By on October 6, 2014

Fiesta_front

Brown paint isn’t available from the factory and adding diesel would require pumping out its fuel system, but Ford’s Fiesta SFE is practically built for the Internet. Though sales projection for the turbocharged, direct-injected three cylinder subcompact are modest, the car is at least proving popular to discuss. TTAC has already triple-teamed the basics through capsule reviews – it is more composed than sporty, more mature than it is hoonish, and the selling proposition is a bit of a mystery. Ford sent me the car for a week’s evaluation as well. What’s left to be said?

Quite a bit actually, as long as you are interested in FoMoCo’s smallest production engine. This ain’t the paint shaker you’ve experienced in the Mitsubishi Mirage or other triples. If anything, it’s a sign of things to come.

Most North Americans associate three cylinder engines with improved fuel economy, reduced power and added vibration. In spite of this, Ford boldly suggests you spend an extra $995 to get the three cylinder over than the standard inline four. Horsepower (123) only improves by a modest three geldings over the 1.6 Sigma four, but 148 lb. ft. of torque (an improvement of 36) will get the driver’s attention. Fuel economy, at 31 city/43 highway/36 combined, is up by 3/7/5 versus the Sigma. While arranging for the loan, Ford also insisted that the 1.0L EcoBoost was a qualitative improvement too. That’s a bold claim, but 450 miles of driving convinced me that Ford pulled it off.

Vibration is inherent in three cylinder engines – an odd number of cylinders means there are no “equal but opposite” actions happening across the engine block to calm things down. Left to their own devices, triples tend to move around on their mounts and often make booming resonances. OEMs generally respond by adding counterrotating balance shafts. This minimizes vibration at the expense of fuel economy and power output, which isn’t much of a sales pitch.

Ford chose a different path. As seen in the below video, fore-and-aft motion was dealt with by intentionally unbalancing the flywheel and accessory pulley. The increased lateral motion was then handled via careful tuning of the engine mounts and their placement. They aren’t active mounts like some publications have reported, but they generally do the job. Startup is a touch rougher than a well-tuned inline four and buzz sometimes passes through the steering wheel at idle, but my passengers suspected nothing unusual ahead of the firewall. So far, so good.

An iron block allows for compact overall dimensions and cylinder walls of just 6 millimeters. The thin walls and dual cooling circuits in the engine (one for the block, one for the aluminum head) both aid warm-up times and improve efficiency. The oil pump is a variable-displacement unit and particularly improves efficiency at higher rpm. The crankshaft is also offset to reduce friction along the pistons. Some early press reports indicated that the Fiesta SFE features regenerative brakes as well. Don’t go looking for any additional batteries or electric motors – the car only features a “smart” alternator that cycles during deceleration to avoid unnecessary taxing of the engine. Start-stop isn’t offered in the US, but Ford said this was only due to market acceptance (the option is available with this engine in Europe).

Interestingly, the exhaust manifold is water-cooled and integrates directly into the cylinder head. (The upcoming 2.7L EcoBoost engine also features this construction). This water-cooling negates the need to dump extra fuel to cool the turbo at high rpm. Speaking of turbos, this specimen is of the small, low-inertia sort and spins up to 248,000 rpm. A vacuum-actuated wastegate keeps the turbo spooled when freewheeling to reduce lag. At least on paper, power and efficiency are both accounted for then.

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Power and efficiency were both accounted for during my driving as well. The gearing stops it from feeling Fiesta ST-fast, but 125 lb. ft. of torque at 2,500 rpm is plenty sufficient for city maneuvers if you don’t write for Car & Driver. Interstate performance was also among the best I’ve met in a subcompact – 70 mph equates to a peaceable 2,500 rpm, yet passing power is intact. My daily drive is a 40/40/20 split of highway/country/city driving. The overall result after 450 miles was 42.8 miles per gallon (I took one final Interstate drive before snapping the above picture). Driven like I owned it, I’m sure the Fiesta would yield at least a couple more mpg.

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So far, we’ve established that this is a high-feature engine that happens to be small. Does it require high-end maintenance then? Not according to Ford’s published schedule. Some competing small displacement turbocharged engines require unusual oil weights, but the 5W-20 Ford calls for should be an easy find at your local autoparts store. The side-mounted oil filter will be messy, but at least the entire underside of the engine bay isn’t totally shrouded in plastic (I’M LOOKING AT YOU, FORD ESCAPE 1.6!). The top of the engine resembles a spaghetti-monster of plumbing at first glance, but accessory belts, spark plugs and the other DIY maintenance items are all accessible. The shade tree mechanic isn’t obsolete yet then… depending how you feel about the timing belt. As with some of Ford’s other recent small engine implementations, the belt is sealed and immersed in oil to reduce friction, reduce noise and increase the service interval. An inspection is called for at 150,000 miles, but Ford expects the belt to last the life of the engine. That’s great if they are right, but the replacement will be exceptionally complex if they are wrong.

Quibbles aside, 450 miles was enough to convince me that the 1.0L EcoBoost is both a qualitative and quantitative improvement over the 1.6 Sigma. Those who consider the Fiesta too small may be more interested in the upcoming application in the Focus. Ford is currently mum on whether the Focus will be tuned for more output in North America, but these variants already exist in Europe – the 1.0L EcoBoost has achieved 160 hp with just software tweaks and 200 hp with hardware upgrades. Whether this particular engine sells in meaningful volumes in North America will probably hinge on the ability to pair the engine with an automatic transmission in the upcoming Focus, but the 1.0L Ecoboost is undoubtably a sign of the times. And I know at least 42.8 reasons why that isn’t a bad thing.

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116 Comments on “Deep Dive: Ford 1.0L Ecoboost...”


  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    I wouldn’t mind driving it like I stole it, just for the fun of it. But my cognitive dissonance still struggles with the idea of a 3-cyl daily driver.

