Ford chief exec Alan Mulally was in Essex today to launch the first 1.0-litre Ecoboost engine, which was developed by powertrain engineers at Dunton and Dagenham.
The new 999cc triple will be built at Cologne in a new ￡110m production line – and will first be seen in the new Ford Focus in 2012.
How powerful is Ford's new 1.0 Ecoboost?
It'll come in two different outputs: a 123bhp version (producing 114g/km in a Focus) or a 99bhp version (bringing CO2 tumbling to 109g/km). That means the Focus (quite a big, heavy car nowadays, remember) should average 57mpg on the combined cycle.
As with all the Ecoboost products, it's a state-of-the-art lesson in downsizing. Which means lots of expensive technology: the 1.0-litre three-pot is turbocharged and directly injected, and breathing apparatus includes twin variable valve timing.
Which cars will use the 1.0 Ecoboost?
Most of the small car range, but it is being launched first in the Focus hatchbacks, C-Max MPVs and the new 2012 B-Max mini-MPV. Who knows how long before we even see it in cars of the Mondeo class? Certainly not for now.
In the long run, Ford says it has capacity to build up to 700,000 of the downsized triple at the Cologne and Craiova, Romania factories. But this is a global engine for use around the world, with total production of 1.5 million units a year anticipated.
This new Blue Oval engine shows the benefits of downsizing: at launch 12 years ago, a 2.0-litre Focus was required for an identical 123bhp, yet it averaged 33mpg. That's progress, that is.