Ford to offer cylinder deactivation for 1.0L EcoBoost in 2018; 6% fuel economy boost; global first for a 3-cylinder
Ford will offer the multi-award-winning 1.0‑liter EcoBoost gasoline engine with innovative cylinder deactivation technology for further reducing CO2 emissions and improving fuel efficiency by up to 6%. Ford had been investigating different cylinder deactivation approaches for the 1.0L EcoBoost in collaboration with the Schaeffler Group. (Earlier post.)
The 1.0L EcoBoost with cylinder deactivation will debut in early 2018, becoming the first production three-cylinder engine with that fuel-saving feature. The accomplishment is delivered through innovative engineering by Ford engineers across Europe, and counters industry opinion that a three-cylinder, variable capacity engine could not deliver the refinement needed for passenger car applications.
Cylinder deactivation will deliver reduced running costs for 1.0-liter EcoBoost customers by automatically stopping fuel delivery and valve operation for one of the engine’s cylinders in conditions where full capacity is not needed, such as when coasting or cruising with light demand on the engine.
The technology can disengage or re-engage one cylinder in 14 milliseconds. Combined with advanced solutions to counteract vibrations, cylinder deactivation will be imperceptible to drivers in terms of operation and engine performance, according to Ford.
Ford has pushed back the boundaries of powertrain engineering once again to further improve the acclaimed 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine, and prove that there is still untapped potential for even the best internal combustion engines to deliver better fuel efficiency for customers.—Bob Fascetti, vice president, Global Powertrain Engineering, Ford
The cylinder deactivation system developed by Ford engineers in Aachen and Cologne in Germany; Dagenham and Dunton in the U.K; and Dearborn in the U.S.—in collaboration with Ford’s engineering partners at the Schaeffler Group—improves fuel efficiency and lowers CO2 emissions by reducing friction and pumping demand inside the engine.
The system, which operates at engine speeds of up to 4,500 rpm—when valves are each opening and closing almost 40 times per second—uses engine oil pressure to activate a special valve rocker and interrupt the connection between the camshaft and the valves of cylinder No. 1.
Sophisticated software determines the optimum moment to deactivate the cylinder based on factors including speed, throttle position and engine load. A new single-piece camshaft module—similar to the design debuted earlier this year for the all-new Ford EcoBlue diesel engine—frees space within the cylinder head for new oil channels and valve-switching componentry.
With the variable capacity delivered by cylinder deactivation, drivers get the power and performance of the whole engine when they need it, and the enhanced fuel efficiency of a smaller engine when they don’t. Our research shows that in most driving scenarios the system will be active for just a few seconds at a time, making fast and seamless operation crucial, and has the potential to improve fuel efficiency by up to 6%.—Denis Gorman, powertrain engineer, Ford of Europe
Ford’s single-cylinder deactivation design reduces complexity to make volume production achievable, but also presented significant challenges in maintaining the 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine’s acclaimed refinement—delivered using innovations including an offset crankshaft configuration and deliberately “unbalanced” flywheel and pulley that counteract vibration.
A new dual-mass flywheel and a vibration-damping clutch disc help neutralize engine oscillations when running on two cylinders, especially at lower rpm, and enable a wider operating range. Intake and exhaust valves are closed when the system is active, trapping gasses to provide a spring effect that helps balance forces across the three cylinders for refinement, and also retain temperatures inside the cylinder that maintain fuel efficiency when reactivated.
New engine mounts, drive shafts and suspension bushes also will be specially tuned for refinement. The 1.0-liter EcoBoost will feature enhanced durability to cope with the different loading forces resulting from cylinder deactivation, including a new camshaft chain, and valve rockers formed using advanced metal injection moulding.
Cylinder deactivation adjusts the effective engine capacity to maximize fuel efficiency, and to deliver the greatest benefit to customers, needs to be triggered in as many driving scenarios as possible. We intensively tested the system in real world conditions using a range of deactivation strategies to develop a system that maximizes the fuel efficiency without compromising driving comfort.—Carsten Weber, manager, Powertrain Research & Advanced Engineering, Ford of Europe
Ford’s 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine was launched in the Ford Focus in 2012, and uses Ford EcoBoost technologies including high-pressure direct fuel injection, Twin-independent Variable Cam Timing and turbocharging to deliver optimized fuel efficiency alongside the power and performance of a naturally aspirated 1.6‑liter engine.
The 1.0‑liter EcoBoost was earlier this year voted best in class at the International Engine of the Year Awards for the fifth year in a row. In 2014, the 1.0-liter EcoBoost became the first engine to be named overall International Engine of the Year for a third time in a row, and also was in 2012 named “Best New Engine.”
The compact engine – with a block small enough to fit into an airplane’s overhead compartment—is available with 100 PS, 125 PS and 140 PS—delivering a greater power-per-liter ratio than a Bugatti Veyron supercar.
Eleven Ford models, including Fiesta, EcoSport, B-MAX, Focus, C-MAX, Grand C‑MAX, Tourneo and Transit Connect, Tourneo and Transit Courier, and Mondeo are available in Europe with the three-cylinder engine. One in five all-new Ford vehicles sold in Europe in last year were equipped with the 1.0-litre EcoBoost, including almost two in five Fiestas.