Look out hybrids; Ford’s 1-liter EcoBoost aimed at fuel-saving supremacy

1-liter EcoBoost

As Chrysler and General Motors went into bankruptcy a few years back, Ford realized it had to modernize its American portfolio or face a similar fate as its stateside rivals. The plan was called “One Ford” and it essentially meant that what Ford designed and sold in the rest of the world, it would sell in the US as well.

For those of us who kept up on the automotive industry, it was an answer to decades of prayers. For too long we’d sift through British car magazines to see stunning examples of the Ford Escort Cosworth and the Ford Mondeo ST and wonder why we were left with such dismal offerings back in Ford’s home continent.

The newest offering from the One Ford is the 2014 Fiesta powered by the 1.0-liter three-cylinder EcoBoost engine and it’s unlike anything Ford has ever offered before.

First off, it’s the first three-cylinder Ford has ever built. Additionally, the 1-liter features engine technology that Ford has never featured on an engine before such as an offset crankshaft; variable oil pump; split cooling system; external-balancing, super-small, responsive turbocharger; and a timing belt immersed in engine oil.

What all that engineering wizardry means is that the 1-liter is efficient and yet powerful. It produces 123 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque (23 more foot pounds than the European version). Although the official EPA numbers haven’t been calculated yet, Ford expects the 1-liter EcoBoost to be certified as the most fuel-efficient non-hybrid drivetrain in the US — so expect to see fuel economy numbers above the 50-MPG mark.

Why is having a gasoline only drivetrain that’s more fuel-efficient than any non-hybrid on the market important? It means that eco-friendliness doesn’t just have to come in the form of expensive and environmentally damaging Lithium-ion batteries.