NOAA-led study find ship air pollution plummets when vessels shift to low-sulfur fuels and slow down; net warming impact
Enbridge to twin southern section of its Athabasca oil sands pipeline for about $1.2B

New 3-cylinder, 1.0-liter Ford EcoBoost engine to debut in European Focus range

Ford has confirmed that the first production applications for the new 1.0-liter, 3-cylinder EcoBoost engine (earlier post) will be three models in the European product range: first the Focus, followed by C-MAX and the all-new Ford B-MAX. The new 1.0-liter engine is the latest addition to Ford’s global family of EcoBoost engines, which currently range in capacity from 1.6 to 3.5 liters globally. Downsized EcoBoost engines feature turbocharging, direct injection and other technologies and replace larger engines with no loss of performance and with lower fuel consumption.

Ford will introduce two versions of the 1.0-liter engine in the Focus in Europe in early 2012 with 100 PS (99 hp, 74 kW) and 120 PS (118 hp, 88 kW) and 5-speed and 6-speed manual transmissions respectively. Ultimately, this all-new engine will be made available in Ford models in North America, China and in other regions.

With its 1.0-liter capacity, the 3-cylinder EcoBoost engine will be the smallest engine currently produced by Ford. Yet, despite its small capacity and proportions, the design delivers power and performance to rival a traditional 1.6-liter gasoline engine while emitting less than 120g/km CO2 in the Focus.

Developed at Ford’s Dunton Technical Centre in the UK, this direct-injected EcoBoost engine features a new compact, high performance turbocharger design. The extremely fast response of the turbocharger and its ability to reach nearly 250,000 rpm results in virtually no turbo lag and peak torque of 170 N·m (125 lb-ft) from 1,300-4,500 rpm in the 120 PS variant.

The new EcoBoost engine also features an exhaust manifold cast into the cylinder head, which lowers the temperature of the exhaust gases and in turn enables the engine to run with the optimum fuel-to-air ratio across a wider rev band.

An advanced “split cooling” system reduces fuel consumption by warming the engine more quickly and—unlike the larger EcoBoost engines—cast iron has been selected for the block, reducing the amount of energy needed for warm-up by up to 50% compared with aluminum.

Intelligent ancillaries such as a variable air-conditioning compressor and oil pump also reduce parasitic loads on the engine, while special coatings for engine components and intricate development of engine geometry result in minimal frictional losses.

Ford Auto-Start-Stop, Active Grille Shutter and Ford Smart Regenerative Charging will also be available as part of the Focus and C-MAX 1.0-liter EcoBoost package.

Like its larger capacity siblings, the 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine will use Ti-VCT twin variable camshaft timing (earlier post) to further improve performance and economy. Ford has also employed an all-new camshaft actuator to speed up response times without sacrificing durability.

In the all-new 1.0-liter Ford EcoBoost engine, the emphasis in development has been on delivering both smooth and refined performance. Engine refinement is improved thanks to an innovative design that immerses the two main engine drive belts in oil, resulting in quieter and more efficient running but with the durability of a chain. Careful attention has also been paid to mitigating the natural vibrations of the 3-cylinder design.

Rather than employ the traditional method of adding energy-draining balancer shafts, Ford engineers have deliberately “unbalanced” the flywheel and pulley to offset the engine configuration. Ford believes these innovations combined with optimized engine mounts will deliver a refined performance feel perfected during 720,000 km of tests,including 360,000 km of durability trials and 10,000 km of environmental testing.

Further technical details of the new Ford EcoBoost 1.0-liter engine will be provided closer to market launch across Europe in early 2012.


Account Deleted

Just like the two-seat Honda Insight. Its 3-cylinder, 1.0 liter gas engine is the main power source. A 7 hp electric motor helps during acceleration and hill climbing. A continuously variable automatic transmission cuts down on energy lost during shifting and regenerative braking increases efficiency.

Visit Hybrid Vehicles for more information about EV.


"Simplicate and add lightness."


Sounds good - lets see what it sounds like, and how much it costs.


3-cylinder engine without balance shafts… good, good (natural) vibrations?

