North America.

Consumers are telling us they want to buy affordable vehicles that get many more miles per gallon. Our new 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine will give consumers looking for hybrid-like fuel economy a new, more affordable choice.

—Derrick Kuzak

Ford US small car sales
Ford’s two all-new small cars combined had US sales of 29,423 in May, up 74% versus a year ago. It was Ford’s largest small car month since May 2008.
Fiesta sales were 7,120, and Focus sales were 22,303, up 32% versus a year ago.

First seen in the Ford Start concept car that debuted at Beijing in 2010, the engine more recently made its European debut in the Ford B-MAX at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show. More technical and application details for the new 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine will be released in September at the Frankfurt Motor Show in Germany.

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

With our global family of EcoBoost engines, we’ve replaced V8s with V6s and V6s with four-cylinders—with no loss of performance and with impressive fuel economy improvements. The new 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine will come in at the lower end of the global range and will take the place of a four-cylinder engine, again with no loss of performance or refinement. Above all, drivers win because this new engine is specifically designed and engineered for terrific fuel economy.

—Derrick Kuzak

Two new Ford transmissions. The new eight-speed automatic is currently under development. The eight-speed transmission will feature:

  • Ford’s next-generation clutch controls;
  • An input torque sensor, which measures torque coming into the transmission. The sensor enables faster selection of the proper gear, reduces hunting and helps smooth out shifts;
  • Actuators built into the case for tighter, more precise control of hydraulic pressure; and
  • Closed-loop control.

More details on production and applications will be released at a later date.

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.

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.

As with the new eight-speed, the new hybrid transmission is Ford-designed, Ford-engineered and Ford-built. It’s an e-CVT or electronic continuously variable transmission. The new hybrid transmission 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.



The old Geo Metro 1L 3 cylinder engine has quite a following, you can buy rebuilt blocks on the net a lot of places for $1000. They even have a model that is fuel injected and turbo charged from the late 90s.


My family had a Geo Metro back in the day. The problem with the engine was torque - low end and high end. Horrible acceleration, horrible power for passing. If they can utilize updated technology to solve those problems, they might have a winner with the 1.0 Liter engine.


Couple one of those to a 50kW alternator and 100kW motor and you can have a car that get great mileage and performs well.


How and why would one post an article about auto engines without any horsepower or torque numbers?

Posted by: kelly | April 23, 2010 at 05:24 AM


I agree with SJC. That's probably Ford's short term intentions.

It's amazing to see what higher fuel price is doing for ICE and transmission evolution.Too bad we didn't have higher fuel price 60+ years ago. The ICE vehicles efficiency would be much further ahead.

With future leaps in super caps and battery technologies, it may be too late for pure ICE vehicles but not too late for improved PHEVs using improved much smaller ICE gensets.


I posted a link for more info but it would not post.


A 1.6 would give you around 80kW and 150Nm which the engine should match, but peak torque should come in around 2k rather than 4k rpm. The 3 cylinder could become the base engine.

The eCVT sounds interesting, although there is no reason it couldn't replace a 'normal' automatic in a lot of vehicles, and highway speeds on electric power would be great


I reposted
'..How and why would one post an article about auto engines without any horsepower or torque numbers?

Posted by: kelly | April 23, 2010 at 05:24 AM"

just to give a feel for why auto/oil continue dumping a 100 years of "20 something average mpg on consumers".

The only reason ICE 'suddenly improves to 30 mpg maybe' is because humans, and EV's, don't need Rockefeller inbreeding or harems to get from point A to B.


I have this feeling that the oil/auto deal split in the summer of 2008 when the oil guys made a ton and left the auto guys twisting in the wind.


SJC, the initial $40 billion bail out is "the auto guys twisting in the wind?"

Smile while bent over..


That is the point, up until that time the U.S. car makers made it on trucks and SUVs that ran on cheap gas. After that time is was adios muchachos and good luck.