    • 0 avatar
      Daniel Latini

      I was skeptical too, but the Interstate performance is better than most previous-gen compacts, nevermind today’s subcompacts. Day to day, the package definitely works. Long-term reliability is the only open question in my mind, but no more so than any other EcoBoost engine

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      I dunno, I enjoyed the hell out of the Metro that was my first car.

      And this thing has over twice the HP and almost thrice the torque, without weighing anything close to twice as much…

  • avatar
    balreadysaid

    2.0 v6 in the cards????

    then 3.0 w9 truck engine?????

  • avatar

    Great review. I’m fairly certain the Fiesta ST’s my next car, but as a former R50 MINI Cooper owner, this car speaks to me. There’s something to be said for light, efficient, and tossable.

    So, with the exhaust manifold integrated into the head, I’m guessing there’s no possibility of aftermarket headers?

    • 0 avatar
      Daniel Latini

      I’d have a hard time getting excited about headers knowing that just software can unleash 37 more horses. Upgrading to premium would likely be a good start.

      Honestly if I owned this car though, I’d focus on adding chassis bracing and improving the shifter before messing with the powertrain.

      I’ve driven the ST as well – it’s a great choice

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    “Ford chose a different path. As seen in the below video, fore-and-aft motion was dealt with by intentionally unbalancing the flywheel and accessory pulley. The increased lateral motion was then handled via careful tuning of the engine mounts and their placement.”

    Good luck & Godspeed to anyone driving/owning this car out of warranty, as it’s a grenade-a-liter.

    I can’t wait to see the sobs of owners once there’s the slightest problem with something as basic as their motor mounts, let alone a failure of their motor mounts, never mind cooling issues associated with this all around bad idea.

    But hey – DO IT on a lease, turn-in, release, churn cycle all day if a 3 banger 1 liter (in a Fiesta that gets worse fuel economy AND costs MORE than some cars with twice its horsepower, utility AND refinement) floats your experimental inclinations.

    #3 Cylinders Just Because Project

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Awright. I’ll bite because this is just so ridiculous. What can you buy for $16,400 (current pricing including $1500 Ford cash on the hood) that has at least 246 horsepower and is more refined and useful than the Fiesta?

      Come on man.

      • 0 avatar
        Sigivald

        Well, in the used market, quite a bit!

        But new, not so much, no.

        (And yeah, motor mounts? Spare me. I had a 300D with *destroyed* motor mounts, I know from rough [and boy, did it become nicer at idle when I had ’em replaced!].

        The idea that it’s a future nightmare because … motor mounts might need to be replaced with more “necessity” than in other cars is madness, for sure. Motor mounts just aren’t that big of a deal.

        Likewise “cooling issues” is pretty vague, and seems completely unsupported on available information; hell, I *like* the idea of a water-cooled turbo in the head, as being more likely to not spring an oil leak or cook its lubrication…)

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          Motor mount are only the tip of the iceberg:

          “As seen in the below video, fore-and-aft motion was dealt with by intentionally unbalancing the flywheel and accessory pulley.”

          Like I said, Godspeed early 1.0 liter Ecoboost adopters, especially out of warranty & long term bagholders.

          • 0 avatar
            jim brewer

            well, eight year 100k extended factory warranty that covers running gear, AC (including motor mounts) is $915. http://www.floodfordesp.com/esp_plan_options.php?AWD=0&Surcharge1=&Surcharge2=&Surcharge3=&Surcharge4=&PlanDetailID=16&ModelID=13&VehicleYear=2015&VehicleMileage=35&StateID=26&PlanID=6435&PlanOptionPriceID=1825&Price=925

            Ford’s extended warranties are getting up there, but in five years past warranty, probably its 50-50 whether you exceed the warranty amount.

            I’m seeing a grand total of two for sale in Los Angeles on Ford.com. So I’m thinking its doing OK on the sales front.

          • 0 avatar
            Exfordtech

            Perhaps it should be expressed as indexing the damper and accessory pulleys to better balance the rotating assembly. The “unbalance” is intentional and in my mind an elegant solution in that it eliminates the need for a balance shaft. On some vehicles a torque converter is indexed to flywheel to ensure balance of the rotating assembly. On some vehicles the nuts and bolts on a driveshaft flange are actually of different weights (a matter of less than an ounce) to eliminate driveline vibration and must be replaced in the same location from where they are removed during service, this was true of the Lincoln LS/Ford T-bird. Did someone at Ford run over your dog?

          • 0 avatar
            johnny ro

            I am with exfordtech.

            The conventional counter balance shaft might almost be suspected to be a clumsy extra as compared to balancing the already-present rotating parts which were not previously used for that purpose.

            I wonder if this approach also can make smooth an i4 where dual shafts are used. Or a twin or single.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            If by “elegant” engineering you mean that everything is primed to literally break apart once there’s there’s the first significant problem with the motor, like one of those Harbor Freight Chinese minibikes, then yes.

          • 0 avatar
            CRConrad

            What, you think wear-and-tear will somehow alter the flywheel balance?

          • 0 avatar
            VW16v

            My thoughts exactly. How often do you see flywheel wear and tear ? This little engine will probably surprise people and run like an old Honda.

      • 0 avatar
        Maymar

        Nevermind that, at $16,400, what else are you getting that’ll get better than 42mpg in normal driving?

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      Well ole DW, I bought over 10,00 shares of (F)ord when they are at $2.00 and some change. When does the Seer OF Blue Oval Gloom and Doom say I should short sell them? I say make the call or just be regarded as a somewhat more literate Z-71 Silvy. P.S. BTSR was funnier.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      “#3 Cylinders Just Because Project”

      Your anti-Ford screeds are taking on religious overtones.

      China and Brazil have displacement taxes that kick in at 1,000 cubic centimeters.

      This Ford 3-banger is — wait for it — 999 cc’s.