Besides this small problem, it might be somewhat problematic to get customer acceptance for such a small engine. People still think that bigger is better. However, you don't really need more power than this downsized engine can deliver to satisfy the need of most environmentally-oriented customers (who could sacrifice some performance). If it would gain acceptance, it is definitely a good trend. VW has already showed some success with downsized (i.e. 1.4 and 1.2 liter 4-cylinder) engines, so… why not.


I agree with Peter_xx. This could be incorporated into mid-size PHEVs as low fuel consumption gensets. Smaller, lighter, PHEVs could use micro-cars 600 cc ICE for gensets. There's no real needs for larger, heavier 4 or 6 cyls gensets.

Will S

An engine with many different possible uses - looking forward to many of the applications noted by others above.


Although efficient at full load, the Toyota Prius Atkinson cycle engine appears as a big dinosaur in comparison with this engine. Downsizing vs. anti-downsizing? Since this car reportedly has CO2 emissions below 120 g/km with conventional drivetrain, a mild hybrid version of the Ford would come very close to Prius and at a fraction of the incremental cost for a full hybrid. Does someone remember the recent article about the Ricardo concept car (Focus based)?

I have now put this car on the list of cars I would like to test drive. If I would like to buy, I do not know yet...


Would it be possible to switch a gasoline engine to Atkinson cycle, and back (to Otto cycle) by using Fiat MultiAir technology, to make them more efficient during part-load operation?
I read about that possibility in an article from about 20 yrs ago, it was said that it would be mechanically complicated. I'm not very knowledgeable about engines, it just looked as an interesting idea, perhaps you are the right person to ask that.


I think the idea that people resist new technology or small engines (with adequate power is a rationalization that just do not want small underpowered or overpriced cars.

Hybrids and EVs are not considered good values

It is not problematic to get customer acceptance for small displacemnt engines in an Audi.

I think the (or one) problem with switching a normal otto gasoline engine to Atkinson cycle is the compression ratio would be too high in otto mode or too low in Atkinson mode.


The main reason why the Atkinson cycle in a naturally aspirated engine is not as efficient at low load as you might think is due to the low specific power and torque. You need a bigger engine, which gives higher friction and other parasitic losses. This counteracts the thermodynamic advantage, which is, of course, also present at low load. All this applies to engines with fixed valve timing or moderate cam phasing. With Multi-Air, BMW Valvetronic or similar systems that provide fully variable valve timing, you could vary the level of “Atkinson effect” (this is not good nomenclature but I presume it is obvious what I refer to), e.g. totally remove it, if you like. However, you would then have to increase throttling, which would be totally contra productive, so you would increase fuel consumption in spite of the high compression ratio. You would still have the friction of the large engine. The other way to go would be to increase the “Atkinson effect” at low load. Thus, you also reduce throttling losses significantly. This is essentially what Fiat and BMW does, although it is not, per definition, an Atkinson cycle, since the expansion ratio is still at a normal level. Toyota could do the same with their engine, albeit it appears that they do not have access to such technology. Now, if we want to make the “ultimate” engine – and this might be what you are referring to – we should combine a couple of things. First, we should use turbocharging (or any other type of supercharging) in combination with Atkinson cycle, i.e. high compression ratio. This is denoted the “Miller system”, which was invented by Ralph Miller in the 1940’s (some refer to it as Miller cycle but this is not entirely correct, as it use the Atkinson cycle). With supercharging, the “anti-downsizing” impact of the Atkinson cycle is avoided. Power and torque could even be increased in comparison to a conventional naturally aspirated engine, albeit not to the same level as a conventional turbocharged engine. Thus, friction will be reduced. Second, we should use fully variable valve timing in any case to optimize the Atkinson effect and pumping losses at all loads and speeds. This is particularly important in combination with turbocharging, where you also have to consider low end torque and transient response.

To me, it is somewhat surprising that Fiat and BMW are not already utilizing the Miller system, since they already have all components available. In the BMW case, it might be the loss of power and torque; an important factor for the niche they focus on. Two-stage turbocharging could of course help (see e.g. the Mahle concept engine) but there is some additional work to be done in this area.

