Carmakers have spent the past few years aggressively downsizing engines throughout their lineups to meet increasingly tight fuel-economy regulations. But with the sole exception of the three-cylinder Smart Fortwo, four cylinders is as low as carmakers have expected Americans to go. Three-cylinders are common in Europe but have been scorned in the U.S., where they're tainted by association with claptrap cars like the mousy Geo Metro. Now, with fuel-economy standards set to rise as high as 56.2 mph by 2025, Ford is planning to bring the three-cylinder to the American mainstream.
Ford's 1.0-liter engine,the latest in the company's cylinder slashing EcoBoost series, will be smaller than the average Harley motor, but with the help of turbocharging and direct injection, it should match the horsepower and torque of a typical 1.6-liter four-cylinder. For an easy comparison, Ford's 2011 Fiesta hatchback wrings 119 horsepower and 40 highway mpg from its 1.6-liter four-cylinder. Drop a turbocharged 1.0-liter in a similar-size car, and you can expect 45 or 46 mpg—within spitting distance of the most frugal hybrids. Brett Hinds, a Ford engine-design manager, says the forthcoming three-cylinder will produce more than 100 horsepower per liter, blowing past a longtime engine-efficiency benchmark.
Such efficiency is the result of many small technical victories. Unlike conventional engines, the new EcoBoost will use an offset crankshaft, which reduces friction and puts more energy into creating motion and loses less to heat. A split-cooling system warms the engine block quickly, making it easier for the engine to pump cold, thick oil, thereby using 1 to 2 percent less fuel. Higher-quality aluminum alloy in the exhaust manifold helps to trim 11 pounds from the engine. And unlike some three-cylinder engines, which require an energysapping balance shaft to counter shake and rattle, Ford says the EcoBoost is inherently balanced.
Ford has withheld most details, but it has said that the engine will eventually replace four-cylinders in millions of small models around the world. Expect other carmakers to follow suit.
this is perfect.
I understand our love with 6 cylinders 5.7 liter engines. I love them hemi engines.
It just makes no more sense though..we need to act rapidly. We need to enforce this upon consumers.
If you rich, everyone loves the power and the toys. But if you work for a living and need to get from point A to point B, you need a practical fuel efficient car. The Chevy Sprint with its 3 cylinder I owned was awesome. I put 4 people in the car, air conditioner on and got 50mpg. I am glad to see Ford doing this. The Chevy Sprint used a Suzuki engine. I wish Honda and Toyota would jump on board and force our USA auto manufacture to really be competitive. It's wonderful how Honda and Toyota not only give high mileage they give long enduring vehicles. Now natural gas or propane could easily fuel a 3 cylinder too. It would not get the same mileage and power, but it highly clean to burn. Because it burns so clean the engines seem to last a really long time. If it was a federal mandate in our country, so it would be an even business plane, reduce how fast a car accelerates and reduce the top speed a car can go, mileage of cars would jump up in fuel efficiency standards greatly. There is no practical reason for a car to be able to drive above 80mph or higher. But as I state this, a great whine of people would object. They all want to accelerate FAST and they all want the ability to speed fast to KILL them SELVES AND OTHERS; the RICH love to show off their exotic cars too.
Midoman - you are an id10T! We should not "enforce" anything. Making something as an option is fine but here in the USA - we want FREEDOM to choose. If we want to buy V8 engines, then that's what we buy.
Even with the illegals spewing out children faster than we can count, we still only have 1/4 the population of China or even India for that matter. Let the countries that have 10 kids deal with 2 cylinder engines if their parents can not afford birth control. People that do society GOOD by only having 2 kids (like most American TAX PAYING PEOPLE, not citizens)should be rewarded with luxuries - if you want to spit out a dozen kids then you deal with mopeds! How about that? Honesty - ahhh, refreshing!