      It should be obvious why this engine exists. It can’t hurt to experiment to see whether some Americans are willing to buy them, too (although I have my doubts that they will.)

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        Who cares what the Chinese or other nations’ displacement requirements are?

        Ford is marketing and selling the 1.0 liter, 3 cylinder Fiesta here, in the U.S., when they have far more appropriate and suitable U.S. powerplants available.

        May I interest you in a North Korean Pyonghwa Zunma?

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          Er…

          “It should be obvious why this engine exists. ****It can’t hurt to experiment to see whether some Americans are willing to buy them****, too (although I have my doubts that they will.)”

          When companies spend hundreds of millions of dollars on projects, they are eager to find ways to recoup the money. You do grasp this concept, right?

          • 0 avatar
            redav

            But will it sell in sufficient numbers in the US to be worth the costs to bring it to the US?

            It makes perfect sense to test the waters and see what new customers you can grab, but they also need to be clear on a bail-out point. It’s both added cost and manual-only. It will be a hard sell in the US, and I personally expect that Ford will decide it’s not worth it to sell here.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            It doesn’t cost much of anything to offer it as an option in a vehicle that is already being sold in the US.

            It’s not as if the US version of the car has this as its only choice of motor or that they’re counting on this engine to make or break the car’s fortunes here.

            Presumably it was designed from the start with US emissions in mind, so that shouldn’t be a problem, either.

            There are marketing costs, plus they do have provide parts for it and help the dealers to sell and repair it. Those are probably worthwhile risks.

            It’s a low-risk experiment whose worst case scenario isn’t particularly bad. I doubt that it will move the needle, but it’s worth a try.

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      C&D got overall 32mpg for the Fiesta SFE and 33 mpg for the new Fit.

      C&D got 8.3 0-60 for the Fiesta SFE and 7.7 for the new Fit.
      http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/2014-ford-fiesta-10l-ecoboost-test-review
      http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/2015-honda-fit-ex-manual-long-term-test-intro-review
      Cars were not tested identically, but in typical C&D fashion. The Ford cost $500 more and had significantly less room.

      Looks like another EcoBust.

    • 0 avatar
      koshchei

      Correct me if I’m wrong, but won’t the unbalanced flywheel and accessories put way more load on the crankshaft’s bearing surfaces? A bit of wear becomes play, and then boom: catastrophic failure.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        No, it’s a game changer.

        Ford, as evidenced by its 24th ranking on Consumer Reports Reliability Index (with most of that dismal showing attributable to unreliable motors & transmissions – not MFT as Ford cheerleaders would love for people to believe), has proven Honda has no idea what they’re talking about in terms of engineering reliable motors, and we’ll see many, many 1.0 liter Ecoboost motors with well in excess of 200,000, let alone 100,000 miles, powering Fiestas, alongside Civics and Fits, 10 years and 15 years from now.

  • avatar
    jmo

    “Quibbles aside, 450 miles was enough to convince me that the 1.0L EcoBoost is both a qualitative and quantitative improvement over the 1.6 Sigma. ”

    So, as the B&B have told me smaller turbocharged lower cylinder count engines always use way more fuel that bigger engines with more cylinders. So, how is it that Ford has broken the B&B law of thermodynamics?

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      see above

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      I don’t think the B&B claim anything for cylinder count, but it does seem that larger, NA engines built with a similar level of advancement/features will be more consistent in their performance (including non-ideal operation) than smaller, turbo engines, which are more sensitive to operating conditions, i.e., they may do better in ideal conditions (like the EPA cycle), but will also do worse in non-ideal conditions. Since most B&B don’t drive ‘ideally,’ they get better efficiency from the larger, NA engines.

  • avatar
    stuki

    “Intentionally unbalancing” reminds me of a Honda engineer explaining why I4s are the be-all-end-all of all engines, ever; and that the only reason to ever pick anything else, is because of lack of sufficient engineering chops to mold the one true engine layout to fit a given set of requirements.

    When I asked him what about I6s, the answer was that while the engine was externally well balanced, and hence felt smooth; block and crank flex amongst other things, meant that internally, the engines were out of balance and unhappy…… From what I gathered, while the rest of the world was miffed that the NSX had a six instead of a “supercar proper” V8, people within Honda considered it a bit of a defeat that they couldn’t do it with an I4.

  • avatar
    Windy

    How does a 250,000 rpm turbo last 160,000 miles which seems to be the target engine life?

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      Almost no friction and one moving part?

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      250,000 rpm x 1000 engine hours = 15,000,000,000 revolutions of the turbo

      Mind = blown

      • 0 avatar
        Sigivald

        Everything I can find suggests that 250krpm is Not Unusual for a low-inertia turbocharger.

        1,000 hours? That’s nothing!

        • 0 avatar

          1000 hours is nothing for an airplane turbo, but those are significantly more robust, and most still require cooldown period before stopping the engine. I’d be interested to know what exactly they do to make it safe to kill ignition and walk away from the car.

          BTW, when Russians raised the RPMs on old RL-10 turbopumps for the RD-0146 project, they hit major problems with bearings. And they only turn 16,000 RPMs. That is sixteen, not one hundred and sixty. In other words, 15 times less than this turbo. Granted, RD-0146 turbopump is significantly more powerful.

          • 0 avatar
            redav

            I had heard that one manufacturer (I don’t know if it was Ford) has a capillary action oil system that continues to move oil to cool the turbo after the engine shuts off.

            All that matters is that the turbo is cooled, not that it is the driver’s actions that cool it. It’s already common for engines that are hot will have the fan continue to blow after it is shut off, so such a system for cooling a turbo after a sudden shut off doesn’t seem unreasonable.

          • 0 avatar
            3Deuce27

            Some new turbos use ceramic ‘Ball’ bearings for long life and higher RPM’s, but coking would still be somewhat of an issue. Most light vehicle turbos use Honeywell VNT™ design.

