By on June 4, 2014

ford-fusion-lightweight-1

 

In just a few hours, we’ll be picking up a brand new Ford Fusion with Ford’s new 1.5L Ecoboost engine. As you are well aware, the Fusion is a gamechanger. Especially the one pictured above, which loses one cylinder and 500 cc of displacement.

The 1.0L Ecoboost three-pot is only part of an overall effort by Ford to produce an experimental lightweight car. The concept combines carbon fiber, aluminum, high strength steel, lightweight wheels and tires, specially treated gas and, of course, the aforementioned 1.0L engine, to bring weight down closer to 2,500 lbs, or about the same as a base model Fiesta.

One day, we’ll inevitably see mass produced cars made with aluminum, carbon fiber and other materials that we currently consider exotic. But how far will we go in decreasing cylinder counts? Some brands are already eliminating V6 engines from their mid-size offerings. Ford is set to offer a 1.0L version of the Fusion/Mondeo in Europe, but will we ever see a triple-powered mid-sizer here? Stranger things have happened, and the newest CAFE regulations are, you know, a game changer for the whole industry.

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174 Comments on “Ford’s Lightweight Gamechanger...”


  • avatar
    GranMarkeez

    I wonder what performance and NVH will be like in such a vehicle.

    • 0 avatar
      wumpus

      I doubt it is that bad. Of course, less weight and less cylinders means more issues that have to be engineered out, but less mass means that any road bumps should be smoothed out easier*.

      * note that this might require engineering some new parts and get cut by the beancounters in mid design cycle. Note that while more mass will resist road bumps, once the tire moves up and down the entire mass of the car gets a bump in that velocity. Countering that on a lower mass car should be easier (but Ford might not have such a suspension handy). Dealing with wind (such as a passing 18-wheeler) is another story.

      PS. Is one of the things that changed with the Interregnum is that you can use the term “game changer” for something that can’t run the option?

    • 0 avatar

      A GUTLESS vehicle such as this makes a lot of sense if you spend most of your time doing highway miles or sitting in traffic. There’s nothing “fun” about it, but it’ll most-likely fit your budget – or be purchased as a fleet vehicle for meter maids and “inspection sticker-ticket writers” to drive 2 mph up and down my block trying to catch me slipping and write me a ticket.

      Or…perhaps they’ll purchase them for “Jurassic Park ‘The Ride’” tours and paint them green and yellow?

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        I doubt if it will fit anyone’s budget better than the older tech. These new-fangled contraptions ALWAYS cost a boatload more than the older tech.

        Think back to the Ford V6 Ecobust. There’s no reason for it to cost more than a V8 version!

        But this is the new wave of the future. The squirrels under the hood are getting smaller and smaller, the sheet metal on the outside is getting thinner and thinner, and the interior materials are getting cheaper and cheaper.

        • 0 avatar
          heavy handle

          Why is it then that cheap cars are faster to 60 than Ferraris used to be, and are lasting longer than ever?

          I can understand a bit of yearning for one’s younger days, but let’s not get carried away.

          As they say about nostalgia “my grandpa built his house with hand tools and an axe. He had to. He would have used power tools if they’d been around.”

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            heavy handle, I acknowledged that “… this is the new wave of the future.” As in lightweight cars with squirrelly engines.

            But that does not mean that we all have to subscribe to it. That’s exactly the reason why the F150 is the best-selling vehicle in America, even for people who rarely, if ever, need a truck.

            Want a trend-setter? Take the best-selling Camry! Or the Accord. Even the Altima sells better than the Fusion.

            It remains to be seen if the buying public is gullible enough to fork over the money to buy one of these lightweights and pass up a Camry, Accord, Altima or Sonata.

            It’s true that cars these days are much better than in the days of my youth, but I still prefer to drive something with heft, instead of getting blown all over the road by every cross-wind I encounter in some light-weight squirrelly car.

            And as far as the house that grandpa built? I’ll take one of those over any of the newbuilts! Older homes were far more substantially built than the cracker boxes of today.

            I’ve worked and upgraded a lot of the homes and properties my wife’s family owns and rents out, and the new ones are crap. That’s why I built my own house the old fashioned way, with gussets, braces, reinforcements, and double brick instead of brick veneer.

            However, this is not the venue to expand on this.

          • 0 avatar
            Luke42

            “Older homes were far more substantially built than the cracker boxes of today.”

            The older homes which are still standing, you mean.

            *cough*

            With this kind of post-hoc selection, the analysis can’t say much about what was originally built.

            On the other hand, if you’ve got a house that’s still in good shape after 100 years, that tells you something about that particular house.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            @HighDesertCat

            Isn’t the EcoBoost the best selling engine in the F150? It costs more because it is better than an antediluvian V8. More efficient and more powerful. Just not both at the same time – TANSTAAFL.

            @Luke42

            Much like old cars, I think it tells you more about the previous OWNERS than it does the house. Some people could tear up the Pyramids, others could make a Japanese paper house last for centuries.

            @Sigvald

            “Gutless” to our favorite Hemi-head means less than 300hp. I agree with you, sounds like fun. The Colin Chapman recipe – just add lightness.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Luke42, you are right. I should have added “those that are still standing”.

            It pains me to see perfectly good homes demolished to make room for parking lots or kiddie parks.

            This is what happened in Huntington Beach in areas that used to be my haunts and hangouts.

            _________________________________________

            krhodes1, yes, the V6 Ecoboost is the best-selling engine in the F150, last I checked.

            But I know of only one contractor in my area who owns one and it can’t keep up with my Tundra 5.7 going up the mountain on US82 while towing a trailer with any kind of load on it.

            I’ve mentioned this before.

          • 0 avatar
            jhefner

            @hreardon: “This video pitting a ’59 Bel Air to an ’09 Malibu demonstrates that overall cars today are substantially better (safer) than ever: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=joMK1WZjP7g”

            Like old houses, not all old cars were built alike either.

            The GM cars of the era had what is known as an X frame:

            http://www.curbsideclassic.com/automotive-histories/automotive-history-an-x-ray-look-at-gms-x-frame-1957-1970/

            And the type of crash shown in the video is an offset impact crash.

            To put all of this in English; at the point where the Bel-Air was hit; there was nothing protecting the passenger compartment but the left wheel and sheetmetal; so yes, the car impacting it smashed it’s way clear to the driver’s door; while the Malibu, which was designed for offset impacts; faired well.

            Any old car would have faired poorly; there is no doubt about that. But they picked the worst of the worst for this test. And got the dramatic results you saw here.

