Ford's 1.0-Liter EcoBoost: Focus For Europe, Fiesta For U.S.

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Ford's 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine. Image: Ford Motor Company

Ford's 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine. Image: Ford Motor Company

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Ford launched the latest engine in its expanding EcoBoost family at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show, back in September.

At only one-liter in capacity, it's the smallest EcoBoost yet, and continues the downsizing trend seen with the other EcoBoost units.

Ford of Europe has now confirmed that the engine will be launched in the 2012 Ford Focus, hitting European roads next month. The U.S. is expected to get the engine in the smaller Ford Fiesta, but would U.S. motorists accept such a small engine in the Focus too?

There's no doubting the technology behind it. It may only displace a liter of fuel and air, and sport only three cylinders, but with gasoline direct injection technology and a turbocharger, it develops up to 125-horsepower.

That, says Ford, is the same as a naturally-aspirated 1.6, but with significantly better fuel economy.

On the European cycle, which usually produces figures around 20-30 percent higher than EPA tests, Ford is claiming average economy of 47 mpg. A lower-powered model with 100-horsepower should get 49 mpg on average. Highway figures could be even higher.

The engine, developed between two of Ford's technology centers in the U.K, is expected to make its U.S. debut in the Ford Fiesta.

That bodes well for both economy and performance, given that like-for-like the Fiesta is over 500 pounds lighter than the equivalent Focus.

At the moment, the most efficient version of each car - the 2012 Ford Focus SFE and 2012 Ford Fiesta SFE - both manage combined economy of 33 mpg, with 40 mpg highway ratings.

Though the U.S. market may not accept a 1.0-liter Focus just yet, a 3-cylinder Fiesta averaging 5 mpg or more over the SFE with equivalent performance really could prove a hit. Unlike the SFE models, it would also provide that economy without the need for a $495 option package.

So are you looking forward to Ford's EcoBoost Fiesta? And if the Focus was ever given the 1.0-liter option, would you consider that model too? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Comments (13)
  1. At 125 HP, this should provide a pleasant driving experience. You might have to market it as the 125 HP model not the 1-liter model. It is very exciting to see this type of progress.

  2. I've been waiting for this on the focus. I'm ready to buy when it gets here.

  3. Absolutely I would consider buying one, fuel efficiency is paramount to most people and this vehicle has it!!!

  4. However they need to keep pushing to get better, my 2001 saturn SL gets close to 40 mpg and it's 10 years old!! 50 or 60 should be what they strive for. They can do it.

  5. chevy should bring back the metro 3 cyl. i have a 99 1.0 that gets 50 mpg at 50 mph !!! with 130,000 miles on it.

  6. i agree ,the geo metro is so good on gas , i have one right now that i am rebuikding but its a 1.3 liter ,

  7. Bring on the 3 1L Focus ASAP!!! Include start/stop technology while your at it Allen.

  8. a three cylinder car or even better on gas is what amercica has been hoping for . i would definately consider buying one.

  9. Too good to happen here (Focus)in the U.S. I agree with everyone. I would love to be able to buy an American car, built here that gets this kind of MPG. Ford would be the darling of them all.

  10. 1979 Plymouth Horizon TC3 (2 door + hatchback, 1.7-liter inline-4, 3-spd auto trans, no fuel injection or hybrid, actual-use mpg:

    --> 43.0 (best observed, fillup-to-fillup, trip longer than 180 miles, mostly highway, 55-65 mph cruising speed, 300 lbs occupants + luggage)

    --> 39.4 to 40.6 seasonal average mpg (combined city, rural, highway; mostly commuting 70-80 mile round-trips)

    --> on many occasions, carried inboard more than 2200 pounds (driver plus cargo) at speeds to 85 mph without difficulty; fillup-to fillup mpg with speeds mostly at 65 mph ranged from a low of 32.0 to a high of 33.6)

    Not a rocket (about 10 seconds 0-60), but better than most stoplight competition. Main driving environment is SE USA; all my rides had/have a/c.

  11. If Ford wanted to produce a real show-stopping winner, it would make a genuinely large car (cabin dimensions similar to the 2012 F150 crew cab, but with more headroom) that gets 40+ mpg and has proper comfort/luxury features.

    My '79 Plymouth TC3 (1.7, auto trans, air conditioning) almost never got less than 36 mpg between fillups (combined city, rural & highway/interstate), and got a best mpg of 43.0 between fillups on a trip from central FL to central MS.

    My 2003 Lincoln Town Car L (Cartier) easily tows 8,200 pounds and gets 26.9 to 27.2 mpg seasonal overall average mpg, with 28.3 mpg average on Interstate trips (70 mph; 580-650 lbs for 2 occupants + luggage; over 28 mpg with 5 adults + luggage in the car).

  12. @Havaneiss: The only comment I feel compelled to add to your several detailed mileage comments on this and other stories is that neither your 1979 Plymouth TC3 or your 2003 Lincoln Town Car L could legally be sold as a new car today. Neither one meets 2012 crash-safety standards nor has the mandated electronic safety systems.

    One reason Ford took the LTD Crown Victoria and the Town Car out of production last year was the enormous expense of redesigning and updating them to meet those 2012 standards.

  13. Drive it easy and it could hopefully net you about 47mpg highway mileage or even better. Need to merge on the freeway and wind up the turbo and your off. Good engineering and hopefully good prices. As to being accepted in America 3 cylinder engines tend to have a bit of a bad rep since they often were used in very marginal cars in the past. I do a fair amount of driving and a car like this would be great way to get rid of your gas guzzler and still offer like John said a pleasant driving experience and seating for 4 adults too. I do like full electrics but an affordable great gasoline mileage car is another way to save money without the huge up front costs of $40,000 for an Ford focus EV

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