By on July 17, 2013

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Ever since someone at Ford decided that it would be a good way to promote their new 1 liter three cylinder EcoBoost engine by dropping a tuned version into a Formula Ford open wheel racecar set up to be street legal they’ve been making sure that the enthusiast world knows about it.

 

Of course they took it to the Nurburgring, where it was timed on the northern circuit at 7:22, faster than an Enzo. Last weekend they took it up the hill at the 20th  Goodwood Festival of Speed, in Brentwood, Essex, UK. With about 200 HP and weighing only 495 kg (~1,100 lbs) the FF1, as Ford is calling it, can hit 60 MPH in less than four seconds. Ford also says that the FF1 can also go as far as 118 miles on a single gallon of gasoline, but of course, that’s not when one’s foot is pinned to the firewall.

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60 Comments on “Ford Runs 1.0L EcoBoost Powered 118 MPG Street Legal Formula Ford At Goodwood...”


  • avatar

    Well considering the car and the driver weigh less than 1 ton, such a small engine should be all that’s needed.

    There is NO REPLACEMENT for DISPLACEMENT.

    Speaking of displacement, I just got a Stroker 440 built engine and I’m eventually going to have it swapped for my engine. Replace the Vortec onto the 440 and see what’s really going on.

    • 0 avatar
      maxxcool7421

      Hate to point this out.. but boosting increases displacement.

      • 0 avatar
        Frankie the Hollywood Scum

        Additionally increasing combustion efficiency and improving volumetric efficiency for naturally aspirated engines offset displacement increases.

      • 0 avatar
        raph

        typically with worse base specific fuel consumption, unless you have a mitigating technology like direct injection for a forced induction engine. Also displacement still trumps in the naturally aspirated world as long as you can apply those same efficiency increases to the larger engine.

        Really this all comes down to where and how to use whatever technology applies to a particular application. In some cases a very small displacement forced induction engine will provide the best efficiency while in others a large displacement naturally aspirated engine will provide the best efficiency or a mix of the two.

        • 0 avatar
          Frankie the Hollywood Scum

          You are absolutely correct. There are many caveats in engine design. I would add oil cooled pistons, further optimized cooling circuit, and Miller cycle with more boost to the mitigating technology list… I’m sure I am missing more than a few.

          Speaking of what type of engine is best for what application. I have been wondering for a while about all the Ecoboost fuel economy complaints. Is this going attributed to difference in real world driving vs the EPA drive cycles? Or is there something else going on?

          • 0 avatar
            See 7 up

            There is no replacement for displacement (when your goal is power). Period.

            All the “offsets” that people talk about can be applied to a larger engine, which will provide more power than smaller engine with same technology.

            Now if we are talking efficiency on a fixed test – the smaller engine will almost always win. Real world – not so much.

          • 0 avatar
            ...m...

            “There is no replacement for displacement (when your goal is power). Period.”

            “Adding power makes you faster on the straights. Subtracting weight makes you faster everywhere.”

            …for any given power level, lower-displacement engines tend to be lighter, albeit with tradeoffs between tune and tractability…the trick of engineering lies in finding the optimal balance between lighter, more highly-tuned engines and appropriate tractability for one’s intended application…

          • 0 avatar
            See 7 up

            you assume smaller displacement engines of equal power output are always lighter than larger engines. That is an incorrect assumption.

            Regardless, I thought we were discussing engines, not full integrated vehicles.

          • 0 avatar
            ...m...

            …it’s a general tendency obviously subject to implementation, not an absolute rule…yes, we are discussing engines: my point is that displacement isn’t always the best solution for power, that there are myriad factors relevant to engine design which frequently favor engineering solutions other than outright displacement…

          • 0 avatar
            See 7 up

            Displacement increase is always the best solution for power.

            It may not be the best solution for power when other factors need to be applied (size, weight, packaging, efficiency constraints). In that you will find no disagreement.

