There is a mass exodus in the auto industry away from large-displacement engines, and for good reason. A combination of rising oil prices and new government regulation means that not only is there less demand for big, powerful V8’s, but fuel economy has actually become the number one priority for new car buyers. The auto industry has reacted with some serious downsizing, and Ford has led the way with its line of turbocharged EcoBoost engines.
The Blue Oval has been rewarded for its efforts by nabbing the International Engine of the Year Award for its diminutive 1.0 liter, three-cylinder EcoBoost engine. And while you might not believe us, this is a very good thing for big engines.
Since 2009, the winner of the Engine of the Year award has been of small displacement, 1.4 liters or less. Ford’s use of turbocharged technology has already given us the 3.5 liter EcoBoost, along with the 1.6 and 2.0 liter engines in North America. Over in Europe though, the big news is the 123 horsepower, three-cylinder 1.0 liter EcoBoost found in the Ford Focus. In the Focus, the 1.0 liter EcoBoost delivers an estimated 59 mpg on the European driving cycle test, which is around the mid-40’s on the U.S. standard. Yet this engine is cheap enough to to found in Ford’s most economical vehicles, like the Focus.
Why is this good for V8 performance enthusiasts? Because if Ford can increase the MPG of its run-of-the-mill automobiles, then they can sell more performance cars that get-not-so-good mileage. Besides, we imagine that once tuners start tweaking the 1.0 liter EcoBoost, they should be able to boost the power to a more respectable 200+ ponies, while still delivering hybrid-like fuel economy. Ain’t nothing wrong with that.