By on September 19, 2012
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The introduction of three-cylinder (and even parallel twin) engines in subcompact and compact cars is a much needed dose of whimsy and engineerng prowess is a segment that is crippled by terminal homogeny. Although we don’t get the Fiat TwinAir powertrain, Ford’s 1.0L 3-cylinder Ecoboost will be coming to our shores, and by the time it goes on sale here, we’ll already have the tools to extract some more juice from the sub-1000cc engine.

EVO magazine has tested a 1.0L Focus with a Superchips ECU flash; power is up from 123 horsepower and 125 lb-ft to 145 horsepower and 167 lb-ft of torque. You’ll have to wind the engine out to over 6000 rpm to make peak power – on the other hand, peak torque is available at 500 fewer rpm, meaning the 167 lb-ft comes in at around 2600 rpm.

The reflash costs about $737 USD, and there’s no indication of whether we’ll be able to get our hands on it Stateside. If it were made available, it would certainly liven up the theoretical Ecoboost Focus, and one can only imagine how it entertaining it would be in an Ecoboost Fiesta compared to the dour, lethargic 1.6L engine in the current car.

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17 Comments on “More Bounce To The Ounce Ford 3-Banger Ecoboost...”


  • avatar
    Darkhorse

    Sounds like a highly stressed engine. Any word on durability?

  • avatar
    dolorean

    So, Tastes Great! Less Filling! I look forward to test driving this one, worry about the smoothness of a three-pot motor.

  • avatar
    raph

    I wonder if FRPP ( Ford Racing Performance Parts ) will cook up a package for the Fiesta. The Focus will get attention just like the Mustang always does. They certainly tend to err on the side of caution when it comes to engine tunes but it would be neat to see what they offer.

    • 0 avatar
      tjh8402

      Ford Racing does have several suspension packages for the Fiesta. I’ve always been interested to see a review somewhere else besides on a Fiesta owners site (who are predisposed to like it already). I’m curious it if effectively tightens up the handling that had been softened for the US market without ruining the ride.

      right now the only driveline related items are a short throw shifter, cat back exhaust, and K&N air filter.

  • avatar
    loj

    I’m trying to wrap my head around a peak of 165 lb/feet torque at 2600 RPM and peak HP of 145 at over 6000. Mathematically it doesn’t seem to make sense.

    Does that mean that although torque peaks early, it’s a relatively flat curve from there on?

    In any case, those are crazy numbers for a tiny motor and I love it. And I could not agree more with this statement:

    “The introduction of three-cylinder (and even parallel twin) engines in subcompact and compact cars is a much needed dose of whimsy and engineerng prowess is a segment that is crippled by terminal homogeny.”

    Bring on the 2 cylinders next!

  • avatar
    Perc

    I took the 125-horse Ecoboost out for a spin last week. It came in the form of a Titanium-spec Focus Wagon. It left me positively surprised.

    125hp doesn’t sound like a lot, but bear with me here. It’s not a performance option, it’s a replacement for the normal ~1.6 liter 4-pot that has served as the default choice in this market segment for decades. It did the job really well, with noticeably more low-end grunt than a normal 1.4-1.6 liter naturally aspirated engine would have. The engine note was strange, but not bad in any way. It just takes some time getting used to. I accidentally hit the rev limiter once. I was exiting a roundabout rather … vigorously… and my ears told me I was somewhere in the middle of the powerband when I clearly wasn’t.

    It was a six speed manual with shift indicators bossing me around whenever it felt like I was in the wrong gear. It wanted me to stay below 2000rpm most of the time and I never got the feeling I was lugging the engine. You could certainly hear the three cylinders firing one at a time when you floored it at 1600-1700 rpm, but it never felt like it couldn’t take it.

    If you’re in Europe and in the market for a reasonably priced Focus, there’s certainly no reason to go for a four-cylinder. The ecoboost is a damn good engine. Let’s just hope it’s reliable, too.

    As for the Focus itself, not bad. I’d consider it if I was in the market.

  • avatar
    tjh8402

    leave it to a 3 cylinder to make me actually find an electric car’s drivetrain to be appealing. I’d take the silent souless power of an electric motor over the unbalanced buzzy sound and feel of a 3 cylinder any day. I find most 4 cylinders to be pedestrian feeling enough…can’t imagine life with a 3.

    • 0 avatar
      TonyJZX

      3 cyl is supposed to be smoother than a 4 cyl like how an inline six is smoother than a v8

      this engine will also land in the Mondeo if you believe the press

    • 0 avatar
      alex_rashev

      Mechanically, a 3-cylinder is more balanced than 4. So, power is less continious but part-throttle vibration is lower as well.

      A 3-cylinder with an electric motor on the flywheel would be the answer to idle vibration, as well as a whole lot of other problems.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      The Ecoboost 3 has an offset crankshaft, which is supposed to help with the vibration issues. Honda did the same thing with the engine in the original Insight.

  • avatar
    C170guy

    Wow. When I first read that Ford had a 3 cylinder I thought they were starting a new line of garden tractors. The truth is even more bizarre than fiction though. It isn’t a joke, but it is! At least a lawn tractor has a smooth hydrostatic and not the DCT (which should be a triumph of modern engineering, but isn’t.)

    They had a good run for a few years, but the party looks like it’s over. It’s hard not to believe that they have lost their minds.

    How much money will they charge for the 3, and how much will people pay to not even get a real engine? Maybe there is a sucker born every minute and they want to make a point of it? Is this one of their new engines with a timing belt, too?

    For as much worship as the Mulally era gets, I have seen no good come from it. What’s next under the hood, two rickshaw pedalers for an extra $5995? Automakers try so hard to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, and their talent really shines sometimes.
    It’s shocking. A few years ago they were about to be the best automaker in the world. Painful to watch sometimes.

    • 0 avatar
      srogers

      Different strokes.
      I have no problem with 3 cylinders if they can provide the performance required. Triumph motorcycles with triples sound great to me, so I’m looking forward to hearing one of these Fords.

      • 0 avatar
        C170guy

        Well, Srogers, If you have a friend with a recent Ford see if you can spend some time in one and drive it. They are cars that should be pretty close to the best in the world, but then a few years ago someone came along with a dumptruck full of “oh no, what were they thinking!?!” and added it to everything they do.

        Ford used to be really good at getting the simple stupid basics right, and fumbling the nuances that don’t matter (and in comparison, GM was always great at nuances, but failed the basics.) These days it’s like what dumb thing is Ford gonna shock me with next? I almost don’t want to read about them anymore, because they were so promising, and now they are the crazy uncle in the silly hat ranting about free energy machines at Christmas dinner. Uncle Bob really wants to show you the highly advanced machine he built in his garage from plans he ordered out of the may 1964 edition of popular mechanics. What do you say? Ugh.

      • 0 avatar
        srogers

        This sounds like you have an ax to grind.
        Fords seem to be doing OK as far as reviews of their recent products go. Can all reviewers be either bought or blind to these glaring mistakes? I know that My Touch is awkward, and their twin clutch autos are lumpy, but neither is a big deal to me. I’d happily buy a Focus today if my old one needed replacement.


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