Unlike some automakers who are diving head first into the electric car field, Ford is focusing a lot of energy on wringing the most MPG’s from petrol-powered engines. European countries are especially sensitive to the high cost of gasoline, so it makes sense that Ford has launched its 1.0 liter, 49 MPG EcoBoost Focus in the Old World. But will it come to America?
The EcoBoost line of engines are designed to maximize fuel economy from good ol’ gasoline, which remains an amazing source of energy. The smallest EcoBoost engine is a 1.0-liter 3-cylinder that comes in a 98 horsepower and 123 horsepower flavors. The 98 horsepower version offers the best fuel economy Ford has ever gotten out of a non-hybrid; 4.8 liters/100km , or about 49 mpg on the U.S. standard, though converting from one standard to another is not an exact science or a direct translation.
Even if the number is a few mpg’s short of 49 mpg, an engine capable of delivering decent horsepower with such stellar fuel economy should prove a big hit in cost-conscious Europe. But is 98 horsepower enough for American buyers?
I think so. While Ford is focusing on the launch of the 1.0 liter EcoBoost overseas in places like Europe and Asia, I think it is only a matter of time before this engine comes to the U.S. There are plenty of cars for sale in America that have around 100 horsepower, and even less torque, than the 1.0 liter EcoBoost (which cranks out at least 125 ft-lbs) is capable of.
Even if Ford were only to import the brawnier 123 horsepower model, which delivers a few less mpg’s (5 liters/100 km or 47 mpg) that is still better fuel economy than any other pure-petrol compact car. However, the 1.0 liter EcoBoost might only be available in the Fiesta, rather than the Focus. Americans tend to equate car size with engine size, and a 3-cylinder Fiesta might be an easier sell.
I’d give serious consideration to a turbocharged 3-cylinder car with that kind of gas mileage. Would you?