        • 0 avatar
          wumpus

          Judging by the rpms needed, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if a turbo V6 was considerably more expensive to build than a V8. If you compared a OHCV6 vs. pushrod V8 (with or without a turbo), I suspect the V8 is still cheaper to make (although probably not to fill with gas, even if the V8 is shrunk to make the same power).

          Marketing is truely a black art. I’m just impressed when a company like Nissan comes along and usually will let you buy the engine you want (and until recently the transmission as well. I wouldn’t be surprised if the “we will put our great V6 in everything (above the Sentra)” has changed as well).

          • 0 avatar
            hreardon

            Don’t get me started on the “older homes are better” train: it’s mainly BS. Everytime I open up a wall in my 1920s era colonial I find shortcuts and code violations that I swear were illegal even back then.

            Every era has good builders and bad builders, and there are a lot of modern home builders who skimp and cut corners wherever they can. It happened 90 years ago, too.

            This video pitting a ’59 Bel Air to an ’09 Malibu demonstrates that overall cars today are substantially better (safer) than ever: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=joMK1WZjP7g

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            hreardon, I have worked on several homes built during the late 1800s and early 1900s, and many modern-construction ones.

            It’s not my hobby. I did it because my father-in-law asked me to do it.

            And you’re right, every era has good builders and bad builders and a lot of modern home builders who skimp and cut corners.

            I worked on two homes in El Paso, TX, the old part in old town and they were built like a brick sh!t house.

            Maybe the dry climate preserved the structure but the quality of materials and construction techniques were outstanding.

            We were able to restore those two homes, update the plumbing and electrical wiring, add new rolls of insulation all around, put in two Carrier AC units, and carpet the entire bottom and top floors, wall to wall, after adding supports to the wood flooring.

            When my wife and her dad bought a house in West El Paso for our daughter, a house that was built in the middle 90s by a builder of stature in the El Paso area, the quality of construction and electrical wiring was the pits!

            Hell,the concrete slab wasn’t even level and I had to backfill the slab with Thinset to level it when laying ceramic tile, wall to wall.

            Built on 24″ centers, even a brick veneer exterior could not keep the walls from swaying when you slammed a door shut.

            Insulation inside the walls was the cheapest, thinnest Corning I have ever encountered and the crawl space in the attic had been shot full of rock wool.

            The roof was asphalt shingles with 100lb tar paper. This in an upscale (older) neighborhood! IOW, it sucked, construction wise.

            By the time Federico and I got done with the roof, we had put down a second layer of 1/2″ plywood 4X8 sheets to firm up the roof, added extra trusses, laid down 115lb rolls of tar-impregnated fiberglass sheeting to waterproof it, and lightweight Mexican tile on top of that.

            A lot of work, but I think it extended the longevity of the house because the builder sure didn’t care how it went up.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            What “rpms needed” are you talking about? V6s, turbo or not, still redline at about the same value as a V8–at most 1,000rpm more. My typical shift points on a V8 are at about 2500-3000 rpm, no matter which engine I use and often somewhat lower if I’m taking it easy. I almost never push near the redline unless I really need to get moving quickly, which typical freeway-ramp traffic won’t allow in many cases. Were it not for the on-ramp homesteaders, I would be at highway speed and merging long before I reach the end of the lane in almost every case, but usually have to wait for anywhere from one to five cars ahead of me to move out first. Worse, if I merge into a very safe opening before the car in front of me? The idiot doesn’t continue his merge, but rather hits the brakes as though afraid he can’t make it–despite the fact I’m still well behind him.

            No, honestly the problem today is the drivers more than any excess or lack of power. Too many of today’s drivers are afraid to drive and too many of the rest are too impatient to give them a chance.

            Maybe cutting back on power across the board IS a good idea, hmmm?

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @hreardon: “This video pitting a ’59 Bel Air to an ’09 Malibu demonstrates that overall cars today are substantially better (safer) than ever: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=joMK1WZjP7g”

            I’d rather have the ’59 as a rest-mod. I far prefer the look over these plastic bubbles we’re driving today.

      • 0 avatar
        KixStart

        You’d be surprised how many people spend a great deal of their time doing highway miles or sitting in traffic.

      • 0 avatar
        philadlj

        I wouldn’t say there’s _nothing_ fun about it…it’s a frikkin’ Fusion SUPERLEGGERA on skinny tires. Family sedans haven’t weighed 2500 pounds in decades.

        I would wager it’s a LOT more involving and tossable and therefore more fun to drive than the regular Fusion.

        The only problem is this thing probably cost hundreds of thousands to make.

        • 0 avatar
          Drewlssix

          The GE generation 626 sedan base 4banger with stick weighed 2530lbs. The GF overhaul upped that a bit in 98. It also had comparable hp and tq numbers pre over post and was probably just a decent OD cog away from delivering high 30s highway even with the lame duck engine. I personally look forward to the promise of lightweight sedans once again. A 2.0 or 2.5 turbo would make for a decent performance version. And with volume comes lower cost.

      • 0 avatar
        Sigivald

        Per KBB: “the 1.0-liter EcoBoost is rated at 123 hp and 125 lb-ft of torque. Peak torque rises to 148 lb-ft when the overboost function kicks in, which we found to provide surprising power when merging onto the freeway.”

        123/148 is not gutless in a 2,500 pound car.

        My Corolla is 130/125 and the same weight, and it more than gets out of its own way (and I find driving it quite fun indeed) – the added torque certainly won’t hurt.

        “Gutless” here seems to mean “not a supercar”, and “nothing “fun”” appears to be based on… man, I don’t even know. Since the Fusion in question is a concept car nobody here’s driven, and since plenty of people have had *lots* of fun in cars of that same weight-and-power class…

        I mean, hey, different strokes and all that, but …

        • 0 avatar

          #1 All I care about is its 0 -60 being lower than 8 seconds.

          It’s obvious that 0 -100 or Quarter Mile times won’t matter one bit for a 1-Liter anything…

          #2 I understand how waiting in traffic and driving nothing but highway miles at no more than 60 (posted speed limit) can justify a car like this.

          I hate sitting in traffic and wasting fuel which could otherwise be put to use grind my tires to dust.

          Start/Stop technologies and cylinder deactivation – couple with these ridiculously small displacement engines should be returning well over 50MPG…

          TOO BAD using turbochargers to make up for lack of displacement actually uses MORE FUEL than just being smart and using an adequately sized engine in the first place.

