The last time we saw Ford’s Hot Wheels Rip Rod, it was a static project car being towed behind the decked out Ford Transit Connect vehicle. Even though the cargo van’s 55-inch television screen, gullwing doors, and nostalgic paint job were cool, we always wondered what the Rip Rod would be like moving under its own power.
Well, now we know.
The real life Hot Wheels car, originally designed and built by Mattel and Bandito Brothers, is now powered by Ford’s amazing 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine.
The tiny three-cylinder uses a cast iron block, independent variable camshaft timing, and an overboost function to increase durability, efficiency, and raw power.
Because the Rip Rod is a small vehicle, the EcoBoost’s integrated exhaust manifold and internal timing belt reduce size and weight appropriately. In the video above, Ford Racing says the engine is “small enough to fit in a suitcase.”
There’s no word on output for this particular application, but the 1.0-liter has made anywhere from 99 horsepower to a stunning 202 hp in the FF1 racecar. The Euro-legal one-seater was quick enough to lap the Nurburgring in 7:22 seconds, faster than a Ferrari Enzo.
Considering Ford’s claim that the three-pot is “powerful enough to accelerate the evolution of racing,” it’s a good bet the Rip Rod is toward the high end of the EcoBoost’s potential.
The engine is developed at the Dunton Technical Centre in Laindon, United Kingdom. It is currently being featured in the Ford Fiesta, and won the International Engine of the Year award in 2012, 2013, and 2014.