First of all American is not about cutting back and putting restrictions on things like previously mentions. America is about finding ways to get what we want and keep what we want and finding safe and best ways to do it. There is not reason I can't have a v8 600 HP enginge that runs clean hydrogen....that tech SHOULD be available NOW....period it is possible....we are going the wrong way with our thinking and hiding under our rocks and in our corners. What in the world happened to our American spirit and our American way? When did we as Americans start waking up and saying ....well I guess this is good enough?
@ cruzinmy64: All I heard from your comment was "I'm a racist! Go America!"
Btw, that freedom you hold so high will eventually lead to enslavement to pollution and high fuel prices! Hurray to shortsightedness!
@BubbaGump: I've driven on LPG (propane), those engines don't last that long. They burn more cleanly, but there is more water in exhaust gases, so you have to change your exhaust more often. Also somehow spark plug cables need to be replaced more often, but I still don't know why. You also have problems in cold conditions like with diesels.
@yetihehe, real life experience is always appreciated. Tho it would seem these things could be re-engineered and fixed.
Igot1forya - Cruzinmy64 never mentioned race. He mentioned nationalities. That makes him patriotic, not racist. Clearly, you were projecting your own agenda or insecurities on him, since you were the one assuming that by illegals he meant only one race (and if you think Indian or Chinese are races, you should visit those countries - several indiginous "races" in each).
Now, of course, we all wish that all those illegals - who can't even speak our language - would cross the border and go back with all of their drugs, diseases, and fanatically violent sporting events. Man, now I'm worked up! I'm going to have to find one of them illegals and boot him all the way back to his home myself. How far is Quebec anyways?
America, freedom, and inovation. If Ford can perfect the 3c for the market, good for them. I wouldn't mind my communting car getting 45mph - just don't regulate me, I need my pickup for the farm.
Smaller engine, electric vehicles, all great when you work and live in a city where there are nicely paved roads and service stations at regular intervals. Get outside the city and into rural areas, and you need something that is more powerful and reliable. Sure, you could probably drive a Prius or a Fortwo on crummy back roads in the height of summer, but can you do it with a cow or a skidder tire on the roof?
Forgive me, I responded to insensitivity with insensitivity. My reaction is based on the double-standard that in the name of "freedom" and how its acceptable to disrespecting others for their freedom of choice when it comes reproducing. Last I checked, it wasn't illegal to have children in the US - regardless of where you came from originally. Maybe the so-called "freedom" so vehemently advertised by the Patriotic is exactly why illegals immigrate here for.
..... a what was this blog orginally about?
LOL Something about a 3-cylindar car I think :)
@BubbaGump - 50mpg in a Chevy sprint? That's impressive mileage. My friend has a Honda civic that he swore got 40 mpg because that's what it was rated. But when he started keeping track of miles driven / gallons to fill up on paper it turned out he was closer to 30 mpg. Seems it has a lot to do with driving style.
To clarify ...
I said nothing on race! I referenced different countries and "legal" status - that can apply to anyone. We should not be regulated by the govt on ridiculous fuel economy standards. I'm tired of EVERY country calling the USA a wasteful pig that consumes xx times what someone in a grass hut in China uses. We are a more advanced country. We do not have more than a billion people here as India or China has to worry about. There are legitimate uses for bigger cars and trucks - I drive my full size SUV less miles than a young punk in a Festiva and overall probably use less fuel overall than he does ... that car replaces 2 others to transport my extended family... I need the power to pull trailers for farm work - yet all I hear is how I'm causing a hole in the ozone for my "pleasure". Sure - do YOU want to pay an extra $6000/year in car payments plus $1200/year in Insurance costs to get a Fiesta so I can use it to drive 1 mile to the store on the few days I am in the car alone?? Its economics. I am NOT spending $7k+ a year to save $50 in gas ...
I am also tired of the idiots who spew out 12 kids in other countries and play the pity card that half are starving and how we have to "conserve" resources and suffer ... for THEM! F' that! If we/you don't have the natural/financial resources for 12 kids each ... then have 2 kids instead!!! Common sense!