            On my SVO, I used a variable timing electric oil pump for shut down cooling to prevent coking, and for start up I used an ‘Accusump’ accumulator common in road race cars for maintaining oil pressure on the bearings. I also used a separate Accumulator for High ‘G’ corner work to keep the engine bearings lubed.

            Accumulators partially explained here>
            http://www.britishv8.org/Articles/Oil-Accumulators.htm

            Ceramic ball bearing turbos> http://turbo.honeywell.com/our-technologies/ball-bearing/

            Turbo tech> http://turbo.honeywell.com/whats-new-in-turbo/video/ball-bearing-vnt/

            Turbo ‘IC’s future> http://turbo.honeywell.com/turbo-basics/turboadvantage-light-vehicles/

            The CO2 Challenge

            We Need a Low Carbon Future
            Across Europe, the US and Asia, regulators are setting stringent fuel economy and emissions standards that are challenging auto manufacturers to create engines that propel cleaner, more fuel efficient passenger cars and on-and-off highway commercial vehicles.

            In response to this challenge, the world’s leading automotive engineers are developing new generation powertrain systems – from all electric, hybrid and clean-burning compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles to the greenest diesel and gasoline engines ever to take to the roads.

            As vehicle manufacturers weigh up the cost-benefits of reaching these incoming targets, analysts agree that one technology in particular – turbocharging – will play a central enabling role.

            Europe
            While turbodiesels will remain the dominant powertrain, stricter EU regulations on emissions and strong growth in boosted gasoline engines mean that by 2020, around 85 percent of all new light vehicles in Europe will be turbocharged, in line with demand for smaller, better performing engines.

            ‘US
            A much tougher Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standard requires fleet-wide fuel economy to rise by 40 percent by 2016. Turbo penetration is expected to reach over 20 percent in the same period, driven mostly by the growth in gasoline boosting.’_ Honeywell

      • 0 avatar
        johnny ro

        And how often does the crystal in your clock oscillate in the time that its battery lasts? No problem.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      Because unobtanium – or the same reason the Fusion would kill Camry & Accord, the Ecoboost motors would get best in class real-world fuel economy & reliability, Ford’s PowerShift transmission would become the standard of the world, and the next F Series with unobtanium body panels will be uber durable, cheap to insure, and kill GM & RAM trucks.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        @Deadwieght

        Within 10 years, and probably more like 5, I predict that both the Camry and Accord will have Turbo-4s available. Or maybe even Turbo-3s. Physics and CAFE make it so, whether you like it or not. Don’t hate the players, hate the game.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          …hate the government. Fixed it for you.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            The government would much rather have a gas tax. Hate the voters who don’t see CAFE as a “tax.”

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            They actually do have one of those, as do the states.

            Gasoline demand has been falling since Q4 2007, despite the increasing availability of pickups, SUVs, and some of the larger thirsty CUVs. I doubt this trend will reverse after revocation of CAFE (tax or no depending on the viewpoint).

            http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/3ilesgas0213121_big.gif

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            I suppose there was an implied “that hasn’t been cut nearly in half through inflation” in my post.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            The currency issue is ultimately an issue with the currency itself and its position in the world, but that’s a whole other issue.

            The point related to CAFE is gasoline demand has been dropping in spite of, and not because of, the legislation. Ending the legislation I doubt would cause gasoline demand to rise again, demand is dropping due to a combination of people driving less and choosing to buy more fuel efficient models of all types. By the same token of choice, consumers should also have other models and engines available. If the automakers decided to drop those choices later due to lack of interest, then so be it the market has spoken.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        I don’t think even Ford thought the PowerShift transmission would be the standard of the world.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      There is nothing all that special about a turbo spinning 250K. They have been doing that for many years now. It IS ultimately a wear part, anything that spins is. Turbos are not magic, they are not even all that expensive to replace in the grand scheme of things. It is almost certain to far outlast the original ownership of the car, and if you buy one used, pay accordingly for the car. I’d be more worried about that sealed in oil timing belt, personally.

    • 0 avatar
      srogers

      First it was overhead cams that I was afeard of. Now it’s them turbochargers.

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        Don’t forget hydraulic brakes–does anyone think that a hydraulic system that only needs a single, tiny leak to lose effectiveness would ever be reliable enough for a car? Nonsense!

    • 0 avatar
      heavy handle

      Turbo durability isn’t an issue anymore. Hasn’t been an issue for 25 years. Just use a good synthetic oil like your owner’s manual says.

    • 0 avatar
      jetcal1

      Windy,
      Oil is infinitely better now. And if I undestand the Ford system correctly the coolant system is designed to create a thermal differential that causes coolant to circulate after shutdown. Someone else maybe better able to explain how the system works. I’d also bet the sump is relatively large for the displacement. 4-5 quarts maybe?

  • avatar
    jmo

    “Quibbles aside, 450 miles was enough to convince me that the 1.0L EcoBoost is both a qualitative and quantitative improvement over the 1.6 Sigma. ”

    So, as the B&B have told me, smaller turbocharged lower cylinder count engines always use way more fuel that bigger engines with more cylinders. So, how is it that Ford has broken the B&B law of thermodynamics?

  • avatar
    jmo

    So, as the B&B have told me smaller turbocharged lower cylinder count engines always use way more fuel that bigger engines with more cylinders. So, how is it that Ford has broken the B&B law of thermodynamics?

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      The B&B are wrong, or at least oversimplifying.

      Turbocharging doesn’t use more fuel as long as you’re off-boost; the issue is that it is hard to be off-boost in a modern, blown engine towing thousands of pounds of mass. Making the same power, a blown four will use as much fuel as an NA six or eight. The difference is that a blown four gives you the option to use NA-four levels of power should you choose.

      You can have a turbocharged engine deliver good mileage, but the result is lag. Try to imagine if Chrysler or Honda’s displacement-on-demand system didn’t engage more than three or four cylinders unless you really put your foot in it. Same thing.