          • 0 avatar
            mmh2

            We get it already. When you’re not posting the TTAC board (which seems to be most of the time), you’re tear-assing around in Mopar V8s. Everything else on the road is a distant second, and anyone who buys a smaller engine is a drooling moron. Maybe give it a rest for a while, huh?

          • 0 avatar

            Why would they be limited to 60mph? I had a BMW 518i with maybe 100hp and there was no problem driving at 180kph (110mph).

            For a sedan(Cd = 0.33) of 2500 lbs it only takes about 30hp to cruise at 80mph.

        • 0 avatar

          Sigivald

          All the power: mass and displacement numbers mean NOTHING to me.

          All you got to give me are the:

          0 – 60 time
          60 – 0 time.
          0-100 time
          0-1/8th mile time.

          Put 4 people in the car: 2 adults and 2 children in back.
          Then put 4 adults in the car.

          Those numbers tell me everything I need to know.

          In fact, that’s how the EPA ought to test car – using equivalent mass simulating real-world conditions.

          • 0 avatar
            dtremit

            The EPA does, in fact, test cars with an average passenger load (though I think it may be through dyno trickery rather than actually putting weight in the car).

        • 0 avatar
          tjh8402

          I’m with sigvaldi on the power being sufficient. I’ve rented and spent many miles in I4 fiestas and found them to have perfectly adequate power. No, it’s not my BMW, but I never worried about my ability to merge into traffic or get up to 80 on the highway. The ecoboost 3 has the same horsepower and more torque, so id expect even better performance from that engine.

    • 0 avatar
      Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

      A properly engineered I3 (such as BMW’s K75 ‘brick’ motor) is turbine-smooth, and with forced induction should be able to get 150-175hp/l, more if the car is electrified and there’s no accessory belts.

      OTOH, BMW has a compact I6 motorcycle engine that could likely be upgraded with DI, VVT, etc. (which don’t really fit in the compact space required for motorcycle applications) which should be more reliable and efficient than balance-shafting due to its inherent primary and secondary balance.

      Incidentally, I have a K1600GTL, and the motor is a f–king delight. Turbine smooth with a great shriek.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    In the 90s there was a kids toy (which I didn’t have), where you had a black square board (I believe filled with a thin layer of gel) and you drew on it with a stylus-device. It pushed the black around, revealing a rainbow of colors and allowing you to create cool drawings. The drawing stayed there until you swiped it with the tool, to return it to black. I can’t for the life of me remember the name, but the photo above snapped my mind to it immediately – those ridiculous colors.

    • 0 avatar
      Land Ark

      Not sure if it was called this back in the day, but what you are describing is currently called Marvin’s Magic Drawing Board.

      http://www.amazon.com/Marvins-Magic-MM-MALO-PC/dp/B00009V29E

      Edit: Apparently it was called that – search YouTube for the commercial. Not sure why I can’t post a link to it here.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        I posted this to Facebook as well, and had an answer within 3 minutes! Thanks.

        The commercial always annoyed me, but was clearly memorable. It was definitely called that in the 90s as well.

    • 0 avatar
      IHateCars

      Yeah, it was called a Plam Pilot! Lol! Remember those?

  • avatar
    VoGo

    I wonder if it’s a coincidence that Ford released this item the day after all those rumors surfaced about the ’15 Mustang coming in overweight.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “Some brands are already eliminating V6 engines from their mid-size offerings”

    The market leaders have not, AFAIK. Just the foolish brands.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      That’s right, they’re rushing to tiny+turbo way too quickly.

      You know, if a car is that size, but weighs like a Fiesta because of materials, then theoretically the engine should be fine to power the car.

      But as someone else mentioned, what price are you going to pay in terms of NVH? As well, you can only fit a small amount of people/things in a Fiesta. You can load this with MUCH more, adding to engine stress.

      But the bottom line is those materials are so costly, you’d save more overall cost/energy/etc if you made a regular version but put a good diesel in it.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I’m all for improving materials and saving weight, I really am. I just don’t need a nanny engine, nor do I need it in the shop constantly due to half baked technology.

        Diesel is not a bad idea, but it isn’t beloved in the US. Not by the industry as a whole or dot gov.

        • 0 avatar
          NoGoYo

          Same here. Give me a normal 4 cylinder, it won’t get much worse fuel economy than a turbo 3-banger while being much more reliable in the long run. Less stressed by having to move people and their sh*t.

          • 0 avatar
            jmo

            being much more reliable

            Based on what evidence?

          • 0 avatar
            NoGoYo

            There’s no evidence yet (because the tiny turbo engines haven’t been around long enough yet) but I feel like a larger, naturally aspirated engine would naturally suffer less stress in normal driving situations.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            The thing is the naturally aspirated engines these days are going to be all-aluminum with cylinder deactivation, stop-start, direct injection, all number of added efficiency tech. The addition of a turbo isn’t going to be a huge deal.

            The 1.0 Ecoboost does use an iron block, so there is that.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @NoGoYo: Essentially you’re correct; you have to balance power with weight. To me, a tiny engine will do fine as long as it’s hauling a tiny load. While the Yugo was an abysmal car quality-wise, it at least served its purpose as a personal transport vehicle. Of course, if the engine gets too small it would probably fit and run better under a bike than anything with 4 wheels.

        • 0 avatar
          PonchoIndian

          Half baked tech?
          Not sure what you mean

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I’m skeptical on turbo being a valid mainstream technology, and I’m definitely not sold on a forced induction 1.0L I3 in any way.

          • 0 avatar
            PonchoIndian

            Turbos have been a valid mainstream offering in diesels for eons.

            Chrysler built millions of turbos in the 80′s for everything from a Omni to a Caravans.

            GM has built plenty of turbos (3.8 V6 included).

            Acura has put turbos as its only engine in the RDX for a few years prior to recently.

            Not sure what the fear is.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            -Diesel != gas

            -Chrysler built turbo I4s in the 80s because it did not have a V6 to offer at the time.

            -GM did do a turbo 3.8, but it saw limited use. What other turbos has GM done prior to 2010?

            -IIRC the turbo did so well in Acura RDX that it was dropped for a V6.

          • 0 avatar
            PonchoIndian

            the 3.8 wasn’t limited use. They sold more than 100K in the 80′s.

            GM also had a 1.8 turbo, 2.0 turbo,3.1 turbo and 4.9 turbo in the 80′s

            You are right about Diesel not = gas, diesels are harder on their turbos than a gas engine is.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Riviera S/T-type and Regal T-type, Sport Coupe, Grand National/GNX were the only models which carried a turbo 3.8 for more than two model years. I can’t speak for production figures but the engine was clearly in limited use in special trims only. If GM sold 10 million vehicles a year between 1980 and 1990, 100K examples is still 0.1%.

