Ford will launch a 3-cylinder Ecoboost engine for Europe, and America too

Ford-Focus-EcoboostVolkswagen, Seat, Skoda, Toyota, Peugeot, Citroën, I estimate that more than half a million cars with 3-cylinder engines are sold every year in Europe. It’s hard to be precise because most manufacturers don’t say whether they sell their cars with a three or a four, but I know one thing for sure: the share of 3-cylinder engines is growing. Because they’re cheap to buy, economical to run, and because they’re getting better and better with more and more models available.

Renault and BMW will soon launch cars with 3-cylinder engines, and Ford officially confirms it’s joining them. That is not a surprise considering that Ford had shown a concept last year, the Start in Beijing, which had a 3-cylinder. But it’s now official, and we shall expect to see the new engine in a production model later this year, probably in September at the motor show in Frankfurt.

The new engine will be a one-liter. It will be turbocharged with direct fuel injection, and it will go with the name of Ecoboost. Ford doesn’t give any indication of power levels yet, but I’m expecting at least 100-hp with 100-lbs/ft of torque. That will make it perfect for the Fiesta, its upcoming SUV version, the B-Max, and… At least in Europe, the Focus, where it would be a perfect replacement for the base 1.6-liter. The new three would give the same power and torque, with less weight and less fuel, who could be against that? I’m sure all drivers will warmly embrace the new technology in Europe, but I wonder if Americans will be as enthusiastic with 3-cylinders…