Ariel Atom watch out – 1L Ecoboost powered Ford supercar under consideration
Nithyanandh K, As a toddler, those wheeled machinery fascinated me even before I knew what they’re called as! So here I'm, petrolhead by birth, Mechanical engineer by qualification and automotive reporter by profession!
1L Ford Ecoboost – Small pot but so hot!
“There is no replacement for displacement”, said W.O.Bentley. Well, Ford’s British engineers seem to have found one. With the revolutionary 1.0 litre Ecoboost petrol engine, they’ve pulled the rabbit out of the hat.
So how did Ford managed to squeeze 123 horses from a peanut sized one-liter engine whose block has a footprint smaller than an A4 sheet paper?! Answer lies under the hood.
Let’s start with ground zero. The secret of the compact cylinder block is an unusual undersquare configuration (stroke exceeding bore) which improves packaging. Also the use of cast iron for the block and the crank shaft in place of lighter but weaker aluminium enabled the engineers to place the cylinders just 6.1 mm apart from each other! Less metal, less weight.
The Ecoboost breathes via independent variable valve timing on inlet and exhaust valves, providing good low end torque as well as max power at high revs. Also throw in features like the lifetime lasting cam belt that runs through the engine oil, umpteen numbers of electronic wizards to spend the liquid gold as wisely as possible and what we get is an engine that can stand shoulder to shoulder with the best gasoline engines in the world. Now that brings us to the last yet the biggest trick of all, which makes it the champion of compact petrol motors.
The turbocharger serves as the show-stopper here. It provides a boost pressure of 1.2 bar, spinning at a supernatural 2,48,000 rpm and that while being one the smallest turbochargers to be used in automobiles!! Credit goes to the ultra low inertia vanes. The torque peaks as early as 1300 rpm. And it uses waste gate to avoid exhaust back pressure, thereby improving part throttle response.
The 1L Ecoboost engine will be offered on the Ford EcoSport that comes to India in early 2013.
A Formula Ford car for the road?
A Formula Ford car fitted with a pumped up version of the 1L Ecoboost generating 202 bhp lapped the Nurburgring Nordschleife circuit in 7 minutes 22 seconds. The car has a top speed of about 252kmph! Grapevine says a street legal version of the Formula Ford is under consideration to take on the Ariel Atom.
Uncle Henry would be proud!