            I didn’t know about those other motors, now I have some new reading to too, thx.

            “A turbocharged version was introduced as the pace car at the 1976 Indianapolis 500, and a production turbo arrived in 1978. The turbo 3.8 received sequential fuel injection and a distributorless wasted spark ignition system in 1984. In 1986 an air-to-air Garrett intercooler was added and the RPO Code became LC2. The LC2 engine has a bore of 3.80″ and a stroke of 3.40″. The respective horsepower ratings for 1986 & 1987 were 235 hp (175 kW) & 245 hp (183 kW). The limited production GNX benefitted from additional factory modifications such as a ceramic turbocharger, more efficient Garrett intercooler, low restriction exhaust system and revised programming which resulted in a 276 hp (206 kW) factory rating.

            The turbo 3.8 liter was used in the following vehicles:

            1978–1987 Buick Regal Sport Coupe, T Type, Grand National and GNX
            1978–1980 Buick LeSabre Sport Coupe
            1979–1980 Buick Century Turbo Coupe
            1979–1985 Buick Riviera S Type and T Type
            1980–1981 Chevrolet Monte Carlo
            1989 Pontiac Trans Am Turbo

            The turbocharged 1987 Buick Regal Grand National was called America’s quickest automobile, and the model continues to be collected and appreciated today.”

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buick_V6_engine

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            “What other turbos has GM done prior to 2010?”

            They did own a company called Saab.
            Going a bit farther back, they had the first and second makes to sell turbocharged cars in significant numbers (Chevrolet and Oldsmobile).

            Arguably, no company has more turbo experience than GM. They’ve probably forgot all of it, but you can’t argue that they never knew it.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @heavy handle

            I actually wasn’t being factious, I really wanted to know about other motors. You bring up a good point about Saab.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            “Chrysler built millions of turbos in the 80′s for everything from a Omni to a Caravans.”

            I had one of those Chrysler turbos, that’s why I’m reluctant to ever buy another turbo

        • 0 avatar
          KixStart

          A “nanny” engine? Does this engine nag you about cleaning your room?

    • 0 avatar
      djsyndrome

      Pretty much. Although the take rate is low, you can still walk into any of the Japanese Big 3 and get a Camcordtima with a V6 if you need/want the extra thrust.

      What’s also notable is what they *don’t* offer: a turbo four. Ford’s betting big on these, but the Japanese don’t seem to be convinced just yet.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Seems VW/Audi is betting big on them. That 2.0T is in everything. And the 3.0T.

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          3.0T is supercharged. No turbo.

          • 0 avatar
            TheyBeRollin

            Which is more reliable? Turbocharger or supercharger?

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Who do you think I am,… Michael Karesh?

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            It’s not a matter of reliability; it’s a matter of when and how the power comes on. Superchargers are typically either shaft or belt driven and add boost as the engine speed rises. Turbochargers are exhaust driven–which takes load off the engine itself, but is directly affected by the heat of the exhaust, which is why a turbo must be cooled down before shutting down the engine.

          • 0 avatar
            TheyBeRollin

            I’m aware of the difference in how they operate, but from a purely practical standpoint, if you had to have a gasoline/petrol engine with one of the two, which would have fewer problems and require less maintenance in the long run?

            My sense is the supercharger, but the turbocharger is clearly simpler mechanically.

            Turbos do restrict the exhaust and I’d always understood that opening up the exhaust increases power output of the engine (because it doesn’t have to work as hard).

            Neither is getting something for nothing.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Personally I’d prefer the supercharger, but honestly it’s personal opinion for most. I think the supercharger would last longer as long as you don’t over boost, but the turbo’s simplicity makes it an easier and less expensive repair when it does break.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            If the 3.0T is supercharged, then I have a problem with the T label.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        That’s kind of my point, I as a buyer want *real* options and the drive-train should be chief among them. I also agree the Japanese are wise to not adopt such technology in mainstream models.

        • 0 avatar
          DC Bruce

          My 1994 Toyota Previa had a supercharged 2.5 liter 16V 4. It ran for 140,000 trouble-free miles and about 12 years, without any repair on the drivetrain (except to replace a failed universal joint). Nissan also used a turbo in its 1990s era 300 ZX, which I believe was plenty reliable.

          The issue with turbos, quite frankly, is drivability. One of the unattractive things about the first generation Acura RDX (which used a turbo 4) was that it was impossible to do a smooth, gentle start from a standing stop. The engine bogged down and didn’t move the vehicle at all; then the boost came on and accelerated more quickly than desired. The second problem was that it was a huge gas-sucker.

          Not that they can’t be done right. In my opinion Saab had the technology down pat by the 2000s, getting 250 hp out of 2.1 liters without noticeable lag . . . and still getting a real-world 30-31 mpg on the highway.

      • 0 avatar
        TrailerTrash

        Is the Altima still considered one of the Big Three? Kind of remember the Fusion out selling it.

      • 0 avatar
        Bill Wade

        The Koreans certainly seem to be though.

    • 0 avatar
      PonchoIndian

      That’s because the market leaders don’t have a turbo 4cyl to offer that competes with those who no longer offer a 6cyl.

      The same market leaders also only sell a fraction of the number of their cars with the 6cyl vs the number they sell with the 4cyl.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Yet, they are still the market leaders without offering the whiz bang turbo fail.

        • 0 avatar
          PonchoIndian

          Whiz gang turbo fail?
          Huh?
          How the heck old are you. It isn’t 1962 anymore and we aren’t talking Oldsmobile Jetfire

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I’m not quite as old as you apparently because I had to look that one up :)

            “Whiz bang” is sarcasm on my part. Ford is attempting to leapfrog everyone (again) and if the Japanese were truly worried they would be quick to compete. They clearly are not and in this case, I think they are the wiser of the two.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          I drove an MKC today, and I would say that it is the opposite of turbo fail. I have it for a day or two, so I’ll let you know if I find any turbo fail.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Let us know.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            So far, I’m supised at how much I like it more than the Escape (which I am not a huge fan of). I wouldn’t mind the 3.7L V6 in there though. That wouldn’t make me mad.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            It would help if I could spell…or edit my comment.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            You need to:

            -Take photos
            -Be all investigative
            -Write a Reader UR Turn thing

            !