      • 0 avatar
        jmo

        But, you didn’t account for the frictional losses of all those extra cylinders.

      • 0 avatar
        tonycd

        A nicely illuminating analogy, psar. Thank you.

        I do think this is one example of the future. Which worries me for the future, because I don’t trust the longevity of this thing either.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          @tonycd

          I have had more than a dozen turbocharged cars. Volvos, Saabs, a VW, Peugeots. Gas and diesel, the Saabs and Volvos bought with well over 100K on them, in one case 200K. I have never had a single turbo-related issue (or any other engine internals issue)with any of them. Bar one Saab where the owner turned down the wastegate intentionally when his kid started driving.

          I just don’t see any particular reasons to be scared of modern turbo-charged cars. The technology is NOT new. For this particular engine, the sealed in oil timing belt is a bit new and exciting, but nothing else really is. The motor mounts are just carefully tuned, they can’t possibly be as expensive as the ACTIVE, electrically controlled motor mounts that some cars have been using for a decade or more.

          It only takes 10-20hp to motor down the highway, how many cylinders you use to make that is pretty irrelevant. More power just means you get to speed faster, and this is not even the slowest version of the Fiesta.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        @psarhjinian

        It’s really NOT hard to get very good fuel economy out of a turbo. Though it is a lot easier with a manual transmission in the real world. Automatics can’t be programmed to hold gears enough, because people whine that they are then “unresponsive”. You need to stay in high gears and use the torque. I did NOT have one of Norm’s magical Saab tunes, but I still had no problem getting 3-4mpg better out of my Saab 9-3 than I get with my very equivalent BMW 328i. That is a HUGE amount in the grand scheme of things, and that engine was a generation or two behind what is available now. I expect that if I had BMW’s 2.0T in my car I could do nearly 10mpg better, and it would be noticeably faster when needed to be.

      • 0 avatar
        nickoo

        boost can be controlled by active waste gate. In theory, best of both worlds. Power in “sport mode” when you want it, and high gas milage in “economy”.

        • 0 avatar
          psarhjinian

          Yes, but very few consumers (and even fewer journalists) will suffer and eco-conscious driving mode.

          Listen the hue and cry about transmissions that won’t kick down, or sluggish throttle response. Drivers will just punch the throttle harder, totally obviating the the savings a turbo provides.

      • 0 avatar
        heavy handle

        Turbocharged engines have better thermodynamic efficiency. You can get them to use more fuel than a non-turbo engine, but then you are getting more power out of them and having much more fun. It’s not a straight comparison.

        Lag is just an implementation issue. It can be fixed with money: better engine management, variable scroll turbos, multiple low-inertia turbos, even electric turbo assist as they now use in Formula 1. Lag has nothing to do with gas mileage, other than the fact that low lag encourages fun. Lots of lag also encourages fun, as in early Porsche 930s.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      The B&B may have blown (pun intended) a valid argument out of proportion. Consumer Reports has reported worse fuel economy out of Ford’s 1.6 and 2.0 ecoboost relative to the 2.5 and 3.5 engines in the competition. And slower acceleration. The 1.4 Cruze didn’t really shine either. These are engines intended to replace higher displacement NA engines in non-premium mainstream cars, and the theoretical promises are not evident in real testing. That’s probably where the reputation and over-generalizations are coming from. The 2.0 turbos in recent BMWs and VW/Audi did not suffer from this.

      It looks like Ford got the formula right with the 1.0. But given their track record, one can be forgiven for being skeptical.

    • 0 avatar
      Chris FOM

      The fact that some of the B&B refer to this discussion as being part of the laws of thermodynamics speaks to their credibility on the subject.

  • avatar
    3Deuce27

    Reg’ “the B&B law of thermodynamics?”

    In their own minds………la di da

  • avatar
    vvk

    My first car was a Subaru Justy RS 4WD. Its 1.2l SOHC 9V 3-cylinder engine was really nice. Very torquey from idle, flexible, great fuel economy. 110 mph at redline in 5th. It could run at 90 mph all day long and not break a sweat. It was also the easiest car to drive in heavy traffic, since it could crawl at 1mph in first gear.

    I am sure it would have been even better with fuel injection.

  • avatar
    3Deuce27

    $17,165 for the SE ‘Hatch’ with Eco-boost and no options.

    SE EcoBoost® Fuel Economy Package is an additional $995.00

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      And Ford Fusions in SE trim are being blown out for under 18k, with Focus SEs being transacted for around 16k.

      And I didn’t even mention non-Ford, competitor products.

      The case for the 1 Liter Fiesta does not exist.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        This. This alllllll day. Ain’t nobody in America want a non-ST Fiesta. If someone wants a compact Ford with a manual transmission, the Focus SE is still the best value. If you lease, it leases for less. If you buy, then the price increase is more than worth it.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        Presumably there will be similar discounts on Fiestas, please compare Apples to Apples, not Oranges. Probably bigger discounts.

        This is a niche product, and likely a bit of a test bed. If you don’t want one, don’t buy one.

        I think OneAlpha hit the nail on the head with his comment.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          I want to make it clear that I really like to 1.0T. I have driven it in the Fiesta and the Euro C-Max. It is a great little engine. My C-Max Hybrid weighs 600 lbs(!) more than the 1.0T.

          However, I don’t typically recommend subcompacts to anyone in the US with a few exceptions. The price difference is insignificant. Compact cars aren’t dimensionally oversized for most places in the US. They are also more refined than subcompacts.

          Sometimes I think to myself, “I would buy this if my daughter was 16.” Then I realize that I’d buy the cleanest used Ford D-platform sedan (without a CVT) I could find. I want her protected by one of those tanks, and the insurance offsets the gas mileage difference. Mercury Sable FTW.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            I would take a 3 to EVEN 6 year old Taurus/500 over a Fiesta, ESPECIALLY if my child were to drive it (or in it).