One reason why low load efficiency is not so important for Toyota is the full hybrid system that shifts engine operation to higher load. However, I have seen in recent literature that Toyota is also considering turbocharging in the future. A naturally-aspirated engine with Atkinson cycle is not ideal for a mild hybrid that still operates a lot at low loads. However, the downsized Miller system engine, as described above, would be ideal for this application.

Roger Pham

The reason that mfg's don't make an engine switchable from Otto cycle to Atkinson cycle is due to the high geometric compression ratio inherent in the design, usually 13:1. In Atkinson mode, the CR is 10:1, while in the Otto mode, the CR will be 13:1, which is a bit too high. Direct injection will help, but at increased cost. Ethanol injection can be done in the Otto mode to prevent engine knock when high acceleration is needed, similar to the MIT ethanol boosted engine, in which ethanol injection is done when the engine is boosted, allowing higher CR than normal, hence higher expansion and more efficiency. Or, variable compression ratio (VCR) mechanism can be built into the engine, a bit complicated, but doable.
Good question, and I hope that auto mfg's will pursue at least one of the three options.

The lower peak output of Atkinson-cycle engine is corrected by the electric motor boost in an HEV, thus, there is no need to upsize the engine, which will incur more engine friction at part load. Furthermore, in the Toyota 1NZ-FXE which has lower peak rpm, engine friction is reduced by light-weight moving parts and low-tension piston ring, and offset crankshaft to reduce sideload on the piston skirt.

Hybrids are definitely good values, according to the long-term data from many taxi companies that use the Prius in their service in nearly a decade. The much lower cost of operation will more than make up for the higher purchasing cost of the car. Maintenance cost is sharply reduced, and so is fuel cost!


Peter and Roger,
thank you very much for detailed explanation.

I remember Mazda Millenia in 1990-ths, it had 2.3L Miller cycle V6 engine.
As a measure of efficiency I used BSFC lines (or 'ellipses') on Torque vs rpm charts.
Here are some:
What I had in mind, was what would be an ideal type of engine for Peugeot 3008 Hybrid4, "thru the road". Sometimes that system works as series hybrid, where engine powers just the 8 kW generator-starter to charge battery, probably in on-off mode, keeping battery SOC between two predetermined values. They use 2.0 liter diesel 120 kW engine for that. I'm not sure it is very efficient in that mode. Perhaps the new VW system with cylinder deactivation would be more suitable, running on 2 cylinders when in series-hybrid mode (to drive relatively small generators, about 10 kW, at around 1,500 rpm).

I think CR is the other way around, 13.0:1 in Toyota Atkinsonized engines (1NZ-FXE - 1.5 L, and in 2ZR-FXE - 1.8 L), according to:
On the BSFC maps from the site above (for Peter), you can see BSFC for both of the engines. Apparently in newer 1.8 L, they managed to extend low BSFC area to low RPM area, probably to get more flexibility in running their HSD hybrid system.


Thanks for the tip! I actually have had access to many of those and have also digitized a couple of them in the past but not all of them. It is sometimes kind of difficult to compare maps like these, since they are so different (axes, scale, resolution etc.). However, there is a simple method one can use. Digitize a torque curve at approximately 2000 rpm (somewhat higher or lower rpm if the best “island”) and plot a curve. Then, compare curves for different engines simply by plotting fuel consumption vs. per cent torque. It gives a pretty good hint about which engine is better at low load or high load. A more sophisticated way is to run the engine in a model car in some drive cycle simulation software. In one analysis of this kind I did more than 10 years ago, I found that a turbocharged downsized engine in combination with mild (parallel) hybrid drive could become about equal to a full hybrid in fuel consumption. However, to get the full benefit, the ISG type of motor/generator would have to be bigger than what was possible at that time (e.g. Honda). Today, this is possible.

Well it should be obvious to anyone that you can have a smaller ICE in a hybrid system than with conventional drivetrain. Of course I have realized that. But we have to compare apples and apples, not apples and pears. If you compare two hybrids, the Toyota “anti-downsizing concept” is hampered by the low power density of the Atkinson cycle. Not so much as it would be in conventional drive system but still it is a considerable drawback. I thought I was quite clear in my explanation about that. The fact that Toyota now is looking at turbocharging also proves my point.