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I will. I’ve started some notes already. I had a rental Ram 1500 Hemi last week that I was going to write about, but I think there have been plenty of RAM reviews here. The MKC would probably be a better review choice.

      • 0 avatar
        thornmark

        No, the market leaders’ have better engines.

        Ford’s ecoboost engines are thirstier and slower than the leaders’ 4 and 6 cylinder offerings.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      The market leaders (particularly Camry) will likely eventually ditch the V6 for a T4 down the road (Honda may still keep the V6 since they don’t have a sedan slotted above the Accord).

      Really doesn’t mean much since the V6 trim make up a small fraction of sales for the market leaders and while it probably doesn’t have much of a bearing, the market leaders have been losing market-share.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Hyundai/Kia dropped the V6 from the Sonata/Optima lineup in 2011. The 3.3 V6 was/is a good engine, but nobody misses it in these cars.

    • 0 avatar
      bts

      I’m surprised why automakers didn’t introduce inline 5 cylinder engines during the abandonment of V6s. VW seems to be the exception with their 2.5L I5 but it’s main use now seems to be in the Audi TT. I5s can fit in any space an inline 4 can meaning better use of space in the car, can probably be produced on the same assembly line, and its less expensive and more reliable than turbocharging.

      Mazda could really benefit from a 3.0 liter inline 5 as the upgrade engine in the Mazda6 and their CUVs since they stopped offering a V6. Based on what their 2.5 engine makes it should be good for about 220 hp, more than adequate for a midsize and cuvs.

  • avatar
    blackbolt

    How times have changed. Saab was just about the only luxury vehicle with a 4 banger and it was condsidered not enough engine for the money.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Well, there are a couple points to make regarding Saab and their 4-cyl.

      -At the time, fuel was less expensive, and therefore economy was not as important.
      -They were claiming to be luxury, while other luxury marques gave you a V6 or V8 (as standard), they charged you the same and give you a 4-cylinder.
      -The cars were heavy, and the 4-cylinder -wasn’t- enough engine!

      • 0 avatar
        Maymar

        Having read plenty of old Saab reviews, they were criticized on many things (torque steer, turbo lag, mediocre shifters tended to be the common ones), but not having enough engine was never one of them.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Volvo too.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      When was this?

      Mercedes has ever *not* had a 4-cylinder offering in the US in my lifetime, unless I’ve managed to miss a one-year gap somewhere, but I don’t think I have.

      BMW *usually* has had a four lying around.

      • 0 avatar
        Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

        You were born after the W201?

      • 0 avatar
        tjh8402

        @sigivald –

        Mercedes actually offered 4 cylinders in their US line up after BMW stopped. the last BMW I4 before the N20 in the US died either with the E36 318 in 1998 or Z3 1.9 in 1999.

        I don’t think that Mercedes has ever really stopped selling 4 cylinders. Between the C class sedan, the C class hatchback coupe, and the SLK roadsters, there has usually been at least one 4 cylinder model.

  • avatar
    OneAlpha

    Inevitably, some car will come from the factory with a 1-cylinder, 10cc engine that makes 400 hp, gets 100 mpg and has as-near-as-makes-no-difference zero emissions, with all the comforts people expect of a fully-sized, credible automobile.

    But in the meantime, let’s flip the “game changer” horse over and beat the LEFT side for a while, shall we?

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I think emissions zealots would prefer electric or hydrogen and would find ways to regulate this super ICE out of existence.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        They’re already doing that with coal. And coal built America.

        Now we’ll be exporting coal to other nations, like those in Asia, and they can pollute the atmosphere. Why would they care? Their air is our air in a matter of days. And our clean air will be someone else’s clean air.The atmosphere moves.

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          Coal built America? I thought maybe hard work, or democracy, or ingenuity, or cultural diversity.

          Maybe coal was a fuel we used for a while, but are now phasing out because natural gas is a cheaper alternative. Maybe we figured out that turning our cities like Pittsburgh into a huge exhaust pipe wasn’t the best idea in the world. Maybe we figured out that killing thousands of people annually with air pollution wasn’t the full embodiment of the American ideal.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Natgas is cheaper today, but it won’t be for long if coal is phased out.

            Coal will fire furnaces elsewhere on the planet for a lot less money, and that polluted air will be over America in a matter of days.

            Thousands of people will still be killed annually in the US by air pollution, but it won’t be polluted air generated by Americans.

            The American ideal went out with LBJ and his Great Society. But the innovative among us are finding ways to work around the obstacles placed before us by the majority who voted for this.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            “The American ideal went out with LBJ and his Great Society”

            Wow. We really live in different Americas. I thought that the Great Society was a set of legislation and policies that fought racism, segregation and poverty. In my America, it led to things like:
            - The Civil Rights Act
            - Head Start to feed children,
            - federal support to educating children in poor neighborhoods,
            - Medicare and Medicaid to provide health care to older and poor Americans, and
            - cultural endowments to the arts.

            To me, the American dream is about overcoming poverty and racism. Maybe I don’t watch enough Fox News.

          • 0 avatar
            PonchoIndian

            Yeah, the whole great America by LBJ thing kind of puts a perspective on one’s point of view. LBJ was mostly worthless, other than pissing off a bunch of Vietnam vets and active duty members.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Although I didn’t live through the period the general consensus I’ve gathered through my life was LBJ was a POS.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            VoGo, you don’t have to watch Fox News. I don’t, at all! I do watch Bloomberg, though, and Nightly Business Report.

            Just look around you and see the sober reality of what real life in these United States is all about.

            Electing some guy to the White House who takes away from the people who work for their money to spread it among the people who are perpetually on welfare is not going to change anything except drag down the middle class and the people who work for their money.

            The stark reality is that some people will always have money, and a great many won’t. I am among the ones who won’t so I do my best to scrape money together from where ever I can find it and keep it out of sight. Just like millions of others are doing and have been doing for centuries.

            My sister in Seattle told me that the new minimum wage of $15 per hour will go into effect there.

            Before it does, she and many others who hire in people for cleaning, cooking, lawn care, babysitting, etc., will most likely let them go. Those people will be out of work!

            Business owners have already stated publicly that they will be forced to let people go if the minimum wage goes up to $15/hr.

            Maybe all those proponents of raising the minimum wage will lose their jobs.

            But the reality is that the people let go will probably be the least vocal ones who were just happy to have a job and MCI (money coming in).

            Such is life.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            HDC,
            I am really worried about your sister! How will she survive without her butler? her chauffeur? her chef? her personal assistant? the mani/pedicurist? the hair colorist? and masseuse?

