Europe's Ford Fusion Gets 1.0 EcoBoost: How Small Is Too Small?

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2013 Ford Mondeo

2013 Ford Mondeo

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We've driven it in the Focus. We're going to get it in the Fiesta. We've even seen it attacking one of the world's meanest race tracks.

It is of course Ford's 1.0-liter, three-cylinder EcoBoost engine, a tiny turbocharged unit aiming to match the performance of a naturally-aspirated 1.6-liter, with the efficiency of something much smaller.

U.S. buyers aren't really used to truly small engines, so what they'd make of the new EcoBoost in the Ford Mondeo--Europe's version of the Ford Fusion--is anyone's guess.

The company has announced that the Mondeo, which goes on sale in Europe next year, will be equipped with the 123-horsepower fuel-sipping motor, making it comfortably the smallest engine Ford has ever put in a car of that size.

It isn't unknown in European countries to put smaller engines in larger cars--several generations of Mondeo have used 1.6-liter engines, albeit when cars were a little less lardy than they are today.

But even for consumers used this, the small engine, large car combination may take a little getting used to.

Not that it's harmed sales of the 1.0-liter Focus, which currently makes up a quarter of sales in the U.K. market. And provided the EPA economy numbers are impressive, U.S. buyers should have no problem taking to the engine in the Fiesta.

However, it's extremely unlikely we'll see it in the 2013 Ford Fusion, the Mondeo's global cousin--not only would U.S. buyers likely be suspicious of such a small engine in a midsize car, but cars like the Fusion Hybrid and Energi will serve the needs of eco-minded buyers--two variants unlikely to be sold in Europe.

Would you buy a Fusion with Ford's littlest EcoBoost, provided the price was right? Or would it be just a step too far? Leave us your thoughts in the comments section below.


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Comments (6)
  1. Is there enough room for a frunk then?

  2. An EcoBoost 1.0-liter 123 HP engine would make a great EV range extender generator. The Chevy Volt currently uses a 1.4-liter 84 HP DOHC gas engine. A smaller, lower weigh 3-cylinder engine would provide smooth efficient operation running at constant ~4000 RPM for EREV, or PHEVs.

  3. What is also interesting is that most Volt owners hardly ever need to use the range extender as the EV only range is sufficient for most of their trips around town.

    Ford should have used this EB motor in the C-Max hybrid instead of the 2.0 Liter motor they have in there.

  4. As a correction, I believe Ford has announced there will be a Mondeo hybrid available in Europe (but I haven't heard anything about an Energi PHEV). It will use the same system as the Fusion in the U.S.; I assume transmission, battery pack and electronics shipped from the U.S. for European assembly.

    European buyers have sacrificed performance for fuel economy for a long time which makes sense with expensive gasoline. In the U.S., not so much. If the 1.0L EB is able to offer 1.6L performance, it will probably do just fine in Europe, but it's a "bridge too far" for the U.S. right now.

  5. To be clear, I was speaking about a 1.0L EB in the Fusion. It will be a hit in the Fiesta, and might be considered for Focus.

  6. Is that really a question? Would people want the smaller engine? Do people buy the Prius for styling or gas mileage?.... Come on.
    Ford should put this 1.0 liter engine in the base model vs the old engine they're going to use that doesn't get great mpg- I think Ford is going to lose some business to the Altima since all models get better mileage. Just wait till Altima produces a hybrid- I bet it'll be good.. And, that's a great point below in the comments about the Hybrid or plug-in, bring on the 1.0. One would think the extra space could make room for batteries if designed well using the smaller 1.0(Not sure how much smaller it is).Same with the smaller diesel engine that VW sells in Europe (makes here?) but only exports.USA should have it

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