            In fact, the Fiesta is one of the cars I’d never want my child driving or riding in, period.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            The D-platform cars/CUVs are safe. They may have some issues, like space utilization, but crash safety isn’t one.

          • 0 avatar
            mik101

            Deadweight. I bet you bitch when kids walk on your lawn too. Get a life. You comments on here are so narrow sighted that I can feel my IQ dropping any time you open your mouth. Must be nice up there on your high horse.
            No one cares that you feel you’re special enough to never want to ride in a Fiesta. Get over yourself.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            mik101, my horse is only high enough to see many current products for what they really are: overpriced, over-hyped, over-marketed, throwaway garbage.

      • 0 avatar
        3Deuce27

        Exist? Sure seem hard to find in the NW.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        It was just an experiment, an insurance policy in the event the regulators went hog wild. If the Euro-emissions standards had gotten worse, especially the CO2 standard that they’ve backed off from, this engine would likely have been the only one Ford could have used in Europe. The European makers have been going to small displacement turbos as the best way to pass the emissions standards, and Ford had to follow suit. Fuel mileage was/is secondary to getting approval to sell the cars in the first place.

  • avatar
    OneAlpha

    Remarkable.

    To power a legitimate automobile in the real world with HALF OF A REALLY SMALL V6, and do it WELL.

    Makes you wonder just how much potential is left in the internal-combustion piston engine.

    Well done, Ford.

    • 0 avatar
      wstarvingteacher

      Bikes were doing that in the seventies. Suzuki made three (IIRC) two stroke triples that did well. So did Kawasaki. Now triumph is doing it with four strokes.

      Never understood the hate for the three cylinder mills. If done well they don’t seem to vibrate much and work pretty good. Don’t know enough about the three cylinder car engines (metro/justy) to discuss them.

  • avatar
    ttacgreg

    Lots of prejudice in commentary threads directed at turbos here and other online articles. I would guess the initial sketchy 60’s and 70’s pioneering efforts plays a part in this.
    I remember late 80’s when turbos went to water rather than oil cooling, which tamed oil passage coking and bearing failure.
    The 1990 Mitsubishi eclipse turbo (in Plymouth drag) in my garage has over 100K miles, no problems. It averages 30mpg, and does not seem to respond noticeably to fuel economical driving techniques.
    Being as I live at 9100 feet elevation, I love turbos.

    • 0 avatar
      DrivenToMadness

      My 1995 Mitsubishi Eclipse turbo has 215k miles and the water-cooled turbo still makes boost like it was new. Warm engine compression is still perfect and even across all cylinders–this for a make that isn’t particularly renowned for stellar reliability statistics. And the car is redlined every time it’s driven so its mileage might as well be in dog years. I know my data is a data point of one but I think skepticism of turbocharger longevity is largely unfounded given the advances in material science, manufacturing, and quality control.

  • avatar
    goldtownpe

    Didn’t VW claim to use a “lifetime” timing belt too? I wonder how that turned out.

  • avatar

    “[] at least 42.8 reasons why that isn’t a bad thing.” — and 995 reasons why it is. But of course CAFE, government, yada yada yada and we get to pay. It’s not like can’t afford it… My next car is likely to have a 1400 cc turbo. But let’s have a clear understanding that all this is artificially constructed.

    • 0 avatar
      Daniel Latini

      Agreed that the market is distorted by CAFE. But within that framework, I’m more impressed by this small-displacement, turbocharged engine than any other I’ve driven recently.

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      My bank account appreciates real-world improvements in fuel economy so long as the engine outlasts the rest of the car without expensive repairs. I’m less enthusiastic with cars designed specifically to ace a government fuel economy test cycle that deviates significantly from reality.

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring/green-motoring/9241054/Fuel-economy-why-your-car-wont-match-the-official-mpg.html

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        It’s not the fuel economy, it’s primarily the emissions standards. If they don’t pass that, they can’t sell the car. Remember, Ford is a global company, and this engine is best suited for a tiny car with Europe’s narrow roads, shorter distances, and intransigent bureaucrats.

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    Best review of the Fiesta SFE posted on this or any other website yet, heck one of the better car reviews I’ve read in a while, period.

    Thank you for diving into the technical details and peculiarities of the engine, mentioning highway rpms, and especially for looking under the hood and letting us DIYers what we might be in for as far as maintenance!

    Good job!!!

  • avatar
    ajla

    “As seen in the below video, fore-and-aft motion was dealt with by intentionally unbalancing the flywheel and accessory pulley. The increased lateral motion was then handled via careful tuning of the engine mounts and their placement.”

    All that and a “don’t worry it will never break” timing belt?

    Good luck with that.

  • avatar
    sketch447

    Paper-thin cylinder walls?? A variable displacement oil pump that could (IMO) potentially cause oil starvation? The exhaust manifold expensively married to the cylinder head? A timing belt permanently immersed in gunk?

    This isn’t an engine; it’s an experiment.

    I’m really tired of car companies trying to push their “advanced” European junk on Americans. I don’t care how many awards this mill has won in Madrid, or how many chain-smoking, hirsute French fashion models wearing bad Betty Page wigs gush over its innards at some Paris auto show. This engine is a dog.

    I’m sick of car companies trying to European-ize the American driver. This turbo-3 works well in Europe for one reason: Europeans don’t drive. Gasoline over their is more expensive than a good wine, so they stay home and drink.

    Americans love long trips, they love short trips. We like to gun our engines when cold, we like to idle them when hot too. We pack our cars with stuff and people and we love our a/c.

    …..do you really think that delicate piece of automotive origami can handle American driving habits before it unwraps itself??

    And BTW, if you don’t know who Betty Page is, you don’t belong on this site…….