            Now who is going to talk to her kids, walk her dog and make her husband happy? Is the trash going to take itself out? Who will dress her and tell her how wonderful she is every day? Who will put chocolate under her pillow?

            Do these people who are trying to get people paid a measly $30K/year have a even a clue as to the impact they are having on the 1%?

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            VoGo, you are assuming she is in the top 1%. She’s not, neither am I. Far from it! But we do hire in people to help us, and they are grateful!

            I employ quite a few people, mostly illegal aliens, by hiring them in as day laborers to help me maintain the properties owned by my wife’s family. It is more than a full-time job.

            But we (my wife and I) have a lady that cleans our house twice a week, does our laundry, changes the linens, dusts, etc. With my wife and me at work we gladly pay her a Benjamin for all the work she does in maybe 12 hours/week.

            We also have a lady who cooks food at our house for us and freezes it so I can break it out, microwave it and feed it to the hired help when we work at the job site. We give her $50 for about 6 hours work and she is very happy to get it.

            And we’re not alone in this. Millions of people all across the US employ illegal aliens or even US citizens to work for them on a part time basis, like gardeners, nannies, dog walkers etc. These people are not part of the 1%.

            So based on your comment, I have to conclude that you do not have a grasp on reality, and are a …… troll.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Or… maybe I’m just joking with you, and you are get offended easily?

            Or… perhaps I have a legitimate view that voters have the right to elect a government that enables people who work hard to be able to earn enough money to house, feed and clothe themselves and their families. This being America and all, and them having dreams and such.

            In neither case did I earn being called a troll. But I’ve been called worse.

          • 0 avatar
            PonchoIndian

            HDC
            You pay illegals to cook, clean and do yardwork for you and your wife’s family’s properties (multiple properties). You buy grandchildren new cars, and have fairly new cars yourself. Yet you don’t think that you have an above average amount of wealth and what you are doing is perfectly moral and normal…

            You sir are not in touch with reality and are part of the cycle causing some many issues in today’s society.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            I’m not offended. I even respect your point of view and opinions even though it does not work for me.

            But you should not be surprised to find that there are others in America who see America from a totally different perspective and do not share nor embrace your idea of how things should be.

            I don’t pontificate about how I believe things should be. I merely illustrate how things ARE in the reality where I live.

            And MY lifestyle is not unique, nor is it sissyfied or metrosexual. My lifestyle, like most of those in MY area, is pretty gritty. Yep, there are even coyotes and rattlers around.

            Maybe that’s why so many people from out of state choose to come live in this part of the country. Whatever it is, it is good for business.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            No, Wood built America. Coal didn’t really come into play for about 75 years after we became a nation.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            PonchoIndian, everything I wrote has been the truth, including the fact that my official traceable income from my military retirement, VA disability and social security retirement is no more than $2400 a month.

            I never said that I did not work my @ss off scraping together extra cash for odd jobs that I do. Most of the time Federico, Nguyen and I put in 12-16 hour work days, as do the illegals Federico hires in from north of the Border Patrol checkpoints.

            When it comes to tax avoidance I work for the best — a lifelong Democrat business owner!!! My father-in-law has taught me more about living within the tax code than my entire MBA and CPA curriculum from decades ago.

            I’m not going to detail how I can maintain my lifestyle because this is not the venue for that, but it is by no means unique.

            If you want to learn more about it, see a tax attorney and open your own business. It’s amazing what expenses a business can pick up and write off, and all of it perfectly legal.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Vulpine, I suppose you are right if you go back far enough.

            I was referring to when coal fired up the industrial age in America.

            But I wasn’t around then so I cannot authoritatively speak on the matter.

          • 0 avatar
            Lorenzo

            America’s prosperity was built on cheap energy. First it was an abundance of hardwoods, then coal, then oil and natural gas. We still have an abundance of all but the hardwoods, but they’re no longer cheap, either in dollars or environmental effects of burning them.

            Usage by 50 million people in 1880 without cars or electricity was considerably less damaging than usage by 318 million people driving 250 million cars and using electricity for everything: the first thing people notice when the power goes out is how quiet it is without the electric motors humming.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Lorenzo, ” the first thing people notice when the power goes out is how quiet it is without the electric motors humming.”

            That’s true even at my house…… for about 10 seconds. That’s when three AC generators kick in.

            But during those ten seconds the humming of motors has been replaced by the beeping of all the UPS units that keep my electronics alive.

            After that, the thunder of the generators drowns out everything else. It’s terrible when we have a power failure during the middle of the night. Can’t sleep with all that noise!

            And I’m not the only one in my area with AC generators. Imagine the pollution generated along with the electricity!

        • 0 avatar
          KixStart

          There’s already a substantial amount of unrest in China over air pollution.

          Nor are we going to hold the high ground on this if it’s business-as-usual, dig up coal and put crap in the air. If we’re doing someting about emissions, we can jawbone the other countries. And if we invest in development, maybe we can sell them clean tech.

        • 0 avatar
          Luke42

          @HDC,

          Coal is being displaced by cheaper natural gas.

          Obama is leading by following here. The CO2 targets appear to be just a hair below what would happen anyway. Except that the Democrats will take credit for it, and will also use it to establish a precedent for future CO2 regulations.

          I favor curtailing greenhouse gas emissions, but what’s going on here is just the administration endorsing what the market forces have done since deep well fracking changed the economics of the energy business a few years ago.

          This not some sort of left-wing power play. If it were, it would be pretty weak. It’s pragmatic politics, without much of that hope and change I was promised in 2008. Its the administration taking credit for a change that was happening on its own anyway.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Luke42, sage commentary!

            I wonder how many of the others offering comments on this topic have actually thought this through?

      • 0 avatar
        OneAlpha

        I was just commenting on the fact that there’s a lot of life left in the internal combustion piston engine, and I have no doubt that somebody will eventually build something similar to the machine I just described. I say bring it on.

        But hell, I have no problem with hydrogen as a fuel, as long as it’s used to power my FUSION REACTOR.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      And the TTAC B&B will universally hate said vehicle.
      “That newfangled technology is sure to fail after 300,000 miles”
      “It lacks the steering feel of my 1994 BMW 325″
      “If it’s not Trifecta-tuned and Hemi-powered, then it’s garbage”
      “Still not brown, manual or a station wagon, so I’ll stick with my 14 year old Subaru”
      “Not enough greenhouse”
      “IRS sucks”
      “It’s rated to tow only 6,000 lb.? That’s peanut gallery stuff right there. Go back to Asia and don’t come back until your midsized car can out-tow my duallie!”
      “The exhaust sounds like a gerbil spinning on his wheel”
      “I miss carburetors”

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        I don’t think they will hate it because it is the wave of the future. They’ll just have to suck it up and deal with it.