How about a supercharged 1.0 liter 3-cylinder engine with multi-air? Would the performance be worth the increased risk of maintenance headaches vs. a small 4-cylinder engine without the bells and whistles?


Most of the time the car's power needs could be handled by a 500 cc NA engine (think 2CV here). The 1 liter turbo provides "pep" more than anything else, and maintains thermal efficiency at both the low and high ends.

    “The 1.0-liter engine is a little dynamo.” —Derrick Kuzak, Ford group vice president

That statement could prove to be prophetic. A turbocharged 1.0L engine could prove to be an ideal range extender for an EREV/PHEV


The Chevy designers were going to use a 3 cylinder turbo charged engine in the Volt initially, but decided on the non turbo 1.4L instead.


This is good progress for Ford... but if they really wanted to maximize thermal efficiency, they would have made it a twin like the Fiat Twin-air. I think the reason they did not is pure marketing. The engineers probably said this and the marketing dept. said that is too large of a step in downsizing for the average consumer to accept. So the Fiat twin air will probably have better efficiency, lower cost, lighter weight, and similar power.


Are ICE going full circle from 1 cyl to 12 cyls and back to 1 cyl?


Chrysler needs to get in the EREV game IMO. Take the Chrysler 200 and make it an EREV to compete with Camry, Altima and Fusion hybrids, but make it a plug with 8 kW of batteries.


From the article: "Fiesta sales were 7,120, and Focus sales were 22,303, up 32% versus a year ago."

It is reported that Ford’s total Focus sales in May rose 32 percent and retail sales rose 9 percent only.

Seems the increase in Focus's sales comes mainly from fleet sales.


Correction Ford's Dunton Technical Centre is in Basildon, Essex, England - not in the US


I should correct one thing: the increased low-end torque from the turbo/DI combination also allows more driving to be done without downshifting, which downspeeds the engine and reduces friction losses.


The Mazda direct injected turbo I4 has a lot down low, but the mileage suffers, no free lunch I guess. There used to be a word "tractability" that was used in the motorcycle press. It refers to useful power in real world driving conditions, not the specification sheet on the dynomometer.


Am I to conclude that one of the latest fantasies is that the oil industry and the auto industry had a deal (to fob off gas guzzlers on the helpless buyer) that ended in the summer of 2008 because the oil guys raised gas prices and caught the auto industry unprepared to make small cars ?

Like "Detroit did not build the cars people wanted" ? [see below]

And "The auto\oil industries kept a 150 mpg carburetor off the market" ?

Too many people believe what they wish was true.
Modern technology/society is like magic - to complex for some – so; "anything you wish was true, is".

I fear this same lack of intellectual discipline applies to most people’s belief (and disbelief) in AGW.

Is AGW true? Do you want it to be?

As to what the people WANT;
According to the WSJ, YTD (May 2011) US sales, % SHARE of the market:
US sales of Cars . . = 51% [Last year, March 2010 it was 52%]
Light Duty Trucks = 49% [Last year, March 2010 it was 48%]

GM (love that bailout) - 21% of the market
Ford - 18%
Chrysler LLC - 11%
Toyota – 10%
Honda – 8.5%
Nissan – 7.2%
Hyundai - 5.6%
Mazda – 1.7%
Mitsubishi – 0.7%
Kia – 4.5%
Subaru – 2%
Suzukai - 0.2%
MBenz – 2%
VW - 2.8%
BMW – 2.9%
etc. .


This is why many people still stick to larger cars abd trucks...


Something like this happened around here awhile back... nothing gets you like seeing a small car with a family mangled in it and right behind it a larger car with the family suffer broken bones... all because some old truck lost its brakes...


I suspect that people buy trucks and SUVs because they can "haul things". I ask them what they are hauling and they come up with something. I remind them that they can rent a truck by the hour or day for hauling a few times a year, but they would rather drive a 10 mpg vehicle around town 365 days per year for those few hours that they may haul "something"

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