I forgot your comment on the Peugeot 3008. In general: with a diesel engine, you cannot fail. No matter if it is a conventional or hybrid drive system. If you, for example, look at the latest VW TDI at the site you hinted about, it has extremely low fuel consumption at all relevant loads and speeds. However, this is also the reason why the relative improvement of a diesel hybrid vs. conventional is not as great as for a gasoline engine. In two comparable cars and drive systems, the gasoline HEV improves by ~25%, while the diesel improves by ~20%. However, in absolute terms, the diesel HEV is still better than the gasoline HEV, although the relative difference is smaller than for conventional drive systems. Therefore, it is just a matter of time before we will see diesel HEVs with considerably lower fuel consumption (also in gasoline equivalents) than the Toyota Prius. We should also realize that the Prius has low aerodynamic drag, light-weight materials, narrow tires and a couple of other measures not related to the drive system. I saw some information about that they do not even have any toe-in for the front wheels in order to decrease rolling resistance. This is a compromise with drivability and safety. It seems that the Prius development has been all about pushing the envelope to the extreme.

Roger Pham

Thanks for the BSFC map info.
Let me distinguish between geometric CR and effective CR. In an Atkinsonized engine, the geometric CR is 13:, set by the ratio of entire swept volume of the piston over the dead volume on the top of the cylinder. However, the effective CR is only 10:1, due to the fact that the intake ports close late, well past BDC, so that some of the intake volume was pushed out of the intake port early on the compression stroke.

If you want to have an engine that can be switched between Otto mode and Atkinson mode, you must be prepared to deal with the higher effective CR of 13:1 in the Otto mode.

Let's consider the 1NZ-FXE 1.5-liter Atkinson cycle engine. It has a geometric CR of 13:1, but an effective CR of only 10:1, so in effect, its power output is only that of a 1.15-liter Otto engine, (10/13=77) or 77% of the power, because the effective intake swept volume is only 77% of the geometric swept volume. Now, let's compare the two engines of different sizes but similar peak output:

Due to the friction-reduction measures that Toyota has done on this engine, its friction is only ~80% that of an Otto-cycle 1.5-liter engine. At part load of let's say, 1/3 of full load, the viscous-friction drag is comparable in spite of the size difference. The pumping losses from moving the pistons against negative atmospheric pressure are also quite comparable in both engines even though their pistons are of different sizes and swept volumes, because the larger Atkinson engine requires higher manifold pressure than the smaller Otto engine for the same part-load output.
This can be verified on the BSFC maps for both engines. Atkinson engines actually have comparable part-load efficiency as Otto engines, and Toyota further enhanced this on their newer 2ZR-FXE - 1.8 L engine with even higher part-load efficiency.

Bottom line: In spite of its larger sizes, Atkinson-cycle engines behave efficiency-wise as if they are being downsized to ~77% of their geometric displacement.
The reason for going to Miller cycle by adding a turbocharger to Atkinsonized engine is pure lust for higher specific power. The price to pay for this is higher cost of turbocharger and higher engine operating temperatures that may have a negative impact on engine longevity or reliability. I love the Atkinson engines because they run cool, low-stressed, and will last longer.


When the engine outlasts the rest of the vehicle so consistently, I'm not sure that's a good tradeoff.

A downsized, turbocharged Miller/Atkinson engine can get the best of both worlds. The smaller unit has less friction, and the turbo gives higher volumetric efficiency while intercooling avoids the problems of a high effective CR. The turbo is only used a fraction of the total operating time, so added engine wear probably does not affect the useful lifespan of the vehicle.

Roger Pham

Agree. Miller cycle is for those who wants extra power, while wanting a higher level of efficiency than those offered by turbocharged vehicles, and are willing to afford the additional cost of turbocharging.

For those who just want to stick with the highest in efficiency at the most affordable price, an Atkinson cycle with electric boost would be best, since the electric motor and the battery do more than just provide power boost: They allow for braking energy recuperation, and the battery provides ample of power for the AC compressor when the engine is stopped at a traffic stop.

A micro hybrid with too small a battery requires that the engine be idling to provide power for the belt-driven AC compressor, and that wastes a lot of fuel, since an idling ICE gets the worse efficiency.