        But it does make an F250 with a big honking V8 or V10 gasoline-fired engine look mighty good!!!

        • 0 avatar
          Drewlssix

          I like a lot of what you have to say here but it would take a turd of epic proportions to make a v10 f250 resemble good. That and the truth is there hasn’t been a “honking ” v8 in a 250 since my friends 460 was built.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Drewlssix, sad but true. I have very fond memories of a used 1999 F250 I bought, with a V10 in it.

            That V10 clearly was the best part of that truck.

            Gas mileage wasn’t all that terrible since the truck was designed to haul and tow, both at the same time, without effort. It surpassed all my expectations.

            I towed a hay trailer and hauled a load of hay in the bed of the truck, at the same time, for a friend of mine who owns a farm near Santa Teresa, NM, and even fully loaded, with Cruise Control on, the transmission never downshifted going up the rolling hills.

            The torque of that engine was phenomenal!

            He was using a RAM 2500 and he was not a happy camper, trying to keep up with me.

            All I need is a 1/2 ton. Specifically, a Tundra 5.7 suits me fine.

            But if I ever need a 3/4 ton, the F250 Banks Turbo Diesel may just tickle my fancy. It is very popular with the Traveling Elks here.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        “If it’s not Trifecta-tuned and Hemi-powered, then it’s garbage”

        Nice.

      • 0 avatar
        OneAlpha

        “The exhaust sounds like a gerbil spinning on his wheel”

        Yeah, admittedly, it won’t sound like a Magnaflowed SVT Terminator.

        That car, with that exhaust, had the voice of God Himself.

        • 0 avatar
          NoGoYo

          A lot of 4 cylinder cars sound like crap to me.

          Well maybe not like crap, but super boring. Gotta buy a legit sports car or some German thing with a speaker that lies to you to hear a good exhaust note, it seems. :P

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            Though I wouldn’t want to live with it every day, the Neon SRT-4 had a wicked sounding 4.

            Per wikipedia:

            “The exhaust system is unique in that there is no muffler, instead relying on the turbocharger and resonators to reduce the exhaust volume. The end result is a very distinctive and audible exhaust note, specific only to the SRT-4.”

          • 0 avatar
            Sigivald

            One man’s “good exhaust note” is everyone else’s “hey, the muffler on your Honda’s broken”.

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            True Sir Sigivald. Exhaust note enjoyment is purely subjective.

          • 0 avatar
            NoGoYo

            Well there’s a difference between a good sounding exhaust and a loud exhaust, yes.

            Any idiot can make his exhaust note louder, but it takes an engineer to truly tune it.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Remember the Z-24 from Chevy?

          • 0 avatar
            TheyBeRollin

            “A lot of 4 cylinder cars sound like crap to me.”

            What’s with manufacturers making 4-bangers that sound so terrible? Cracking and popping backfire sounds are not impressive. When a car does that, I want to fix it.

          • 0 avatar
            NoGoYo

            Vulpine: Do you mean the 4 cylinder ones or the 60V6 ones?

            Because the 60V6 ones have a great raspy exhaust note going on.

          • 0 avatar
            NormSV650

            .The Verano Turbo 2.0T has four straight through mufflers/resonators. Two different style mufflers: two at the rear with tips mounted to them and two inline after the cats.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            My apologies; the Z24 was a 2.4L V6, which is rather small for a 6 but apparently had some pretty good mileage for its power. I remember the Cavalier as typically a 4-cylinder model and never had any interest in them.

            Then again, I got the same economy out of the 3.8L V6 in a ’96 Camaro as that 2.4 Cavalier.

        • 0 avatar
          jetcal1

          To all, nothing beats the sound of a Merlin at full song @ about 60 psi of boost. (Of course, it only lasts about 15 minutes at that setting. And we won’t talk about fuel consumption.) An R2800 is close though!
          Don’t be afraid of the boost.

          • 0 avatar
            tjh8402

            Comparing a Merlin to a R2800 is like comparing a V8 to a V12 – both are totally different but equally beautiful sounds in their own right. The R2800 is raw brutal power whereas the Merlin is like tearing silk. This clip has always been a favorite for Merlin music:

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6c3v9iihgw&feature=share&list=FL_bN1C63-UCFfYrj1LARUEg&index=47

            If you want to open the floor up to to engines without pistons, I think a J79, CJ610, Olympus, or Spey should also be top contenders ;-).

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Personally, I prefer the supercharged Allison–1710 hp at ‘war emergency’.

          • 0 avatar
            jetcal1

            Vulpine,
            You wanna go racing WEP ain’t gonna cut it. Course by the time you add ADI and water for spraybars, you have also exceeded combat weight for the airplane and it’s only for about 10-12 minutes of race time. For all fluids mentioned figure about 35-40 gallons per minute.

      • 0 avatar
        SC5door

        You forgot:

        Not as good as the TorqueFlite A727.

        6/7/8/9 speeds? Why not use a CVT?

  • avatar
    Felis Concolor

    Whoa, are those 195/50-18s?

  • avatar
    carguy

    “but will we ever see a triple-powered mid-sizer here?”

    Given the rising power and torque output of DI turbo engines and the constant pressure for weight savings, the question isn’t if we ever see them but how soon.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    I love everything about this car, except the high beltline. If you’re going to revert to 80s weight, might as well go with 80s styling!

    Also, if I’m right about money being no object in the case of this one-off lightweight experiment, I wonder why they didn’t go FULL CARBON FIBER, to possibly get the thing under 2,000 lbs.

    • 0 avatar
      OneAlpha

      Well, I’d draw the line at bringing back the excessive number of horizontal lines that too many 80s cars seemed to have running down their sides, but yeah, let’s get the 80s back in here.

      I’m guessing that the accountants decreed that full carbon is still too expensive for a series production car, so they had to make this prototype reflect its eventual street form. Hence, the aluminum, which is still good.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      They are probably trying to learn about techniques and structures which will end up in production cars.

      So, they probably came up with a series of weight reduction ideas and tried them all on this car/program. The best ones will be fed back as suggestions to the vehicle engineering and design teams.

      At least that’s my guess, based on how things work in my industry.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    That paint job looks awful; it should have been reserved for a graphic that explains the car’s virtues. The car itself could have looked a lot nicer; they should have kept the engineers away for that part of the project.