          • 0 avatar
            kyngfish

            Someone please educate me on this. With equal engine design, increasing displacement gives me more capacity for power. Fine. I understand why people LIKE NA engines, because they’re revvy and the power comes on progressively. But within say, a range of V6 engines and varying displacements, wouldn’t I typically go for a smaller displacement with equal power output that has forced induction, vs the larger NA engine? Don’t forced induction engines usually have more power output and a broader torque band? I thought the main argument for higher displacement vs forced induction for power increase was cheapness and reliability – but that performance – wise, forced induction is the way to go.

          • 0 avatar
            See 7 up

            kyngfish
            You are correct, for equal peak power outputs, an FI engine typically has a higher average full load torque spread (i.e. more power over a larger rpm range) than a NA engine.

            As far as which one you would choose. It really comes down to engine character and needs. Turbo lag can be horrid, largely erasing any gain in torque spread, or minimal, High rpm manners can vary greatly depending on how its tuned. Power delivery can be smooth or choppy (drive a Subaru EJ205 to see what I mean).
            Also, keep in mind that torque curves (dyno plots) are all given at full load. Part load/part throttle engine characteristics are often vastly different and can really only be experienced by test driving.

      • 0 avatar
        See 7 up

        FI can only be applied to small engines?

      • 0 avatar
        carve

        Boosting does not increase displacement, which is defined as the volume of the cylinders swept by the pistons. It is, however, a simple way to increase volumetric efficiency above 100%, making the most of the displacement you have.

    • 0 avatar
      Detroit-Iron

      I am angry about a fairly simple physics equation and I am going respond angrily to the people who don’t agree with the side of the equation that I prefer and may even create a cartoon of “Calvin” urinating on the side of the equation that I dislike!

  • avatar
    thornmark

    So when is Ford gonna respond with a fix for the lousy mileage Consumer Reports got in their tests of the Fusion Ecoboosts?

  • avatar
    Da Coyote

    I want one.

    Now.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    I love what passes for “street legal” in the EU. And they want UNECE regs to be taken seriously?

    • 0 avatar
      niky

      What’s street-legal in the UK isn’t necessarily street-legal elsewhere in Europe. The UK’s SVA will allow you to get away without bumpers, but the TUV won’t. To make the Formula Ford street-legal in Germany, it will need a bumper built into the nose cone.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        The nose is 4″ off the ground, 4″ tall. How would mounting a bumper to that do anything?

        • 0 avatar
          burgersandbeer

          Ask the TUV. Who said regulations had to make sense?

          • 0 avatar
            niky

            The X-Bow is a brand new, $80k car. Sold as a “kit”.

            The BAC Mono, which has no roof, no windshield and doesn’t meet DOT standards, has been registered in California after being granted special exemptions. And that’s not a kit.

            The Atom as sold in the USA is not road legal. But it can be registered for road use. Without any bumpers whatsoever.

            Just because one Formula Ford has been registered for road use in the UK has no bearing on UNECE. It’s a special case, not a regular, production line passenger vehicle.

        • 0 avatar
          niky

          There is no minimum bumper height regulation in the United States. Just state specific maximums.

          The same in Germany. To register a Formula Ford for the road in Germany, you have to install a bumper.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            You’re talking ‘modified’ trucks bumper limits. The DOT’s bumper standard requires impact protection in the region 16 to 20 inches above the driving surface. This requirement applies to passenger cars only. Pickup trucks, SUVs and minivans are not covered because their bumper height varies depending on the clearance they need to operate appropriately.

          • 0 avatar
            niky

            Ah. My mistake. The Formula Ford “street-legal” racer is a one-off, registered under special exemptions, and doesn’t need to meet all regulations for series production cars. You can also register cars that don’t meet all DOT regulations in the United States, like the Atom, X-Bow and various Super-Sevens, under similar exemptions or as kit cars.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            You’re talking “kit cars” built on vintage VWs, right? Or Pontiac Fieros? You’re not really putting a new vehicle on the road, are you?

          • 0 avatar
            niky

            The X-Bow is a brand new, $80k car. Sold as a “kit”.

            The BAC Mono, which has no roof, no windshield and doesn’t meet DOT standards, has been registered in California after being granted special exemptions. And that’s not a kit.

            The Atom as sold in the USA is not road legal. But it can be registered for road use. Without any bumpers whatsoever.