Love is blind. You love Atkinson and (it seems to me) that you hate Miller system. Anyway, comparing apples and pears is not a good idea. Reducing friction is not forbidden on some engines; it can be done on any engine. As I said earlier, the Atkinson cycle is also positive at light load, but this is offset by friction increase. In an apple-to-apple comparison, friction (in absolute terms) is proportional to engine size. Not much you can do about that. In an ideal world, your ideas about pumping losses sound right but in practice, you hypothesis is not quite correct. To create the Atkinson cycle, there are two ways: 1) you can close the inlet valve early or 2) you can close the inlet valve late. In both cases, the inlet valve has to close when the piston speed is much higher than in a normal engine (close to zero). The more “Atkinson effect” we want, the higher piston speed at valve closure we must have. This increases pumping losses due to higher loss over the valves. The mechanisms are somewhat different in the two cases but I will leave that for later. Finally, engine cost is roughly proportional to the number of cylinders. Thus, downsizing can be done by reducing the number of cylinders to cut cost, for example, as Ford has done here.

Roger Pham

Love may be blind, but figures don't lie.
Friction can be reduced on engines with lower loads and lower rpm for any given displacement. With lower loads, the bearing surfaces can be made smaller, hence less viscous friction drag. With lower rpm, inertial forces will be reduced by the square of the rpm, hence lower friction on con rod, crank pin and crankshaft bearings. With lower rpm, lower-tension piston rings can be used...

The friction loss of air going back out of the intake valves is quite negligible. At 2000 rpm, the friction loss of air moving thru the intake valves is only 1/5 the loss when the engine is running at 4500 rpm in proportion to the power produced, quite negligible. However, at 4500 rpm, which is the engine's peak power output, the intake air is moving in so fast that its inertia does not allow it to reverse direction until well after 30-35 degrees after BDC, meaning that proportionally a smaller volume of air would be forced out of the intake ports than at lower rpm's, still keeping this loss at a low percentage.

Anyway, in comparing some Otto-cycle engines of similar displacement to the 1NZ-XFE, I can see your point, in that the 1NZ-XFE is not quite as efficient at low loads in comparison with some other Otto-cycle engines.

The implication of this is that Atkinson cycle engine in HEV's must be downsized even more if efficiency is to be improved.
The hypermiling of the Optima Hybrid recently shown in Guiness World Record demonstrated that the pulse & glide method can increase the hwy mileage of the Optima by 61%, meaning that the 2.4-liter 160-hp engine must be reduced in half, to a 2-cylinder 1.2 liter 80-hp engine, in order to realize maximum cruise efficiency. This can be done by doubling the power of the motor and the battery to 80 hp in order to maintain the same acceleration performance, to provide a combine power level of 160 hp, still very adequate!

However, Toyota managed to increase the size of the Prius engine from 1.5 liter to 1.8 liter and still gets higher efficiency out of it, even at lower loads, instead of less, as we would have predicted. Go figure!
Apparently, there are more in the world of engines than are dreamed of in our philosophy!


I do not bother to comment on the majority of your ideas but if I have time this weekend, I will prepare a diagram for you to prove my point. If you think that the loss over valves is negligible, you should start by reading some fundamentals on engines. Why do you think engineers spend so much time on cylinder head flow benches and advanced flow simulations if such efforts would result in minor improvements on something that you consider is negligible? Come to your senses! Engine breathing is very important, not only in Formula 1 and Indy car engines but in any king of engine. Most of my past experience in this field is from heavy-duty engines and I can tell you that we spent a lot of work on those issues.

Toyota increased the engine size because they desperately needed more power for Prius II. Prius I with the 1.5 liter engine gave miserable performance and for the bigger Prius II, they simply needed a bigger engine. Of course, they made a lot of improvements on the 1.8 liter engine. However, such improvements can also be made on a smaller engine. You also fail to recognize my comment that Toyota now is working on turbocharging and downsizing. Were they clever in the past (in developing naturally aspirated engines) or will they become clever in the future (turbocharged downsized engines)? With your argumentation, they tend to become stupid in the future.


Peter XX: Start a blog. Put that diagram, and any others you do, on the blog. Annotate the diagram in the text so that search engines can find it.