  • avatar
    tjh8402

    As others have said, I’d be very curious to see what Ford’s cost is to make this, and what a theoretical market price would be. My other concern/thought is how much this will help the fuel economy on the highway. As has been noted many times, and as my own experience with rentals has born out, Fusions do not do that great on the highway, certainly no where near their EPA numbers. It’s not due to bad gearing, which makes me suspect it must be an aero issue. if that’s the case, lowering the weight won’t help the highway mpg (although it will make a big difference in the city), and I would worry that the car would continue to disappoint in that department.

  • avatar
    Prado

    With an I3 I bet there would be enough room for a longitudinal engine. Then again RWD + low power isn’t particularly rewarding.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      According to whom? 125-130 hp/tq with a flat torque curve can be plenty of fun in something Miata-weight.

      Random aside: with the offset crank, I wonder how easy it would be to make a compact W-style I6 out of that Ford 3-banger.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    The width of the tyres on the vehicle look very narrow, sort of retro’ish. I wonder if they are for FE.

    I don’t mind the little EcoBoosts. They have a place in small vehicles more so than in larger vehicles.

    A 1.5 litre should do alright with the Fusion, we had the 2 litre EcoBoost in a Ford Falcon here and it did quite well. They just didn’t sell.

    I wonder if the US will have a similar problem with the smaller EcoBoost like Ford did in Australia.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      The tyres are for FE. What problem did Ford have with the smaller EcoBoost engines in Australia? Sales? The 1.5T/1.6T are moving plenty of units as the volume engines in the Escape and Fusion. I like the 2.0T better. I like the 2.3T even more. Hopefully they put that engine in the Fusion.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @bball40dtw
        Sales didn’t match the hype, I have a feeling that a similar occurrence is happening with the EcoDiesel Ram in the States.

        Maybe TTAC can find out how many EcoDiesels are being sold.

        The 2.3 EcoBoost should be a great engine for the Fusion, but the Focus would be a better platform for the 2.3. It’s a pity the Focus doesn’t come out AWD with the 2.3.

        The 2.3 is actually a reworked 2 litre.

        The EcoBoost I’m really interested in is the 2.7, but again I think hype will overpower reality, like the 3.5.

        The 2.7 should hopefully be the best EcoBoost yet. It would do nicely in a Ranger or BT50.

        The problem with the 3.5 is the same problem Fiat has with the Phoenix/Pentastar engine. Except the Cyclone appears to be a marginally stronger engine physically.

        The Fiat Multi Air Pentastar fitted into the Maserati needed some modifications to the heads and block to handle the additional torque and power.

        The Cyclone really can’t be developed much further with the existing engine design.The 2.7 has been designed to manage Ford’s ‘EcoBoost’ technology from the onset.

        These smaller EcoBoosts out of Europe are the better EcoBoost engines by far than the Cyclone.

        When I say better I’m not stating that they are as powerful. But deliver power and torque more efficiently.

        The Falcon with the Spanish, Valencia, made 2 litre EcoBoost did provide respectable FE and surprising performance. But the Australian large car guy didn’t take to them.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          BAFO, ” I have a feeling that a similar occurrence is happening with the EcoDiesel Ram in the States.”

          Yeah, I agree. People who drive real Dodge or Ram diesels drove Cummins and as such are not interested in the little VM diesel.

          To me it just doesn’t make sense to lug around all that iron, aluminum and steel powered by a tiny engine because the actual load/tow/haul utility of such a truck does not justify a $40K+ price.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          The Focus RS, if it gets built, will get the 2.3T, but probably not AWD. I have the 3.5TT in one of my vehicles and I really like it. The 2.7TT V6 would be my ideal engine in the Fusion.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    I don’t think it will be too much longer before BEVs become the true sports car platform. Almost infinite torque off the line, depending on motor size.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    He said it twice and no one said anything, “game changer”… Whoa, this changes everything

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Remember it is the “phrase that pays” now Derek is up to his ears in hookers and blow.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Lie2me, it isn’t a game changer until it sells, if it sells.

      The Volt was a game changer. The ELR was a game changer. The Prius was a game changer.

      To me, the Prius was the only real game changer that lived up to that billing.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I need a V-twin car that isn’t built by Morgan.

    Ford offers naturally aspirated versions of the 1.0L and 1.5L in other parts of the world. Maybe they will eventually offer those here.

    I also find it bizarre that Ford doesn’t offer the 1.0T with alloy wheels even optionally (you have to beg the dealer or go aftermarket). I think some people would be willing to sacrifice the 1MPG for the bump in exterior pizzazz.

  • avatar
    wmba

    It wasn’t till 20 years ago that power to weight ratios in general became higher than this, so it’s hard to imagine what all the bleating is about. It’s got the Cirolla and Civic beaten today.

    But the whiners will whine. More interesting is that this engine is balanced on the two external, one eccentric at each end of the crank, principle. Known for well over a century. This is typically Ford practice and avoids balance shafts with their friction losses. It also has novel bathed in oil, belt driven overhead cams, and weighs 212 lbs fully dressed. This allows weight reduction in the structure as well.

    Very clever. Make sure to tell us how it drives, Derek.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    “Stranger things have happened, and the newest CAFE regulations are, you know, a game changer for the whole industry.”

    In this case, I would say that the European move toward emissions-based vehicle registration fees (read: annual fuel economy taxes), new EU policies that resemble CAFE v 1.0, and the Chinese displacement tax scheme are all greater drivers for this. (Brazil’s displacement taxes probably also figure into this.)

    It would help the automakers if they could get Americans to buy some of the same stuff that gets mass produced for everyone else. The ability to make more world cars and world motors would increase their efficiency and help with profitability.

  • avatar
    hawox

    it’s true, reducing weight would be a panacea for road cars.
    here in europe weight disadvantages are obviouvs. we have expensive road taxes and insurance, expensive gas. that’s why we started buying diesel and then hybrid cars, we simply can’t afford a v8.

    the golf II gti weights 900 kgs, was great fun and reasonably cheap to maintain. when i was 18 i bought the golf III gti, it weighted 1150kg was a dead horse compared with the old model and used 2x the fuel.
    when the golf 4 gti came out was heavier and slower and more expensive again, everybody bought the diesel instead.

    this is true for all compact-medium sized cars.
    the key is to sell a lightweight car for a reasonable price.

  • avatar
    05lgt

    Unless the “specially treated gas” is necessary for the 3 pot; is it safe to assume you meant lightweight glass?


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