At the Los Angeles Auto Show, Ford will unveil its 2013 Fiesta model, currently its smallest car. And along with its standard 1.6-liter engine, Ford will also be showing its smallest engine, the 1-liter, three-cylinder EcoBoost, a new option for the Fiesta model.
Three-cylinder engines are rare in the U.S., only used in the current Smart car or the odd past Asian import. In those applications, they have not garnered a really good reputation. But Ford's little mill may change all that.
Taking advantage of efficiency and power technologies, the 1-liter Ford engine produces 123 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque. That is more power than many four-cylinder engines, and should be more than adequate for the diminutive Fiesta.
Ford's EcoBoost engines use direct injection and variable valve timing for efficiency, and get needed boost for acceleration from a turbocharger. Ford engineered other innovations into this engine to reduce the number of moving parts.
EPA testing is not complete, so Ford will not give fuel economy numbers, other than to say it should give the Fiesta the best fuel economy of any non-hybrid car, which would put the highway number somewhere in the 40s.
Fiestas with this 1-liter engine have already been on sale in Europe. The engine itself took the top prize earlier this year at the International Engine of the Year Awards.
As for the U.S. Fiesta, there are a couple of catches. Ford will not offer the EcoBoost engine option until the 2014 model year, which will go on sale sometime in 2013. And as an option, the EcoBoost engine could add $995, the cost of EcoBoost on current Ford models, to the Fiesta.