If you're doing the work anyway, add it to the searchable global knowledge base.

Roger Pham

Agree with you that the overall air friction loss over the valves is NOT negligible at high rpm's, in fact quite substantial for racing engines. However, at ~2000 rpm typically used at cruise speed, the loss over valves is quite negligible, because at 2000 rpm, the air friction loss over the valves is but < 1/10th the loss at 6000 rpm in proportion to respective outputs.
The air friction loss from the air spilling out of the intake valves in the compression stroke in an Atkinson engine is a much smaller subset of the overall intake air friction loss!

Heavy-duty engines are long-strokers, so naturally, the valve diameters with respect to flow rates are smaller than square or over bored engines, meaning more restrictive flow that must be optmised. Well, Toyota's FE and XFE series of fuel-efficient engines are also long-strokers as well, but they develop their max power at lower rpm's. Toyota's Valmatic system has two-lobe positions with larger intake valve lift at higher rpm's to improve breathing.

Toyota company have never been big on turbocharging. Their commercial experience with twin-turbo Supra sport car in the 90's was not a commercial success. Their current work on turbocharging and downsizing is just that, work...
I have to admit, though, Ford Ecoboost appears so far to be very promising. How long these boosted engines will hold up in day-to-day service over 150,000-200,000 miles and 10-15 years remain to be seen!

I am more partial to higher electric boost over turbo-boost in HEV's, as I mentioned in previous posting. Adding turbo-boost in addition to the electrical hybrid system would be too expensive for low-end and even mid-price models.
Substantial gain in current HEV's mpg's can be had by halving the ICE size and doubling the electric boost, if and when the cost of electrical components will come down enough, without requiring turbo-boost.


I have been quite busy with other things lately but, finally, I was able to make the comparison between the Prius engine, a naturally-aspirated engine and a highly turbocharged engine. Note that engine maps with BSFC are not published very often, so the choice of engines is by no means “optimal” but it proves general trends. I chose a GM 2.2-liter engine (MY 2010) with MPI injection and a Hyundai 2-liter turbocharged engine (MY 2011). All engines are approximately the same size, so the impact of engine size will be left for later discussion. The GM engine is quite old but I digitized the diagram long ago and have used in in many comparisons in the past. It is a reasonably “good” engine for its size and age. The Hyundai engine was just recently published in the MTZ journal, so I could not resist digitizing it for this comparison. I might look for a more proper comparison when I have more time but this is what I had available for the moment. If someone could hint me about a neutral site to upload a diagram with the results, I would be glad to do so.

The results: As we would expect, the Prius engine is better than the other two at high loads. If you would compare FC vs. BMEP, the Prius engine would also be better than the GM engine at light loads but when the comparison is made vs. load (%), the crossover point is at about 25% load. The GM engine is better at lower loads, albeit that the difference is not great. This is in spite of the measures to reduce friction in the Prius engine, while the GM engine - considering its age - does not have such measures and that the “Atkinson effect” with higher expansion ratio also contributes positively at light load. The low power density and pumping losses for the Prius engine outweigh the positive contributions mentioned. The turbocharged engine has the highest fuel consumption at high load, as expected, but it is better than the other two at low load. This is why we need the Miller system to improve full load fuel consumption! The crossover point vs. the GM engine is at ~65% load and at ~50% vs. the Prius engine. The difference at low load is quite dramatic. For example, at ~20% load the BSFC advantage for the turbocharged engine s in the order of 60-80 g/kWh. This is why we need turbocharging and downsizing!

As I said in a previous e-mail, we would have to “run” the engines in some drive cycle simulation software to be able to properly quantify the differences in conventional and various hybrid drive systems. Needless to say, different driving patterns are also important in such comparisons.


Peter XX, both Blogspot and Wordpress allow you to upload images in blog posts. Both are free. Pick one and upload your stuff. You won't regret it; you'll be able to hyperlink to your work instead of explaining at length every time a topic comes up.


One of my principles in participating at GCC has been not to refer to my own work. I do not always succeed with that objective but I prefer to cite studies made by others. I this case, I did not have any study to refer to. I have no intention to start a blog.

The comments to this entry are closed.