By the way, these new "fuel efficient" engines are FULL OF crap! I recently purchased a 2010 Full size SUV I need to pull trailers for farm work and transport my large family to replace an older one with one hope that the 21MPG "rating" would save me $$ .... NOT! It's crap, they put 6 speed auto transmission to "save" fuel but instead of saving anything, the gear ratios and timing so SO TIGHT than the slightest breeze or gentile slope comes along and the car falls behind causing me to have to floor it and downshift (and waste lots of gas) just to MAINTAIN SPEED. Ridiculous. THIS is what I paid big $$ for? It's BS. This car is "rated" with 50% MORE mileage than my old one ... but you know what? The actual fuel used is the SAME! EXACTLY the same as my old one. It's just a game ... A game where the new SUV was probably $10k more that I wasted to comply with emissions, fuel ratings, BS, etc - could have thrown an old v8 for $10k LESS and get the same mileage in the real world. I really feel that this "regulation" caused me to piss my hard earned $ away!
@oldguy-1, I used to fix copiers for a living, when I drove the 1987 Chevy Sprint. It had overhead single fuel injection and just a simply electronic computer to run everything. This car was not exotic and all the car manufactures are completely capable of making a similar car. I kept track of my mileage all the time. I still not impress by the hybrids that come out now. The mileage is not that great by comparison of my Chevy Sprint and the price tag is enormous. Plus the higher price cars also come with higher price auto insurance. It all adds to the average cost of driving a car. The more you simplify a car, less cylinders, the less friction you have on moving parts and this equals better mileage.
I agree, it's better to buy a small car than those costly hybrids, which batteries only last a few years. And for the conventional car milage improve each year. All is needed is competition to force manufacturers to improve the technology.
@BubbaGump - I'm not impressed with the hybrids either. But there seems to be something in the newer technology, not necessarily hybrids. My coworker gets 34 mpg in a hybrid Escape and that is the same as my father gets in his Buick Lacross (highway).
@oldguy-1, I currently have a Honda 2006 4-door 5 speed Civic Dx. I get 37mpg and I have 144k now. My Honda cost at the time around 16k new. My Honda is paid now and I hope to double that mileage.
I do not see the expense of a hybrid as being worth it. And with a higher price car, comes higher price auto insurance too. Exotic technology brings higher maintence. ( Ack-hair ball, sorry). I just don't want one yet.
I like to see someone who owns a hybrid make comments here. I appreciate their experience and thoughts.
my dads boss has a new f150. it has a fuel mileage gauge. its normal highway driving fuel mileage is 29-32 mpg...its a 2010 fullsized 4 door f150. i've seen it myself and figured it separately. its all in how u drive.
It truly saddens me when I read comments such as "We need to enforce this upon consumers" and "If it was a federal mandate in our country." Since when have Americans looked to the government to make our choices?
I drive a big truck with a 6.0L V8 because I like having a vehicle that can do anything. I don't complain about the fuel mileage or find it unfair that a Prius gets better mileage. Leave the government out of it. If consumers buy more small vehicles, manufacturers will step up to the plate.
3 cylinder cars currently on sale:
Peugot 107, citroen c1, toyota IQ, Toyota Aygo, Fiat 500 Twin Air has two cylinders...
I think the main increase in fuel efficiency will come from decoupling the engine from the wheels. For example, we could have a super-efficient 2 cylinder engine that is coupled to a storage system, such as a hydraulic hybrid system, and have that super-efficient engine only run at its optimal speed and only when necessary to add energy to the storage system. So, in a hydraulic hybrid vehicle (HHV), the super-efficient engine would be hooked up to the air storage tanks and turn on to fill them when necessary, but always while running only at its most efficient.
A Ford Explorer has recently had an HHV system put in it by the NREL, and the result was that they brought its city mileage from 16 MPG to 30 MPG. (Highway mileage was unchanged, as one would expect.) This is due to using regenerative braking to recapture most of the car's energy when it slows down, putting it back into the storage tanks, and then using that to accelerate later. So if you built a dedicated super-efficient engine to keep those tanks topped off as needed, and never to directly drive the wheels, it seems like you could really get some serious efficiency. And a HHV system is getting to the point where it would have a 2-3 year payback in a car with today's gas prices.
