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Ford announces new 1.0L 3-cylinder engine and 8-speed transmission

Ford Motor Company has made it very clear that EcoBoost technology is a major part of their drivetrain future and today, the newest member of the EcoBoost family was announced with the news that Ford would soon offer a global 1.0L, 3-cylinder engine along with an 8-speed transmission.

Ford has been short on details but they have confirmed that there is indeed a 3-cylinder EcoBoost measuring just 1 liter – making this the smallest engine Ford has ever offered. This tiny turbocharged engine made its conceptual debut at the 2010 Beijing Motor Show in the futuristic Ford Start Concept and as was the case when that engine first saw the light of day in China, we still don’t know much about the engine. It will be a gasoline (petrol) engine and Ford promises that it will get better mileage than the current 1.6L engine while also making more power. That 1.6L Duratec 4-cylinder in the 2011 Ford Fiesta offers 120 horsepower while yielding roughly 29mpg around town and 40mpg on the open road. Ford's Vice President of Global Powertrain Engineering Joe Bakaj suggests that the similarity between the fuel economy and power differences between the 1.0L EcoBoost and the 1.6L Duratec will be similar to that seen between the 3.5L EcoBoost in the Taurus SHO and the previous V8 mills.

Helping the new 3-cylinder EcoBoost option achieve these lofty fuel economy goals will be Ford’s new 8-speed automatic transmission. This new transmission is promised to offer faster, smoother and more positive shifts thanks to an input torque sensor system that will prevent the automatic transmission from spending time searching for the proper gear. Like the 3-cylinder EcoBoost, Ford has kept us wanting more – promising that there will be more news at a later date.

Finally, as part of today’s announcement of the new 3-cylinder EcoBoost engine and the upcoming 8-speed automatic transmission, Ford Motor Company announced that they will also soon be introducing the first Ford-designed, Ford-engineered and Ford-built hybrid transmission that will be used across their lineup beginning early next year. This will remove the automaker’s independence on the Japanese hybrid transmissions that they are currently using and they plan for this new hybrid transmission setup to make them the largest domestic producer of hybrid transmissions in the country.

Unfortunately, none of these three pieces of news include what models will be affected. The 3-cylinder EcoBoost is slated to be used in small cars around the globe but there is no indication as to whether it will be offered in a new model (perhaps a production version of the Ford Star Concept shown above) or if it will find its way into models that currently depend on the Duratec 1.6 like the Ford Fiesta. As for the 8-speed transmission, we can expect to see that paired with the new 1.0L EcoBoost and the new Ford-built hybrid transmission will find its way into the popular Ford and Lincoln hybrid models.

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