    • 0 avatar
      petezeiss

      “And BTW, if you don’t know who Betty Page is, you don’t belong on this site……”

      You’re talking about a pinup model who turned 50 before half the readership here was born. And it was “Bettie”.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      1982 called. They want their comment back.

    • 0 avatar
      PCP

      Well at least you’re funny. Not well informed, full of prejudice, but funny. Like an old uncle you get to see once a year (and that’s already too much).

    • 0 avatar
      Exfordtech

      Can’t speak to the timing belt, but as for the cylinder wall thickness, 6mm is .6/2.54 = .236 inches. Small block chevy spec is typically no less than .200 inches, and that is for high performance builds (upwards of 500 HP). I’d say that is far from paper thin.
      Traditional engine oil pumps are overbuilt, to provide enough pressure at idle (when slow rotation causes lower pressure). Excess pressure at higher rpm is bled off by a pressure relief valve. This is a waste of power because the oil pump will produce much more than is needed and the frictional losses of the pump are significant. Variable displacement pumps produce on demand what is necessary without excessive frictional losses. GM uses them on the latest LT1, the turbo 1.4l ecotec.
      I’m not sure what is inherently wrong with an exhaust manifold cast as part of the cylinder head. To me it is one less sealing surface to worry about, also it is likely to aid in faster and more even engine warm up.
      Not all new tech is bad. Today’s high power output engines owe a great deal to unforeseen consequences of emission regulation. Big 4 barrel carburetors and point distributors wasted a lot of horsepower because of all the unburned hydrocarbons that went out the tailpipe. Never mind cleaning and regapping plugs twice a year. Burning most of the fuel in the cylinder increases both power and efficiency, a win win.
      To me this is a pretty cool development. In my experience, modern Ford engines have been reliable pretty much from the start (I’ll admit to spark plug issues on the 3 valve Tritons that were fixed by a better plug and a correct anti-seize for the threads, took plenty of cabs off to get at sick-o 6.0l diesels but those were Navistars). I’ve had 4.6 engines go well over 200k before junking the vehicles due to body rot, not powertrain issues. Even had a 1.9l TBI Escort go over 300k that was still running strong when the rear strut towers rotted out. Duratech 3.0l and 3.5l are solid engines. I’m fairly confident in Ford on this new engine. It’s going to see significant use in Europe so major issues would be catastrophic business wise for them. I’d assume they’ve done their homework. Read more about it here:
      http://articles.sae.org/10714/
      I suppose we could just go back to horses and buggies if all this tech is too frightening.

  • avatar
    3Deuce27

    Very well written and informative article, Daniel, something that is often sorely lacking in the auto reporting industry.

    Your review has probably led to at least one Fiesta 1.0L Ecoboost Hatchback sale as I recommended it to a friend who is looking for vehicle of that class. Would have liked to recommended the Citroen C4 Cactus_ ‘Pure Tech 110’, another 3-cyl Gas/Diesel powered vehicle, but it’s another desirable vehicle unavailable in the USA. But, then, the 1.0L Ecoboost seems to be hard to find, too.

  • avatar
    George B

    Thanks for the informative article Daniel. I understand why consumers would be interested in areas of the world where car taxes are based on engine displacement. I’m not as interested, but appreciate the engineering accomplishment.

    I vaguely remember a reckless driving court case here in Texas many years ago where the punishment included a provision that the notorious repeat offender couldn’t drive a car with more than 4 cylinders during his probation. Small engines have improved to the point where a small cylinder count is no longer punishment.

  • avatar
    petezeiss

    Hell, I thought the 1-liter Metro I had in grad school was an awesome engineering achievement. An actually useable car powered by a motorcycle engine.

    These turbo reiterations are obviously the future for a world where FE is so dominating it’s forced the mutilation of passenger headroom, visibility and prompted a high-anxiety commitment to aluminum by Ford.

  • avatar
    jimbob457

    Imo, this is a very good thread that raises almost all the issues associated with the buzzy little three-bangers. One mentioned only in passing is that they do get exceptional MPG (esp. the diesels) if you baby them and don’t kick in the turbo.

    If Russia, Libya, et.al. stop sending oil to Europe, the place can adapt for a while and not have to completely shut down. They may have to carpool for a bit, but no real disaster. The U.S. and Canada are actually in a position to export at least a little crude oil and product to Europe for the first time in 50 years.

  • avatar
    JD321

    Dry timing belts are lasting 150K miles so the oil soaked ones should easily do 300K miles. Ford’s “Life of Engine” is 250K miles…Hyundai is now 300K miles.

  • avatar
    JimC2

    The oil filter being sideways really annoys me. That guarantees that it will dump oil every single time it is replaced.

  • avatar
    raresleeper

    Ummmm… they’ll offer start stop on these 1 liters across the pond?

    Ahahahahahaaaa!

    Whew. Start-stop. On a 3-cyl.

    Smh.

  • avatar
    Cietra

    What happens when it becomes a $500 car? Tomorrow’s 16 year old mechanics in training are going to need something more than a socket set and a Chilton’s.

  • avatar
    theoldguard

    I already own 1.6 Fiesta. Afraid a 1.0L would be way too small to haul American big-bodies, no matter how fast its turbo spins.

  • avatar
    z1rider

    As is often the case in discussions of engine balance, comments here show a lack of more than a superficial understanding of the factors involved. Keep this in mind, all engine designers must deal with the substantial forces involved in stopping and starting a piston. They do this with counterweights on the crankshaft, or in multi cylinder engines the arrangement of banks of cylinders. Counterweights impart a force in a strictly circular motion, the force of which is constant at a constant RPM. Pistons move in a linear fashion at non constant speeds even at a constant RPM. A counter weight large enough to offset peak piston forces is therefore too large for the moments of low or zero (TDC and BDC) piston forces. Therefore the counterweight is sized somewhere in between based on other factors, for example rod length etc. When considering the force of the pistons, the ideal is an opposed engine, where the pistons of one bank offset the pistons on the other side. An opposed engine is still not perfect though as the offsetting pistons are staggered. The centerline of a given piston on one bank does not align with the center of the opposing piston. This creates what is known as a “rocking couple”. Note that only Porsche and Subaru continue with opposed engines, and Porsche is progressively moving away from them. All engine designs involve some kind of compromise.

