It used to be that compact cars were always powered by a six-cylinder engine. Apparently those days are gone. A lot of the more current models are offered with a four-cylinder variety of engines. There is a reason for that. It may have taken six cylinders to power the likes of the Chevrolet Cavalier models, the Dodge Dart and the Ford Falcon, but most carmakers will tell you that even four cylinders are more than enough to propel even the jumbo-sized compacts.
And that is the point – more than enough. Keeping that thought in mind, Ford has announced that they will soon be selling a three-cylinder propelled car in the United States. But it isn’t just any three-cylinder. It’s a turbo-charged, direct-injected with independent cam timing that sports the EcoBoost moniker on a plastic engine cover. The specs for the vehicle are pretty impressive, with 123 horsepower and 125 pound-feet of torque in a 1.0- liter EcoBoost. The vehicle is currently being sold in Europe in a mid-spec version of the Ford Focus. For comparison, the 2.0-liter four-cylinder that is currently sold in the U.S. is 160 horsepower and 146 pound-feet of torque.
The three-cylinder variety of that engine was developed for the U.K. operations for Ford, made of cast iron instead of aluminum that avoids using cylinder liners. That allows for twin bores that helped to shrink the engine, making it roughly the size of A4 paper (just larger than our standard 8 ½ by 11-inch paper). The engine weight is a mere 214 pounds.
It should be noted that Ford did not specifically say that the three-cylinder engine would be under the hood of the Focus here in the States, but that it would appear sometime next year in a vehicle to be sold here.