Ford is close to making a spectacular engineering breakthrough that will allow some of its best-selling cars to cover 100 miles on a gallon of fuel.
A next-generation power unit is set to break the three litres per 100 kilometres economy barrier – equal to 94.1mpg - and officials are confident it will reach the magic 100mpg mark in the next five years.
Conceived at the company’s research centre in Holland, the first Ford three-cylinder motor to go into series production is now in the hands of development engineers based at Dunton in Essex.
Despite having a swept volume of only 1,000cc, the little unit will produce between 100PS and 130PS – sufficient to provide adequate performance for various super-economy versions of the Fiesta and even the latest C-MAX.
“What we’re working on is potentially the most significant engine we have ever put into a car. We think it will be a motoring milestone – it’s very exciting and we think we’ll be at the 100mpg level in five years’ time at the latest,” Ford marketing director Mark Simpson told Fleet News.
The new series motor is thought to represent the final phase in the Ecoboost programme to replace higher-capacity engines with lower displacement units offering higher efficiency and lower tailpipe emissions.
“We started by making our two-litre engine capable of between 180PS and 240PS and will soon launch our new 1.6-litre Ecoboost range which will deliver between 140PS and 180PS in the C-MAX and next-generation Focus.
“I can’t say when the next engine will be available, but work is well under way. The three-litre level is in sight and it is already capable of 110PS.
“Like other manufacturers, Ford is working hard to achieve the best combination of high fuel economy with the lowest emissions and a smaller-capacity three cylinder layout is the optimum way of achieving this because it allows us to gain higher efficiency through a reduction in frictional losses,” said engineering spokesman Rainer Geschwentner.
Author: Maurice Glover
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