Now THAT would be a real departure from conventional thinking, and that's what I'd really like to see.
Many people assume a hybrid would never do them any good, because they look at the EPA mileage ratings and think that's how it always is, but for anyone driving in larger cities such as Los Angeles where I live, a hybrid or EV makes perfect sense, even if you drive longer distances as I do. An EV can be a blessing in many ways.
When everyone else is puttering along at 12 mph or so, their engine using just as much gas as if they were doing 30 mph, and they're getting something like 5 miles per gallon, if I'm in my Prius, I may hear engine noise-- but it's all coming from other cars. While their engines are on all the time, mine only comes on if I'm driving much faster speeds, or to recharge the battery. At poky speeds like those, which is much of the time for me, my mileage is spectacular-- often I average over 100 miles per gallon for 15 minutes or so at a time. Even with slow-and-go traffic, I average well over 40 mpg.
The Prius has a gauge that tells me what I'm averaging at any given time as well as my average mileage for every 5 miles of driving, and my mileage since my last fill-up-- TRUE mileage, not that EPA nonsense.
Because hybrids and EVs use "regen", or regenerative braking, they do not use as much friction braking as ordinary cars do-- my Prius has about 85,000 miles, and is sill on its first pads and rotors.
With an ordinary ICE car, the engine runs all the time. With a hybrid, sometimes you do hear the engine-- but often you do not... no engine noise, no vibration, and that's like a bunch of little vacations on every trip.
For me, it's not about the money. It nearly sickens me to know that when I buy gasoline, much of that money is going to the likes of Saddam Hussein, Muhammar Kadafi, and other arrogant, despotic tyrants-- too much is never enough. If you remember all the hundreds of monuments these jackasses have built to their own vanity, remember, they built them with our oil money. That's trillions of dollars spent so doofuses here can run around in their SUVs, ignoring the effects of what that money will be used for.. if, instead, we found a way to drive massively powerful toys like the Tesla Roadster EV, that money would not be paid to countries like Iran, who is trying to build atomic bombs to destroy us. It's not being spent on improvised explosive devices to kill their own innocent people... those hundreds of billions of dollars per year can be kept at home to pay for our kids' schools, our health care, and paying off the huge national debt we would otherwise burden our children with.
As for assuming EV batteries will only last a few years? Stop spreading that tripe! Some reporters recently tracked down some of the first Priuses off the assembly line. They tested them to see how much the batteries had degraded. They found that of all the cars they tested with original battery packs, none of them had suffered a loss of charge capacity. Zip it! I keep hearing the same trash talk, and people deserve to hear the truth.
and the next thing will be a federal stimulus program to develop flintstone pedal car
because it is eviromentaly green.
I think somebody is just jealous, deep down, that "claptrap" cars give the lowest cost per mile in North America, especially for the home mechanic. I disdained 3 cyls until I tried them, but now I love 'em. Only one piston stops at a time, and every fourth plug change is "free." - Bob Stuart
There are thousands of cars to choose from all over the world. This is another car aimed at the low end, eco-green market. They have done a good job at capturing that market but its not for everyone.
We at www.fleetpoint.com.au help all types of buyers everyday. God Bless the Automobile
"...have been scorned in the U.S.". Yes, what they don't have in the pants they have on the road there.
Drill baby drill, i had sex with my sister. slurp immigrants ....America....Farming my F150 slurp..drool..hee haw..
You hicks are destroying America with your hate and racism.
Lets talk about some of the stupid things you said.
Its unfortunate the enforce this b/s guy commented first. Who is enforcing anything? A 3 cylinder engine will never be powerful enough to replace a v8 or v6 for at least 10+ years o shut up.
USA is not way more advanced than anyone its propaganda that other countries are happy with us believing. One example is china, they have more middle class people in their country than we have people. An advanced country in my eyes would have 100% educated population, Heath care for all.
Somehow I don't think we will see a 3 cyl f150