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Ford unveils three-cylinder engine for U.S. market

June 2, 2011 | 10:05 am

Forget the shift from six-cylinder engines in cars to four bangers: Ford Motor Co. said Thursday it plans to add a three-cylinder engine to the lineup of vehicles it sells in North America.

The automaker released details about the new power plant but did not say which models it will show up in, noting only that it will be in small cars. More specific information on what cars will have the engine is expected later this year. Foxengine

The new 1.0-liter "EcoBoost" three-cylinder -– the smallest engine Ford has ever built -– is patterned on the same technology used in much bigger vehicles, including Ford’s F-150 pick-up truck.

Ford said the EcoBoost is a "technically advanced, super-efficient three-cylinder engine that delivers the same performance as a four-cylinder, but with much higher fuel economy and lower emissions."

"Consumers are telling us they want to buy affordable vehicles that get many more miles per gallon," said Derrick Kuzak, Ford group vice president of global product development. "Our new 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine will give consumers looking for hybrid-like fuel economy a new, more affordable choice."

Ford is still working on calibrating the engine, but Kuzak said it will deliver horsepower and torque outputs equivalent to or better than most 1.6-liter four-cylinder engines. The 1.6-liter engine
Ford uses in its Fiesta sub-compact puts out 120 horsepower.

Downsizing engines is part of an automotive-industry strategy to meet federal fuel-economy standards that will require the combined industrywide fleet to average 34.1 mpg by the 2016 model year.
More than a third of the cars U.S. consumers are buying from Ford and General Motors Co. so far this year are powered by four-cylinder engines. That's almost double what people bought from GM in 2008,
and more than a 70% gain among Ford customers.

Within five years, about half the vehicles sold in the United States will be powered by four-cylinder engines, said Joe Bakaj, Ford's global powertrain chief.

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May auto sales suffer as consumers hesitate

-- Jerry Hirsch
Twitter.com/LATimesJerry

Photo: Ford's three-cylinder engine. Credit: Ford Motor Co.

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