    In the case of a 4 cylinder engine the pistons move in pairs, 1&4, 2&3. When one pair reaches TCD the other pair is at BDC. But the rising pair is not the perfect offset of the falling pair, due the effect of the rod on the geometry of the stroke. This is results in what is known as “secondary vibration” in a 4 cylinder engine. Larger 4 cylinder engines tend to use balance shafts, which run at twice crankshshaft speed. A balance shaft does not reduce the load on the main bearings of the engine and therefore does not extend the life of the bearings or for that matter ANY internal engine part. The “balance shaft” is out of balance, by design so as to offset the forces inherent to that engine. All of these forces are acting on the engine block and are contained there so they will not be felt by the user. Some who use production based engines for racing will remove the balance shaft to reduce friction.

    The point of this is that, when you consider any main bearing in isolation, there are tremendous forces acting on them, which are offset somewhere else, another main bearing or in the balance shaft. The technique Ford used in balancing this 3 cylinder engine is totally consistent with the approach engine designers use when addressing engine forces in any engine design. When it comes to engine balance most of the solutions have been well know for years. The challenge to a manufacturer producing millions of cars a year is how to keep the costs low enough to make sure there is some profit left once the sale is made.

  • avatar
    z1rider

    As is often the case in discussions of engine balance, comments here show a lack of more than a superficial understanding of the factors involved. Keep this in mind, all engine designers must deal with the substantial forces involved in stopping and starting a piston. They do this with counterweights on the crankshaft, or in multi cylinder engines the arrangement of banks of cylinders. Counterweights impart a force in a strictly circular motion, the force of which is constant at a constant RPM. Pistons move in a linear fashion at non constant speeds even at a constant RPM. A counter weight large enough to offset peak piston forces is therefore too large for the moments of low or zero (TDC and BDC) piston forces. Therefore the counterweight is sized somewhere in between based on other factors, for example rod length etc. When considering the force of the pistons, the ideal is an opposed engine, where the pistons of one bank offset the pistons on the other side. An opposed engine is still not perfect though as the offsetting pistons are staggered. The centerline of a given piston on one bank does not align with the center of the opposing piston. This creates what is known as a “rocking couple”. Note that only Porsche and Subaru continue with opposed engines, and Porsche is progressively moving away from them save for the 911. All engine designs involve some kind of compromise.

    In the case of 99.9% of 4 cylinder engines the pistons move in pairs, 1&4, 2&3. When one pair reaches TDC the other pair is at BDC. But the rising pair is not the perfect offset of the falling pair, due the effect of the rod on the geometry of the stroke. This results in what is known as “secondary vibration” in a 4 cylinder engine. Larger 4 cylinder engines tend to use balance shafts, which run at twice crankshaft speed. A balance shaft does not reduce the load on the main bearings of the engine and therefore does not extend the life of the bearings or for that matter ANY internal engine part. The so called “balance shaft” is by design, OUT OF BALANCE so as to offset the forces inherent to that engine. All of these forces are acting on the engine block and are contained there so they will not be felt by the user. Some who use production based engines for racing will remove the balance shaft to reduce friction.

    The point of this is that, when you consider any one of the main bearings in isolation, there are tremendous forces acting on them, which are offset somewhere else, another main bearing, or the balance shaft. The technique Ford used in designing this 3 cylinder engine is consistent with the approach engineers use when addressing engine forces in any engine. When it comes to engine balance most of the solutions have been well know for years. The challenge to a manufacturer producing millions of cars a year is how to keep the costs low enough to make sure there is some profit left once the sale is made.

  • avatar
    z1rider

    Sorry for the double post.

  • avatar
    SchmilBit

    I was so entranced by this engine that I bought one in June, upgrading from a Honda Fit. I took it out onto the highway during the test drive to check the RPMs at highway speed — like the reviewer — was almost shocked at the 2500 rpms while moving faster than 70 mph. The car was also VERY quiet. The Fit, by comparison, which had 120,000 very sturdy miles, ran nearly 4,000 at the speed and I had gotten used to the noise.

    Also, at 75 mph, you can goose the Fiesta and it’ll still move faster. The Fit was pretty stretched at that speed.

    There’s no extra vibration or noise, the mileage is 34 in central Chicago (where the computer will show my horrible average speed at 17 or something), and can hit 50 on the highway if you drive about 55 with cruise control on. Driving 75 will lower the mileage to the mid-40s. All good.

    The torque is really surprising, since the motor is so small. It does get hot, but when it is hot, something keeps running for a while (and not just the fan) after you shut it off — to cool things, I’m sure.

    The gearing is perfect. There are 5 speeds, spaced right for the torque. Shifting is smooth. The new Fit with 6 speeds yet has same gearing at the top. This wouldn’t solve the RPM issue, and frankly I can’t see why I’d have needed another gear there in the middle.

    Lastly, the Fit (2007) lacked MANY basic conveniences, from no map lights or glove box light to thermometer, auto door locking, certainly no computer, etc. The Fiesta, to my surprise, has EVERYTHING. I figure that since it’s a major big seller in Europe, they designed its electronics as if it were a regular car, not a stripper or starter. And the SYNC system, not the flaky MYFORD TOUCH, does very nicely with voice commands to make phone calls and play any media from my phone — from music and audiobooks to Spotify.

    I guess you’ve figured out I like this car. A lot. Though it’s not as big as the Fit, I can still crowd in 3-4 teens for a quick ride somewhere. Or plenty of luggage for me and my sweetie. And even for a road trip with a few teens, though they’d have to keep the bag count low.

    :-)

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