            Just because a single Formula Ford has been registered for road use in the UK has no bearing on UNECE. It’s a special case, not a regular, production-line passenger vehicle.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            There’s an exemption in CA, but it’s limited to 500 new registrations a year. So you could be on the waiting list for years. This includes any open wheel Dune Buggy or T-Bucket roadster type.

          • 0 avatar
            niky

            Which matters how to a one-off street-legal racing car that doesn’t qualify for series production for road use in Europe, anyway?

            It’s street-legal as a special case. As indicated, Britain’s SVA is “Single Vehicle Approval”… not production… not series… and is a similarly limited exemption.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    Any reasons why this would get better mileage than a moped, or is Ford just making stuff up again?

    • 0 avatar
      Beerboy12

      When a moped gets around the ring in under 8 minutes you can make that statement.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        I can make that statement right now. I just did it a few minutes ago. Open wheel racing cars that can lap racing circuits at speeds greater than even the best GTs are quite normal. That’s a big part of why they exist. It would be newsworthy if one were also as fuel efficient as the latest sub-liter diesel tadpole that has tires which would slip out from under your bicycle. Good luck.

        • 0 avatar
          Beerboy12

          I understand most of what you are saying, it’s the comparison to a moped that did not make sense. Comparing a race car to a scooter? Really?
          This car is not just about gas mileage anyway. It’s about putting a standard mass production engine for a mass produced econo-box into a race car. The value of doing that is arguable but I believe there is value.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            I compared it to a moped because they’re about the only IC production vehicles that are claimed to return 118 mpg. While I find it highly credible that a modern automobile engine makes better use of a gram of fuel than a 49 cc piston port 2-stroke, powering this vehicle still involves shifting four times the mass, disturbing a few times as much air, and overcoming many times as much rolling resistance. This suggests that claims of similar fuel economy are absurd. In summation, I compared it to a moped because 118 mpg is a fuel consumption claim typical for a moped.

          • 0 avatar
            Beerboy12

            The video mentions that the mileage is achieved only when not “nailing the throttle to the firewall”. Call it a disclaimer. Most mopeds will not even pull off with out full throttle because 2 stokes are so hopelessly inefficient and the engine is about an eighth of the size (125cc if you are lucky). If a moped motor got nearly the level of engineering detail that, that 3 cylinder has it would get quite a bit better mileage than the Ford but it would kill it’s rider.

    • 0 avatar
      W.Minter

      I hear 57 mpg imp @ 75 mph in the video.
      That’s 47.5 mpg US or 5 lhk.

      In comparison, the Fiesta ST (1.6l, I4 turbo, 182 bhp) is rated 58.9 mpg imp.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        That actually makes sense. This car benefits from having very light weight which is offset by having abysmal levels of aerodynamic drag and rolling resistance relative to typical fuel economy specialists. I can’t watch the video right now, but I’d love to hear how they came up with the 118 mpg claim, which this engine wouldn’t return when attached to a 200 kg motorcycle with the same drag coefficient and a third the frontal area.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          Typically motorcycles and the person riding on them are not very aerodynamic. Race cars on the other hand are typically extremely aerodynamic. Frontal area is only one part of the equation, what goes on under, on the sides and particularly the back of the vehicle all have an impact.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            Open wheeled racing cars are far from the low drag end of the spectrum. Here’s an article on DRS that estimates F1 cars’ drag coefficients to be roughly 0.98: http://www.roadandtrack.com/go/news/new-technology/f1-drs-less-drag-more-passing-1

            Exposed wheels are very dirty. While there is a great deal of effort made to reduce drag, any achievements are only worthwhile relative to other cars built to the same rules. The FF1 is probably lower drag than an F1 car thanks to its lack of wings, but it isn’t as low drag as a production car. A motorcycle has a frontal area of about 7 feet, around half of a low estimate for this car. While the Hayabusa, one of the most aerodynamic motorcycles available, has a drag coefficient of 0.561 with rider, more typical of motorcycles is 0.8 to 1.0 cds. In other words, they’re about as aerodynamic as open wheeled racing cars while having half the frontal area. That means half the total drag.

  • avatar
    Beerboy12

    I have always liked the idea of less cylinders for small engines. It means bigger cylinders and that means a better torque profile. As engines get smaller, perhaps the electric car will save us from the one cylinder car?

  • avatar

    “Ever since someone at Ford decided that it would be a good way to promote their new 1 liter three cylinder EcoBoost engine by dropping a tuned version into a Formula Ford open wheel racecar setup to be street legal.”

    Is not a sentence.

    Of more importance:
    1) I never understood the point of making what’s obviously a race car “street legal” to claim some kind of record.

    2) Still awesome though.

  • avatar
    burgersandbeer

    Please make finding an editor part of the new TTAC direction. The opening sentence before the jump should not be a mess.

  • avatar
    1998redwagon

    tough crowd. they want the latest in factual automobile information AND correct grammar. can hardly blame them. standards you know.

  • avatar

    @ about 2:22 in the video, as the car pulls away from the camera location, you can hear a screaming noise. I’m not sure if it’s the turbo making that noise, or if it’s Harris screaming in joy.

  • avatar
    carve

    I’d like a motorcycle, but don’t buy one because they’re so unsafe. I’m sure this could be made much safer. I wish they’d mass produce a simple weekend-toy like this. Why can motorcycles be street legal, but this can’t? I’m sure without safety regulations Ford could make this much cheaper than an Atom or X-bow. I’d consider dropping $35k for one, especially if it had 1+1 seating

    • 0 avatar
      Beerboy12

      Arial Atom?

    • 0 avatar
      ...m...

      …lotus elise?..it may be the least practical car on the road, but it’s also the most practical motorcycle on the road, and street-legal stateside, to boot…

    • 0 avatar
      burgersandbeer

      “Why can motorcycles be street legal, but this can’t?”

      I wondered the same thing reading Kreutzer’s kei car article. Maybe the thought is these cars have enough mass to risk injury to others? Motorcycles can hurt drivers with enough speed too though. It is hard to reconcile motorcycles with current safety regulations.

      Speaking of safety though, how much safer are kei cars or something like the formula ford compared to a motorcycle? You don’t have the risk of road rash, but you are still extremely vulnerable to the majority of road traffic. Being visible to other road users is arguable even more of a problem than on a motorcycle.

      So with all that said, maybe the solution is to ride a motorcycle and be done with it. Saves you the trouble of crab walking in and out of it and is probably even more thrilling.

    • 0 avatar
      See 7 up

      A 3 or 4 wheeled vehicle that does not lean, and is not subject to dynamic changes due to body position, will never, ever in all time ever duplicate the feeling of riding a motorcycle.

      Small, light, minimalist vehicles are extremely fun, but they are an entirely different experience than a motorcycle. Not that it makes either one better or more fun than the other.

  • avatar
    jdmcomp

    Smaller begats smaller. Lighter engine needs smaller brakes, smaller transmission, smaller tires, lighter frame. Gains all around.

  • avatar
    Sine00

    This can’t be correct.

  • avatar
    wmba

    I wonder how fast this car would be with a real 1.0 liter engine. The Suzuki GSX-R1000 four cylinder bike engine weighed only 130 lbs with a real counterbalance shaft. 160 bhp stock. Fettled like this Ecoboost 1.0 undoubtedly was to 200 hp would take less screwing around, eliminate the turbo, and provide the thrill of some real shrieking howling revs.

    Make my modified Formula Ford with an engine like this, or one from Ducati, Yamaha, Honda, yada, yada. Street turbo engines are weak sauce compared to these howlers. Couldn’t possibly comment on the fuel mileage, though.

    • 0 avatar
      niky

      Turbos have more power down low than screamers. While low- and mid-rpm power isn’t a problem when you’re on a bike, it is when you’re in something significantly heavier.

      Previous Formula Fords used a naturally aspirated Duratec. This motor looks and sounds a bit more epic.

  • avatar
    tjh8402

    I know the ring hasn’t gotten a lot of love on this site in the past, but man that video made it look good. I loved how you could see how the car got into a rhythm with the track. It looked like it was an absolute blast…scary…but an insane amount of fun.


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